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