Mr. Speaker, on September 19, Canada lost a great Canadian, rural media personality and columnist. Jim Merriam passed away surrounded by his loving family after a 21-year battle with cancer.
Jim's “Funny Farm” column was well known and well read. Whether sharing his opinions on newsworthy events or controversial decisions, details about his farm and beloved mules, light-hearted jokes or promoting charitable events, his was a loud, reasoned voice that came directly from the heart. Jim loved to tell those personal stories and connect people with each other right across the region. It was that ability to tell a story with a sense of humour, yet get to the crux of the issue, that was fundamental to who Jim was. Maybe most telling about Jim is that he was approached by different parties to run for politics. He was smart enough to stay away.
I consider myself lucky to have known Jim my whole life. I am confident that many others still can through his written work.
Rest in peace, Jim. You have earned it.