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N.B. deputy ag minister Jim McKay, 62

Memorial services will be held Friday in West St. John for New Brunswick’s deputy minister of agriculture and aquaculture, Jim McKay.

McKay, who was also the top bureaucrat for the province’s fisheries portfolio, died Thursday following what his obituary in Saturday’s Fredericton Daily Gleaner described as a “short illness.” CBC New Brunswick reported Friday that McKay was suffering from cancer.

“In the many key positions he occupied, he demonstrated his strong commitment to serving the people of New Brunswick. And he proved himself to be an outstanding public servant,” Premier David Alward said in a statement Thursday.

McKay’s “lengthy record of public service speaks volumes about his dedication, capability and professionalism,” Alward said.

McKay’s career with the province included a stint as director of investment and immigration with Business New Brunswick and later in the provincial departments of economic development and tourism, commerce and technology, and tourism, parks and recreation.

He later moved to the province’s intergovernmental affairs department as its assistant deputy minister for federal/provincial/territorial relations, where his responsibilities included Atlantic Canada/New England regional co-operation.

Then-premier Bernard Lord appointed McKay as deputy minister for intergovernmental affairs in 2003. In September 2008, then-premier Shawn Graham moved McKay to both the agriculture and aquaculture and fisheries posts, and he remained there as deputy minister after Alward took office this fall.

McKay’s memorial service is to be held in West St. John on Friday (Dec. 17) at 3 p.m. at St. George’s Anglican Church, 100 Watson St.

The family has asked that donations in lieu of flowers be made to the St. John Regional Hospital Foundation, the Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital Foundation in Fredericton or the charity of one’s choice.

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