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Statement from the Family of the Right Honourable Don Mazankowski

·4 min read

SHERWOOD PARK, AB, Oct. 28, 2020 /CNW/ - It is with great sadness that the family of the Right Honourable Donald Frank Mazankowski, P.C., C.C., A.O.E, LL.D. share that he passed away peacefully last night surrounded by family. He was 85 years old.

While Canadians knew him as Canada's 4th Deputy Prime Minister, and a long-time federal cabinet minister, to his friends and colleagues he was known as simply "Maz". However, first and foremost he was a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, a legacy that he shared with his partner in life, his wife Lorraine.

Don was a compassionate and steadfast family man born in Viking, Alberta. He spent his life dedicated to his loved ones and public service. He will be greatly missed.

Given the circumstances of COVID-19, a private memorial will be held to honour Don's life. A public memorial will be arranged when circumstances permit.

The family asks for privacy at this time.

Donald Frank Mazankowski (July 27, 1935October 28, 2020)

The Right Honourable Don Mazankowski (CNW Group/The Family of Don Mazankowski)
The Right Honourable Don Mazankowski (CNW Group/The Family of Don Mazankowski)

The Right Honourable Donald Frank Mazankowski was born in Viking, Alta. to U.S. immigrants of Polish decent. Don was a loving husband to Lorraine, and father to Greg, Roger and Don. Together, Lorraine and Don are proud parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.

Don spent his early life farming and building an automotive dealership in Innisfree, Alta. In 1960, he moved to Vegreville, Alta. to open an automotive dealership with his brother, but his career took a different direction. Don's interest in politics began after he met Prime Minister John Diefenbaker during a speaking tour that travelled through Vegreville. Inspired to play a meaningful role in shaping how Western Canada contributed to the nation, Don became involved in local politics.

In the 1968 federal election, Don was elected to the House of Commons as the Member of Parliament for Vegreville, Alta., and served his constituency for 25 years.

When Prime Minister Joe Clark was elected in 1979, Don served as the Minister of Transport, where he redrafted the National Transportation Act to reduce regulatory burdens on businesses.

After the election of the Progressive Conservative Party in 1984, Don again served as Minister of Transport under Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and went on to serve in various cabinet roles including as House Leader from 1986-1988 and later as Canada's Minister of Finance from 1991-1993.

In 1986, he was appointed Canada's 4th Deputy Prime Minister, a role he held until his retirement in 1993. On June 18, 1993, he was conferred the title of "Right Honourable," a unique and appropriate honour for a person who gave so much to his country.

Named the "minister of everything" among journalists, Don was responsible for a wide range of key policy areas during his political career. He was a strong advocate for the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement and the North American Free Trade Agreement as well as assisted in the development of the Western Diversification Program and the Farm Income Protection Act.

As a proponent of post-secondary education, he established the Don Mazankowski Scholarship Foundation in 1985, which has since distributed millions of dollars to Canadian youth.

After retiring from politics, Don returned to the private sector, serving on many boards of directors including Shaw Communications Inc., ATCO Ltd., Power Corporation of Canada and Weyerhauser Co. He was a consultant at Gowling WLG and served on the University of Alberta's Board of Governors and Business Advisory Council; the chairman of the Canadian Genetics Diseases Network; and chair of the Institute of Health Economics. In 2001, Don completed a review of Alberta's health system and outlined his findings and recommendations in the Mazankowski Report as the Chair of the Premier's Special Advisory Council on Health during Ralph Klein's leadership.

Don's interest in health care culminated with the opening of the $217 million Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute part of the University of Alberta Hospital, in 2008

In 2000, Don was named Officer of the Order of Canada and, in 2013, was presented the insignia of Companion of the Order of Canada. He received an Honourary Doctor of Engineering Degree from the Technical University of Nova Scotia and an Honourary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Alberta.

He was inducted into the Alberta Order of Excellence in 2003 as a champion in Canadian and Albertan politics.

SOURCE The Family of Don Mazankowski


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