Mr. Speaker, we
are gathered here today to honour the memory of one of our colleagues, Mr. André Caron. On behalf of the Government of Canada, I speak for all of the members of the government in offering our most sincere condolences to Mrs. Marie Lévesque-Caron and her two sons, Jean-François and Louis-Philippe.
The House will remember André Caron, elected to this House by a region of Quebec that is proud of its roots and origins as a building force in this country. There have been Bouchards and there have been Tremblays, but there has been only one André Caron, a man of the people, a man close to his people, as all elected members must be when representing a riding.
Unfortunately, I did not have the pleasure of seeing André often in settings other than the House of Commons. Divergent political leanings make those of us who are parliamentarians often philosophically distant from each other because of our political choices, but we share a common goal: the interests of our constituents, our fellow citizens, the population as a whole. His straightforwardness and courage earned him the respect of all us parliamentarians engaged in the federal political arena.
On the personal level, all those coming in contact with him will attest to his profound moral values. He acknowledged only God as his master. This candid and frank man will leave a great gap in all the lives of all those around him.
André's political career was too short to do more than hint at his profound and intense dedication to the causes he espoused throughout his career.
He was particularly committed to our young people and to his faith.
Many young people came to know André as one of those devoted souls who gives without reserve, but others will unfortunately not come to know him, for his Father has called him away.
I would like to repeat, in closing, the words used by Mgr. Jean-Guy Couture in André Caron's funeral eulogy: "Even if he is called away before his time, the just man will find his rest- Wisdom surpasses grey hairs-A spotless life is the equal of a long one".
All of us will mourn the passing of the parliamentarian but, most of all, we will mourn the passing of a man with a mission, part of it accomplished and part of it yet to be accomplished, the ambassador and diplomat from Jonquière.