Whitby Locals Remember Their 20-Yr Representative Flaherty

Workers at a local restaurant in Whitby, T&D Family Restaurant, remembered Flaherty and his habit to sit on a small grey table in the back corner and eat French fries. One worker at the Whitby diner, Chad Kawasaki, alleged that “that’s where he’d sit. Right over there,” while standing in the two-story strip mall on Thursday night, where the ex-finance minister had his constituency office.

Just like many others in his constituency, Kawasaki had memories of Flaherty to share. He recalled that “he’s a great guy. He’s been living in this town most of his life,” and remembered seeing him for the last time he came for a bite last month. Kawasaki explained that “he’d always ask how you’re doing, and I’m like, ‘You’re asking me that?’ I’d be honoured . . . . He never treated people on a different level. He treated them equal.” Mr. Flaherty passed away suddenly in Ottawa at the age of 64 on Thursday.

Almost all municipal building flags were raised at half-mast in the wind while locals shook their heads and spoke of the man who’s represented them for nearly 20 years, both at Queen’s Park and in the House of Commons. Several of them remember Flaherty as a genuine person who’d keep a nice lawn and stop for a chat about the weather. An employee at the MMM Group engineering firm next door to Flaherty’s now-locked up office, Dave Barr, alleged that “It’s just very, very sad.”

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