Mr. Speaker, members of the House will not be entirely surprised, since I am a New Democrat, to learn that this is the first time I have ever publicly stood up to praise a senator, but I do so with a great deal of pleasure for my friend and former colleague for many years in the House and for his continuing work, I will add, as a senator in the other place.
It has been pointed out that Senator Gauthier has made a distinguished contribution to the battle for human rights in general, which he has, and I want to emphasize that. He is well known in particular for the struggle for minority francophone rights right across the country, as well as in the city of Ottawa, and in struggling for official bilingualism in the province of Ontario. He was an excellent worker for all of these causes.
Senator Gauthier is well known in our community. He served as honorary chair of the S.O.S. Montfort Legal Defence Fund in 1998. He is the recipient of such distinctions as the “Prix Boréal” from the Association canadienne-française de l’Ontario. Senator Gauthier also received the title of Grand-Croix de l’Ordre de la Pléiade in 1998.
He was, and will remain, I am sure, a terrific advocate for human rights. He has been dedicated to his community and his country. I join with all others here in the House in wishing him and his family a joyful and, indeed, an exuberant retirement.