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Meet Senator

Joseph Day

The Hon. Joseph A. Day, B.Eng., LL.B., LL.M., P.Eng. A well-known New Brunswick lawyer and engineer, Senator Joseph A. Day was appointed to the Senate by the Rt. Honourable Jean Chrétien on October 4, 2001. He represents the province of New Brunswick and the Senatorial Division of Saint John-Kennebecasis.

Statements & Hansard


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Statement made on 20 October 2010 by Senator Mobina Jaffer

Hon. Mobina S.B. Jaffer:

Honourable senators, I rise today to speak on the importance of embracing difference. On Friday, October 15, I had the privilege of attending the tenth annual LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium. This event was founded by our former Governor General, the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, and is co-chaired by Mr. John Ralston Saul.

This year, the symposium attendees warmly welcomed His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan who delivered an inspiring speech on the topic of pluralism. In his lecture, His Highness spoke about the Global Centre for Pluralism, which has been established in partnership with the Government of Canada. He explained that this centre is one of the first institutions dedicated to tackling the question of diversity and pluralism in our world.

The Aga Khan went on to state that Canada was a natural home for this institution, given that Canada is particularly well versed in the importance of embracing difference and has an international reputation of perceiving diversity as a strength rather than a weakness.

Honourable senators, throughout my life in Canada, I have learned that it does not matter if someone is black or white; if they speak English, Italian or Punjabi; or if they worship in a church, mosque or synagogue. Being different does not hinder the ability to flourish in Canada.

I have never been more proud to be a Canadian than last Friday evening. I was especially inspired after hearing the Aga Khan state:

What the Canadian experience suggests to me is that identity itself can be pluralistic. Honouring one's own identity need not mean rejecting others. One can embrace an ethnic or religious heritage, while also sharing a sense of national or regional pride.

As a woman of Indian origin, Ismaili Muslim faith, who was born and raised in Africa and who sought refuge in Canada, I have found great comfort in these wise words. Regardless of my complex identity, I have not only been granted the honour of identifying myself as a Canadian but I have also been given the privilege of rising before all honourable senators today and representing my community and my province of British Columbia.

Honourable senators, the Aga Khan in his speech indicated:

Pluralism is a process and not a product. It is a mentality, a way of looking at a diverse and changing world.

It is important for Canadians to acknowledge that although being home to the Global Centre for Pluralism is a source of great pride, it also brings great responsibility. We now have an obligation to show the rest of the world that embracing difference can help foster a better life for all.

I congratulate the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson and Mr. John Ralston Saul for making this year's symposium a great success. However, most importantly, I congratulate all Canadians for showcasing to the world that, as the Aga Khan said in his speech, "diversity has the capacity to inspire."

Recent Statements from Liberal Senators

Business of the Senate

19 Jun, 2014 | By Senator Joan Fraser | Colleagues, I'm rising to speak on behalf of my leader, the Leader of the Opposition, Senator Cowan, who had to be in Halifax tonight on public business. I must tell you that when I called him to say we were going to be adjourning for the summer tonight, he was, I could tell, quite irritated, not because he wanted us all to go on working like galley slaves but because he had already written a speech that he wanted to give tomorrow morning.

Lighthouses as Irreplaceable Symbols of Maritime Heritage—Inquiry

19 Jun, 2014 | By Senator Jim Munson | Thank you, Your Honour, and my apologies to Senator Champagne.

Unequal Access to Justice—Inquiry

19 Jun, 2014 | By Senator Joan Fraser | Colleagues, I know that Senator Jaffer was preparing to close this debate but, before she did that, I just had to say how terribly important the subject she has raised is.

The Senate—Promoting and Defending Causes that Concern the Public Interest—Inquiry

19 Jun, 2014 | By Senator Jim Munson | Honourable senators, I am looking for a bit of love and empathy at this late hour because I do have a speech, but you have to understand that, in the interest of having dignified departures for our five senators this week, I gave up my time to make sure that we were able to celebrate the departures of Senator Buth, Senator Segal, Senator Callbeck, Senator Dallaire and Senator Champagne.

Study on Status of Canada's International Security and Defence Relations

19 Jun, 2014 | By Senator Grant Mitchell | So, you thought you weren't going to hear from me? Well, I fooled you! So there! I rise in support of this report by the Defence Committee recommending that Canada become involved in ballistic missile defence with NORAD. I congratulate Senator Lang and other members of the committee for what I think was great collaborative work, completely non-partisan, very extensive and detailed with intense research.
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