In memoriam

Canadian Press photographer Tom Hanson passed away suddenly last night. Canwest reporter David Akin notes his passing here.

After Question Period, all four parties eulogized Hanson, including comment from the Prime Minister and Michael Ignatieff.

Those remarks after the jump.

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I rise today on the sad news that we all received this morning, the passing at a very young age of Tom Hanson. As we all know, Tom was a talented photojournalist who distinguished himself by the quality of his work and his character. He was honoured with numerous industry awards and, perhaps most telling of, the universal respect of his colleagues.

Through his photos, Tom helped to chronicle our story as Canadians. Whether it was a defining moment on the campaign trail, the shy smile of an Afghan child, or the triumph of a Grey Cup victory, Tom had a unique ability to capture the essence of whatever he was photographing.

On a personal level, Tom’s sharp wit, his passion for music, hockey, motorcycles, his casual swagger and his personal integrity will be missed by all of us. On behalf of myself, Laureen, our family, and I know all colleagues here who knew him, I just want to pass on our condolences to his wife, Catherine and to Tom’s entire family.

M. Michael Ignatieff (chef de l’opposition, Lib.): Monsieur le Président, la Presse canadienne est une institution nationale et elle a perdu un grand photographe, Tom Hanson, hier. Les photographes sont parfois les journalistes les plus courageux, audacieux et artistiques. Tom Hanson était courageux, audacieux et artistique.

We in this House grieve for the loss of a great journalist, a great artist of the camera. We grieve with his family in The Canadian Press. We grieve for his family at home.

We will remember his contribution to our public life with respect. We send our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Catherine, and we hope that she will take some comfort from the fact that Tom Hanson’s memory will always be regarded with affection and respect by every single member of this House.

M. Pierre Paquette (Joliette, BQ): Monsieur le Président, au nom du caucus du Bloc québécois, je voudrais offrir nos plus sincères condoléances à la conjointe de M. Hanson. Sa mort tragique et inattendue alors qu’il était dans la fleur de l’âge, à 41 ans, nous touche tous et toutes profondément. Son travail comme photographe à la Presse canadienne était apprécié de l’ensemble de la Colline parlementaire. Il a laissé un souvenir impérissable. Encore une fois, nous souhaitons nos sincères condoléances à sa femme et à toute sa famille.

Hon. Jack Layton (Toronto—Danforth, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I think we all remember that you could always count on Tom for a courteous greeting. He always respected this place, the centre of Canadian democracy, and he was respected by everyone here.

This tragic news of a sudden death at such a young age leaves all of us shaken. He was the consummate professional. He always looked for that best shot to tell a story to Canadians. That was a remarkable talent. He had the respect of politicians and his colleagues, which is so important on the Hill.

He lived a full life. He travelled the world. He saw places and events that were important and exciting, and he had an ability to communicate what he was seeing to all of us. Like many Canadians, he had a deep passion for hockey. He played the game. I am sure many here remember sharing words about the game with him or even playing hockey with him.

He left us far too young. Even as we celebrate his richly lived life, we share our condolences with his wife, with his family, with his dear friends and colleagues at The Canadian Press. He will be remembered through the lens that he offered to all of us. He will be remembered very warmly for his gifts to our country.

Merci beaucoup.

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