1st Session, 43rd Parliament
Volume 151, Issue 14

Tuesday, March 10, 2020
The Honourable George J. Furey, Speaker

The Late Honourable David P. Smith, P.C., Q.C.


Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, I rise today to pay tribute to our dear friend and former colleague the late Senator David Smith. I knew Senator Smith for over 30 years. To me, he was Mr. Liberal. In his youth, he served as president of the Young Liberals of Canada. He then continued his service as a member of Parliament and cabinet minister under Prime Minister Trudeau in the 1980s. Finally, he ran several successful Liberal Party campaigns under Prime Minister Chrétien in the 1990s and 2000.

Senator Smith believed in the values of the Liberal Party, and he implemented them. Having known Senator Smith for years, I have many stories I could share.

One that stands out in my mind is when Senator Smith and Senator Mercer and I travelled to the University of Oxford in England, where Senator Smith showed off his encyclopedic memory of all the different buildings and the history of the University of Oxford.

I also remember one early Sunday morning when Senator Smith dragged us all to church. We forgave him because after church he treated us to a great brunch. I remember that day because it was when I realized what an inclusive and thoughtful person Senator Smith was. He made sure I, as a practising Muslim, felt welcome in church and at social gatherings. He was always very thoughtful and would make sure I had my own special drink.

Honourable senators, what I admired most about Senator Smith was his commitment to public service. Having served our country for the majority of his life, Senator Smith made many personal sacrifices throughout his career, and he did it out of his love for Canada. In fact, that was a quality he shared with his wife, Justice Heather Smith. They have both demonstrated to us that there are many ways to serve our great country. Their tireless work has had and continues to have an impact upon our lives. We will always be indebted to you for your selfless service.

Alex, Kate and Laura, please accept our deepest condolences. Your dad always wanted to leave politics in a better place than when he found it — for you and his grandchildren. Rest assured, he did just that.

Senator Smith, you served the Liberal Party and Canadians with all your heart. You will be missed, and your contributions to Canada will not soon be forgotten. On behalf of the independent senators, rest now in peace, my friend.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.