1st Session, 41st Parliament,
Volume 148, Issue 177
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, Speaker
The Honourable Pierre De Bané, P.C.
Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, it is a great privilege for me to pay tribute to a passionate defender of minority rights, a kind and gentle man, and an outstanding parliamentarian: Senator Pierre De Bané.
I will do my best to deliver a worthy tribute in French this afternoon. As you know, when I first arrived in the Senate, I did not speak French well. Through your encouragement and inspiration, I am proud to recognize you in the language of Molière.
Honourable senators, with more than 44 years of service in the two houses, he is the dean of parliamentarians. In 1968, Pierre De Bané became the first person of Arab descent to be elected to the House of Commons of Canada, where he represented the people of Matapédia-Matane for 16 years.
The Université de Moncton awarded Senator De Bané its highest honour, doctor honoris causa, in Administration Science in recognition of his enormous contribution to Canadian society.
Senator De Bané is a very gentle and sincere man, but he can be equally fierce and passionate when it comes to defending language rights, as anyone who has seen him in action can attest. His passion for language rights is matched only by his passion for a united Canada that finds strength in its diversity and is recognized worldwide for its defence of individual rights and freedoms.
Senator De Bané, I will greatly miss your wisdom and presence in the Senate, but I am delighted to know that our friendship will live on for a long time.
You have been my mentor, my adviser and my friend. You are a person who has always encouraged me to overcome whatever I have faced. You have always been there to make me do more work and to encourage me. For this, senator, I will always miss you, and I thank you for all you have done for me.
I would like to express my best wishes to you, Elisabeth and your entire family. I hope that you enjoy your retirement together. Thank you.