BREAKING NEWS: Rafe Mair Dead At 85
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BREAKING NEWS: Rafe Mair Dead At 85
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Rafe Mair swapped his seat at the provincial cabinet table in Victoria for one in a radio studio in Vancouver. Only in British Columbia would that be a promotion.

The well-known broadcaster and author died Monday morning, his family said. He was 85.

Mair did not become a radio talk show host until age 49 in 1981, by which time the lawyer had served five years in the B.C. legislature and held four different cabinet portfolios, as well as responsibility for constitutional affairs.

He found a larger following and greater sway behind the microphone.

For more than 20 years, Mair invited a procession of politicians and others onto his radio hot seat, were he would he’d batter them with a trademark patter of tough questions delivered in a rapid, staccato style. His legal background made him adept at treating “guests” in an adversarial and inquisitorial manner.

His fans — and they were legion — cheered a kindred spirit whom they saw as a champion of common-sense concerns. His detractors heard an irascible, opinionated scold. (The columnist Hubert Beyer once described him as a “bombastic open-line host with slight leanings toward megalomania.”) It was hard to be neutral about Rafe.

“I am a prickly, hard-to-get-along-with bugger with an excess of pride and, I suppose, ego,” he acknowledged in his memoir.
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