The View From Here – Senators see no conflict in honouring themselves with their own Medal

Tom Henihan

Awarding medals to one’s self or one’s inner circle is laughable, meaningless and a shameful display of unrestrained arrogance.

However, members of the Canadian Senate, awarding a medal to 47 of its own members is an unbridled act of cynicism, considering that others chosen to receive the Senate of Canada Sesquicentennial Medal have worked selflessly and made a valuable contribution to their communities.

The Canadian Senate seems determined to outrage Canadians with their flagrant abuse of trust and their indifference to criticism. Senators fully realize that half of Canadians have little or no regard for the Senate and the other hafe hold the institution in outright contempt.

One would wonder if it is abject stupidity, or extreme superciliousness that would allow senators to laud themselves with their own medal.

Only shameless individuals would accept this “honour,” knowing that by granting it to themselves, compromise its stature for those who genuinely deserve it.

That 47 out of 105 senators would accept the medal, marking the 150th anniversary of the first assembly of the Senate of Canada’s in November 1867, indicates not selflessness and a sense of duty, but selfishness, poor judgment, institutional apathy and decline.

Among the current and former senators receiving the medal are the nefarious Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin along with David Wells and Serge Joyal who were instrumental in establishing the medal in the first instance. Serge Joyal concluded a speech given on November 7 with these sage words:

As long as the Senate fulfills its constitutional duty, Canada will continue to thrive and remain a beacon of liberty and equal dignity for all.

This is what the medal, issued on the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Senate, is intended to celebrate, that is, the essential link of the Senate to the success of Canada as a federal country.

May this anniversary be one among many more to come on the path of a more humanistic and democratic world.

Inept senators in a dysfunctional Senate pinning medals on one another hardly creates a vivid picture of the Senate fulfilling its constitutional duty and it certainly does not create an essential link between the Senate and the success of Canada as a federal country.

That Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu, found in violation of the senate’s code of ethics back in 2014 was by the senate’s own standards deserving of a medal, sheds light on the nonsense of Serge Joyal’s bloated nonsense.

Many people take medals and other emblems very seriously, especially those who are awarded them on genuine merit, and to have that honour abused by the very institution that awards it is a shameful display of cynicism.

Mercifully, there are always exceptions to the rule and people who do the right thing, so I would be remiss if I did not note that Albertan Senator Betty Unger refused to accept a sesquicentennial medal but awarded the honour to 14 of her deserving constituents for their extensive volunteering and selfless contributions to their communities.

Among Senator Betty Unger’s honorees are Maureen Bianchini Purvis, the founder of the “No Stone Left Alone Memorial Foundation”, and Doris Doyle from Falher for her extensive fundraising initiatives and community service.

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