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THE SENATE — Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Tributes

September 20, 2022


Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate) [ + ]

Honourable senators, I rise today to pay tribute to our late sovereign, Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away on September 8. So much has been written and said about the Queen these past days. But after 70 years as monarch, millions of miles logged, tens of thousands of audiences, chance meetings and walkabouts, it is to be expected that there would be countless stories to tell. From powerful heads of government worldwide to shopkeepers in Scotland, the world has been reminded of her devotion to duty, her sense of humour, kindness, wisdom and dignity over her remarkable 96 years.

She was a constant in the lives of many Canadians throughout our country’s rich history. As monarch, Queen Elizabeth II visited Canada 22 times, which is more often than she visited any other Commonwealth country. She travelled to every province and territory at least once. Her Majesty read the Canadian government’s Throne Speech on two occasions, and each reading marked an important moment in her reign. The first time was in October 1957, during her first royal tour of Canada as monarch. She attended the opening of the parliamentary session of Prime Minister Diefenbaker’s government, which had been elected in June of that year. The second time was in 1977, during her Silver Jubilee.

But perhaps the moment most remembered by Canadians was in April of 1982, when more than 30,000 people crowded onto Parliament Hill to watch her sign the Constitution Act, 1982. After more than 18 months of negotiations with the provinces and final passage of our Constitution Act through the House of Commons and House of Lords in London, England, Canada’s Constitution was coming home. We watched with pride as Her Majesty, the Prime Minister, Minister of Justice and the Registrar General signed the historic document.

Queen Elizabeth’s love of horses was legendary. She began riding at the age of four, when she received a Shetland pony as a gift. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police gifted the Queen a mare named Burmese in 1969.

Her Majesty rode Burmese for 18 consecutive years in Trooping the Colour. When the horse was retired in 1986, the Queen chose to no longer ride during the ceremony and began attending the event in an open carriage. Later in life, when asked which was her favourite horse, she replied “Burmese” without hesitation.

When she turned 21 in 1947, Princess Elizabeth made a promise that her whole life, whether long or short, would be devoted to our service — to the service of the people of the Commonwealth family. She kept that promise for life, which was thankfully a long one. Less than 48 hours before her passing, she greeted her fifteenth British prime minister. During her reign, Canada elected 12 prime ministers, and, most remarkably, there were 179 individuals to serve as prime ministers in her realms during her seven decades as monarch.

Technology has evolved rapidly over the years, and Her Majesty was always able to adapt to the new reality. In 1957, she was the first monarch to deliver a televised Christmas message. Buckingham Palace and the Royal Family got their own Facebook and Twitter accounts, with her blessing.

Most recently, when the COVID pandemic took over the world, she continued her duties using technology. She conducted Zoom meetings with charities, government leaders and family members. She offered comfort in her COVID-19 broadcast when she spoke the following words to Britain and the Commonwealth: “. . . we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again.” Those words mean more even now.

The role of the monarch has become largely symbolic in the 21st century, but Queen Elizabeth gave real meaning to the role and its symbolism. She brought people together with her words, her actions and her gestures. Queen Elizabeth was admired by millions and, in a world where the average retirement age is 66, she worked 30 years longer than the average person, remaining equally committed to her work until the end.

On the final night of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations, she invited Paddington Bear to tea. This lovely sketch became something magical and powerful, and perhaps a little prescient. Seeing the twinkle in her eye when she showed off her marmalade sandwich and finally divulging to the world the secret of what she kept in her ever-present purse made the crowd and the millions watching on television laugh out loud.

Just before Queen — the band — took to the stage, Paddington took a moment to look at her fondly and say what everyone watching was thinking: “Thank you for everything.” We, in Canada, thank her as well for 70 years of warm, sincere, dignified service and diplomacy personified.

As we now move into a post-Elizabethan age, her selfless service and sense of duty, along with her wit, kindness and smile, will be remembered by Canadians from across our country, from those who may have had the pleasure of speaking to her at a function, meeting her briefly, seeing her from afar or just recognizing in her the genuine affection she held for this country and its people. She loved Canada and Canada loved her.

On behalf of the Senate of Canada, I extend sincerest condolences to King Charles III and the entire family on the passing of their mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Hon. Donald Neil Plett (Leader of the Opposition)

Honourable senators, I have the honour today to add my voice to the countless people expressing deep sadness over the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and to pay tribute to her extraordinary life.

I know the loss of Her Majesty is deeply felt by millions throughout Canada, the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and around the world. Of course, I am sure that the pain we are all feeling is felt much more poignantly by her loved ones and those close to her who laid her to rest in a beautiful ceremony yesterday. I want to first offer my deepest condolences to the Royal Family for, ultimately, they are grieving the loss of not just their monarch, but also of a loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.

The death of Queen Elizabeth II has left us all devastated, in large part because many of us are not able to imagine a world without her in it. For most of us, she has been the only ruling sovereign we have ever known, an ever-present symbol to remind us of our values, and a constant presence throughout decades of great transformation.

Her Majesty leaves behind an incomparable legacy that was defined above all by her selfless commitment to the institution she served. Despite being unexpectedly thrust into the line of inheritance following the abdication of the throne by her uncle, King Edward VIII, Queen Elizabeth took on the responsibility of the Crown and devoted herself entirely to its service. As a 21‑year‑old princess, she vowed to devote her life to her people. For the entirety of her historic reign as Queen, she never wavered in her commitment to her vow — not once — and she bore the symbolic weight of the Crown with grace and without complaint.

Queen Elizabeth II’s reign spanned 70 years. She was Canada’s longest-reigning monarch — a milestone that was marked earlier this year by Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee. All of us here in Canada and across the Commonwealth should feel incredibly grateful to have been able to celebrate such a momentous occasion and partake in such precious moments with our beloved Queen.

When her tenure began in 1952, the world looked very different from what it does today, with much of the world still reeling from the catastrophe of the Second World War. Throughout the course of her reign, the world changed many times over. There was the dawn of the Cold War, the social and cultural transformations of the 1960s, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the attacks of 9/11 and the war on terror and the global financial crisis. There was also the U.K.’s entry into and withdrawal from the European Union. And, most recently, there was the COVID-19 pandemic. Her Majesty bore witness to it all and was our anchor in times of tumultuous change.

Her Majesty’s unwavering Christian faith guided and inspired the Crown throughout her reign. Her Majesty relied on her faith in good and in difficult times. Her religious beliefs were often reflected in her annual Christmas messages of hope and trust. They were founding principles in her decision-making process, and her faith was a beacon for all of us.

For us here in Canada especially, Queen Elizabeth II represents an immeasurable part of our country’s history. Over the course of her reign, she has been a constant presence in our lives. Her tenure as Canada’s head of state spanned 12 Canadian prime ministers. Throughout that time, Her Majesty shared in some of our proudest and most memorable moments, and also guided us through times of hardship and uncertainty.

Her love and affection for Canadians were evident and always felt, especially in the difficult moments. Up to the very end, she showed us that we were always in her thoughts and in her heart. Her Majesty’s last public statement, just a few days before her passing, was a message to the families of the victims of the horrific attacks in Saskatchewan.

Canada was Her Majesty’s most visited realm country. We were blessed to be able to welcome her here for 22 official visits. Her visits were always marked by crowds of excited Canadians waiting to welcome their beloved monarch and to shower her with tokens and messages of their gratitude. In her interactions with Canadians, the Queen always reciprocated their appreciation with the warmth and grace that was so characteristic of her.

As a proud Manitoban, Her Majesty’s visits to my home province always meant very much. They were always occasions of great joy for all Manitobans who loved and admired her so dearly. She visited Manitoba six times, once as a princess and five times as a queen.

I wish to highlight one visit, in particular. The one that stands out most in my memory is the Queen’s final visit to Winnipeg in July 2010. Her Majesty and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, were welcomed as the first official passengers to arrive at the James Armstrong Richardson International Airport, a welcome which highlighted not just the new airport itself but also the volunteers who assisted in its daily operation.

A luncheon with the then-Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba was followed by the unveiling of a statue of the Queen, a tree planting in honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and, finally, a walkabout to greet Manitobans. Later on in the day, they were set to make their way to various celebrations for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

En route to their engagement, the Queen and Prince Philip arrived at the Esplanade Riel. It’s important to mention that it was in the middle of summer and, as I recall, a very hot July day. Nevertheless, Her Majesty stood in the 30-degree heat and walked a considerable distance on foot — more than a kilometre — as she crossed the bridge. Her presence always drew crowds. On that day, many Manitobans got the opportunity to see Her Majesty.

I recall vividly Her Majesty taking the time to speak and exchange with dozens and dozens of children. It is no wonder that Manitobans, Canadians and, frankly, the world loved their queen. Queen Elizabeth II would have been 84 years old at that time, and she was solid as a rock and truly a strong force. For more than an hour, she stood with grace and elegance, as she always did throughout her remarkable reign.

I still fondly look back on that visit as being a true testament to Her Majesty’s strength and dedication to duty, which endured right to the end of her life.

Her Majesty’s passing marks the end of an era, not just for Canada and the Commonwealth, but also for the world. She meant so much to so many. Millions of people have benefited from the unique wisdom only she was able to offer through the unparalleled depth of her experiences. While we grieve her absence, we must also be grateful for the valuable lessons she has gifted us through her service and cherish the memories she left us with. We are left to celebrate a truly remarkable life, which was defined, above all, by service, commitment and leadership.

As we bid farewell to our beloved Queen, we begin a new era. We honour the constancy and commitment to which she served by looking ahead toward our new monarch, King Charles III.

God save the King.

Hon. Raymonde Saint-Germain [ + ]

I rise today on behalf of the Independent Senators Group to pay tribute to a woman who exemplified the meaning of duty, Her late Majesty Elizabeth II, whose recent death at 96 saddens us all. First of all, I want to express our deepest condolences to the Royal Family, the people of Britain, as well as the many people who respected and admired the Queen.

Her passing marks the end of her 70-year reign. As head of the Commonwealth, she was the sovereign of the United Kingdom, Great Britain and Northern Ireland as well as the 14 Commonwealth countries, including Canada, and she reigned with incomparable finesse and constancy.

We cannot help but acknowledge her strength and admire her unwavering dedication to public service. Throughout all those years, she honoured her duty of restraint, even though her education and intelligence endowed her with strong, well‑documented opinions. I think that is a fundamental principle for the credibility of all Westminster-style parliamentary institutions, including ours.

This dedication is what struck me the most about her, in addition to her highly cultured mind. On more than one occasion, the Queen expressed her affinity for la Francophonie and her love and respect for the French language, which she spoke fluently and often.

In 1951, before her coronation, the then-princess came to Canada for the first of many times. Actually, she came to Canada 22 times for an official visit. She was accompanied by her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh. The couple landed in Montreal and immediately boarded a train that stopped at Anse au Foulon in Quebec City, a place at the heart of Canada’s discovery with a rich history, notably for the use of the coves supplying Great Britain with wood. According to media reports, the princess took the time to enjoy a maple and walnut ice cream, drizzled with maple syrup on the way. Not yet being a queen, she could afford herself more liberty.

A symbol of stability, she lived through the times and crises unperturbed. Since the death of her father, George VI, in 1952 — the year after she came to Quebec City — when she was only 25 years old, Queen Elizabeth II embodied a continuity, a foundation in time that moves too fast, which was somewhat reassuring in the face of the countless upheavals we lived through over the years.

In this very chamber, her presence has always been embodied by the mace that has witnessed Canadian parliamentary history since before Confederation, and continued to be a symbol of her presence in every single one of our sittings. The current mace survived three fires in Montreal, as well as the 1916 fire that destroyed Parliament’s original Centre Block building. It is one of the most important symbols that we inherited from the Westminster system, and it has stood her ground and endured through time and trials, which, to me, has always been a beautiful metaphor for the Queen.

In the same vein, I can’t help but remember a conversation I had with the Usher of the Black Rod, Mr. J. Greg Peters, who informed me about the gracious gift the Queen made to the Senate of Canada on the one hundred and fiftieth birthday of the Confederation where she offered a royal restoration of the Senate mace performed at Windsor Castle by the most renowned experts in the world.

Queen Elizabeth’s accession to the throne also coincided with the most welcome end of the colonial period of the British Empire, and she succeeded in navigating this transition from the 19th century colonialism to democracy and the modern state of the world as we know it today.

More importantly, she did so with grace and goodwill.

The Queen will be fondly remembered as an extraordinary public figure and an outstanding woman with a wealth of experience, intelligence and culture, who always maintained her role with resilience and the inner strength to carry out her duties while observing the most important one: her duty of reserve.

You can tell by the outpouring of tributes and grief at her passing that as a human being, she was as loved as she was respected throughout the Commonwealth countries and beyond.

The dignity demonstrated by the Queen throughout her reign is undoubtedly a source of inspiration for all parliamentarians, especially us, the members of the Senate, the chamber of sober second thought. We will remember her as a woman who symbolized exemplary selflessness, constancy, capability and soft power. May we, in her memory, remember that we are here to serve an ideal that is greater than ourselves. Thank you.

Hon. Jane Cordy [ + ]

Honourable senators, I rise today on behalf of the Progressive Senate Group to add words of condolence on the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Honourable senators, there are moments in our lives where something shifts, and suddenly things that previously felt steadfast are no longer. Once again, we find ourselves witnessing history as our head of state and the longest-reigning British monarch died on September 8 at Balmoral Castle in Scotland with family by her side.

For most, if not all, of our lives, she has been the familiar face on stamps and currency. She has made it nearly impossible to see a corgi and not think of her. For some, she was the woman who jumped out of a helicopter with James Bond. For others — as Senator Gold said earlier — she was the grandmother who had tea and marmalade sandwiches with Paddington Bear. She was the first woman from the Royal Family to serve as a full-time active member of the British Armed Forces. Hers was the reassuring voice that spoke to us each Christmas Day. She was the unwavering point of strength and stability in a world of unstoppable and unexpected changes.

Much has been said about the enormous swath of events that have been committed to our history books over the course of Queen Elizabeth’s time on the throne. The changes that we have witnessed over those 70 years have been remarkable. Hers was the first coronation to be televised and the first transatlantic television broadcast, which had footage flown to Canada to be shown on CBC. What a change in our technological landscape that many learned of her passing through an official tweet from the Royal Family.

Throughout the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth and across the world, there has been a tremendous outpouring of condolences honouring the extraordinary life and legacy of Her late Majesty. Words like “grace,” “wisdom,” “devotion” and “charm” have all featured heavily in these tributes. Many have shared or reshared anecdotes of their own personal encounters with the Queen. It is striking that, in all these stories, we can see that though she held such a monumental role, she also had the uncanny ability to connect with people on a personal level.

These moments when we have been able to get a glimpse of the person behind the office have shown that while she has been rightfully celebrated for fulfilling her public duties as monarch so ably, she was equally effective at creating lasting memories for those who only experienced a brief moment with Her Majesty. So many of us felt this connection regardless of whether we were lucky enough to have had a personal royal encounter. I know that people from all provinces and territories — and, indeed, every city that served as a stop on a royal tour — took great pride in remembering those occasions when Her Majesty visited their region.

I, of course, am no exception and would like to remind you that my own province of Nova Scotia was pleased to host Queen Elizabeth on five separate occasions. Her first official visit was in 1951, while she was still Princess Elizabeth. CBC News noted of her visit to Cape Breton:

When this grand lassie and her good-lookin’ husband came to see us folks here in Cape Breton, it was the biggest day we’ve ever had on the island.

Her last trip to Nova Scotia was in 2010, which was also her last royal visit to Canada. She began this royal tour in Halifax and participated in several important events, including honouring the four hundredth anniversary of the baptism of Grand Chief Henri Membertou in a Mi’kmaq cultural event, celebrating the one hundredth anniversary of the Royal Canadian Navy and attending the rededication of Government House, the home of our Lieutenant Governor, which had been renovated and was reopening.

Queen Elizabeth’s first official visit to Canada as Queen took place in 1957 and marked the first time she opened our Parliament, reading the Speech from the Throne in the Senate Chamber. On that occasion, she recalled the words of “the earlier Elizabeth,” whom she quoted as saying, “I count the glory of my Crown, that I have reigned with your loves.” She continued to say that:

Now here in the new world I say to you that it is my wish that in the years before me I may so reign in Canada and be so remembered.

Honourable colleagues, I dare say that Her late Majesty’s wish was indeed fulfilled.

She also opened the Third Session of the Thirtieth Parliament during her Silver Jubilee tour in 1977. On that occasion, she told Parliament that:

In ten visits together to Canada spread over a quarter of a century—seven in the last decade alone—Prince Philip and I have met many thousands of Canadians in all walks of life, of all ages, in every province and territory. My happiest memories of our travels throughout Canada have been these individual contacts which have revealed the enormous strength and astonishing diversity of this nation.

As noted earlier, this dedication to personal connections shall be her lasting legacy. As the most travelled monarch in history, she was continually seeking out these experiences.

Her Majesty certainly succeeded in fulfilling the promise she made at the young age of 21 — that her “. . . whole life . . . shall be devoted to . . . service . . . .” Indeed, the last public photograph we have of her, standing in front of a fire in a grand room in Balmoral Castle, marked the official appointment of Britain’s newest prime minister, the fifteenth to serve during the Queen’s reign. The meeting took place only two days before her death. The next day saw the last public statement she issued — to the Governor General and the people of Canada — expressing her condolences following the attacks in Saskatchewan by saying that her thoughts were still with the James Smith Cree Nation and the tragedy they had experienced. As Her Majesty grieved for us, so we now grieve for her.

Grief is a complicated thing, and I would like to acknowledge that we have all experienced a different relationship with the monarchy. Some may be struggling with competing emotions these days. My thoughts, in particular, are with Indigenous peoples, as theirs is a treaty relationship. Though many have spoken about the Queen’s compassion and respect, it is certain that much work remains in our journey to reconciliation.

The Queen once said, “Grief is the price we pay for love.” On behalf of the Progressive Senate Group, I offer my sincere condolences to the Royal Family and to all those who mourn the loss of this much beloved monarch. May her legacy of strength, stability and service be an inspiration to us all.

May she rest in peace and God save the King.

Hon. Scott Tannas [ + ]

Honourable senators, I rise today to pay tribute to Her Majesty the late Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada and our head of state. On behalf of my colleagues, I wish to express our heartfelt condolences to King Charles III, the Royal Family, to Canadians and to all people of the Commonwealth.

For the last 70 years, she stood alongside the people of Canada as our country developed into a modern — and now a postmodern — nation. When she ascended the throne, Louis St‑Laurent was Prime Minister. Since then, as has been said, she saw 13 Canadian Prime Ministers. In fact, she ascended the throne during the time of Stalin, Churchill, Truman, Mao Zedong and Nehru. What an incredible time for the young Queen to ascend the throne.

Certainly, she has seen her fair share of colourful leadership, being Queen in the time of Castro, Kennedy, Gorbachev, Qaddafi, Idi Amin and many more. She was present through some major milestones in Canadian life: the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway; the Expo 67 centennial celebration in Montreal; the 1976 Olympics in Montreal; the repatriation of the Constitution; and the Calgary Stampede in 1939 and 1951 as Princess Elizabeth, and again in 1959, 1973 and in 2005. She helped us celebrate the one-hundredth anniversary of the Canadian Navy and the RCMP, to name only a few.

She said in Toronto in 2010 that Canada’s development as a nation has been remarkable. This vast, rich and varied country has inspired its own and attracted many others by its adherence to certain values. Some are enriched in law, but I should imagine just as many are simply found in the hearts of ordinary Canadians.

Overall, she visited Canada 22 times and read the Speech from the Throne twice in our former chamber in the Centre Block, in 1957 and in 1977.

While her death was unavoidable, it still came as a shock to us as she has been with us for so long. For the vast majority of Canadians, she is the only sovereign they have ever known. Her image is with us on our currency and in pictures in community halls and public buildings throughout our land. It was just a constant in our lives that she was our Queen.

When listening to the tributes over the last few days, two themes are common: her commitment to service; and how Canadians, the people in the United Kingdom, her other realms, the Commonwealth and around the world respected her. We all know that at the beginning it was highly unlikely that she would be our sovereign. A strange twist of fate with the abdication of Edward VIII changed her story and her life.

In 1936, the Telegraph-Journal called her the most important child in the empire when she was 10 years old. During the Second World War, she enlisted in the Auxiliary Territorial Service, the only military service available to British women at the time, and she was trained to repair and drive heavy trucks. She was the first female member of the Royal Family to serve during wartime. The media gave her the nickname “Princess Auto Mechanic.”

When she became Queen, she committed herself to the service of her people, and this commitment never wavered. She represented the Crown over the decades with grace and dedication. She was a source of stability during political discord and at other difficult times was a source of strength we could collectively tap into. She was both the symbolic and, when required, the tangible safeguard of parliamentary democracy. It was most important during her last address, during the pandemic. She was the reassuring voice in the chaos, with the important message that everything would be okay and that in time we would all meet again.

She visited Alberta, my province, six times. She watched a CFL game where Edmonton beat Winnipeg during the western semifinals. Sorry, Senator Plett.

She met with Indigenous leaders many times. During her last visit in 2005, Highway 2 was renamed Queen Elizabeth II Highway, and the provincial museum of Alberta became the Royal Alberta Museum. It was noted that during that visit it rained almost every day, at times very heavily, but she persevered with the schedule notwithstanding the weather.

This commitment to service and to Canada gained her the respect and admiration of Canadians. Many have wonderful stories about meeting her.

Listening to all my colleagues’ tributes before me and many more from around the world, it is undeniable that Queen Elizabeth II was cherished. It is also clear that the Queen had a soft spot for Canada.

In some of the tributes that have been given so far since her passing, we’ve been reminded of the softer side of Queen Elizabeth, which we glimpsed a few times. In recent years, we saw her take a mission with James Bond during the London Olympics. She had tea with Paddington Bear. She responded with two powerful words to Barack Obama’s mic drop leading up to the Invictus Games.

She will be truly missed.

To our new King, Charles III, we welcome you as our new head of state, and may your reign be fruitful and long. God save the King.

Hon. Yonah Martin (Deputy Leader of the Opposition) [ + ]

Honourable senators, it is with a heavy heart that I rise today in the Senate of Canada to pay tribute to an incredible global figure, an inspiration to so many around the world and a true leader, Her Majesty the late Queen Elizabeth II, our beloved Queen.

There have been 22 official visits to Canada by our sovereign, our head of state and Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Armed Forces. For nearly half of Canada’s existence, she was our Queen, and Canada held a special place in her heart, as she did in the hearts of so many Canadians from coast to coast to coast. She was a constant in a world that is ever changing, a role model for millions and a calming, reassuring presence.

In February 1952, King George VI passed away, and Princess Elizabeth immediately assumed the throne as Queen. In 1965, she departed on the first state visit to West Germany, the first official visit there by a member of the British Royal Family since 1913. This important visit marked the twentieth anniversary of the end of World War II and a new way forward for the two countries.

In 1970, she visited Australia and New Zealand, and against centuries of royal tradition, she walked through the streets to greet crowds of people in person rather than to simply wave from a distance. She led the way for a new way of traditions and respect that people around the world have praised her for.

The Queen was also an active participant in our journey as a nation. She was with us to open the St. Lawrence Seaway. She presided over our centennial celebrations and later opened our first Olympic Games in Montreal, Quebec.

A quarter of a century after she opened Canada’s Parliament, Her Majesty signed Canada’s Constitution Act into law. That act alone ushered Canada into a new era of self-determination, where Canadians could amend their own laws, and our Charter of Rights and Freedoms became enshrined. She served as Queen for 70 historic years with such humility, grace and dignity.

Fifty years ago, on April 11, 1972, I was uprooted from South Korea, the country of my birth, on my seventh birthday. I started school right away in Canada, and though English was my second language, I soon learned the Lord’s Prayer and God save the Queen, which we recited first thing every morning. As a 7‑year‑old in a new country, I felt comforted in knowing our God and Queen were watching over us each and every day.

Fast forward to 2010, when, in my second year as a senator, I attended the Canada Day ceremony in our nation’s capital with Her Majesty in attendance. I can still remember that moment of bowing to the Queen as she passed by and feeling comforted still by Her Majesty’s presence. It was a special moment for a little immigrant girl from South Korea, who dreamed of her new life in Canada, to be standing on the open lawns of Parliament Hill with Her Majesty the Queen. This was her last visit to Ottawa.

Her Majesty’s sense of selfless duty and service began even before her coronation. In 1945, at the young age of 18, she joined the British military — the Auxiliary Territorial Service — as a mechanic in World War II. She was proud to serve her country and to stand for freedom and democracy.

As a senator of British Columbia and as Honorary Grand Patron of the Korean War Veterans of Canada, I offer sincere condolences on behalf of our veterans of the Korean War and the national Korean-Canadian community. Our distinguished veterans served their country and Queen in the air, on the seas and on land during the Korean War and in peacekeeping duties after the signing of the armistice. During the historic Battle of Kapyong, Canadians fought as part of the Commonwealth Brigade and were even awarded a U.S. presidential citation for their valour — a proud moment and bond forged in their sense of duty and pride in serving their nation and the Crown.

I know our veterans are all saddened by the Queen’s passing. She was, and will always be, their queen.

We now begin a new era with King Charles III, who will follow in his mother’s footsteps of service, loyalty and duty. I offer my sincere condolences to His Majesty King Charles III and to the entire Royal Family, who mourns the loss of a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt and sister.

I also offer my condolences to all those in the Commonwealth and around the world as we collectively mourn the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Honourable senators, please join me in remembering the extraordinary life and service of Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, a beacon of hope, strength, determination, passion and duty who will never be forgotten.

God bless the Queen and God save the King.

Hon. Denise Batters [ + ]

Honourable senators, I rise today to pay tribute to Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She was an extraordinary monarch, a dutiful public servant and a constant, stabilizing presence in an uncertain world for seven decades.

The Queen was a strong and resilient female leader in what was largely a man’s world. An elegant royal with a mischievous twinkle in her eye, Queen Elizabeth brought a modern twist to the traditional female royal role in her own quiet and understated way.

As a princess, she trained and worked as an army truck mechanic and driver during the Second World War. Under Queen Elizabeth’s reign, the law of succession was finally changed so that female heirs could inherit the royal throne under the same rules of succession as their male counterparts.

Throughout her 70 years as sovereign, Her Majesty invited three female prime ministers in the United Kingdom to form government — all of them Conservative, I might add — and it was fitting that the very last public photograph captured of Her Majesty only days before her passing was of her waiting to greet the newest female prime minister of the U.K., Liz Truss, with a wide smile on her face.

Queen Elizabeth had a special fondness for Canada, and Canadians hold a special fondness in our hearts for her. Queen Elizabeth’s last public statement was an extension of condolence and support to the people of Saskatchewan, particularly those of the James Smith Cree Nation and Weldon, who are struggling with such enormous losses in their communities after the recent horrific murders.

I live in Regina, the “Queen City,” and Queen Elizabeth is honoured throughout our city: The Queen Elizabeth II Court contains Regina’s City Hall, and the Queen Elizabeth II Gardens offer a spectacular frame for our Saskatchewan legislature.

The Royal Family was highly respected in my home. My sisters and I collected postage stamps from around the Commonwealth with pictures of the Queen on them. Of course, as little girls, we were enamoured with the glamour of her crowns and jewels in each picture. We were excited when my mom took us and our grandfather to see the Queen during her visit to Regina in 1978.

As an adult, I was also fortunate to see the Queen in person during her last visit to Saskatchewan in 2005. My husband, Dave, was a member of Parliament, and we waited on the steps of the legislature in the pouring rain to catch a glimpse of Her Majesty. The Queen and Prince Philip were there to commemorate Saskatchewan’s centennial and to unveil the Queen’s statue on the legislative assembly grounds.

The statue was of Queen Elizabeth riding Burmese, her favourite horse, which itself had a Saskatchewan connection. Burmese, who was born in Fort Walsh, Saskatchewan, had been a gift to the Queen from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 1969. Her Majesty rode Burmese for the magnificent Trooping the Colour festivities every year from 1969 to 1986.

Queen Elizabeth had a special relationship with the RCMP. As its Commissioner-in-Chief, she was the force’s longest-serving member. The Mounties, whose national training depot is in Regina, home of the RCMP, had the incredible honour of leading the Queen’s funeral procession through the streets of London yesterday.

In 2010, a year after my husband Dave’s death, then-prime minister Stephen Harper invited me to attend Queen Elizabeth’s state dinner in Toronto for what would turn out to be the Queen’s last visit to Canada. At that event, I was thrilled to briefly meet Her Majesty. When I told her that I was a Queen’s Counsel lawyer, she stepped forward, gave me a big, beautiful smile and said, “Are you now? It sounds very busy.”

You may not know this, but the tradition of a special designation of Queen’s Counsel for senior lawyers dates back to 1594, when Queen Elizabeth I appointed her adviser, Sir Francis Bacon, to serve as her executive legal adviser.

Of course, the Senate has a special relationship with the Queen, and reminders of her are everywhere. Queen Elizabeth actually delivered Throne Speeches in person twice in the Senate Chamber, the first in 1957, when Saskatchewan’s own John Diefenbaker was prime minister, and again in 1977.

I had the privilege of attending the moving and beautiful National Commemorative Ceremony held yesterday in Ottawa for the Queen, and I join with all Canadians in offering my condolences to the Royal Family at this tremendous loss of not only an outstanding sovereign but a mother, a grandmother and great-grandmother. Canada shares in your sorrow and offers you our support as you grieve. God bless Queen Elizabeth and God save the King.

Hon. Pierrette Ringuette [ + ]

Honourable senators, it is with profound sadness that I rise today to pay solemn tribute to our late Queen, Her Majesty Elizabeth II, who passed away September 8 and was laid to rest yesterday in London as millions of grieving admirers looked on. Canadians are among these admirers and rightly so.

As a little girl, I would go to sleep dreaming of princesses and queens, believing that they lived in a magical fantasy world. I later realized that they were not fairy tale characters, but a segment of our society living under the constant scrutiny of a public that sometimes had unrealistic expectations.

Rest assured, I am not related to royalty, but I do admit to greatly admiring Queen Elizabeth II, this mother, grandmother and great-grandmother who did not flinch in the face of the strong winds that occasionally shook Buckingham Palace.

That is why I was so charmed by this grand lady. To me, she seemed like a great-aunt who was living abroad so she could carry out her family and professional responsibilities. This great-aunt always showed up for our meetings, the biggest moments of our lives in Canada, and, on each occasion, we revelled in her presence, her smile, her sense of humour, her displays of deep affection, and her support for our dreams and our future.

This great-aunt and great lady was a strong, poised, engaged and dynamic leader. She was caring and compassionate, especially with respect to the greater Commonwealth family she served for 70 years with unimpeachable devotion. Even in her final days, she reached out to Canadians to express her condolences following the deadly tragedy in Saskatchewan.

She nobly saw our nation through some difficult times, and we in turn gave her our support and devotion when she was going through trying times, as one would expect from a family member or close friend.

I had obviously not yet been born when this great-aunt and great lady ascended the throne in 1952, but since then, her influence has inspired thousands of women from multiple generations to take on leadership roles. The fact that I am paying tribute to this great-aunt and great lady in French today is also a testament to the profound affection she showed to French Canadians across the country through her command and use of French during her visits.

Although I never met the Queen, all of her qualities renewed my affection for her and made me feel she was indeed part of the Canadian family.

Like you, I join all Canadians in offering my deepest condolences to the members of the Royal Family, and I thank them for supporting Queen Elizabeth II throughout her years of service to Canada.

We will remember Queen Elizabeth II fondly. God save the King.

Hon. Mohamed-Iqbal Ravalia [ + ]

Honourable senators, it is a true honour and privilege to stand before this esteemed chamber to pay tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. As I reflected upon Her Majesty’s singular presence in both my life and the life of our country, I kept returning to her sheer constancy. Through seven decades of tumult, occasional tragedy and nearly unfathomable change, Her Majesty was a constancy that became a part of our lives — an unwavering beacon of stability and steadfastness. Across the broad sweep of this country — and indeed the entire Commonwealth, in all its kaleidoscopic diversity — Her Majesty remained a symbol of unity and an important reminder that our divisions pale in comparison to what unites us. From the moment she received the news of her father’s death at the age of just 25 to her final days at her beloved Balmoral, she remained the personification of duty, loyalty, dignity, grace and selfless service.

As I reflected upon her personal strengths, I thought about the sometimes difficult balance between duty to the Crown versus the reality of being the matriarch of a growing family. In her unflappable and implacable manner, she succeeded in navigating these parallel duties with what can only be described as a resolute tenacity and love, guided by a strong spiritual anchor and the grace and goodness of those closest to her.

In my home province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Her Majesty’s legacy is deeply felt, with strong historical ties and a rich tapestry of respect and pride. My wife, Dianne Collins, and her family are ardent monarchists. She joins so many in my province whose love for Her Majesty is deep-rooted and palpable.

I became aware of how indelibly this respect extended when I first started to visit my patients in their homes. Inevitably, a portrait of Her Majesty adorned a place of pride on the living room wall, flanked by portraits of our first premier, Joey Smallwood, and our medical hero Dr. John Olds. As time went by, I offered my own portrait to many of my patients. Regrettably, there were no takers.

Senator Ravalia [ + ]

Her Majesty’s steadfast love for the Commonwealth and her unwavering support for health care and enhanced educational opportunities directly impacted my own path. A foundational education, resources through the British Council and access to scholarships all made my career path more seamless and made it possible for a boy from Rhodesia to stand before you today as a member of this chamber.

I was deeply moved when I received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, as it allowed me to reflect on the breadth of her impact across the globe.

I would like to acknowledge the Usher of the Black Rod, whose relationship with the monarchy and Her Majesty has extended over 30 years. As a member of the Royal Victorian Order, his bond and distinguished personal service to the monarchy are to be applauded. Thank you, Greg.

News of Queen Elizabeth’s passing was painful, visceral and surreal. A presence that had been so constant, for so many, was suddenly gone. A sense of stability had been unexpectedly fractured — so much so that the grief was tangible.

I would like to extend my condolences to His Majesty King Charles III, the Royal Family and all those who have joined together to mourn an esteemed sovereign. May God bless her and may her soul rest in peace. Thank you, meegwetch.

Hon. Pamela Wallin [ + ]

Honourable senators, as the former Governor General said yesterday, the Queen — amongst many attributes — was always intentional. I love that description. She did indeed always act with purpose, and was seen but seldom heard — in the sense that she was never heard pontificating in public. But behind the scenes she led and guided presidents and prime ministers to not just rise above politics, but to do the right thing.

I had the great good fortune to meet the Queen on half a dozen occasions, covering royal tours and the Constitution. I am honoured to have received medals that bear her name on four occasions. I have watched in awe as she weathered storms. I took strength from her steely determination and her strength of character through the worst that life brings. We have all had those “annus horribilis.”

The first time I saw the Queen, I was about five. My sister and I got new and matching dresses. As she drove by in a convertible, she was just like a movie star — I thought, anyway, having never met a queen or a movie star. But my grandmother was having none of that. The Queen was to be respected. We were to remember her service through the war as a mechanic. We were to be quietly in awe.

The next time I met her, I had just returned from three months in Argentina covering the Falklands/Malvinas war. The Queen’s son Andrew had gone there to serve and fight. The Queen was on one of her many royal tours in Canada. This one was in British Columbia. Lloyd Robertson and I were there for the special coverage of the royal visit and were invited to a small reception onboard the royal yacht. Under no circumstances was I to broach the subject of the war — but I did. Her face immediately warmed as she spoke of a mother’s fear when a child goes to war, and we chatted easily about other things. She was always like that. She had an enviable ability to make you — millions of you — feel special.

Over the past many days, we have mourned and marked the inevitable. More than 5 billion people watched her funeral. Yet, as we mourned, we also celebrated a life, not just well lived but lived in service.

My heart ached for the family last night. A good friend of mine who was with them said that her children, and particularly King Charles, were profoundly sad as they reunited Queen Elizabeth with her husband, Prince Philip — but responding as children and as a son, not as a king. Charles knowing that he would never see his mom again or seek her advice, and knowing that there was no one to tell him what to do now — that was profoundly sad.

King Charles has sponsored several programs with which I am involved. Prince’s Operation Entrepreneur, through the Prince’s Trust — which I hope the new Prince of Wales carries on — is a program for veterans in need of help to transition to the civilian world. He has also sponsored a program that rescued young Afghan schoolgirls and brought them to Saskatoon to give them a second chance at life.

The Queen was an original: She was an inspiration, and she invented the modern monarchy. It will never be the same — it can’t be. She did live an intentional life, and she changed ours in the process. Her wit, warmth and keen intelligence should always be our guide. She was truly a moral compass.

As expectations and standards of leadership seem to decline in our world today, it should be our challenge now to raise them up again. It will be a show of respect for her and a way to honour her incredible service to us.

So, thank you, Ma’am. We send you victorious.

Hon. Michael L. MacDonald [ + ]

Honourable senators, on Thursday, September 8, Canadians learned that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II had passed away.

Although a life of 96 years is certainly a full life, most of us believed she still had a few more years with us, as she was such a remarkably durable figure for so long.

Like most Canadians, I do not remember any other head of state. Princess Elizabeth ascended to the throne in February of 1952 upon the death of her father, King George VI — more than three years before I was born — and she was a fixture ever since in my life, and in the life of Canada, the Commonwealth and the world.

As then-prime minister Louis St. Laurent said in the House of Commons in February 1952:

And we now hail our new monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. Though young in years, Her Majesty is qualified to follow in the footsteps of her illustrious father ... Hon. Members, I know the Crown rests on a head which will bring to it further honour and glory.

Even former Prime Minister St. Laurent would be impressed by the prescience of his remarks.

Yesterday, over 5 billion people around the world followed the obsequies on the television, as over half of the world’s population tuned in to her funeral. What a testament to the impression she left upon the world and the respect in which she was held.

I had the opportunity to be in the presence of Her Majesty on several occasions. The first was in 1994, when she and Prince Philip visited the fortress in my hometown of Louisbourg, Nova Scotia. The other times occurred during her last visit to Canada in 2010, when she unveiled the Diamond Jubilee window in the Senate entrance, held a reception at Rideau Hall and celebrated Canada Day with us on Parliament Hill. I was privileged to be present at all of these events.

Part of that 2010 visit was spent in Nova Scotia, as the Queen rededicated the restored Government House, the residence of the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia since 1800. It’s a day I remember very well. The weather was perfect, the crowd was huge and I was standing on a viewing platform with the American ambassador and his wife.

The ambassador’s wife was particularly excited for the opportunity to meet the Queen. When I asked her what she thought of the event, she responded, “It’s wonderful that Canada has the Queen as head of state,” adding that “the monarchy is something that Canada should always retain, as it is something that distinguishes Canada from the United States.”

Indeed, the Crown is something that distinguishes Canada. If you travel down the mainland of the Americas, from Canada to the tip of South America, only Canada is not a republic, only Canada exists as a parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy.

Our loyalty to the Crown was fundamental to Canada’s creation as a nation. The American Revolution created not one but, eventually, two new countries, as the colonies of Nova Scotia and Quebec refused to join with the rebellious Yankees, and instead worked toward building a new country under the protection and continuity of the Crown. Over 80,000 loyalists, including some of my own ancestors, came north to Canada after 1783, helping to lay the foundation of our great nation.

The international media, naturally and understandably, refers to Her Majesty as the Queen of the United Kingdom, but that does not define her relationship with Canada. She was the Queen of Canada, and our relationship with the Crown is direct — it does not run through Westminster, nor is it dependent on the U.K. or any of the other realms.

I grieved when I heard that Her Majesty had left us, and I mourn her passing, but I am mindful of the enduring legacy that she dutifully created and I salute her for her service to Canada and to the Commonwealth.

Her Majesty served all of the Commonwealth admirably, but she always had a special place in her heart for Canada, making 22 official visits during her reign. She always considered Canada to be her home away from home. It was touching to see the RCMP on horseback leading the funeral procession along The Mall in London. This was Her Majesty’s request. It speaks volumes about her devotion to Canada, and was a gesture that sent a wonderful message to the world about her relationship with Canada.

The world witnessed over 5 billion people tuning in to say goodbye to Canada’s head of state. There is simply no elected politician nor appointed head of state in the world that could garner even a fraction of the admiration and respect in which Her Majesty was held.

As the young people might say, “The Queen was awesome!” Yes, she was. Her Majesty was truly a remarkable individual and all Canadians thank her for her 70 years of dedicated, selfless service.

God bless Her Majesty, and God rest her soul.

God save the King.

Hon. Tony Loffreda [ + ]

Honourable senators, it is with a heavy heart, but with much gratitude and respect, that I rise today to pay tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada.

We all recognize the significance of the Queen’s passing and its historical impact on our society, particularly here in Canada, but we must also acknowledge the fact that a family has lost a loved one. The pain, sorrow and sadness are equally devastating whether she was a queen or not. To our new King and his family, I join millions in extending my deepest condolences to the Royal Family on the passing of their beloved matriarch.

I would also like to offer my condolences to Canadians, to the greater Commonwealth family and to people around the world who are mourning the passing of our Queen.

Yesterday, at the moving commemorative ceremony here in Ottawa in honour of Her Majesty, former Prime Minister Mulroney reminded us how the Queen considered Canada her home, and rightfully so. She visited Canada more than any other place in the world outside of the United Kingdom.

Of her more than 20 official visits to Canada, the one that I remember most fondly was in 1976. I still remember her appearance at the Games of the XXI Olympiad in Montreal. I was only 14 years old. Perhaps, at the time, I was too young to fully comprehend the significance and the reasons behind her presence in Montreal. But when she officially declared the games open in French, I felt a sense of pride and appreciation for what she stood for and for her unwavering commitment to our people.

Indeed, for 70 years, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has been a constant, stabilizing presence in our lives, and a voice of reason, strength and resolve. Her reign was characterized by her grace, dignity and dedication to public service. I thank her for her enduring admiration of and dedication to our nation. She will remain an inspiration to me and many others who shared her values and cherished her altruistic commitment for the betterment of her citizens.

It is no secret that Her Majesty was also very proud of our country’s bilingual status. Her command of the French language was impeccable and, as a Quebecer, I always appreciated her commitment to speaking to Canadians in both official languages.

When my parents immigrated here in 1962, Canada was viewed as a land of hope and opportunity. It was a young and vibrant country, a prosperous democracy modelled on the British Westminster system and a nation characterized by its stability and growing influence on the world stage. I thank my parents every day for choosing Canada and for taking the oath of Canadian citizenship all those years ago, when they swore to be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty. In many respects, she epitomized everything my family was seeking when they left their motherland and came to Canada. And Her Majesty was there every step of the way as we grew into a modern, burgeoning and dynamic 21st-century nation.

Nearly 60 years later, I, too, would pledge to be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II when I — like all of us in this chamber — was summoned to the Senate of Canada. It truly was an honour to serve under Her Majesty’s reign, and I will continue to humbly serve the Crown and His Majesty King Charles III on behalf of all Canadians.

I know the world will miss her dearly, but I am also confident that our new King will continue her legacy and, as he said during his inaugural address as the new sovereign:

And wherever you may live in the United Kingdom, or in the realms and territories across the world, and whatever may be your background or beliefs, I shall endeavour to serve you with loyalty, respect and love, as I have throughout my life.

May God bless the Queen, and may God save the King.

Hon. Paula Simons [ + ]

Honourable senators, in 1867, the year Canada came to be, the great British essayist Walter Bagehot published his master work, The English Constitution. Bagehot argued the constitution’s unique genius was its division of government into two parts: the “dignified” and the “efficient.” The elected House of Commons and cabinet, he said, represented the efficient part of government, the part that got things done. But the Crown, as embodied by Queen Victoria, was just as important, he said, because it captured mystery, beauty and romance. Its theatricality was essential to inspiring and connecting people.

For 70 transformative, difficult years, Queen Elizabeth II played that theatrical, dignified role as Queen of Canada: a resolutely non-partisan symbol, above the daily political fray, the embodiment of the Crown and of the best ideals of the Canadian Constitution and our constitutional monarchy.

Four years ago, I took my own Senate oath. I remember the chill I felt when I heard the words that called me the Queen’s “Trusty and Well-beloved” Paula Simons.

I was a kid who grew up on Narnia and Middle-earth, and suddenly I felt transported, as if I were taking an oath to be sworn in at Cair Paravel or Gondor.

In that moment, I wasn’t taking an oath to some nice elderly lady. Nor was I taking an oath to be loyal to some outdated version of the empire. No. I took an oath that day to the spirit and ideal of Canada as embodied by the Crown, an oath to Her Majesty — in right of Canada.

Over the last 12 days, many Canadians have wrestled with the meaning of this moment. Some are mourning a woman who dedicated her life to service, who was one of the political and cultural titans of the 20th century, who helped Great Britain transition out of the days of empire and into the modern world. Her death, for many, marks a disorienting tectonic shift. Like the fall of the Berlin Wall, it’s a change that has subverted our certainties and upended our paradigm.

Other Canadians, though, have felt deeply ambivalent, alienated, even angry, thinking back on the legacy of conquest, colonialism, exploitation and class inequality the British Empire represented in Canada and around the world. As a modern multicultural nation, we need to acknowledge and reckon with that dark and painful past as we plan for our future together.

Walter Bagehot, let it be said, was a Victorian imperial elitist, and we should read him in that context. Still, I agree with him. Our constitutional monarchy still balances our government. The Crown helps to fulfill our deep yen for the numinous, for connection, for myth and for majesty. And for her whole life, Queen Elizabeth gave us that majesty while strictly observing her proper constitutional role.

I well remember the night I had dinner with the Queen, or rather, when the Queen and I ate dinner simultaneously in the same rather large room.

It was September 2005, and the Queen and Prince Philip were in Edmonton to mark the Alberta centennial. My husband and I were luckily invited to join the local dignitaries who were feting Their Majesties. But the banquet wasn’t in a fancy hotel or heritage building. It was in a utilitarian exhibition hall, the AgriCom, where Edmonton routinely hosted Farmfair and the Canadian Finals Rodeo. There might even have been a ghostly whiff of manure in the air.

My husband squeezed himself into his old wedding tux; I wore my annual Christmas party dress. We were seated far, far from the royal dais, but we could see the Queen perfectly. Cameras placed in front of the royal couple meant we could all watch them on big television screens as they chewed every bite.

And I thought how strange it must be to be at once the personification of the Crown and, at the same time, a very human woman, doing her best to eat a live-streamed dinner of Alberta beef without getting anything stuck in her teeth.

The price of such apotheosis is the extinguishment of self — and that was largely the price Queen Elizabeth paid, with grace and patience. She effaced her human individuality and allowed us to project onto her our own hopes and fears, our fury and our faith, whether we saw her as the embodiment of all we love about Canada, or all we hate about empire.

In life and now in death, she gave us dignity. She gave us majesty. She gave us magic. She was both the world’s granny and the symbol of our national ideals. She was the Crown. May her memory be for a blessing.

Hon. Marilou McPhedran [ + ]

As a senator from Manitoba, I acknowledge that I am on Treaty 1 territory, the traditional lands of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene, and the homeland of the Métis Nation.

On this solemn occasion, when senators have been given this opportunity to speak freely of our reflections on this unique woman world leader, I wish to acknowledge the complex history of colonialism embodied in the Commonwealth, over which Queen Elizabeth II presided, by noting that the Parliament of Canada is situated on the unsurrenderred, unceded territory of the Anishinaabe and Algonquin First Nations.

We are here today with impressive women leaders of our own in a chamber that became the second senate in the world to achieve gender parity. Millions of little girls in this country grew up seeing a woman monarch’s face day after day, even in years when Canada had no widely recognized women leaders.

We cannot quantify the impact of Her Majesty’s presence in the minds and hearts of these many millions of girls, generation after generation, but I know I am far from alone in tracing my own sense of entitlement to full actualization as a female human, to deeply knowing that the rights of women and girls are full human rights — rights not only to be claimed but also to be lived by all females, not just those who are privileged, like those of us in this chamber.

She was my Queen for the 70-plus years of my life, and she always will be. May you rest in peace, dear Queen Elizabeth.

God save the King. Thank you, meegwetch.

Hon. Marty Deacon [ + ]

Honourable senators, I rise today to pay tribute to the life and work of Queen Elizabeth II. It’s hard to describe how someone so renowned could touch our lives on a personal level, but for many of us, that’s what she did.

For me it began at a young age of six. In Grade 1, I was very curious about this woman whose image was so prominently displayed on our classroom wall, a queen that didn’t live in Canada. Had I had known I would go on to meet her on more than one occasion, I am sure I would have been both excited and somewhat alarmed at the prospect.

Two such meetings stand out to me that I believe are worth sharing. In 1994, Canada hosted the Commonwealth Games in Victoria. This was my first international games in a coaching capacity, and the experience opened my eyes to many international issues. None were more significant than the return of South Africa to the Commonwealth Games and what this represented: the end of apartheid and the leadership of Nelson Mandela. The Queen was visiting for the games and took the time to speak with athletes and coaches about how significant these games were with their return.

It was then I learned the role of the Queen, not as a politician, but for her abilities to influence, encourage, listen and provide gentle guidance. When the Queen met and spoke with athletes, she inspired them, asked great questions and, at times, added a little humour. I came away from those games wanting to understand more about the monarchy and its influence both inside and outside of the Commonwealth.

In 1998, the Queen arrived in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to close the games. There was political unrest at the time, which included the deputy prime minister there being jailed during the games. At the end of 13 days of competition, I took my team out for dinner. We received a call that nearby there was a political protest that was turning quite violent. I was ordered to get my team back to the village. We wanted to be safe but were not quite sure how to do this. Thankfully, none other than the Queen’s cavalcade provided us with a secure return to the athletes’ village. It was a strange way to meet the Royal Family — surrounded by security — but they were truly wonderful. A few of these athletes had tea with the Queen the next day in the athletes’ village and were very inspired by both the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

I also had the fun role of being there in 2012 in the London Stadium at the opening ceremonies of the Olympics when the Queen parachuted in with Daniel Craig. It really did show her lighter and fun side.

Colleagues, there’s a wonderful tradition that is part of the Commonwealth Games. Every four years, on Commonwealth Day, the Queen would insert a message into a baton that would begin a journey covering all Commonwealth countries and would be read by the Queen or her representative at the opening of the games. The message the Queen placed into the baton for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham has now become Her Majesty’s final message to the Commonwealth. It said:

Over the years, the coming together of so many for the ‘Friendly Games’ has created memorable shared experiences, established long standing relationships, and even created some friendly rivalries! But above all they remind us of our connection with one another, wherever we may be in the world, as part of the Commonwealth family of nations.

Throughout Her Majesty’s long life, her extraordinary dedication and service to Commonwealth sport have been an inspiration to so many. This includes the athletes, officials, volunteers and builders, all of whom she took time to meet when she would attend the games — 18 times in total.

Her Majesty’s vision for the Commonwealth as a diverse and united family of nations has always inspired us, and it will remain our collective mission and duty to realize this vision. Her vision arose from an unwavering sense of duty in every aspect of her role as sovereign, but I can’t help but believe attending these games brought with it a sense of joy as well. There was always a smile that stood in contrast to that serious image that adorned my classroom in Grade 1.

Colleagues, following the ceremony yesterday at Christ Church Cathedral, I was unable to leave when the service was over. I was drawn to the front of the church. I sat in front of the Queen’s large, familiar photo and just wondered whether we really know the full impact of her life. Do we deeply know the impact of her loss? I don’t think so. There are so many pieces to this life and legacy, though it is one that will continue to serve us well into the future.

Thank you, meegwetch.

Hon. Rosa Galvez [ + ]

Dear colleagues, I rise today to pay tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Since her death, people here at home and around the world have praised her as a great woman, a woman devoted to her people, a woman with a steadfast sense of duty and responsibility. For over 70 years, Queen Elizabeth II showed us that a leader can inspire tremendous respect and great affection in her people, and she did it with class.

For many of our fellow Canadians, the Queen is a symbol of pride and respect, but we must also acknowledge that, for many others, the monarchy is a symbol of oppression and suffering. These disparate reactions to the sad news of the Queen’s passing afford the people of this country an opportunity for reflection as a society. The vast majority of us have known no other monarch as Canada’s head of state. The Queen’s passing forces us to ask ourselves existential questions that call for profound reflection.

I would like to speak more about the Queen and her strength of character. Queen Elizabeth II was an inspiring figure, especially for women across the world. As one of the most recognized and admired leaders in the world, she served as a model for women. Her calm yet strong nature made her stand tall among the greatest female leaders around the world.

The Queen never shied away from duty. In the later days of the Second World War, she trained as a mechanic, the first woman from the Royal Family to serve her country in such a way. As women around the world were joining the war effort, she joined them in solidarity. By her actions, she has often shown us the way.

On November 4, 2008, the Queen visited the London School of Economics for the opening of a new building. After she heard of the devastating effects of the global financial crisis, she bravely asked one question: Why did nobody notice it?

Professor Luis Garicano of the Department of Management replied, “At every stage, someone was relying on somebody else and everyone thought they were doing the right thing.”

Let’s not make this mistake ever again.

Now it is the turn of her son King Charles III to take the helm of the monarchy and follow the footsteps of his late mother. The new King has quite some big shoes to fill.

We hope that he will serve his people as respectably as the Queen did. The King will input his own style to the monarchy and bring in a new era of leadership. Already, we have a few hints of the issues the King cherishes: the protection of the environment and the relationship with Indigenous peoples. He has demonstrated this in many of his trips as well as through a letter to Canada’s own David Suzuki. During his last visit to Canada, then Prince Charles participated in an important discussion with Canadian leaders on sustainable finance. I hope that we can continue this conversation and that we will continue shining a light on the need to protect our beautiful home, planet earth.

Colleagues, I would like to conclude with my sincere condolences to the Queen’s family and to the people who loved her. We now look to the future and hope that King Charles III will leave a positive mark on our world. Thank you, meegwetch.

Hon. David Arnot [ + ]

Honourable senators, I join you in paying my respects to Her Majesty the late Queen Elizabeth II. Her dedication to service and to the responsibility of her position and, above all, her connection to the people who looked to her for hope, strength, courage and certainty was remarkable.

She was an exemplar of the highest regard, demonstrating responsibility and respect on every occasion. She was the consummate monarch. She was the Crown. She upheld the honour of the Crown in the truest and most noble sense of that expression.

Over the course of my life, I have had many occasions to reflect on the honour of the Crown. Her late Majesty personified that powerful ideal. It is an unflinchingly high bar for all of us here today as servants of the people of Canada. It is that high standard that we must measure ourselves against. Our country and our democracy are relying on us to uphold the honour of the Crown.

As I have said before:

Appealing to the Honour of the Crown was an appeal not merely to the sovereign as a person, but to a traditional bedrock of principles of fundamental justice that lay beyond persons and beyond politics. It is precisely this distinction that rests at the heart of our ideals of “human rights” today.

On a personal note, I was fortunate to be in the presence of Her Majesty twice in my life — on her first visit to Saskatchewan as Queen and on her last. In July 1959, she visited my home province. I was only 7 years old and my parents, Gerry and Yvonne Arnot, brought my younger sister, Jill, and I to the legislative building in Saskatchewan in Regina. We hoped to get a glimpse of the Queen, and she did not disappoint. That memory is etched in my mind because I remember the crowds, the energy, the respect, the cheering and the joy that was all around us.

Forty-six years later, the Queen came to Saskatchewan in 2005 for our province’s centennial celebration. May 5, 2005, was a very special day for my family for two reasons. As Treaty Commissioner, I was invited to meet the Queen in Regina that day. I was staying at The Hotel Saskatchewan, and so was the Queen. I was startled and awakened by a loud telephone call at three o’clock in the morning from my oldest son, Michael Arnot, announcing the birth of our first grandchild, Owen. We hoped that call did not disturb the Queen.

Later that morning at Government House, I met the Queen with my wife, Linda, the late, well-revered Treaty 6 Elder Alma Kytwayhat and our good friend Colleen Cameron from Beardys Okemasis First Nation.

In speaking with the Queen, what I remember most was the joyful, beautiful, broad smile of the Elder Alma Kytwayhat, and that smile was mirrored very sincerely and very openly by Queen Elizabeth with her brilliant, sparkling blue eyes. It was a moment in my life that I will never forget.

Many times I heard the Elder Alma Kytwayhat speak strongly and evenly about the treaties and the treaty relationship which were forged by the parties — the Crown, the First Nations and the Creator — how the elders spoke of the fact that we are all treaty people and the fact that Queen Elizabeth represented the great white mother — Her Majesty Queen Victoria — during whose reign most of the numbered treaties in Western Canada were made. The treaties were a covenant of bringing together a people under the Crown, as we are brought together today to offer our respects and our tributes.

I am mindful that the Crown continues and that our responsibility to uphold the honour of the Crown, especially in this chamber, endures.

I join all Canadians across our country and all those across the Commonwealth who share the warm memories of her reign and the sorrow of her passing.

[Editor’s Note: Senator Arnot spoke in another language.]

Merci, thank you.

Hon. Pat Duncan [ + ]

Honourable senators, I join with you and Canadians in paying tribute by offering our humble thanks to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

There are citizens of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and especially here at home in Canada — Her Majesty’s second home — who have shared their personal stories and connections with the late Queen.

In our home, in later years, there hung on the wall a framed, small print. It read:

By the KING’S Order the name of Flight Sergeant TF Duncan, Royal Air Force, was published in the London Gazette on 11 June 1942, as mentioned in a Despatch for distinguished service I am charged to record His Majesty’s High appreciation.

My mother, then an American, joined the Canadian Army as Princess Elizabeth joined the British. Although my parents never spoke of their war service, the notion of public service — of service to the public — embodied by the Queen was an integral part of our family values.

As a Girl Guide, I was honoured to earn my Canada Cord, which was presented by the Queen’s representative in the Yukon territory, the Commissioner James Smith. At the national junior girls curling championships, as they were then known, we toasted the Queen. As a member of the Yukon Legislative Assembly, I pledged allegiance to Her Majesty The Queen, her heirs and successors. For the first time ever, I wore my medals awarded by the Queen yesterday.

Honourable senators, there are many, many remembrances of the Queen and the monarchy throughout our country, and I shared the deep sense of profound loss at the Queen’s passing. It has been underscored by many far more eloquent than I. Yet, I, too, wanted to offer my condolences to her family, to Canadians, to citizens of the United Kingdom and indeed of the world.

The Yukon was only privileged to host Her Majesty on one occasion in 1959. On that visit, Prince Philip travelled to Mayo and Dawson City, piloting the aircraft himself. The Queen was waylaid with morning sickness, thanks to Prince Andrew. Then Prince Charles made the journey with me to Mayo in 2001.

When I was thinking of the words that I wanted to share with you today in sharing the deep sense of profound loss at Her Majesty’s passing, I went for a walk with our special canine friend. Sadly, I did not borrow a corgi. I was walking in the Gunnar Nilsson and Mickey Lammers Research Forest at home in the Yukon. This is an area and an initiative that celebrates the environment. It is on the traditional territory of the Ta’an Kwäch’än Council, and I believe the Windsor family would truly appreciate this park and this walk. There is interpretive signage sharing the knowledge and culture of the land throughout the many trails in this area. As I was thinking about Her Majesty and her service to the world, this interpretation spoke to me, “caretaker of the fire.”

How do you start a fire without a match? Instead of using matches, Yukon First Nations used an ancient bow drill. The interpretive note explains to us that after going to the trouble of getting the fire started, they watched it carefully. A nomadic people, they carried hot embers wrapped in pouches of kindling with them as they travelled. Being the caretaker of the fire was an important responsibility. What a tremendous responsibility of public service — a trusted position — being the keeper of the embers.

There are as many different interpretations and values associated with fires as there are cultures present throughout Canada. Chief John Kelly at the 1977 Royal Commission on the Northern Environment said:

. . . as the years go by, the circle of the Ojibway gets bigger and bigger . . . Canadians of all colours and religions are entering that circle. You might feel that you have roots somewhere else, but in reality, you are right here with us.

The same optimistic vision of a welcoming Canada was shared by the Queen when she signed our Constitution in 1982. She said:

There could be no better moment for me as Queen of Canada to declare again my unbounded confidence in the future of this wonderful country.

Her Majesty was that keeper. The embers she carried with her were our hearts.

While we mourn her passing — a loss that is deep and profound to her family and to us all — and as we recognize a lifetime of public service, perhaps the greatest way we can pay homage to Her Majesty is to thank her for showing us the greatest standard of service with dignity, grace and humility, and do our best every day to live up to her standard in all that we do.

Merci. Mahsi’cho. Gùnáłchîsh. Thank you, Your Majesty. May you rest in peace.

Hon. Lucie Moncion [ + ]

Honourable senators, at the age of 21, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Canada’s sovereign and head of state, promised to devote her whole life, whether it be long or short, to the service of her subjects. She kept that promise until she passed away at the age of 96, thus becoming the longest-reigning British monarch. By choosing to devote her life to serving the Commonwealth and its people, this brilliant woman became a model of dignity, respect, dedication, candour, pride and grace for every person who goes into public service.

She faced countless challenges during her reign, but in spite of it all, she never balked in the face of adversity, and she carried out her duties as the principal guardian of the Constitution with skill, diplomacy and determination.

Her Majesty had a deep respect and great admiration for Canada. She loved to visit our big, beautiful country. She participated in over 20 royal tours of Canada. Each time she visited, she spoke to Canadians in both official languages. Her Majesty was a francophile queen who was remarkably fluent in French.

I also want to say that those of us who were here in Ottawa yesterday were able to attend the service for Her Majesty. It was such a beautiful service, so elegant, yet unpretentious and deeply respectful, just like our Queen. She loved our country. Yesterday’s modest, gracious and respectful ceremony was our way of showing her how much we, as Canadians, appreciated everything she did for our country. I would like to thank the organizers for putting together a really wonderful ceremony.

Queen Elizabeth II was both strong-willed and kind-hearted. She warmly welcomed everyone she invited into her home, and when she smiled, you couldn’t help but smile back. She had a passion for breeding horses and dressage horses and was a skilled rider. She had a keen eye for horses and good mounts, had stables of champions and loved horse racing.

She also had a particular fondness for corgis and owned more than 30 of these dogs over the course of her life.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was also a wife. She loved Prince Philip deeply and shared her life with him for over 73 years. Who can forget the image of her sitting alone during his funeral in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on April 17, 2021? It was the first time we had seen this great woman looking vulnerable and sad.

Her Majesty was also a mother, a grandmother and a great-grandmother, roles she assumed quietly. The dual roles of mother and monarch sometimes put her in delicate situations in which she was forced to make difficult decisions about the future of her children and grandchildren within the monarchy. She made these decisions out of duty and respect for her subjects and to ensure the survival and stability of the monarchy she held so dear.

Her Majesty was a compassionate, graceful and accomplished woman who was loved and respected by Canadians. She will be greatly missed on the world stage as a female icon of political leadership and diplomacy. She was an inspiration to women and girls around the world.

I offer my sincere condolences to King Charles III and to the entire Royal Family.

Hon. Tony Dean [ + ]

Honourable senators, I rise to join you in commenting on the loss of Queen Elizabeth II, a loss that is echoing around this country, around the Commonwealth and indeed around the world.

A common theme this afternoon has been of the Queen as steadfast and unwavering, as a presence in a rapidly changing, uncertain and increasing unstable world. The Queen knew something about instability, didn’t she, having assumed her reign during the devastating impact of the Second World War. Her accession to the throne occurred after the war as our parents emerged from a brutal several years of devastating war. Little wonder then that our parents were gripped by the coronation in 1953. What a time of hope, a bright light, as the dust of a nasty war started to diminish and settle.

So many of us will have watched the events of the past two weeks through our parents’ eyes, a poignant moment indeed for all of us and a time of reflection about our parents and their lives, touching us in so many ways and at so many levels.

As a young woman growing up in the context of war, the Queen sent messages of hope to thousands of young Britons who were displaced by that war. As Queen, she never stopped communicating in tangible, heartfelt and meaningful ways that touched millions of people.

Paramount in this was her recognition of the work that ordinary people do. A queen talking to ordinary people in this country and in many other countries around the Commonwealth, to nurses, to factory workers, to soldiers, to farmers, to fishers and many beyond that. In doing that, she was a marvellous communicator.

Some of us will have seen Catherine Clark, the daughter of former prime minister Joe Clark, interviewed on the CBC, talking about an experience when she was 10 years old. She was at an event, one of a series of events that were increasingly boring to her. Having listened to the Queen talk, she was ready to get out of there but was told by her father that no one could leave the room before the Queen left the room.

She had a chat with the Queen, a little interchange, a friendly presence and retired to a seat nearest the door, I guess hoping that somehow she might escape. Around came the Queen and bumped into her again and said, “I see you’re still here.” And young Catherine Clark, as a 10-year-old would, said, “Well, yeah. I’ve been told that no one can leave before you do.” And the Queen — without missing a beat, reports Ms. Clark — said, “Well, come with me. Let’s walk out together.” What a lovely image. What a lovely moment.

A few years later — perhaps this is a bit of an adult encore — I met the Duke of Edinburgh. Of course, I took the opportunity to tell him that I was a recipient of his gold medal. I know the Duke of Edinburgh’s award scheme is very successful in Canada. The Duke, as he had been on previous occasions when I met him, was quick as a whip. He looked at my empty lapel. He said, “So, where’s your medal?” I said, “Well, it’s at home.” And, again, in a nanosecond, he said, “Well, I see you only bring it out for special occasions then.” Unfortunately, it’s a true story.

To those of us in the U.K. with working-class roots, our experience of the Queen and the monarchy has been ambiguous at best, and I think some of you will likely share that feeling. It was hard in my younger days to separate out the Queen from monarchical structures, not only in the U.K. but around the world. But over decades of watching the Queen, of listening to her, that ambiguity steadily cleared and evaporated with age — not her age, my age.

It has been a tough couple of weeks. We’ve all reflected on previous generations and, as I said earlier, especially our parents’. Colleagues, we’ve lost a pillar of stability during a period of deep uncertainty around the world and in Canada. This is my closing remark: As we think about how this void will be filled — and some of us have worried about that, haven’t we? What will we do without that enduring presence and stability? As we think about that, let’s not forget our own role and responsibility in promoting responsible dialogue, compromise and inclusion with dignity, grace and humility, as my colleague Senator Duncan said a few moments ago. In doing that, we’ll honour the Queen and we’ll honour Canadians. Thank you, colleagues.

Hon. Brent Cotter [ + ]

Honourable senators, I’m deeply saddened personally and for her family by the Queen’s passing. But to be honest, my reflections are filled — and I hope yours are, too — with gratitude for the role she has played in our lives. First, I have two personal reflections, then something about the Queen and Saskatchewan and something about immortality.

Like Senator Batters, I am a Q.C. — that is, a Queen’s Counsel — though, admittedly, there are thousands of us. I had not thought greatly about it before yesterday, but thinking about it at that beautiful celebration, thinking about the Queen, whom I very much admired, and thinking that I was a Queen’s Counsel, it made me feel proud, honoured and humbled, even though I should admit that in the 29 years that I was a Q.C., the Queen didn’t call me once for any counsel.

I’m now a King’s Counsel. I know the present King a little bit, but I’m not expecting a call from him either.

My second personal reflection is more associated with the Queen’s family. In the darkest days of the Second World War, King George VI delivered a very special radio address. One aspect of it became an inspiration within the generations of my own family. We occasionally take some liberties with the specific language, but what the King said at that time was the following:

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”

And he replied:

“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”

Inspiring at the time to millions, and a bit of a talisman in my own family.

I met the Queen once and had a brief, pleasant conversation with her. I wish that I had told her of her father’s impact on my father and our family.

The Queen and Saskatchewan: The Queen has visited all of the provinces and territories, as you have heard, and conveyed outwardly that she was equally fond of all parts of Canada. But we in Saskatchewan know that she loved Saskatchewan best. There are two arguments for that, one you have already heard from Senator Gold and Senator Batters. Her favourite horse, given to her by the RCMP in 1969, was from Saskatchewan.

More compelling, though subtle, is her insignia. One part of it is embedded in the chair behind the Speaker. It is in three parts. First, the “E” for “Elizabeth”; then the Roman numeral II for “Elizabeth II”; and then what follows, is it a “W,” as in “E II Winnipeg”? No. Is it an “F,” as in “E II Fredericton”? No. It is “Elizabeth II Regina.” It is subtle, I grant you, but we in Saskatchewan got the message.

And the Queen was beloved by Saskatchewanians. Her visit in 2005 was an outstanding event. The people then responsible for protocol in Saskatchewan, Michael Jackson and Deborah Johnson — and this is the person we referred to in Saskatchewan as the Michael Jackson without the glove — none do these things better, arranged, among other things, for that bronze statue of the Queen astride Burmese to be commissioned and unveiled on her visit. It sits magnificently in the front of our Legislative Building in — you guessed it — Regina.

I was involved in planning the Queen’s visit in 2005, our centennial year, and had the idea of building a new wing onto Government House, the Lieutenant Governor’s building, and calling it the Queen Elizabeth II wing. The trouble was it was going to cost $6 million, and there wasn’t $6 million in the budget for it. So, somewhat audaciously, I put together a Government House foundation of distinguished Saskatchewan citizens, one of whom was our colleague and friend Pamela Wallin as she then was, and that foundation raised from the people of Saskatchewan nearly all of the $6 million to build that wing and honour the Queen, which she opened on her visit.

Queen Elizabeth was an inspiration for people of Indigenous ancestry across Canada and has kept alive the spark of hope for a better future that Senator Arnot spoke about , something that I hope inspires us all. In these days of heartbreaking tragedy in Saskatchewan, and particularly at the James Smith Cree Nation, this hope and inspiration are greatly needed.

Finally, to immortality: Whatever immortality is for any of us, it is surely at least this — that a person lives on in the ways in which he or she touched others for good or ill. Queen Elizabeth II, our Queen in her 70 years as monarch, perhaps more than any other person on this earth, touched the lives of tens of millions with her goodness, decency, integrity and her commitment to duty. What a legacy.

I don’t know the protocol in this chamber, but I would like to invite you to join me in a round of applause for Queen Elizabeth II to celebrate a great life well lived. Thank you.

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