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Article by Trevor Lautens in North Shore News: Rough Rafe: It was never anything personal

Earlier article by Lautens: Bombastic broadcaster recalls talk radio heyday

Excerpt:

He wore an XXL-size personality and brandished a Napoleonic bravado in attack. (Daring a one-way ticket to Elba?) Always in motion, Rafe kicked up so much dust that his career in the Bill Bennett cabinet – health, environment, constitutional adviser – is almost lost in the memory clouds.

He’s proud of it. His own cryptic list: ‘‘Enabled cottage wineries. Beat back banks. Also fought several environmental battles including Kemano Completion Project, saved Skagit, placed moratorium on uranium, stopped killing of wolves.’’

Jon McComb on Rafe Mair

CKNW broadcaster John McComb salutes his mentor Rafe Mair for unparalleled journalistic excellence and talking publicly about depression.

Rafe is remembered by his friend and former producer Shiral Tobin and former CKNW reporter George Garrett, with clips from interviews he did with host Joseph Planta. Audio clip

The funeral for Rafe Mair will be Monday, October 30, 11 AM, at Christ Church Cathedral, corner of Burrard Street and Georgia Street in downtown Vancouver. Flowers are gratefully declined. Donations may be made to the Paul Sugar Palliative Support Foundation.

Rafe Mair in Campbell River in 2009, speaking out against GE’s $5 Billion proposed Bute Inlet private power project (Image: Damien Gillis)

Few people are lucky enough to work with, let alone become close friends with one of their heroes. Over the past decade, I got to ride shotgun with mine: legendary politician, broadcaster and environmental defender Rafe Mair. But on our many road trips around this great province, hosting townhall meetings on pipelines, tankers, hydropower, wild salmon and the public interest, it was me who did the driving. Rafe supplied the music – from his ipods full of jazz and old-time classics – and, of course, the stories. So many good stories. As we remember Rafe, following his passing at the age of 85, I’d like to pass on a few.

Now, this is not meant as hagiography to gloss over Rafe’s imperfections, which he readily acknowledged were many – rather as my own recollections of the tales my friend and mentor told me and the adventures we had together. Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian

Rafe Mair says goodbye

As we mourn the passing of a legend and dear friend, Rafe Mair’s own word’s in 2011 at his 80th Birthday Roast serve as a fitting goodbye from a man who was ahead of his time and never stopped fighting for the people and environment he loved so dearly. In the coming days and weeks, we will share more video and recollections of Rafe.

Rafe was a fierce, uncompromising spirit with a deep sense of justice and unlimited reservoir of courage for speaking truth to power. He leaves behind a prolific legacy of accomplishments in government, journalism, and environmental advocacy.

He loved his wife Wendy, his family, chocolate labs, fly fishing, jazz, and Winston Churchill, whose words were his mantra: “Never give in–never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

He was a British Columbian through and through. He loved this place – its mountains, rivers, wild salmon, and independent spirit – and gave every ounce of his soul to defending it. He will be deeply missed by The Common Sense Canadian and its co-founder and publisher, Damien Gillis, as he will by so many people whom he informed, entertained and inspired over a long, rich life.

Thank you, Rafe, and may you rest in peace.

– Damien Gillis

RIP Rafe Mair 1931-2017

Article by David Beers at The Tyee: Rafe Mair: A BC Legend’s Journey of the Soul

Rafe left us a final book

Jon McComb and Vaughn Palmer on CKNW

Story from CBC News: B.C. broadcasting giant Rafe Mair dead at 85

2012 interview with Fanny Kiefer – part 1:

Part 2:

Photo: Province of BC/Flickr CC Licence

In 1988,  a year before the Iron Curtain fell, I was in Budapest and after a stroll I went back to my group in the hotel and said this: “Folks, this regime is in trouble…when I was in the main square, the money changers were doing their deals bold as brass right under the nostrils of the police. When moneylenders in a communist country lose fear, respect, call it what you will, authority is in trouble.”

I really had no premonition that 10 moths later, that ironclad border which passed through to Austria would be as open as the Ambleside Seawall on a Sunday afternoon.

People are that way. Where they will hide their actions at one point, the more time that passes, the more caution is fluttering off in the breeze. I thought of that when I read the National Observer yesterday and was horrified to find myself about to upchuck my Cheerios at a sight I thought was out of my life – the admittedly pretty face of the last premier, her full toothed, ear-to-ear grin of self satisfaction at something agreeably trivial. Continue Reading »

Justin Trudeau joined by Canadian premiers at Paris climate talks in 2015 (Province of BC/Flickr)

Justin Trudeau is not as young as he looks – obviously. If he was, he would have noticed a sea change in public attitudes that this old man, more of his father’s generation, has not just noticed but takes as obvious and natural.

Prime Minister, lets take just a very short look down the road and start with parliament. You are in the lull before the storm, sir, and you would be wise to  think about it, not only in your interest but that of the country.

Canada is a complacent place. It doesn’t like change. We always avoid it by making perfection the enemy of improvement. That’s what happened in 2005 when BC narrowly defeated a new electoral system more because opponents cast doubt than demonstrated flaws in a governance method that worked fine elsewhere. Continue Reading »

If you contribute your cash to a man in a bar selling expensive watches for $10, or get into card games with people you don’t know, or believe the man on the phone you’ve never met before who tells you that Consolidated Moose Turds is going to go to $25 tomorrow morning so buy now, well, as they say, a fool and his money are soon separated.

Similarly, if you’re asked to “invest” in any of a number of public saviours telling you that a contribution to their operation will all but ensure a new and fairer voting system for Canada and that they have been busy emailing MP’s and the Prime Minister and Proportional Representation is all but a done deal – especially if you would make a generous donation – my advice would be to call back the Consolidated Moose Turds guy and buy a bunch.

The ignorance of Canadians about their system of governance takes the breath away. They will pour money at Fair Vote Canada, Dogwood Initiative, Leadnow, and others like them and do it over again, as those professional do-gooders work their buns off lobbying MP’s of every party for Proportional Representation. They faithfully follow up with the encouraging news that there are now umpty dump Canadians, political swords unsheathed, spreading brochures in the offices of MP’s and the feedback is most encouraging – one more effort (your cheque would be appreciated) should get the job done. Continue Reading »

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