Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

1st Session, 38th Parliament,
Volume 142, Issue 14

Tuesday, November 16, 2004
The Honourable Daniel Hays, Speaker


The Honourable Laurier L. LaPierre, O.C.

Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: On September 18, 2001, four senators were sworn in. This group included myself, Senator Léger, Senator Lapointe and, of course, Senator LaPierre. We all came from different walks of life and we all hoped to be instrumental in the work of this place. Although Senator LaPierre was granted the shortest time of all of us to accomplish that task, there can be no question that he has left a strong mark here.

In 2001, I knew Senator LaPierre in the same way that many Canadians know him best: through his work on CBC’s This Hour Has Seven Days. However, unlike many Canadians, I have had the privilege to be his seatmate in the Senate for these past years. I now know him better, not only as a public figure but also as a person.

Senator LaPierre is one of the greatest communicators that we have. When he speaks, he has the ability to bring an issue to life and raise it right to the rafters of the chamber and beyond — and he does this with great passion. When Senator LaPierre talks about something, you understand not just what he thinks about it but also how he feels about it.

Since his appointment, Senator LaPierre has taken a lead role when it comes to addressing media concentration within this country. He has also been a strong supporter of gay marriage rights and the inclusion of sexual preference in the hate crimes section of the Criminal Code.

On a personal note, besides being my seatmate in the Senate, for most of my time here Senator LaPierre has been a great friend to me. Without him, I might have had greater difficulty finding my way around Ottawa. He has been a guide and an inspiration to me.

Most of all, I think, all of us will remember him for the real passion that he brought to this institution. I know I will not be the only one who is sad to see him leave us so soon. However, I know that he will always be the Honourable Laurier LaPierre, O.C., and that he will be sure to lend his voice whenever it is needed to help keep Canada the greatest country in the world.

Vive le Canada!