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"VIA" 2005 Obituary


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VIA o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-07-15 published
Harold RENOUF, Ottawa Mandarin: 1917-2005
Plucked from a successful Halifax accounting firm by Pierre Trudeau, he tackled inflation with the Anti-Inflation Board and the oil industry through the National Energy Program, then made VIA's trains run on time
By F.F. LANGAN, Special to The Globe and Mail, Friday, July 15, 2005, Page S7
Harold RENOUF was an accountant and company director from Halifax who left corporate life at the peak of his career for a stint in public service and ended up running two of the most controversial agencies of the Trudeau era: the Anti-Inflation Board and the Petroleum Monitoring Agency.
Rising prices and wages were a hot topic of the 1970s. One of the critics of the government at the time was Mr. RENOUF, then president of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants.
In the federal election of 1974, Tory leader Robert Stanfield ran on a platform of bringing in wage-and-price controls to control inflation. The prime minister, Pierre Trudeau, mocked him with the throwaway line: "Zap, you're frozen."
It was one of the issues that won Mr. Trudeau a majority government. But, by the following year, inflation was far from frozen. It was running at an annual rate of 10.6 per cent. Mr. Trudeau changed his mind and introduced wage-and-price controls in the fall of At the time, the Anti-Inflation Board was headed by Jean Luc Pepin, a defeated Liberal candidate and former cabinet minister. Mr. Trudeau wanted to make a change, but there was a matter of regional representation to be considered. In the end, the man the prime minister wanted was from Atlantic Canada. He was Harold RENOUF, an accountant with Liberal Party connections who had criticized government policy on inflation.
"When Trudeau called him on Thanksgiving weekend of 1975, Dad said to us: 'I guess I've got to put my energy where my mouth is.' And he accepted," said Janet RENOUF, his daughter. He retired as chairman of H.R. Doane, the accounting firm where he had worked since 1938, and moved to Ottawa.
When Mr. Pepin left as head of the Anti-Inflation Board, Mr. RENOUF took over as its second chairman. There was much debate at the time whether the government's anti-inflation policies had any effect or whether the natural slowdown of the economy would have produced the same results.
The policy was not popular. Business did not like controls on its prices and profits, and unions didn't like caps on pay increases. Stewart Cooke, head of the United Steelworkers union, said all the controls did was bring in a recession.
Mr. RENOUF defended the Anti-Inflation Board's policies, pointing out that the average wage increase in 1975 was 21 per cent but, by early 1978, pay hikes were down to 7.5 per cent. And furthermore, the Anti-Inflation Board had rolled back $370-million in corporate dividends. The Liberal government gradually wound down the Anti-Inflation Board. In 1978, 27 months after they were brought in, the controls were lifted. Then, in March of 1979, the finance minister, Jean CHRÉTIEN, renamed the body the National Commission on Inflation. Mr. RENOUF was made chairman of the new organization, but, by then, its powers were sharply reduced.
The inflation watchdog soon died altogether when the government switched its attentions to a new bugbear: high oil prices. Mr. RENOUF was at the forefront of that policy, too, and, in 1980, was named head of the Petroleum Monitoring Agency. Its job was to collect information on the oil and gas industry, including measuring what percentage of it was Canadian owned.
The agency was the operating arm of the government's national energy program, brought in by energy minister Marc Lalonde. That policy created an even more virulent reaction from the public than had wage-and-price controls. In Western Canada, it was detested. Later, the National Energy Program would be blamed for reducing Alberta's share of the overall Canadian economy from 14 per cent to a little more than 10 per cent, though the plummeting price of oil -- from $40 (U.S.) in 1980 to $11 in 1986 -- was also responsible.
A diminutive man, Mr. RENOUF was a capitalist at heart, and the criticism of his fellow business leaders upset him. But he was also a man who, once on a mission, did what he set out to do. In this case, it was to increase Canadian ownership in the oil and gas industry.
"He was shocked at the reaction [in Western Canada] and he felt badly about it," said Ms. RENOUF. " But he had a sense of doing what was right for the greater good."
Mr. RENOUF found out about the oil industry's reaction early on. In October of 1980, he went to Calgary to speak to certain business executives who looked on the government's policies as a form of nationalization. The accountant from Halifax tried to reassure them.
"I cannot state that we will always agree with industry on substantive matters, but I can promise co-operation, independence in our actions and attitudes," Mr. RENOUF told that skeptical Alberta audience. "Although I cannot be out front of my minister on the substance of Canadianization programs, it should be obvious that an accurate assessment of ownership levels will be essential."
His audience did not find that obvious at all, and never came round to Ottawa's way of thinking on energy.
After the energy posting, his last major government job was in Montreal as chairman of Via Rail. There, he used to say he was proudest of a small achievement, saving the murals by famous Canadian artists painted on the inner walls of some long-distance rail cars. When he and the president of Via heard they were going to be destroyed, they moved quickly to preserve them.
His family joked that he kept trying to retire, and did so five times before finally returning to Halifax and his beloved cottage at Pictou Landing.
Harold RENOUF was the son of a sea captain, a master mariner named John RENOUF, who gave him a lifelong love of boats and the ocean. He was born in Sandy Point, a tiny community on Newfoundland's southwest coast that no longer exists but whose dunes and salt marshes remain such a favourite location for migrating birds that there is now a movement to turn it into a nature preserve.
There was a lot of French in his background. His mother's maiden name was LEROUX, and RENOUF was originally a French name. The family traces its lineage to Jersey, the largest of Britain's Channel Islands off the French coast. Young Harold's line of the RENOUF family left Newfoundland around 1920 and moved to Halifax. He later studied commerce at Dalhousie University.
In 1938, he joined the accounting firm of H.R. Doane and became a partner in 1942. He was chairman of the firm from 1967 to 1975, when he left for the Anti-Inflation Board. Even before then, he had been involved with government commissions and studies, among them the royal commission on gasoline and diesel pricing in Nova Scotia and the royal commission on the milk industry. The latter was partly responsible for setting up a marketing-board system for dairy farmers in Canada.
Mr. RENOUF was on the board of a number of private companies, including two British insurance firms. An anglophile, Mr. RENOUF enjoyed travelling to directors' meetings in London. A devoted family man, he often extended his visits to private vacations (a scrupulous number cruncher, he always paid his own way) in which he brought along his wife or met some of his children already in London.
When they were growing up, he tried to introduce his children to as much theatre and music as possible. The family would travel to Boston, New York City and Stratford for museums, theatre and plays. At home, he funded a trust to endow part of the New Glasgow Music Festival, an annual event to encourage young musicians from northern Nova Scotia. The winner of the festival receives a silver bowl and a cash prize from the Rose Bowl Trust funded by Mr. RENOUF.
Mr. RENOUF liked to fish for trout on Lawlor's Lake in Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, and read mysteries and adventures -- in particular, the swashbuckling sea stories of Patrick O'Brian.
In 1979, he was made an officer of the Order of Canada and, in 1981, was awarded an honorary doctorate from Dalhousie.
Harold Augustus RENOUF was born on June 15, 1917, in Sandy Point, Newfoundland. He died in Halifax on July 4, 2005, after suffering a heart attack. He is survived by his wife, Dorothy, and his four children, Janet, Ann, Robert and Susan. A memorial service is planned for Monday at St. Andrew's United Church in Halifax.

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VIA o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2005-02-09 published
GOMES, Shirley Armstrong (née MARKLE)
After a valiant battle with cancer, Shirley passed away peacefully at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, surrounded by her loving family, on Tuesday, February 8, 2005. Wife of the late Vernon. She was the loved mother of Nancy and grandmother of Simon. Shirley will also be deeply missed by her chosen daughters Tere, Claudia, Elizabeth and her extended family and close Friends, to whom she was a great source of guidance and inspiration. We would like to express our gratitude and heartfelt appreciation to her Friends from VIA Rail who filled her life with much love and support. Shirley was the pillar of her family, and will continue to be the light of our lives forever. Her strength will be with us always. The family will receive Friends at the Humphrey Funeral Home - A.W. Miles Chapel, 1403 Bayview Avenue (south of Eglinton Avenue East), from 7-9 p.m. Thursday and 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Friday. Service at Cosburn United Church, 1108 Greenwood Avenue on Saturday, February 12 at one o'clock. If desired, donations may be made to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, 790 Bay Street, Suite 1000, Toronto, M5G 1N8, 416-596-6773.

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VIA o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2005-02-23 published
GRANATA, Salvatore
After a courageous fight at Trillium Hospital, Mississauga Site, on Tuesday, February 22nd, 2005. Salvatore GRANATA, cherished husband of Anna. Loving father of Joanne VANELLI, Adriana GRANATA, Mary and her husband John TRICANICO and Carla SBROCHI. Dearest Nonno of 7 grandchildren and 1 expected great-grandchild. Beloved brother of Rosa VIA, Ermelinda MENONTE, Nichola GRANATA and the late Antonio GRANATA. Fondly remembered by his nieces, nephews and many Friends. Family and Friends will be received at Scott Funeral Home, Mississauga Chapel, 420 Dundas Street East (one block west of Cawthra Road at Hensall Circle), Mississauga, on Thursday from 7-9 p.m. and Friday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Funeral Mass in Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, 4070 Central Parkway East, Mississauga (north of Burnhamthorpe Rd. East), Saturday at 10 a.m. Entombment Assumption Cemetery (Tomken Rd. and Derry Rd.). In Salvatore's memory, donations may be made to The Ontario Heart and Stroke Foundation.

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VIAENE o@ca.on.kent_county.wallaceburg.wallaceburg_courier_press 2005-03-09 published
BOHEZ, Willy Gaston
Willy Gaston BOHEZ a resident of Wallaceburg passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, March 6, 2005 at the age of 67. Willy was a retired owner of RBM Contractors who loved the outdoors, spending time with his nephews and was an avid woodworker and gardener. He is the son of Julia (DEWAELE) and the late Emiel BOHEZ. Beloved best friend and husband of Antoinette (BRAET.) Loving uncle and uncle-in-law of Linda OCOVICH and Koen VIAENE, Damien BRAET and Elizabeth WALLACE, Justin and Amanda BRAET and Julien, Gino and Mario BRAET. Dear great uncle of Emma and brother-in-law of Gerard and Janet MAHIEU- BRAET, Roger and Judith BRAET and the late Jose and Allette BRAET. Willy also a special friend of Nellie VANRUYMBEKE. A private family funeral will be held at the Haycock-Cavanagh Funeral Home, 409 Nelson Street in Wallaceburg for his close family and Friends. If desired, you are welcome to leave remembrances to the Canadian Cancer Society at the funeral home. (519) 627-3231.

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VIAENE o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2005-11-24 published
DAFOE, Myrtle (FLEMING/FLEMMING)
Peacefully at Meadow Park Nursing Home, on Tuesday, November 22, 2005, Myrtle (FLEMING/FLEMMING) DAFOE of Lambeth in her 93rd year. Beloved wife of the late Gilbert DAFOE (2003.) Loving mother of Doreene and Gerald GOWANLOCK, Ted and Evelyn DAFOE, Linda and John MacKAY and Judy VIAENE and Paul FERGUSON, all of the London area. Proud grandmother of 12 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great-grand_son. Dearly loved by her sister Ethel BELL and 2 brothers Jack and Mac FLEMING/FLEMMING. Dear sister-in-law of Ralph and June DAFOE. Predeceased by her two sons Allan (1936) and Gerald (1959). Friends may call at the McFarlane and Roberts Funeral Home, (2240 Wharncliffe Road South, Lambeth) on Friday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. where the complete Funeral Service will be held on Saturday, November 26, 2005 at 3: 00 p.m. with Rev. Kristiane CHARLTON officiating. Interment Avon Cemetery at a later date. Donations to the Littlewood United Church or the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation gratefully acknowledged. Please sign the Family Book of Condolence at www.obituariestoday.com

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VIAU o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2005-01-10 published
GROSE, Wallace " Wally"
(World War 2 Veteran. Former Credit Manager for Sherwin Williams Paint Company and Noranda Mines) Passed away suddenly at Lakeridge Health in Port Perry on Sunday, January 9, 2005 at the age of 83. Wally GROSE dearly beloved husband of Babs GROSE of Port Perry and the late Nora GROSE. Dear father of Sheila MOORE (Serge VIAU) of Lively, Ontario. Dear brother of Ruth HOOPER of Winnipeg and predeceased by his brothers Rex and Glen and his sister Jean. At the request of Wally GROSE there will be no funeral service. Cremation. Memorial donations to the Community Memorial Hospital Foundation, 451 Paxton Street, Port Perry, Ontario L9L 9Z9 would be appreciated. Funeral arrangements entrusted to Low and Low Funeral Home, Port Perry. 905-985-7331.

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VIAU o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2005-12-31 published
KING, Marguerite Ann (née LUDWIG)
Peacefully, on December 26, 2005, in Toronto, at the age of 93. Beloved wife of the late George "Joe" KING. Beloved mother of Robert (Dominique VIAU,) Carol WATSON, Patricia MELANSON (Jean-Louis,) and John (Cathy TOROK,) and step-mother of the late Helen, Allan and Dolores LEE (Earl.) She will be sadly missed by her grandchildren, Robert, Paul, David, Charles (Kelly), and Courtney. Visitation and a Celebration of Life will be held at the Gibson Long-Term Care Centre, 1925 Steeles Avenue East (near Leslie), Toronto, on Friday, January 6, 2006, from 2: 00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Grateful thanks from Marguerite's family to the staff at the Gibson for their care and support in the last years of her life. There will be a private interment in the Mount Pleasant Cemetery family plot. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation or a charity of your choice.

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