Peter Russell, professor of political science at the University of Toronto, has died

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Political science professor dies in Toronto

Political science professor dies in Toronto

Within the Canadian political science community, Peter Russell was a valued and respected person. He discussed a national political issue on The Agenda and was a brilliant, interesting, passionate and terrifying guest. At the highest ranks of Canadian politics and at the University of Toronto, Russell was a legend. He died earlier this week at the age of 91 from a crippling lung disease, but not before leaving behind a remarkable legacy of policy advice to leaders and a passion for politics and history among his students, one of whom is Canada’s current envoy to the UN.

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A political science professor has died

Russell owes much to one of his former students, David Lametti, for his many years of friendship and mentorship. Lametti later became Attorney General and Minister of Justice in Justin Trudeau’s administration from 2019 to 2023. He even gave Lametti a letter of reference and encouraged him to pursue his law studies in Canada, which completely changed Lametti’s life. After leaving the University of Toronto to work at McGill Law, Yale and Oxford, Lametti eventually became an MP in 2015. Former Ontario Premier Bob Rae, who owes much to Russell for his friendship and wisdom for many years, also depended on his advice. Russell was a member of Premier David Peterson’s advisory group during discussions of the Meech Lake Accord in the late 1980s.

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They shared a similar perspective on Quebec and were somewhat in agreement on life and politics. Between 2006 and 2012, when Russell was chancellor of the University of Toronto, Peter also spent time with him. John Parker, former MPP for York East and Toronto city councilor, was aware of another side of Russell, as he discussed politics and offered support. Parker wrote in an email: “Peter was respected in the highest academic circles. »

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