Hon. Jane Cordy: Honourable senators, I rise to add my voice to the tributes to our departing colleague Senator Boisvenu. Senator Plett, I guess I should say, “Conservative Senator Boisvenu.”
This place demands much of our energy, as we strive to do our utmost in service to Canadians. Honourable senators, we can consider ourselves lucky when we reach our retirement and still be lit and fuelled with the same passion as when we first set foot on the Senate floor. Pierre, you have never lost your passion for your work.
Often, there is a personal experience or connection that inspires the work we do as senators. Senator Boisvenu, you have certainly felt deeply the calling and the fire that turns overwhelming pain into real action and — more important still — real change.
I would argue, Pierre, that your passion for victims’ rights, and the rights of their families, is stronger today than it was when you joined the Senate 14 years ago. You should be very proud of your accomplishments. In that time, you have sponsored 24 pieces of legislation that have received Royal Assent and have, without doubt, strengthened the rights of victims and their families in Canada. You championed the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights — Bill C-32 — through to its adoption in 2015, ensuring victims had access to information about their cases, protection, participation and financial compensation.
It has been my pleasure working with you and travelling with you, particularly with the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association. You worked very hard in the association, but you always had fun as well. For anyone who has travelled with Pierre, you know that he finds the very best restaurants wherever you happen to be in the world, and he loves to walk around the cities to get to know each city better. You will walk for miles every evening after the meetings. I’ve been in Lithuania where you actually rented a bicycle in the rain to explore the city.
Pierre, I know your advocacy goes far beyond these walls. I know you will continue your work with Le Nid in Val-d’Or, and with the Association des familles de personnes assassinées ou disparues. We will miss your voice in this chamber, but we know that you will not be far away. You will still be stoking the fires. On behalf of the Progressive Senate Group, we wish you all the very best in your retirement. It has truly been a pleasure working with you.