Hon. Terry M. Mercer: Honourable senators, at the end of December, we lost a respected colleague and friend to many of us: Senator Elaine McCoy. An accomplished legal mind and intrepid politician, she was at the forefront of Senate modernization. She advocated for greater independence of senators — as was clear from the start when she styled herself as a Progressive Conservative, a party that no longer existed here in the Senate when she was appointed.
Senator McCoy served as an MLA, cabinet minister and eventually senator, where she continued to proudly represent Albertans. She did this with compassion and strong ideals — ideals she was not shy to share with all those she met.
I remember many conversations with her and our old friend Senator Norm Atkins, which, for me, were indicative of the nature of this place and how we should work together across ideological boundaries to accomplish what is best for our provinces and our country.
If you were never at her Christmas receptions, you have missed quite a collection of guests. Former Liberals, former Progressive Conservatives and, indeed, former prime minister Joe Clark, were always in attendance — and they were quite the shindigs.
A truly independent mind and defender of the Senate, Senator McCoy’s four decades of service to her province and to the country will live on, especially by those she leaves behind.
I extend my sincere condolences to her family and friends, and I encourage us all to continue her legacy of independence and advocacy for those we represent. Thank you, honourable senators.