Mamadosewin (meeting place, walking together)

The Honourable Fernand Robichaud—Inquiry

The Honourable Fernand Robichaud—Inquiry

The Honourable Fernand Robichaud—Inquiry

The Honourable Fernand Robichaud—Inquiry

Published on 25 November 2014 Hansard and Statements by Senator Fernand Robichaud (retired)

Hon. Fernand Robichaud:

Honourable senators, at midnight on December 1, my mandate in this chamber will come to an end. I’m pleased that a vote was called so that everyone is here to listen as I recount my 17 years in the Senate. I’m sure you realize that I’m pulling your leg.

These 17 years have gone by quickly. I’ve enjoyed my work in the chamber because I’ve learned a lot and — I say this quite humbly — because I hope that my work as a legislator has helped build a better world.

Today I want to say thank you. I’m so grateful to all the staff of the Parliament of Canada, and in particular those who work for the Senate and whose services have been invaluable to me. This includes the security guards, the cafeteria and dining room staff, as well as those who work in customer service, communications, debates, building services, planning, maintenance, housekeeping and messenger services.

I specifically want to thank Senate security, the Ottawa Police Service and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which keep us safe and which demonstrated their expertise with vigilance and compassion during the recent tragic events. They care about their work, they do a good job and we are grateful for that.

I’m also indebted to the Senate’s administrative and financial staff, as well as those who ensure that the committees and this chamber run smoothly: the pages, the attendants, the interpreters and the clerks for their courtesy and prompt service and, above all, for their sage advice throughout my mandate. I would also like to commend the work done by the table officers here. I may have often given the impression that I knew the Rules, but it was thanks to you. I took advantage of the fact that I sit close to you. Thank you.

I also want to thank the people who worked in my office over the years and supported me in my work. In particular, I would like to sincerely thank Carmen Gaudet, who is in the gallery. She has been a skilled, faithful and loyal assistant. She carried out her duties with professionalism and dedication. I would also like to thank Raymond Bourgeois, with whom I have worked closely and whose lengthy experience and wise advice I have appreciated.

I want to thank the leaders of our caucus because they often listened to me. I want to thank them for their understanding more than anything.

To all of you, dear colleagues, I want to say thank you for your friendship and your collegiality, even though our exchanges were heated at times. I appreciated the sincerity of your arguments and your sense of duty. I am leaving with good memories of the time I spent in your company, and I am thankful for the friendships we have formed and the discussions we have shared.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the Honourable Speaker and the Speaker pro tempore, who have recognized senators on both sides of the chamber and deserve our respect for allowing debates to continue even though, at times, they were on the cusp of violating the Rules of the Senate. I am grateful to you for that.

I am very grateful to my family and my children — Danielle, Andrée, Jacques and Pierre — who have always supported me and have been there for all of the important moments in my career and still will be, I’m sure, after I leave this chamber.

With your consent, honourable senators, I would like to recognize the presence of my daughter Andrée and her husband Marc in the gallery, as well as my wife, Ginette, who stands out because she is wearing red. She looks good in my colours. I would like to express my deep gratitude and appreciation to her because she has given me her full and unwavering support throughout my parliamentary career, which began in 1984. Today, I would like to say a big thank you to her.

Thank you, Ginette!

Honourable senators, I hope that for the first time, you will let me have the last word by giving your consent to consider this inquiry fully debated.

I would like to thank you all once again. I look forward to seeing you in the future.