Mr. Speaker, thank you for allowing me to respond to my colleague from the Bloc Québécois.
As a parish priest I would often visit homes where seniors lived in the basement in abject poverty. These people experienced a great deal of insecurity. They were unable to pay for electricity or cover daily expenses. They lived in extreme poverty at a nephew's home or even with strangers. Often I had the sense that they were being abused. Some people would take away what little benefits these seniors received and save money at their expense.
Seniors would confide in me. It pained me to see their situation and I am certain that some seniors even passed away in these conditions. I often conducted funerals for very poor people and I think that for a 75- or 80-year-old widow or widower—especially widows, since there are more women than men in this situation—it is not healthy to live in insecurity, or to live in a basement 24 hours a day.
I have met a number of people like that. Often they would just cry. They are people who do not want to bother anyone. They would ask me not to talk about it with the person who took them in because they would be mistreated even more. I encountered this often. It always brought to mind what Lacordaire said in a famous statement he used. He said that when people leave us we must remember them. There are two ways of remembering. We can remember in our mind by recalling past events. However, Lacordaire said we might forget some. But, if we remember with our hearts then we cannot forget because the heart is the organ of love and this allows us to bring people back to life and make them immortal.
For everyone who died in distress and in poverty, I often quoted Lacordaire to say that we must not forget them. We must remember with our hearts to keep them with us and to immortalize them. I think this can have an impact on society as a whole.