The Honourable Wilfred P. Moore – Tribute


Retirement of The Honourable Wilfred P. Moore December 13th, 2016

Hon. Jane Cordy: Honourable senators, I am also pleased to speak today about Senator Wilfred Moore and the exceptional contribution he has made not only to the Senate of Canada but especially to the people of Nova Scotia. However, I cannot say that I am pleased that you are retiring, Willie, because I will miss our political discussions when we solved many of the country's problems, and I will miss our shared cab rides to the airport. But most of all, Willie, I will miss your friendship of over 25 years.

We first worked together during Mr. Chrétien's leadership campaign in 1990. You were the campaign chair for Nova Scotia, and Bob and I were on the Nova Scotia team. The convention was in Calgary at the Saddledome, and while I know it is more democratic to have one member, one vote for electing party leaders, I have to say that those old fashioned leadership conventions were exciting because just about anything could happen, and often did. Of course, maybe it had something to do with the fact that we were much younger then and could survive on only a few hours of sleep every night.

We also worked hard on the federal election teams in 1993 and 1997, and, as I recall, you and Robert Pace spent election day in Shawinigan with Mr. Chrétien in 1993, which I am sure was a memorable time.

Before our independence day, when we were part of the caucus with the Liberal MPs, you served as vice-chair of the Nova Scotia and Atlantic caucuses. Do you remember the morning that the Nova Scotia caucus was having our official picture taken with Mr. Ignatieff? Just as the photo was being taken, you pulled out a Saint Mary's University poster, so our caucus photo became an unofficial infomercial for Saint Mary's, which was great for you and Senator Mercer but not so great for Senator Cowan and me, who graduated from Dalhousie and Mount Saint Vincent.

Of course, Willie has been active in promoting his alma mater: He established an endowment at Saint Mary's, creating the Senator Wilfred P. Moore Bursary, which provides a $1,000 bursary to a first-year student in the Sobey School of Business.

In recognition of his work with the university, his community and the province of Nova Scotia, Senator Moore was awarded an honourary Doctorate of Laws degree in 2007 by Saint Mary's.

Senator Moore also received an honourary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 2014. Senator Moore established the Community Studio Residency program in Lunenburg. The program offers recent graduates of NSCAD the opportunity to develop their talents. Willie, your contributions to the arts in Nova Scotia are invaluable.

Senator Moore was the volunteer chairman of the Bluenose II Preservation Trust Society. In 1994, the Bluenose was deemed to be not seaworthy and unable to sail. Senator Moore and Gerry Godsoe started fundraising to refurbish the Bluenose. Not only did they raise the funds, but the Bluenose II was ready to serve as Nova Scotia's sailing ambassador when Nova Scotia hosted the G7 in 1995. If later governments had listened to the wise counsel of Senator Moore instead of playing politics, a lot of anguish and money could have been saved in the recent rebuilding project.

Senator Moore served as an alderman in Halifax and was a founding director and chairman of the Halifax Metro Centre. He is well known as a supporter not only of the arts but of many community activities, including the establishment of a scholarship in the name of his friend, Graham Downey. He was also very active in the efforts to rebuild St. John's Anglican Church in Lunenburg, which was destroyed by fire in 2001.

Willie was named to the inaugural class of the Maritime Sport Hall of Fame in 2014 as a member of the 1961-62 Halifax Kingfishers Junior A hockey team. He was also a member of the Saint Mary's University hockey team.

Senator Moore, you have an eclectic range of interests: sports, the arts, marine animals in captivity, the environment and, of course, politics.

Willie, I applaud you for your contributions to our province of Nova Scotia and our great country of Canada.

I know that you are retiring from this place, but I know that you have more than enough community projects to keep you busy. Bob and I wish you and your wife Jane and your children Nicholas and Alexandra all the best.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!