Hon. Pierre J. Dalphond: Honourable senators, I would like to take a few moments to pay tribute to someone who is a former colleague in the Canadian judiciary and a former senator, but still a friend.
Senator Sinclair is a man who is imposing in every sense: physically, intellectually and morally. What a remarkable life he has led. He was the first Indigenous judge on the Provincial Court of Manitoba and one of the first judges appointed to a superior court by the federal government. Because of his great qualities, he was asked to chair the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which produced a historic report whose teachings and recommendations will continue to guide us for a long time to come.
On a more personal note, I have to say that I would not have come to the Senate if not for the famous group of six appointed in March 2016. When I was appointed 18 months later, he was the first person I called to humbly ask him to be my mentor in the Senate, because I have to admit that I’m a fan of Murray Sinclair.
I had the great pleasure of working with him to promote some ideas on how to reform the operations of the Senate and define its role as an unelected chamber that, going forward, will be made up of non-partisan members.
Our Senate family is losing an important member, but the Senate’s loss is his immediate family’s gain, as his son Niigaan said so well, and I quote:
. . . as my father leaves his public life as a Senator — with his days as a commissioner, judge and lawyer a part of history — my family now get our time with him. While this will be a change for all of us (and he doesn’t even crack the top-five decision makers in our family) it’s well deserved — because we have been waiting a long time. . . .
Still, we are better off for all he did to get us here.
Miigwech, dad, and welcome home.
Thank you, Murray. Meegwetch.