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 Recents activities

June 19, 2017

Hon. Serge Joyal: Honourable senators, I committed last Thursday to take part in this debate today. I'm pleased to be in a position to do that tonight.

I would also like to mention that I had an opportunity earlier today to speak to the sponsor of the bill in the other place, the Honourable Rona Ambrose, and I have absolutely no doubt about the objectives that Ms. Ambrose is pursuing in relation to the bill. I would also like to commend Senator Andreychuk for the way she presented the bill, because I think she outlined the objective of the bill very well. Read the speech

June 14, 2017

Hon. Serge Joyal: If you will allow me, honourable colleagues, I will come to the defence of a former Speaker, Senator Charbonneau. I happened to have succeeded Senator Charbonneau in the Kennebec district in Quebec. Before being appointed in Senator Charbonneau's district, I knew Senator Charbonneau personally, and I may confess today that Senator Charbonneau offered to shepherd me for an appointment in the Senate. Read the speech

June 13, 2017

Hon. Serge Joyal: Honourable senators, I know it's late, but this item has been on the Orders of the Day for 14 days now. Before I seek consent to move adjournment in my name, I would like to explain the three aspects of this motion, which I will expand on in a speech at a later date. Read the speech

June 12, 2017

Last month, senators Serge Joyal and Judith Seidman hosted the Canada 150 Senate Symposium.  Over the course of the two-day event, leading Canadians mapped out the direction they predict the country will take in panel discussions on important national issues. They addressed topics such as Canada’s relations with its First Nations, sustainable development in the Arctic, the impact of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the importance of Canada’s identity in la Francophonie and many other themes. Voir plus à SenCA Plus+

June 7, 2017


Ottawa, June 7, 2017 – The Royal Canadian Mint struck the first test medal on Wednesday that will be unveiled as part of the launch of the Senate’s new Canada 150 medals. The medal commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Senate of Canada’s first sitting, on November 6, 1867.

Senators will award the prestigious medals to Canadians who are thoroughly involved in their communities, whose generosity, dedication, volunteerism and hard work make their home towns a better place to live.

The obverse (front) side will feature the Senate’s emblem. The reverse side depicts the Senate chamber. A space is provided to inscribe the name of the recipient.

The medal was designed by Lieutenant-Colonel Carl Gauthier, Director of Honours & Recognition at the Department of National Defence, the organization responsible for much of the work that goes into honouring the extraordinary men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces.

The medals will be available for distribution in November 2017. The decision to strike a Senate medal comes after the federal government nixed plans for its own sesquicentennial medal, in breach of a historical tradition followed to date.

About the medals

  • The medals will measure 7.6 centimetres (three inches) in diameter and be seven millimetres (one-quarter inch) thick, which is the same size as the Confederation Medal 1867.   
  • They will be made from Muntz metal, an alloy comprised of bronze, copper and zinc.
  • The finish of the medal is matt in bronze.


“Senators want to take this opportunity to reflect on the incredible contributions made by Canadians from all walks of life. We want to give some much-deserved recognition to Canadians who share the Senate’s goal of giving voice to people or issues that sometimes fly under the radar or don’t grab headlines.”

- Senator David Wells, Co-Chair, Advisory Working Group on the Senate 150th Anniversary Medal

 “As the Senate approaches a milestone anniversary of its own, this is an appropriate time to celebrate the volunteer work of Canadians. Not only will the medal highlight the contributions of Canadians – from coast to coast, from all walks of life and from varied backgrounds – it will highlight the wide diversity of the people whose efforts make Canada great.”

- Senator Serge Joyal, Co-Chair, Advisory Working Group on the Senate 150th Anniversary Medal

May 17, 2017

Hon. Serge Joyal: Honourable senators, this year marks the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation. It is a memorable event in every respect. Read the Statement

April 18, 2017

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms was a foundational moment for Canada in the 20th century. It redefined the basis of Canadian society, affirming that human rights and freedoms are at the core of what it means to be Canadian. Read the text

April 16, 2017

Canadian Senator, Historian, former Minister of State Pierre Trudeau, Serge Joyal is our guest as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes a historic visit to France to commemorate the centenary of the Battle of Vimy and to pay tribute to the 60,000 Canadians who died during the First World War. Presentation: Patrick Simonin. (TV5 Monde) Watch the interview

April 11, 2017

Ottawa, April 11, 2017 – Senators Doug Black, Patricia Bovey, Serge Joyal, and Paul McIntyre, endorsed by a strong majority across party lines of their Senate colleagues urge Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to establish a National Portrait Gallery at the Former U.S. Embassy at 100 Wellington.

In a letter sent to the Prime Minister, Senators highlight that many countries, including England, the United States and Australia have permanent National Portrait Galleries that are very popular with young people; with over 40% of attendees being under the age of 35 in London.

The Senators believe that Canada150 marks the perfect opportunity to create a National Portrait Gallery as a lasting legacy to Canadians.


“We were very pleased to see overwhelming support for this initiative from our fellow Senators, artists and audiences. There is a strong desire to put our extensive collection of portraits along with work from contemporary artists on display for Canadians to appreciate and enjoy.” – Senator Doug Black

“A Portrait Gallery not only tells a story, but it helps us understand who we are.” – Senator Patricia Bovey

“We have a prime location situated directly in front of Parliament, where thousands upon thousands of people already visit every month. Visitors could simply cross Wellington Street to see the many faces of aboriginals and immigrants who built Canada. There is no better history than the people's history; a Portrait Gallery is a people’s institution”. – Senator Serge Joyal

“What better gift for Canada to give Canadians “from coast-to-coast-to-coast” than to establish a National Portrait Gallery in an historic building for all to see, on its 150th Birthday!” – Senator Paul McIntyre


April 6, 2017

Hon. Serge Joyal: Honourable senators, on Sunday, April 9, 2017, Canada, France and the United Kingdom will commemorate the Battle of Vimy Ridge, north of the city of Arras, 100 years after the four divisions of Canadian troops won a victory there over the German armed forces, who had occupied the ridge since October 1914. Read the text