Hon. Serge Joyal: Honourable senators, I will not continue in the same vein as Senator McIntyre. It would be too easy for me.
Instead, I would like to draw your attention to another renowned historical figure. Honourable senators, I would like to remind you that Monday, February 6, marked the Sapphire Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen of Canada.
Queen Elizabeth II has been our nation's sovereign for 65 years. This is unprecedented in the history of the British Crown.
What is remarkable is that, during the Queen's long reign, Canada continued to develop its institutions, laws, customs and practices, making it a model and an inspiration for countries of the free world.
Canada is fundamentally a country that adheres to the rule of law developed by a Parliament that renews itself regularly. This rule is tempered by a Charter of Rights and Freedoms based on the dignity of every individual, and this Charter is interpreted by a judicial system that is completely independent and respected.
Those are the three pillars of our constitutional democracy to which we have pledged our allegiance in the oath that we took as members of the Senate.
This stability in our system of government is perhaps best reflected in the Queen herself, who is a stellar example of dignity, dedication and service to her people, as she is always mindful of their needs and challenges.
Her Majesty has a special bond with the indigenous people of this country, who, in return, revere her fondly.
Her Majesty speaks impeccably in Canada's two official languages, thereby demonstrating her appreciation of Canadian duality.
Her Majesty loves Canada. She has often declared that she felt herself Canadian during each of her 22 visits.
We are certainly privileged to be able to cultivate such a link with our long history, one that our sovereign cares very much about. This jubilee gives us an opportunity to reflect on the unique character of our country.
It also gives us an opportunity to express the gratitude we owe to our Majesty as our head of state. May I express the wish that our Speaker would extend to Her Majesty our sincere congratulations for her sapphire jubilee.
Please also convey our profound appreciation for her tireless dedication and constant attention to Canada's good governance.