Mr. Speaker, I rise today in heartfelt sorrow at the passing of a remarkable, courageous and inspiring individual, Madeline-Ann Aksich.
Madeline was a life force who left a profound impression on all who had the great privilege of knowing her. Businesswoman, internationalist, volunteer, painter, Madeline was at once strong, thoughtful, profoundly unselfish, compassionate, cultured, humble and sincerely grateful for the smallest kindnesses shown to her.
Moved by the plight of children in the former Yugoslavia, in 1992 Madeline created the International Children's Institute. Its mission: to help children in war-torn areas cope with the upheaval and violence in their lives. In 2002, Madeline was awarded the Order of Canada.
Madeline forever reached out to others and to life itself, even in the most difficult moments of her illness. Madeline was not only a wonderful friend and warm presence. She not only made a difference in the world. She taught us how to live. She showed us the way. We are all immeasurably better for having known her.