Mr. Speaker, today, I wish to join the Prime Minister, and all members of the House, in paying tribute to Arnold Chan, a colleague who has sadly been taken from us, and from this institution he loved so much, far too soon.
Our colleague from Scarborough—Agincourt won the admiration of his colleagues, voters in his riding, and all those who knew him.
Members of our House, on all sides, came to respect his experience, his knowledge, his passion, and his collegiality. His devoted service on behalf of his constituents won him the support of the people of Scarborough—Agincourt, and today we know he will be missed greatly by those he represented so well in the House.
Most of all, his quiet courage and dignity in his struggle with cancer and his call to us when he was last here with us before the summer, should give inspiration to members and all Canadians who have joined public life in our country.
This is a House where Canadians of many political persuasions come to speak on behalf of the people who elected them, bringing different principles, different values and different policies to the debate. We enjoy these passionate debates, certainly some of us a bit too much at times.
We must never forget what brings us together in this House and in our political life: our common decency and our humanity.
I thought, in his remarks on June 12, that Arnold perfectly expressed that sense. He said:
It is the basic common civility we share with each other that is fundamental. It is thanking our Tim Hortons server. It is giving way to someone on the road. It is saying thanks. It is the small things we collectively do, from my perspective, that make a great society, and to me, that is ultimately what it means to be a Canadian. We are so privileged to live in this country, because we have these small acts of common decency and civility that make us what we are. I would ask members to carry on that tradition, because that is the foundation of what makes Canada great.
This is the sense of collegiality and generosity in disagreement that Canadians always wish to see more of from their representatives. I am determined to do my part to bring more warmth, more positivity and civility to this place.
That is the best way to pay tribute to the life and legacy of our colleague Arnold Chan.
On behalf of the official opposition, I would like to offer our most sincere condolences to Mr. Chan's wife, Jean, his three sons, Nathaniel, Ethan, and Theodore, and to all of his many friends, family, and supporters.