Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the life of Donald Cameron MacDonald, former leader of the Ontario CCF and Ontario NDP, who died on Saturday, March 8, at the age of 94.
Donald was often called the best premier Ontario never had. During his 27 years in the legislature, he established a reputation for a principled pragmatic opposition from the political left that New Democrats remember with gratitude and admiration, and which Canada as a country acknowledged when he received the Order of Canada in 2003.
Donald, who served with the Royal Canadian Navy in World War II, was one of the leaders in that generation who, having went through the dirty thirties and the war, emerged with a terrific determination to build a better world. He helped create the kind of Canada that most Canadians not only value but regard as crucial to our self-understanding. I know I speak for many when I offer thanks for a wonderful life, a happy warrior whose hope for social justice inspired all who knew him, myself included.
I offer my sincere condolences to his wife, Simone, and to all his family, and appreciation for a long life, well lived.