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Consultations

Webcast: Videos and transcripts of the Panel Discussion, December 3, 2008

Presentation by the Honourable James K. Hugessen

Transcript

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--- Beginning of the presentation

THE HONOURABLE JAMES K. HUGESSEN: Thank you.

As you know I am a judge, or used to be, and we are accustomed to speaking while sitting firmly on the softest part.

--- Laughter

THE HONOURABLE JAMES K. HUGESSEN: I am very honoured to be here. I think I am here really because I am a survivor. I am here to prove first that one can spend a year travelling around this country under the watchful eyes of Mary Frances Laughton and Gwyneth Evans and still come out at the other end alive.

--- Laughter

THE HONOURABLE JAMES K. HUGESSEN: The second thing that I have survived has already been alluded to. I was present, not at the first, but at that second luncheon. I didn't at the time think I had survived, but curiously enough, the next morning I did wake up and after some ministrations managed to face the world.

I am very proud of the Task Force and its report. I feel a little bit like an errant father. I had a very jolly time in the presence of very pleasant members of the opposite sex and something happened as a result of that. But again, it's a little bit like things that judges do. We like to tell everybody what they are doing wrong and what they should be doing, but we don't do it ourselves. And that's exactly what's happened here.

I had the pleasure and the honour of chairing the Task Force, made a report, but I resolutely refused to have anything to do with the follow-up of the report, which, I am happy to say, I think we wisely left in hands other than ours.

It's not a bad notion, which is why I think it's a bit like fatherhood, except that perhaps fathers should pay a little more attention to the children for whom they are responsible than I have paid to this particular child.

But I am very proud of it and I am very glad that we are here today to celebrate as we do. I have now retired as a judge. That's been a failure. I am a complete lack of success as a retiree. I have not been able to stop getting work and pretending to do it.

--- Laughter

THE HONOURABLE JAMES K. HUGESSEN: However I do hope that one of these days I will ultimately be able to take my ease and read some of those books that are now much more accessible than they were and which are going to become more accessible.

Thank you very much.

--- Applause

MR. MANNING: Thank you, Mr. Hugessen.

We are indeed honoured that you were able to take such an important role in the development of fulfilling the promise.

As I was just looking at my notes, I realized that I have a comma there with something else after it. It reads much more effectively with a period. Because I think what we are doing and what we have been able to do since 2000, and the Task Force has made a very great effort to fulfill the promise.

But in fact, Fulfilling the Promise was the name of the report that you are referring to, and for a long time at Library and Archives Canada we used that report called Fulfilling the Promise as a kind of bible with which we developed a program and worked very hard to try to implement the recommendations.

Out of that, as we have heard, other things have happened since, and we now have an initiative with funding to really attempt to make some real progress.

Now I would like to introduce Mr. James Sanders, the President and CEO of CNIB.

I'm very proud to have known Mr. Sanders for a few years.

I consider Jim a friend, and I am very happy to be able to introduce him to you today.

--- Applause

--- End of Mr. Hugessen's presentation

--- Presentation by Mr. James Sanders