Politicians, businessmen and friends remember the late Leo Kolber
Published Sunday, January 12, 2020 3:37PM EST Last Updated Sunday, January 12, 2020 9:52PM EST
MONTREAL -- Businessman, philanthropist, senator and friend were some of the words used to describe Leo Kolber, who died Wednesday night at the age of 90.
His funeral was Sunday at the Congregation Shaar Hashomayim in Westmount and was attended by some of the city and country's most prominent leaders.
"Leo and I were great friends and best friends for 70 years, and I'd give anything in the world to not be here today," said businessman Charles Bronfman.
Kolber was the Liberal Party of Canada's chief fundraiser and was appointed to the Canadian Senate in 1983.
"He was a real Liberal, very proud of it, (and) a good advisor," said former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien. "He was chairman for me for finance and banking committee in the Senate, and he was very useful. I've been with the party for 40 years, and Leo was always there."
"It was a real privilege to know Leo," said former Quebec Premier Jean Charest. "He was a friend and a very good advisor. From time-to-time people who are in public life need advice... Leo was very kind and very generous in that regard. He's going to be deeply missed."
Kolber grew up in the Plateau and graduated from McGill University. He ran CEMP Investments for nearly 30 years.
Kolber founded the Cadilac Fairview Corporation, which went on to be one of the world's largest real estate developers.
He was also one of Montreal's most active philanthropists supporting organizations like the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, McGill University and the Jewish General Hospital.