Tributes Continue to Pour In for Ben Meisner
Prince George, B.C. – Tributes continue to pour in for Ben Meisner following his untimely passing this morning in Winnipeg.
Cariboo-Prince George MP Dick Harris knew Meisner for decades.
“I’m just so sad to hear that news. Ben and I were friends for a long time and we’ve shared lots of good times together,” says Harris. “He was a questioner of me when I entered politics and then became a mentor which I will always treasure for what he was able to teach me about what life would be as a politician.”
He says Meisner was a man of deeply held convictions noting “I’m sure Ben had a huge amount of people that just admired and adored him, and there were those that didn’t agree with him many times, but they still gave him so much praise for his determination to stand up for what he believed was right and what others believed was right who were maybe being ignored.”
One event Harris will always remember was awarding Meisner a Queen’s Jubilee Medal two years ago.
“That was a real honour. Those medals are given to very special people who have done very special things for their community, their province, their country and I know that Ben fit into all those categories.”
Prince George Mayor Lyn Hall says he was “absolutely shocked” when he heard the news he was sick last week and is “stunned today.”
“On behalf of council and really the City of Prince George, we all want to extend our condolences to wife Elaine, the Meisner family, and of course the 250 News family.”
He says one thing he’ll always take away from his relationship with Meisner was “Ben always had the ability to separate the friendship and his job as a reporter. And I really respected that.”
Ben had been a Senior Bencher with the Law Society of BC. Saying he is truly saddened by Ben’s passing, Society President, Ken Walker, QC, shared the following thoughts in an emailed statement:
“He came to the Law Society as an Appointed Bencher in 2010. People often wonder what Benchers are: they are directors of the Law Society – a self-governing organization made up of lawyers and members of the public. We were very fortunate to have a public representative at the Bencher table like Ben who volunteered and assisted us in directing the affairs of the Society.
“Ben was a man of the north. He was candid and forthright in his views. He often spoke passionately about the importance of the role of lawyers, the rule of law, and the public interest.”
“On a personal note, he and I both shared a love of fishing, and often shared stories about our adventures.”
“I have received notes from every Law Society Bencher indicating their sadness. All of our thoughts go out to Elaine, his children, and the rest of his family.”
Todd Doherty, the Cariboo-Prince George Conservative candidate in the upcoming federal election, was “devastated” by the news.
“And I’m a bit numb, Ben is somebody that I looked to over the years for guidance and was a confidante. He was one of the first people I talked to when I was making a couple of life changes throughout the years and it was because I trusted the guidance he gave.”
He says he always respected the fact Meisner spoke the truth, whether people wanted it or not.
“I’m truly going to miss this man and I wish I had an opportunity to tell him how much we loved him and appreciated everything he did. I know he had a huge impact on my life and for that I’m grateful.”
Prince George-Peace River MP Bob Zimmer also released a statement from Ottawa.
“Known as the voice of the North, Ben has made so many contributions to our region as founder of Opinion 250, now known as 250 News. I will always admire his hard work and dedication to the people of Prince George and northern B.C. Our region will not be the same without him.”