2nd Session, 41st Parliament,

Volume 149, Issue 148

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Honourable Leo Housakos, Speaker

The Late Honourable Alasdair Graham, P.C.

Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, I rise today to pay tribute to one of on our former colleagues and my friend, the Honourable Senator Al Graham, who passed away in April.

Long before he became a senator, Al Graham’s commitment to serve Canadians, and to the Liberal Party in particular, was exceptional.

In 1972, he was named to the Senate by Prime Minister Trudeau, and later he became the president of the Liberal Party of Canada. It was around that time that I came to Canada as a refugee, and it was his inspiring leadership that made me believe that I could also be part of this great country of Canada.

More than anything, Senator Graham worked tirelessly with Liberal International, travelling around the world, often at his own expense, to connect with Liberals all over the world. He truly believed that an inclusive, interconnected world would lead this country and the world to a more prosperous future. We can see the fruits of his labour today, as the Liberal Party is more diverse than it has ever been.

Senator Graham and I often travelled together, he as a senator and I as the vice-president of the Liberal Party of Canada. We travelled to Amsterdam, Barcelona, Oxford and many other places.

Senator Graham tried many times to have me deliver my message with honey. I failed miserably. I told him that I was an Indian, and I ate hot spices. Therefore, I could never be like him. He always delivered his position with a smile.

Senator Al, even now, when I go for the jugular, afterwards I remember you. I wish I would remember you before I speak. I am trying.

To his family, thank you for sharing Al with us. The Liberal Party and Canada are richer for the work he did on our behalf. Thank you for your sacrifice.

It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to the Honourable Al Graham. His legacy in this place and in the Liberal party of Canada will live on forever.

 

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