Hon. Joseph A. Day (Leader of the Senate Liberals):
Honourable senators, tomorrow evening, in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, the YWCA will host its Women of Distinction banquet, where one of our own, our good friend and colleague, the Honourable Lillian Dyck, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.
There is no question that Lillian Dyck is deserving of such an honour. Her accomplishments before and after her appointment to the Senate have impacted the lives of countless Canadians and been widely recognized.
She received the National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Science and Technology; a Commemorative Medal for the Centennial of Saskatchewan; the Saskatchewan First Nations Women of the Dawn Award in Science and Technology; and an honorary doctorate from Cape Breton University.
But this is typical of our colleague. Anyone who knows Lillian Dyck will attest to her principles and her persuasiveness.
She fought tooth and nail for an inquiry into the tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. She fought what sometimes must have felt like an uphill battle to persuade others to join in her call for a national inquiry. As a testament to her efforts, that inquiry expects to publish its final report in just a few weeks.
She continues to advocate for those whose voices go unheard. Her latest work, Bill S-215, would have required judges to consider harsher sentences for offenders who commit violent crimes against Indigenous women and girls.
That bill, though it passed in this chamber, was defeated in the other place. Senator Dyck was deeply disappointed by this outcome but, undeterred, she is already making plans for her next move with regard to that issue.
Colleagues, Senator Dyck herself said that she’s not quite ready for a lifetime award. I would agree. I have no doubt that her good work is not finished, and look forward to what she has yet to accomplish. Please join me in congratulating our friend and colleague, Senator Lillian Dyck, for receiving this Lifetime Achievement Award and in wishing great success in her future endeavours.
Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!