MONTREAL – Former Quebec cabinet minister Victor Goldbloom, remembered for fostering communication between various communities in the province, has died of a heart attack.
He was 92.
“Dr. Goldbloom’s work is important to every generation,” Quebec Community Groups’ Network (QCGN) president Sylvia Martin-Laforge told Global News at his book launch last June.
“He’s a renaissance man.”
Born in 1923, Goldbloom attended Selwyn House and Lower Canada College (LCC) before obtaining a Bachelor of Science in 1944 from McGill University.
He received a Diploma in Pediatrics in 1950 and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters in 1992.
After working as a pediatrician, Goldbloom was elected as the MNA for the Montreal riding of D’Arcy-McGee in 1966.
He subsequently became the first Jewish cabinet minister in Quebec and was re-elected in 1970, 1973 and 1976.
“He was a great Quebecer, a great Canadian, of course, but he did a lot for Quebec in uniting people across lines of religion, language and communities,” said Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard.
“He will always be remembered. In the name of the government, I’d like to offer my sincere condolences to the family, I spoke to a member of the family just moments ago, and we will find a way to here in the assembly to pay homage to this great man.”
Goldbloom was named the first ever Minister of State responsible for Quality of the Environment by Premier Robert Bourassa; he also served as Minister of Municipal Affairs and Minister of the Environment before resigning from provincial politics in 1979.
WATCH: Global’s Paola Samuel profiles Sheila and Victor Goldbloom and their contributions to Montreal’s anglophone community.
“Dr. Goldbloom was, above all, a unifying force, an extremely talented politician and a great expert on compromise,” said Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre in a statement.
“He devoted the greater part of his life to reconciling the Jewish and Christian communities, as well as francophones and anglophones, and to advocating tolerance and respect.”
“He will remain an exemplary model for anyone who wants to go into politics.”
Goldbloom was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1983.
In 1991, he was named an Officer of l’Ordre National du Québec and in 2000, he became a Companion – the country’s highest distinction.
He served as Canada’s Commissioner of Official Languages from 1991 to 1999.
“He’s someone who had a distinguished public career, someone who tried to find ways all through his career to build bridges between people,” said Native Affairs Minister Geoffrey Kelley.
“He made a great contribution to Quebec and Canadian society.”
Eight years ago, the OQCN named the Victor and Sheila Goldbloom Awards to honour individuals who have had an important impact on Quebec’s English speaking community.
Goldbloom leaves behind his wife, Sheila Goldbloom, their three children, Michael, Jonathan and Susan, as well as four grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
The funeral will be on Friday at Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom.