New Senator—Congratulations on AppointmentPublished on 19 September 2017 Hansard and Statements by Senator Joseph Day
Hon. Joseph A. Day (Leader of the Senate Liberals):
Honourable colleagues, I would like to welcome you all back to Parliament Hill.
I hope you all had a good and restful summer because we have some busy days ahead of us.
In particular, I would like to welcome our newest colleague, a fellow New Brunswicker, Senator David Adams Richards. As an award-winning author — I have noted as well, as Senator Harder pointed out — that he has won awards in both fiction and nonfiction, and it will be interesting for us to see which genre better prepared you for this new role that you have here.
As you join the Senate on the path to learning more about our institution while also participating in its renewal, I would like, if I may be so bold, Senator Richards, to offer you some advice.
The Senate is most commonly referred to as a chamber of sober second thought, and we all do our best to heed that motto. But there is another important component that helps us in our role as a complementary legislative body. The other place, as we sometimes refer to the House of Commons, is often more focused on the immediate and on what is politically profitable. Our chamber is better poised to take the long view and to consider policies and legislation with regard to their long-term consequences.
Our committees are typically thought to ask more difficult questions of witnesses as we try to consider all possible impacts of policy and legislation.
We are also proud of our diversity here in this chamber and our ability to speak for all Canadians. I have no doubt that you will be a strong voice not only for New Brunswickers but also for rural Canadians in particular.
I encourage you to take your time to get acquainted with the Red Chamber. It will, at times, appear to be a steep learning process, and I assure you that you have many colleagues who will be pleased to answer any questions and familiarize you with this ever-changing institution. We often have a reputation for being averse to change, but I assure you that we are not. Many of us simply wish to ensure that we get things right as we reconsider how to operate and how this reflects our long-term thinking.
I would like to take this opportunity to assure you that we look forward to working with you, honourable senator. On behalf of the independent Liberal senators, welcome to the Senate of Canada.