Mr. Speaker, we all wish we were not rising on a sombre day to share memories of such a good guy.
The hon. member for Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes has left us far too soon at 57. It is for all of us a deep shock. We heard the news just hours ago. It is hard to rise in this place and speak of Gord Brown in the past tense.
I am really grateful that over the last seven years as a member of Parliament I got to know Gord. He was a fine guy, a good person of good spirit, collegial, friendly. Yes, as my good friend from Malpeque said, he was a true-blue Conservative but he was not so partisan that we could not be friends. He was fair-minded. As chair of the heritage committee, he would give someone who was not on the committee a chance to speak.
For Claudine, Chance, and Tristan, we cannot begin to imagine the pain and grief you are experiencing. If through our words here today we can give you any comfort that we mourn his loss, that gives us some consolation, because your loss is so great.
It is often the case that when someone passes, that there is a tendency to remember only the good things about that person, accentuate the virtues, forget those things that were unpleasant. It is called hagiography, we embellish someone’s memory.
I just hope from the words spoken by all members of Parliament from different parties that every Canadian will know we are not exaggerating virtues and we are not eliminating faults. I do not think there is a single person in this place who knew Gord who would have a bad word to say about him. In politics, I do not think there is any greater tribute to a human being than to be universally well-liked and loved by colleagues in this place.
God bless you, Gord. We will miss you. May we do more as colleagues in this place to treat each other with the kindness with which Gord treated everyone.