He had to attend a funeral service.
But Peters isn’t mourning a family member or even a constituent. He flew to Boston as an invited guest at the memorial for John Kenneth Galbraith, whose roots ran deep in his Elgin-Middlesex-London riding.
Galbraith, of course, was one of the leading economists of the last century and an influential adviser to U.S. presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, as well as a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom from both Truman and Bill Clinton. He died last month at the age of 97.
Peters, a former St. Thomas mayor, got to know Galbraith, who was born in Iona Station in 1908, when the young municipal politician sought the legendary thinker’s advice on civic matters.
“John was a big opponent of municipal amalgamation. He understood the importance of communities and a local identity,” the minister remembered Tuesday night before racing to catch a flight to Boston.
He also appreciated - as Peters does (and some provincial and federal elected officials forget) - that all politics is local.