Hon. Jane Cordy: Honourable senators, I rise today to congratulate our former colleague, Senator Terry Mercer, on being awarded the Saint Mary’s University Distinguished Community Service Award. For those of you who knew Terry during his time in the Senate, this will come as no surprise. Indeed, for anyone who knows Terry outside of the Senate, it’s even less of a surprise.
Before being appointed to the Senate, volunteerism and service had always been important markers in Terry’s life. His dedication to his community, whether on a large or small scale, has always been at the forefront. A lifelong volunteer, he’s not only offered his services, but has also encouraged others to become involved and to serve their communities. The key to a well-functioning society lies in our ability and our desire to help out one another.
Senator Mercer has always worked in some capacity in the charitable sector. He’s held a variety of positions with various charitable institutions, including the Metro Toronto branch of the Diabetes Canada, the YMCA of Greater Toronto, Lung Association of Nova Scotia, St. John Ambulance, Nova Scotia Council and the Kidney Foundation of Canada, Nova Scotia branch. Senator Mercer is a Certified Fund Raising Executive, and has been active within the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
Senator Mercer introduced the National Philanthropy Day Act in this place in 2011. Since its passing, November 15 of each year has been designated as National Philanthropy Day. Because of Terry’s leadership on this initiative, Canada was the first country to recognize this day officially.
As those of you who know him can attest, Senator Mercer remains as passionate and dedicated as ever. He and his wife Ellen have raised thousands of dollars over more than ten years participating in the Ovarian Cancer Canada Walk of Hope. Team Ellen Mercer regularly places within the top five fundraisers in Halifax for their efforts.
While we can count the donations and point to the direct impact they have on charitable organizations, I’m sure Terry would tell you that the greater impact is encouraging others to become engaged and involved with their communities.
This is truly the gift that keeps on giving. The help you undoubtedly offer comes back to you when you find yourself in need.
Honourable senators, although November 15 was National Philanthropy Day, I encourage you to carry its spirit and Terry’s spirit forward all year round, but particularly as we enter the holiday season, which can be a difficult time for many. May we strive to inspire one another to kindness. Once again, congratulations to our former colleague, Senator Mercer, thank you.
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.