The Macdonald-Laurier Institute held its 4th annual Soirée on the evening of Feb. 12 with a full house of parliamentarians, public servants, policy makers, journalists, entrepreneurs and other members of Ottawa's political circles. The evening was highlighted by inspiring speeches about Canada's great Prime Ministers by Industry Minister James Moore and former Justice Minister Irwin Cotler. Cotler received accolades himself for a remarkable career in public service, as he had announced his impending retirement from politics only the week before. Moore, known for his eloquence in the House, made a stirring case for Sir John A. Macdonald, both for his enormous achievement in bringing together this great nation and his will to keep it together, as well as his ability to overcome grievous personal circumstances to serve his country. Cotler, a renowned scholar, made a compelling argument for Lester Pearson, both for his impact on world affairs, highlighted by a Nobel Peace Prize for helping to resolve the Suez Crisis in 1956, and for his profound effect in creating Canada's "just society", and finally the introduction of the flag that our proud athletes carry in Sochi.

See the photo gallery for a few highlights of an evening devoted to celebrating Canada's political traditions and video below of Brian Lee Crowley's introduction and Moore's and Cotler's speeches.

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