The late Gord Brown, Conservative MP for Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, was laid to rest Thursday.
Hundreds of people came to Gananoque, Ont., Thursday morning to pay their respects, including representatives of political parties of all colours.
There was a running theme to the funeral, held at Gananoque’s Lou Jefferies Arena — Brown loved his community and left a lasting impression on the people he met.
The long-time Conservative MP’s eldest son Chance summed up why so many gathered to remember his father.
“You will hear that my dad was a passionate politician. God, he loved his politics,” said Chance.
“What I want you to know the most is that my dad appreciated people.”
More than 50 members of Brown’s own caucus were there to celebrate his life, including Andrew Scheer, leader of the Conservative party.
“It’s a testament to who Gord was as a person that people would take the time out of their days to make the drive here from Ottawa, put aside their Parliamentary duties to come and pay tribute to him,” said Scheer.
MPP Steve Clark, Brown’s regional Progressive Conservative counterpart, remembered Brown as someone who wanted to make a difference. At the funeral, Clark vowed to keep one of Brown’s promises on his behalf.
“His dream of having another ice service here, we’re going to make that dream come true,” said Clark.
Brown was an avid hockey player and started playing the game in Gananoque as a boy. Since the small town only has one arena, it was a personal dream of Brown’s to get Gananoque another rink.
Brown is survived by his wife Claudine and their two sons, 25-year old Chance and 4-year old Tristan.
Tristan stepped in front of the hundreds of people who came to honour his father, with one request:
“Please help me say goodbye to my dad.”
The 57-year-old Brown has represented the area in Parliament since 2004 and despite the riding’s size — residents say he was there for everyone.
Beverly, who owns a cottage in Delta, Ont., said that Brown was part of every community in his area.
“He’s a whole riding man.”
Tributes to the late MP were visible throughout Gananoque, Brown’s hometown and final resting place.
Hundreds of his old campaign signs, with a “Thanks” added in the corner, were seen on lawns around town, a gesture that was mirrored on Parliament Hill, where the flags flew at half-mast Thursday morning.