Hon. Terry M. Mercer (Acting Leader of the Senate Liberals):
Honourable senators, on behalf of the independent Senate Liberals, I would like to join in paying tribute to our colleague Senator Richard Neufeld who will be retiring later this year.
Senator Neufeld is no stranger to politics and no stranger to serving the good people of British Columbia at every level of government. He has been a dedicated public servant for nearly 40 years. He’s been a town councillor and the Mayor of Fort Nelson, B.C. He served nearly 20 years in the B.C. legislature. His constituents rewarded his hard work with a number of consecutive re-elections.
He served as a provincial opposition critic and, when the tides turned, as they always do, as a provincial cabinet minister.
Now listen, as an aside about an interesting political career of a Canadian, he was elected as a Social Credit MLA in 1991, switched to the Reform Party in March of 1994 and then to the Liberals in October 1997, where he stayed until he left in 2009. You’ve been around the block, Richard.
Then he came to the Senate to continue his good work on behalf of British Columbians. He’s been here for 10 years, raising the concerns that matter most to his constituents. I’m certain my friend and colleague, Senator Joseph Day, would want me to mention that Senator Neufeld has been a long-time member of the National Finance Committee. At one time they served together as chair and deputy chair and helped bring about the demise of our humble penny. We are all a little lighter for that.
And over the years, Senator Neufeld has shown the same attention to detail he puts into fixing his vintage cars in poring over budgets and estimates and bills to get to the very heart of the issues facing Canadians.
Senator Neufeld, thank you for your service to British Columbians and to all Canadians. You have worked hard and worked collaboratively with all of us here in the chamber and you will be missed.
On behalf of my caucus colleagues, I wish you and your wonderful wife, Montana — whom I had the pleasure of meeting on a trip that we did together to New Zealand many years ago — all the best in your retirement and good health and happiness always.