Jim Travers (1949–2011)
The Informer is saddened to learn that Jim Travers, the 62-year old national affairs columnist for the Toronto Star, passed away this morning in Ottawa after a long illness. Star staff got an email today from Tim Harper, the paper’s national editor, informing them of Travers’s passing. The scribe was also editor of the Ottawa Citzen from 1991 to 1996, when he resigned over difference with the paper’s owner—the Conrad Black–controlled Hollinger.
This blogger actually had the good fortune to interview Travers once as a student a few years back, and Jim (“stop calling me Mr. Travers!”) was kind and generous with his time in a way that many aren’t when they hear “student reporter.” His willingness to make jokes about himself continue to be a reminder not to take ourselves too seriously.
Which is not to say that he thought the politics of the nation, or the job of covering them, wasn’t serious work. Some of his columns in recent years were positively scathing of the Harper government, and he was alarmed by what he saw as the slide in Canadian politics to somewhere dangerous. Jim’s friends and family will remember him for his good humour, no doubt, but the rest of us can remember him for his work. He will be missed.