Mr. Speaker, I rise today on behalf of my colleague, the hon. member for Sherbrooke, and the Progressive Conservative Party to pay tribute to the late Joe Ghiz.
We wish to extend our heartfelt condolences to Mr. Ghiz's wife Rose Ellen, his mother Marguerite and his children Robert and Joanne.
The nation shares in their grief. Canadians strongly admired Mr. Ghiz's commitment to the people of Prince Edward Island and the people of Canada. Canada has lost one of our strongest defenders.
Mr. Ghiz became leader of the official opposition in 1982 and premier from 1986 to 1993. Following his departure from public politics, he was appointed as a provincial supreme court judge.
He will be remembered in Prince Edward Island as the man who signed the deal that built a bridge from the island to the mainland. It was one of Mr. Ghiz's dreams but he built many bridges in our Canada of today.
Across Canada he will be remembered for his tireless support of the Meech Lake and Charlottetown accords and his support of a united Canada. The failure of both accords was a severe blow to him. Yet despite these setbacks he was always viewed by islanders and Canadians from coast to coast as a winner.
It is always tragic when someone leaves us so young. This country has lost a great Canadian too soon.
Members of the Progressive Conservative Party extend their prayers to the family of Joe Ghiz. He was a great man and he will be greatly missed.