Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

2nd Session, 39th Parliament,
Volume 144, Issue 28

Thursday, January 31, 2008
The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, Speaker


The Honourable Ross Fitzpatrick

Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, I rise today to pay tribute to Ross Fitzpatrick.

Rudy Loeser of The Seniors Choice NewsMagazine calls Ross “a distinguished senator, entrepreneur, businessman, family man and an outstanding Canadian.” Mr. Loeser is certainly right on all accounts, but, for me, Ross has been my mentor, a hard-working senator and, most of all, a friend.

I met Ross in the 1980s when he worked with my law partner Tom Dohm to promote the Liberal Party of Canada. In the late 1980s, I worked closely with Ross on the leadership race of Mr. Chrétien. As a result of my working with Ross, I have observed him to be an individual who is committed to making the Liberal Party of Canada a party for Canadians of all walks of life. I also know him to be a hard worker here in the Senate. Most of all, he is a loyal friend.

Since the day we met back in the 1980s, Ross has always been very supportive. He has always included and encouraged me to participate in the political process. I have a distinct memory of him helping my son Azool, then 14 years old, to be a convention delegate. Ross opened up the Liberal Party to people of all walks of life.

Ross has also worked very hard in the Senate and has shown the same dedication and work ethic to his Okanagan constituents. His constituents are richer for his work here and in helping them to bring resources to the Okanagan.

Honourable senators, once Ross becomes a friend of yours, he is always a friend. After all these years, my law partner Tom Dohm has not been forgotten by Ross. Ross, who is a very busy person, from time to time calls Mr. Dohm and brings sunshine into this old friend’s world.

Ross Fitzpatrick has achieved so much with the help of his beautiful wife, Linda. They are inseparable and very supportive of each other. Today, I also wish to pay tribute to Linda, as we know that, without her, Ross would not have been able to achieve so much.

To his son and business partner, Gordon, and to his daughter, Lesley, and to his grandchildren — Liam, Siobhan, Cassandra and Isabella — I say thank you for sharing Ross with us.

Ross, as you retire today from Parliament, I wish to thank you for your service to Canada. You may be leaving the Senate today, but we know that you will never retire from our lives. Thank you.