It is with a heavy heart that I write to you today to inform you of the passing of my friend and colleague, Mauril Bélanger.
Sophie and I offer our deepest condolences to his wife Catherine and his family, friends, constituents, and many, many admirers.
Mauril served the people of Ottawa-Vanier for over 20 years, and was a tireless advocate of francophone rights, national unity, and a fair and just society for all.
He held many positions in Cabinet over the years, including Deputy House Leader and Government Whip. Despite being very sick towards the end of his life, Mauril continued to serve Canadians with great dignity, courage, and strength.
A politician universally respected by parliamentarians of all parties, he was named Honorary Speaker of the House of Commons by unanimous consent in December 2015.
We are all the poorer for his passing, but Mauril's immense contributions to our country will be honoured and remembered.
Goodbye my friend.