Mr. Speaker, as many of us, I did not have the privilege of knowing Mr. Francis personally, a man who had a long and successful career here in Parliament. However, one thing struck me most of all when I looked at his bio to prepare this tribute, and it was the number of elections in which he took part throughout his career, some of which he won and some of which he lost.
It does not take a long experience in politics to know how much courage it takes to go through such a long, successful and sometimes disappointing political career. He did a wonderful job, or so I am told, in the various parliamentary roles he was called upon to assume, including that of chief whip for his party, which is not an easy job. Those who are here know that. He was even named Speaker of the House of Commons, a most important position in Parliament. When a Speaker of the House of Commons passes on, it is just fitting to reflect on his contribution to parliamentary debates and to the issues of justice and equity among all parliamentarians. The only comments we hear about Mr. Francis are that he was a good man and a fair man and someone who was reasonable in applying the rules of the House of Commons.
That is why, on behalf of my political party, I want to offer my most sincere condolences to Mr. Francis' family and tell them that his name will remain forever in our memories and in the political annals of Canada and of the Parliament of Canada.