Warren Allmand, MP, councillor, human rights advocate, has died
Warren Allmand, the human rights champion best known for his hand in abolishing the death penalty in Canada, has died.
Allmand, who served Montrealers as an MP and city councillor for decades, died Wednesday of a brain tumour at the Notre-Dame Hospital.
Born in Montreal on Sept. 19, 1932 and raised in Mile End, Allmand studied law at McGill University and was called to the bar in 1958.
Seven years later, in 1965, he ran for parliament as a Liberal in the riding of Notre Dame de Grace, and continued to represent that riding until he left office in 1997.
During that time he served as Solicitor General when he tabled legislation in 1976 that transformed Canada: the bill that abolished the death penalty.
Years later, he criticized the RCMP when he learned the police force had not been honest.
"It seems that they did withhold information from me and from other solicitors general," said Allmand at the time.
He served as a cabinet minister from 1972 until 1979, holding the posts of Indian Affairs Minister and the Consumer and Corporate Affairs post, but in 1995 he made headlines again when he challenged Finance Minister Paul Martin's budget over the Liberal government's failure to abolish the GST, and for implementing deeper budget cuts than were promised.
"Up until '84 we were building and improving those programs. for the moment we seem to be in a mode of tearing them down. I cannot accept that," said Allmand.
Prime Minister Jean Chretien punished Allmand by removing him as chair of the standing committee on justice.
Two years later Allmand left federal politics and spent time working on human rights.
He was the president of the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development and the international president of Parliamentarians for Global Action.
Allmand was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2000 because of his commitment to democracy, and his pursuit of Justice.
In 2005 Allmand returned to politics on a municipal level.
He served one term as a member of Union Montreal, during which he voted against renaming Park Ave. after Robert Bourassa.
"This territory, like for so many others, is part of my heritage, my history, and my roots, and it's wrong to abolish it," he said.
Allmand also denounced the lack of transparency when it came to urban planning in NDG during a time when Michael Applebaum was borough mayor.
"On many, many occasions I tried to open it up, but was voted down. I was always voted down by other members of the council and mayor Applebaum," said Allmand.
For the past 12 years Allmand has been president of the World Federalist Movement-Canada, and also spent time teaching at McGill University.
He entered a hospice in November after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour in March.
Allmand was 84 years old.