Michael Wilson, former PC finance minister, dead at age 81

Former Progressive Conservative finance minister Michael Wilson has died at the age of 81.

Wilson’s death was confirmed to CTV News on Sunday night by an employee of Barclays, where he was recently employed.

Following a lengthy career, Wilson resigned from politics in 1993.

Then-Prime Minister Brian Mulroney appointed Wilson as finance minister in 1979 while he was the MP for Etobicoke Centre. Wilson ran for the leadership of the PC Party in 1983 but ultimately lost to Mulroney at the time.

Wilson’s son Cameron died by suicide in 1995. Wilson then went on to become an advocate for mental health awareness.

In the wake of Wilson’s death, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered condolences to his family and friends.

“Michael Wilson’s dedicated service to Canadians – including his important work as minister, ambassador and passionate advocate for mental health – will leave a lasting impact on our country,” he said in a statement posted to Twitter on Sunday night. “We’ve lost a truly great Canadian.”

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Wilson had a “profound impact on countless Canadians” and “leaves behind an impressive legacy.”

Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Toronto Mayor John Tory also expressed their condolences.

“Michael Wilson will be remembered for his countless contributions to Canada,” Ford said. “An incredibly capable minister and former ambassador, he will also be remembered for his groundbreaking work bringing mental health out of the shadows.”

“Michael Wilson was one of the most intelligent, decent people I have ever met, inside or outside of politics and public life,” Tory said. “(He) was a gentle considerate giant in business, in public life, as a diplomat in Washington, and in our community.”

“He will be sadly missed and on behalf of all of the people of the city of Toronto, I express sincere condolences to his wife Margie and the entire Wilson family.”