Hon. Dennis Dawson: I met Jim in 1977, when I was first elected to the other place. By then he had already been covering the Hill for several years. I can confirm for our friend, Senator Gold, that, yes, the National Press Club was one of his favourite places on the Hill. Also, I want to confirm that at that time, Jim was a much-feared journalist on the Hill. Since then, and for all those reasons, he has maintained a fierce reputation. I will make my statement brief, since there are many of you who wish to speak. Instead, in this virtual world, I opted for a virtual tribute. You will find in your email inboxes a few links to some great Munson moments, as they are often called. One is a much-publicized confrontation with Trudeau, the father. Trust me, it was not a moment of great kindness from either one, but I’ll let you judge that when you see it. Another covers his arrival to the dark side of partisan politics when he joined the staff of Mr. Chrétien. I tried to find a video of him when we were both thrown out, with 30 other senators, from the Liberal Caucus, but I decided to pass on that subject.
As I was saying, I met Jim in 1977, and what followed were 44 years of friendship, no matter which hat he was wearing. I will miss Jim’s presence in the Senate, but I don’t doubt for a second that we’ll see him again around here. After all, he’s been a part of Parliament Hill for almost 50 years.
Ginette and Jim, when you’re in the “Republic,” drop by to see me in Quebec. I’ll be happy to do with Jim what I did at the National Press Club almost 45 years ago.
See you soon, Jim and Ginette. Happy retirement.
Additionally, there is a link on the Progressive Senate Group website for those people listening who may want to access those Munson moments.