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Warden Laurie Cranton’s ride ends at age 62

Warden Laurie Cranton

March 16, 2022

-by Rankin MacDonald
    The Municipality of the County of Inverness lost its beloved leader on Thursday evening of last week.
    For those who were close to him or dealt with him as the warden, his health of late was of great concern, but he rallied before so why not this time?
    He tried his damnedest to carry out his duties as warden, but his weakness was evident and there was much cause for concern.
    His titanic struggle could not continue and on Thursday night he passed away leaving a county and province to mourn.
    Residents of Inverness County grieved deeply with his family.
    Laurie Cranton, 62, a man of action and achievements from a wheelchair left a deep track in his native land.
    When Gloria LeBlanc decided to retire from municipal politics in 2016, the voters in District #2 (Grand Etang / St. Joseph du Moine / The Margarees) wondered who would take this powerful politician’s place.
    Of course, Laurie Cranton, and he stepped forward and won the municipal seat.
    When the election of 2020 rolled around, he was re-elected and chosen by his peers as the Warden of the Municipality of the County of Inverness.
    His dedication was to his constituents and to the people of the county as well as to causes such as improved accessibility, better roads and bridges, and trail tourism which would fill the cottages during the winter months in Inverness County.
    “It has been both a pleasure and an honour to work alongside Warden Cranton over the past four years,” said CAO, Keith MacDonald. “Laurie continually had the best interests of the Municipality and the residents of Inverness County at heart, and he will be deeply missed.”
    “Laurie’s legacy will live on, and he will be remembered as a kind, supportive, inspirational leader and advocate for the Inverness County, District #2, and the accessibility community,” said Deputy Warden Bonny MacIsaac. “Warden Cranton will be greatly missed by his family, friends, colleagues, and the numerous organizations to which he generously volunteered his time and support.”
    She went on to say, “It is really hard to acknowledge that Warden Cranton will no longer be with us! I was fortunate to get to know and work with Warden Cranton over the past year and had many chances to see what a great leader he was. His can-do spirit was very evident as well as his ability to solve problems. I will miss Laurie and his wonderful sense of humour. He always had a story and I would marvel at the challenges he overcame in life. I will miss his friendship, advice. He carried his life with strength and dignity. The impact he made will be felt outside of our municipality. And, I plan on carrying on his vision, especially with the Municipal Accessibility Board. Laurie championed changes across the province by being involved. His legacy will live on.
    ‘I want to extend my sympathies to his wife Mary-Ann and their family. He was so genuinely proud of them all.”
    His community said this:
    “The Villages of Margaree are mourning the loss of one of our own as we learn of the passing of Laurie Cranton. Our councillor, Warden of the Municipality, will be missed by the people of the community that he served with pride. Our friend and neighbour, always ready to listen, sharing ideas and hopes for our home, and offering his help whenever possible. ‘Leave that with me and I’ll get back to you,’ Laurie would say and he would do his best to find answers and solutions. Public life aside, Laurie was a cherished son, brother, husband, uncle, father, and grandfather. He would light up when he spoke of his children and he would beam brighter at the mention of his precious grandchildren. We offer our sincere sympathy to Mary-Ann and all of the Cranton family. Your village is here to support you.”
    “Sincere condolences to the family of Laurie Cranton, Councillor for Margaree / St. Joseph  and Warden for the Municipality of the County of Inverness. Well known across the province for his work in trail development and accessibility for persons with disabilities, Laurie was a champion for the Margarees. His hands made our province a better place to live.
     ‘His love of the outdoors and snowmobiling helped the Margaree area to become a mecca for winter fun. He was a great speaker, with sincerity in his voice. Nothing stopped him from representing his views in advocating to the people he represented. His voice lives elsewhere now, but we can still hear him just above the playful rush of the Margaree River of the little gusts of wind blowing over the snowdrifts in the valley. Thoughts and prayers are with Mary-Ann and their family,” said Deputy Premier and Inverness MLA Allan MacMaster.
    “I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Laurie Cranton, long-time District #2 councillor and Warden for the County of Inverness. Laurie had a strong passion for his people and his community, as well as an exceptional portfolio as an advocate for accessibility. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him, and all those who were impacted by his work. My thoughts are with his loved ones as they endure this great loss,” said Member of Parliament Mike Kelloway.
    On a beautiful winter’s day on February 4th, 1981, Laurie and a crew were cutting pulp in East Skye Glen.
    It was a breezy day, but the wood was slated for Newfoundland/Labrador so the job was getting done.
    They were budworm days and a lot of the trees had centre rot.
    One of the trees crashed to the ground crushing Laurie and putting him in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
    His dream of becoming an RCMP officer or forest ranger was dashed, but somehow he found the courage to become one of the most influential men of his era.
    A community centre, an equestrian centre, improved accessibility at home and across the province, and a countless number of projects that made this a better place to be.
    All from a wheelchair.
    All from a strong spirit.
    Even as his life waned, he tried to do his job as warden, but the strength failed and he left it to the rest of us to follow his example.
























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15767 Central Avenue. P.O. Box 100
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