Hon. Jane Cordy: Honourable senators, on behalf of the Progressive Senate Group, I’m pleased to join with my fellow leaders to mark the end of our proceedings for the holidays. We’ll soon find ourselves at the end of another year, one that has brought what seemed to be one heartbreaking event after another. The word “unprecedented” has been used so often that it seems to have lost all meaning for us, but at the same time there has been light through the darkness. We have a vaccine now. Canadians everywhere have stepped up to help one another and to support local business owners. Frontline health care workers continue to work diligently for those in their care.
The Senate, too, has undergone a temporary — we hope — transformation, allowing us to fulfill our constitutional duties while ensuring the health and safety of senators and staff.
To Speaker Furey, you’ve helped to shepherd this chamber through the transition, always mindful of the Senate’s role and responsibilities and the well-being of those who support us. On behalf of the Progressive Senate Group, Senator Furey, I would like to thank you and your staff for their efforts in managing these new hybrid proceedings.
I must also thank all those who make these hybrid sittings possible — the clerks, the pages, the Senate Administration staff, the Building Services staff, the Parliamentary Protective Service, our own office staff and the Information Services staff without whom none of us would be able to join virtually. I know the effort and long hours that have gone into making the Senate function, and I thank you for all your dedication and hard work. You are an incredible team and we’re lucky to have all of you.
Thank you also to my fellow leaders for your continued collegiality. While we’ve not always seen eye to eye — and that’s a good thing — we have managed to come together when it counted and we do the work that Canadians expect of us. That sentiment extends to all my Senate colleagues for your contributions to the successes in this place. I believe that we have done some excellent work over the past nine months to improve the lives of Canadians.
Finally, thank you to my Progressive Senate Group colleagues. Our little group has had a great year. I appreciate your support, your openness, and I value your warmth and your collegiality. I very much look forward to all that we can accomplish together in 2021 and beyond. We are small, but I think we’re mighty.
Honourable senators, the past few months have been trying for many. I hope that each one of us takes some much needed rest so that we can return renewed and refreshed to our work for Canadians in the new year.
On behalf of the Progressive Senate Group, I wish all senators and all staff a very happy holiday and our very best to each of you for the coming year. Thank you.
Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.