NDP MP Jim Fulton, pictured in this undated photograph during the 34th Parliament in his Confederation Building office on the Hill, represented the far-flung Skeena, B.C., riding from 1979 to 1993, and was one of the most effective NDP MPs ever to sit in the House. The former probation officer was a star in Question Period and in media scrums. He was smart, funny, and knew what he was talking about, plus he believed in what he did. A big bulk of a man who stood at more than six feet tall, he was known as outrageously controversial and passionate about the environment and First Nations. He once slapped a dead salmon on then-prime minister Brian Mulroney’s desk during Question Period to attract attention to environmental issues, but as Peter O’Neil wrote in the Vancouver Sun in 2008, his “personal warmth and humour made him impossible to dislike.” Mr. Fulton served as his party’s environment critic from 1980 to 1993 and hired Hill staff who focused on nothing but the environment. “He was to federal politics and the environment movement what gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson, the gun-toting, drug-consuming chronicler of the Hells Angels, American decadence and Richard Nixon, was to American journalism in the 1960s and ’70s,” wrote O’Neil. After leaving politics, Fulton worked as executive director of the David Suzuki Foundation. He died of colon cancer in 2008 at the age of 58.
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