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.
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.
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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