Mr. Speaker, I rise today to thank and pay tribute to a distinguished Canadian, a man who has been regarded as the dean of the House of Commons. I am of course speaking about the Right Honourable Herb Gray.
On behalf of this parliament and this country, I want to thank him for his devotion to Canada and for his almost 40 years of service in this House.
We often disagreed. That is in the nature of democracy. But all of us recognize his skill, his dedication and the courage with which he fought for his convictions.
First elected in 1963, Mr. Gray won 13 elections during his political career. There is not a member of this House who does not know what a feat this represents.
Mr. Gray was effective in both government and opposition. He was at the steady centre of his party, in good times and in turbulence. He will be best remembered by this House for his role as Deputy Prime Minister. Day after day he parried questions from this side of the House with skill, humour and consistent obfuscation that earned him the nickname “the Gray fog”.
We salute the right honourable member. We wish him the best of success in his position as co-chairperson of the International Joint Commission.