Hon. Anne McLellan (Minister of Natural Resources)
Mr. Speaker, I know that many hon. members will want to take a few moments to remember a long serving and much loved representative of the city of Edmonton who passed away suddenly late last autumn.
The Hon. Steve Paproski came from Poland to Edmonton as a child. As a young man he was a popular hometown player for our champion football team, the Eskimos, while building a successful career in business.
He was elected to the House of Commons in 1968 and retired at the last election undefeated in seven elections. In a quarter century in this House he served as his party's chief whip, as Minister of Fitness and Amateur Sport and as one of the assistant Speakers of the House.
He had friends not just in his own party but in every corner of this House. Although he was as capable as anyone and better than many, in the cut and thrust of political debate he refrained from insult and personal attack. He truly believed that all members were entitled to express their points of view and that all were here to serve their country.
As proud as he was of his Polish birthright it is an illustration of his approach to life that he became famous here for his St. Patrick's Day receptions.
Steve Paproski was a big man in every sense of the word. In Edmonton and here in the House of Commons his generosity of spirit and of deed was unsurpassed. He was a proud family man, a pillar of the church and a committed servant of the people.
It is sad that he could not live to enjoy the retirement to which he had looked forward. We all join his wife Betty, his children and his grandchildren in missing his warm and happy personality and his very wise counsel.
Subtopic: The Late Hon. Steven Paproski