Mr. Speaker, I have some very sad news to tell this House. Cornwall's own “Mr. Canada” has died. Norm Lalonde, who single-handedly began Canada Day festivities in Cornwall, has, unfortunately, passed away.
In the early 1970s, Norm took it upon himself to celebrate Canada's birthday. He gathered together about 200 residents, cooked some hot dogs, let off some fireworks and led everyone in the singing of Canada's national anthem.
From that very humble beginning, Norm grew this event into one of the largest celebrations in eastern Ontario. Today, crowds of 25,000 to 30,000 proud Canadians regularly turn up at Lamoureux Park on July 1 every year to celebrate Canada's birthday.
We owe all this to “Mr. Canada”, as Norm was affectionately known in Cornwall.
Our condolences go out to his wife and greatest supporter, Thérèse, and his children, David, Patricia, Stephen and Norm Jr.
God bless Mr. Canada.