Hon. Brian Francis: Honourable senators, I would like to take a few minutes today to pay tribute to the Honourable Senator Terry Mercer, who I am happy to have called both a close colleague and a dear friend. Terry is rarely soft-spoken — and we’ve heard that mentioned earlier today by some — but his voice carries with it an enormous depth of wisdom, and his contributions have never failed to bring valuable insight into any discussion. I have always enjoyed listening to him speak, as Terry always brought humour and wit to our work. He has never been too shy to shout out a funny comment or observation and draw out laughter and joy. His easygoing manner made me feel right at home with the Progressive Senate Group.
With honesty, I can say that Terry is an extremely generous person. Of course, he has had a long and distinguished career, most notably in politics, but he has also worked extensively in the charitable sector. As a senator, Terry brought his experience to bear in advocating for and then chairing the Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector. But for me on a personal level, Terry has also been incredibly generous with his time and wisdom.
I want to express my deepest and most sincere gratitude to Senator Mercer for taking me under his wing, sharing his wealth of institutional knowledge and helping me find my role as caucus chair. Terry left big shoes to fill, but his generous nature made the transition smooth, straightforward and almost effortless. Terry’s door was always open, and he made himself eternally available to me. At that time, I was a relative newcomer to the PSG, but Terry made me feel like I had been a member of caucus for a much longer time, and he made sure I always felt welcome. I will always admire his role as caucus chair of the PSG: how he helped keep the good ship and crew safe through the uncertain waters of those early days of the PSG.
Terry, wela’lin and thank you for your guidance, your wisdom, your wit and your friendship.