Remembering Charles Caccia
|JONATHAN HAYWARD FOR THE TORONTO STAR|
|Toronto MP Charles Caccia on Parliament Hill Nov. 17, 2003.|
Charles Caccia was the Liberal MP for Davenport for nearly 40 years -- from 1968 to 2004. His passion was the environment -- long before it was politically fashionable to be green. He even served briefly as an environment minister. In more recent years, after he left office, he served at the Institute of the Environment at the University of Ottawa.
Sadly, Caccia passed away yesterday from a stroke, just shortly after his 78th birthday.
Though the Milan-born politician stepped out of elected office four years ago, he remained active and involved in Liberal politics. Just a few weeks ago, in fact, an article I wrote on Liberal election readiness prompted him to fire off an email, which I kept. Caccia took issue with my description of Senator David Smith as the closest thing the Liberals now have to an election guru. This didn't sit all that comfortably with a man who knew the Liberal party much more deeply than I did.
…Hello! Greetings! Just a foot note . . . . .
…… describing Sen Smith as you did in your article, (The Keith Davey equivalent, The organizing giant in three elections) seems, with all due respect, carrying it a bit too far . . . . .historical accuracy and memory would not seem to suggest such description, flattering as it may be to the Senator . . . . .
Liberal leader Stéphane Dion, in a statement issued this afternoon, had this to say:
Mr. Caccia was a great Liberal, who dedicated his life to building a better Canada. His many accomplishments, and his longstanding commitment to the people he served as Member of Parliament will not be forgotten. His passion for environmental and social justice issues was a great inspiration to all.
Our condolences to Caccia's family and many friends. His legacy, as an environmental guru of the party, stands unquestioned.