Edward Horace Finn, C.M., passed away peacefully in Ottawa on December 27, 2020 at the age of 94. He is survived by his loving wife, Dena, and children, Kevin and Kerri-Anne, grandchildren Garrett and Heather, and brother, Thomas Michael, as well as numerous nephews and nieces. Predeceased by his parents, Sarah and Edward, siblings Patricia, Mary and William, and nephew Ted.
Born in Spaniard’s Bay, Newfoundland, in 1926, Ed grew up in Corner Brook, where he later became first a printer’s apprentice, then a reporter, columnist, and editor of that city’s daily newspaper, the Western Star.
His long career as a journalist later included two years as a reporter with the Montreal Gazette and 14 years as a labour relations columnist for the Toronto Star.
Between 1959 and 1962, he served as Newfoundland’s first provincial leader of the NDP and ran as an NDP candidate in two provincial and two federal elections. He worked closely with Tommy Douglas for some years and helped defend and promote his pioneering Medicare legislation in Saskatchewan.
Throughout the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s, he did communications work for labour unions, including the Canadian Union of Public Employees, and served for three years on the board of directors of the Bank of Canada.
After a 70-plus year career, he retired in 2014 after serving 20 years as editor of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ monthly magazine, The Monitor.
Throughout his lifetime, Ed never stopped speaking truth to power and advocating for social and economic justice, labour rights and equality for all.
Ed was appointed to the Order of Canada in November 2020 for his lifelong contributions to Canada’s political discourse as a trade unionist, journalist, writer and politician.
His family wishes to thank all the staff at the Ottawa Hospital, General campus who cared for him in his last days, as well as Doctors Tobin and Bishop for the exemplary care they provided him over the years.
A celebration of his life will be held when we are all able to gather again.
The family asks that donations be made to the Ottawa Food Bank, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, or any organization fighting for social justice.
Since we are unable to gather at this time, we hope you will share your memories of Ed in the comments below.