Hon. Joseph A. Day (Leader of the Senate Liberals):
I also want to join with my colleagues in paying tribute to Senator Ogilvie as he prepares to leave us after eight years of service in this place.
While we came from opposite sides of the political spectrum, we do share points in common. We are both proud to come from the beautiful part of the world called the Maritimes, he from Nova Scotia and I from New Brunswick. We both have a background in science. However, Dr. Ogilvie is a remarkably renowned scientist, an expert in biotechnology, bio-organic chemistry and genetic engineering, whereas I am a humble electrical engineer.
His scientific accomplishments are many. He has been appointed to the Order of Canada. He has been recognized with multiple Jubilee medals and has received many scientific distinctions and honorary degrees. He was at the pinnacle of his career when he chose to leave that life behind and brought his analytical mind here to share his knowledge and expertise with all of us.
His contributions, since arriving here, have been impressive. As co-chair of the Special Joint Committee on Physician Assisted Dying, he served with distinction. He helped to guide its deliberations with skill and aplomb, ensuring that, when emotions ran high, proceedings always remained on track. That we very much appreciate. He was consistently fair in his dealings with committee members and with stakeholders, and his committee did not shy away from any of the difficult questions before it.
The result was a comprehensive report and exceptional recommendations. While many were disappointed by some of the resulting legislation, including, I might add, both co-chairs of that committee, he should be rightly proud of all that committee did achieve.
As Chair of the Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, he ushered in many laudable reports on a variety of topics impacting the health of Canadians: dementia, obesity, prescription pharmaceuticals, robotics and artificial intelligence. In the 2012 report, Time for Transformative Change, the committee unanimously recommended a number of forward-thinking initiatives, such as the development of a pan-Canadian home care strategy and a national pharmacare program, based on the principles of universal and equitable access for all Canadians.
Whether in committee hearings or in debate here in this chamber, Dr. Ogilvie’s thoughts have always been well informed and reasoned. He is a strong and committed Conservative, but that fact has never impeded him from independence of thought or his ability to listen to all sides of the argument. We respect him for that.
Best wishes for continued good health and happiness.