BELLEVILLE, Ont. — A prominent anti-poverty activist who has authored several books on the Great Depression, the Second Word War and postwar austerity is critically ill in an eastern Ontario hospital.
The family of Harry Leslie Smith says that the 95-year-old has been in intensive care in Belleville, Ont., after a fall.
Smith, who lived through the Great Depression and fought in the British air force during the Second World War, has been a lifelong advocate for the poor.
News of his ill health has prompted an outpouring of support, including well wishes from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Smith has written several books, is known for his columns in British newspapers, and has nearly 250,000 followers on Twitter.
His son John has taken over Smith’s Twitter account and says his father expressed his appreciation for the support he’s received.
“I told Harry before he fell into a deep sleep about the concern rippling across Twitter for him and he said to me, ‘tell them, I love each of them so much,”’ John wrote on Twitter.
In response, Trudeau tweeted: “Harry’s journey and courage have inspired so much love and kindness on this site, and in the real world too. Thank you for taking us along — we’re pulling for you.”
Smith’s family has been tweeting his journey in hospital, which included lengthy stretches in the hall while waiting for a bed to open up.
“After being examined by the icu doctor, Harry exclaims, ‘I can assure you, I am not ready to die because I have too much work to do,'”his son wrote on Twitter.
His family says Smith splits his time living in Canada and Britain.