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Tribute to the Honourable Richard Neufeld

Honourable colleagues, I’m pleased to add some words of thanks and congratulations to Senator Neufeld on behalf of the Independent Senators Group.

Senator Neufeld has devoted his life to Canada and to British Columbia. He began his political career in 1978 on the Fort Nelson town council. His career has spanned over four decades. When I speak to folks in the northern part of British Columbia, everyone knows Senator Neufeld and everyone speaks of him with great respect and admiration.

He has always represented and supported the concerns and needs of British Columbians, particularly in the area of natural resources. As has been mentioned, he served as the Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources in the B.C. government. This was a time when natural resources industries in B.C. grew very rapidly.

Senator Neufeld came to the Senate and brought a special passion and energy and expertise in the very area of energy, natural resources and the environment, and he, of course, chaired that committee for a number of years. I had the privilege of working with him the last few years on the report around decarbonizing the Canadian economy and, most recently, on our Bill C-69 legislation.

I’ve also had the privilege from time to time of travelling with him from Vancouver to Ottawa, sometimes sitting next to him on the plane and observing, every time, how diligent he is on the flight over, poring over his notes for what needs to be done when he gets here. I, on the other hand, am usually catching a snooze.

In his very first intervention in the Senate Chamber on February 12, 2009, Senator Neufeld said:

I am a proud Canadian; I can tell you that. I have my political beliefs, but I can also work with people to try and make things better for Canadians, and that is what we should be doing in this chamber.

Senator Neufeld, that is what you did in this chamber, and we thank you for that.