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"OCO" 2003 Obituary


OCONNELL  OCONNOR 

O'CONNELL o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-08-14 published
O'CONNELL, The Honourable Martin, Ph.D. (Privy Councilor)
Born on August 1, 1916 in Victoria, Martin O'CONNELL passed away in Toronto, on Monday, August 11, 2003. He died peacefully with his family at his side after a fight with Parkinson's disease.
Martin believed in serving the public, giving back to his country and advancing the cause of those who where not as fortunate. Throughout his full and varied life the principals of honesty, fairness, justice and humility, treating others with dignity and respect, always guided him as he set about distinguishing himself as a man to be honoured.
He leaves his wife Helen Alice O'CONNELL (born DIONNE) with whom he celebrated 58 years of marriage. Their love and dedication to each other was a model for all who knew them.
He also leaves his daughter Caryn (John JOHNSTON) and their two sons Nicholas and Kyle, his son John Martin (Martine BOUCHARD) and their two children Jean Christophe and Stéphanie. His children, their spouses and grandchildren were the pride of his life.
A brother Monsignor Michael O'CONNELL of Victoria and a sister Ellen RICHERT (widowed) of Saskatoon survive him. A sister Dr. Sheila O'CONNELL of Victoria and a brother Sgt. Johnny O'CONNELL who was killed in the battle for Caen in June 1944 predecease him.
Martin O'CONNELL started his career as a public school teacher in the British Columbia school system then completed a B.A. at Queen's University. As a veteran of the second world war (Captain, Royal Canadian Army Service Corp) he completed his education at the University of Toronto with an M.A. then PhD in political economy. His PhD dissertation studied the nationalism of Henri BOURASSA. He learned French so that he could read the documents and study the Bourassa archives in Ottawa and Montreal. Martin served on the Senate of the University of Toronto.
He left the academic world for the financial one and joined Harris and Partners in the late 1950's. In 1965, while on loan to Walter GORDON then Minister of Finance and as one of the three ''Whiz Kids'', he helped design policies, which ultimately led to the Canada Pension Plan, Medicare, and the Municipal Loan Development Fund.
Throughout the 1960's he served as the President of the Indian and Eskimo Association. During this time, he wrote many policy papers to improve aboriginal conditions and thus helped to bring attention to the difficulty that indigenous peoples where suffering.
In 1965 he ran for Parliament and failed to win a seat in Greenwood, he tried again in the federal riding of Scarborough East in 1968 and was elected. He was appointed Minister of State and later Minister of Labour in the Trudeau cabinet. He was co-chairman of the important hearings that shaped the immigration policies of this country. Defeated in 1972 he served as the Prime Minister's principal secretary throughout the minority years reshaping that office to bring the Party closer to the grass roots of Canadian society.
He was reelected in the 1974 election. He chaired the policy committee of two national conventions of the Liberal party and rejoined the cabinet as Minister of Labour late in that mandate. Defeated in 1979 he retired from politics and became Chairman of the Canadian Center For Occupational Health and Safety an entity he created while Minister of Labour.
In 1993 he was the Co-Founder and first Co-Chairman of The Canadian Foundation for the Preservation of Chinese Cultural and Historical Treasures. He served actively in this role and experienced real pleasure and pride in participating in this extraordinary work.
His many Friends will want to celebrate the life of a man who gave real meaning to the words service, integrity and honourable. He is remembered as one who pursued a life that was full and dedicated to improving the life of all Canadians. May he rest in peace.
A private family funeral will be held. All Friends are welcome to a celebration of Martin's life at the Granite Club on Bayview Avenue, Toronto on Wednesday, August 20, 2003 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Donations can be made to The Honorable Martin and Helen O'Connell Charitable Foundation can be sent in trust to his son John Martin O'CONNELL at 200 Bay Street, Suite 3900, Toronto, Ontario M5J 2J2.

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O'CONNELL o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-09-22 published
Quiet minister a Trudeau stalwart
Former Bay Street whiz kid helped revamp Canada's social safety net and served as both secretary of state and labour minister
By Ron CSILLAG Special to The Globe and Mail Monday, September 22, 2003 - Page R7
His children possess no qualms about pronouncing Martin O'CONNELL as having been a bit of a policy wonk. "Oh, totally," says his son John.
"My dad wasn't interested in money -- odd, given his Bay Street successes. Just policy, and formulating policy."
"He was a classic workaholic," concurs Mr. O'CONNELL's daughter Caryn. "He was just driven by his work. It's one of the things that kept him going."
Rare is the politician remembered for self-effacing skills and effectiveness rather than bombast. Mr. O'CONNELL was indeed serious and conscientious. He worked hard and achieved much. But of all the cabinet ministers from the Pierre TRUDEAU era, his name probably rings the quietist bell for Canadians old enough to recall names like Don Jamieson, Otto Lang and Marc Lalonde.
Mr. O'CONNELL, who died in Toronto on August 11 at 87 of complications from Parkinson's disease, served as Canada's labour minister on two separate occasions, and was Mr. TRUDEAU's principal secretary for two years when Trudeaumania had been replaced by the infuriation of millions with Canada's philosopher-king.
How does one keep a low profile in federal politics, especially in a contentious cabinet post? Mr. O'CONNELL did it by guiding the country with a steady hand through great labour turbulence in the early 1970s, including convincing his boss to pass emergency legislation that terminated work stoppages at the Vancouver and Montreal dockyards.
"He was an exceptionally low-key guy. He liked it that way," recalls Barney DANSON, who served as Minister of National Defence in the Trudeau cabinet. Doubtless Mr. TRUDEAU saw in Mr. O'CONNELL a kind of kinship. Both men were unflappable philosophers and academics at heart who entered politics relatively late in life, both sacrificing cushier lives to hasten Mr. TRUDEAU's vaunted "just society."
For Mr. O'CONNELL, the bug bit in 1965 when he and two other Bay Street whiz kids were summoned to Ottawa by then finance minister Walter GORDON -- still stinging from a disastrous budget two years earlier -- to help revamp Canada's social safety net. The group ultimately designed policies that led to the Canada Pension Plan, the Municipal Loan Development Fund and medicare.
Martin Patrick O'CONNELL was one of four children born in Victoria to a mother from Ontario and a horticulturist father from County Kerry in Ireland who farmed a few acres and raised livestock. Mr. O'CONNELL taught elementary school for six years and completed a B.A. at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, before beginning a wartime stint in the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps and Infantry Regiment. Haunted perhaps by the death of his brother Johnny, cut down in the battle for Caen, France, in June, 1944, Mr. O'CONNELL volunteered for action in the Pacific just as the fighting ceased.
It was while in uniform that he met his future wife of 58 years, Helen Alice DIONNE. The two met at the Art Gallery of Ontario while Mr. O'CONNELL was on leave from his base, and Ms. DIONNE was volunteering at the museum.
He spent the decade after the war at the University of Toronto, earning graduate degrees in economics and political science and lecturing on Plato, John Stuart Mill and liberal democratic principles. He had learned French for his doctoral thesis on Henri Bourassa, one of the first scholarly studies in English on the fiery Quebec journalist and Canadian nationalist.
Academia gave way to Bay Street, where Mr. O'CONNELL spent 11 years in investing and bond underwriting while heading the volunteer Indian and Eskimo Association of Canada, as it was then called, where he represented aboriginal concerns to governments and encouraged the devolution of federal powers to native groups.
He had run and lost in 1965 in the federal seat of Greenwood in Toronto but was swept up in the 1968 Trudeau whirlwind, winning the seat of Scarborough East. In 1971, he was named Secretary of State, and was appointed Labour Minister the following year, just before Mr. TRUDEAU called an election that ended in a minority Liberal government. Mr. O'CONNELL, like 46 other Grit members of parliament, was defeated.
But he bounced back as Mr. TRUDEAU's principal secretary for those two lean minority years between 1972 and 1974. Mr. O'CONNELL laid the groundwork for Mr. TRUDEAU's first official visit to the People's Republic of China in 1973 and was instrumental in establishing diplomatic relations with Beijing. (His interest in China would later find expression in his role as co-chair of the Canadian Foundation for the Preservation of Chinese Cultural and Historical Treasures.)
Mr. O'CONNELL also reshaped the Prime Minister's Office in an effort to bring the party closer to the grassroots of Canadian society.
The 1974 general election returned a majority Liberal government and Mr. O'CONNELL as the Member of Parliament for Scarborough East. In 1978, he was back as Labour Minister.
Around the cabinet table, "he wasn't terribly assertive," recalls Mr. DANSON. "He only spoke when he knew what he was talking about." During question period, "he was logical and solid. He was never asked the same question twice. He exuded integrity."
Mr. O'CONNELL lost to Tory Gordon GILCHRIST in the 1979 and 1980 elections (the latter by 511 votes) and he took no pleasure in Mr. GILCHRIST's resignation of the seat in 1984 after a tax-evasion conviction.
Mr. O'CONNELL took a stab at the presidency of the Liberal Party, losing by two just votes. Despite the lack of backing by old Friends, he took the losses gracefully, saying they were part of politics. "They all say that," remarked Mr. O'CONNELL's long-time friend David GOLDBERG. "He took it stoically, but hard."
He bid politics farewell and returned to the private sector as a consultant to government agencies and corporations. The only time his name was ever remotely linked to controversy was in 1983. He was acting as a consultant to multinational drug companies when he was hired by the government to consult on legislation the companies wanted repealed. Mr. O'CONNELL disclosed his role with the drug companies immediately, and Ottawa explained he was tapped precisely because he knew his way around the industry.
He was a taciturn man but prescient when he pronounced, in 1984, that tobacco smoke was a legitimate health problem in the workplace. As head of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, Mr. O'CONNELL commented on the recently changed Canada Labour Code: "My own feeling is that the right to refuse work is an essential right, ... personally, I wouldn't think it would be an abuse [of the legislation] to refuse work because of tobacco smoke.''
Mr. O'CONNELL's daughter Caryn recalls somewhat ruefully that as a child she would sometimes hesitate to tell her Friends' parents about what her father did for a living, fearing a typical tirade about Mr. TRUDEAU.
"But my Dad really was different," she recalls. "He may not have been as colourful [as other politicians] but he taught us to play fair and to accept defeat. He taught us the values of honesty, tolerance, patience and the concept of justice. But we never felt pressured. He never force-fed us. I think he was the rare person who entered politics to do good."
Mr. O'CONNELL leaves his wife, children, a brother, sister, four grandchildren and something rare indeed: a good name.

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O'CONNOR o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-02-07 published
The unsung hero of Walkerton
The public-health inspector issued a boil-water advisory and personally drove samples to a distant lab as the crisis unfolded
By Allison LAWLOR Friday, February 7, 2003, Page R13
David PATTERSON, the public-health inspector who sounded alarm bells about tainted water in Walkerton, Ontario, where seven people died of E. coli poisoning in May, 2000, has died. He was He died of rare complications related to rheumatoid arthritis, said his wife, Sharon Patterson.
"He was extremely dedicated. I feel he gave his life to public health for 33 years," said Jim PATON, the Grey Bruce Health Unit's director of health protection and Mr. PATTERSON's long-time colleague and friend. Mr. PATTERSON worked at the health unit for 30 years. He retired just a few months after the E. coli tragedy hit the Western Ontario town.
"He has been described as the unsung hero of Walkerton," Mr. PATON said.
When a worried local doctor alerted him about cases of diarrhea in people from Walkerton, Mr. PATTERSON launched the initial investigation to determine the cause of the illness.
Although he initially suspected a problem with bad food, the common source for E. coli infections, Mr. PATTERSON also called the manager of the municipal water supply and asked if there were any problems with the water. The manager, Stan KOEBEL, repeatedly assured him that the town's drinking water was fine.
As the illness spread through the community, Mr. PATTERSON became convinced that the municipal water supply was the only plausible source of the infection.
He quickly wrote out a boil-water advisory for the town on the afternoon of May 21, 2000, the Sunday of the Victoria Day weekend. The advisory, urging residents to boil their tap water, was not lifted until December 5, 2000.
Later on May 21, Mr. PATTERSON and his wife drove 21 samples of Walkerton water to a laboratory in London, Ontario, arriving after midnight. On their trip home, in the dead of night, they almost hit a deer.
Tests confirmed that the municipal water system was contaminated with E. coli and fecal coliform bacteria.
"It was just astounding what that man did," said Dr. Murray McQUIGGE, the former medical officer of health at the Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound Health Unit, who left the health unit in March, 2002. (The health unit changed its name in 2001.)
In addition to the seven people who died from the E. coli infection, 2,500 people in Walkerton became ill, some seriously.
"I believe he did the very best he could have under the circumstances," Bruce DAVIDSON of the group Concerned Walkerton Citizens said.
Mr. PATTERSON confronted Mr. KOEBEL to find out what had gone wrong. The details of how Walkerton's water became contaminated with E. coli were revealed at a public inquiry that opened in the town in October, 2000, five months after the contamination came to light.
"When Mr. KOEBEL learned from test results for the samples collected on May 15 that there was a high level of contamination in the system, he did not disclose the results to the health officials in the Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound Health Unit who were investigating the outbreak of illnesses in the community. Instead, he misled them by assuring them that the water was safe," Mr. Justice Dennis O'CONNOR wrote in Part 1 of his report of the Walkerton inquiry.
Mr. PATTERSON's meticulous record-keeping and detailing of the events around the tragedy proved to be a valuable source of information at the inquiry. In the first weekend that the water crisis unfolded, he compiled close to 80 pages of notes, documenting the times and contents of each conversation he had, Mr. PATON said.
While Mr. PATTERSON was scheduled to take early retirement in the fall of 2000, he remained with the health unit on contract to help with the exhaustive inquiry. Taking the stand at the inquiry was emotionally difficult for Mr. PATTERSON, particularly when lawyers tried to attack his credibility.
"He was a gentleman during the inquiry," Dr. McQUIGGE said, adding that his colleague often had to bite his tongue.
A quiet and private person, Mr. PATTERSON didn't seek the spotlight and said little to the mews media during and after the inquiry.
"Walkerton took its toll on everybody," Dr. McQUIGGE said. "It was tremendously taxing."
David PATTERSON was born on November 2, 1950, in Owen Sound, Ontario He was the second of four children to Fred and Mary PATTERSON. He was raised in the small community of Tara, south of Owen Sound, where he also raised his family. His father owned a business installing tile drainage for local farmers. As a teenager, Mr. PATTERSON worked with his father during the summers.
It was as a young teen that he developed his lifelong hobby of restoring old cars to mint condition; most of them were 1932-34 Fords. He enjoyed taking his cars out to local fairs and other events and last fall chauffeured his daughter to her wedding in one.
After graduating from Chesley District High School, he attended Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in Toronto, where he studied public-health inspection. He graduated in 1970, and the same year passed the tests to become a certified public-health inspector. That year, he also married his high-school sweetheart Sharon. They had two children.
Mr. PATTERSON started work at the age of 19 at the health unit in Owen Sound, where he worked the length of his public-health career.
He began as a public-health inspector and was promoted to a supervisory position first in 1982 and then in 1989, when he became assistant director of health protection with the Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound Health Unit.
In the mid-1990s, Mr. PATTERSON and the health unit were involved in a high-profile court case in which they took a local farmer to court for selling unpasteurized milk. Mr. PATTERSON couldn't stand the thought that people could be put at undue risk for drinking the unpasteurized milk, Dr. McQUIGGE said.
"This [public health] was his calling," Dr. McQUIGGE said. "He was passionate about it."
After the Walkerton inquiry wrapped up, Mr. PATTERSON left the health unit and went to work for the local conservation authority reviewing people's applications for government grants to improve their water systems.
Mr. PATTERSON preferred life in small-town Ontario to that in a big city. He enjoyed the outdoors and frequently went on canoeing, hiking and hunting trips with his family.
"He felt strongly about protecting the outdoors," said Sharon, his wife. "He was just a very dedicated person -- he really believed in things."
Mr. PATTERSON leaves his wife, son Michael, daughter April and his parents.
David PATTERSON, born on November 2, 1950, in Owen Sound, Ontario, died on January 10, 2003, in Owen Sound.

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O'CONNOR o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-02-24 published
O'CONNOR, Patricia Heatherington
On February 20th, 2003 at St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, in her 72nd year. Predeceased by parents S.A.B. '' Mac'' and Eva McCLEARY. Will be sadly missed by children Kathleen ''Katie'' THOMAS (Crista,) John ''Sandy'' (Pam) and Patrick (Kathy) and by their father T.G. ''Jerry'' O'CONNOR. Survived by grandchildren Allison, Dustin and Trevor; Corey, Cody and Kasey. Also survived by sister Mary (Myles ALLISON,) Joan (Tim HEIBERG) and Margaret (Peter MORGAN,) by nieces Jeanne, Kathinca and Janikka, nephews Jonathan and Timothy. Friends may call at the Morley Bedford Funeral Home, 159 Eglinton Avenue West (2 lights west of Yonge Street), on Tuesday, 5-8 p.m. Service in the Chapel on Wednesday, 1: 00 p.m. Interment in the family plot, St. Jude's Cemetery, Oakville. In lieu of flowers, a memorial contribution may be made to the Salvation Army either by telephone 1-888-321-3433 or by mail, 2 Overlea Blvd., Toronto, M4H 1P4

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O'CONNOR o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-04-10 published
O'NEILL, Reverend Desmond Michael, After a long and courageous battle with cancer, Father O'NEILL died on April 8, 2003, in the 44th year of his priesthood. He was the son of the late Leo O'NEILL and the late Agnes O'CONNOR. He was brother to sister Eileen BRADLEY (deceased.) He is survived by his sister Helen and brothers George and Frank (and his wife Pat). Funeral arrangements by R.S. Kane Funeral Home. Visitation at Saint Margaret of Scotland Church on Friday, April 11 from 2 to 9 p.m. and on Saturday, April 12 from 10 to 11 a.m. Funeral Mass on Saturday, April 12, 2003 at 11 a.m. at Saint Margaret of Scotland Church, 222 Ridley Blvd., Toronto. Interment in the Priest's Plot at St. Augustine Seminary. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Princess Margaret Hospital or the Canadian Cancer Society.

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O'CONNOR o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-05-26 published
O'CONNOR, Audrey Albina (née McAULEY)
Died peacefully at sunrise on May 23, 2003, having just turned 83. Survived by her loving daughter Susan O'CONNOR, son-in-law Ken WAXMAN, and her sister Gretchen MacFARLANE (Murray) of Saint John, New Brunswick Fondly remembered by her dear friend Marguerite GULDE (Hans,) and her late brother Vincent's children. Predeceased by her husband Leo O'CONNOR. Born in Centreville, New Brunswick, Audrey lived for many years in Ottawa until moving to Toronto in 1964. An enthusiastic traveller and creative, independent spirit, Audrey was the first of her contemporaries to return to the workforce in the early 1960s. Originally a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse, Audrey worked for many years in royalties administration for two major record companies. After ''retirement'' she held several jobs, but particularly enjoyed one with a small property management company. Cremation has taken place. Friends are invited to celebrate Audrey's life with Ken and Susan at home on Tuesday, May 27 after 5 p.m. Special thanks to the thoughtful and accommodating staff of Toronto East General Hospital (B-5) for their care and compassion.

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O'CONNOR o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-05-31 published
BRAILEY, F. George
March 6th, 1923 to May 29th, 2003. Died peacefully at West Park Long Term Care Centre. George suffered from Alzheimers, and the past year was very difficult for him as he declined so rapidly. George leaves his loving wife of 57 years, Joyce, and two daughters, Seonaid BRAILEY and Moira MacRAE and her husband, Garth. He was a wonderful Poppa to Justin MacRAE, Krista BRAILEY, Gail MacRAE (Allan LAURENT,) and Heather MacRAE (Chris O'CONNOR.) George enjoyed being Great Poppa to his precious great-granddaughter, Jordan TUCKER- MacRAE and great-grandchildren, Sam and Leigha BRETT, Haley MacRAE, Finlay and Emma O'CONNOR and Philippe GIGUERE. The family is grateful to the kind and caring nurses and support staff at West Park Long Term Care Centre for treating Dad with gentleness and dignity. Private arrangements have been made, however the family invites Friends to join them on Saturday, June 7, 2003, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the home of Moira and Garth MacRae. If you wish, a donation may be made to the Alzheimer Society or to the charity of your choice.

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