Madam Speaker, I rise on behalf of my leader, the member for Halifax, and the New Democratic Party caucus to pay tribute to Hugh Hanrahan, the former member of parliament for Edmonton—Strathcona. I was very saddened to learn that Hugh had passed away at such a young age, the age of 52.
We were both elected to the House of Commons in 1993. On occasion we had the opportunity to talk about certain issues and certain values that we shared. As a matter of fact we had the opportunity because we sat at the far end of the House of Commons where the Speaker could not keep track of us. We were able to share our common experiences.
Mr. Hanrahan was a teacher for 18 years in the Catholic school system in Edmonton. He taught social studies, economics and psychology. He was such a good teacher and such a fine gentleman. I could see why in his previous life before elected politics he was honoured with the teacher of the year award in 1987-88 by the Alberta Foundation for Economic Education.
Mr. Hanrahan not only loved Canada and Alberta, he loved Nova Scotia where he was born and educated. He often visited Nova Scotia and would talk about his visits there.
One of the things I wanted to raise with the House and his family is the fact that we would talk about why we came to the House of Commons. We also shared our various hopes and aspirations about Canada, in particular western Canada.
It is my view that Mr. Hanrahan sought elected office because he felt strongly about the good fiscal management that was necessary for our country. He was concerned about the problems of the national debt. He was also very concerned that we should be focusing our energies on building Canada as opposed to tearing it apart.
He was encouraged by young people to seek elected office. They energized him in his job throughout his duties and career as a member of parliament. He was somewhat discouraged and saddened by the fact that he could not seek elected office for a second term because of his illness. I shared his very serious thoughts in that regard.
On behalf of the New Democratic Party caucus and my leader, I wish to offer my very deepest sympathies to Mrs. Dianne Hanrahan, their daughter Margaret Ann, his brothers and other family members and friends.