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Meet Senator

Serge Joyal

The Hon. Serge  Joyal, P.C., O.C., O.Q., B.A., LL.L., D.E.S., LL.M. Appointed to the Senate by the Rt. Honourable Jean Chrétien, Senator Serge Joyal represents the province of Quebec and the Senatorial Division of Kennebec. He has served in the Senate of Canada since November 26, 1997.

Statements & Hansard

National Flag of Canada Day

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Statement made on 15 February 2012 by Senator Roméo Dallaire

Hon. Roméo Antonius Dallaire:

Honourable senators, 47 years ago today we witnessed the birth of our greatest national symbol. This is National Flag Day of Canada. Since then, the red and white Maple Leaf, Canada's national flag, has become a symbol of hope, tolerance and democracy as seen on flag poles, backpacks and even on combat uniforms of our brave men and women serving overseas and at home.

My dad, a veteran of World War II and a career soldier who joined the army in 1929, as well as my father-in-law who joined the army in 1928 and also served six years overseas, fought under the Red Ensign. In so doing, they had a difficult question to solve in regard to accepting the red maple leaf as the national symbol. However, they turned warmly to it and it took little to no time for them to accept that that is the symbol of Canada into the future, which we should be proud to serve under and also make the sacrifices needed to advance what we believe in: tolerance, hope, respect and democracy.

I am proud to pay specific tribute to this great flag and to one great Canadian in particular who made this possible: Lieutenant-Colonel John Ross Matheson, Judge Matheson, born in Arundel, Quebec, in 1917. John Matheson was a student when the Second World War broke out. He trained at the Royal Military College of Canada and served with the 1st Regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, my old regiment, in Italy. On December 1, 1943, he was wounded by six pieces of shrapnel while crossing the Moro River.

After returning from war, Major Matheson's injuries left him paraplegic and epileptic. However, he pursued careers in law and politics. He served as a Liberal member of Parliament from 1961 to 1968. During that time, and under the leadership of Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, Mr. Matheson was the driving force behind the committee responsible for selecting the new flag of Canada.

He was instrumental in choosing the current maple leaf design and is referred to by many as the father of the Canadian flag. The inspiration for the flag came to him while looking over MacKenzie Building at the Royal Military College and seeing the flag of that college flying. That college flag has the two red symbols on the extents and the royal military college emblem in the centre. It was from that red, the army red, that the flag built its conceptual design that was ultimately accepted as the Canadian Maple Leaf, the Canadian flag.

Judge Matheson's achievements are individually impressive — together, they are truly exceptional. Please join me in celebrating this remarkable Canadian, this decorated and injured veteran, this judge of the courts who brought enormous stability to our nation and a point of great recognition to our future and our future endeavours with his most recognizable accomplishment. We thank him and we wish him well in his continued good health.

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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