World Autism Awareness Day

Honourable senators, we have all these notes and prepared speeches in front of us, but sometimes you have to speak straight from the heart. The last three days have been an incredibly emotional journey dealing with Autism Awareness Day. We heard wonderful remarks from Senator Housakos and Senator Bernard, adding to the team of senators […]

2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games

Honourable senators, I will be speaking about autism tomorrow. There’s an autism summit going on in Ottawa, and I hope honourable senators can come tonight to room 160-S where we have a reception planned after the deferred vote tonight between five and seven. Some break weeks are better than other break weeks, and I found […]

The Late Bernard (Ben) Tierney

Honourable senators, in the news business, you really get to know a person when you share the journey together. In my case, the road trips were many, and getting to know this person helped shape my life as a reporter. His name, Ben Tierney, or as the headline in his obituary stated: “Legendary Canadian journalist […]

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Honourable senators, today I would like to speak about an issue that hits close to home. Earlier this year we lost our honourable colleague Mauril Bélanger. I can remember the day Mauril walked into my office, which is exactly a year ago, and told me his news; we cried a lot. He told me about […]

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Honourable senators, it’s nice to see that one of the new senators spoke about disability. It’s nice to have a new ally in Senator Renée Dupuis. To have another ally in the Senate dealing with human rights is extremely important. Honourable senators, since 1992, December 3 has been recognized by the United Nations as International […]

National Child Day

Honourable senators, every November 20, Universal Children’s Day — National Child Day in Canada — recognizes the 1989 unanimous adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by the United Nations General Assembly. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child outlines the framework for enabling children to flourish and advocates for […]

Special Olympics Hill Day

Honourable senators, today is a special day because today I met Brennan White, and perhaps you met people today like Brennan White. Brennan has Down’s syndrome, he’s a Special Olympics athlete, and this is “Special Olympics Hill Day.” And Brennan, as usual, along with Special Olympic athletes, teaches us a lot about good things, about […]

The Late Honourable Len Marchand, P.C., C.M.

Honourable senators, last week, Canada lost one of its most accomplished First Nations leaders. Len Marchand, our former colleague, died at the age of 82. Today, I would like to pay tribute to his remarkable life and many years of public service. Let me begin by saying that few Canadians have had such groundbreaking careers. […]

Tiananmen Square Massacre — Twenty-seventh Anniversary

Honourable senators, each year at this time, I remind the house of the horrible things which took place in Tiananmen Square on June 3 and 4, 1989. What took place was a massacre. I know what happened. I was there. But if you live in China today, you wouldn’t know anything happened. Why? Because the […]

Ovarian Cancer Canada

Honourable senators, I’m wearing this pin, which is the pin for ovarian cancer. If my colleagues would pay attention to what I’m going to say, I’d appreciate that. Honourable senators, I had a meeting last week with three remarkable women representing Ovarian Cancer Canada. Monique is the former director of the organization’s Quebec office. Lynn, […]

Tribute to the Honourable David P. Smith, P.C., Q.C.

Senator Smith, as your whip, I have saved every joke that you have written to me over the last 12 years. I have them all on my desk, but I’m going to give you enough time to get out of here before I publish them in my book. But they are tremendous insights into life […]

The Honourable Gérard La Forest, C.C. — Congratulations on Ninetieth Birthday

Honourable senators, earlier this month, Gérard La Forest, former Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, celebrated his ninetieth birthday at home in Fredericton. For several years, I’ve known of and respected this man — for his impact on our laws, our lives and our country, and for being a genuine, insightful person — characteristics […]

National Commissioner for Children and Youth

Honourable senators, the time feels right to renew discussions and action on the creation of a national commissioner for children and youth. Children are the most vulnerable segment of any population. They depend on adults for their education, nutrition, safe water, housing, community services and protection. They do not vote or participate in the political […]

World Autism Awareness Day

Honourable senators, I hope you mark on your calendars that April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day. We’ll be on our break at the time; that’s why I’m speaking today. We are fortunate to have a day officially designated to learn about and demonstrate our respect for those living with autism. The legal and official […]

The Late Winston Maxwell “Max” Keeping, CM, O.Ont.

Honourable senators, here we are in a room with a view. There’s no bad seat in the Senate, I guess. It’s a pleasure to be back today. Since we last gathered in this room an anchorperson and journalist in Ottawa, Max Keeping, my good friend and a friend to thousands in Ottawa and the beautiful […]

Rights of Persons with Albinism

Honourable senators, I share the sentiments of Senator Andreychuk and yesterday Senator Scott Tannas. It’s disturbing to read this, but it’s important. Honourable senators, I was completely unaware of the horrors endured by African albinos until a pamphlet or small card was thrust in front of us on our Canada-Africa trip in Dar es Salaam, […]

The Late Honourable Alasdair Graham, P.C.

Honourable senators, those of us who were lucky enough to be close to the Graham family knew Senator Graham as Uncle Al or Big Al. It was the early 1970s and I was thrilled to be a reporter on Parliament Hill, and because of Maritime friendships, family and other political connections, I got to know […]


Honourable senators, I’m going to talk about the country of Lesotho. I say “lesutu” because the people of Lesotho say “lesutu.” The American version is pronounced “lasoto” but it’s not that, it’s “lesutu.” That comes from the Cambridge dictionary. Honourable senators, Lesotho is a small, mountainous country landlocked within the borders of the Republic of […]

Tribute to the Late Honourable Pierre Claude Nolin—Speaker of the Senate

Honourable senators, I know this is a sombre occasion, but I think humour is helpful as a coping mechanism to deal with our collective sadness. He would always laugh when I told him — and I would get him every time when I said this — Pierre Claude, I’ve always looked up to you. He […]

World Autism Awareness Day

I rise today to talk about World Autism Awareness Day, which is tomorrow. Moments ago I was on the front steps of Parliament, and there was a rally for autism. There were 200 of us there, and it was a feel-good experience. It’s the third Autism Day on the Hill, carried out by my dear […]

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

Honourable senators, children in Canada are generally doing well. They have food, shelter and access to world-class health care and education. They are being raised by nurturing families and communities. Their prospects for promising futures are excellent. Unfortunately, we only need to turn our attention to what exists beyond these mainstream realities to recognize shameful […]

Abilities Centre

Honourable senators, each of us has our own hopes and goals for ourselves, for our loved ones and for the world at large. Canadians living with physical, intellectual and mental disabilities are, of course, no different. What they dream of and aspire to is as individual as they are, with one exception — the desire […]

Dee Gordon

Honourable senators, today is no ordinary day in the Senate. We have a visitor in the chamber, and her name is Dee Gordon. It is my honour to pay tribute to her this afternoon, a courageous mother. Dee is a remarkable woman whose strength of purpose and character are best conveyed by telling you about […]

The Late Bruce Phillips, O.C.

Honourable senators, this past Saturday, Bruce Phillips, one of Canada’s most respected journalists, passed away in British Columbia. It is my honour today to pay tribute to him. He was 84. Bruce was a good friend, and for five years he was also my boss. Those were great days on the Hill — 1979 to […]

Food Banks

Honourable senators, it is 11 years ago today that I was appointed to this special place, the Senate of Canada — 11 years, it’s amazing. That was 2003. My life was about to change in many positive ways, but for thousands and thousands of Canadians, life and its prospects were drastically different from mine. In […]

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Honourable senators, today is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. On this day, I dedicate my statement to the Honourable Senator Asha Seth. Honourable senators, the day this year is commemorated under the theme Sustainable Development: The Promise of Technology. All of us here can appreciate the presence and impact of technology in virtually […]

National Down Syndrome Awareness Week

Honourable senators, since Canadians can’t see us, I just tweeted: “Beautiful tributes to our Senate Speaker, Noël Kinsella. The Speaker retires today. He was always fair. A believer in human rights.” At least we can tweet our message to Canadians. Speaking of human rights, one week this month was National Down Syndrome Awareness Week, and […]

National Child Day

Honourable senators, I too join Senator Andreychuk in noting tomorrow’s being a very special day. Your words are wise words, and you and I have worked together on a lot of these issues when it comes to children. Indeed, tomorrow is National Child Day. In fact, it’s the twenty-fifth anniversary, as Senator Andreychuk mentioned, of […]

The Honourable Joyce Fairbairn, P.C.

Honourable senators, I just couldn’t let this day go by without saying a few words about our former colleague, Joyce Fairbairn. Joyce, the woman in red who sat in the front row for so many years, right over there. She was always in the front row, on the front lines of Parliament Hill. That’s just […]

The Late Mark Dunn

Honourable senators, it is with profound sadness that I rise today to honour an old friend. To be honest, he wasn’t that old, and that’s what makes it tougher. On October 25, Mark Dunn died at the age of 54. Mark Dunn was part of this political play on Parliament Hill in what seems forever. […]

Autism Awareness Month

Honourable senators, October is Autism Awareness Month, presenting us with a great opportunity to learn about and reflect on this disorder and its impact on people’s lives. Though I speak about autism at this time every year and, of course, on April 2, World Autism Awareness Day, I’m not at a loss to say something […]

The Late Constable John Pasqua

Honourable senators, our colleague Constable John Pasqua died in late August. I stand today to pay homage to him on your behalf. John worked at the Senate for 27 years. Throughout that time, he made a positive difference in ways many of us might not even realize and in at least as many ways that […]

The Late Ms. Eleanor R. Milne, Dominion Sculptor

We are going to miss you, the happy warrior, but I’m going to talk today about a special person who has been in our midst for some time, though you may not know it, and that is a woman by the name of Eleanor Milne. Honourable senators, every day as we make our way to […]

Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the Massacre in Tiananmen Square

Honourable senators, this is the twenty-fifth anniversary of the massacre in Tiananmen Square. I’ll tell you a bit of a story of my being a witness to this tragedy. With a clenched and raised fist, he seemed much older than the other faces in the crowd at a Beijing intersection but like the rest he […]

The Honourable Landon Pearson, O.C.

Honourable senators, today is a day to commemorate two significant milestones in social progress. It has been 25 years since the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child was released to the world; and it is also the anniversary of A Canada Fit for Children: Canada’s plan of action in response to the […]

Chair-Leader Event on Parliament Hill

I’m exhausted, honourable senators. I’m only exhausted because it is hard enough playing basketball standing up, but in a wheelchair it is really difficult. We had a game today. Today is Chair-Leader Day on the Hill and, with my Conservative MP colleagues, Minister MacKay and a few others, we had a basketball game today. It […]

Health Care for Seniors

Honourable senators, while it’s always good to look after your plumbing, it’s also always good to look after your cardiovascular system. There’s a clinic going on today, sponsored by the Canadian Medical Association. Representatives from the Canadian Medical Association are meeting with parliamentarians all day today; perhaps you’ve had those meetings. They’re here to discuss […]

World Autism Awareness Day

If you hear some special sounds in our gallery today, those are all my friends and your friends, and the sounds you may hear are the sounds of love and affection from an autistic young man. His name is Philippe Manning. It’s important to keep that in mind as we think of the world of […]

Team Homan

Honourable senators, as Coach Demers has said, I wish I could play hockey like a woman, and I have always looked up to Martin St. Louis. Honourable senators, the focus has been on the Winter Games in Sochi, but we’re also proud of another Canadian team that could end up in Pyeongchang in 2018. I […]

The Late Eugène Rhéaume

Honourable senators, I wish to say a few words about my good friend Gene Rhéaume. He died in November. In tributes to Gene since his passing, certain wonderful characteristics are mentioned again and again: his distinct use of language; his engaging stories; and his sense of humour, which he used as much to make a […]

Sambro Island Lighthouse

Honourable senators, this is a statement on the preservation of the Sambro Island Lighthouse in Nova Scotia and, hopefully, the preservation of many other lighthouses in this country. First lit in 1758, Sambro Island Lighthouse is the oldest surviving lighthouse in North and South America. It is also one of the most historically significant lighthouses […]

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Honourable senators, today is the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities. It is a wonderful occasion for individuals and groups to recognize the contributions of people with disabilities — I like to put it the other way, the ability to do what we can’t do — this year, under the theme “Break Barriers, […]

Birthday Greetings

Hon. Jim Munson: Honourable senators, I would like to wish special birthday greetings to an exceptional New Brunswicker. This gentleman’s academic work commenced with elementary and secondary schooling in Saint John, New Brunswick, and has involved university studies in several European universities, including University College Dublin, Ireland; St. Thomas Aquinas University, Rome, Italy; and Pontifical […]

The Honourable Joyce Fairbairn, P.C.

Honourable senators, I do not have any notes to speak from, but perhaps I may leave it to Senator Mercer to help me along. The last couple of weeks have been a test of friendships, a test in terms of loyalty and a test of the Senate. It has been a very emotional roller-coaster ride […]

Autism Awareness Month

Honourable senators, October is Autism Awareness Month. For individuals and groups dedicated to autism issues in Canada, this occasion is an opportunity to carry out public awareness and advocacy initiatives. As we all know, there are tens of thousands of people within our country’s autism community, each with his and her own unique story and […]

Travers Debates 2013

Honourable senators, I rise briefly to remember my late friend, Jim Travers, a great journalist, a great guy, a great fellow on election campaigns, a good foreign correspondent, a very senior parliamentary correspondent and a superb columnist who took on all governments. This week was quite a week. On Tuesday night we had the second […]

Tiananmen Square Massacre

Honourable senators, that was very touching because we all have memories, some good, some bad, some happy and some sad. Each year, on this date, I stand up in this special place to remember those who stood up for democracy and were killed. Each year, on this date, I remember the massacre in Tiananmen Square. […]

Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month – Chair-Leader Event on Parliament Hill

Hon. Jim Munson: Honourable senators, given the special nature of this day, I would like to seek leave from the Senate to deliver my statement while seated, to honour Canadians who use wheelchairs each and every day. The Hon. the Speaker: Is leave granted, honourable senators? Hon. Senators: Agreed. Senator Munson: Thank you, honourable senators. […]

Autism – Support for Families

Last week, an Ottawa couple made a heart wrenching decision after 19 years of intense stress and worry for their autistic son’s safety. Amanda Telford and Alex Chiasson decided the time had come to give up the fight. Philippe is non verbal. He wanders, slipping out of the house only to be found hours later […]

Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada – One Hundredth Anniversary

Honourable senators, Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada is 100 years old and is marking this important anniversary with some great activities. As I speak, 100 delegates are in Ottawa, and those 100 delegates were in the Senate having discussions, which was wonderful. Senator Meredith was here for that. I talked to many of the Big […]

World Autism Awareness Day

Honourable senators, I would also like to recognize Suzanne Jacobsen, who is in our gallery. She has single-handedly led an effort here in Ottawa dealing with QuickStart, a program that is very important to all of us and to the autistic children in our city. Honourable senators, over the past four years I have stood […]

World Down Syndrome Day

Honourable senators, today, on World Down Syndrome Day, I am on the same team as Senator Enverga. As he said, today is World Down Syndrome Day, a day for us to reflect upon and raise awareness of the vital role that people with Down syndrome play in our lives and communities. Down syndrome is a […]

Tribute to the Honourable Joyce Fairbairn, P.C.

Honourable senators, this is emotional. I have learned so much from Senator Joyce Fairbairn and the contributions she has made to this country throughout her more than 40-year career on Parliament Hill. She is a special human being whose actions and decisions are rooted in and inseparable from who she is at heart: hard working, […]

Parks Canada Canal Systems – User Fees

Honourable senators, I also wish to welcome our five new senators. You will find us pretty nice on this side. Do not be too nervous or concerned. Just watch me. Last month, honourable senators, Parks Canada released a proposal to dramatically increase the fee structure for using our country’s canal systems, particularly for the Rideau […]

Human Rights in China

Honourable senators, in recent weeks Canadians have been captivated by the takeover of Nexen by the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, or CNOOC. The chatter we heard was mostly about Canada being open for business, and China an ideal customer. That may be so, but the fact is that China is still ignoring its human […]

Food Banks Usage in Canada

Honourable senators, if there was an elected Senate, I would run and win. Did honourable senators know that children and youth represent 21 per cent of our population, but they make up 38 per cent of those Canadians who use food banks? Did honourable senators know that people in Nunavut spend, on average, 25 per […]

Tribute to the Honourable Francis William Mahovlich

Honourable senators, since Frank misses his brother all the time, he calls me “The Little M,” and he has my back. The record must show, with regard to The Big M, that statistics do matter. For the public record and the parliamentary record forever, here are some of Frank’s achievements: Calder Memorial Trophy winner 1958; […]

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Honourable senators, yesterday, December 3, was the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This year, it is being celebrated around the world, under the theme of removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all. I am fortunate to have inspiring friends and associates involved in addressing issues affecting people with […]

National Child Day

Honourable senators, today is National Child Day. This is a special day to celebrate the adoption in 1989 by the United Nations General Assembly of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The convention not only recognizes the basic human rights of the world’s children, but also gives them additional rights to protect them […]

National Down Syndrome Awareness Week

Honourable senators, today is the first day of National Down Syndrome Awareness Week, a public awareness campaign organized by the Canadian Down Syndrome Society. Under the slogan “See the Ability,” the campaign shines a light on the strengths and abilities of people with Down syndrome and aims to support community and national programs that ensure […]

Autism Awareness Month

Honourable senators, October is Autism Awareness Month, and I was reflecting on what a month it has been. As I mentioned yesterday, it was wonderful the day before to see so many members of Parliament supporting the bill on Autism Awareness Day that is about to be signed by the Governor General. This is about […]

National Arts Centre – Congratulations on Fortieth Anniversary

Honourable senators, I call to your attention an important anniversary. This year marks the fortieth anniversary of Canada’s National Arts Centre. With several stages, including the largest one in North America, the NAC offers innovative programming in the performing arts. The NAC was created by Parliament in the 1960s as part of our centennial celebrations. […]

Tiananmen Square Massacre

I thank Senator Di Nino for that statement.  As he mentioned, yesterday was the twenty third anniversary of the massacre in Tiananmen Square.  As many of you know, I was there as a correspondent for CTV News.  I witnessed the deaths of many young people.  I will never forget that hot and muggy night, nor […]

Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month and Chairleader Event on Parliament Hill

Hon. Jim Munson: Honourable senators, given the special nature of this day, I would like to seek leave from the Senate so that I can deliver this statement from my wheelchair. The Hon. the Speaker: Is it agreed, honourable senators? Hon. Senators: Agreed. Senator Munson: Honourable senators, today is Chairleader on the Hill Day. I […]

World Autism Awareness Day

Honourable senators, today is World Autism Awareness Day. The last time I stood before you to discuss Bill S-206, to legally recognize this day in Canada, I spoke optimistically. I said I hoped it would be passed by this date. It’s April 2nd and the bill is still in parliament, but I remain hopeful. Indications […]

Vimy Ridge Day

Honourable senators, as His Honour mentioned, we have special guests here today. They are guests of mine and guests of yours, and they are great Canadians. They are accompanied by my old friend Don McCumber, who is President of the Ontario branch of the Army Cadet League of this country. I am so pleased, Senator […]

Brain Awareness Week

Honourable senators, this week is Brain Awareness Week, a worldwide campaign to draw public attention to the incredible and important advancements being made in the field of neuroscience. Last month, I had the opportunity to visit the University of Victoria and meet with representatives of NeuroDevNet, a Canadian network of centres of excellence dedicated to […]

The R. James Travers Foreign Corresponding Fellowship

Honourable senators, it has been a year since Jim Travers died suddenly, leaving countless readers and viewers, who turned to him for his thorough and wise coverage of the news, reeling from shock. Praise for this intelligent and extremely likeable man came from everywhere — from the Prime Minister and opposition leaders, to journalists and […]

Special Olympics Canada Winter Games 2012

Honourable senators, I had the pleasure last week to be in beautiful St. Albert, Alberta, which has a great community history of the Metis, Aboriginal and French history that sometimes we forget in that part of Alberta. It is also home, I guess, to Jean Chrétien’s 100 cousins. Anyway, I digress. I was there to […]

The Late Dean Heywood

Honourable senators, when we think of people who report on and bring us the news, we tend to think about those who stand in front of the camera. We see them and talk about them as if we know them. Dean Heywood was a CBC parliamentary TV cameraman. Though he worked on the other side […]

The Late Mr. Denis Boileau

Honourable senators, on Tuesday, our Senate family became a little smaller. Mr. Denis Boileau, the most kind and polite person you will ever meet, passed away suddenly that afternoon. As the Speaker knows, Denis was responsible for the printing department. Earlier this week, Senator Tkachuk gave a statement about Denis. Following the remarks, we all […]

Chairleader Event on Parliament Hill

Honourable senators, I seek leave to sit in my wheelchair to deliver my statement and to work in the Senate today. First, I thank His Honour for allowing this sort of access today. I think it is precedent setting and sends a very important message to the rest of the country and to Parliament Hill. […]

The Honourable Joyce Fairbairn – Congratulations on Induction into Paralympic Hall of Fame

Honourable senators, I am happy to share the news that one of our colleagues has received an important honour. On Friday evening, Senator Joyce Fairbairn was inducted into the Paralympic Hall of Fame in the capacity of a “builder.” I had the pleasure of attending the ceremony and watching my dear friend receive the award […]

2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games

Honourable senators, I will be in Toronto tomorrow afternoon to attend the celebratory send-off of our Canadian Special Olympics athletes to Athens, Greece, to compete in the 13th Special Olympics World Summer Games. These games include 22 sports, and Canada will participate in 7 of them: 10-pin bowling, athletics, powerlifting, rhythmic gymnastics, soccer, softball and […]

Senate Page Program

Honourable senators, I stand today to praise the pages of the Senate. I feel it is important to tell Canadians just how special these young men and women are. They come from every corner of this country — Victoria; Iqaluit; Beresford, New Brunswick; Rimouski, Quebec — and are true ambassadors of their provinces and territories. […]


Honourable senators, for a week in late February, I visited Ethiopia with a parliamentary delegation hosted by RESULTS Canada: a grassroots advocacy organization working to generate public and political action to end hunger and the worst aspects of poverty. The honourable members of Parliament, Dean Allison — who is a good friend when one is […]

Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons

Honourable senators, I want to share today another example of the great work that is being done by senators in this chamber as they perform concrete actions to represent and promote the rights and interests of groups and individuals who might be overlooked otherwise, and how honourable senators are supporting these Canadians. I had the […]

The Late Mr. Jay Roberts

Honourable senators, I stand today to pay tribute to my old friend Jay Roberts who died this past October. He is best known to Canadians as the legendary Ottawa Rough Riders tight end who, in the late 1960s, helped carry the team to two Grey Cup wins. My friendship with Jay dates back to the […]

Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa

Honourable senators, it is my pleasure today to highlight that this year, 2010, marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa. Since it was founded in 1960, the agency has assumed a crucial role in this city, helping youth and their families resolve a wide range of serious problems. I am honoured […]

The Late Honourable Norman K. Atkins

Honourable senators, I guess some weeks are tougher than others. I had just been reflecting on the death of former Prime Minister Trudeau when yesterday I read a tribute to Mario Laguë, a friend and former Director of Communications for Michael Ignatieff. Now Norman — or “Kemp” as he was known to his close friends […]

The Late Mario Laguë

Honourable senators, there are likely several among you who had the pleasure of knowing Mario Laguë, Communications Director for the Leader of the Opposition, Michael Ignatieff. Mario, as most of you know — and everyone should know — was killed in a tragic accident one morning this summer as he was driving to work on […]

Canadian Paraplegic Association

Honourable senators, I am having a very interesting day. I am rather sore. I was allowed to walk in, but you may have seen a wheelchair outside. Senator Kochhar and I have been in wheelchairs since 7 o’clock this morning in an effort to raise awareness on behalf of the Canadian Paraplegic Association. I can […]

World Autism Awareness Day

Honourable senators, April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day, a day recognized by 192 members of the United Nations. First, I invite you to join us tomorrow in the Commonwealth Room, room 238-S in Centre Block, and meet people working on behalf of autistic people, a group called the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance. By […]

The Honourable Tommy Banks, O.C.

Honourable senators, as the senator of Ottawa/Rideau Canal — and I am proud of the city I now call home — beyond Parliament Hill you find natural beauty in a city ready to offer unique cultural and artistic offerings. I am especially proud of the National Arts Centre and was glad to remind honourable senators […]

National Child Day

Honourable senators, I wish to call your attention to an important anniversary. This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Like all international conventions, it expresses the will and reflects the deeply-held beliefs of nations around the world. This convention speaks to human rights, but focuses […]

Special Olympics Hill Day

Good evening, honourable senators.  It’s an invigorating moment, isn’t it?  All of us gathered in this Chamber, primed and looking forward to launch into our work for Canadians. Tomorrow is Special Olympics Hill Day, an occasion for us to direct our attention to a movement that for more than 40 years has been enriching the […]

Global Handwashing Day

Honourable senators, if you are like me, you have heard enough about handwashing. Honourable senators know how important this practice is to protect our health and to prevent the spread of disease, particularly with the H1N1 epidemic. However, around the world there is another epidemic — the epidemic of intestinal diarrheal diseases and pneumonia — […]

Autism Awareness Month

Honourable senators, today is October 1, and October is Autism Awareness Month. Many of you know how important this cause is to me. I was saddened to see a story in the media only yesterday of a father in Edmonton who was so overburdened with the care of his autistic son — so stressed — […]

Big Brothers Big Sisters Ottawa

Honourable senators, this week we will have a chance to make a difference in a young person’s life by contributing to the Big Brothers Big Sisters Ottawa Buddy Up campaign. The formula for Big Brothers and Big Sisters is simple; it matches a “Little,” a young person from 6 to 16, with a “Big,” an […]

Tribute to Senator Atkins

Mine is a testimony of friendship with a mentor and it goes back a long time. It started decades ago when Dalton Camp, Findley MacDonald and Norman Atkins were contributing their formidable talents to many conservative campaigns in different provincial races and the federal arena. When Norman Atkins was creating the “the big blue” machine […]

Twentieth Anniversary of Tiananmen Square Massacre

Honourable senators, I might find this hard to read, but June 3 is the anniversary of the massacre in Tiananmen Square. Though that is 12 hours from now, it is already June 3 in Beijing. Honourable senators, it has been 20 years, but that horrific picture is engraved in my memory. It was June 3 […]

World Autism Awareness Day

Honourable senators, today is World Autism Awareness Day, a day recognized by 192 members of the United Nations. A number of senators joined us in the West Block yesterday as we brought groups working on behalf of autistic people together with parliamentarians and their staff, and it was a good day. These groups had been […]

Amy Robichaud

Honourable senators, I am happy to announce that Canada has chosen one of its future prime ministers, and she has a history in this chamber. University of Ottawa student Amy Robichaud, who worked as a Senate page for two years, is the winner of the CBC’s national contest, “Canada’s Next Great Prime Minister” — and […]

The Late Tom Hanson

Honourable senators, it is with a very heavy heart that I rise today to speak about a wonderful man who has left us. Tom Hanson, a friend of mine, an award-winning photographer with Canadian Press, died two nights ago at the much-too-young age of 41. Tom was one of those burly photographer types making their […]

Special Olympics

Honourable senators, last month I had the privilege of being part of Canada’s Special Olympics Team in Boise, Idaho, for the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games. Canada was proudly represented by 113 athletes, coaches and volunteers. Our athletes brought home a record 20 medals, 11 of those gold. In the weeks ahead, when the […]

Bathurst High School Boys Basketball Team

Honourable senators, a little over a year ago, I stood in this chamber to talk about the tragic highway accident that took the lives of seven high school basketball players and the wife of the coach in the community of Bathurst, New Brunswick, an area of the country which I call home. That was a […]