Mr. Speaker, Sam Filer was the father of four, grandfather of seven and a Superior Court judge. We honour him today because he was a model of courage and compassion who set an example for all.
He was a co-founder of the Canadian Committee of Lawyers and Jurists for Soviet Jewry, who helped thousands of Russian Jews find refuge in the west in the days of Soviet anti-Semitism.
When he was stricken with ALS, Sam Filer used his own illness to become an advocate for people with disabilities. In the end he could no longer speak but that did not stop him from delivering speeches full of warmth and humour which were read from the podium by his wife, Toni Silberman.
ALS could not take away his courage, but in the end it did steal his life. On March 28 Justice Filer was trapped by his illness in a house fire.
Today is the start of ALS Month. I know that nothing would make Sam Filer happier than knowing that his tribute today is being used to draw attention to those fellow sufferers who live on with the disease that could not destroy his spirit.