Gary Parent, former Windsor labour council president, has died

Retired labour leader Gary Parent. (Dale Molnar/CBC - image credit)
Retired labour leader Gary Parent. (Dale Molnar/CBC - image credit)

Gary Parent, a longtime leader in Windsor's auto and labour community, has died.

Parent was in palliative care and passed in the early hours of Friday morning.

The news was announced by his son, Jason, and confirmed by former CAW national president Ken Lewenza, who said Parent's death was a great loss to the Windsor community.

Parent was a former financial secretary for the Canadian Auto Workers union Local 444 and past president of the Windsor and District Labour Council, for 25 years.

He retired in 2009 after starting his career with Chrysler in 1965 and was an active member of the Unifor retirees' chapter.

Giving tributes to Parent earlier this week, Windsor West MP Brian Masse said Parent spent his career "giving a voice to the vulnerable" even in retirement.

"In my 25 years of working with Gary, I want to thank him as he was a mentor and continues to inspire," Masse said. "Without Garry's advice and guidance, I wouldn't be standing here before you."

"In Gary's own words, 'activism in our community is beyond the four walls of a workplace.'"

Windsor West MPP Lisa Gretzky also paid tribute, saying that Parent was on the side of "not just working people, but everyone in Windsor."

"Gary served in labour roles for 26 years, but his service to the community extends well beyond that," Gretzky said.

"Gary's belief that public services should be built on and strengthened for the betterment of everyone has never wavered."

More to come. 

CORRECTION: The previous version of this story used an incorrect photo of Gary Parent. The story has been updated.