The Late Honourable Patricia Carney, C.M.—Tribute

By: The Hon. Jane Cordy

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Ceremonial Guard, Ottawa

Hon. Jane Cordy: Honourable senators, I rise today to pay tribute to former senator Pat Carney, who passed away on July 25 at the age of 88. Senator Carney served in the Senate from her appointment in 1990 until her retirement in 2008. A remarkable public servant, her journey to politics began in her early working years with a deep-seated sense of duty.

Before making a foray into politics, Pat had a background in journalism, municipal planning and economic consulting — skills she took with her into her political career. As a journalist, she was the first woman business columnist writing for a major daily newspaper in Canada.

As Senator Martin and Senator Tannas stated, Pat Carney was a trailblazer. She first ran for a seat in the House of Commons as a Progressive Conservative candidate in 1979. Defeated in that election, she ran again in 1980 and was elected the Member of Parliament for Vancouver Centre. After the 1984 election, she was appointed to the cabinet of then-prime minister Brian Mulroney as the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources. In 1986, she was named the Minister of International Trade, and she was at the forefront of the negotiation of the Canada-U.S. free trade agreement for which she received an award for outstanding achievement in the field of international law and affairs from the New York Bar Association. She retired from the other place in 1988, after having served for two terms. Senator Carney blazed a trail for women in Canadian politics. She was the first woman Conservative member of parliament elected in British Columbia, and was the first woman from British Columbia to be appointed to the Senate.

Senator Carney’s impact extends beyond the legislative sphere. She has been a mentor and role model for aspiring politicians, particularly women, inspiring them to break barriers and pursue careers in public service. Her dedication to mentoring the next generation of leaders is a testament to her belief in the importance of nurturing talent and ensuring a diverse and vibrant political landscape.

Honourable senators, on behalf of the Progressive Senate Group, I wish to extend my condolences to the family of the late Pat Carney.

Thank you.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.

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