Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my constituents of Don Valley East, I rise in this House to pay tribute to the extraordinary life of Pope John Paul II.
The Pope reached out and touched the lives of millions of people, not only as the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church for 26 years but as a simple human being who lived through remarkable times. In his youth, the Pope challenged Nazi fascism during the occupation of his beloved homeland of Poland, and later he played a key role in the fall of communism in that country with his support for the Solidarity movement.
In Toronto the Pope inspired the ecumenical work of the Scarborough Mission to reach out to people of all faiths and cultures. As one of those involved in the ecumenical work of the mission, I can attest to the fact that these efforts of the Pope have been quite successful locally.
I am certain that all members of the House, along with all Canadians, wish to extend our condolences to the Vatican, to Catholics and to people all over the world.