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Reflecting on our past and embracing our future: Senators Joyal and Seidman release book of essays that commemorates Canada and the Senate’s 150th Anniversary
June 28, 2019

On May 14, 2019, senators celebrated the launch of a new collection of essays that commemorates the 150th anniversaries of Canada and the Senate — a project two years in the making.

Senators Serge Joyal and Judith G. Seidman co-edited and contributed to the book, titled Reflecting on our Past and Embracing our Future: A Senate Initiative for Canada.

A two-day symposium hosted by the Senate in May 2017 brought together 22 renowned experts (diplomats, politicians, scientists and human rights leaders) to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday and share their wisdom and experience of events that have marked Canada over the last fifty years. 

Published by McGill-Queen’s University Press, the book contains thought-provoking essays on a wide range of subjects including language and gender issues, economic and science matters, and the role of the Senate.

“The purpose behind this entire process is to enrich democratic debate in Parliament,” senators Joyal and Seidman wrote in the book’s preface.

“Because that is where choices and decisions that affect all Canadians are made and where the course for the future is charted.”

Speaker of the Senate George J. Furey, whose welcoming address to the symposium has been included in the book, congratulated senators Joyal and Seidman on their achievement.

“This book is a collection of powerful ideas from a distinguished and diverse group of Canadians,” he said.

“It gives fascinating insight into our history and offers bold visions of what the future might hold — and the role the Senate can play in getting us there.”

Senators Stan Kutcher and Rosemary Moodie look on as Senator Serge Joyal and Judith G. Seidman co-sign their copies of <em>Reflecting on our Past and Embracing our Future: A Senate Initiative for Canada</em> (Left to right: Senators Kutcher, Moodie, Joyal and Seidman).

Senator Seidman speaks proudly about the work and co-operation that went into creating a book that will serve as a lasting commemoration of Canada and the Senate’s 150th anniversaries.

Senator Joyal delivers remarks during an event celebrating the book launch at the Senate of Canada building on May 14, 2019. Listening, from right, are Senator Seidman, Speaker of the Senate George J. Furey and Usher of the Black Rod J. Greg Peters.

Senator René Cormier speaks at the book launch event. Senator Cormier was a facilitator at the Canada 150 Senate Symposium held in May 2017 that laid the foundation for the book project.

Note to readers: The Honourable Serge Joyal, P.C., retired from the Senate of Canada in February, 2020. Learn more about his work in Parliament.