Tribute to the Honourable Joseph A. Day – Sen. Mercer

By: The Hon. Terry Mercer

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Chateau Laurier, Ottawa

Hon. Terry M. Mercer: Honourable senators, after more than 18 years in the Senate, our friend and colleague, Senator Joe Day, will soon be leaving us. As a young man, he left his beloved Hampton, New Brunswick for Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean, then went on to graduate from the Royal Military College with a degree in electrical engineering.

He went on to law school at Queen’s and completed his master’s at Osgoode Hall Law School. In the intellectual property law days, he worked at some of the most prestigious law firms in this country: Borden & Elliot, Sim & McBurney, Ogilvy Renault and Gowling & Henderson. He also worked as legal counsel to J.D. Irving, Limited. Every New Brunswicker does that, I think.

At one time, he even made a foray into electoral politics in his home province when he ran in the riding of Fundy Royal, albeit unsuccessfully.

When he came here to this place in 2001, he brought with him all the skills and experience of his previous life. His ability to pore over technical material served him and, indeed, all Canadians well as he pored over budget implementation acts, supply bills and estimates. He ably spent more than a decade as Chair and Deputy Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, proving that he does, indeed, understand how budgets work.

He was Deputy Chair of the Banking Committee, and Deputy Chair of the Veterans Affairs Subcommittee, a nod to his RMC background. In fact, every year, he hosts an RMC cadet visit to Parliament Hill, as well as the Royal Canadian Air Force Association’s Air Force Day on the Hill and the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada’s World IP Day on the Hill.

Since June 2016, he has been the leader of our merry band of senators, once the Senate Liberals and now the Progressive Senate Group. For more than three years, he helped steer our ship through this new Senate and provided our group with steadfast representation. We thank you for your service in that regard, Joe.

Joe, your loyal Progressive colleagues and I will miss you and your mischievous smile terribly, though not your enthusiasm for the minutiae of the budgetary process. We wish you and Georgie all the best for the next chapter of your lives. Thank you, Joe.

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