Rafe Mair, former B.C. radio host and cabinet minister dead at 85

Mair started his political career as a Kamloops MLA

Former B.C. cabinet minister and well-known Vancouver radio broadcaster Rafe Mair has died at the age of 85.

A longtime colleague of Mair’s said that he’ll be remembered as a hard-hitting interviewer who was tough but fair.

Shiral Tobin, who produced his show on CKNW, said Mair’s doctor confirmed his death at around 6 a.m. Monday morning.

Tobin said Mair’s health had been declining for a number of years, but that he had continued to write articles and appear as a radio panellist until recently.

She said Mair fought for indigenous rights, feminism, and the environment in his later years.

Mair’s show on CKNW ran for almost two decades, and was known as one of the most popular radio programs in the province.

“He was one of the best broadcasters in BC history,” said Tobin. “He used his radio talk show as a bully pulpit on behalf of the people of British Columbia.”

Rafe also wrote a column for Black Press in the early 2000s.

Mair’s political career began in 1975 when he served as a MLA for Kamloops as a member of the B.C. Social Credit Party.

He also served as a cabinet minister in a variety of positions during Premier Bill Bennett’s time in office. His career as a broadcaster began when he was 49 years old.

Mair was a recipient of multiple journalism awards, including the Michener Award for courageous journalism in 1995, and the B.C. Association of Broadcasters “Broadcast Performer of the Year” award in 1993.

The Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. salmon farms challenge activists’ demands for site closures

News reporting also unfair, inaccurate and distorted

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Haida hereditary chief named Liberal Candidate for North Coast Region

Roy Jones Jr. is named Liberal MLA candidate for the North Coast

COVID-19 cases grow to 13 at B.C. First Nation near Fort St. James

“This is very serious,” says Nak’azdli Whut’en Chief

Cullen confirmed as B.C. NDP candidate for Stikine despite party’s equity policy

Former Tahltan Central Government President Annita McPhee said the process made her feel “abused”

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

U.S. Presidential Debate Takeaways: An acrid tone from the opening minute

Here are key takeaways from the first of three scheduled presidential debates before Election Day on Nov. 3

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

‘Bonnie’ and ‘Henry’ among latest litter of service dog puppies

B.C. Alberta Guide Dogs names two pups after provincial health officer

Permanent fish-passage solutions considered at Big Bar landslide

151,000 salmon detected this year north of site

Most Read