Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

3rd Session, 40th Parliament,
Volume 147, Issue 90

Wednesday, March 2, 2011
The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, Speaker

The Honourable Donald H. Oliver

Congratulations on Martin Luther King Life Achievement Award

Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, I rise today to congratulate my friend and colleague, Senator Donald Oliver. This is a week of celebrating Senator Oliver’s work. On January 15, 2011, Senator Oliver received the Martin Luther King Life Achievement Award from DreamKEEPERs.

Senator Oliver was appointed to the Senate of Canada over 20 years ago. During his time in the Red Chamber, he has fought tirelessly for the rights and interests of minority groups in Canada, and has been an active member of over a dozen Senate committees. Prior to his appointment to the Senate, he was a barrister, teacher, entrepreneur, advocate and statesman.

Throughout his career, he has demonstrated, and continues to demonstrate, his commitment to guaranteeing equality for all Canadians. Most recently, Senator Oliver raised $500,000 to lead the first national study conducted in Canada that proves the business case for diversity. It is because of the great work that Senator Oliver has accomplished, and that he continues to accomplish, both inside and outside this chamber that he has received this great honour.

Unfortunately, Senator Oliver was unable to receive this award in person as he was in the Middle East on an official visit as a member of the Canadian parliamentary delegation with His Honour, Speaker Kinsella. However, I had the honour of receiving this award on his behalf.

After spending the evening hearing about all the wonderful work Senator Oliver has done for both his province of Nova Scotia and the nation at large, I felt that he deserved to receive this honour in person. Earlier this afternoon, honourable senators had the pleasure of being present at a ceremony held in the Speaker’s office, where His Honour formally presented this prestigious award to Senator Oliver.

It was a touching ceremony and I am pleased that Senator Oliver has received the recognition that he so rightly deserves. In his acceptance speech, which I had the pleasure of delivering, Senator Oliver quoted Martin Luther King, who once said:

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Senator Oliver, I am certain all honourable senators will join me in saluting you for the diligent work you do to ensure that Dr. King’s dream becomes a reality.

Honourable senators, please join me in congratulating Senator Oliver for receiving the Martin Luther King Life Achievement Award.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!