The Late Honourable Allan J. MacEachen, P.C., O.C.—TributePublished on 19 September 2017 Hansard and Statements by Senator Terry Mercer
Hon. Terry M. Mercer (Deputy Leader of the Senate Liberals):
Political genius. Godfather of Cape Breton. Architect of Medicare. Champion of the worker. The Laird of Lake Ainslie. Even with all those titles, everyone knew him simply as Allan J. To try to extol the virtues of this man in such a short statement is a task worthy of Allan J. himself.
A man of principle, Allan J. had a passion for politics like no other. He was never hesitant to express his opinion and always stood up for his home, his province and his country. He believed that politics was the avenue through which we achieve great things for the public good.
Allan J. was like no other I had ever met growing up in politics. I remember meeting him for the first time. It was like meeting a movie star in Nova Scotia. In many chats we had over the years after that, it was clear that he cared deeply for his country, his native Cape Breton and his home at Lake Ainslie and wanted to make it a better place. We may have shared a tipple or two along the way.
Honourable senators, the Liberal Party has lost a lion. We would all do well to remember just how much Allan J. shaped the party through sheer political instinct and, more importantly, common sense, something that many in this business often forget will fix many problems and create new ideas.
In his tenure as senator, Allan J. brought back a sense of prestige to this institution, a place he believed was an important tool in fixing the problems the country was facing. He believed in the Senate and its role in shaping political debate in this country, something we should all seek to emulate.
Allan J. was a party volunteer, MP, senior adviser, minister, deputy prime minister, leadership candidate, senator and friend. I would add one more thing to that long list of accomplishments: a truly honourable gentleman.
Rest in peace, Allan J.