Tribute to Gérald Lafrenière

By: The Hon. Pierre Dalphond

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Hon. Pierre J. Dalphond: Honourable senators, on behalf of the Progressive Senate Group, I’m pleased to join my colleagues to thank Gérald — we call him Gerry during in camera meetings — and to pay tribute to Gérald Lafrenière who has been serving as the sixteenth Clerk of the Senate and Clerk of the Parliaments on an interim basis since 2020. It almost became a permanent basis.

Thank you, Gérald.

A permanent appointee will be officially starting full time on Monday, so Gérald will be occupying a different seat, but he’ll still be at our table, and that’s what matters. He’ll still be part of the Senate family.

Our institution is best able to succeed when we have the steady and capable work and advice of professionals, such as Mr. Lafrenière, functioning both behind the scenes and also directly in front of us during our time in the chamber.

I, personally, have benefited from his sage advice, and I know we all have. What I admire about Mr. Lafrenière, and have always admired, is his poise. He’s always smiling, even in the face of the worst crises. He looks us in the eye, smiles, lays out the options and reassures us, and we carry on.

Gérald, thank you for your opinions, your comments and your experience. You’re a wise person in a chamber full of wise people, but even those wise people benefit from time to time from the wisdom of those who have been here longer.

In closing, I, like my fellow leaders, am very glad to know that he’ll just be moving to a different seat at the table. To his family members who are here today, know that we’re happy he’ll be staying with us. He won’t be with you full time next week.

We’re happy. At the subcommittee of the Internal Economy Committee this morning, we made the necessary decisions to ensure that he’ll be sitting comfortably at our table with his new hat and in his new chair on Monday morning. Thank you.

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