Right Hon. P. E. Trudeau (Prime Minister):
Mr. Speaker, during the past summer Canada lost one of its most respected citizens, a man whose name is indelibly etched in the pages of our history. I pay tribute today to the late M. J. Coldwell who represented Rosetown-Biggar in this House for 23 years.
Although Mr. Coldwell represented a Saskatchewan riding, his constituency, as we are all well aware, was far greater. He served all Canadians, and not only Canadians of his time but those of generations to come. The social security system we have in Canada today, which among the best in the world, was created by those who saw injustice and could not rest until they saw it corrected. M. J. Coldwell was one of those.
At age 21, he emigrated from England and settled in Western Canada, where he taught for 24 years in Alberta and Saskatchewan. While a teacher he took up politics, with a concern for the well-being of have-nots. Farmers and their employees were the first to benefit from his efforts, but by helping them he also helped fishermen, miners and workers across the country.
As leader of the Farmer-Labour Party of Saskatchewan, he helped establish the CCF Party, predecessor of the New Democratic Party. Later on, as parliamentary leader and head of the CCF Party, he became so to speak the social conscience of Canada.
His legacy to Canada came not because he held power- he led a minority party in this House-but because he had power: the power of high ideals, strong principles, and total commitment. Mr. Coldwell once observed: "If you live by your principles and are true to them, you can't fail". That explains his success.
As a politician, as a humanitarian, as a parliamentarian, as a man of courtesy and grace, Mr. Coldwell is greatly missed. He has left us with much to remember.
Subtopic: THE LATE M. J. COLDWELL TRIBUTES TO FORMER MEMBER