Chuck Cook was born on 28 July
1926 in Regina, Saskatchewan,
He was a CJOR radio talk show host
Chuck Cook - Talk show host CJOR Vancouver 1972-78; Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament North Vancouver-Burnaby 1979-93; died February 23, 1993
CHUCK COOK: The voice of reason is
a 50-year-old non-practising lawyer who started with
talk radio in
By Scott MacRae
The Province (Vancouver) 1993
More than 300 people crowded into
St. Catherine's Anglican Church in
The 66-year-old Conservative MP died Tuesday of cancer.
"He had a wonderful sense of humor," said Rev. William Pike. "He was a person who stood for honesty and integrity."
Cook's son Ken said his father seemed to want to confound the doctors as much as he did his fellow politicians by smoking more than 60 cigarettes a day.
"And there were few things in life he enjoyed more than a good game of poker or chess," said Ken.
Kim Campbell, Mary Collins, John Fraser, Grace McCarthy, Tom Siddon and Brian Smith were among the mourners.
Cook was elected to the House of Commons in 1979, 1980, 1984 and 1988. He announced last year he would not be running again.
Known as a maverick, Cook outraged
nationalists by saying that only five per cent of Canadians read Canadian
Yet Pike said the "extremely well-read" Cook "could carry on an informed conversation on almost any topic."
The Regina-born MP was also
well-educated, with a law degree and a master's degree in business
administration. Cook was the only Tory to speak out against the
The family will place a bench in
his memory in Deep Cove's
Cook first came to the Commons in 1979 and was re-elected in 1980, 1984 and 1988.
He was chief Opposition whip in 1983 and became government whip in 1984.
Cook was born in Regina and
received his education at Burbank Military Academy, Northwestern University in
He earned a law degree and a master's degree in business administration.
Cook, who died in hospital on Tuesday night, is survived by his wife, Dale, two sons and one daughter.
I worked for five years at CJOR when it was a halfway house for politicians on the way up or on the way down.
Jim Nielsen and Chuck Cook worked 'OR open-line mikes before entering politics. John Reynolds, Dave Barrett and Rafe Mair, having learned - if nothing else - how to speak nonstop from an elected seat, brought that gassy asset to radio when their political time ran out.
Cook was the swing man at 'OR. He worked the Saturday and Sunday shifts, but he was on call, at short notice, when one of the other regulars was hoarse or drunk or vacationing.
It was his great talent that he could not only replace a Webster, Burns or Nielsen, but he could almost imitate them - if not the tone of voice, the tone of the social and political attitudes of the missing regular.
Magazine executive Neil Soper, who was CJOR program director during the Seventies, said this weekend, "Chuck was adaptable, a radio chameleon. He was a very good talk-show actor because he could be anyone, light, heavy, left, right.
"His contract called for him to do so many hours a year. So he did his weekend show, but he could come in on an hour's notice to replace someone else.
"Some people thought Chuck
was a lawyer who wandered into radio. That's wrong. Before he got his law
degree he was a very successful morning deejay in
No, I couldn't. I remember Cook's wardrobe. It could make your eyes water. I remember his ashtray-thick glasses. On a sunny day you could ignite kindling with the lenses.
I remember his loose, jangly walk and his cigarette holder and the way he loved an argument, on air or off.
I think it was debate, more than anything else, that delighted Cook. Law, talk radio and politics are all a matter of debate and he was lucid and excellent on all three platforms.
Curiously, and perhaps unfairly, all the stories that followed his death last week at 66 said he was a "maverick MP', the "renegade Tory", as if there was something lacking in him.
That's wrong and dead wrong now. Cook simply never bought into that self-serving notion of cabinet and party solidarity.
The cabinet hadn't elected him,
the voters in
He was, rather than some political freak, the politician we should all demand, the loyalist to his constituents, not to his caucus.
So he broke ranks and voted
And when fellow Tories Mary Collins and John Crosbie were taking bows at Versatile Pacific Shipyards for the promised $500-million icebreaker contract that never came to be, Cook was saying, "Any shipwrights I've talked to, I've said, 'For God sakes, don't wait for it. Go retrain or find another job. Don't sit around waiting. The day may never come to pass."'
If Cook was a heretic in federal
politics it was only because he didn't change when he got on that big stage in