House of Commons Hansard #128 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was workers.

Topics

Wage Earner Protection Program Act
Government Orders

1:30 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Is there unanimous consent?

Wage Earner Protection Program Act
Government Orders

1:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Wage Earner Protection Program Act
Government Orders

1:30 p.m.

Conservative

John Duncan Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, because he has indeed read my mind and I think the will of the House right now.

In a sense, we have just heard a farewell speech from our esteemed colleague from the Bloc. He is someone who has travelled widely and also has had many overlaps with other members over the 12 years he has been here. I have been here that same length of time. I also know that some of the newer members have a strikingly high opinion of all of their dealings with the member for Verchères—Les Patriotes.

I have some very vivid memories of the member, particularly from the trade portfolio when I held that portfolio as critic, and also from some international travel. They say that we do not really know someone until we travel with them and then we see them warts and all. Those of us who have been put on the same bus,on the same airplane or in the same routine, very often in a strange or foreign land for an extended period of time, get to know each other very well. I would say that the member for Verchères—Les Patriotes has indubitably passed all those tests.

The respect that the member carried had a personal impact on me. There was a point in time when there was a document produced by him which was sent to all members of Parliament. I read that document, which was a very lengthy document, and I could tell that he had poured his heart and soul into writing it. It was basically an analysis and a description of the expulsion of the Acadians. I know there is a personal family connection for the member and I knew that this was something he thought about for a long time. I complimented him on the quality and calibre of the writing. It certainly provided me with a point of view I highly respected, one that touched my heart. This is the kind of member of Parliament that we have been blessed with in this place for the last 12 years.

I feel compelled to wish my colleague good fortune in where he is going. I know that my colleague from Blackstrap beside me could not help but notice the passion that the member brought to the job and to his endeavours.

At this time, if the member for Verchères—Les Patriotes wishes to respond to my non-question, he would be more than welcome to do so.

Wage Earner Protection Program Act
Government Orders

1:35 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will be brief. I must say that it is starting to be somewhat embarrassing to have to reply to every compliment paid to me. I am deeply touched and moved by so much praise.

I am also touched by the generosity of the House, which has agreed to extend by 10 minutes the time for questions and comments to allow members who may wish to pay me tribute to do so. Those who will be speaking next may have something other than praise to say, who knows. That said, I thank my hon. colleagues for being so kind and graceful to me.

I would be remiss if I concluded these remarks without thanking my hon. colleague for what he said and telling him how much I too appreciated the opportunity of working together on the issue of international trade. He should know that it was a great pleasure for me to work with him on those occasions when, for instance, we went on trade missions outside Canada.

Wage Earner Protection Program Act
Government Orders

1:35 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, I too wish to add my voice to this chorus of praise, and at the same time reassure my colleague from Verchères—Les Patriotes that we have only praise for him.

Incidentally, as labour critic, I must tell him that I feel quite honoured by this diversion of the debate. We were debating