A former member of parliament for the Kenora riding who served northwestern Ontario for over 20 years has passed away.

After a five-year battle with cancer, John Mercer Reid passed away in Ottawa on August 25. He was 85 years old, and a funeral will be held tomorrow in Ottawa.

Born in Fort Frances and a graduate of the University of Manitoba, Reid represented the former federal riding of Kenora-Rainy River between 1965 and 1984 under the Liberal Party in a variety of roles, including three terms as MP.

He was first elected in 1965 as the youngest member of Canadian Parliament at the time, serving under Pierre Trudeau. During his term, he created and passed the ‘Reid Bill’ which unsealed thousands of secret government documents from World War II.

Reid would later go on to serve as the Co-Chairman of the Canada – U.S. Parliamentary Association, where he helped to create the first Access to Information legislation for Canadians to have access to any government-held records.

He would later represent Canada with the United Nations and served as President of the Canadian Nuclear Association between 1990 and 1995 before he began his seven-year term as Canada’s Information Commissioner in 1998.

After his many years of public service, Reid was honoured with the Canadian Association of Former Parliamentarians’ Distinguished Service Award in 2002, awarded to former parliament members who have ‘made an outstanding contribution to the country and its democratic institutions.'

John leaves behind his wife Marie Ellen, four children and ten grandchildren.