Gananoque residents remember MP Gord Brown as one of their own
Member of Parliament praised for his deep roots in the eastern Ontario community
While MPs on Parliament Hill were mourning their colleague Gord Brown after his sudden death Wednesday, in Gananoque, Ont., they were remembering their friend and a champion of their community.
Peter Woodley, who graduated from high school with Brown, said he was shocked when he heard the news about Brown.
"He was one of us, we all grew up together," he said. "It's horrible news what we heard."
Brown died after suffering an apparent heart attack in his Ottawa office on Wednesday.
Brown represented the large riding of Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes in the House of Commons, but in the community he was thought of as Gananoque's own. He served on town council before being elected to the House of Commons in 2004.
Roger Gipson, a friend of Brown's, said he was always thought of as someone who would stick to his word.
"He was a very direct type of guy, but when he said he was going to do something he did it."
Gananoque Mayor Erika Demchuk said Brown did exceptional work as a constituency MP and was always there to look into a resident's concerns.
"He is just here for what anybody wanted him to do. If you have a question, if you need some help wading though the paperwork with the government, you call his office and Gord is always there."
Brown had deep roots in the community and Demchuk said they will always think of him as a Gananoque boy.
"We are all a small community and he has always been part of that. He's not just MP Gord Brown, he's Gord Brown."