Parry Sound-Muskoka MP Tony Clement is mourning the death of a fellow MP.  

On Wednesday, 57-year-old Gord Brown was found dead in his Parliament Hill office. Clement says he and Brown were not just colleagues but friends serving together in Ottawa. He says Brown’s time as MP was definitely impactful.

Thalidomide was a drug that had been marketed as a morning-sickness remedy in the 1950s without being tested for possible adverse side-effects and caused birth defects in over 100 babies. These babies, now grown up and known as Thalidomide survivors, are given a one-time payment of between $75,000 and $125,000 to help with medical care costs. Starting in 2016, Brown had reportedly fought to get compensation for a handful of thalidomide survivors who were not able to get government funding for survivors because they couldn’t prove their mothers had taken the drug.

Clement says Brown had many friends amongst his colleagues in Ottawa.

Brown had served as MP for the riding of Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes since 2004.

Just after the news broke, Clement appeared teary-eyed in front of reporters saying the job as MP “takes years off your life.”