MP Mauril Belanger, suffering from ALS, receives standing ovation in House of Commons

Mauril Bélanger, the veteran Ottawa Liberal MP diagnosed with debilitating Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), received a standing ovation in the House of Commons Monday when the new government sat for its first Question Period.

Bélanger, 60, announced last week that he has ALS, a rare and incurable neurological disease, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. He said he will stay on as MP for Ottawa-Vanier, the riding he has represented since winning a 1995 byelection.

“I am very proud of our government,” Belanger said in French in the House of Commons.

READ MORE: Ottawa MP Mauril Belanger withdraws from Speaker’s race after ALS diagnosis

Last Thursday, he was honoured with a similar standing ovation by MPs in the House prior to the vote for a new Speaker. Fellow Liberal Geoff Regan was eventually elected to the post and embraced Bélanger before assuming the Speaker’s chair.

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Belanger said last week that he will record his struggle so more Canadians can learn about the disease and a search for a cure.

“I intend to share this journey with my colleagues so that more will learn about #ALS and continue to fight for a cure,” the Liberal tweeted Friday.

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