Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Harper and Mulroney Praise Nolin at Funeral for Late Senate Speaker

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Harper and Mulroney Praise Nolin at Funeral for Late Senate Speaker

Article excerpt

Harper, Mulroney praise Nolin at funeral

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MONTREAL - Late Senate Speaker Pierre Claude Nolin was remembered at his funeral on Thursday as a tolerant and brave man as well as a deeply admired politician who eschewed partisanship.

"On behalf of the government of Canada, I wish to pay tribute to one of the most distinguished, most devoted and most courageous parliamentarians of our generation," Prime Minister Stephen Harper told several hundred mourners at Montreal's Notre-Dame Basilica.

"Today, we are all mourning the loss of a man of unity.

"Those who were privileged to be his friend -- all those who affectionately called him PC -- will remember him as being attentive and sympathetic to the problems of others, tolerant of all points of view and invariably serene. These qualities are far from common. They are even more rare in the fiery world of politics."

Nolin, 64, who was appointed Speaker last November, died April 23 after a five-year battle with a rare form of cancer.

Harper said one name kept coming up during the search for a "rare gem" -- someone who could lead the Senate through a particularly difficult period -- Nolin's.

"Our political family has lost one of its most admired and best loved members, someone who was a mentor to more than one generation of Conservative Quebec politicians and supporters," Harper told a gathering that included former prime minister Brian Mulroney, Gov. Gen. David Johnston, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre and ex-premier Lucien Bouchard.

"Pierre Claude left us too soon but his memory and example will live forever in the hearts of Canadians, especially here, in his beloved Quebec, which he served so well."

Mulroney, who appointed Nolin to the Senate in 1993, also was effusive in his praise.

"With the death of Pierre Claude Nolin, the Senate loses a diligent and devoted member, the Conservative party loses a loyal supporter, his family loses an attentive and loving husband and father, and we all lose a very, very good friend," Mulroney told the service. …

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