Hon. Joseph A. Day: Honourable senators, on behalf of the Progressive Senate Group, I would like to welcome all senators back to this chamber.
Senator Loffreda, I am pleased to join Senators Harder, Plett, Saint-German and Tannas in welcoming you to this chamber. There is little more I can add to what my colleagues have already said about your accomplished life before your arrival here today. We congratulate you for that and we thank you for agreeing to serve in the Senate of Canada.
However, I would like to reflect a moment on why we are all here. Our primary purpose is the scrutiny of legislation, with what Sir John A. Macdonald called “sober second thought.” We propose amendments to bills when we feel those amendments are necessary or desirable. We advocate for minorities, such as Indigenous peoples, women, and persons with disabilities. We represent our regions and their place in Confederation. While we fulfill that traditional role, we are changing and modernizing how this chamber operates in order to better reflect the expectations of Canadians.
We have seen some recent changes, with the creation of the new Canadian Senators Group under the leadership of Senator Tannas and Senator Verner, with the creation of our new parliamentary group, the Progressive Senate Group, and with the election of a new Leader of the Opposition, Senator Plett.
I would also like to take a moment to thank Senator Harder for his leadership as Government Representative, and Senators Bellemare and Mitchell for the role they each played in the last Parliament. Also, I would like to thank Senator Smith. Your leadership was well displayed here with your team.
We must never forget that our fundamental goal remains to make our provinces, our regions and our country a better place for Canada.
Senator Loffreda, I’m certain that your expertise will be an asset to us in the work we do moving forward. Once again, the Progressives welcoms you to the Senate of Canada. My colleagues and I look forward to working with you. Welcome.
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!