Tribute to the Honourable Howard Wetston, C.M., Q.C.

By: The Hon. Marty Klyne

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Hon. Marty Klyne: Honourable senators, like many of you, I rise to pay tribute to our esteemed friend and colleague Senator Howard Wetston. He was appointed to the Senate in 2016 after a long and distinguished career as a public servant, lawyer and federal judge.

He served as the Commissioner of Competition, the head of the Ontario Energy Board and the head of the Ontario Securities Commission. Among his many accomplishments in that last role, he created a partnership with the RCMP financial crime program, spearheaded a paid whistle-blower program and implemented policies aimed to include more women on corporate boards and in senior management.

As a senator, he applied his broad experience and expertise to continue making a difference. During his six years in the Red Chamber, he worked tirelessly to enrich debate and improve legislation. For example, his knowledge informed many of this chamber’s changes to Bill C-69 regarding environmental assessments for resource development, with the House of Commons accepting a record 99 Senate amendments.

Senator Wetston also successfully sponsored two government bills through to Royal Assent. One was Bill C-25 to modernize federal corporate laws, including to increase diversity and gender equality on corporate boards and in senior management, with the House of Commons accepting all Senate amendments. The other bill was Bill C-85 on the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement.

During his time in the chamber, Senator Wetston also did important policy work to develop Canada’s competition law, encourage entrepreneurs and drive innovation. He released his detailed and consultative commentary in April, and that will be a resource for our country going forward.

I was fortunate to serve on the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce with Senator Wetston, including while he was chair. We also sit on the Agriculture and Forestry Committee together. I always appreciated hearing his well-reasoned perspective on the issue at hand.

Senator Wetston in a relatively short time has left a great mark on this institution and our legislative and policy record. It has been a pleasure working with him. Senator Wetston, I wish you the best in your well-deserved retirement. Here is to the many divots on the golf course. Thank you.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.

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