Mr. Speaker, it was with great sorrow that I learned yesterday of the passing of a friend, Robert Beale, a Canadian of unparalleled dynamism and generosity.
Thirty years ago, with the support of Jean Béliveau and others, Bob started sports cultural exchanges programs, under which hockey tournaments brought young people from all corners of Canada and their parents together to participate in the tournaments and created long-lasting bonds among them.
I have known few Canadians and few friends as big hearted as Bob Beale and none as committed to helping others. His programs of sports cultural exchanges have brought together over the last 30 years many thousands of young Canadians and their parents from all regions of the country. The programs have created lasting bonds.
Bob was a tireless and selfless individual deeply convinced, in his own words, that “adults through the history of many nations have learned the ways to overcome racism, prejudice and discrimination through the eyes and hearts of children”.
With great sorrow I mourn the passing of this special Canadian and extend to his wife, Alice, and his family all my friendship and sympathy.