Mr. Speaker, Montreal has just lost one of its leading citizens, with the death at age 76 of Paul-Émile Robert, the "figurehead of the nationalist movement", as he was referred to in yesterday's Le Devoir .
I had the honour to know Paul-Émile Robert when he was president of the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Montréal in the early 1960s. I held the same position for Saint-Jérôme, so we had occasion to meet regularly.
In 1965, this ardent nationalist spearheaded the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Montréal's commitment in favour of Quebec sovereignty.
His militancy in defence of the French fact led him to create a foundation for the defence of francophones outside Quebec, the Fondation J.-Donat Langelier. He was also involved in the Montreal municipal scene, where he was a municipal councillor for close to 15 years.
I extend my most sincere personal condolences, as well as those of the Bloc Quebecois, to those who mourn the passing ofMr. Robert.