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Meet Senator

Nick Sibbeston

The Hon. Nick G. Sibbeston, B.A., LL.B. Appointed to the Senate by the Rt. Honourable Jean Chrétien, Senator Nick Sibbeston represents the Northwest Territories and the Senatorial Division of the Northwest Territories. He has served in the Senate of Canada since September 2, 1999.

Statements & Hansard

The Late Leslie Nielsen, O.C.

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Statement made on 09 December 2010 by Senator Tommy Banks (retired)

Hon. Tommy Banks:

Honourable senators, the American film industry — or Hollywood, as we have all come to call it — has, from the very beginning, been peopled with a disproportionate representation of Canadians.

Many of the earliest movers and shakers — including Jack L. Warner and Mack Sennett — were Canadians. Louis B. Mayer was not born in Canada, but he spent his formative years in New Brunswick.

Honourable senators, our famous moviemakers have included Norman McLaren, Arthur Hiller, Norman Jewison, David Cronenberg, Jason Reitman, Paul Haggis, James Cameron and Toronto's Howard Shore, who won three Academy Awards for his music for Lord of the Rings.

Among the actors, Mary Pickford, "America's Sweetheart," was from Hamilton. Norma Shearer, Marie Dressler and Deanna Durbin were all Canadians, as were Walter Houston, Raymond Massey, Alexander Knox, Walter Pidgeon, Hume Cronyn, Jack Carson, Glenn Ford — it goes on and on. Fay Wray, with whom King Kong first escaped, was from Lethbridge. Yvonne De Carlo hailed from Vancouver. The list is endless.

Leslie Nielsen was perhaps, in his provenance, the most Canadian of them all. He was born in Regina, the son of a Mountie. He lived in the North. He moved to Edmonton, the most Canadian of all cities, where he went to school, grew up and went on to become a successful and distinguished classical and dramatic actor, on the stage first, both in Canada and then in New York, and then in films and on television.

His first film role was as the King of France in a movie with Kathryn Grayson, called The Vagabond King. He called it "The Vagabond Turkey."

He was first a dramatic actor, and latterly turned into a deadpan comedy actor, the best of them all. He became a master. Siskel and Ebert called him "the Olivier of deadpan comedy."

His most quoted film line was in response to the question, "Surely you're not serious," to which he responded, "I am serious, and don't call me Shirley."

Leslie Nielsen never forgot his Edmonton roots and he came home to Edmonton often. I had the honour and pleasure of working with him often, and of having been the butt of some of his more outrageous practical jokes.

The Leslie Nielsen School of Communications at the Northern Institute of Technology in Edmonton is named for him; and he was often seen in the halls of the Victoria School for the Arts, from which both he and his famous classmate, the great director Arthur Hiller, are distinguished graduates.

Leslie Nielsen died last week at the age of 84. He was a fine gentleman, an inveterate prankster and a world-famous actor whose work will be studied and admired by the ages.

Recent Statements from Liberal Senators

First Nations Control of First Nations Education Bill

10 Apr, 2014 | By Senator Lillian Eva Dyck | Honourable senators, I would like to say a few words about this motion. I am definitely in support of it. The idea of a First Nations education act is critically important to the welfare of First Nations across Canada, and especially to our young people.

Income Inequality

10 Apr, 2014 | By Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette | What does the government intend to do to learn from the financial crisis, reduce wealth inequality, and follow the lead of other jurisdictions that have started to rein in compensation that has nothing to do with the productivity of the people who earn the average salary of a Canadian in half a day?

Broadcast of Senate Proceedings

10 Apr, 2014 | By Senator Grant Mitchelll | What is the leader's personal opinion about televising the Senate?

National Pharmacare

10 Apr, 2014 | By Senator Art Eggleton | That was supported unanimously in the Senate, so I take it, senator, that you would be willing to now advance this idea to the government.

National Pharmacare

10 Apr, 2014 | By Senator James Cowan | My question is: Will this government put National Pharmacare on the agenda?
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