Hon. Amina Gerba: I rise today on behalf of Senator Michèle Audette to pay tribute to our colleague, Senator Dennis Dawson, who decided to retire so that he can spend more time in the most wonderful role of all, that of grandfather.
Senator Audette first heard of Senator Dawson when he was a young politician. In fact, he was elected as the youngest member of Parliament in Canadian history.
She finally met him many years later. Yes, the first few times, she thought he seemed like someone with a good sense of humour and who was maybe even a bit of a clown.
A few moons later, their career paths crossed again and she was happy to have a chance to really talk to him and get to know this intelligent man much better. Senator Audette had the privilege of benefiting from his wise and precious advice over the course of many meetings and discussions that were not necessarily all sweetness and light, since it is important to point out that our dear colleague, although kind and respectful, has a tendency to be rather blunt. She would like to thank him for that advice, because he helped her make some very judicious choices.
On a number of occasions, she and her friend Dennis were on the same flight back to Quebec during the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and those are memorable moments for her.
When she was appointed to the Senate, he was the second person to call and congratulate her. At first, she really thought she would be part of his group. However, that was not to be. He nevertheless respected her decision, even though he took every opportunity to let her know that his group, the Progressive Senate Group, was the best option in the Senate.
Dear colleague, dear advisor, dear friend, on behalf of Senator Audette, I thank you from the bottom of my heart, and I wish you a tranquil and wonderful retirement. You are now part of her circle of mushum.