Mr. Speaker, it is an honour for me to rise today to pay tribute to our deputy leader and good friend, the hon. member for Lac-Saint-Jean.
For over a decade, the hon. member for Lac-Saint-Jean, a proud native son, served his constituents with distinction. He devoted his life to serving the public, specifically his constituents in Roberval.
At a time when our Conservative movement needed energy and reassurance, the hon. member for Lac-Saint-Jean was there to lead the way.
Through him, voters knew that our Conservative caucus was fighting every single day to help their businesses succeed, help their families stay prosperous, and help their communities grow.
As a result of his hard work and leadership, our Conservative family in Quebec grew from five to 12 members in the last election. The Conservative caucus is always stronger when it is represented in la belle province. We have the hon. member for Lac-Saint-Jean to thank for making us stronger.
He was always a natural choice to lead, not just our efforts in Quebec but within our caucus as well. We have trusted him to be a source of wise counsel and to always bring to the table a strong perspective on what everyday Canadians are thinking.
The fact that he was Minister of Transport and Minister of Infrastructure is a testament to his unique capacity to know what Canadians and their families expect from a responsible government. Under his leadership, the Champlain Bridge in Montreal received considerable support. This is a project that will allow traffic to flow more smoothly. When he was infrastructure minister, he oversaw the construction of highway 85 in Quebec, under the new building Canada fund.
In his riding, his work for the Véloroute des Bleuets, the historic village of Val-Jalbert, and the Zoo sauvage de Saint-Félicien helped his region to flourish even more.
The hon. member for Lac-Saint-Jean has always been driven to help families and job creators in Quebec to prosper in their province. That was always very important to him. Among all his responsibilities, I know that what he enjoyed most was meeting Quebeckers right across the province in his capacity as minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec.
Within our ranks, his warmth and friendship have been critical in helping our party navigate the experience of leading a minority government, then a majority, and then being an effective official opposition, soon to become the government again. When that day comes, it will be in no small part because of the hard work the member for Lac-Saint-Jean put in, day after day. As he has said himself, he is not a man who does things in half measures. We on this side of the House know how true that is.
On behalf of our entire caucus, I hope that he will enjoy his next mission, that of taking time for himself and his family, to the fullest. I thank Danielle and his children, Marie-Ève and Mathieu, for sharing him with us for these many years.
I thank the member for Lac-Saint-Jean for his work, his wisdom, and his friendship. I will always remember our trip to Rome a few years ago. Despite the years he spent as an organizer of the Traversée internationale du lac Saint-Jean, I know that although he is not a great swimmer he will be happy spending more time on the beach, on the shores of his lake.