Former Waterloo MP, city councillor Andrew Telegdi dies

Andrew Telegdi, who served on Waterloo city council and then served as MP for Kitchener-Waterloo for 15 years, has died. He was 70.

'Our community and country are better because of his contribution and dedication'

Former Liberal Member of Parliament Andrew Telegdi, left, seen here in 2008 chatting with then-Liberal leader Stephane Dion, has died. (Tom Hanson/Canadian Press)

Tributes to Andrew Telegdi poured in Monday evening on news the former Kitchener-Waterloo MP and city councillor has died.

He was 70.

Telegdi served as a Liberal MP from 1993 to 2008, the first four years for the riding of Waterloo, then for the riding of Kitchener-Waterloo for 11 years. Prior to that, he was a Waterloo city councillor between 1985 and 1993.

Telegdi "worked hard for Canada and Waterloo in his long career as an MP," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted Monday night. "My sincere condolences to his family on his passing," 

The Liberal Party tweeted: "We've lost a great friend."

Born in Hungary

Born in Hungary, Telegdi moved to Canada with his parents in 1957. They lived in Toronto before Telegdi attended the University of Waterloo, where he majored in political science and psychology. He was also involved in student politics, serving two terms as president of the Federation of Students.

He was involved with several local organizations, including the K-W Multicultural Centre, Catholic Family Counselling, St. John's Kitchen, The Working Centre, Wilfrid Laurier University and Conestoga College.

Regional councillor Karen Redman remembered him as a man who made significant contributions to this area.

"Andrew Telegdi had firm ideals and was tenacious in pursuing them," she tweeted. 

Waterloo Mayor Dave Jaworsky remembered Telegdi for his "strong sense of justice and social fairness."

"Our community and country are better because of his contribution and dedication," Jaworsky said in a statement Monday night. "He was proud of the people of Waterloo — the citizens he represented — and I will miss him." 

Government House Leader and Waterloo Liberal MP Bardish Chagger, who was once Telegdi's executive assistant, said her former boss "demonstrated what it means to represent the voices of our community."

"Andrew earned the respect of his colleagues in Ottawa on all sides of the House and across the nation by being an outspoken and passionate advocate for what he believed in," Chagger said in a statement Tuesday morning. 

"I am proud to call Andrew a friend and mentor and I, along with the community, will miss ‎him and his advice as much as we will all miss his contributions."