Hon. Terry M. Mercer (Deputy Leader of the Senate Liberals):
Honourable colleagues, this is a very special time of the year, a special time for families. I think of your families as we leave here tonight that will have the pleasure of having you home for an extended period of time. Enjoy that, because when you come back, of course, we’ve got a lot of work to do.
I also want to thank the people around this place. I want to thank the security people who protect us and protect these facilities. I want to thank the translators who have a difficult time of interpreting what I have to say into the other language. I want to thank the reporters who diligently sit here every day. I want to thank the people who clean this place and keep it neat and tidy for us. I want to thank the staff in the cafeterias in all the various buildings on the Parliamentary Precinct. I want to thank the staff of all of your offices who have been so kind to me as I’ve called on them or sought them out for various things. I want to thank the management at the table, and I particularly want to thank the acting clerk for a job well done. It looks really good on your resumé.
Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!
Senator Mercer: I want to thank all the new senators who have arrived. I want you to learn a whole bunch of things. I told some new senators earlier this week, don’t jump at things. Take your time. Learn the ropes. I have a saying about this place. It’s when you know where all the washrooms are that it’s time to leave. I’ve been around here for 14 years and I discovered a new washroom last week, so I’m getting closer to the end.
I’d like to thank everyone. I particularly want to thank the Speaker for his kindness and patience in managing the debate in here. I also want to thank my colleagues in the other groups, in the Independent Senators Group and in the Conservative caucus and the other independents in the place.
Importantly for me, I want to thank the members of the independent Liberal caucus, my colleagues. We have hung together as a group for a few years in what has been undoubtedly very difficult times for us. When all of us came here, this isn’t where the plan was going for us. We’ve managed to survive it and we’ve managed, I think, to do a darn good job. I’m proud to sit at this seat as the deputy leader of this gang of people. It’s my pleasure to do that, and I want to thank everyone for that. I also want to finish by saying —
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!