Mr. Speaker, Canada has lost a giant. The Honourable David P. Smith, husband, father, grandfather, former cabinet minister, senator and a genuine political legend, passed away yesterday.
“Brother Smith”, as he was known by everyone, was honest, funny and decent. He was called home, but far too soon. He was deeply religious. Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, which is perhaps fitting, and it was his time, but the rest of us were not ready.
His humour, his demeanour and his gregarious personality transcended all political boundaries. He was respected and loved by all that knew him regardless of their political stripe.
However, make no mistake. He was a Liberal. He was also a brilliant strategist. He was the man behind many successful campaigns. In 1993 he ran the Ontario campaign and the Liberals won every seat but one. I am told that prime minister Chrétien still has not forgiven him.
There are many people in the chamber who would not be here but for him. He was a mentor, a role model and an inspiration. He represented all good things about this profession.
A minute is not enough time to reflect, so I ask that we pause and we learn from his legacy.