Senators' Statements - Tributes - The Late Honourable Tommy Banks, O.C.
The Honourable Senator Larry W. Campbell :
Honourable senators, I would like to say a few words about my former colleague and friend Tommy Banks. It was brought to my attention, as I had forgotten, that I now am in Tommy Banks’ office across the road. I shouldn’t have forgotten because I had been there on many occasions when the bells were ringing for an hour or so here and we would go and discuss matters of great import in his office. It’s a little known fact that it was one of the last smoking offices in the Senate. It was always a wonder to me that they got the smell of smoke out, but since I am a smoker, it didn’t really matter much to me.
I could go on forever about his achievements and the awards he won. Everyone listed them admirably here. Most of all I remember Tommy Banks as just a good guy, somebody you could talk to. He was very gentle and always honest. Despite all the awards and the levels he rose to through various careers, it never went to his head. He was always there for a laugh, always there if you needed some information on the Senate.
He served on National Finance; he served on the last Special Committee on Illegal Drugs. He was on National Defence and he was on the Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs.
Most notably, he was the elected Chair of Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources in three separate parliamentary sessions, the thirty-seventh, the thirty-eighth and the thirty-ninth. He was Deputy Chair of the Caucus Task Force of Urban Issues. But most importantly he sponsored the Canada National Parks Act, the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act, the Species at Risk Act, the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Act, An Act to amend the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, and the Canada Border Services Agency Act. What a breadth of knowledge and interests this man had. He never stopped. He was dedicated and determined, and he did his role as well as anybody that I ever met in this place. Our thoughts go out to his family. Thank you.