Hon. Jane Cordy: Honourable senators, it is my pleasure to rise today to celebrate the achievement of one of our own senators. On Saturday evening, Afroglobal Television hosted their 2022 Excellence Awards, and our honourable colleague Senator Wanda Thomas Bernard was a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Excellence Awards gala — whose master of ceremonies this year was MP and parliamentary secretary Greg Fergus — has a stated mission:
. . . to showcase the achievements of individuals, organizations, businesses and agencies that make a profound difference in the lives of people of African descent, and to transform the communities where they live.
The Afroglobal Television Excellence Awards recognize both Canadian and international recipients and celebrate “the best of Africa & the Global Diaspora.”
Senator Bernard joins an impressive list of past recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award, including the Honourable Zanana Akande, the first Black female minister and member of provincial parliament; and the Most Honourable Portia Simpson-Miller, the first female prime minister of Jamaica.
As we all know, Senator Bernard was the first African-Nova Scotian woman to be appointed to the Senate of Canada, and this award celebrates that achievement — one of many on the list of reasons for recognizing her at this ceremony. They highlighted her other impressive honours: the Order of Nova Scotia, the Order of Canada, the Frank McKenna Award for Leadership in Public Policy and being named among the 100 Most Influential Black Canadians.
The human rights work that Senator Bernard has pursued in the service of African Canadians, and, in particular, African Nova Scotians, is commendable. I am pleased to see the impact that she has made in our home province of Nova Scotia, in this chamber and, indeed, across the country. And I know she is not done yet.
I invite all honourable senators to join me in congratulating Senator Wanda Thomas Bernard, the recipient of the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award of Afroglobal Television’s Excellence Awards program. Thank you.
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!