The Honourable Jim Munson—Tribute—Senator Bovey

By: The Hon. Patricia Bovey

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Hon. Patricia Bovey: Honourable colleagues, Senator Munson — our conscience of kindness, our senator who skates or cycles to the chamber, a senator whose passion, concern for all Canadians, whose humanity, sense of humour, honesty and justice are the epitome of dedication, service and fun. Senator, you inspire us daily and, for me, have defined a goal to which we all should aspire.

Saying farewell to you from this august chamber is not easy, so I’ll just say thank you. Thank you for your kindness bill. Thank you for all your work and insights on Bill C-81 and the way you have stood up for people with disabilities. Thank you for your determination that you have brought to the chamber’s committees and to the parliamentary associations on whose executives you have served. Your vision and the way in which you have connected so many societal dots have made your years in this chamber admirable.

But now I want to be personal. I so appreciated the warmth with which you welcomed me when I was appointed to the Senate, and particularly when I joined the PSG. I have learned a great deal from you and by watching you work your magic.

Jim, your professional life prior to your time in the Senate was also truly significant. Before we actually met, I have to say you were in our living room almost daily for years, bringing us insights, facts and perspectives from various parts of the world, at home and abroad.

Your annual reminder in this chamber of the horrors and truths of the Tiananmen Square Massacre will be remembered. I can’t imagine being there that day. I do know artists who were there, by those who were mowed down by the tanks. Some fled to Canada. One in particular, who early on came to our house in Victoria, has since become a major Canadian artist. Your tales remind me of one of the hardest walks, or perhaps I should say runs, I have ever done, crossing that square over the new pavers covering the place of the massacre. I wanted to go around it, but the Chinese police wouldn’t hear of it. Feeling sick, I ran across the square with your news stories in my head and those of the artists I came to know, coupled with my visceral, visual memories of the images, sounds, stories and human lives of that day.

Jim, I do thank you for all you gave me and my clan before we met, and the guidance you have given in the years we have worked together. I congratulate you on your many accomplishments and wish you a truly wonderful, rewarding retirement and many years of good health.

I also congratulate you on your appointment to the University of Victoria. You will find it a warm and welcoming community, and I will see you there among friends I know we have in common. You must come for dinner.


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