The Late Honourable Lorna Milne

By: The Hon. Jane Cordy

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Women Are Persons Monument, Ottawa

Hon. Jane Cordy: Honourable senators, I rise today to pay tribute to the Honourable Lorna Milne. Lorna passed away on March 1 of this year, in Brampton, Ontario.

Lorna was appointed to the Senate of Canada by Prime Minister Jean Chrétien in 1995 and served until her retirement in 2009. Lorna was the Senate vice-chair of the national Liberal caucus from 2006 to 2009 and the president of the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association from 2004 to 2008. During her time in the Senate, she had been the chair of the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament when the position of Senate Ethics Officer was created upon the committee’s recommendation. She also chaired the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee, and was instrumental in passing Bill S-18 which allowed any historical census data prior to 2001 to be released to the public, and, in the following years, this allowed Canadians to decide whether they wanted their information to be released or not.

Lorna had a keen interest in genealogy — this included her own family history certainly, but also the accumulation and preservation of Canadian history and the history of Canadians. She was heavily involved for many years with the Ontario Genealogical Society, and in 2002, she was named its honorary patron.

Her time in the Senate was not Lorna’s first foray into public service. You could say that she had always been a community builder. In the 1980s, she was the president of the North Peel unit of the Canadian Cancer Society, as well as a coordinator of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, and she spent years on the board of the Brampton YM/YWCA.

Another passion of Lorna’s was pressed glass, particularly early Canadian pressed glass. She was an expert on the subject and an active member of the Glasfax association. There is something to be said for admiring the everyday beauty in things that might be otherwise overlooked. What one person might consider purely functional and insignificant, Lorna could hold up to the light and appreciate all the colours reflected in it and its intricate designs. This, honourable senators, is a rare but special ability.

My deepest condolences to Lorna’s family and friends on the loss of such a cherished wife, mother and grandmother. I am sure that she will be deeply missed, but also that you are left with a lifetime of wonderful memories. Thank you.

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