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Tuesday November 6, 2012

KAPLAN, Hon. Robert Phillip, P. C., Q. C., B.A., LL.B.;
It is with great sadness and regret that we announce the passing of our father Robert Phillip Kaplan. He was born in Toronto, Ont. 27 Dec. 1936 the first child of Solomon Charles and Pearl (Grafstein) Kaplan. He graduated from Forest Hill Collegiate Institute and University of Toronto with an honours B.A. in Sociology (University College) 1958. He then studied law at University of Toronto Law school LL.B. 1961. He was called to Bar of Ontario in 1963. Predeceased by his beloved wife of 47 years Estherelke, daughter of the late Joseph and Faye Tanenbaum. He will be forever remembered as a loving and inspiring father and larger than life Zaidy by his children: Jennifer Mia Chown (Philip), John David (Julie Lynn Baron), Raquel Katherine Shulman and his 12 beloved grand-chidren: Elisheva Lemel (Benzion) Chaya Sara Lichter (Zechariah), Yosef, David, Aharon Uziel, Michael, Chana Faige, Lucius, Betzalel, Sholom Tzvi, Bayla, and Moshe. A devoted brother to Michael Kaplan (Phyllis). As a student at University of Toronto he was a guide in the Canadian Pavillion at the World's Fair in Brussels in 1956. This position connected him at a young age to a love of languages, in particular French, as well as international affairs. He eventually spoke seven languages. Later he received a scholarship to go to the newly independent Republic of Ghana on a summer research trip. This program would change the direction of his life, it was led by a Professor from the University of Montreal, Mr. Pierre Elliot Trudeau. Although he practised law in Toronto at Davies, Ward and Beck for a short period he was inspired by his involvement in the leadership campaign for Trudeau to run for election. He was first elected to The House of Commons (Don Valley) in 1968 when he was 32 years old, at that time the youngest Member of Parliament. He was re-elected again in 1972 (York Centre) where he held his seat in successive national elections in 1974, 1979, 1980, 1984, 1988. Our father took tremendous pride in representing his constituents and his country. He was sworn to the Privy Council in 1980 as Solicitor General of Canada 1980-84. He was awarded the Legion of Honor medal from France after it adopted his Young Offenders Act. Amongst his many positions in government he was Parliamentary Secretary of Finance as well as Health and Welfare. He was past Chairman of the Joint Standing Committee on Scrutiny of Regulations; Past Chairman, House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance, Trade & Economic Affairs. He served with great pride for six months in three Canadian Delegations to the United Nations General Assembly in New York. This experience helped to develop a life long passion both for the UN and New York. After his decision not to seek re- election in 1993 he became extremely active in international business. Perhaps his greatest achievement was as a founder of Petro-Kazakhstan, Inc. were he served as a director for eight years. During a financial crisis in this company in 1998 he took over as Chairman of the Board. He served as director of several public companies including Advanced Explorations, Inc., European Goldfields, Afriore Ltd., Platexco Inc., H & R Real Estate Trust and Khan Resources. Dad was deeply involved in the community. Some of his roles included a Director of B'nai Brith, a founding Trustee of the State Hermitage Museum Foundation of Canada, one of five international foundations that support the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, Russia. President of the Alliance Française, a position to which he was very dedicated and led to his being honoured as a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour by the President of France. He was deeply loved and will be forever missed. Donations can be made to the Forest Hill Jewish Center, 446 Spadina Rd. Toronto, ON. M5P-3M2 (luci@fhjc.ca) 416-483-0883. The Funeral will be held at 2:30 pm on Tuesday, November 6 at Benjamin's Park Memorial Chapel, 2401 Steeles Ave West. All mourners will sit Shiva at 114 Caribou Road Tuesday through Friday November 6th - 9th from 3pm-6pm only and Sunday 9:30 am to 5pm.

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