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Tribute Statement in Honour of the Late Honourable Rod A. A. Zimmer

The Late Honourable Rod A. A. Zimmer


Hon Donald Neil Plett: Honourable senators, last Tuesday morning, our nation lost an accomplished parliamentarian and an exceptional Manitoban. Senator Rod Zimmer passed away early Tuesday morning due to an enduring battle with esophageal cancer.

Senator Zimmer graced this chamber for eight years as an eloquent senator and good friend. Although the senator and I sat opposite in the four years that we worked together in the Senate, that will never change the fact that Senator Zimmer was a revered and accomplished public servant.

In his early career, Senator Zimmer played an integral role in his community in Manitoba in more ways than one. From working as a marketing consultant in his business life, to organizing the 1999 Pan American Games in Winnipeg, to managing the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Senator Zimmer was serving the public long before he became a public servant.

The senator was also an accomplished athlete in his time. He won championships in swimming, diving and water-skiing. Beyond the water, Senator Zimmer played in many other sports in his free time, including tennis, soccer, baseball, golf, basketball and volleyball.

In his political career, Senator Zimmer successfully served as a fundraiser for the Liberal Party of Manitoba, to the frustration of many of us. For many years, he worked to raise millions of dollars for numerous federal elections and played an instrumental role within the Liberal Party of Canada for the latter part of the 20th century. His brilliant intellect and extraordinary work ethic led to his appointment to this chamber in 2005.

Honourable senators, Canada lost a great man last Tuesday. Senator Zimmer led a life dedicated to the values of democracy and to the people of this great nation.

Senator Zimmer's service to his province, his party and his country cannot and will not be forgotten.

Colleagues, at this time I ask that you please join me in offering our deepest condolences on behalf of Canadians everywhere to the Zimmer family.

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