Jim will be missed by a great many people. First and foremost, our deep condolences go to his family and close friends -- he was taken far too soon.
He will be missed by the legions of other friends that he developed over the years.
And he will be missed by his political colleagues -- ally and opponent alike. He will be remembered with fondness, because that's the kind of guy he was; and with respect, because he was tenacious, tough and very capable. He stood his ground because he believed in what he stood for. He was one of those too-rare politicians who entered public life for the right reasons, believing that his public service was just that -- service.
Although we got to know each other through politics, my own favourite memory of Jim is entirely personal. Whenever we ended up at the same event, same function -- as soon as we spied each other across the room, he'd smile a big grin, as would I. His eyes would twinkle, and we'd make our way over to each other for a big hug. Nothing partisan. Indeed, transcending partisanship. Just plain old respect and affection.
Thank you, Jim, for your friendship and your service. And thank you to your family for sharing you with us and the country for so long.