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Former senator Joyce Fairbairn has died at the age of 82
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Publishing date:Mar 30, 2022 • 12 hours ago • 3 minute read • Join the conversation
Joyce Fairbairn is pictured in a 2004 file photo.
Joyce Fairbairn is pictured in a 2004 file photo. PHOTO BY FILE PHOTO /Postmedia Network
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OTTAWA — Colleagues of former Liberal senator Joyce Fairbairn remembered her kindness and determination after she died this week at the age of 82.

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Fairbairn began her 50-year career in Ottawa as a journalist in the parliamentary press gallery at a time when very few women were reporting on Parliament Hill.

She went on to enter the political realm, where she became an important adviser to then-prime minister Pierre Trudeau.

Tom Axworthy, who was Trudeau’s principal secretary at the time, called her “a groundbreaking woman.”

In an interview Wednesday he said their families became very close over the years, and Fairbairn was his eldest daughter’s godmother.

“We had a few tears this morning.”

Axworthy said she brought warmth and emotional intelligence to the work, and when members of caucus had issues or problems, they almost always went to Fairbairn’s office first.

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“When you’re in the (Prime Minister’s Office), keeping your caucus together, united, is just about one of the single most important things you must do,” he said.

“Joyce was the Number 1 person for doing that.”

She also maintained a strong connection to her hometown of Lethbridge, Alta., and in a government that had its share of issues in Western Canada, “gosh, we needed that a lot,” Axworthy said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement Wednesday that Fairbairn was a “wonderful friend both to my father and me.”

“She was a true champion for Canadians and will be dearly missed,” he said.

Fairbairn was made a senator in 1984 and became the first woman named government leader in the Senate.

“I remember coming to the Senate for the first time and looking at her in awe,” said Nova Scotia Sen. Jane Cordy.

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“Even with all the accomplishments that she’s had, with all the responsibilities she had during her career both before the Senate and after, she could have been (intimidating), but she wasn’t. She was kind to everybody.”

Fairbairn retired from the Senate in 2013 after a public struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.

In February 2012 she was declared legally incompetent by a psychiatrist, but continued to work and cast votes in the Senate for months afterward, said a report in the Toronto Star. The issue led to calls for the Senate to come up with rules in the event that something similar happens in the future.

“You just saw this brilliant, brilliant woman who was facing so many challenges, and yet it didn’t deter her,” Cordy said.

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“It was very difficult.”

During her nearly three decades in the upper chamber, Fairbairn’s support of Canada’s Paralympic teams earned her an induction into the Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame as a builder in 2011.

According to the Canadian Paralympic Committee, she represented the government at the 1998 Nagano Paralympic Games, where she learned that funding issues were so severe there were doubts about whether the committee could send athletes to the next games in Sydney in 2000.

Fairbairn founded a fundraising group shortly afterward. In 2000, she helped launch and became chair of the Canadian Paralympic Foundation, an organization that aims to ensure long-term financial support for athletes.

In a statement released Tuesday, the president of the committee said Fairbairn was a pillar of the Paralympic movement during “critical years of growth.”

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“Her leadership, passion, and determination to strengthen Paralympic sport made a world of difference,” wrote Marc-Andre Fabien.

“She was always a huge fan of all of Canada’s Paralympians, and we so appreciated all of her support.”

Fairbairn was made a member of the Order of Canada in 2015 in recognition of her career, her advocacy for literacy and for the Paralympic movement, and her work with Indigenous people.

She was also made an honourary colonel of the Royal Canadian Artillery’s 18th Air Defence Regiment in 1997.

Fairbairn died Tuesday at a continuing care facility in Lethbridge.

Flags at federal government buildings in Lethbridge will be at half-mast until a funeral is held, and the flag on the Peace Tower will be at half-mast on the day of the memorial service. That date has not yet been announced.
 

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Former MPP known as Mr. Ajax lovingly remembered
Author of the article:Kevin Connor
Publishing date:Apr 08, 2022 • 16 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
Former MPP Joe Dickson, known as Mr. Ajax, passed away at 82 years old on Thursday, April 7, 2022.
Former MPP Joe Dickson, known as Mr. Ajax, passed away at 82 years old on Thursday, April 7, 2022. PHOTO BY TORONTO SUN FILES
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The man known as Mr. Ajax has died at 82 years old.

Joe Dickson, who was born in Ajax and represented the riding of Ajax-Pickering as an MPP from 2007 to 2018, passed away on Thursday, according to deathobits.com.

Dickson was a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

The news of Dickson’s passing was tweeted by The Ajax Provincial Liberal Association.

“His wisdom, his experience, his stories, and his passion for everyone in Ajax will be missed by all of us on the riding association board.”

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Dickson served as a trustee of the Catholic District School Board in Ajax. He also served on the Ajax Town Council from 1983 to 1990, and then again from 1992 until 2006. He was also a member of Durham’s Regional Council.

“I am deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and former colleague, Joe Dickson,” Ontario Liberal Party Leader Steven Del Duca said. “Lovingly called “Mr. Ajax,” Joe had an unwavering love for his family, and the people of Ajax-Pickering, whom he proudly served as MPP. My thoughts are with the Dickson family.”

Dickson Printing, the family-owned business, supported many sports teams.

“On behalf of Ajax Council, I want to express the deepest condolences to Joe’s wife Donna, their children, grandchildren, and many friends,” said Ajax Mayor Shaun Collier. “Joe was passionate about public service, politics, and the success of the community he loved. He will be well remembered for his many contributions to our town.”
 

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Comedian Gilbert Gottfried dead at 67 after 'long illness'
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Publishing date:Apr 12, 2022 • 12 hours ago • 2 minute read • 7 Comments
Comedian Gilbert Gottfried arrives with a duck at the Webby Awards in New York City, June 14, 2010.
Comedian Gilbert Gottfried arrives with a duck at the Webby Awards in New York City, June 14, 2010. PHOTO BY LUCAS JACKSON /REUTERS / FILES
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Gilbert Gottfried, a stand-up comic known for a screwball voice and his penchant for pushing boundaries with jokes about the Sept. 11 attack and the Japanese tsunami, has died at age 67, his family said on Tuesday.

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A statement from his family said that Gottfried, a former cast member on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” passed away after a long illness, which it did not specify.

But according to his friend and publicist Glenn Schwartz, Gottfried died because of complications from muscular dystrophy, the Washington Post reported.

“In addition to being the most iconic voice in comedy, Gilbert was a wonderful husband, brother, friend and father to his two young children,” it said. “Although today is a sad day for all of us, please keep laughing as loud as possible in Gilbert’s honor.”


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Born in Brooklyn, and rising up through the New York City stand-up scene, Gottfried was known for edgy comedy that made some people squirm.

Two weeks after the attacks on New York and Washington that killed nearly 3,000 people in 2001, Gottfried joked about it during a roast of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, saying he could not book a direct flight from New York to California.

“They said they have to stop at the Empire State Building first,” Gottfried said, drawing laughs and moans of “too soon.”

Reflecting on the moment later, Gottfried said in a television interview, “That’s the way my mind works. I wanted to basically address the elephant in the room.”

That style of humour also cost him a lucrative role as the Aflac duck in television commercials for the insurer, which severed ties with Gottfried after he made a series of jokes on Twitter about the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that killed 18,000 people in Japan.

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“I love to go where it’s a dark area. You never know what people will choose to be offended by,” Gottfried told The New York Times in 2013.

Tributes poured in from other comic actors.

Seth MacFarlane, creator of the animated series “Family Guy” and director of the comedy film “A Million Ways to Die in the West,” said Gottfried’s outrageous send-up of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address in that movie made him laugh so hard on set that “I could barely do my job.”


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“A wholly original comic, and an equally kind and humble guy behind the scenes,” MacFarlane said on Twitter. “He will be missed.”

Jason Alexander, who played George on the television comedy “Seinfeld,” said on Twitter, “Gilbert Gottfried made me laugh at times when laughter did not come easily. What a gift.”


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One of Gottfried’s best known movie roles was as the voice of Iago, the loud-mouthed, sarcastic talking parrot of the evil Jafar in Disney’s 1992 animated film hit “Aladdin.”

He also reached what would normally be considered the pinnacle for American comic actors by getting named to the cast of “Saturday Night Live” in 1980, but the new cast was poorly received, having replaced highly popular players such as John Belushi, Gilda Radner and Bill Murray.

Gottfried said he could not enjoy the experience, telling interviewer Joe Rogan last year that he felt like a “sacrificial lamb.”

“You don’t want to be the replacement,” Gottfried said. “You want to be the replacement of the replacement.”
 

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Naomi Judd died by suicide: Report
"I'm sorry she couldn't hang on until today," Ashley Judd told the Hall of Fame ceremony.

Author of the article:postmedia News
Publishing date:May 03, 2022 • 21 hours ago • 1 minute read • 7 Comments

Naomi Judd, who with daughter Wynonna Judd formed the country duo The Judds, reportedly died by suicide on Saturday after a long battle with mental illness.

Country Legend Naomi Judd Died by Suicide After Longtime Struggle with Mental Health: Sources

Multiple sources confirmed the news with PEOPLE magazine. A representative for the singer hasn’t yet commented on the reports. Naomi was a longtime advocate for mental wellness.

Her daughters, Wynonna and Ashley Judd, announced their mother’s death at age 76 in a statement on Saturday, saying they “lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness.”


The following day, during The Judds induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, a tearful Ashley Judd told the audience of her mother: “I’m sorry she couldn’t hang on until today,” adding it was the public’s “affection for her that did keep her going in the last years.”
 

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Naomi Judd died from self-inflicted gunshot wound, daughter Ashley says
Author of the article:Bang Showbiz
Bang Showbiz
Publishing date:May 12, 2022 • 19 hours ago • 2 minute read • Join the conversation

Naomi Judd died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Her daughter Ashley Judd has opened up about the late country star – who died aged 75 on April 30 – and admitted her family were “uncomfortable” about revealing certain information but they wanted to be in control of the flow of information about her death before the autopsy was released.

Appearing on Good Morning America on Thursday, she said: “She used a weapon… my mother used a firearm.

“So that’s the piece of information that we are very uncomfortable sharing, but understand that we’re in a position that if we don’t say it someone else is going to.”


Ashley explained that she was chosen to represent the family to discuss her mother’s passing, and shine a light on the importance of seeking help.

She added: “My mother knew that she was seen and she was heard in her anguish, and she was walked home.

“When we’re talking about mental illness, it’s very important to be clear and to make the distinction between our loved one and the disease. It’s very real, and it lies, it’s savage.”

She noted that her mother wasn’t able to “hang on” despite her planned induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

She said: “Our mother couldn’t hang on until she was inducted into the Hall of Fame by her peers.

“That is the level of catastrophe of what was going on inside of her, because the barrier between the regard in which they held her couldn’t penetrate into her heart, and the lie the disease told her was so convincing.”

Meanwhile, Ashley also reflected on her mother’s final day, and her own “trauma from discovering her.”

She continued: “It was a mixed day. I visit with my mom and pop every day when I’m home in Tennessee, so I was at the house visiting as I am every day.

“Mom said to me, ‘Will you stay with me?’ and I said, ‘Of course I will’… I went upstairs to let her know that her good friend was there and I discovered her. I have both grief and trauma from discovering her.”
 

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Rent Free in Your Head
www.getafteritmedia.com
Naomi Judd died from self-inflicted gunshot wound, daughter Ashley says
Author of the article:Bang Showbiz
Bang Showbiz
Publishing date:May 12, 2022 • 19 hours ago • 2 minute read • Join the conversation

Naomi Judd died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Her daughter Ashley Judd has opened up about the late country star – who died aged 75 on April 30 – and admitted her family were “uncomfortable” about revealing certain information but they wanted to be in control of the flow of information about her death before the autopsy was released.

Appearing on Good Morning America on Thursday, she said: “She used a weapon… my mother used a firearm.

“So that’s the piece of information that we are very uncomfortable sharing, but understand that we’re in a position that if we don’t say it someone else is going to.”


Ashley explained that she was chosen to represent the family to discuss her mother’s passing, and shine a light on the importance of seeking help.

She added: “My mother knew that she was seen and she was heard in her anguish, and she was walked home.

“When we’re talking about mental illness, it’s very important to be clear and to make the distinction between our loved one and the disease. It’s very real, and it lies, it’s savage.”

She noted that her mother wasn’t able to “hang on” despite her planned induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

She said: “Our mother couldn’t hang on until she was inducted into the Hall of Fame by her peers.

“That is the level of catastrophe of what was going on inside of her, because the barrier between the regard in which they held her couldn’t penetrate into her heart, and the lie the disease told her was so convincing.”

Meanwhile, Ashley also reflected on her mother’s final day, and her own “trauma from discovering her.”

She continued: “It was a mixed day. I visit with my mom and pop every day when I’m home in Tennessee, so I was at the house visiting as I am every day.

“Mom said to me, ‘Will you stay with me?’ and I said, ‘Of course I will’… I went upstairs to let her know that her good friend was there and I discovered her. I have both grief and trauma from discovering her.”

She went out with a BANG 💥😮

Not particularly the kind of BANG I want to go out with 😉
 

spaminator

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
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David Milgaard, imprisoned on wrongful conviction, dead at 69
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Brenna Owen
Publishing date:May 15, 2022 • 9 hours ago • 4 minute read • 11 Comments

David Milgaard, the victim of one of Canada’s most notorious miscarriages of justice, has died in an Alberta hospital after a short illness. He was 69.

James Lockyer, a Toronto-based lawyer who worked closely on the case and helped found the advocacy organization Innocence Canada, confirmed the death after speaking with Milgaard’s sister on Sunday.

His loss is “devastating for the family,” Lockyer told The Canadian Press.



Milgaard was only 16 when he was charged and wrongfully convicted in the rape and murder of Saskatoon nursing aide Gail Miller, who was stabbed and left to die in the snow in the early morning of Jan. 31, 1969.

He would spend 23 years in prison until his release in 1992.

In his later years, Milgaard helped raise awareness about wrongful convictions and demanded action on the way Canadian courts review convictions.

“I think it’s important for everybody, not just lawyers, but for the public itself to be aware that wrongful convictions are taking place and that these people are sitting right now, behind bars and they’re trying to get out,” he said in 2015.

“The policies that are keeping them there need to be changed. The wrongful conviction review process is failing all of us miserably.”


Lockyer said he and Milgaard met with Justice Minister David Lametti just over two years ago in Ottawa to push for the creation of an independent body to review claims of wrongful convictions.

“I think David’s legacy now is to follow through with that, call it the Milgaard legislation and let’s get it passed, let’s get that independent tribunal. We still don’t have it, but maybe this will put the spur into the Department of Justice to get on with it,” he said in an interview on Sunday.

The establishment of an independent criminal case review commission “to make it easier and faster for potentially wrongfully convicted people to have their applications reviewed” is listed as the top priority in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s mandate letter for Lametti in December 2019. The objective is repeated in his mandate letter following the federal election last fall.


Lockyer said it’s up to Lametti to “get moving” on creating the commission.

“They owe it to David Milgaard and they owe it to the wrongly convicted across Canada.”

During their meeting in 2020, Lockyer said the minister asked Milgaard to sign a copy of the Tragically Hip album featuring the song “Wheat Kings,” which was inspired by his case.

Lametti posted a statement on Twitter Sunday, saying Milgaard was a tireless advocate for the wrongfully convicted who wanted to see the system change.

“I am deeply saddened to know that he will not live to see this happen,” Lametti wrote.

The minister added that he would keep his signed copy of the Tragically Hip’s album “Fully Completely” as a memory of Milgaard.

Milgaard and two friends had been passing through Saskatoon on a road trip when Miller was killed.


A year later, he was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

One of the youngest inmates, the 17-year-old was raped and attempted suicide. He was also shot by police during an attempted prison break.

“It was a nightmare,” Milgaard said in 2014. “People do not have much love and care inside those walls.”

Milgaard was released in 1992 after his mother, who fought relentlessly to clear her son’s name, pushed to get the case heard by the Supreme Court of Canada. The high court threw out Milgaard’s conviction and he was finally exonerated in 1997 after DNA tests proved that semen found at the crime scene didn’t match his.

A man named Larry Fisher was convicted in 1999 of first-degree murder in Miller’s death and sentenced to life in prison, where he died in 2015.


Lockyer said Milgaard’s late mother, Joyce, was “a hero in her own right.”

“The Milgaards have given us a lot, they’ve given Canada as much as any family could have given Canada,” he said.

Peter Edwards, a Toronto Star journalist who helped Joyce Milgaard write a memoir about her fight to see her son exonerated, recalled a moment that he said sticks out in his mind — when Milgaard visited the paper’s newsroom not long after he was released from prison in order to thank Edwards.

It was a rainy day, he said, and Milgaard wasn’t wearing a shirt because he wanted to feel the rain against his skin after missing it for so many years.

The Saskatchewan government issued Milgaard a formal apology and awarded him a $10-million compensation package.


The province also spent $11.2 million on a public inquiry into Milgaard’s wrongful conviction. The final report was released in 2008 with 13 recommendations to reform prosecution and policing in Canada. Among them was a suggestion that the federal government establish an independent review commission to examine claims of wrongful conviction.

Ron Dalton, co-president of Innocence Canada, said Milgaard could have “turned inward and been very soured on life, but he didn’t let that happen.”

He could have walked away from his advocacy after clearing his name, but he “chose to look over his shoulder at the people left behind, the people who were going through suffering,” said Dalton, who was wrongfully convicted and later exonerated in his wife’s death more than 30 years ago.

Milgaard leaves behind two teenaged children, he said in an interview.

Lockyer said he had visited Milgaard at his home in Calgary about six weeks ago and “he was his usual happy self,” talking about the need for an independent commission and current claims of wrongful conviction in Canada.

When he heard about Milgaard’s death on Sunday, Lockyer said he was just leaving a prison in British Columbia, where he had been visiting with a woman whose wrongful conviction claim Milgaard had referred to him.

“I’m going to carry on doing what David wanted me to do, so there’s a legacy too.”
 

spaminator

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
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David Milgaard, imprisoned on wrongful conviction, dead at 69
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Brenna Owen
Publishing date:May 15, 2022 • 9 hours ago • 4 minute read • 11 Comments

David Milgaard, the victim of one of Canada’s most notorious miscarriages of justice, has died in an Alberta hospital after a short illness. He was 69.

James Lockyer, a Toronto-based lawyer who worked closely on the case and helped found the advocacy organization Innocence Canada, confirmed the death after speaking with Milgaard’s sister on Sunday.

His loss is “devastating for the family,” Lockyer told The Canadian Press.



Milgaard was only 16 when he was charged and wrongfully convicted in the rape and murder of Saskatoon nursing aide Gail Miller, who was stabbed and left to die in the snow in the early morning of Jan. 31, 1969.

He would spend 23 years in prison until his release in 1992.

In his later years, Milgaard helped raise awareness about wrongful convictions and demanded action on the way Canadian courts review convictions.

“I think it’s important for everybody, not just lawyers, but for the public itself to be aware that wrongful convictions are taking place and that these people are sitting right now, behind bars and they’re trying to get out,” he said in 2015.

“The policies that are keeping them there need to be changed. The wrongful conviction review process is failing all of us miserably.”


Lockyer said he and Milgaard met with Justice Minister David Lametti just over two years ago in Ottawa to push for the creation of an independent body to review claims of wrongful convictions.

“I think David’s legacy now is to follow through with that, call it the Milgaard legislation and let’s get it passed, let’s get that independent tribunal. We still don’t have it, but maybe this will put the spur into the Department of Justice to get on with it,” he said in an interview on Sunday.

The establishment of an independent criminal case review commission “to make it easier and faster for potentially wrongfully convicted people to have their applications reviewed” is listed as the top priority in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s mandate letter for Lametti in December 2019. The objective is repeated in his mandate letter following the federal election last fall.


Lockyer said it’s up to Lametti to “get moving” on creating the commission.

“They owe it to David Milgaard and they owe it to the wrongly convicted across Canada.”

During their meeting in 2020, Lockyer said the minister asked Milgaard to sign a copy of the Tragically Hip album featuring the song “Wheat Kings,” which was inspired by his case.

Lametti posted a statement on Twitter Sunday, saying Milgaard was a tireless advocate for the wrongfully convicted who wanted to see the system change.

“I am deeply saddened to know that he will not live to see this happen,” Lametti wrote.

The minister added that he would keep his signed copy of the Tragically Hip’s album “Fully Completely” as a memory of Milgaard.

Milgaard and two friends had been passing through Saskatoon on a road trip when Miller was killed.


A year later, he was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

One of the youngest inmates, the 17-year-old was raped and attempted suicide. He was also shot by police during an attempted prison break.

“It was a nightmare,” Milgaard said in 2014. “People do not have much love and care inside those walls.”

Milgaard was released in 1992 after his mother, who fought relentlessly to clear her son’s name, pushed to get the case heard by the Supreme Court of Canada. The high court threw out Milgaard’s conviction and he was finally exonerated in 1997 after DNA tests proved that semen found at the crime scene didn’t match his.

A man named Larry Fisher was convicted in 1999 of first-degree murder in Miller’s death and sentenced to life in prison, where he died in 2015.


Lockyer said Milgaard’s late mother, Joyce, was “a hero in her own right.”

“The Milgaards have given us a lot, they’ve given Canada as much as any family could have given Canada,” he said.

Peter Edwards, a Toronto Star journalist who helped Joyce Milgaard write a memoir about her fight to see her son exonerated, recalled a moment that he said sticks out in his mind — when Milgaard visited the paper’s newsroom not long after he was released from prison in order to thank Edwards.

It was a rainy day, he said, and Milgaard wasn’t wearing a shirt because he wanted to feel the rain against his skin after missing it for so many years.

The Saskatchewan government issued Milgaard a formal apology and awarded him a $10-million compensation package.


The province also spent $11.2 million on a public inquiry into Milgaard’s wrongful conviction. The final report was released in 2008 with 13 recommendations to reform prosecution and policing in Canada. Among them was a suggestion that the federal government establish an independent review commission to examine claims of wrongful conviction.

Ron Dalton, co-president of Innocence Canada, said Milgaard could have “turned inward and been very soured on life, but he didn’t let that happen.”

He could have walked away from his advocacy after clearing his name, but he “chose to look over his shoulder at the people left behind, the people who were going through suffering,” said Dalton, who was wrongfully convicted and later exonerated in his wife’s death more than 30 years ago.

Milgaard leaves behind two teenaged children, he said in an interview.

Lockyer said he had visited Milgaard at his home in Calgary about six weeks ago and “he was his usual happy self,” talking about the need for an independent commission and current claims of wrongful conviction in Canada.

When he heard about Milgaard’s death on Sunday, Lockyer said he was just leaving a prison in British Columbia, where he had been visiting with a woman whose wrongful conviction claim Milgaard had referred to him.

“I’m going to carry on doing what David wanted me to do, so there’s a legacy too.”
there was some speculation that paul bernardo was responsible.