The Honourable Rosa Galvez
The Honourable Wanda Thomas Bernard, O.C., O.N.S.

By: The Hon. Jane Cordy

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Red tulips, Ottawa

Hon. Jane Cordy: Honourable senators, I am pleased to rise today to honour the achievements of remarkable women, including two of our very own senators. On International Women’s Day, Women of Influence+ released their list of the Top 25 Women of Influence Awards recipients. These awards, “. . . acknowledge the unique achievements of diverse women representing various sectors, career stages, and contributions to the advancement of women.”

This year’s recipients include Senator Rosa Galvez, whose environmental work was particularly highlighted. Her career provides an excellent example to young women and girls who, like Senator Galvez herself, may have decided early in life what they wished to accomplish. Senator Galvez, that 10-year-old girl who dreamed of working toward contributing to a cleaner and healthier environment would certainly be proud of all you have done. I know I speak for all senators when I say that we know you are not finished yet. Congratulations.

The other recipients this year are Cheyenne Arnold-Cunningham, Louise Aspin, Kirstin Beardsley, Linda Biggs, Elvalyn Brown, Dr. Vivien Brown, Margaret Coons, Jan De Silva, Lovepreet Deo, Natalie Evans Harris, Allison Forsyth, Haben Girma, the Honourable Karina Gould, Eva Havaris, Nicole Janssen, Janet Ko, Maya Kotecha and Carly Shuler, Dr. Rachel Ollivier, Bobbie Racette, Paulette Senior, Domee Shi, Christine Sinclair and Suzie Yorke. They represent a wide array of careers and achievements, and I offer my congratulations to them all.

In addition to those 25 outstanding women, they also named a Lifetime Achievement Award, and I am pleased to report that it is our very own Senator Dr. Wanda Thomas Bernard.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.

Senator Cordy: She has been recognized for her impressive body of work, including her commitment to building a better future for marginalized communities. Wanda, it is my pleasure to once again speak about the continued recognition you are receiving on your life’s work, which has been filled with giving to others.

Senator Bernard was interviewed by Women of Influence+ on this occasion, and I would like to quote some words she shared about what motivates her. She said:

Every action I take is rooted in a critical analysis that always takes me back to my ancestors and how they fought with so little, but left such a powerful legacy. I live their legacy. I live their hopes and dreams, and so I have a duty and responsibility to work in the spaces that I’m in to make things different for the generations coming behind me.

Senator Bernard, you have already established a legacy in your own right, and I know there are so many people who are grateful for the work you have done and the work you continue to do. You have indeed made a difference for the generations to come. You are a remarkable person and a role model for so many, particularly for young women.

Honourable senators, please join me in congratulating Senators Galvez and Bernard along with the other impressive women being honoured at next week’s ceremony.

Thank you.

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