Mar 11, 2013- 2:31 PM
Honourable senators, I rise to pay tribute to the Honourable Diane Marleau, who passed away Jan. 30. Diane represented the riding of Sudbury in the House of Commons for 20 years, from 1988 to 2008.
Last Saturday, many people came together in Sudbury to celebrate her life, which she dedicated to serving others.
Her family, her community and her professional responsibilities were always her top priorities. Her approach to politics was very entrepreneurial; she always focused on achieving results.
In 2009, the Business and Professional Women’s Club of Greater Sudbury recognized her outstanding contribution to her community by presenting her with the Bernardine Yackman Award.
A volunteer who worked alongside her, André Bisson, said, “Diane accomplished a great deal, and for the right reasons.”
I could list her many achievements, but I believe she will be best remembered for her work as Minister of Health and for being such a staunch advocate of our public health care system.
Her unwavering faith in the five main principles of the Canada Health Act — portability, accessibility, universality, comprehensiveness and public administration — stemmed from her experiences working in a doctor’s office before medicare was created.
Her job at the time involved collecting payments from patients, some of whom did not always have the means to pay.
She also served as Minister of Public Works and Government Services. My brother, André Charette, reminded me that Diane was responsible for stopping Canada Post’s distribution of unwanted, unaddressed fliers to Canadian households.
She was then appointed Minister of International Cooperation and Minister responsible for the Francophonie. She was able to build bonds of friendship throughout the entire world, bonds that served Canada.
In Sudbury, Diane and her husband Paul were known as a generous and welcoming couple, so much so that their home was affectionately dubbed “Hotel Marleau.”
Honourable senators, today I would like to extend my sincere condolences to the family of Diane Marleau, to her husband, Paul, her children, Brigitte, Donald and Stéphane, and her grandson, Julian.
Honourable Marie-P. Charette-Poulin