My Senate colleagues and I were deeply saddened to learn of Speaker Pierre Claude Nolin’s passing last month, after a long and hard fight against cancer. He was 64 years old.
He is gone far too soon.
Having been appointed to the Senate in 1993, at the age of 42, Senator Nolin devoted his career to public service, working tirelessly for the good of the people and for the betterment of our country. He was indeed a loyal Conservative, but also fiercely independent; always on the right side of an issue, and for the right reason. He was never afraid to take on challenges he believed in whole heartedly.
In the past week I have had numerous conversations about Senator Nolin – the commonality always being that he was an incredibly fair, honest and open minded gentleman, who was fuelled by his passion for parliament and his love of the institution.
His commitment to drug policy reform was evidenced through his work with the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, and as Chair of the Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs – with its recommendations to legalize the use of cannabis in Canada, in 2002. He decreed that there was much scientific evidence indicating that cannabis is substantially less harmful than alcohol and that it should be treated not as a criminal issue but as a social and public health issue. More than a decade later, it remains very much an important and relevant issue in North America.
In 2003, Senator Nolin and I, along with Philip Owen were co-recipients of the Richard J. Dennis Drugpeace Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Drug Policy. It was humbling to be considered in the same regard with people I admired and respected.
It was a privilege to call him a colleague, and an honour to call him a friend. His leadership in the Senate will be sorely missed.
Larry Campbell is a member of the Canadian Senate and the board of directors of the Drug Policy Alliance.
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Author: Senator Larry Campbell
Date Published: May 13, 2015
Published by Drug Policy Alliance
Via:: Ddrug Policy Alliance