2nd Session, 43rd Parliament
Volume 152, Issue 8

Tuesday, November 3, 2020
The Honourable George J. Furey, Speaker

The Senate


Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, I rise today to thank all the people who have worked tirelessly to ensure that the Senate Chamber was kept open and safe during these very difficult times.

I would like to start off by thanking the maintenance staff, who have always worked hard for us and are now working even harder to make sure that our spaces are safe and sanitized. I would like to thank the messengers, who are always on standby to accommodate our last-minute requests.

Honourable senators, Ottawa is much colder than Vancouver, so it is no surprise that I am particularly grateful to the bus drivers who take us to the chamber and to meetings. We all know that one of the hardest jobs in this place is that of the Parliamentary Protective Service. They are always watching out for our safety, and much of their hard work goes unseen. Thank you for your unending work to keep us safe.

For several years now, the Senate communications team under the leadership of Mélisa Leclerc has put a lot of effort into ramping up our presence online. The Senate’s Information Services Directorate has the important and often challenging job of ensuring we know how to utilize new devices and platforms. As you can imagine, their jobs became much more difficult during the pandemic. Under the leadership of David Vatcher , they are doing a tremendous job preparing us for the new hybrid model, which will help to connect us all.

While I couldn’t possibly give thanks to all the hard-working staff in the Senate Administration, on their behalf, I would like to thank Richard Denis, Pascale Legault and Philippe Hallée, who have been doing a yeoman’s job in making sure that the Senate continues to function in these unprecedented times, and have been complemented by the efforts of all the table officers, Blair Armitage and the committee clerks.

The Black Rod, Greg Peters, and his staff, have been thinking of all the different scenarios to keep us safe, and we know that has certainly not been easy.

Finally, to you, Your Honour, Speaker George Furey, you have been faced with a tremendous challenge of supervising Senate sittings. You and your capable right hand, Stuart Barnable, have made it easier for us.

Honourable senators, I want to thank all the people who have been working so hard so that we senators can continue to serve Canadians. I want all Canadians to know that under COVID-19’s difficult circumstances, we know our first duty is to serve you and to keep you safe. This is something we take very seriously and we do our best. Please stay safe. Thank you.