Tribute to the Honourable Serge Joyal, P.C. – Sen. Mercer

By: The Hon. Terry Mercer

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Parliament Hill from across the Ottawa River, Ottawa

Hon. Terry M. Mercer: Honourable senators, we are losing one of Parliament’s most intelligent and passionate legislators, and one of its dearest friends.

Besides his parliamentary history, Senator Joyal is extremely active in his community. He sits on the boards of several foundations and cultural organizations dedicated to the improvement of higher education, the protection of heritage and the promotion of culture. For example, he is a member of the board of the Baxter & Alma Ricard Foundation, which awards scholarships to Francophone university students outside Quebec; he is the president of the Lafontaine-Cormier Foundation, which aims to protect Québec’s judicial heritage; and a member of the board of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, as well as the chair of its Decorative Arts Committee and Nominating Committee.

Senator Joyal has always supported organizations dedicated to improving the social and cultural conditions of the community.

His community involvement did not prevent him from participating very directly in the legislative work of this chamber. Most notably, he has served as Chair of the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee — an active member of the committee for 23 years — and served as Chair and Deputy Chair of the Senate Ethics and Conflict of Interest Committee since its inception, for 15 years.

This is only a mere snapshot of his work here in the Senate.

In his spare time, he has published several books, including a book called Protecting Canadian Democracy: The Senate You Never Knew. If you have not read it, you should. It should be mandatory reading for anybody appointed to this place. I would recommend you get a copy very quickly. I’m trying to promote sales here for Senator Joyal.

He has also written countless articles and lectured at many universities and colleges. Senator Joyal is very proud of his homeland and is honoured by his heritage. In many ways, he is as diverse as Canada itself.

As one of the Senate’s most committed senators, both here and in his community, we shall miss you, my friend. The best to you in the next part of your life — I am sure we will notice as you go through it.


Good luck, my friend.

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