From the Ukrainian Canadian Congress:
"It is with tremendous sorrow that I learned of the passing of Mr. John Yaremko," stated UCC President Paul Grod. "From a Ukrainian immigrant family, John Yaremko taught us that through hard work, dedication and perseverance that it is possible to reach and excel at the highest levels in public life in Canada. He has been a mentor and a friend to many leaders of our community. He will be dearly missed."
Mr. Yaremko was the longest serving member of the Ontario legislature, having served from 1951 to 1975, having served in the Cabinets of Premiers Leslie Frost, John Robarts, and Bill Davis. As a cabinet Minister and later as a private citizen, Mr. Yaremko was a leader in multiculturalism and philanthropy. He was the first recipient in 2009 of the Paul Yuzyk Award for Multiculturalism and was honoured with the establishment of the John Yaremko Chair in Ukrainian Studies at the University of Toronto.
A very detailed account of his accomplished life is available from his obituary:
Peacefully in his sleep, three days short of his 92nd birthday at the Ukrainian Canadian Care Centre, Toronto.
He put himself through school while working on farms and the Steel Company of Canada during summer months and nights while attending the University of Toronto and Osgoode Hall Law School. Was awarded scholarships for excellence while at university and became a Gold Medalist at Osgoode Hall. Began political career in 1951 when elected to Ontario’s Provincial Parliament as first Canadian of Ukrainian ancestry to be elected in Eastern Canada. Served in Parliament for twenty-five years – longer than anyone in the history of Ontario. In 1958, was appointed youngest Cabinet Minister and served in seven Ministries in the administrations of Premiers Leslie Frost, John Robarts and Bill Davis. Upon his retirement in 1975, the Toronto Star newspaper wrote of John Yaremko: ‘His career exhibited a distinct concern for social justice, as Minister responsible for legislation which improved the lot of persons with physical or developmental disabilities, the aged, the poor, and ethnic and cultural minorities.’
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