James Michael Flaherty
Born: December 30, 1949 (Lachine, Quebec)
Died: April 10, 2014 (Ottawa, Ontario)
Jim Flaherty was the sixth of eight children born to a chemist and his homemaker wife in the Montreal suburb of Lachine. He attended Loyola High in the leafy Notre-Dame-des-Grace neighbourhood, where he played hockey in 1965 and ’66. He played on a line with Dennis McCarthy and Gary Rankin. He was also a teammate of Danny Gallivan Jr., the son of the celebrated Hockey Night in Canada play-by-play announcer.
He delivered daily newspapers to earn money to buy a coveted, $52 pair of CCM Tacks hockey skates.
Flaherty was scouted by Princeton University during an invitational tournament for high-school students held at McGill University in Montreal. He was offered a financial assistance package, though he would have to hold a part-time job and play varsity sports while maintaining good grades. The Ivy League equivalent of a scholarship was put to good use by Flaherty, just 16, who graduated before going on to study law at Osgoode Hall in Toronto.
Playing forward for the Princeton Tigers was an achievement for the pint-sized skater, who stood just 5-foot-3.
“I was lucky I was a fairly good hockey player in the days when fairly small people still played hockey,” he told the Toronto Star in 2001. “The days of Henri Richard and Davey Keon.”
Flaherty served for eight years as Canada’s finance minister in the Conservative government of Stephen Harper. He died three weeks after stepping down as the nation’s 37th finance minister and intended to resign as a member of Parliament for the Ontario riding of Whitby-Oshawa to join a private-equity firm. He died suddenly from a reported heart attack at his Ottawa condo.