Speech to the House of Commons

January 01, 2013

Mr. Speaker I am saddened today to note the passing on Dec. 27 of The Honourable John Ross Matheson, retired judge and former Member of Parliament for the riding of Leeds which is now part of my riding.

Born in 1917 and injured in World War Two, Mr. Matheson became a respected and successful lawyer in Brockville. He was elected to the House of Commons in a by-election in 1961.

Three years later, his knowledge of heraldry landed him an important role on the flag committee.

It was his introduction of the red maple leaf with two bars – an idea that was presented to him by Royal Military College Dean of Arts George Stanley - and his insistence on the precise colors of red and white, that gave us the flag we so proudly fly today.

Called the father of the Canadian flag, Mr. Matheson also played a key role in the establishment of the Order of Canada and saw many other accomplishments in his careers and personal life.

On behalf of all Members and all Canadians, I extend the deepest condolences to his surviving family.