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Mr. Kevin MacLeod, C.V.O., C.D.

 

Hon. Michael L. MacDonald: Honourable senators, I rise today to congratulate one of our friends here in the Senate. Mr. Kevin MacLeod, our Usher of the Black Rod, returned to the chamber this week after 11 days with Their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.

As most honourable senators surely know, in addition to his role in the Senate as the Usher of the Black Rod, Mr. MacLeod also holds another important responsibility, that of Canadian Secretary to the Queen. This position had been vacant since the death of Gus Clouthier, the former Sergeant-at-Arms, in 2005.

In March of this year, Mr. MacLeod was appointed by the Governor General to fill this important job. The Canadian Secretary to the Queen coordinates the planning and delivery of royal visits to Canada, and is a senior liaison between government officials and the royal households. The job is incredibly complicated, both in the logistics and detail of protocol, but one to which Mr. MacLeod is most suited.

Visits like this one are an important reminder to Canadians of the traditions that have served us so well as a country. The monarchy represents continuity, stability and tradition in a world that is constantly changing.

When we become public office-holders, when we join the military and when new immigrants become citizens of Canada, all swear allegiance to Her Majesty. By making this oath to the sovereign, we show that our loyalty is not to any elected official, but to the people of Canada and the laws and traditions that are the foundation of our society.

The monarchy is also our link to the Commonwealth, an organization built not of military or economic allegiances, but on our shared history as part of the old British Empire. Royal visits also bring attention to important historic and cultural events, places and organizations across Canada.

As the Prince and the Duchess toured our country and met with people from all walks of life, we Canadians discovered more about ourselves along with them. It was particularly moving to see the Prince and the Duchess stand with Canadians on November 11 this year as we remembered Canada's fallen and honoured our veterans.

I congratulate the Usher of the Black Rod on a successful royal visit and on a job well done.