June 16, 1993

PC

Martin Brian Mulroney (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Mulroney:

I would like to thank all members of my party who stood with me in difficult moments and worked so tirelessly to try to meet the commitments we made to Canadians. We did not always succeed but all of us always believed in Canada as do all members on the opposite side. I wish to extend my best wishes to all members of the opposition parties.

I know that the Leader of the Opposition will miss me. He usually does. By the way I think he too has been booked in Winnipeg or elsewhere today, but I just wanted to tell him that I am leaving Kim my briefing book and page one has just one word of advice: duck.

I will always keep fond memories of this place and all the friends I have made here. I will often think of you, my friends, Nunziata, Langdon, Audrey and Nelson. What will you be doing in retirement, Nelson?

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NDP

Nelson Andrew Riis (N.D.P. House Leader)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Riis:

Any ideas?

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PC

Martin Brian Mulroney (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Mulroney:

It was not you; it was someone else who spoke harshly of the Senate, was it not?

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?

Some hon. members:

Oh, oh.

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PC

Martin Brian Mulroney (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Mulroney:

I have to admit to not only respect and admiration but a great deal of affection for my hon. friend and all members of the House who have served Canada so well. I will think of you often, especially when I am sitting comfortably in my office between 2.15 p.m. and 3 p.m. every afternoon, knowing that another session of brilliant questioning and thoughtful and compelling answers will be beamed out across the nation in both official languages to an eternally grateful nation.

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?

Some hon. members:

Hear, hear.

June 16, 1993

Tributes

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LIB

André Ouellet

Liberal

Hon. Andre Ouellet (Papineau-Saint-Michel):

Madam Speaker, I wish to join the Prime Minister in extending my warmest congratulations to the Minister of National Defence on her splendid victory last Sunday. I do so on behalf of the Leader of the Opposition who, unfortunately, had a number of commitments outside Ottawa today and has asked me to act on his behalf. I do so as well on behalf of all my caucus colleagues and of the Liberal Party of Canada.

I also would like to congratulate the four other candidates for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party. They all conducted a very good campaign. They showed great dignity and a strong sense of democratic principles. I would like to mention particularly the performance of the Minister of Environment, which reminds me of that of another distinguished colleague in this House, who happens to have the same initials-

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PC

Martin Brian Mulroney (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Mulroney:

John Crosbie?

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LIB

André Ouellet

Liberal

Mr. Ouellet:

-and who in 1984, won the hearts of many Canadians-

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PC

Charles Joseph Clark (Minister responsible for Constitutional Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Clark (Yellowhead):

Thank you, Andre.

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LIB

André Ouellet

Liberal

Mr. Ouellet:

-during another leadership race, but not for the same party.

I would like to single out the tremendous achievement of the member for Vancouver Centre in winning the support of her party. Not only will she become the leader of her party but, if I understand correctly, she will also be serving as Prime Minister of Canada in a few days.

This is a great achievement. However I advise her not to get too comfortable in her new job.

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?

An hon. member:

Summer job.

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LIB

André Ouellet

Liberal

Mr. Ouellet:

As many have said it might only be a summer job.

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PC

Henry Perrin Beatty (Minister of Communications)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Beatty:

Don't count on it, Andre.

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LIB

André Ouellet

Liberal

Mr. Ouellet:

She now has a prerogative that only she can exercise, and that is to go to the Governor General, ask for dissolution of this Parliament and call an election. I want to assure her that she will have the support of

those of us on this side of the House for such an initiative.

What the current Prime Minister said in similar circumstances as Leader of the Opposition in 1984 could be our feelings exactly. We are ready, willing and more than able to deal with the writ.

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PC

Martin Brian Mulroney (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Mulroney:

We were.

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LIB

André Ouellet

Liberal

Mr. Ouellet:

Yes and we are. I am sure she will not abuse her peculiar situation, will respect traditions and conventions and will want to allow the people of Canada to duly elect a new government at the earliest opportunity.

In closing I would like once again to welcome the member for Vancouver Centre to the House as the new leader of her party and wish her both health and happiness in her future.

I did not realize I would not only have to respond to the Prime Minister on introducing the new leader of his party to the House but would have to listen to his last words in this Parliament.

We were friends years ago, when I went to school with the Prime Minister. Since then we have seen each other on various occasions, and especially in this House. On behalf of our party, I would like to wish him a happy retirement with his wife and children. I am sure, as he said earlier, that he will not be able to resist watching Question Period. There will indeed be some very good questions, because they will be put by members of his own party.

I want to say to the Prime Minister that the work he has done as a member and a parliamentarian has been extremely important. That is something we ought to recognize on occasions like this. Beyond the rivalry that exists among political parties, there are feelings of mutual friendship and respect which are very important. Although we are glad to see him go, we will remember a lot of nice things about him.

We wish you the very best.

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?

Some hon. members:

Hear, hear.

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NDP

Audrey Marlene McLaughlin

New Democratic Party

Hon. Audrey McLaughlin (Yukon):

Madam Speaker, I would like to join my colleagues in welcoming the Prime Minister designate to the House.

June 16, 1993 COMMONS

I would like to congratulate her also on her election as the first female Leader of the Conservative Party. It is nice to have company.

Leadership races as we know are extremely challenging and the hon. Prime Minister-designate demonstrated good humour and determination throughout. We certainly congratulate her on her achievement.

The same could be said of all the candidates in this leadership race. I wish to congratulate them on making the effort. Politics is a very demanding profession, and although I realize politicians are not always popular, it is quite honourable to want to lead a party and help lead the country.

I suppose one could say there is the spirit of fellowship. However I guess that term is no longer appropriate. In the spirit of friendship I would like to remind the new Conservative leader that winning her party's leadership is just the beginning.

There are many challenges ahead. I look forward to debating with her the policies of the party she represents. I ask her to quickly act on her own policy of inclusiveness and call a federal election as soon as possible after June 25 so all Canadians can have a say. That will be very inclusive of all Canadians.

I suppose the question will be whether Canadians are ready for their first female Prime Minister. I say yes and this time they will have a very clear choice. We look forward to it.

Finally I say to the outgoing Prime Minister that he recognizes, along with prime ministers of all political parties, that no prime minister is ever as popular as when he is retiring. I want to extend to the outgoing Prime Minister, his wife, Mila, and their family my true best wishes. It is a difficult path. I know that everyone does their best in this role and they do it in the interest of the country. We may disagree but we do not disagree with the motivation to work on behalf of the country.

I just want to say that we appreciate the fact that the outgoing Prime Minister had a difficult task and he did it

Tributes

in his view in the interest of the country. We wish him and his family the very best for the future. Though the Prime Minister will be leaving this place, his spirit will most certainly be here in the woman who has been chosen as the leader of the Conservative Party.

Once again, Madam Speaker, I would like to congratulate the Prime Minister-designate. I wish you the veiy best in your new position.

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?

Some hon. members:

Hear, hear.

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June 16, 1993