Former Waterloo MP Andrew Telegdi dies at age 70
Published Monday, January 23, 2017 5:17PM EST Last Updated Monday, January 23, 2017 6:24PM EST
Andrew Telegdi, who represented Waterloo and parts of Kitchener in Parliament for more than a decade, died Monday morning at the age of 70.
Information on his cause of death has not been released.
Telegdi was born in Hungary. When he was a child, his family arrived in Canada as refugees.
Before moving into politics, Telegdi attended the University of Waterloo, majoring in political science and psychology.
He was first elected as the MP for Waterloo in 1993, having previously served as a city and regional councillor. He won four more elections for the Liberal Party after the riding’s name was changed to Kitchener-Waterloo.
He was appointed as the parliamentary secretary to the Minister for Citizenship and Immigration in 1998, and held that post until 2000. In 2004, he served as parliamentary secretary for aboriginal affairs.
In 2001, he made national headlines for being the only Liberal to vote against anti-terror legislation introduced by his government.
In an email to CTV News, Waterloo Mayor Dave Jaworsky said he worked with Telegdi when Telegdi was an MP and Jaworsky was an executive at Research in Motion (now BlackBerry).
“He was a true BlackBerry ambassador in Ottawa and wherever his travels took him,” Jaworsky said.
“He was proud of the people of Waterloo – the citizens he represented – and I will miss him.”
My thoughts & prayers are with the family & friends of former MP Andrew Telegdi who passed away today. A longtime friend, he will be missed.— Bryan May (@_BryanMay) January 23, 2017
Wilfrid Laurier University political science professor Barry Kay says Telegdi made his biggest mark on Canada’s immigrant communities.
“He was very much a spokesman for new Canadians not just in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, but indeed around the country,” he said.
Telegdi was defeated in the 2008 federal election, and fell short in a bid to reclaim his seat in 2011.
His riding is now represented by Bardish Chagger, who spent several years working for Telegdi during his time as an MP.
With reporting by Rosie Del Campo