Statement made on 03 May 2012 by Senator Mobina Jaffer
Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer:
Honourable senators, I rise today to honour a friend and colleague whom I have had the privilege of knowing for over 20 years.
I am sure that every one of us in this chamber has an opinion about him, and this is largely due to the fact that he is not a person to sit on the fence. He is a passionate, proud man who stays firm to his principles and is never shy in expressing how he feels or where he stands on any given issue.
Honourable senators, I am extremely fortunate and proud to call Senator Terry Mercer my colleague, my fellow Liberal caucus member and, most importantly, my friend.
I first came to know Senator Mercer when we both worked for Mr. Chrétien in the 1990s. This is when I first noticed not only his confidence but also his ability to express his opinion and be heard.
Shortly after meeting Senator Mercer, my son Azool and I both took on leadership positions within the Liberal Party; I as Vice-President of the Liberal Women's Commission and Azool as Vice-President of the Young Liberals. Unfortunately, this was during a time when the party was not as inclusive and diverse as it is today.
Senator Mercer very quickly noticed some of the challenges Azool and I were facing and became very supportive of us. He took it upon himself to take Azool under his wing and treated him as his son. To this day Azool and Terry have a very close bond. In fact, I often joke that Senator Mercer and I have a son together, and he often refers to my grandson as his grandson.
Although Senator Mercer has done some amazing work for the Liberal Party, his contribution to the community, his province of Nova Scotia and to Canadians at large is truly remarkable. Throughout his career, Senator Mercer has been both an administrator and a fundraiser for a number of charitable organizations, most notably the Kidney Foundation of Canada, St. John's Ambulance, the Nova Scotia Lung Association, the YMCA and the Canadian Diabetes Association.
Terry Mercer has been a role model to many Canadians, including my son. He is a cherished asset, not only to the many organizations I have just mentioned but also to the institution of the Senate.
Honourable senators, yesterday Senator Mercer and his friends celebrated a big milestone in his life — his sixty-fifth birthday. Today I would like to celebrate Senator Mercer's vision, not only for the Liberal Party of Canada but for all Canadians.
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.