Senator Gignac pays tribute to the Honourable Percy Mockler

By: The Hon. Clément Gignac

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Parliament, Ottawa

Hon. Clément Gignac: Today, on behalf of the Progressive Senate Group and myself, I’d like to join others in paying tribute to an exceptional colleague who is about to retire, the Honourable Percy Mockler.

My first encounter with Senator Mockler was in the fall of 2021, shortly after I was sworn in to the Senate. We quickly discovered a mutual affinity. Indeed, we had both been active in provincial politics as MLAs and ministers. In addition to that, we had, and still have, a great friend in common, the Honourable Jean Charest. The former leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada and former premier of Quebec spoke very highly of Senator Mockler, alluding to his tremendous kindness and generosity, and how right he was.

Over time, a beautiful friendship — a close bond, really — developed between us. Right from that first meeting, I was charmed by his warm welcome, his unpretentiousness and his dedication to his New Brunswick community and his family. Premier Higgs’ presence here today is a testament to how much his constituents appreciate his commitment to his community. I know that many of them are also watching us live on SenVu.

When I became a member of the National Finance Committee, Senator Mockler explained to me his role and philosophy as committee chair: a non-partisan, collegial approach. As Chair of the National Finance Committee since 2017, Senator Mockler has led over 300 meetings, called over 1,000 different witnesses, seen many ministers come and go, and tabled 55 reports in this chamber. After 25 years of service, he is one of the longest serving senators, with the exception of Senator Day.

Senator Mockler, I was particularly impressed by your sense of duty when I saw how you kept the work of the National Finance Committee, including the current Liberal government’s agenda, moving along well, despite your personal convictions and political affiliation. As one of my colleagues mentioned, you’re a wonderful example of respect and political neutrality, two values that should always guide Senate committee chairs. Ever courteous, you always gave your committee colleagues the privilege of asking the witnesses their first questions before you asked your own. As Senator Smith also mentioned, all of my committee colleagues will remember the four key words you used to wrap up your meetings: transparency, accountability, reliability and predictability.

Your departure will be a great loss for the National Finance Committee, and I, personally, will really miss you because you have been a mentor to me on many occasions.

In closing, Senator Mockler, you will leave an indelible mark through your dedication, community involvement and sense of duty.

My dear friend Percy, thank your for your friendship and mentoring. Take care of yourself, your wife Suzanne, your four children and seven grandchildren. Happy retirement.

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