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Results: 1 - 15 of 22
View Ed Fast Profile
View Ed Fast Profile
2019-06-20 12:05 [p.29467]
Mr. Speaker, my dear friend, our dear friend, Mark Warawa, died this morning. He passed away after a brief but valiant battle against cancer. He died peacefully, with his loving wife, Diane, by his side at Langley Hospice.
Members will know that Mark announced his retirement from politics in January of this year, well before his cancer diagnosis in April. He had planned, in his retirement, to continue a community service as chaplain to seniors, something that was very close to his heart. By the way, he was not going to be paid for that service; he was just going to contribute back to his community. Sadly, he did not live long enough to embark upon that new adventure.
On May 7, Mark found enough strength to deliver his farewell speech in this House, which was received with a standing ovation and many tears from his fellow MPs from every party in the House. On May 21, Mark made his last public appearance, waving from his car and greeting well-wishers at the Fort Langley May Day Parade.
For those who do not know, Mark began his public life as an Abbotsford city councillor, serving for 14 years under the tutelage of George Ferguson, Abbotsford's legendary and longest-serving mayor. Mark and I served on city council together. Along with former councillor Simon Gibson, we were called the three horsemen, because of our tendency to vote the same way on many issues. Mark and I thoroughly enjoyed our time on council, and we became lifelong friends, as did our wives, Annette and Diane.
Mark then moved to federal politics, winning the election as a Conservative candidate for the newly formed electoral district of Langley back in June 2004. He was re-elected five times, the last time in October 2015.
As MPs, we love to socialize together. What the public sees in this House is actually quite different from what happens outside of this House. We are all colleagues; we are all friends, and a lot of us socialize together.
On our side, there were five of us who called ourselves the MP5. We are all very interested in music and singing gospel music. As I mentioned in my earlier comments, the MP5 had the chance to sing at the National Arts Centre. That went okay, but members should know that of all our repertoire, there was one song that was Mark's favourite, and it began with the line, “I woke up this morning feeling fine.” This morning, Mark Warawa woke up feeling extra fine.
Mark loved this place and what this place represents, the heart of our democracy and the place where serious national issues are debated without fear of recrimination. He also loved his MP colleagues and respected the role we all play in defending a free and democratic society. Indeed, he loved to promote these values around the world. It was actually only a few months ago that Mark, as a Ukrainian Canadian, served as an official election monitor in the Ukrainian elections. Sadly, he had to return to Canada early because of his illness.
I know he was dearly loved by those who work in this House. In fact, if there was an award for the kindest MP in the House, I am guessing he would have won that award. However, if we had asked Mark what the most important thing in his life was, he would have said it was his deep and abiding faith in God's providence and hand on his life.
Mark embraced his journey with cancer as he did most things, with dignity and grace, with courage and hope, with an open heart and lots of prayer. He was a passionate Christ follower and loved Jesus with all his heart and soul. That is what he would have wanted us to have known and remembered him for.
Mark was a devoted husband to his wife of 46 years, Diane, and father to their five children: Jonathan, Ryan, Nathan, Eric and Kristen. He was a grandparent as well to 10 grandchildren. Together we grieve with all of them, but not as those without hope. Mark knew where he was going and what his final glorious destination would be.
To all of the Warawa family, we say thank you. You shared Mark with us for so many years. Thank you for his service to Canada and for his commitment to promoting the values that all of us hold so dear.
Mark will be missed, but I know he is rejoicing in the presence of his Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Mark, from all of us in the House, especially from your Conservative family, Godspeed, till we meet again.
View Todd Doherty Profile
View Todd Doherty Profile
2019-06-11 23:19 [p.28976]
Mr. Speaker, I am a new member in the House. While I have had the privilege over the last four years to get to know the member for Port Moody—Coquitlam, being from B.C., I have known him for a long period of time. This is a member who swam the Fraser going through my riding, not once but twice. The first time he was young enough that he had water wings on.
This gentleman walks the walk and talks the talk. I have come to know and respect him over the last four years, being on the fisheries committee. He truly believes what he speaks. His heart is in the right place. Although we come from different political stripes, I truly respect him and cherish the time with him. I am a better person, I know that.
I will never forget travelling with my hon. colleague. We get to know people in the House in a very partisan way, but we truly get to know our colleagues when we travel with them. That is when we truly become friends, because partisan politics are put aside. During the week I spent with my hon. colleague, I got to see first-hand his passion for protecting our oceans.
I also got to spend a day, traipsing around London. He gave me these words of wisdom by which I live: Happy wife, happy life. I will not go into the details, but he bought a gift for his wife that was far more generous than I would get away with, but that speaks volumes.
I think the world of this man. It is shameful he is speaking at 11:15 in the evening. Somebody of his calibre should be speaking earlier in the evening, when the House is packed. He deserves that. I want to thank him for making this a better place.
View Mark Warawa Profile
View Mark Warawa Profile
2019-05-07 15:12 [p.27485]
Mr. Speaker, it is my birthday.
[Members sang Happy Birthday]
Mr. Mark Warawa: Mr. Speaker, I was in the hospital recently for 15 days, and I had zero interest in politics, since I was in the hospital and possibly facing the end of my life. In just a few minutes here in Parliament, I am interested in politics again.
I am not running again; I announced that. However, I wanted to make a farewell speech. It is tradition in this House to be able to say goodbye and thank members of this House. I have surgery for colon cancer coming up on May 22, and my only opportunity to say goodbye is this week. I am here to give the House an update and thank members.
I was an election observer with a colleague, and I had to come back early because I was turning yellow. I was very jaundiced. I came back, went to the hospital after a few days, and doctors found that I had a pancreatic tumour. They then found that I had colon cancer, and that the pancreatic cancer, which is the same as what Steve Jobs had, had spread to my lungs. The prognosis from the doctors is not great. However, I have a strong faith in God; and the God, who created me can heal me.
I want to share a little about my life. Throughout my life, there have been some wonderful little God moments, nuggets and interventions of guidance.
People ask me why I became involved with politics in the first place. It started with a dream back in 1990. I had a dream that there was an upcoming municipal election and that I was elected. This was out of the blue; I had no interest in it.
Later that day, somebody came up to me and said that they had a dream about me. “Oh, really?” I asked. “What did you dream?” The person dreamed that I ran in the election and was elected. When those little nuggets happen, one has to listen. So often we get busy and do not. I put my name on the ballot and, surprise, I was elected. That was in 1990.
I served on the Abbotsford council with the wonderful, intelligent, good-looking member for Abbotsford. I served there for 14 years, and what an honour it was.
Then there was another God moment. I was with my beautiful wife, Diane, and we were going out for our anniversary. I said to her that one day, before I retired, I would love to get into managing or owning an auto body shop. I had just sold a business and everything, and she told me not to start a new business. I told her that I was just thinking out loud, because I loved cars and would like to do that. That happened on Saturday. On Monday morning, the phone rang and this fellow said that he was Gary down at the so-and-so avenue body shop. He said that he was looking to retire and asked if I would be interested in managing his auto body shop.
From that, I then went to ICBC, brought money into Langley and started fixing up things. I became known, and the next thing I knew, I was running for federal politics.
Again, there are these little voices, these little nuggets in our lives where we need to listen and follow God's leading. That is why I am here. I am just an average guy who has had an incredible honour serving with members and serving our community.
I want to thank God. I want to thank my family.
Diane and I were married in 1972, almost 47 years ago. She is my best friend. We have five kids and 10 grandkids. We are so blessed.
My passion has always been the environment, justice, family, seniors, children's issues and respecting life right from beginning to end.
Diane and I met at Trinity Western University. On the weekends, as I did not have a lot of money as a student, I would take her on a date to a seniors place, where we would play the guitar and sing. We just loved dealing with seniors. We did not have to be great singers for the seniors to like us.
We are so blessed with our kids and grandkids: Jon and Jen with Carrington and Rich; Ryan; Eric and Carolyn with Christian, Jonah, Jeremiah and Jakob; Nathan; and Kristen with Russel, Mya, Mark and Will.
I have always been involved with sports over the years, and I know the importance of teamwork. One cannot get anything accomplished as a lone wolf; we have to be part of a team. I understand the importance of this in politics as well, and I have this incredible team that I get to work with, my staff. I could not have accomplished anything without them: Annette, Kim, Jane, Liat, Monique, Megan and Rebeca.
As members all know, the best part of the job is being able to help people, and it has been such a blessing. We love our community, and it has been an incredible honour.
When I announced that I was not going to be running again, I felt that God was creating a new chapter of my life. I was preparing to be a chaplain giving pastoral care to seniors. I was doing this studying and reading, and, lo and behold, I got sick. I was reading all these case studies about whether to operate or whether to give palliative care, and I was honoured by our leader to be given the responsibility for palliative care. Then I found myself in the hospital, a surprise, and experiencing what it is like to face end of life. With all that reading and preparation, maybe it was not for me to administer to others but to prepare myself for this trial. I want to thank everyone so much.
When someone is first given the diagnosis that there are some serious problems, doctors are dealing with the physical person, but there is more than just the physical to us. There are the spiritual and the emotional sides, the psychosocial, but that was left unadministered to. While the doctors were looking at my physical condition, that was being ignored. This is tremendously important. Doctors give a diagnosis and look at how they are going to fix a patient, what kind of operation is needed or what chemo, but what about the person? What about the family and the distress? We need to encourage our medical system to make sure that they are providing a ministry for the rest of the person.
I was at the Vancouver General Hospital, which is an incredible hospital with incredible physicians and surgeons, but that need was left unmet.
I asked for palliative care. I was there for 15 days. Of the thousands of doctors, there are two palliative care physicians at VGH, and I never saw them. They came once while I was recovering and groggy and sleepy, so that need was unmet, unfortunately.
I have experienced first-hand the difficulty of accessing palliative care. We know from statistics that it is not available to 70% to 84% of Canadians, a tragic number. Our system is not designed to meet that need. We are trying to fix the body, but in some cases it is better not to do the heroic thing, not to remove the organs or use chemo and that sort of thing. Science has shown us that people can live longer and have a better quality of life, in some cases, if they are given palliative care, but those options were not provided to me. Why is that?
The system is broken and needs to be fixed. We passed Bill C-277. This Parliament is coming to an end, but I hope that the next Parliament will make a commitment to fix that and provide leadership in Canada, maybe through a university chair or something, so we can fix this situation. People are left in despair, emotions are raw and family support is not there, but they are not given the opportunity for palliative care. What is the only remaining option? If it is not surgery, it is maybe that they should consider MAID, medical assistance in dying. I was on the legislative committee when we discussed that proposal and passed it. We had to, because of the Carter decision.
We have a situation in Canada of basic needs not being met, and out of desperation people are saying that the easiest way is to end their life through an injection. They are saying that this would be the humane thing to do, but we cannot force people into that kind of a choice. We have to provide palliative care.
It has been such an incredible honour to work in this House. I was first elected federally in 2004, and 15 years went by just like that. It has been such an honour.
None of us are here by accident. I believe that strongly. I have a strong faith in God. If we are not here by accident, then what is the responsibility for each of us that goes along with that?
To whomsoever much has been given, from him much will be required.
Therefore, we have a responsibility to do what is right, to be truthful, to be people of integrity in making Canada better and working with one another when it is appropriate to do so.
I have not always done things right. I have a very mischievous nature, as chairs of different committees can attest, so I would like to apologize for some of the problems I created.
Death does come to each of us, and to some very early. We just said goodbye to a very dear friend. He had an aneurysm and he was gone. God has given me some time. I may be around for a long time or I may be around for a short time. We do not know.
This is the most important part: I want to encourage you all to love one another, to encourage each other, because God loves us. Pray for another. Pray about what is really important. Help one another. Seek God's will for you each day. Do what is right. Be honest.
We read in Galatians:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
It is all legal. It is all good.
Life is precious. Life is sacred. I have been reminded very freshly of how valuable and precious life is, from beginning to end.
God bless you. I love you all. I will look forward to being able to serve. Until October, it will likely be out of my constituency office, but to God be the glory.
View Ed Fast Profile
View Ed Fast Profile
2019-05-07 15:35 [p.27487]
Mr. Speaker, you will pardon if I find this very difficult to get through. I ask for just one very special dispensation, that I be permitted to use the member's real name so that Canadians across the country know whom we are speaking of. He is not only the member for Langley—Aldergrove. I see you nodding. Thank you.
We are speaking of Mark Warawa, our dear friend Mark, and it is his 69th birthday today. Thanks, colleagues, for singing Happy Birthday. I know he very much appreciated that.
Of all the members in the House, I probably have known Mark longer than anyone, because we have both spent a lot of time in the beautiful city of Abbotsford. I first came to know Mark when he was the proprietor of Warawa's vacuum shop in downtown Abbotsford, and it was renowned because it had the big mechanical gorilla outside. That gorilla would scare all the kids when they walked by, but he sold a lot of vacuums because of that gorilla.
Later on, he and I participated in provincial politics. We worked hard to get him elected provincially. Thank goodness that did not work out, because he ended up in this august chamber. He went on to serve on a city council, and I followed him a few years later. We had such wonderful time serving our community as fellow brothers working hard to grow a community that was prosperous and compassionate. I remember there were three of us on council who were often referred to as the three horsemen. We did not know if they were referring to an apocalypse or not, but that was what they called us.
Then Mark was elected to this august chamber in 2004. Two years later, I followed him, so for the last 14 to 16 years, he and I have been able to serve our communities together here, crafting policy for our country, making sure we continue to be prosperous, kind, gracious, loving and outward-looking.
I know that Mark has an incredible heart for this country. He has an incredible heart for his family as well. He is a man of deep faith. I have known that because he and I are brothers in arms. He has a deep faith in Jesus Christ, and we got to live out that faith even here on Parliament Hill when he, Chuck Strahl, Randy Kamp, the member for Battle River—Crowfoot and I were part of something called the MP5. Five of us sang together, mostly gospel music. I was the guy who did not have the voice, so I played keyboard, but they sang their hearts out, and the pinnacle of that was when we sang at the National Arts Centre. We were a walk-on. We had a cameo appearance at the National Arts Centre, the five of us, of which we were quite proud.
He has been a friend to all of us, but I know he has been a best friend to Diane, his wife, who is in the gallery. He is retiring, so Diane will now have him back full time, and I know she will really appreciate that.
Let me close with a couple of poignant comments. Mark, we know that you have a deep and abiding faith in Jesus Christ that has driven your life. You have a deep confidence in the providence of God, that he knows best for your life even as you walk through this very dark path. We are praying for healing for you, Mark.
Mark, I think I speak for all of us in this House when I say you will be sorely missed. You are leaving an incredible legacy behind. That legacy includes kindness. You have been kind to the opposition members in this House over the years. You have understood the role that we play here as representatives of the Canadian people. You just understood that, more so than most of us, probably.
Our thoughts and prayers are going to be with you as you face this challenge head-on. We are praying for healing. I know the thoughts and prayers of every single member of this House are going to be with you in the coming weeks and months. We wish you the very best, Mark, as you embark upon this new journey, this new season of life.
I just want to say we all love you. God bless you.
View Mark Warawa Profile
View Mark Warawa Profile
2019-05-07 15:41 [p.27488]
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Abbotsford. I truly did enjoy working with him, both in the local and in the federal government. I went on a trip with him in the last Parliament—we went on a trade mission—and I was worried because he worked so hard. He pushed himself and did such an incredible job for this country as the trade minister. I want to thank him for all his efforts. However, I also want to encourage him to take care of himself.
We sometimes in this place ignore the importance of taking care of our body. Sometimes our families are not given the time. It is a priority. You do not realize this at times until you find yourself in a hospital room. The priorities of what is important in life suddenly became very real to me when I was in the hospital. I encourage each of us to make sure we are taking time to take care of ourselves and spend time with our families, because when you are gone, you are gone and it is over, so make sure that is a priority in your life.
The comments and all the compliments have been so kind. To God be the glory. If you see any good in me, hopefully you are seeing Jesus.
View Bruce Stanton Profile
View Bruce Stanton Profile
2019-05-07 15:51 [p.27489]
I thank all hon. members for their interventions. It has been a real privilege to be here today and a real privilege to serve with the hon. member for Langley—Aldergrove.
View Lisa Raitt Profile
View Lisa Raitt Profile
2019-02-06 15:43 [p.25335]
Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the official opposition, I want to extend my best wishes to the member for Kings—Hants as he leaves public life. In truth, I could go on for a while, but I am mindful of the time.
As many know, as was mentioned today, the hon. member is father to two beautiful girls, Claire and Rose, and although I understand they are very good readers right now, when they are old enough to read Hansard, this is what I want them to know about their father. I wish it were funnier.
First, Claire and Rose should know their dad loved his country, his region, his province and his constituency. He represented his constituents so well that for 22 years they trusted him to be their voice. They supported him through two parties, two leadership bids and countless lessons in French immersion, I am sure. However, he could not do it alone. He was loved and supported by his husband Max St-Pierre, who Claire and Rose know as “Papa”, an incredibly supportive person in the member's life.
Second, Claire and Rose should know that their dad was a great parliamentarian. Indeed, their dad was built to serve. It has been reported on good authority that, at 12 years of age in elementary school, he gave a speech to the local 4-H club that quoted, as inspirational talks invariably do, the likes of Mark Twain and Will Rogers. This is what he said, “Iron rusts from disuse. Stagnant water loses its purity. And inaction saps the vigour of the mind.” He was 12, by the way. “To be successful one must be ready for hard work, must have integrity and must have a good attitude. If you have the will to win, you've achieved half your success. If you don't have the will to win, you've achieved half your future.”
Hon. Scott Brison: “Failure.”
Hon. Lisa Raitt: I stand corrected, Mr. Speaker. I appreciate the point of order. We will fix that in the blues.
Indeed, in this place, the member was successful because he was ready for hard work. He had integrity and had a very good attitude, which was well displayed through his frequent interjections in question period and cute little asides in the halls as we passed one another. Saying that he was ready for hard work, integrity and good attitude is great advice for anyone who is entering public life.
Third, Claire and Rose should know that their dad was proud to be a politician. The member for Kings—Hants delivered a tribute to our former colleague, another great politician, Jim Flaherty. He quoted a portion of a speech by Theodore Roosevelt and stated:
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
On that morning when we honoured Jim Flaherty, those were words that many of us took to heart and were grateful for.
When asked why he used that quote, the member for Kings—Hants said:
It embodies a respect for those who roll up their sleeves and enter public service with the best intentions and public interests. If you’re going to enter public life and give it your all, you’re going to be in the arena described by Roosevelt. You could say “in the arena” doesn’t necessarily apply to every politician. There may be people who get elected and who don’t necessarily push as hard or go as far as they could. Who get comfortable.
I am sure many of us would agree that the member for Kings—Hants was not one of those persons.
At the end of the day, when he talked about the role and responsibility of being a politician, he put it very clearly and frankly when he said:
...we spend far too much time in politics debasing that which we do and who we are. It annoys me the degree to which some politicians go to say, “I’m not a politician”.... I am a politician. That’s what I do. And anyone who puts their name on a ballot becomes a politician. And it should be something that we ourselves honour and we encourage others to honour.
Finally, Claire and Rose should know that leaving this place is not easy, and he made the conscious decision to be more present in their lives. He said, “I’ve gone at this 120 per cent for almost 22 years, working evenings and weekends and putting my job first”.
I will miss the wit and humour of the member for Kings—Hants, but I respect and admire—and maybe am a little bit envious of—his decision to be with his family, and I wish him very well.
View Pat Kelly Profile
View Pat Kelly Profile
2019-02-04 15:14 [p.25209]
Mr. Speaker, I too join the President of the Treasury Board and rise to pay tribute to an extraordinary public servant who dedicated his entire professional working life to making Canada a better place. I offer my deepest condolences on the passing of Auditor General Michael Ferguson, who succumbed to cancer and passed away this past Saturday surrounded by his family.
Michael Ferguson had a distinguished career, serving the Province of New Brunswick in several senior roles prior to being appointed Auditor General of Canada in 2011 by then prime minister Stephen Harper. Michael Ferguson quickly established his reputation for tough, thorough audits. Over successive governments, he never shied away from bringing the failures of government departments and agencies to Parliament's attention.
When Michael Ferguson appeared as a witness at a committee meeting, Canadians knew that a very bright light was about to be shone into the corners of their government and that accountability would be demanded. He made no attempt to sugar-coat the facts. His reports and committee testimony were delivered without passion or rhetoric. The strong terms he used to describe failures of government were always presented factually, and he was never afraid to be exact and precise regardless of the topic or possible consequences for the government of the day. He leaves a legacy of forcing governments, and indeed all public servants, to constantly improve in order to serve Canadians.
He will be missed by the thousands of public servants from across Canada who want to deliver the best service that they can to Canadians. He will be missed by the dedicated staff at the Office of the Auditor General. He will be missed by all parliamentarians, and in particular by my colleagues from the Standing Committee on Public Accounts. He will be missed by all Canadians who demand accountability from their government.
To his wife and sons, I extend my deepest sympathies. On behalf of the Conservative opposition, our condolences, thoughts and prayers are with them.
View Lisa Raitt Profile
View Lisa Raitt Profile
2018-06-14 15:21 [p.20954]
Mr. Speaker, today I am so pleased to rise on behalf of the Conservative caucus to bid farewell to a colleague who has served the Canadian people in the House for over a decade, the hon. member for Outremont.
It is a privilege and an honour, but also an immense responsibility, to be elected here to the House. He has served his constituents and supporters across the country with dignity and respect, and we thank him for that.
While he has served here in the House of Commons, he has also served as Quebec's minister of sustainable development, environment and parks. On the federal level, he has served as the NDP House leader, Quebec lieutenant, and, finally, leader of the official opposition in the House of Commons.
However, his most lasting contribution, the moment at which he truly changed this Parliament for future generations, is when he had the courage to stand for what he believed in, speak truth to power, do politics differently, and refuse to shave, ever.
Dare I say that not since Abraham Lincoln have such wonderful whiskers become so entwined with a political personality. Legend has it that the moment he became the leader of Canada's New Democrats, Gillette's stock took a tumble.
Look how far we have come. We can see his legacy even in the room today, with the member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie and the member for Honoré-Mercier, and I wish I had a nickel for every time I have caught the member for Chilliwack—Hope looking longingly at the full growth on the member's face.
Of course, the member is much more than a political trendsetter. While the member proved how skilled he was in the House of Commons, mainly at the expense of my former government, that is not my lasting memory. I will always remember the member for two things: his humour and his humanity. I say humour, because who else would dress up as an Angry Bird on Halloween? His appearances at the press gallery dinner were the best. As well, we knew he had that quick smile and the Irish twinkle.
I do remember one time when I wish I had been able to warn the member about something. He once appeared in a ball pit with presenter Mark Critch on This Hour Has 22 Minutes. Having cleaned ball pits for 17 years, I should have told him before then never to go into a ball pit. Parents in the House of Commons understand what I am talking about.
On the humanity side, in the 10 years I have been in the House with the member, we have shared grief, losing both Jack Layton and our dear friend Jim Flaherty.
I can also say that my first encounter with the member showed humanity as well. There was a story in the National Post about our humble beginnings. Indeed, the member started his first job at 14, working nine-hour days in a textile factory in Montreal. He approached me after the story appeared, because it had noted that I, as well, started at 14, working in a Dairy Queen for very long hours.
It made me have an instant connection with the member, and it reminds me that even though we had differences of opinion, and even though he called for my resignation many times, we do share many common bonds.
Throughout his career, he has had the support of his loving wife, Catherine, and of his sons, Matt and Greg.
Catherine has always been incredibly warm and kind to me. When we meet, either in airports or at events, we always share some words, which are always nicer than the words I share with her husband. For her kindness and generosity, and making new friends across the aisle, I will always be grateful. It is an absolute honour and pleasure to have made her acquaintance.
Catherine and his family will stay by his side as he leaves politics and joins the academic world. It is an exciting new chapter, and I am sure his future students will appreciate his humour, his humanity, and the wealth of knowledge and experience he will bring to the classroom.
On behalf of my Conservative colleagues, I wish the hon. member every success in his new career and the best of luck to him and his family.
View Bruce Stanton Profile
View Bruce Stanton Profile
2018-06-15 8:50 [p.21103]
That is an excellent point of order, or statement actually. It is well-deserved. Thank you on behalf of all the pages, officials, clerks, and Journals staff. A big team keeps the House running.
View Andrew Scheer Profile
View Andrew Scheer Profile
2018-05-02 14:04 [p.19033]
Mr. Speaker, today the official opposition, the Conservative caucus, and indeed the whole House are in mourning. I am truly saddened to inform the House of the sudden passing of our dear friend and colleague, the member for Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, Gord Brown, earlier this morning.
Before I begin, I want to convey our appreciation to the members of the Parliamentary Protective Service, who were the first on the scene and went above and beyond, doing everything they could to try to save Gord's life this morning. Mr. Speaker, please give them our most sincere thanks for all their efforts to save our friend.
To say that we are all shocked and saddened by his sudden passing would be an understatement.
We are all heartbroken at this unexpected loss.
While this is a loss most deeply felt by those of us on this side of the House who worked, campaigned, and fought alongside him for years, I know that Gord always held the respect of all members in the House, and his loss will be felt by everyone who had the honour of sitting with him, working with him, or debating with him here.
Gord and I were elected at the same time. We are the class of 2004, but like so many of us, his involvement in politics began far earlier, as a student and as a teenager. He was the quintessential happy warrior, starting out as a volunteer for our party, and a grassroots Conservative through and through. He was involved in so many aspects of the party, going back literally decades. He got his start in the youth association of the PC Party. He worked on leadership campaigns, at the municipal level, and at the provincial level as well.
Everyone in Conservative politics in Ontario knew Gord Brown and respected him. He was a dedicated representative for his constituents in Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes. Gord earned their trust again and again through consecutive elections.
In this Parliament, he held the role of chief opposition whip, an important responsibility in the early days of this Parliament. He was an eternal optimist who was always quick with a compliment or a supportive word. He was whip of our caucus right away after the last election, and I had the honour of serving with him as House leader.
As some may know, the House leader and the whip share the same suite of offices up on the fourth floor. I remember the day his staff bought him a bullwhip to commemorate his appointment to that position. He got such a kick out of that. I remember for the first few days of that session, I could often hear the crack of that bullwhip, and I was always worried he was going to hurt himself.
While he was whip, he made it a priority to get to know every member of our team, not just as a colleague but as a person too, because he recognized that the challenges this life can place on members can be very difficult, and he wanted to make sure that our caucus supported each other, not just on a professional level but on a human level as well.
He carried out that very difficult role with his characteristic professionalism and used his political know-how to get things done.
Much will be said about Gord's contributions to his community as a councillor, a member of the chamber of commerce, and so much more.
Today we are thinking about his family, about his wife, Claudine, and his two sons, Tristan and Chance. We grieve with them.
Last week we had an event that we really wanted Gord to be at. He turned down the initial invitation, so I asked my office to follow up to make sure that he knew how important it was that he be there. He called back and said, “Listen, I can't go. I made a commitment to the only person more important to me than this team.” That was Claudine. He had made arrangements to have a date night with his wife and was not going to break that for anyone. We are glad he kept it.
View Andrew Scheer Profile
Many in this House have served with him in many different capacities and on several different committees over the past 15 years. However, those who got to know him the most probably did so on the ice. He was the captain of our Conservative hockey team. Mr. Speaker, I know you even had the pleasure of playing with him. He had as much passion for that as he did for his professional work, because it really gave him an opportunity to get to know his colleagues on a more personal level and just enjoy some time together outside of the precinct.
I do not have the words to properly express how terribly this has struck our entire Conservative family.
I want to thank members of every party, and the people who have served with us in past Parliaments, for all the well wishes we have received.
Today, our thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones during this difficult time.
Gord brought his tremendous passion to everything he did. Most recently, he did tremendous work fighting for those who suffered from thalidomide in their life. He approached that file with sincerity, knowing there was a real human cost to the people afflicted. He was moved by their suffering, and he was moved to do something about it. It was inspiring for every member of our team to see him really throw himself into that project.
We know not the time or the place. We trust in God's limitless mercy and everlasting love. We trust that his memory will be a blessing to all of us here. May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, rest in peace.
View Andrew Scheer Profile
View Andrew Scheer Profile
2018-04-16 15:24 [p.18320]
Mr. Speaker, last week, a group of people gathered to mark a loss of life of near-unprecedented magnitude in Canada. These people gathered in the cold just before the start of the NHL playoffs, an event that most Canadian families usually do not want to miss.
They brought hockey sticks, not to play with this time, but to hold quietly and say a prayer. This did not happen in Humboldt, Saskatchewan, or even in the town next door. It was more than 5,000 kilometres away, in the community of Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador. From the heart of our beautiful Canadian prairies to the outermost limits of our nation at the edge of the continent, the tragedy that took 16 lives and shattered hundreds more has connected us all in a way we never expected.
Anyone who drives Canada's highways knows the vastness of our country. The feverish pitch of activity in many countries contrasts with Canada's highways and rural roads, the farm fields, small villages, and remote communities.
I am proud to live in the great province of Saskatchewan. We have hundreds of small communities, all spread out. It has always struck me how, despite the hundreds and hundreds of small towns over a space larger than most European countries, people always seem to know someone from one of those towns, no matter where they live. A friend could mention that he is from Hanley, and everyone will know where that is. I once asked a friend of mine how he always seemed to know where so many of these small towns are. They surely could not have taught every town and village in geography class in Saskatchewan. “It's simple,” he said. “I played hockey. I've probably been to more than half of them.”
It is always a tragedy to lose a loved one. Far too many Canadians lose their lives on our roads and highways every year, but to have lost so many young people, all taken at once, has sent shockwaves through our entire province and our country.
We may be spread out all over to the four corners of our province, but there are many things that connect us together. There are so many reasons why we always seem to know somebody from every corner of Saskatchewan. There are not too many degrees of separation. It is almost like the whole province is one big small town. Everybody feels connected. People support each other, whether they are from Meadow Lake, Nipawin, Estevan, Fort Qu'Appelle, or Humboldt. We care about the people from our province. We cheer them on. We rally together, and we do it with pride.
Hockey has been one of those great unifiers that pull communities together. With that community spirit, sport is one of the greatest unifiers of all. On game night, everyone heads down to the arena for the match. Getting a rink burger is even considered a romantic date. It is where one hears all the town news, gets all the good gossip, and finds out the big events for the weekend. There are friendly rivalries, memories of legendary games and players, and the fall fundraiser to pay for new boards or new stands.
For the kids who play on these teams, these will be some of the best days of their lives. They develop friendships on the ice and on the bus that become lifelong bonds. Laughing in hotel rooms and holding up championship trophies, they learn to depend on each other and to trust each other. They tap their goalie on the helmet and say something nice, even after he lets in a goal. They learn the valuable lessons of sportsmanship: how to win, how to lose, how to communicate, and how to listen. They learn that hard work pays off. Best of all, they learn what it means to be a teammate.
So many young boys and girls have ridden the bus down those long stretches of highways, in good weather and bad. So many parents have followed along. So many families have opened their doors to billet young kids playing out their dreams. That is why this tragedy has shaken us all so much.
However, in times of crisis, in times of tragedy, a Canadian in Humboldt, Saskatchewan becomes the neighbour of a Canadian in Newfoundland, British Columbia, or the territories. For days, Canadians have been leaving hockey sticks outside their front doors in a show of mourning for the lives lost in the Humboldt Broncos family. In our hockey-obsessed country, a stick left against a garage door or on a front porch is as normal a sight as the school bus pulling up to the curb in the morning, as comforting as mom calling the kids in for dinner. Last week, those sticks became a symbol of a nation coming together to grieve and to support the families and friends of the Humboldt Broncos.
We simply cannot imagine what the family and friends of the 16 people who lost their lives in this terrible accident are going through. It is a tragedy that defies understanding. It is a moment in time that brought our country to a standstill and from which we are just now starting to recover.
From a small town in Saskatchewan has flowed a river of grief, one that has washed over thousands of families across the country. Everybody back home knew somebody touched by this tragedy: their doctor's cousin, their sister's co-worker, their son's neighbour.
To the community of Humboldt and to the towns across Canada from which the victims came just to play the game they love, we say we grieve with them and we will remember them. No matter where they live, no matter how quiet the nights seem, no matter how small the town feels, we are all their neighbours now.
To those still recovering in hospital, we are thinking of you and sending our prayers for strength for the challenges that lay ahead. That powerful photo of Derek, Graysen, and Nick holding hands in the hospital has become a powerful image. As Premier Scott Moe said, “Saskatchewan, these are our boys.”
The entire country will be there to help support the victims and their families and to keep the game going and win the next one for the Broncos. For those we lost, Dayna, Parker, Darcy, Brodie, Logan, Jaxon, Adam, Mark, Tyler, Stephen, Logan, Conner, Glen, Evan, Jacob, and Logan, may God rest their souls. For them, we will keep the stands full, we will keep the rink lights on, and we will keep the sticks by the door.
View Scott Reid Profile
View Scott Reid Profile
2017-09-19 15:39 [p.13242]
Mr. Speaker, on numerous occasions since learning of Arnold's passing, I thought of what the best way of summarizing him in his role as a parliamentarian would be. In some ways it is not that he stood out as being different from the rest of us, but rather that he best exemplified that which is, or ought to be, what we can bring forward in this place. In many ways he was the personification of what ought to be the best in us, regardless of our partisan stripe, notably his remarkable ability to be non-partisan in a very partisan place.
The other day the Prime Minister said that he respectfully disagreed with Arnold's assessment that he was not going to make a lasting contribution. The Prime Minister was right, of course, but I have to say that Arnold was right in the sense that he had the potential—he was a young man—to make a difference in this country had he lived longer, had he had the chance to live out a full career lasting decades, to have transformed this place in a way that unfortunately is not possible. We have all been robbed of that.
I feel a little envious that the hon. member knew Arnold for as long as he did, and the rest of us did not get the chance to develop that same friendship. I feel we have all been robbed by the fact that we will not, in the future, have the chance to develop and learn from this extraordinary man.
View Andrew Scheer Profile
View Andrew Scheer Profile
2017-09-18 15:21 [p.13149]
Mr. Speaker, today I wish to join the Prime Minister and all members of the House in paying tribute to Arnold Chan, a colleague who has sadly been taken from us, and from this institution he loved so much, far too soon.
Our colleague from Scarborough—Agincourt won the admiration of his colleagues, voters in his riding, and all those who knew him.
Members of our House, on all sides, came to respect his experience, his knowledge, his passion, and his collegiality. His devoted service on behalf of his constituents won him the support of the people of Scarborough—Agincourt, and today we know he will be missed greatly by those he represented so well in the House.
Most of all, his quiet courage and dignity in his struggle with cancer and his call to us when he was last here with us before the summer should give inspiration to members and all Canadians who have joined public life in our country.
This is a House where Canadians of many political persuasions come to speak on behalf of the people who elected them, bringing different principles, different values, and different policies to the debate. We enjoy these passionate debates, certainly some of us a bit too much at times.
We must never forget what brings us together in this House and in our political life: our common decency and our humanity.
I thought, in his remarks on June 12, that Arnold perfectly expressed that sense. He said:
It is the basic common civility we share with each other that is fundamental. It is thanking our Tim Hortons server. It is giving way to someone on the road. It is saying thanks. It is the small things we collectively do, from my perspective, that make a great society, and to me, that is ultimately what it means to be a Canadian. We are so privileged to live in this country, because we have these small acts of common decency and civility that make us what we are. I would ask members to carry on that tradition, because that is the foundation of what makes Canada great.
This is the sense of collegiality and generosity in disagreement that Canadians always wish to see more of from their representatives. I am determined to do my part to bring more warmth, more positivity and civility to this place.
That is the best way to pay tribute to the life and legacy of our colleague Arnold Chan.
On behalf of the official opposition, I would like to offer our most sincere condolences to Mr. Chan's wife Jean, his three sons Nathaniel, Ethan, and Theodore, and to all of his many friends, family, and supporters.
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