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Iconic Canadian Politician Eugene Whelan Dies

Former Liberal MP, Agriculture Minister and Senator Eugene Whelan Dead at 88

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Eugene Whelan, one of the country’s best known politicians who spent a 12 years as Canada’s minister of agriculture, has died from complications following a stroke at the age of 88.

Whelan who will be remembered fondly for his signature green Stetson cowboy hat, died Tuesday evening at his home in Amherstburg, southwest of Windsor, Ontario.

Whelan won his first seat in the House of Commons as a Liberal member in the 1962 election for the riding of Essex-Windsor, continuing from 1962 to 1984. Whelan was the minister of agriculture in the cabinet of Pierre Trudeau from 1972 until 1984, and held the position until Trudeau’s retirement in 1984.

As a well-known politician, Whelan ran for the Liberal leadership to succeed Trudeau at the 1984 convention, but came in last. In 1996, he was appointed to the Canadian Senate by Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, which he served in the chamber until he reached mandatory retirement at the age of 75 in 1999.

He will be remembered fondly by friends and colleagues as a great Canadian politician who was a strong advocate for farmers and agriculture.

Funeral arrangements are still being made.

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