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Expressions of Good Wishes for the Season

Honourable senators, as we approach the final minutes of our 2020 sittings, I am challenged to deliver a closing message in a year that feels like it never even got started. It occurred to me this morning that I will be offering greetings at the end of 2020 to some honourable colleagues to whom I never got to offer greetings at the start of 2020.

So at the end of a most unusual year, I offer, on behalf of the Independent Senators Group, an unorthodox finale which I dedicate to the hard-working staff of the Senate, from clerks to cleaners, pages to the Parliamentary Protective Service and, of course, to the staff in our respective offices.

I give you, honourable colleagues, with apologies to Clement Clarke Moore, “The Week Before Christmas.”

’Twas the week before Christmas, when all through the House

Not an MP was sitting, not even a mouse.

The bills had been sent to the Senate with care,

In hopes that Speaker George Furey was there;

The senators were nestled all snug in their headphones,

With visions of amendments engraved on their capstones;

Clerks in ‘kerchiefs, and Black Rod in his hat,

Got us all ready for a nice long Zoom chat

When from the canal, there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the chamber to see what’s the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

Gave the lustre of midday to objects below,

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a most vexing bill — C-7, my dear.

Its crackerjack sponsor so lively and with it,

Senator Petitclerc did not waste a minute.

More rapid than dinner break her emails they came,

And she whistled, and shouted, and called us by name.

“Now, Mute! Now, Unmute! Your video is off!

On Zoom! On Teams! You are speaking too soft!

To the top of the order paper! To the top of it all!

Please, dear opposition, please, do not stall.”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,

So up to the chamber top, the speeches they flew,

With a screen full of faces, and a china cabinet too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof,

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,

Down the chimney came . . . a court extension most sound.

So we spoke not a word more, and ceased our work,

We packed our things and turned with a jerk,

iPads and laptops we finally did close,

With a nod by the Speaker, from the chamber we rose;

We sprang to the doors, to our teams gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But we heard HIM exclaim, ere he drove out of sight:

I MOVE THE ADJOURNMENT OF THE SENATE! TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT!