Hon. Joseph A. Day (Leader of the Senate Liberals):
Honourable senators, I would also like to join others here today to express my sadness at the sudden death of our colleague, the Honourable Tobias Enverga, Jr.
Senator Enverga had been with us here for just five years, but in his life he displayed a long-lasting commitment to public service. He worked hard and lent his voice to a number of worthy causes. He was a strong advocate for persons with disabilities, and he has been described repeatedly as a happy warrior, always maintaining a cheerful demeanour even while arguing passionately for or against a particular issue.
He loved this country of Canada, and that love saw him introduce a motion to sing our national anthem together on Tuesdays at the start of our sessions.
Recently he travelled to Manila on my behalf as co-chair of Canada-China Legislative Association to participate in the 38th ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary General Assembly. I know that he was well received and fulfilled his role as delegate from Canada with distinction. Many of those who met him there have expressed to us their sadness at his loss.
Senator Tobias Enverga was fiercely proud of his Filipino heritage, and his brethren were fiercely proud of him. Shortly after his appointment to the Senate, he travelled to my home province of New Brunswick to participate in the Asian Heritage Cultural Gala in Saint John. I was also in attendance, and I was struck by the countless numbers of Filipino community members in attendance.
They had travelled from across the province to meet with him and hear him speak. The Filipino Association of New Brunswick still displays a message from him and a photo from that past visit on the front page of their website.
I would be remiss if I did not mention that Senator Enverga held his family dearly, particularly his ladies. He often mentioned them in committee and in conversations with his colleagues. On behalf of the independent Senate Liberals, I offer sincere condolences to them: his wife, Rosemer, and his three daughters, Rystle, Reeza and Rocel.
And to his extended family and friends, I offer my sincere condolences. I’m certain that he will be sorely missed by all those who had the good fortune to have known him.