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Expression of Gratitude

Excerpt from Debates of the Senate (Hansard)


Expression of Gratitude

Hon. Marty Deacon: Honourable senators, first let me thank my colleague Senator Martin for generously giving her statement spot to me today.

Senators, I stand today to speak to what I call those “5 Days in May,” after the song. If I can borrow a few lines from Greg Keelor and Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo:

How will you ever know

The way that circumstances go?

Always gonna hit you by surprise

We are entering that time of year when emotions run high and debate runs deep but, as I left Ottawa last week after finishing the first five days in May, I was struck by a number of thoughts and emotions — and I am sure I was not alone.

Very quickly a number of things were at play that required our thought, being truly present, time for celebration and time for empathy. We celebrated the life and accomplishments of our colleague Josée Forest-Niesing. Behind this, we had staff and a senators team attending to every detail with a grieving family who still deeply mourn the loss of their loved one. From the music, the planning, the speeches, thank you to so many. To mention one person would result in leaving someone out. However, this loss and celebration gave us much to think about.


Layered on top of this, we celebrated the departure of a senator who has left a deep and solid history in the Senate. Senators spoke beautifully from all corners of the Senate. We learned more about Senator Mercer, and this had to remind each of us of why we are here, what we are doing and how we can collectively be great.

As one senator is moving on to his post-Senate life during these five days in May, we listened to Senators Gignac, Sorenson, Audette and Clement as they gave their inaugural speeches. We learned more about each of you and your diverse contributions.

One of the greatest joys I have in the Senate is meeting and listening to colleagues from all groups of the Senate. All perspectives inform me. Last week we had much common ground to share, mourn and collectively celebrate.

So the five days in May will evolve into a rush to the June finish. For today, let us just stand or sit still for this moment. Let us not forget this past week — the kind of week that we had. I continue to show great gratitude to be here in the Senate with such an impressive array of Canadians.

Thank you, meegwetch.

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