The Late Honourable Nicholas William Taylor

By: The Hon. Jane Cordy

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Hon. Jane Cordy: Honourable senators, I would like to share a few words with you about a former colleague, the late Senator Nick Taylor. Senator Taylor passed away in Calgary on October 3 at the age of 92.

Trained as a geologist and a mining engineer, Nick worked with several oil companies before starting his own company, Lochiel Exploration, in 1960. The company grew to be an international operation, with offices in Calgary, London, Syracuse, Tel Aviv, Cairo and Istanbul.

Nick believed that the measure of a person was not in how many times he failed but in how he learned from his failures and how he kept moving forward. He held fast to this motto, particularly as the energy market moved up and down during difficult economic shifts.

Nick’s passion for politics began in the 1960s. In 1968, the start of the Pierre Trudeau years, Nick ran for the Liberals in the federal election. He lost but later became leader of the provincial Liberal Party in 1974. He didn’t have a seat in the legislature but gained many friends and regaled the legislative reporters with many stories. In 1986, Nick won a seat in the legislature, along with three Liberal colleagues, one of whom was our former colleague Senator Grant Mitchell.

Nick had a wicked sense of humour, and Senator Simons gave us some examples of this in her tribute to Senator Taylor a few weeks ago.

Honourable senators, I guess the reality is that if you are going to be the Liberal leader in Alberta, then a sense of humour is definitely going to be an asset.

I last saw Nick in the spring of 2019 when, at the age of 91, he was testifying before the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources. Nick spoke in favour of Bill C-69, which was not the prevailing sentiment of many Albertans. Nick demonstrated that, even at the age of 91, he stood up for what he believed in, whether or not it was popular. It was such a treat to talk with him, to catch up and to see that he had not lost any of his spark or spunk.

Honourable senators, upon Nick’s passing, our former colleague and also a former leader of the Liberal Party in Alberta, Senator Grant Mitchell had this to say about Senator Taylor:

Nick Taylor was a remarkable person, intelligent, witty, deeply committed to public service and the world is a better place for having had Nick Taylor.

His wit made him very engaging and a great deal of fun to work with, but he was so much more than that. The nature of his wit was an indicator of his intelligence.

Senator Mitchell also said that Nick Taylor was “funny, fearless and deeply committed to making the world a better place.”

Honourable senators, my thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Peg, and to his family. Thank you.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.

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