Mr. Speaker, today, I would like to share with the House my grief at the recent death of a wonderful person. I would like us all to take a moment to remember the Hon. Raymond Setlakwe, a former senator, husband to Yvette and a descendant of Aziz, the first immigrant to flee the Armenian genocide and move to Canada to raise his family and help them prosper.
Mr. Raymond, as many people liked to call him, was unfailingly generous. A prosperous businessman, he was the founder of A. Setlakwe Limited. He collected political meetings like some people collect hockey cards.
He was more than a mentor to me. He gave me my first real chance to work in politics by supporting me when I ran for office for the first time in 1998. I have to say that, at the time, I was running for the Quebec Liberal Party. Raymond never would have supported any other party. I thought I almost lost him for the first time in 2015 when I told him that I would be running for the Conservative Party of Canada.
I want to share with my colleagues what he said to me shortly before his death: In politics, we have adversaries, not enemies.
To the only friend I have left, I want to say thank you for helping me make my dream come true. I hope that in heaven he will have the chance to meet all of the great politicians in history that he never had a chance to meet here on earth.