Tributes to the life of John Crosbie have poured in since his death was announced on Friday morning.
Perhaps the most accomplished politician in Newfoundland and Labrador’s history, Crosbie served at every level of government, starting with his election to St. John’s city council in 1965.
From his battles to end Joey Smallwood’s rule in the early years of Confederation, to controversial skirmishes with the likes of MP Sheila Copps in the House of Commons, to shouting matches on the wharf in Bay Bulls before the cod moratorium, Crosbie’s legacy looms large.
In 2013, Steve Bartlett and Tara Bradbury interviewed the Crosbies at Government House for Telegram TV. Here's a clip:
What follows is a sampling of the tributes pouring in to honour John Carnell Crosbie.
I'm going to miss you Dad. pic.twitter.com/1P3IFf1ALL— Ches Crosbie (@ChesCrosbie) January 10, 2020
Former prime minister Brian Mulroney:
“John Crosbie was a leader of great strength and loyalty, who served Canada in my government, and in recent years, as the province’s lieutenant-governor. He was one of the most valuable public servants for Canada and his province during our challenging debates over resources and our Constitution. He will be long remembered for his courage, his humour and his passion. I will be honoured to offer a eulogy to his memory in the days ahead.”
Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball:
“I know that this is a difficult time for his wife Jane, their children — Ches, Michael and Beth — grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as countless friends and longtime colleagues. But they can take comfort in the indelible impact that he had on our province. Mr. Crosbie was a spirited and proud Newfoundlander and Labradorian. Known for his colourful personality, he ensured that the interests of Newfoundland and Labrador were heard loudly and clearly over the course of his storied career. His legacy runs deep in communities throughout the province. We are a better, stronger province because of the energy and commitment of Mr. Crosbie.”
Saddened to hear of the passing of our dear friend John Crosbie. A great Newfoundlander, and a great Canadian! His contributions to the province and the country he loved will be long remembered! Our thoughts go out to Jane and his wonderful family at this time of grief. RIP John— Hon. Sheila Copps (@Sheila_Copps) January 10, 2020
Former premier Danny Williams:
“John Crosbie was one of the most charismatic, colourful and genuine individuals this province has ever known. His contributions are far too many to list; however, there can be no doubt that his legacy will be felt forever throughout Canada. Not only was he a passionate and fearless advocate in advancing our province on the national stage; I think it is fair to say that more than any other he is responsible for the launching of the oil and gas industry in Newfoundland and Labrador. He knew that this would make perhaps the biggest difference for the lives of those he represented and he fought tooth and nail to make it happen. He truly is one of the greatest public servants of our time. I wish Jane and the entire family my heartfelt condolences, and hoping they find peace through the indelible memories he left behind.”
St. John’s Mayor Danny Breen:
“He will be remembered as always passionate, often controversial, and ever dedicated to serving the people of St. John’s, the province and the country.
"Flags will be flown at half-mast at city hall to honour Mr. Crosbie, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this difficult time.”
Eugene Manning, president of the N.L. PC Party:
“He was renowned for fighting, for standing his ground, for calling it like he saw it, and for delivering results for his district, province and country. There were none greater, none more determined and none more effective in raising our province toward our greatest potential. He inspired his son Ches, his daughter Beth and a great many others to follow in his footsteps and take up where he left off, giving Newfoundland and Labrador opportunities and hope for a bright future.”
John Crosbie was an exceptional public servant representing Newfoundland and Labrador as Minister and Lieutenant Governor with immense pride. Laureen and I mourn the loss of a great Canadian together with John’s family and loved ones.— Stephen Harper (@stephenharper) January 10, 2020
Statement from Lt.-Gov. Judy Foote and husband, Howard Foote:
“Mr. Crosbie will be remembered for the deep-rooted passion and firm conviction he exhibited throughout his career serving the people of Newfoundland and Labrador and Canada. During his political career he was entrusted with several provincial and federal ministerial responsibilities. It would be hard to find anyone in our province or country who has not heard of John Crosbie. His love of debate and his sense of humour made him a household name.
"He will be remembered for the passion and enthusiasm he had for all things associated with Newfoundland and Labrador and the resolute pride he had in his home province. May he rest in peace."
I had the great pleasure of being a fellow MP with John Crosbie. I debated him, jousted with him and joked with him. Despite our differences, one which led to the end of Clark govt, we remained friends, best to Jane, Ches and the family. A fine man. https://t.co/6oD1YRbOFa— Bob Rae (@BobRae48) January 10, 2020
NOIA CEO and former N.L. cabinet minister Charlene Johnson:
“It was Mr. Crosbie’s vision and entrepreneurial mind that secured Newfoundland and Labrador’s first offshore oil and gas project, Hibernia. During his tenure as a federal minister, Mr. Crosbie convinced then Prime Minister Brian Mulroney to invest in the project by taking on an 8.5 per cent stake, thus allowing the project to proceed when it appeared to be over before it began. Without this investment, Hibernia would not have been developed and the province would not have established the thriving oil and gas industry present today.”
The Hon. John Crosbie was a giant in NL and Canadian politics. He told it like he saw it. Deepest condolences to his wife Jane and children Ches, Michael and Beth, and to his many friends. #JohnCrosbie— David Wells (@wellsdavid) January 10, 2020