Mr. Speaker, I rise on behalf of the federal NDP caucus to pay tribute to Norm Fawcett, who died on January 26, 1997 at the age of 86.
As has been pointed out, he was federal NDP MP in the House starting in 1965 and served for three years. Norm spent his whole life, not just his time in the House, but an entire lifetime working on behalf of other people. Although his service in this House was brief, he had a lifetime of service to his community and to his country. He was very much a community based man. He started by helping his fellow workers with the railway unions in the 1950s. He was a conductor with CNR for over 30 years, retiring in 1975.
Although I never met Mr. Fawcett, I certainly sense in him, coming from Transcona, a railway town, a kindred soul and of course, given his origins in western Canada, my fellow New Democrats appreciate that as well, those of us who come from the west.
He was chairman of his union's grievance committee and served as the local union representative. Norm Fawcett served as chairman of the Capreol Association of Railway Running Trades and worked hard to represent the united front on behalf of union members from conditions imposed by CNR.
This power struggle resulted in a wildcat strike. As a result of the strike, he was one of two members appointed to appear at board of transport commission hearings to present the union's case.
Even during these tense times, Norm Fawcett was described as a man who spoke with quiet authority. He gave thought and heart to what he said and people listened.
As well as being a federal politician, Norm Fawcett served as a municipal councillor in 1962 and also deputy mayor. He was elected as mayor of Capreol in 1969 and served four years. He was again elected to council in 1976 and served seven out of nine years as councillor and deputy mayor, retiring in 1991. He also served on the Capreol hydro commission.
It was not enough, however, for Norm to be involved just in collective politics on behalf of his community of Capreol; he was also involved in sports projects such as the minor baseball league, economic development with the Capreol Community Credit Union and served as a represent with the Nickel district conservation authority. He was a life member of Masonic Order and a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Capreol Lions' Club.
Norm Fawcett is survived by his wife Elizabeth and his children Donna, Gaye, Penny, Pat, Ken and Heather. He was a grandfather to 20 grandchildren and great grandfather to 21 great grandchildren.
Norm Fawcett was a role model for many NDP activists. They were inspired by Norm's quiet and persuasive ways. They watched in awe as Norm fought CNR from closing the Coniston, Ontario railway station. His thoughtful manner won the day and the station remained open.
In 1972 Norm Fawcett did not run again in the federal election and passed the NDP mantle along to John Rodriguez who went on to represent Nickel Belt for many years.
His hard working and steadfast style also inspired his own family members. His son-in-law is former NDP MPP Elie Martel who represented the provincial riding of Sudbury East from 1967 to 1987. Elie was always proud of the fact that for one year, in 1967, he was the provincial NDP representative at the same time as his father-in-law was the federal representative.
Norm Fawcett's granddaughter, Shelley Martel, also followed in her grandfather's footsteps and was elected as the NDP MPP for Sudbury East in 1987 and remains the MPP today.
The NDP federal caucus offers its deepest condolences to the family.