Mr. Speaker, It is with all sorts of emotions that we rise to pay tribute to the member for Winnipeg North, who made a tremendous contribution to our caucus.
On behalf of our caucus, our former and current MPs who worked with Judy, as well as our tens of thousands of members across Canada, I thank Judy Wasylycia-Leis for all her work and efforts, and I thank her family as well.
It is with mixed emotions, naturally, that all of us in the NDP caucus are taking this time to celebrate a great parliamentarian because there is no question that we will miss her in so many different ways. However, this is an opportunity to thank the hon. member for Winnipeg North for the contribution she has made since well before she was a member of Parliament. In fact, she started out as a parliamentary intern many years ago. I will not say how many years ago but it was over 30 years ago in this place.
I will just say that she was noticed by a new leader of our party at that time for her enthusiasm, her rather direct way of speaking about the issues, particularly about the importance of women in politics, about feminism and about creating a more equal world. That newly elected leader was Ed Broadbent. He said, “Look, I had better see if I can draw this enthusiastic person into our family here”. He reached out and she was brought on as the first women's outreach coordinator for our party, at which point she began to create somewhat of a revolution within the New Democratic Party of Canada, working with her sisters to the point where, and I will not go through the long history, we ended up with a caucus in the last election, in the previous House, where 43% of our caucus members were women. A lot of that was because of the member's tireless work.
There are so many things to celebrate. We wish the member well in the future work that lies before her. I thank the House for all the tributes the members have shared today.