This site will look much better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Skip to Content

Comments on the Nomination of Joyal to the Senate by Hon. Alasdair Graham, Leader of the Government - Senate Debates


Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, Senator Serge Joyal, P.C., OC, has been known to many of us to be an active, dynamic presence in Canadian and Quebec political life, beginning with his election to the House of Commons in 1974. Senator Joyal came to political life armed with many great talents. Perhaps the most obvious has been his high intellect, an intellect which he has put to work in the service of his country and his province over the years. Macaulay once said that the highest intellects, like the tops of mountains, are the first to catch and to reflect the dawn.

That intellect, that characteristic passion for politics and country, and for literature and art, has enlightened, stimulated and challenged the many privileged to work with Serge Joyal, whether as Minister of State or founding member of the Standing Joint Committee of the Senate and House of Commons on Official Languages, whether as troubleshooter or caucus rebel, whether as mayoralty candidate or lifetime collector of antique art, whether as Secretary of State for Canada or director of the Canadian Museum Association.

Honourable senators, in everything he puts his hand to, Serge Joyal is a man of principle, a man of quality. He has a gift for making short shrift of preconceived notions and conventions.

All who know him understand that Senator Joyal is the personification of Shaw's well-known truth:

One man that has a mind and knows it, can always beat ten men who haven't and don't.

If past experience serves me well, and as one who has followed his very eclectic career over the years, I would say that Serge Joyal has never been known to be a man shy in stating his views.

I welcome Senator Joyal to this place, to a chamber which is the workshop of government or, as Senator John Connolly said many years ago, which is the custodian of our rights and freedoms. As someone who has lived life with passion and commitment and intellectual acuity, we have great expectations that Canadians will be well served.

Honourable senators, we wish Senator Joyal a most cordial welcome.