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3 years 10 months
Submitted by katrina on Sat, 08/27/2022 - 03:55:PM

Born in Fort Frances on February 8th, 1937, John passed away peacefully in Ottawa on August 25th, 2022. For nearly five years, John battled cholangiocarcinoma with inspiring courage and optimism. He leaves his wife Marie Ellen (Balcaen) and four children: Katherine (Todd); John (Seanna); Arianne (David), and George (Akiko) as well as ten grandchildren: Rachel, Rebekah, Shannon, Sarah, Liam, Paul, Maggie, Robert, Kento, and Mia. From his school days until his retirement, John was an avid student of Canadian politics. John completed his BA (1959) and MA (1961) at the University of Manitoba. After two years of Ph.D. studies at the University of Toronto, John left academia for a political career. From 1965 to 1984, John served as the Member of Parliament for Kenora-Rainy River. John was an altruistic man in his public and his private life. His career demonstrated his commitment to the fundamental principles of democracy and good government. John was passionately committed to government transparency as an essential feature of democratic rights. He received a crash course in good governance as the committee chair investigating cost overruns to build the National Arts Centre. Later in his career, John applied his considerable knowledge of Parliamentary procedure to secure the passage of the “Reid bill,” which unsealed thousands of secret government documents from the Second World War II. John also worked on the bill, which would eventually become the Access to the Information Act. Late in his career, John was appointed the Access to Information Commissioner. John’s tenure as Access to Information Commission included his notorious “report cards” on the government’s compliance with access to information laws and his numerous court challenges to obtain the release of information for the benefit of all Canadians. After the 1984 blue wave, John continued to promote democratic ideals, including free and fair elections. He worked with the United Nations as an Election Observer in Namibia (1989) and as Senior Political Advisor to both the chief Electoral officer of the United Nations Transitional Administration to Eastern Slavonia (UNTAES) and Senior Advisor for the Organization of Security and Cooperation Europe (OSCE) Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina. While John left academia for the rough and tumble of Canadian politics, his immense curiosity about the past and education never wavered. John always stressed the importance of education to his children and supported them in their studies. For two years, John was the Executive Director of the Forum for Young Canadians, an organization dedicated to educating Canadian youth on public affairs and political engagement.  The Funeral will take place at Our Lady of Fatima Parish (153 Woodroffe Avenue Ottawa, ON) on Wednesday, August 31st, 2022 at 11am followed by the interment at Beechwood. The family would like to thank the many health professionals who tended to John over his illness, especially Dr. Jonker, Dr. Hacker, the community palliative team, and the staff of May Court Hospice. The family would greatly appreciate donations to May Court Hospice in John’s name.

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Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 08/30/2022 - 01:19:PM


Deepest sympathy Katie and Todd.
After reading John’s obituary I now understand Todd what you were telling me over the years and your admiration for the man .
Outstanding service to humanity .
In this day and age we don’t have enough Johns !May he RIP
Denis & Muriel

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 08/30/2022 - 06:24:PM


Robert Marleau former Clerk of the House of Commons

My condolences to the family. As a House of Commons Officer my association with Mr. Reid goes back to 1970. In the thousands of MPs I have worked with, John was singularly focussed on building the institution by fostering procedural reform and enhancing the back-benchers role and influence. I also witnessed his commitment to introducing youth to the parliamentary experience with the Forum of Young Canadians. I know first hand of his contributions to transparency in government as ATI Commissioner. Canada is a better democracy because of parliamentarians like John.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 08/30/2022 - 06:25:PM


Mary (Meek) De Sousa

Miss Katie - I am not sure if you remember me, but we used to play together in Kenora when we were young girls. I remember going to your cottage and swimming with you and your brother(s). I also remember how nice your parents were. I’m very sorry that your dear father has passed away. Please accept my heartfelt condolences.
- Mary from the big red brick house on Cameron’s Point

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/31/2022 - 07:28:AM


Doug Powers and Sherry Price

My deepest condolences on the loss of an old friend. I often fondly remember those long drives during the summer elections and the education and life lessons learned as well as the visits to that beautiful small Rockcliffe house. I am sorry that we lost touch in the last few years. Missed but not forgotten.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/31/2022 - 08:04:AM


Herb and Anne Breau

We have known John and Marie since 1968 when Herb was elected to Parliament.
John will me missed. He was a person who was very generous with his time with colleagues and always thorough in his thinking. His contribution to public life has been significant not only to his constituents, but to Canadian public policy generally.
Marie, his children, and grand children can be proud of his achievements.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/31/2022 - 04:54:PM


Joe Ralko

John shall be missed but never forgotten. I first met John when I was working on a Grade 8 history project. Even though he was in the midst of a federal election campaign, he took the time to meet with me one afternoon and patiently answer all my questions. His answers were sincere and understandable. His footprints in the sands of time with me were huge!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/31/2022 - 11:21:PM



Though my wife Denise and I have only known John and Marie for the past four years (when we became neighbours and then friends) I quickly came to admire John for his endless enthusiasm for life, family, politics and virtually anything in the news. We always enjoyed our get-togethers and will miss our visits. He was obviously much admired for his work and clearly much loved for his warmth and genuine interest in everyone he met. Our condolences to Marie and the entire family.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 09/01/2022 - 09:59:AM


Francis G. LeBlanc

Through our connnection with the Canadian Association of Former Parliamentarians, John Reid became a dear friend and I was always impressed by his wit and erudition. Wishing Marie and all his family sincere condolences in their loss.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 09/01/2022 - 11:21:AM


Marc Lalonde

Uncle John will always be a role model for me, putting solid and timeless principles ahead of self interest, which is not common these days. I have many fond memories of our few times together, and I particularly enjoyed the way he always easily whooped my a__ at chess (not!).

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 09/01/2022 - 11:32:AM


Amaya and family

We are deeply sorry for your loss. May the good memories of John bring you comfort in these difficult times.
From your neighbors Adan, Amaya, Unai, Anton and Amaia

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