Hon. Dennis Dawson: Honourable senators, on behalf of the Progressive Senate Group and Senator Cordy who couldn’t be here, I would like to address a few words to the family.
There are numerous reasons why people gather. Many of them are happy, many of them are sad. No matter the occasion, it is undoubtedly better when we are able to mark it with others. It is this important connection that has been missing for us over the course of the last two years as we navigate the pandemic. We are all knit in this together, together and apart. These were crucial statements to keep our family and friends safe.
As things open up somewhat, we are better equipped to manage COVID. We must now catch up with the occasions we were unable to properly mark.[Translation]
One such occasion is the passing of our former friend and colleague Yoine Goldstein. Many of Yoine’s family members are with us today, and I want to give them my regards. I hope they will find a measure of comfort in this belated commemoration of his life and, more specifically, his time in the Senate.[English]
Senator Larry Campbell and I were sworn in at the same time as Yoine, and it marked us. I know that Yoine really appreciated the time he spent with us here in the Senate.[Translation]
Yoine was born in Montreal in 1934. He received a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Civil Law with distinction from McGill University. During his studies at McGill, he was selected as the articles editor for the McGill Law Journal. In 1960, he obtained his Doctor of Laws from the Université de Lyon and was called to the Quebec Bar the following year. He was recognized nationally and internationally for his expertise in insolvency, bankruptcy and commercial litigation.[English]
He became an advocate for Canadian students and reforms to the system to ensure that post-secondary education would not saddle them with an insurmountable financial burden. More directly, he also worked with students, sharing his knowledge as a lecturer from 1973 to 1997 at the Faculty of Law at the University of Montreal. Named to the Insolvency Institute of Canada, Yoine was also the only Canadian made to be a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American College of Bankruptcy.
Very active in Montreal’s Jewish community — and I’m sure my friend Marc Gold will elaborate on that — Yoine was president from 1995 to 1997 of the Federation CJA, a funding and planning coordinating body for the Jewish community in Montreal. He was also a member of the community advisory board of the Concordia University Chair for Canadian Jewish Studies.[Translation]
Although he served only four years with us here in the Senate, Senator Goldstein made a significant impact. Not surprisingly, he made a valuable contribution as a member of the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce. He was a strong advocate for human rights, often speaking out about tolerance, respect and social justice around the world. His descriptions of the situation in Darfur were particularly important. Internationally, he represented Canada and Canadians at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
Senator Goldstein appreciated his time in this place and the opportunity to serve Canadians. In his farewell speech, he said:
Canada is not only physically beautiful; it is a country that has a soul. . . . It is evidenced by the sincere desire and intent of all political parties to make Canada better and, indeed, to try to make it the best it can be.[Translation]
A country can ask no more of its citizens.
Here is my wish for his wife, Elaine, his children and the rest of his family: I hope you know that he achieved his goals in spades. I know you are still grieving his loss, but I hope the memory of Yoine and this farewell to a dear friend and colleague will help you feel a little better.