Our hearts are heavy as we say good-bye to Mauril Bélanger, MP for Ottawa-Vanier. Diagnosed with ALS in late 2015, he partnered with the ALS Societies across Canada and took on the role of National Honorary Spokesperson for the 2016 WALK for ALS.

As someone who spent much of his adult life in a role that served the needs of others, it is no surprise that following his diagnosis, Mauril became a committed champion for the ALS community. In the brief time we worked with him, we saw the outpouring of support from his family, friends and colleagues. Even after the disease took away his ability to speak, he used his voice to reiterate the need for research and a cure.

Speaking through a family friend at the WALK for ALS in Ottawa earlier this year, Mauril shared a quote from Scottish author Samuel Smiles: “Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.”  Though his journey was cut short by ALS, Mauril faced his diagnosis with grace and strength – and with the hope that research will change the course of the disease for others diagnosed with ALS in the future.

Our thoughts are with his wife, Catherine, and with his family and friends. We are grateful for your support, Mauril… rest in peace.

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