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"McEA" 2003 Obituary


McEACHEN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-01-28 published
The architect of Canada's basic wage
By Allison LAWLOR Tuesday, January 28, 2003, Page R7
The man who more than anyone else modernized working conditions for most Canadians has died. George HAYTHORNE spent his career in the federal Department of Labour, serving as deputy minister from 1961 to 1969, died last month in Ottawa. He was 93.
Raised on a Prairie farm in Salisbury, Alberta, a rural community just outside Edmonton, Mr. HAYTHORNE began his career as a civil servant in Halifax in 1938. At the age of 29 he became secretary of the Nova Scotia Economic Council. Four years later, he moved to Ottawa where he joined the Department of Labour as associate director of the National Selective Service.
After the war years, he worked his way up through the labour department, becoming director of the economics and research. In 1961, he was made deputy minister.
"George was an extremely hard-working and creative deputy minister who had excellent working relations with the Canadian labour movement," said retired senator Allan MacEACHEN, who served as Canada's Minister of Labour between 1963 and 1965.
Mr. HAYTHORNE was also actively involved in the International Labour Organization in the 1950s and 1960s, serving in various capacities, including chairman of the organization's governing body.
"I had tremendous respect for him," Mr. MacEACHEN said. "He was a straight shooter."
Mr. HAYTHORNE was part of significant change and growth in the Department of Labour, which at the time had responsibility for areas such as training and employment programs that have since been transferred to Human Resources Development Canada.
In 1965, Mr. HAYTHORNE saw the Canada Labour (Standards) Code establish not only minimum wages, but also minimum work hours and vacation pay for workers.
"He was always wanting to see the workers get their share of what was going around," said George HAYTHORNE's wife, Ruth HAYTHORNE. "He pushed for programs that would ensure this."
George Vickers HAYTHORNE was born in 1909, the second of two sons to Frank and Elizabeth HAYTHORNE. His parents, who were both raised on farms in northern England, arrived in Canada in 1906 and bought a piece of virgin land just outside Edmonton.
As a child, Mr. HAYTHORNE and his older brother Tom regularly attended the nearby West Salisbury Church, where his mother and father taught Sunday school.
At the University of Alberta, Mr. HAYTHORNE became involved in the Christian Student Movement and was later an active member in the Unitarian Church.
"There was a spiritual foundation to his life," Mr. HAYTHORNE's son Eric said, adding that it shaped his approach to life and his work. "His life was one of purpose."
Growing up on a Prairie farm, Mr. HAYTHORNE never lost his interest in agriculture, and later studied agricultural and labour economics. After graduating from the University of Alberta with a Masters of Economics in 1932, he went to McGill University in Montreal to the study farm labour situation in Ontario and Quebec. The findings of the study were subsequently published in a book of which he is the co-author.
After completing his fellowship at McGill, he became a research assistant at Harvard University in 1937 and eight years later earned his PhD there.
After finishing his duties as deputy minister of labour, Mr. HAYTHORNE was appointed to the federal Prices and Incomes Commission, serving until 1972.
He spent the next year as a senior visitor at Churchill College, University of Cambridge before becoming director and professor of development management at the Institute of Development Management based in Gaborone, Botswana. He remained there until 1979.
Mr. HAYTHORNE leaves his wife Ruth; children Elinor and Eric and brothers Donald and Owen.
George Vickers HAYTHORNE, civil servant; born in Salisbury, Alberta, on September 29, 1909; died in Ottawa on November 22, 2002.

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McEACHEN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-08-30 published
A man of uncommon passion and drive
Despite hints of scandal, the scrappy former Liberal member of parliament, who spent a lifetime fighting for social safety nets, earned a reputation as a tireless crusader for the working people
By Ron CSILLAG Special to the Globe and Mail; With a report from staff Saturday, August 30, 2003 - Page F8
He died with his boots on.
John MUNRO, a Trudeau era Liberal warhorse once described as a rumpled fighter who had gone too many rounds, had just put the finishing touches to a barn-burning speech, to be delivered to a Rotary Club, on the evils of concentration of media ownership when he suffered at heart attack at his desk in his Hamilton home on August 19. He was 72.
It was almost just as well that he went suddenly, his daughter, Anne, said in a eulogy, for her father could not stand suffering. Rather, he would not abide it. Suffering had no place in Canada, he reasoned, which is why his name is so closely associated with such social safety nets as medicare, the Canada Pension Plan and improvements to Old Age Security.
More than 500 well-wishers, including old political pals, steel-workers, artists, business people and labourers, packed the James Street Baptist Church last Saturday to laud Hamilton's favourite son, a scrappy lawyer who earned a reputation as a tireless crusader for working people, despite the recurring taint of scandal.
As the Member of Parliament for Hamilton East from 1962 to 1984 and through five cabinet posts, he was proudly on the left of the Liberal Party, alongside people such as Allan MacEACHEN, Judy LAMARSH, Lloyd AXWORTHY, Eugene WHELAN -- and probably Pierre TRUDEAU himself -- fighting for medicare, against capital punishment and in favour of a guaranteed annual income. As minister of national health and welfare, he didn't win the battle for a guaranteed annual income, but he did get the Guaranteed Income Supplement that has made life easier for many seniors. He was also known and often ridiculed -- for being a chain-smoking health minister.
Prime Minister Jean CHRÉTIEN, who entered Parliament a year after Mr. MUNRO, mourned the death of his former cabinet colleague. "We were very good Friends, and I'm terribly sorry that he passed away. He was a very good member of Parliament, and he was a very good minister and a guy who worked very, very hard in all the files that were given to him."
The political bug bit early. At 18, Mr. MUNRO ran for president of the Tribune Society at Westdale Secondary School in Hamilton. Mark NEMIGAN, a lifelong friend, remembers his resourcefulness: "He went to a local bus stop and festooned all the park benches with banners reading, 'Vote for John.' It worked too. He had uncommon drive and passion, even then."
Born in Hamilton on March 26, 1931, to lawyer John Anderson MUNRO and Katherine CARR, a housewife, John Carr MUNRO became a municipal alderman at the age of 23 while attending law school at Osgoode Hall in Toronto.
"I have no idea how he did that," Mr. NEMIGAN says. "The guy didn't sleep."
Mr. MUNRO took his first run at federal politics in the seat of Hamilton West in 1957, but was beaten by Ellen FAIRCLOUGH, who went on to become Canada's first female cabinet minister. In 1962, he switched ridings, and won the seat he would hold for the next 22 years.
With the election of Mr. TRUDEAU in 1968, a string of cabinet positions followed for Mr. MUNRO: minister without portfolio, amateur sport, health and welfare, labour and Indian affairs and northern development, the last earning him the hard-won respect of aboriginal groups.
In the 1968 general election, an aggressive young poll captain named Sheila COPPS worked on Mr. MUNRO's re-election bid. She would go on to replace him in the seat in 1984.
Tom AXWORTHY, who was Mr. TRUDEAU's principal secretary, recalled that the prime minister often turned to Mr. MUNRO for support on progressive positions at the cabinet table: "When we had those kind of debates, he would kind of look over to MUNRO when he wanted to hear the liberal perspective on the issue."
Mr. MUNRO's support for the decriminalization of marijuana led to a perk in December, 1969: A 90-minute chat about drugs with John LENNON and Yoko ONO, fresh from the duo's "bed-in" at Montreal's Queen Elizabeth Hotel. Documents unearthed this spring by a researcher for an Ottawa Beatles Web site revealed that Mr. LENNON joked that while Mr. TRUDEAU and Mr. MUNRO, then health minister, were members of the "establishment," they were both "hip."
"Mr. MUNRO's speech [on the decriminalization of marijuana] was the only political speech I ever heard about that had anything to do with reality that came through to me," Mr. LENNON is quoted as saying in the 12,000-word document.
Contacted by a reporter in May, Mr. MUNRO recalled that the incident, and his stand on cannabis, didn't go over well. "Yeah, I was in a little hot water at the time," he laughed. "Everybody thought I wanted to give the country to the junkies."
Mr. LENNON and Ms. ONO made a distinct impression, he said. "The more I think about it, the more I remember he and his wife were very polite and committed people."
In 1974, the water became considerably hotter when the Royal Canadian Mounted Police raided Mr. MUNRO's campaign headquarters during a probe into kickbacks and bid rigging on Hamilton Harbour dredging contracts.
Around the same time, Mr. MUNRO was criticized for accepting a $500 campaign donation from a union whose leaders were under investigation.
In 1978, he was forced to resign from the cabinet when it was revealed that he had talked to a judge by telephone to give a character reference for a constituent on the day of the person's sentencing for assault. But he bounced back with a tenacity that Mr. TRUDEAU was said to have admired and in 1980 won reappointment to the cabinet.
Mr. MUNRO's stamp on Hamilton was legendary, from the reclamation of land that gave the city Confederation Park, to the Canada Centre for Inland Waters, to the fundraising of more than $50-million for the local airport, renamed in his honour in 1998. "Without a doubt, he was the feistiest, most stubborn person I knew in public life," former mayor Bob MORROW remarked. "I don't think we will ever meet his equal of scaring up funds for Hamilton."
When Mr. TRUDEAU retired in 1984, Mr. MUNRO ran for the Liberal leadership and prime minister. He finished a poor fifth in a field of six. There began what his daughter called the "decade from hell," starting with a four-year Royal Canadian Mounted Police investigation so vigorous, the Mounties even considered using a helicopter to track Mr. MUNRO because the officers assigned to tail him couldn't keep up with his car.
That investigation killed a re-election bid in 1988 and scuttled his marriage to Lilly Oddie MUNRO, a minister in the former Ontario Liberal government. It eventually produced 37 flimsy charges of breach of trust, conspiracy, corruption, fraud and theft stemming from his years as Indian affairs minister. After a trial that dragged on for most of 1991, the judge threw out nearly all the charges without even calling for defence evidence. The Crown later withdrew the rest.
Mr. MUNRO welcomed the verdict as "complete exoneration" but was left with legal bills estimated at nearly $1-million and a reputation in ruins. Swimming in debt (he had to rely on Ontario Legal Aid), he filed a civil suit in 1992, claiming malicious prosecution and maintaining he had been targeted by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to embarrass him. He attempted a political comeback in 1993, only to have Mr. CHRÉTIEN refuse to sign his nomination papers. Mr. MUNRO responded by filing an unsuccessful court challenge seeking to strip Mr. CHRÉTIEN of his power to appoint candidates.
Mr. MUNRO, who had returned to an immigration law practice in Hamilton, felt betrayed by the government's refusal to pay his legal bills, and it took an emotional toll.
"I'm not mad at the world," he said in 1996. "I realized this could totally destroy me if I didn't live a day at a time. You have to impose discipline, or you're finished. The motivation to carry on is voided. There's nothing to look forward to except endless grief."
He finally won nearly $1.4-million in compensation from Ottawa in 1999, but most of the money went to pay taxes, legal bills and other expenses. He could have avoided problems by declaring bankruptcy, but insisted on clearing his debts.
"He was no saint, but he was dedicated and hardworking," said his daughter Susan. "He was deeply hurt."
Mr. MUNRO had no interest in the personal trappings of wealth, she said, adding that he had a weakness only for Chevy Chevettes and homemade muffins. Good thing too, for a proposal for bankruptcy he filed in 1995 showed a monthly living balance of $476.
His last political gasp came in 2000 when he ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Hamilton. Asked in 1996 about writing his memoirs, he said: "I'm not ready. There's no last chapter yet."
Mr. MUNRO leaves his third wife, Barbara, and four children.

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McEACHERN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-03-12 published
COATSWORTH, Helen Campbell (GILLIES) (1907-2003)
We regret to announce the death of our mother and friend. She died under protest on Friday, March 7, 2003, at the Sun Parlour Home, Leamington. She stoically survived the loss of her husband, Grover (1983), grand_son, Murray (1990), and son, Alfred (2001). She will be sadly missed by her daughters, Bev GILLESPIE (John) of Wheatley, and Ginny ALLEN (John) of Newmarket; her daughter-in-law, Bonney COATSWORTH of Guelph; and fondly remembered by her grandchildren, Jeff COATSWORTH (Sue,) Margot and Robert GILLESPIE, Duncan, Graham, and Michael ALLEN; and great granddaughters, Elizabeth and Katherine COATSWORTH. Helen was predeceased by her brother, J.D. GILLIES, and is survived by her sisters, Katharine McEACHERN and Janet GOUGH. She valued a special relationship with her many nieces and nephews. Helen contributed to her community as a farmer, historian, journalist, teacher and was awarded for her community service with county, provincial, and federal awards. With the wonderful help of her neighbours, she was able to remain on the COATSWORTH farm for 69 years. Her spirit lives on. A memorial service will be held at Talbot Street United Church on Saturday, March 22, 2003, at 2: 00 pm.

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