Mr. Speaker, today I stand to honour my friend and long-term employee on the Hill, Michael O'Neill, who passed away recently.
Mike's career began in 1981, first with MP Dave Rooney; then the NDP research bureau; and as luck would have it, in my office for the last 23 years.
Saying Mike was unique would be an understatement. His corporate memory, his research and analysis, and his passionate approach to political issues were one of a kind. He did not seek credit or enjoy the spotlight. He was a sounding board, a quick and insightful thinker with so much filed away in his brilliant brain, and always ready to help such that even during his illness he provided wise counsel. Mike was probably most happy doing a critical analysis of the government, even when we were the government.
To his wife Anne and daughter Eryn, we send our heartfelt sympathies. Michael O'Neill made this place a better place. His efforts improved the decisions for Canada; his loyalty was absolute. Our thanks go to Mike and his family.