Hon. Joseph A. Day (Leader of the Senate Liberals):
Honourable senators, I would like to bring to your attention the death of Douglas Everett, a former senator, and pay tribute to his service here in the Senate of Canada.
As the Speaker has just indicated, he passed away last month at the age of 90 years. Although I did not know him personally, as his tenure in the Senate predated my own, I am struck by what we had in common as I learn more about him.
We were both graduates of royal military colleges. He attended the Royal Canadian Naval College at Royal Roads in Victoria, British Columbia, while I attended the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston. We both have law degrees from Osgoode Hall Law School. We both sat in the Senate as independent senators, independent Liberals. We both served for many years as Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance.
Before arriving in the Senate, Mr. Everett was a successful businessman, making a career for himself in the gas business that he started with pumps in the lot of his family’s car dealership in Manitoba. That business, Domo Gas, continues today with some 80 outlets in the western provinces of Canada.
In 1966, Mr. Everett was called to the Senate by then Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, where he represented the senatorial division of Fort Rouge, Manitoba. He was then just 39 years of age, making him at that time the youngest person ever to be appointed to the upper chamber.
He sat as a Liberal for 24 years, until his support of the Goods and Services Tax caused a fundamental disagreement which resulted in his becoming an independent Liberal. He ultimately resigned from the Senate in 1994 after that federal election.
In his resignation speech, he said:
I believe that an appointment to the Senate of Canada is the greatest honour that can be conferred upon a Canadian. Senators are a dedicated lot and most of them work extremely hard. Interestingly enough, contrary to popular opinion, the hardest workers are often those who have political backgrounds.
As an independent Liberal, Douglas Everett was one of those who worked hard here in the Senate on matters that affected his province and his country. On behalf of the Independent Senate Liberals, I would like to offer our deepest condolences to his widow Lila, his six children, his stepchildren and his many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.