Former NDP MP Paul Dewar dies after battle with brain cancer

Canada

Paul Dewar, a prominent former NDP MP, human rights advocate and Ottawan, has died.Dewar succumbed to brain cancer after making public his illness in February 2018 and his terminal diagnosis in June 2018. Officials with the NDP confirmed the news on social media Wednesday evening.He leaves behind a wife, Julia, and two sons, Nathaniel and Jordan.READ MORE: Former MP Paul Dewar says his brain cancer is terminalDewar, who represented the riding of Ottawa Centre from 2006 to 2015, had grade 4 glioblastoma — the same type of cancer that killed Gord Downie.Paul Dewar was a great politician because (and not despite of the fact that) he was a wonderful human being.
All of us who knew him, worked with him, and who were impacted by his work are heartbroken today.
We will miss him dearly. pic.twitter.com/l9NQRzVMMx
— George Smith (@GeorgeNDP) February 6, 2019
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In a farewell letter posted to Facebook, Dewar thanked the people of Ottawa for their support and shared his hopes for the future of Canada and the world.“The time has come for me to say goodbye. While I have left this place physically, I have some final words I’d like to share,” the posthumous message began.“I want to say thank you. My whole life was filled with the kindness of the people of Ottawa, but never did I feel the true depth and generosity of your love more than this past year. You were a constant source of comfort and solidarity for me and my family. I am so grateful for all that you have done.”Dewar also left behind some words of wisdom on how to deal with some of the biggest challenges of the day.“It is easy sometimes to feel overwhelmed by the gravity of the challenges we face. Issues like climate change, forced migration and the threat posed by nuclear weapons. It’s hard to know how to make a difference,” he wrote.“The secret is not to focus on how to solve the problem, but concentrate on what you can contribute – to your country, your community and neighbours.”Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hailed Dewar as one of Ottawa’s “most dedicated voices” in a statement.“A teacher, politician, labour activist, and community leader, Paul dedicated his life to the service of others,” read Trudeau’s statement. “Whether from his seat in the House of Commons, or at the front of a classroom, he challenged us all to dream bigger and do better to care for the people around us.”Tributes poured in on social media, with several lawmakers expressing their admiration for Dewar and their sadness at his passing.Paul Dewar represented the best of us – he spent his life working for justice & believed in the potential of young people to change the world. Paul made Canada a better country and we are all lesser without him. We hold his family close in our hearts. https://t.co/ShGMasbSzT— Jagmeet Singh (@theJagmeetSingh) February 6, 2019
I am saddened to learn about the passing of former Member of Parliament Paul Dewar. His passion for public service and dedication to the people of Ottawa Centre will be remembered fondly. Karla and I extend our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.— Doug Ford (@fordnation) February 6, 2019
Very sad to learn of the passing of former NDP MP Paul Dewar. Often disagreed with Paul on the issues, but there was no doubt that he was a principled, dedicated public servant who cared a great deal about his country. Condolences to Paul’s family & friends at this difficult time— Jason Kenney (@jkenney) February 6, 2019
It is a sad day for Ottawa as we learn of the passing of one of our great city leaders, Paul Dewar. My thoughts are with his family as they go through the difficult days ahead.— Lisa MacLeod (@MacLeodLisa) February 6, 2019
Devastated to learn of the passing of my friend and former colleague Paul Dewar. An incredibly decent guy and great parliamentarian and champion for Ottawa. He was caring, companionate and competent. Thinking of his family at this difficult time. @PaulDewar #CdnPoli— John Baird (@Baird) February 6, 2019
Paul Dewar brought kindness, optimism and respect for people to everything he did. We feel his loss deeply.
Our deepest condolences to his wife Julia, his two sons, and the many people who considered him a friend, a mentor and an inspiration. https://t.co/EYluNkwI2A
— Andrea Horwath (@AndreaHorwath) February 6, 2019
Dewar became a board member of Human Rights Watch Canada and Partners in Health Canada after losing his seat to Liberal MP Catherine McKenna in the last election.While the NDP was the Official Opposition, Dewar served as the party’s foreign affairs critic.WATCH BELOW: Tribute to Paul Dewar in House of Commons

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