Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to one of the longest serving members of Parliament, Mr. Bob Wenman, who passed away peacefully at his home on June 13.
Robert Lloyd Wenman was born in Maidstone, Saskatchewan, on June 19, 1940 and would have been exactly 55 years old today. He had a distinguished academic career, attending the University of Saskatchewan as well as several prominent American schools. He trained as a teacher at Saskatoon Teachers College.
He first entered politics in 1966 at the age of 25 years. He was elected at that time to the British Columbia legislature. He was re-elected in 1969 and after a short time was also an alderman in Surrey, British Columbia.
He was elected for the first time to the House of Commons in 1974 and re-elected at every election afterward until he decided to retire from politics in August 1993.
During his time as a member of Parliament he held several posts, including parliamentary secretary to the minister of defence, and chaired the Standing Committee on Labour, Employment and Immigration.
Outside the House of Commons he gave generously of his time to many causes, the most significant of which was undoubtedly the United Nations.
Mr. Wenman was a member of this place who very early on became interested in environment issues, issues that related to the global population. He was interested in these issues at a time when it was not fashionable. I remember in the 1984 Parliament he was among a few members at the time who pursued some key issues related to the environment, one of them being, as I subsequently discovered in reading some notes following his passing away, South Moresby in British Columbia. That was an issue he pursued with the previous government, that of Mr. Clark.
He was also very interested in issues that affected global parliamentarians and chaired that group for some time.
He left his mark in a conference held in British Columbia called Globe '92. He chaired the UN global parliamentarians on habitat group. A consequence of the 1992 conference was the creation of the International Centre for Sustainable Cities, now located in the city of Vancouver.
He was also very interested, in his constituents and in the issues of his own area, among them Fort Langley, which I know something of because of previous responsibilities. I can assure the House that he certainly pursued the interests of Fort Langley with a great deal of vigour.
As friends and colleagues reflect upon his great contribution, which spanned 30 years of public life in Canada, and as we think back to the significance of that contribution, may I refer to someone you have just referred to, Mr. Speaker, your predeces-
sor, Speaker John Fraser. Upon learning of his passing away, Speaker Fraser said this: "Bob Wenman took his own direction, clearly from his own star".
As we look back on his life may we encourage many other Canadians to follow the star of Bob Wenman.
In closing, I want to extend our very deep regrets to his wife of 32 years, Donna, and his four children, Jill, Kiven, Ken and Kraig.