Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Reform Party I would like to join with other members of this House of Commons in paying tribute to a friend and certainly a leading Canadian, the Hon. Joe Ghiz.
Other speakers, certainly the Minister of Health, have already mentioned some of Mr. Ghiz's political aspects and aspects of his legal career. What I would like to do is just make a few personal comments in terms of my association with Mr. Ghiz on more than one occasion.
I had the opportunity work with Mr. Ghiz specifically during the Meech Lake negotiations in 1990. I found that in the formal and informal associations that we had and the conversations at that time I came to understand his political objectives, his concern for
Canada and certainly his own personal story which was often brought into a variety of situations and discussions at a time when we were negotiating the future of Canada.
I remember that one day after a lot of meetings and discussion, some of us were together to talk informally and sat together to unwind. In that conversation I remember Mr. Ghiz in an informal, interesting and entertaining way telling of his father's corner grocery store and how the son of a Lebanese immigrant could grow up, receive a law degree and become premier in this country of ours that he so lovingly and compassionately called Canada.
For Mr. Ghiz, Joe, Canada was a land of freedom and opportunity where everybody had a chance to achieve their own personal dreams just like he was able to during his short period of time on this earth.
I know many people, and in our personal conversations I found him to be a warm, considerate, down to earth person who genuinely cared about other people's families, their communities and certainly their personal concerns. In his own humble way he wanted to build a nation and find a place in that nation for Prince Edward Island.
Today we offer the sympathies and prayers of all of us in Canada to his wife and children at his home. He will be long remembered, and his contribution will be remembered specifically by those in Prince Edward Island, but all other Canadians who associated with him will never forget Mr. Joe Ghiz.