Premier Stephen McNeil is expressing sadness and extending heartfelt sympathies to the family of Allan J. MacEachen after Mr. MacEachen passed away Tuesday, Sept. 12, in Antigonish at age 96.
“Allan J. was a true champion of Nova Scotia, a remarkable Canadian and a fine gentleman,” said Premier McNeil. “He was focused on getting things done and making life better for Canadians. His accomplishments as a federal cabinet minister are still benefiting Canadians today.”
Mr. MacEachen, a native of Inverness, was first elected to the House of Commons in 1953 and subsequently won nine more elections. He held many cabinet portfolios in the Lester Pearson, Pierre Trudeau and John Turner governments and also served as deputy prime minister under Mr. Trudeau.
Mr. MacEachen is considered an architect of social policy in Canada. His accomplishments as a parliamentarian included reforming the labour code, establishing a new standard for the minimum wage and, what some consider the most significant part of his legacy, ushering the Medical Care Act through parliament in 1966.
He later served as a senator and was invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2008.
“Allan J.’s dedication and commitment to public service were exemplary and Nova Scotia and Canada are better for it,” Premier McNeil said. “He set a gold standard to which all of us in political life should aspire. Nova Scotians are proud to say he’s one of our own.”