Warren Allmand mourned, honoured, by friends and colleagues
Published Friday, December 9, 2016 7:35AM EST
Last Updated Friday, December 9, 2016 6:47PM EST
The flags at Montreal's city hall are flying at half-mast to honour human rights leader, MP, and city councillor Warren Allmand.
Allmand died Wednesday at the age of 84.
His friends and colleagues say Allmand always worked for the people he represented, whether it was in Ottawa or in Montreal.
"He had so many accomplishments, any of one of which would have made him a great Canadian, but he just saw that as his everyday job. What was important for him was getting something done for the ordinary citizen," said NDG-CDN councillor Marvin Rotrand.
NDG-CDN borough mayor Russell Copeman used to volunteer for Allmand several decades ago.
"He used to thank volunteers at his home with a dinner after the election campaign and I went to a number of those and I wasn't an important person, I was just a volunteer on his campaign," said Copeman. "He had that wonderful human touch that was terrific."
His former Executive Assistant, Patricia Zakaib, said Allmand was also known for working around the clock, never stopping until he had done all he could.
"There were so many days you know where he would leave at 4 o'clock to go to two board meetings in Montreal and then be back in Ottawa, you know he'd drive back the same night he'd be back at midnight, and you know in his office the next morning before any of the staff showed up," she said.
Most notably, Allmand has left a sizable impact on human rights.
"The death penalty is the ultimate denial of human rights and in pushing Canada, in leading the charge, abolishing the death penalty, it set a tone for how Canadians thought about justice and how we thought about human rights," said Ian Hamilton, the executive director of Equitas.
Fergus Watt, who worked with Allmand at the World Federalist Movement, said he was continually impressed by Allmand's drive and willingness to take unpopular positions.
"He was one who just lived according to what he thought was right. You know issues like on Gaza and so on, if it wasn't popular but he thought it was the right thing to do, he would do it," said Watt.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Allmand's enormous contributions are an important part of Canada's legacy.
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, who also moved from federal to municipal politics, said he was "very sad to learn that our friend Warren Allmand just passed away."
Allmand was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour earlier this year, and entered a hospice in November.
Allmand's funeral will be held Dec. 19 at the St. Patrick Basilica in downtown Montreal.