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Congratulations on Appointments

Colleagues, I have the distinct pleasure of rising in the chamber on the second consecutive day to introduce another collection of distinguished Canadians who will sit among us as of today. It's a habit I'm enjoying immensely and one that I don't plan to break, at least for a while.

Our eight new senators join us from across the country: Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Quebec. As you might expect, they come from all backgrounds and fields of experience, from law and business to social work and public service.

As professionals, community leaders and volunteers, they have already made a tremendous contribution to Canada. Their arrival at the Senate will allow them to continue this mission.

Please allow me to say a few words of introduction.

Professor Marilou McPhedran is a lawyer, educator and advocate who has tirelessly promoted human rights through reform in law, medicine, education and governance. Senator McPhedran became the youngest lawyer to become a member of the Order of Canada in 1985 for her work in leading a grassroots movement toward strengthening equality rights in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Professor McPhedran has also served the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal and as Chief Commissioner of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission. Her list of honours is long and varied, and her work is an assurance that the voices of marginalized people will be heard and recognized across Canada. Welcome to the chamber, Senator McPhedran.

Dr. Wanda Thomas Bernard joins us in the Senate from Nova Scotia. A highly regarded social worker, educator, researcher, community activist and advocate of social change, she is one of her province's most dedicated advocates on women's issues. She is also a founding member of the Association of Black Social Workers, which helps address the needs of marginalized citizens, especially those of African descent. Senator Bernard has also served as an expert witness in human rights cases and has received many honours for her work, including the Order of Nova Scotia and the Order of Canada. Welcome, Senator Bernard.

We are also welcoming a number of new senators from Ontario.

Tony Dean is a true agent of change and his experience with help us all as we navigate our way toward a new and remodelled upper chamber. As a former senior civil servant with the Ontario government, he has led and implemented large projects designed to improve the way government provides services to its residents. Most notably, he led the development of integrated Service Ontario centres. He is also well-known for his mediating abilities, having worked to heal a previously frayed relationship between government, teachers and school boards.

Originally from the U.K., which you will note by his accent, Senator Dean is also known for his international work, which includes acting as an adviser to the London-based Commonwealth Secretariat and Commonwealth governments around the world. Welcome to the Senate, Tony Dean.

For 35 years, Sabi Marwah was a fixture in Toronto's banking and economic community, but his interests and involvement in community extended well beyond his noteworthy professional life. While his career at Scotiabank culminated with his appointment as vice-chairman and chief operating officer, his contributions have also included showcasing the rich diversity of Sikh and South Asian art and culture. He has also served on the boards of many not-for-profit organizations, such as the Royal Ontario Museum, the United Way Campaign, the Toronto International Film Festival and the Hospital for Sick Children.

As a banker he was responsible for developing strategic plans in areas such as mergers and acquisitions and sat on a number of industry committees. Originally from India, he has a strong academic background in economics and finance. Welcome to the Senate, Senator Marwah.

Lucie Moncion's tenure with the Alliance des caisses populaires de l'Ontario has been marked by growth and stability. Since taking over as president and chief executive officer, asset growth has almost tripled to $1.4 billion.

The network of 12 credit unions serves 23 francophone municipalities in northeastern Ontario and plays a key role in the economic development of the region. She also served on various boards, including as Vice-President on the Board of Directors at Nipissing University, and member of the Board of Directors at Collège Boréal. Welcome, Senator Moncion.

Also from Ontario is Howard Wetston, respected public servant, distinguished lawyer, jurist and executive. He is one the country's leaders in the field of administrative law and regulation and has also led the Ontario Securities Commission, the Ontario Energy Board and the Competition Bureau here in Ottawa. Senator Wetston is also a former Federal Court judge and has served as general counsel or assistant general counsel with the Canadian Transport Commission, the Canadian Energy Board and the Consumers' Association of Canada. He has been called to the bar in not one, not two but three separate provinces. What an underachiever. Welcome, Senator Wetston.

Diane Griffin from P.E.I. is a nationally recognized leader in the field of conservation who has contributed to the protection of ecologically significant lands and sustainable land management. Among her many roles, Senator Griffin has worked in the provincial civil service and served as P.E.I.'s Deputy Minister of Environmental Resources.

She is also a tireless community volunteer, contributing her time to organizations that include hospitals, universities and health- related charities. She is the recipient of the Governor General's Conservation Award and also received the Order of Prince Edward Island in recognition of her volunteerism and contribution to Island life. Welcome to the Senate.

Finally, Renée Dupuis' leadership and achievements have been repeatedly recognized by her peers and by Canadian society as a whole. A lawyer and writer, Ms. Dupuis has been a consultant for First Nations in negotiating tripartite comprehensive claims. She chaired the Indian Specific Claims Commission in 1991 and the Barreau du Québec's committee on the rights of Aboriginal peoples in 1998.

Ms. Dupuis was a member of the collective that established the Quebec City Women's Health Centre. In addition to her professional accomplishments, she participated as a volunteer in training activities for women's support organizations. For that and many other accomplishments, she was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada and received the Quebec Bar Medal. Welcome, Senator Dupuis.