Mr. Speaker, it is with great sadness that I rise today to inform the House of the death of His Excellency Renaud Bernardin, ambassador for Haiti to Canada. Mr. Bernardin passed away on Friday, October 4, 2002, at 8 a.m., at the Centre hospitalier des Vallées de l'Outaouais, in Gatineau.
His Excellency Mr. Bernardin was appointed ambassador for Haiti to Canada in November 2001, a position he held at the Haitian consulate general, in Montreal.
After settling in Canada in 1967, he successively taught at Collège de Lévis, Laval University in Quebec City and Université du Québec in Chicoutimi. As a politician, he was instrumental in bringing about the shift toward democracy in his country. Among other positions held by Mr. Renaud Bernardin was that of director of the private secretariat of the first democratically elected President of Haiti, His Excellency Mr. Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
A service was held this morning in Notre-Dame Cathedral, in Ottawa. The Haitian community and the Canadian public in general have lost a valued asset. Haiti has lost a man of integrity, wisdom, respect and simplicity.
I invite the hon. members of this House to join me in paying tribute to him one last time.