Statement made on 20 October 2011 by Senator Rod Zimmer (retired)
Hon. Rod A. A. Zimmer:
Honourable senators, I rise today to praise a man, a giant of a man with a giant heart, a gentle man with a whispering walk, piercing eyes and, when needed, thunder in his voice. He had the uncanny ability to recognize our strengths and abilities, and forgive our trespasses. As in the theme from Star Trek, he went where no man has gone before.
Honourable senators, he believed in the power in all of us, especially young persons, and helped each one of us realize our hidden talents that we never knew we possessed. He taught us to think big and, in the immortal words of one of his colleagues in cabinet, Belinda Stronach, "Think as big as you can and then double it."
His contribution to his riding, community, province, country and the world was immeasurable. As President of the Treasury Board, he championed, revolutionized, pioneered and reformed open government and access to information. A landmark that will always stand proudly, as he initially secured the federal government funding, is the Canadian Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg. I am meeting with the Mayor of Winnipeg next week, and I will recommend that they revise the name to the "Reg Alcock Canadian Museum of Human Rights."
Honourable senators, he was a dear friend and colleague, and without his support and that of his partner in life, Karen, I would not be standing here today delivering this speech.
To Karen, Sarah, Matthew, Christina and his family, deepest sympathies from Maygan and me, as we celebrate his life at the Immanuel Pentecostal Church tomorrow in Winnipeg. As the warrior said in the movie as they carried the gladiator out of the coliseum, "We will join you in heaven, but not just yet — not just yet."
Goodbye, my dear friend, goodbye. May God bless you forever and a day.