Mr. Speaker, 10 days ago, the Hon. Lloyd Francis died.
I have the honour, on behalf of the official opposition, to say a few words today in the memory of Lloyd Francis.
As has been said, his was a life of public service.
During the second world war, he joined the RCAF, where he served as a navigation instructor.
Post-war, he obtained a masters degree from the University of Toronto and a doctorate in labour economics from the University of Wisconsin.
After three years at the University of Buffalo, Lloyd and his first wife, Margery, returned to Ottawa to stay.
As a senior economist at Health and Welfare Canada, he contributed directly to the creation of the Canada pension plan. After that, he began his political career. After becoming president of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, an alderman and deputy mayor of Ottawa, he was elected Liberal member for Carleton in 1963 and won reelection in 1968, 1974 and 1980, that is to say every other election.
In his 15-plus years in this House, while always putting the interests of his constituents first, he was successively and successfully committee vice-chair, chair, deputy whip and whip of the Liberal Party, parliamentary secretary, Deputy Speaker and, finally, Speaker.
In 1984, Privy Councillor Francis became Canada's ambassador to Portugal, a position from which he retired to care for his ailing wife.
When Lloyd retired, he was active, both internationally as electoral observer and leader of delegations, and locally pursuing his hobby as a lapsmith.
Throughout his life, Lloyd was not one to stand on the sidelines and throw rocks. He got involved for the betterment of his fellow citizens and he never hesitated to give his frank opinion, quite often whether it was wanted or not. As for rocks, as we know, Lloyd did not throw them, he collected them.
Many referred to him as a maverick. I disagree. I worked with Lloyd in the early eighties and got to know him reasonably well, and better since.
Rather than being a maverick, Lloyd was an open book. Lloyd fought for his constituents and his city, period. There were no ulterior motives, no hidden agenda and no guile in him. What we got was the real thing, unsweetened and unfiltered; a sort of precursor to CPAC.
On behalf of all Liberal members and, I hope, all my colleagues in the House, I would like to tell his family what a big difference Lloyd Francis made to this place. He left a House that was better run, a deeply grateful civil service, a city that had expanded, a well represented country and a proud and loving family.
Only with time will Lloyd's exemplary life of public service be fully appreciated. Time will polish its many facets as he polished the facets of the treasures he found or created in his private and public life. We will remember him.