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Tribute to the Honourable Anne C. Cools

Tribute to the Honourable Anne C. Cools

Tribute to the Honourable Anne C. Cools

Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: 

Honourable senators, I too rise today to join my colleagues in paying tribute to Senator Cools.

Senator Cools, as we all know, was the first Black person to become a Canadian senator and, in fact, the first Black woman senator in North America.

These are just two of the many firsts and other leading roles Senator Cools has taken on throughout her time serving Canadians.

There are numerous qualities we can attribute to Senator Cools’ experience in the Senate, such as her knowledge of the history of the Senate and of the parliamentary procedures on which is based our Senate.

Besides being our Dean, Senator Cools has broken many barriers. The Senate has seen many changes since Senator Cools was first appointed 34 years ago. Most importantly, Senator Cools changed the status quo in the Senate. Honourable senators, when I look around this chamber today and I see all my honourable colleagues sitting here, I know that Senator Cools has led the way towards a more inclusive and diverse Senate.

After 17 years working alongside Senator Cools, I have learned from her that she never backs away from what she believes in. One of the many things I admire about Senator Cools is that she has never been hesitant or frightened to fight alone for what she believes in.

One of the first things Senator Carstairs taught me when I first came to this institution was never to fight with Senator Cools because she will always win.

Senator Cools, thank you for your work in preserving our Senate’s procedures and corporate memory. This will be your legacy. Rest assured your advocacy work will be remembered in the Senate as well as throughout Canadian history. You will be deeply missed in this chamber by all your colleagues.

You and I have had many laughs, many discussions and sometimes heated discussions because we walk on different paths, but we both want what is best for Canadians. You have served Canadians very well, and we salute you for it.

Anne, I will miss you.