Mr. Speaker, it is also a great pleasure for me, a young member of parliament, to join my colleagues in paying tribute to Mr. Marleau.
He was perhaps one of the first people I met when I arrived here, completely confused and overwhelmed by the tasks that lay before me. Parliament and parliamentary procedure can sometimes be described as navigating an incredible labyrinth and untying a Gordian knot at the same time. Mr. Marleau was very quick to come forward and offer advice and calm support. He was always very deliberate and supportive any time I had the pleasure to meet with him or request assistance.
Mr. Marleau offered that help on a very non-partisan level, as has been alluded to. There was never a nod or a wink or any indication that any member of any party of the House, regardless of title or personal connection, received anything other than an impartial and straightforward word of advice.
Mr. Marleau has also distinguished himself as an author. He has made a very lasting contribution to this place through his writings. He and his co-author, Mr. Montpetit, have left with us a legacy that will serve this parliament and perhaps all parliaments in the land for many years to come. The House of Commons will no doubt miss his wisdom and his steady hand, but through his writings he will be with us for many years to come.
I would describe Mr. Marleau as the consummate impeccable, professional clerk. His approach as viewed from a distance was always very steadying in its influence on this place. Most would be quick to agree that sometimes this place borders on the raucous and out of control atmosphere we have come to accept. Through it all Mr. Marleau was there, very much at the wheel, very much guiding us through the important work done in this Chamber. The old adage that quiet, calm deliberation disentangles any knot comes to mind when I think of Mr. Marleau and his stewardship in the House of Commons.
For his years of public service to the House of Commons we are very thankful. As well, we must pay tribute to those who were with him at the table.
I do not want to mix the tributes, but it has been my distinct pleasure to have been in a parliament over which you have presided, Mr. Speaker. I have had the honour to work with Mr. Marleau. I hope it will serve me regardless of what happens in the days to come.
On a personal level, it has been my great honour to say that I know the man. I admire the diligence and patience he has shown with new House members, including me, and with the many others who have expressed an interest in our parliamentary procedure. I believe he went above and beyond his service and the strict professional definition of clerk when it came to inquiries from outside this parliamentary precinct. He was always there, and for that we can be very thankful.
I know his family is present. His family was always near, always close to him. I remember being in his office and hearing him speak with beaming pride of his sons. He also has great love for and admiration of his wife and her support. I wish Bob, his wife Ann, their two sons and their whole family many years of happy retirement. I certainly hope we will cross paths again.