Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

2nd Session, 40th Parliament,
Volume 146, Issue 73

Wednesday, November 25, 2009
The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, Speaker

The Honourable Marcel Prud’homme, P.C.

Hon. Mobina S.B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, I rise today to join my colleagues in saluting an outstanding Canadian, a compassionate, caring and knowledgeable public servant, and one of our own, the Honourable Marcel Prud’homme, as he prepares to take his leave of this chamber.

When I was appointed to this chamber in 2001, I knew Senator Prud’homme through reputation only. On the day of my appointment, he welcomed me in this chamber. Not only did this please me, but it pleased my family as well.

Senator Prud’homme, you have taught me a lot of things. My colleague, my friend, I will never be as courageous as you have been in expressing your point of view, but I will try.

Today marks Senator Prud’homme’s 16,726th day as a parliamentarian. He was first elected in a by-election in the Quebec riding of Saint-Denis in 1964. Senator Prud’homme was re-elected there eight times and served the people of his riding until his appointment to this chamber in 1993.

In those 45 years, 9 months and 17 days of service, Senator Prud’homme has become known as the dean of Parliament, a testament not only to his longevity of service and encyclopedic knowledge, but also to his unwavering commitment to the international causes that have shaped and continue to shape the world around us.

He has been a champion of international cooperation. Senator Prud’homme’s tireless efforts to generate dialogue between people and nations have been tremendous. Before I had the opportunity to know him personally, I knew that he wore the badge of statesman proudly. Senator Prud’homme, you are a person who has immeasurable respect not only for building bridges between different groups, but also for daring each to cross those bridges and discover their common interests.

Senator Prud’homme, I have greatly enjoyed working with you over the past eight years. Your work has had a major impact, not only on us, but where you have travelled all around the world. I hope you continue to speak your mind on those important issues that will bring us together.

Your leaving will create a void in the areas that you have been working on. You have a great institutional memory of Parliament, and your contributions to the promotion of democratic values where they do not exist will not be forgotten.

We thank you for the great work you have done on behalf of all of us; and I thank you for the great work you have done in bringing various communities together to find common interests.