Mr. Speaker, today it is my privilege and, indeed, my pleasure to stand before the House and thank the member for Outremont for his profound dedication and service to our country.
I will say that this individual has made a remarkable impact on the lives of Canadians, particularly in Quebec, and has challenged governments to strive to ensure that every Canadian has an opportunity to succeed. There is no doubt that we are all the stronger for it.
While he has seen governments change, he has continued to represent the strong beliefs and values of his party, and as we all know, they were well heard. I feel like it might even be a little quieter here after his departure.
During his tenure as the leader of the opposition, his unique style won him praise, as well as the ire of the former government. He was not afraid of holding their feet to the fire to get the answers Canadians demanded, and he also gave us a run for our money.
Although we do not always share the same values and beliefs, I must say that I respect them and hold them in high regard. I also respect his great integrity and, most of all, his unwavering dedication to Canadians.
My hon. colleague is to be admired for his many professional achievements and for being true to his principles throughout his very long political career. This member has honourably served the people of Canada, and on behalf of the Government of Canada, I wish to thank him for that.
His future students at the University of Montreal will be very lucky to have him as a professor. It will no doubt be very stimulating.
All jokes aside, it has been a great honour to serve this country with him. He has challenged me personally, as well as this government and former governments, to strive to ensure that Canadians live in a country that they can be proud to call home.
On behalf of the Liberal government and all Canadians, we thank him for his dedication. I know that he will move into his next role and help shape a generation of students to follow in his footsteps of asking tough questions, challenging beliefs, and making a difference.
Before I conclude, I would also like to thank his family for sharing him with Canadians for this very long period of time.