Ex-Progressive Conservative MLA Dr. Jim Parrott mourned
Former heart surgeon entered politics in 2010, briefly sat as Independent after being kicked out of PC caucus
Former Progressive Conservative MLA and heart surgeon Jim Parrott is being mourned across New Brunswick.
Premier Brian Gallant issued a statement on Wednesday offering condolences to Parrott's family and friends "on behalf of all New Brunswickers."
"We are all saddened to hear of the passing of Dr. Jim Parrott," who was 74, said Gallant.
"Dr. Parrott was a well-respected member of his community, and he will be missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him."
Dr. David Marr, a cardiologist at the Saint John Regional Hospital and medical director for zone 2 of the Horizon Health Network, was among them.
He recruited Parrott to the Saint John Regional Hospital from Winnipeg in 1989 to start the New Brunswick Heart Centre.
"We were really looking, starting a new program, to have a surgeon who was credible, who had a track record, who had experience in starting programs and who could hit the ground running … and Dr. Parrott provided all of those things."
He enjoyed life and as someone said to me earlier this morning, he left nothing on the field.- David Marr, cardiologist
Parrott's legacy is the strong and successful cardiac surgical program he helped build and grow and the thousands of lives he saved, said Marr.
But he will also be remembered for his "larger than life personality," he said.
"He enjoyed life and as someone said to me earlier this morning, he left nothing on the field."
Edmundston-Madawaska Centre MLA Madeleine Dubé, who was the minister of health between 2010 and 2012, agreed.
She described her former caucus colleague who was elected as a Tory in 2010 after leaving the heart centre as a doctor who "did great things for New Brunswickers" and a "colourful person."
"He spoke his mind, and he'll be remembered, no doubt, in different ways," she said. "He will be missed."
Doc Jim Parrott was a great friend! Great MLA and great Doctor. Saved so many people, even John Betts.—@BruceFitchMLA
Interim Progressive Conservative Leader Bruce Fitch offered his condolences on Twitter on Tuesday night.
Michael Murphy, a former Liberal health minister, also used social media to reflect on Parrott's death, calling him a "highly distinguished surgeon."
"Whether you agreed with his political comments or not, and I often didn't, you never had to wonder what Dr. Parrott was thinking. He told you," Murphy said on Twitter.
Dr Parrott had great life experience and was a kind man with a soft heart covered by a gruff exterior. He will be greatly missed . Bye—@monctonlawyer
Parrott's time in politics was marked with controversy.
The outspoken backbencher briefly sat as an independent MLA for Fundy-River Valley after being ousted from the Conservative caucus in 2012 for criticizing the Alward government over comments about duality in health care and a lack of consultation with doctors.
Former premier David Alward welcomed Parrott back into the Tory caucus in April 2014. He was defeated in the 2014 election by Liberal Rick Doucet.
The former doctor also had his own health issues.
He underwent quadruple bypass heart surgery in 2012.