Mel Hurtig, Canadian publisher and political activist, Died at 84

Mel Hurtig was born on June 24, 1932, in Edmonton, Alberta and died on August 3, 2016.

He was a Canadian publisher, author, political activist, and former political candidate.

Mel Hurting was the former president of the Edmonton Art Gallery, and a noted political activist.

Mel wrote several books critical of the Canadian government and its various policies.

Mel’s parents were Jewish; his father was from Romania, and his mother from Russia.

He was raised in Edmonton and graduated from high school there.

During September 1990, Hurtig published the five-volume Junior Encyclopedia of Canada, the first encyclopedia for young Canadians.

Hunting sold the company to McClelland & Stewart in May 1991.

He was an Officer of the Order of Canada, was granted honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from six Canadian universities, and was the recipient of the Lester B. Pearson Man of the Year Peace Award.

Following his support for Pierre Trudeau’s bid for Liberal leadership, he ran as a Liberal in the federal riding of Edmonton West, in 1972 and finished second to longtime incumbent Marcel Lambert.

During 1973, Mel left the party and joined with other nationalists including Walter Gordon, Jack McClelland, and Claude Ryan to establish the Committee for an Independent Canada (CIC) which lobbied against foreign ownership and cultural imperialism.

Hunting served as Chair for the first year.

He went on to established the Council of Canadians in 1985, another nationalist organization, five years after the demise of the CIC.

The main purpose of this organization was to lobby against a perceived rising tide of support for free trade.

In 1992, Mel left but the council survives to this day.

During 1992, Hurtig was elected leader of the National Party of Canada and led it in the 1993 federal election.

Hunnting ran in the riding of Edmonton Northwest, but with 4507 votes and 12.8% of the popular vote, finished a distant third to Anne McLellan.

He died due to pneumonia.

Mel Hurtig passed away at 84 years old.