Nancy Riche passed away on Oct. 1. Riche was a longtime director of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre.
“Nancy made a huge contribution to public policy and the union movement in Canada,” said Michael Janigan, executive director and general counsel of PIAC.
She brought a lot of things to the Ottawa-based consumers group including muscle and wit. She was a natural leader who was always very clear about where she stood. She stood with regular people who needed help.
“Nancy Riche was passionate, but also very plainspoken and insightful.  I admired her contributions at Board meetings, where she would often listen long before deftly and succinctly making her own astute contributions,” said Michael MacNeil, chair of the board of directors of PIAC.
As a union leader, a consumer champion and a proud daughter of Newfoundland Nancy made friends where ever she went.
“Nancy’s contribution to Canada is one that few can ever hope to equal. It extended over many decades and covers a wide array of activities,” Howard Pawley said.
“Nancy was always well prepared and never allowed her ego to influence her thoughts. Decency and integrity always ruled her actions. She was practical and lucid in her verbal presentations. Nancy was the embodiment of the finest qualities: passionate, dedicated, energetic, imbued with a set of values and a sense of judgment, a believer, a well-grounded optimist; these are but some of the adjectives and phrases that comfortably attach to her life’s contribution,” PIAC board member Pawley said.
“She led by example. She did not preach. She did. Nancy believed in her causes and advanced them with eloquence and elegance. She balanced the present and the future, leading gently but firmly those social issues that are on the cusp of progress. She was the model of the conviction, passion and commitment. Nancy’s life was most productive. She did much for the Labour movement and her years with PIAC are appreciated by us all,” Howard Pawley said.
PIAC board member Cynthia Patterson said: “Nancy was a strong, compassionate and challenging friend to women, to labour, to the marginalized. She integrated her politics with her personal life. In recent years Nancy courageously and lovingly deepened her experience and enriched the lives of others by opening to new family relations.”
PIAC mourns her passing and extends our condolences to her family and friends.