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Tributes - The Honourable Yoine Goldstein

Hon. Serge Joyal: Honourable senators, it is a privilege to draw your attention to Senator Goldstein's contribution to the Senate of Canada, as his work in this chamber draws to a close. The length of Senator Goldstein's term here was rather short, just under four years. However, his contribution to our work has been significant and was appreciated immediately, from the moment he was appointed. Indeed, the Senate and its legislative approach have benefited greatly from Senator Goldstein's unique academic expertise.

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[English]

One should remember that after having completed his PhD in law at the Université de Lyon in France in 1960, he taught for more than 25 years at the University of Montreal. An expert in the law of bankruptcy, he has published extensively on related issues and is widely recognized by the legal and judicial community as an authority. He is quoted regularly in arbitration and court decisions.

Honourable senators, we in the Senate should appreciate the special professional background of Senator Goldstein and the backgrounds of other colleagues on both sides of this chamber, and recognize that their expertise is essential to our duty in reviewing the legislation adopted by the other place.

[Translation]

According to a study published recently by the Public Policy Forum, the newest members of the 40th Parliament elected on October 14, 2008, are less educated and less experienced than their predecessors in the 39th.

[English]

Moreover, according to that study, the House of Commons has few members experienced in public administration. This fact certainly has an impact on their capacity to do legislative work. The scholarly background of Senator Goldstein has brought solid credentials to the study of banking and financial legislation, in keeping with the fine tradition and practices of the Senate. Indeed, Senator Goldstein's talents were always at par, or even better, than those of the expert witnesses of the Department of Finance or those of the business community.

[Translation]

I cannot over-emphasize the fact that our Senate committees' reputation for credibility is due in large part to the professional experience of colleagues like Senator Goldstein.

[English]

Such colleagues sit on both sides of the chamber.

[Translation]

That is what fundamentally distinguishes this chamber from the other.

As we consider changes to the Senate appointment system, we should make it a point to maintain the elements that bring value to this chamber, elements that are critical to the Senate's credibility as a law-making institution, elements such as a high degree of professional qualification, which the system of elected representatives does not necessarily guarantee.

Let us hope that Senator Goldstein continues to take an interest in the work of Senate committees and contribute his academic and practical expertise to help us fulfill our constitutional duty to the best of our ability.

Senator Goldstein, we would be only too grateful.