Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

1st Session, 41st Parliament,
Volume 148, Issue 96

Friday, June 22, 2012
The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, Speaker

The Honourable Mobina S. B. Jaffer

Eleventh Anniversary of Appointment—Expression of Thanks

Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, I rise today to thank all of you here in the Senate. It has been exactly 11 years since I was appointed to the Senate by Mr. Chrétien. I feel so privileged to represent my beautiful province of British Columbia.

Today, I want to thank Mr. and Mrs. Chrétien for their generosity. Thirty years ago, they welcomed my family to the Liberal family and supported us as we began our lives in Canada. I very much appreciate the help I have received from Speaker Kinsella, and Senators Carstairs, Cowan, Tardif, Munson, Hubley, LeBreton and Carignan. To each and everyone one of you for all the support you have given me, thank you.

I also want to thank the Clerk of the Senate, Dr. Gary O’Brien; the Principal Clerk, Chamber Operations and Procedure Office, Charles Robert; and all the table officers for their incredible efforts in support of our work.

Honourable senators, our legal section, under the leadership of Mark Audcent and now Michel Patrice, have obliged me in my work. I can tell Mark that we all miss him. The crux of our work is done in committee. I want to thank Heather Lank and her great team of clerks and support staff. Dan Charbonneau the Clerk of the Human Rights Committee, continues to support me in my role as chair of the committee and for that I am grateful.

I would also like to thank the communications principal clerk Blair Armitage, Karen Schwinghamer and Ceri Au. I want to thank all the personnel of the Information Services Directorate, especially Hélène Bouchard, Jacob Blackburn, Louis Bordua, Patrice Demers, Pascal Dupéré and Jim Cooke. I greatly appreciate their patience and continued support.

I know all honourable senators will agree with me that the human resources personnel work incredibly well to ensure we have the awesome staff we have. I want to thank Linda Dodd and Reina Bernier for their assistance. Thank you to all the staff of Finance and Procurement under the direction of Nicole Proulx, International Interparliamentary Affairs, in particular Gérald Lafrenière, and Legislative Systems and Broadcasting led by Diane Boucher.

We all know that without the able assistance of the analysts at the Library of Parliament, our work would be impossible. They have certainly responded to many of my requests. I want to especially thank Julian Walker, who has worked diligently on behalf of Human Rights Committee.

Honourable senators, we have challenges when we first start working in Ottawa. For a British Columbian, they are tenfold. I have greatly appreciated the good advice and support from our constant partners, the Senate Protective Service. I truly believe they have been my family away from home. I especially want to thank Mr. Gilles Duguay, without whose constant help in the many challenges I have faced on the Hill, I do not think I would have been able to function. He has advocated for me and supported me and I want to thank him and his entire team.

A huge thank you also goes to the Senate staff, including maintenance personnel, messages, interpreters, stenographers and pages. I want to thank a very special person; my French teacher Géraldine Lavoie. She has not had an easy student, but she has been very patient. I also want to thank my special support system, Linda Clifford, Darrell Mast, Nadia Charania, Rahmat Kassam, Gavin Jeffray and Jonathan Yantzi.

Honourable senators, I ask all the people who I have not mentioned to forgive me. All of you are special to me and I once again want to thank you for making the 11 years of my stay here in Ottawa an extraordinary experience.