Debates of the Senate  
2nd Session, 41st Parliament, Volume 149, Issue 29
  Wednesday, January 29, 2014
 
Speech: Business of the Senate
Honourable senators, since Senator Cools brought up the issue of NDP senators, I thought I should set the record straight.

When I was appointed in April 2005

Senator Nancy Ruth: March.

Senator Dyck: March? Thank you, Senator Ruth.

I got a call from former Prime Minister Paul Martin, who said to me I had a choice: I could be a Liberal senator, or I could be an independent senator. He did not appoint me as an NDP senator, so I mulled over my choices.

I called the Clerk of the Senate and I said, "Really, what are my choices? Can I only be Liberal or independent?" The clerk said, "No. If you come on board, you can be whatever you want to be." So I chose to be an NDP and I was then instantly rejected by Mr. Jack Layton because they knew nothing about me because I was not a very politically involved person.

However, I had earned my way to the Senate. I stayed with the NDP for a number of years because the women in the NDP welcomed me and said, "Please come." However, when they voted in the whole caucus, they rejected me because a diehard said, "Over my dead body."

Then I changed my designation, as referred to by Senator Carignan. It was my decision then to change to "Independent NDP." And then four years ago this month, I thought, okay, it's time to join a team.

Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Senator Moore: Bravo!

Senator Dyck: Working as an independent you can do some things, but working in a team you can do much more, so I chose. I know the Conservatives tried to buy me dinners, but it didn't work.

Senator Tkachuk, you just didn't have the right remedy.

Some Hon. Senators: Oh, oh.

Senator Dyck: I chose to join the Liberals. I have a membership in the Liberal Party. I still have that membership today. I have no intention of designating myself now as an NDP senator. I remain a Liberal senator.

Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Senator Dyck: I just wanted to put that on the record straight because, in the news media today, Mr. Mulcair is referring to me as "Ms. Dike." Well, the name is Dyck. It's Dr. Lillian Dyck, thank you.

Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Senator Dyck: Mr. Mulcair, for some reason, is still saying that, implying that Paul Martin appointed me as an NDP senator. That is not true. And that gets to the issue of the Prime Minister; he or she is not our boss. It's not up to him to say what we can be.

An Hon. Senator: I think he's their boss.

Senator Dyck: Well, he might be, but I wanted to put that on the record. I have the story on my personal website and I wish Mulcair would get it straight.