Mr. Speaker, on October 20, 1904, Tommy Douglas entered the world and set about changing it.
Today marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Tommy Douglas, and I am honoured to salute his memory.
As the first premier in our party's history, he brought public medicare to the people of Saskatchewan. As the first leader of the NDP and an MP in the House, he helped expand that victory to all Canadians in a minority Parliament that worked.
Tommy Douglas modernized Saskatchewan with roads, water, telecommunications and electricity. He humanized Canada with his passion and ideas.
Fourteen years before John Diefenbaker, Tommy Douglas passed a bill of rights.
His commitment to these rights led him to take a stand against the War Measures Act, a brave step that inspired me to join this party.
A smiling bust of him sits in my office, reminding me that this place can make life better for people.
On behalf of a grateful nation, we remain awed by Tommy's courage and touched by his compassion. Let us be guided by his words, “Courage, my friends, 'tis never too late to make a better world”.