Respected former federal cabinet minister and provincial civil servant Stephen Owen dies at 74
Politics can be incredibly partisan in B.C. But Stephen Owen was one of the few people who seemed to command universal respect, as both a top civil servant and a federal Liberal cabinet minister.
“He conducted himself in a way unlike many other politicians,” said former B.C. premier Ujjal Dosanjh. “He was always interested in finding solutions, rather than slinging mud. He genuinely believed in both the civil service and actively engaging in electoral politics, with the same degree of commitment to the well-being of the country or the province.”
Owen died Thursday at Point Grey private hospital in Vancouver. He was 74.
“He’s been ill with dementia for several years,” said his son, Taylor Owen. “It was just the final stages of dementia.”
Stephen Douglas Owen was born Sept. 8, 1948, in Vancouver. His family was quite prominent: His uncle Walter was B.C.’s lieutenant-governor in the 1970s, and his cousin, Philip Owen, was Vancouver’s mayor from 1993 to 2002.