‘An inspiration’: MPs pay tribute to Jim Carr in House of Commons following death

Click to play video: 'MPs, party leaders offer condolences on death of Jim Carr'
MPs, party leaders offer condolences on death of Jim Carr
WATCH: MPs, party leaders offer condolences on death of Jim Carr – Dec 13, 2022

Jim Carr has served as “an inspiration” to Kevin Lamoureux.

Lamoureux made the remarks in the House of Commons on Tuesday as MPs paid tribute to the late Carr, 71, a Liberal MP for Winnipeg South Centre and former cabinet minister in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government. Carr died on Monday.

Lamoureux, who broke the news of Carr’s death to his colleagues in the House, cited on Tuesday Carr’s final speech in the House last week when his private member’s bill, Building a Green Prairie Economy, passed through that chamber.

Read more: Jim Carr, Winnipeg MP and former Liberal cabinet minister, dies at 71

In it, Lamoureux, a Liberal representing Winnipeg North, quoted Carr as saying that he loves Canada, “every square metre” of it, and thanked the people of his riding “without whose confidence this (bill) would never have been possible.”

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“He has served as an inspiration to me personally, and I genuinely believe that no matter where Jim has gone through his life, he has left a large footprint. He’s got a deep amount of respect in all corners,” Lamoureux said.

“I am very grateful to the fact that ‘Building a Green Prairie Economy,’ something in which I know Jim spoke at great length about both inside this chamber and outside this chamber, was one of a number of visions that he carried, a number of ideas that he shared with so many Canadians in many different ways and I was so grateful to ultimately see the legislation passed.”

Click to play video: 'Liberal Winnipeg MP Jim Carr ‘will be missed’ following news of his passing: Trudeau'
Liberal Winnipeg MP Jim Carr ‘will be missed’ following news of his passing: Trudeau

Carr was described by his family in a statement on Monday as a “dedicated elected official,” among many titles. He represented Winnipeg South Centre in Ottawa since 2015, and first began public life in 1988. A public service for Carr will be held on Saturday at the Centennial Concert Hall in Winnipeg, his Twitter account stated on Tuesday.

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During his time in Ottawa, Carr held various roles in office, including minister of natural resources and minister of international trade diversification between 2015 and 2019. He later served as the special representative for the Prairies in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government in 2021.

Carr had been fighting multiple myeloma and kidney failure since 2019, his family said. Since then, Carr had received dialysis treatments, chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant.

Flowers and a portrait of the late Jim Carr sit on his desk in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Dec. 13. Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

A floral arrangement and Carr’s photo were placed where the Liberal MP normally would sit in the House of Commons on Tuesday, a tribute that Rob Oliphant referenced in his remarks.

“I am moved by his sense of compassion, his intelligence, his ability to reach across the aisle to make sure that we do things together in a productive and constructive way,” said Oliphant, a Liberal representing Don Valley West.

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Peter Julian, an NDP MP for New Westminster—Burnaby, called Carr a “gentleman” who was well-respected among parliamentarians and “was passionate about Canada.”

At the start of Tuesday’s sitting, Speaker Anthony Rota told MPs he’s notified the chief electoral officer of the vacancy in Carr’s riding and asked them to begin the process for a byelection, though the timing of one is unclear.

Click to play video: 'Jim Carr, Liberal MP and former minister, dies at 71'
Jim Carr, Liberal MP and former minister, dies at 71

At the start of question period on Tuesday, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre offered his condolences to Carr’s family and the Liberal caucus.

Following a question from Poilievre, Trudeau thanked him for his remarks and called Carr an “exceptional man and parliamentarian.”

“His devotion to community, to region, to country, his devotion to the idea of a Canada that was even better, where everyone came together to build a future, his passion, his thoughtfulness, his commitment to the Prairies, his commitment to Canada, will be long remembered and needs inspire us all every single day as we notice the empty seat amongst us,” Trudeau said.

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Later on Tuesday, the House of Commons standing committee on public safety and national security — which Carr once chaired — held a moment of silence in his memory. Committee members also offered their own tributes to Carr during the meeting.

Flowers sit on Jim Carr’s desk in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Dec. 13. Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

Carr began public life in 1988, when he was elected to represent Fort Rouge in the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, his website indicates. He served as deputy leader of his party.

He was an active volunteer for several organizations. He was the founding co-chair of the Winnipeg Poverty Reduction Council, and had served on several boards including the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Canada West Foundation, and the Arthur V. Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice at the University of Manitoba.

Carr began his professional life as a musician, as an oboist and trustee with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. He later moved to journalism, working as an editorial writer and columnist with the Winnipeg Free Press as well as for CBC Radio, his website said.

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His family said in their statement Carr’s constituency office will remain open to serve residents.

— with files from Global News’ Heidi Lee

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