The Honourable George J. Furey, Q.C.
Speaker of the Senate
Former Senator Kochhar,
Ladies and gentleman,
Welcome. I am delighted to be with you this afternoon to celebrate this morning’s achievements.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Rolling Rampage…and the 5th anniversary of Rolling Rampage here on Parliament Hill…and I would like to take a moment to recognize former Senator Vim Kochhar, the founding chair of the Rolling Rampage, and the incredible work he has accomplished over the years. Thanks to his efforts, Canadians have gained a better understanding of the challenges that persons who are physically disabled face every day of their lives.
I would also like to take a moment to congratulate the Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons for their hard work and dedication in raising awareness about the skills, needs and abilities of persons with disabilities…in doing so, the Foundation enriches our lives and helps to make our society more inclusive.
This year, the Rolling Rampage organizing committee welcomes Senator Chantal Petitclerc. A five-time Paralympian and gold medallist, she was chef de mission at the Rio Paralympic Games. Like many Canadians, I watched with great pride as our Canadian Paralympians represented our country with strength, determination and true sportsmanship.
Senator Petitclerc has joined Senator Jim Munson and Senator Yonah Martin as co-chair of this year’s event. Both Senator Martin and Senator Munson have devoted time and effort over the years, ensuring the event’s on-going success and I know that you all join me in thanking them and their staff for their hard work and dedication.
As well, I would like to commend and congratulate the parliamentarians, diplomats, charities and businesses that participated in the team Relay. Your gesture is one of solidarity and a testimony to your commitment to promoting fairness and equality in our society.
Congratulation also goes to the 18 world-class athletes who competed in the 10-kilometre Parliamentary Relay Race Challenge.
Participants travelled from as far away as the United States, Spain, Switzerland, Japan and Korea to be here today…thus making this a truly international event. I trust that they will have a wonderful time in our nation’s capital and I hope that they will get to enjoy the 600 kilometres of bike paths that showcase the natural beauty of Canada’s Capital Region.
I am also proud of the thousands of local students who competed in their own relays. Their participation sends a strong message about the involvement of Canadian youth in raising awareness for people living with disabilities.
Let me close by saying how truly inspired I am.