Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to a great Manitoban, a dedicated politician and a former Winnipeg Blue Bomber, Larry Desjardins.
Through a political career that spanned three decades, Larry's legacy helped shape the great province of Manitoba.
As a former NDP cabinet minister and adviser to many NDP premiers, Larry's fingerprints can be found on the country's first publicly funded auto insurance plan, Canada's first universal home care plan, and even the creation of the City of Winnipeg through amalgamation in 1974.
A great athlete and champion of amateur sport, Larry scored stable funding for the province's sports programs.
Most of all, Larry is remembered as a man of principle, courage and conviction.
Premier Greg Selinger called him “a true champion” of Manitoba who left “a profound impact on our community, our province and in many respects, our nation”. He is right.
Our condolences go out to Larry's wife, Mel, and his entire family.
The people of Manitoba will always be grateful for the dedication and service of Larry Desjardins to our province.