Honourable senators, Senator Day’s very impressive achievements have been well covered by other speakers today, so I will not repeat them. But many years ago, when Prime Minister Chrétien was looking to fill a New Brunswick Senate seat, I was tasked with the responsibility of determining if the quality of Joe Day’s resumé matched the quality of the person.
I remember well meeting Joe Day in my office at the Prime Minister’s office to determine if he was Senate ready. I was struck then, that notwithstanding his outstanding education and career, he was a very humble person, only motivated to help others. I was pleased to report to the Prime Minister that Joe Day was a high-quality candidate, and his body of work in the Senate over the years has proven that assessment was indeed correct.
In addition to his education and career, Senator Day had another very appealing quality: a passionate love of politics, and particularly the Liberal Party. However, Senator Day has the political misfortune of living in a part of New Brunswick where Liberals are often on the endangered species list.
Notwithstanding the difficult political odds of running in elections when the tide was going out for the Liberal Party, he tried his best to get elected. In the end, Senator Day answered a higher calling and was able to serve the citizens of New Brunswick in the Senate of Canada.
I know how much they appreciated his work on their behalf.
One of the many things that has always impressed me about Senator Day was his ability to arrive in Ottawa, often landing late at night from somewhere — usually China — and then give a detailed speech the next day on Supplementary Estimates (A), followed by another long, detailed speech on Supplementary Estimates (B), and the supplementaries seemed to go on and on. Not only did Senator Day have a speech, but he took all questions from senators on the financial items enclosed in those documents. This is an amazing example of his dedication to the work of the Senate.
Colleagues, in closing, I would like to relay some personal information you may not know about Senator Day: He is, among other things, an expert on beer. He combines that knowledge of beer with a running routine, so he enjoys the occasional beer but avoids the corresponding weight gain.
Also, Senator Day, as we all know, is a very positive person, but he does have one quirk. He is always concerned that former senators don’t live long after they retire from the Senate. But as we heard from Senator Woo, Senator Austin, who I believe is 87, is still very active. I checked others and they all seem very active. For example, Peter Stollery, your former colleague, is 84, and the last I heard, he was headed to a fishing trip in the Indian Ocean.
Senator Day, we look forward to hearing for many, many, many years about your activities after you leave the Senate of Canada. Senator Day, I know you will miss the Senate, and the Senate will miss you.