Concordia's Thursday Report

Vol. 28, No.16

May 20, 2004


In Memoriam


Eric William Kierans

Canada lost one of her most interesting and likeable public servants on May 10 when Loyola College alumnus Eric Kierans passed away in his 91st year.

Kierans grew up in Montreal in working-class St. Henri, and attended Loyola in 1927 on a scholarship, graduating magna cum laude in 1935.

He wrote in his memoirs, as quoted by The Gazette on May 11, that at Loyola he learned “the importance of community, the responsibility each of us owes to society, and that when we try to shuck off that responsibility, we shuck off humanity.”

At various times during his brilliant career, he was an economics professor, director of the McGill School of Business, president of the Montreal and Canadian Stock Exchanges, Quebec Minister of Revenue, Minister of Health and president of the Quebec Liberal Federation.

He entered federal politics in the late 1960s, losing the Liberal leadership to Pierre Trudeau, but becoming Postmaster General and then the Minister of Communications.

A brilliant communicator himself, he learned his French in the heat of parliamentary debate during an exciting period of Quebec politics. In later years, he endeared himself to a generation of CBC listeners through his weekly debates on the issues of the day with Dalton Camp, Stephen Lewis and Peter Gzowski. In recent years, he was a member of the editorial board of Concordia Magazine, published by Alumni Affairs.