(JTA) — Jim Carr was close to death from myeloma, a blood cancer, when he gave one of his last interviews to the Canadian national broadcaster, the CBC.
The Jewish Liberal member of the Canadian parliament from Winnipeg went on air ostensibly to speak about the passage of a bill he authored promoting an environmentally friendly economy in the prairie provinces that nurtured him into adulthood.
But he made it about the country he had represented in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet, the country he helped market abroad as the minister of international trade diversification from 2018 to 2019.
“Physically not great,” he said when a reporter asked him how he was doing, “but emotionally really, really solid and grateful for the chance to continue to contribute to my country. I love every square meter of this country in English, en Francais, in Indigenous languages — I wish I spoke more of them — in the language of the newly arrived and all that represents to Canada and Canadians.”
It was an identity he wrapped into his Jewishness. “I can’t separate my values and political views from my identity as a Canadian and as a member of the Jewish community,” he told the Canadian Jewish News when he was first elected to the federal parliament in 2015.
Carr died at 71 on Dec. 12, days after Canadian lawmakers passed his bill, Building a Green Prairie Economy. Members of parliament of all parties praised him as a moderate who sought to bring rivals together to better his country.
Carr had been able to speak on the floor of parliament the day the bill passed. In his remarks, he strayed from the topic at hand to praise the Canadian traditions of moderation and cooperation, frayed in recent years by increased polarization.
“The wisdom of inviting witnesses to add thoughtful commentary and an opposition that has been respectful though occasionally dissenting are what a democracy is all about, and it is always rooted in strengthening the national fabric, woven as it is from those mini threads that make Canada the envy of the world,” he said.
“With resources, natural and human, comes responsibility to each other and to the world itself. How could we not be humbled by the greatness of this magnificent country?”
Trudeau teared up in a scheduled end-of-year interview with the Canadian Press, a wire service, when asked about Carr’s death. Carr’s contributions to his Cabinet, in which Carr served in various roles from 2015 to 2021, were imbued “with such a passionate thoughtfulness about the country and how all the parts needed to fit together in order for us to be what we wanted to be.”
Carr was born the descendant of Russian Jewish immigrants in Winnipeg’s closely-knit Jewish community. He said his Jewish upbringing, and the antisemitism he encountered as a teenager, helped shape him and informed his leading efforts to bring Canadian Jews and Muslims together. He was a member of the Jewish-Muslim caucus in the Liberal Party and founded Arab-Jewish Dialogue of Winnipeg.
As trade diversification minister, he led a mission to Israel in 2018. “I’m delighted as (a) Jewish member of Parliament and as a Jewish member of the cabinet to be here representing Canada,” the Canadian Jewish News quoted Carr as saying on that trip.
Carr served in the Manitoba legislature from 1988 to 1992 and as executive director of a number of groups, including the Business Council of Manitoba, and was well-regarded in the province. Trudeau recruited him to run for office as part of his successful strategy to regain power for the Liberals in 2015.
Despite his extensive career in politics, Carr always harbored an affection for one of his first jobs, oboist in the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.
Marc Garneau, a Liberal colleague in parliament from Quebec and a former astronaut, posted his “best remembrance” of Carr on Twitter.
“He asked me if I took music in Space and I mentioned [Alessandro] Marcello’s Oboe concerto,” Garneau said. “He then told me he played the oboe and we cooked up the idea for him to play the 2nd movement at Liberal national caucus.
“He was excellent.”
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Phyllis Pollock died at home Sunday September 3, 2023 in Winnipeg, after a courageous lifetime battle with cancer.
Phyllis was a mother of four: Gary (Laura), daughter Randi, Steven (deceased in 2010) (Karen), and Robert. Phyllis also had two grandchildren: Lauren and Quinn.
Born in Fort Frances, Ontario on February 7, 1939, Phyllis was an only child to Ruby and Alex Lerman. After graduating high school, Phyllis moved to Winnipeg where she married and later divorced Danny Pollock, the father of her children. She moved to Beverly Hills in 1971, where she raised her children.
Phyllis had a busy social life and lucrative real estate career that spanned over 50 years, including new home sales with CoastCo. Phyllis was the original sales agent for three buildings in Santa Monica, oceanfront: Sea Colony I, Sea Colony II, and Sea Colony. She was known as the Sea Colony Queen. She worked side by side with her daughter Randi for about 25 years – handling over 600 transactions, including sales and leases within the three phases of Sea Colony alone.
Phyllis had more energy than most people half her age. She loved entertaining, working in the real estate field, meeting new and interesting people everyday no matter where she went, and thrived on making new lifelong friends. Phyllis eventually moved to the Sea Colony in Santa Monica where she lived for many years before moving to Palm Desert, then Winnipeg.
After battling breast cancer four times in approximately 20 years, she developed metastatic Stage 4 lung cancer. Her long-time domestic partner of 27 years, Joseph Wilder, K.C., was the love of her life. They were never far apart. They traveled the world and went on many adventures during their relationship. During her treatment, Phyllis would say how much she missed work and seeing her clients. Joey demonstrated amazing strength, love, care, and compassion for Phyllis as her condition progressed. He was her rock and was by her side 24/7, making sure she had the best possible care. Joey’s son David was always there to support Phyllis and to make her smile. Joey’s other children, Sheri, Kenny, Joshua and wife Davina, were also a part of her life. His kids would Facetime Phyllis and include her during any of their important functions. Phyllis loved Joey’s children as if they were her own.
Thank you to all of her friends and family who were there to support her during these difficult times. Phyllis is now, finally, pain free and in a better place. She was loved dearly and will be greatly missed. Interment took place in Los Angeles.
Gwen Centre Creative Living Centre celebrates 35th anniversary
By BERNIE BELLAN Over 100 individuals gathered at the Gwen Secter Centre on Tuesday evening, July 18 – under the big top that serves as the venue for the summer series of outdoor concerts that is now in its third year at the centre.
The occasion was the celebration of the Gwen Secter Centre’s 35th anniversary. It was also an opportunity to honour the memory of Sophie Shinewald, who passed away at the age of 106 in 2019, but who, as recently as 2018, was still a regular attendee at the Gwen Secter Centre.
As Gwen Secter Executive Director Becky Chisick noted in her remarks to the audience, Sophie had been volunteering at the Gwen Secter Centre for years – answering the phone among other duties. Becky remarked that Sophie’s son, Ed Shinewald, had the phone number for the Gwen Secter Centre stored in his phone as “Mum’s work.”
Remarks were also delivered by Raquel Dancho, Member of Parliament for Kildonan-St. Paul, who was the only representative of any level of government in attendance. (How times have changed: I remember well the steadfast support the former Member of the Legislature for St. John’s, Gord Mackintosh, showed the Gwen Secter Centre when it was perilously close to being closed down. And, of course, for years, the area in which the Gwen Secter Centre is situated was represented by the late Saul Cherniack.)
Sophie Shinewald’s granddaughter, Alix (who flew in from Chicago), represented the Shinewald family at the event. (Her brother, Benjamin, who lives in Ottawa, wasn’t able to attend, but he sent a pre-recorded audio message that was played for the audience.)
Musical entertainment for the evening was provided by a group of talented singers, led by Julia Kroft. Following the concert, attendees headed inside to partake of a sumptuous assortment of pastries, all prepared by the Gwen Secter culinary staff. (And, despite my asking whether I could take a doggy bag home, I was turned down.)
Palestinian gunmen kill 4 Israelis in West Bank gas station
This is a developing story.
(JTA) — Palestinian gunmen killed four people and wounded four in a terror attack at a gas station near the West Bank settlement of Eli, the Israeli army reported.
An Israeli civilian returning fire at the scene of the attack on Tuesday killed one of the attackers, who emerged from a vehicle, and two others fled.
Kan, Israel’s public broadcaster, said one of those wounded was in serious condition. The gunmen, while in the vehicle, shot at a guard post at the entry to the settlement, and then continued to the gas station which is also the site of a snack bar. A nearby yeshiva went into lockdown.
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced plans to convene a briefing with top security officials within hours of the attack. Kan reported that there were celebrations of the killing in major West Bank cities and in the Gaza Strip, initiated by terrorist groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Hamas said the shooting attack Tuesday was triggered by the Jenin raid.
The shooting comes as tensions intensify in the West Bank. A day earlier, Israeli troops raiding the city of Jenin to arrest accused terrorists killed five people.
The Biden administration spoke out over the weekend against Israel’s plans to build 4,000 new housing units for Jewish settlers in the West Bank. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also finalized plans to transfer West Bank building decisions to Bezalel Smotrich, the extremist who is the finance minister. Smotrich has said he wants to limit Palestinian building and expand settlement building.
Kan reported that the dead terrorist was a resident of a village, Urif, close to Huwara, the Palestinian town where terrorists killed two Israeli brothers driving through in February. Settlers retaliated by raiding the village and burning cars and buildings.
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