Mr. Speaker, it is with great sadness that I rise today to recognize the passing of my aunt, Nicole LaViolette, at the young age of 52. She passed away on May 22, 2015, surrounded by her family, including her partner, Lisa, after a long battle with cancer.
A law professor at the University of Ottawa, she won many awards and earned international recognition for her research on sexual minority refugees, which even inspired some of the work done by the United Nations Refugee Agency. She was also a founding member of the Capital Rainbow Refuge, an organization that sponsors and welcomes LGBT refugees in Ottawa.
I will always remember my aunt Nicole for her warm smile, her love of dogs and her passion for politics. She knew everything there was to know about the Hill, since she worked as a page here during university and later as a parliamentary assistant to Svend Robinson.
Like me, she was a staunch New Democrat, so we shared the same vision of a fairer, more united country and the same hope for a better world.
Nicole, you are an inspiration to me and to everyone who ever knew you. You will be sadly missed.