2nd Session, 41st Parliament,

Volume 149, Issue 121

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Honourable Pierre Claude Nolin, Speaker


The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, P.C.

Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, I rise today to pay tribute to our colleague and dear friend, Speaker Kinsella.

Speaker Kinsella, my respect for your work, as well as on a personal level, is unparalleled. This chamber truly will miss your presence.

Speaker Kinsella has pushed the envelope for what could be done by one person, serving our country in many ways. We know of his long-serving commitment here in the Senate and the various other positions he held, as Chairperson of the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission for 22 years, President of the Human Rights Foundation, and the list goes on.

Speaker Kinsella used his work as a platform to excel the important task of strengthening our democracy. I want to share a story with you about Speaker Kinsella that looks more closely at him as an individual.

In 2009, the Aga Khan Foundation held a public viewing of the Quilt of Belonging. I want to share a few of the Speaker’s own words from this event.

The Quilt of Belonging is a remarkable achievement with 263 blocks representing all of Canada’s main First Nations groupings and every nation of the world. They are all a part of Canada’s complex social fabric, represented here in actual fabric. . . These parts and materials form a bold, integrated, and unified artwork to reflect a bold, integrated, and unified Canada.

Honourable senators, I believe this reflects the core of who Speaker Kinsella is — and this will remain his legacy — a man who focused on people, understands that every individual in our country belongs no matter how different or divergent they are.

All Canadians, from all walks of life, are held in a place very close to Speaker Kinsella’s heart. We have had the privilege to see him act on this sentiment throughout his career.

Speaker Kinsella’s commitment to human rights has personally served as inspiration and guidance for me. Looking at his remarkable work dedicated to human rights encourages me to keep doing the work that needs to be done. Not only has he advocated nationally for human rights, Speaker Kinsella has brought this work to the international stage, most notably when he helped take Sandra Lovelace v. Canada to the United Nations Human Rights Committee.

Many of us in this chamber have been inspired and humbled by Speaker Kinsella’s work. I believe we should be inspired by his motivations as well. He understands that in order for a diverse nation such as Canada to thrive, each person must find a way to link to the next — a common connection. Speaker Kinsella used this to guide his work.

I would be remiss if I did not, at this time, thank Mrs. Kinsella for her continuing presence around this chamber and also for the support of Mr. Kinsella. Your supporting him has made his work and his tasks lighter. We thank you for that support.

Much like the Quilt of Belonging, Speaker Kinsella, you have worked to connect the fragmented pieces of our country. This is what makes you an exceptional and genuinely just person. It has been a pleasure to serve Canada alongside you.

Speaker Kinsella, though you have left this chamber, your legacy remains strong and intact. We salute you and Mrs. Kinsella and your incomparable contribution to our institution and our nation. We thank you for your service. Canada is better for it.

An Hon. Senator: Hear, hear!