By Senator Mobina Jaffer : On January 15th 2011 my good friend and colleague Senator Donald Oliver received the Martin Luther King Life Achievement Award from the DreamKEEPERS.
Senator Oliver was appointed to the Senate of Canada over 20 years ago. During his time in the Red Chamber he has fought tirelessly for the rights and the interests of minority groups in Canada and has been an active member of over a dozen Senate Committees. Prior to being appointed to the Senate, Senator Oliver was a barrister, teacher, entrepreneur, advocate and statesman. Throughout his career he has and continues to demonstrate his commitment to guaranteeing equality for all Canadians. Most recently, Senator Oliver has raised $500, 000 dollars to lead the first-ever national study conducted in Canada that definitively proves the business case for diversity. It is because of the great work that Senator Oliver has, and continues to do, both in and outside this chamber that he received this great honour.
Unfortunately Senator Oliver was unable to receive this award in person as he was in the Middle East on an official state visit as a member of a Canadian Parliamentary Delegation. I however, had the honour of receiving this award on his behalf. After spending the evening hearing about all of the wonderful work Senator Oliver has done for both his province of Nova Scotia and the nation at large I strongly felt that he deserved to receive this honour in person.
In an intimate ceremony held in the Honourable Noel Kinsella who is the Speaker of the Senate’s office a few of my colleagues and I had the pleasure of watching Senator Oliver formally accept this prestigious award. It was a very touching moment and I am very pleased that Senator Oliver has received the recognition that he so rightfully deserves.
In his acceptance speech which I had the pleasure of delivering, Senator Oliver quoted Martin Luther King who once stated:
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”
I salute Senator Oliver for working so diligently to ensure that Dr. King’s dream becomes a reality.