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Ontario Hansard - 03-June2009

Mr. Frank Klees: I rise to pay tribute to the life of James Albert Rice, whose family is here with us today.

Jim was born on July 14, 1932, and was raised in Richmond Hill, Ontario. He and his wife, Mary Deciantis, married in 1952 and raised seven children. They were blessed with 18 grandchildren.

As the great entrepreneur that he was, Jim embarked on a career as a general contractor, founding the James A. Rice Ltd. construction company in York region. Among his numerous and notable municipal, provincial and national project contracts was that of prime civil contractor for the military aeronautical communications system for the Department of National Defence in five provinces across Canada.

Over the years, Jim employed hundreds of skilled workers who remember him as an employer who encouraged them to constantly enhance their skills in the pursuit of excellence.

Throughout his life, Jim Rice made many contributions to his community and his industry. He served as a York region Catholic school trustee, worked with numerous charities and was a valued member of the Toronto Construction Association executive. In his later years, Jim also served as a member of the sovereign council of the Knights of Malta.

I am honoured, as a member of this Legislature and as a friend of James Albert Rice and his family, to invoke the recognition of all members of the Legislature of this great Canadian for his spirit of giving to his family, to his employees and to his community. May that spirit inspire us all.

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