Hon. Wanda Elaine Thomas Bernard: Honourable senators, I’m honoured to share my voice today. I want to speak today on behalf of all Canadians, particularly women in general, and especially racialized women, to thank the Honourable Lillian Dyck, who retired from the Senate this past summer. I think it’s fitting that we are doing this today, International Human Rights Day, and also the last day of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
Senator Dyck, on behalf of women in Canada, we thank her for being a trailblazer. We thank her for being a tireless advocate. We thank her for her demonstration of grace and tenacity during the most challenging situations. We thank her for being a strong role model and mentor for young women leaders.
When I reflect on her life’s journey and all the contributions that she has made — and many colleagues have spoken about those wonderful contributions — I personally stand in awe, and I am truly grateful for the work she has done to break through so many barriers. She is truly a trailblazer: a woman of distinction in science, a woman of distinction in academia, a woman of distinction in her communities, and a woman of distinction here in the Senate. She has fearlessly advocated for the rights of those do not have a voice.
My only regret is that I did not get an opportunity to work closely with Senator Dyck prior to her retirement. However, I do hope to create some opportunities to work together in the future.
Honourable senators, I wish our colleague Senator Dr. Dyck the very best in her retirement and truly look forward to seeing what she does in her next chapter. Thank you.