Mr. Speaker, today I rise to pay tribute to a great Canadian, a former member of this place and, next week, a former member of the upper chamber. I am, of course, speaking of the hon. Gerry St. Germain, a senator of British Columbia.
A native son of Manitoba, he was first elected to the House in 1983 and re-elected in 1984. A former pilot of the Royal Canadian Air Force, the senator was the first Métis to be appointed to cabinet and served as the minister of state for transport and as minister of forestry. Since 1993, Senator St. Germain has been a strong voice for all Canadians on some of the most important issues facing our great country.
In addition to his work in Ottawa, he has been a champion for British Columbia. His wise counsel and great vision have been sought by prominent leaders for close to 30 years. I shall miss him and I know the people of British Columbia will miss his leadership and advocacy here in the halls of Parliament.
I ask that all members join me and the people of Vancouver South in wishing the senator, his wife Margaret and their family all the best in the years ahead.