Manitoba friends remember environmental pioneer Maurice Strong

Maurice Strong, 86, has died, but his legacy is living on through the climate summit beginning in Paris on Monday and in the memory of his friends, including Manitoba's Wayne Kines.

Manitoba's Wayne Kines met Strong in 1956, the 2 remained friends until Strong's death

Maurice Strong, climate and development pioneer, has died. He was 86. His longtime friend, Wayne Kines, remembers him as a dedicated environmentalist. (Richard Drew/Associated Press)

Maurice Strong, 86, has died, but his legacy is living on through the climate summit beginning in Paris on Monday and in the memory of his friends, including Manitoba's Wayne Kines.

Strong is remembered for organizing the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, which led to the launch of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Wayne Kines, who lives in Neepawa, Man., met Strong in 1956.

And Kines, a former journalist who lives in Neepawa and met Strong in 1956, remembers that his friend was close with Fidel Castro, and at the earth summit, Strong limited the Cuban leader's speech to five minutes.

"Nobody ever believed Castro could be confined to five minutes, but Castro got up and gave a fantastic speech in four and a half minutes and got a standing ovation and that was because of the influence of Maurice Strong," Kines told CBC on Sunday.

Above all, Kines remembers Strong as a dedicated environmentalist.

"He wasn't well enough to go to the Paris conference, but I think his spirit will be there in the lives of many, many people, including Justin Trudeau of course, because he's known Justin since he was a baby."

Strong leaves behind his wife, five children and a number of grandchildren.

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