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The Honourable Vim Kochhar

Honourable senators, I rise today to bid farewell to my friend and colleague Senator Vim Kochhar.

Senator Kochhar has been a motivational force among us. I have seen his passion first-hand on the Human Rights Committee, where he has fought for the rights of the physically disabled in sports and otherwise. I have seen it exemplified in his role as Chair of the Canadian Paralympic Foundation and in his creation of the Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons. Through his tireless dedication, this foundation has enhanced awareness and enriched the lives of individuals with physical challenges for the past 24 years, raising over $21 million.

On a personal note, I can relate to Senator Kochhar, as we both immigrated to this country many years ago. He is the first person of Indian origin in the Senate of Canada, much like I am the first person of Pakistani descent. In fact, I remember when I first arrived at the Senate it was Senator Kochhar who took me under his wing. We were on the same floor, and I would often follow him around in fear of getting lost. His vibrant energy always brightened my day, and I thank him for not leading me astray!

The senator once said:

We need to concentrate on things that really matter, like character, compassion and community. Above all, we need to build awareness and keep promoting the message of inclusion.

I believe that we should do our utmost to continue in his legacy.

Senator Kochhar, your passion, your willingness to help others, and your warm and generous nature will be missed by us all.