CALGARY – Former Calgary alderman and mayoral candidate Jon Lord has died of a heart attack.
He was just 57-years-old.
His friend and former campaign manager Craig Chandler made the announcement in a tweet, early Wednesday morning.
Lord served as an alderman for Ward 8 for two terms beginning in 1995.
“This is a man who put Calgary first, and people first… and he should be remembered for that,” said Chandler as he fought back tears. “He was a gentle giant, when he spoke people listened. People liked being around him.”
Lord was elected as the MLA for Calgary-Currie in 2001, but was later defeated by Liberal Dave Taylor in 2004.
Most recently, he ran against Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi in the 2013 civic election.
Nenshi took to twitter to express his sadness upon hearing the news.
He later released a statement calling Lord a “champion” and “innovator” who “pushed all of us to be better.”
Read Calgary Mayor Naheen Nenshi’s full statement below
Founder of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada Imam Syed B. Soharwardy also released a statement, calling Lord a “sincere and a hardworking Calgarian.”
“His vision and the leadership for developing the east-end of the downtown Calgary and the Marda Loop area in the SW will always be remembered,” he said. “On behalf of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada and the Al Madinah Calgary Islamic Assembly I would like to convey our deep condolences to Jon’s family.”
Lord was the owner of Casablanca Video in Marda Loop and sat as a board member on the non-profit organization Barbeque on the Bow Society.
Friends of his have flooded social media with tributes and condolences:
BELOW: Calgary Mayor Naheen Nenshi’s full statement regarding the passing of Jon Lord
“I was shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden passing of Jon Lord.
Jon was a community-builder in the truest sense of the word. “His legacy—in Alberta, Calgary, and especially Marda Loop—cannot be overstated. As a business owner, alderman, and MLA, he was a tireless advocate on many issues, often as an innovator. His belief in the power of entrepreneurship led him to public service; he understood that government is there to serve its citizens and that we need people with fresh ideas at the table if we want positive change in our community.
I knew Jon well and I was happy to get to know him better during the last two mayoral elections. In fact, I recall first learning that he would be running again for mayor in 2013, and I can honestly say that I was very pleased. Jon was the kind of person you want to debate—he presents valuable ideas and forces you to test your own. It was an honour to have him as a challenger because he pushed all of us to be better.
Jon was committed to serving the citizens of our city. He took on leadership roles because he knew it was the right thing to do. Even if you didn’t see eye to eye with him on a particular issue, the debate was always respectful. Our city has lost a champion, and far too soon. He will be greatly missed.”