Hon. Joseph A. Day (Leader of the Senate Liberals):
Colleagues, I’m delighted to welcome another new senator to the chamber, Senator Robert (Rob) Black from Ontario.
Senator, you join us at a very interesting time. In addition to fulfilling the traditional role as the chamber of sober second thought, we are also in the midst of a period of renewal and modernization. You yourself were selected through a new appointment process, which is a part of that.
While you are no stranger to politics, having served as the councillor for Ward 5 on the Wellington County Council, you will likely find that this place requires some adjustment and a wee bit of a learning period. I encourage you to take the time needed to get acquainted with the Red Chamber and your new colleagues here. I assure you we will be happy to provide you with words of friendly advice and encouragement as you settle into your new role.
I know that, for our part, we look forward to your contributions, particularly those arising from your work in the agricultural community. Our very own Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry has taken up a variety of important topics, like the effects of climate change on agriculture, access to markets, bovine tuberculosis and my personal favourite, the buzz-worthy importance of bee health to sustainable food production.
I know this committee would be well served by both your wisdom and your experience.
I have no doubt that with your arrival to this chamber, not only Ontarians but rural Canadians everywhere will have gained a very strong voice in Parliament.
On behalf of my Independent Senate Liberal colleagues, a small but mighty group in this part of the chamber, I welcome you to the Senate, and I look forward to working with you, Senator Black.