Memorable Manitobans: James Gordon “Jim” Carr (1951-2022)
Manager, MLA (1988-1990), MLA (1990-1995), journalist, business adviser, MP (2015-2019), MP (2019-2021), MP (2021-2022).
Born at Winnipeg on 11 October 1951, one of three sons of David Carr (c1914-1973) and Esther Golden (1917-2013), he was educated at Montrose School, Grant Park High School, University of Winnipeg, University of British Columbia, and McGill University, studying history, political science, and international relations.
He worked as a development director and oboist for the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (1974-1975), executive director of the Manitoba Arts Council (1975-1976), editorial writer at the newly founded Winnipeg Sun (1980-1983), executive director of external relations and director of community relations at the University of Winnipeg (1983-1986), and a board member for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (1983-1986). He also worked as a freelance journalist. In 1988, he received a Margaret McWilliams Award from the Manitoba Historical Society for editing the book Building on a Tradition of Caring - The Sharon Home.
A long-time Liberal, he was a candidate in the 1986 provincial general election but was defeated by Gary Filmon. He subsequently ran in another constituency and was elected in 1988 and 1990, serving as Deputy Leader under Sharon Carstairs. He resigned in January 1992 to work as an editorial writer at the Winnipeg Free Press, staying there until 1997 when he became CEO of the Business Council of Manitoba. He returned to politics in 2015, being elected in the 2015 federal general election, and re-elected in 2019 and 2021. He held ministerial portfolios in Natural Resources (2015-2018) and International Trade Diversification (2018-2019). As his health failed, he stepped down from cabinet but was appointed Special Representative for the Prairies (2019-2021).
On 1 June 1980, he married physician Ruth Simkin and they had three children. The couple later separated and he married judge P. Colleen Suche. In recognition of his community service, he was Inducted into the Order of Manitoba (2011) and he received a Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002) and Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012).
He died at Winnipeg on 12 December 2022.
Birth registration [Esther Goldin], Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Obituary [David Carr], Winnipeg Free Press, 19 December 1973, page 40.
“Carr creates hole in Liberal ranks, joins Free Press,” Winnipeg Free Press, 21 January 1992, page 17.
Obituary [Esther Carr], Winnipeg Free Press, 2 March 2013.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 14 December 2022.
“An empty chair at the dinner table” by Peter Denton, Winnipeg Free Press, 24 December 2022, page A13.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 24 December 2022