Prominent Liberal strategist and author John Duffy has died

Prominent Liberal strategist and author John Duffy has died, eliciting tributes from across the Canadian political spectrum.

StrategyCorp, the public relations and consulting company that he founded in 1995, described him as “a committed “city-builder,” proud of his influential work on public transit and transit-oriented communities,” in a tweet. “His quirky grad-school wit was a big part of his style, and as one friend said, ‘he could charm the birds out of the trees.’ ”

Former Ontario premier Bob Rae described Duffy as a “brilliant, funny, engaging man.” Wrote Rae: “He loved his wife Jill and his daughters with all he had (and was) a loving son, friend and mentor to many. Above all, he loved Canada and inspired us all to live and serve it better.

“This is such a tough loss.”

Duffy served as a volunteer adviser to former prime minister Paul Martin, according to his biography on StrategyCorp, working with Martin on the 2003 leadership campaign and in the 2004 and 2006 federal elections.

Duffy also held positions as the senior strategic adviser to former Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne and as a volunteer policy directory for John Tory’s Toronto mayoral campaign.

Wynne wrote on Twitter, “This is just so very sad. To Jill and all John’s family our hearts are with you tonight. John was an irrepressible font of energy and optimism. He is so missed already.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said: “I’m deeply saddened by John Duffy’s sudden passing. He was talented, energetic, and incredibly knowledgeable. His love for politics, and for this country, ran deep, and that was always evident in the work he did.

“My thoughts are with his family, friends, and former colleagues.”

According to, Duffy was born in 1963, married Jill Presser (a criminal lawyer), and had two daughters, Martine, 20, and Simone, 17.


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