Senator Leo Housakos took his place in history on June 7 at the unveiling of a portrait commemorating his tenure as Speaker of the Senate during some of the Red Chamber’s most tumultuous times.
“Dear friends, I thank you all for being a part of my life and indulging me today,” Senator Housakos said.
“There is no higher honor than serving this institution and the people of this great country.”
The portrait received a standing ovation; Senator Housakos thanked Mr. Wyse for “taking on the incredible challenge of trying to make me look good on canvas.”
Though no longer Speaker, Senator Housakos remains an influential figure in the Red Chamber as head of the powerful Senate Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration and he continues to represent the division of Wellington in Quebec with his customary zeal.
The son of Greek immigrants who arrived in Canada in the 1950s with little more than a nickel in their pockets, Senator Housakos flourished in Montreal as he took on challenges in politics and in business.
“My parents taught me the importance of family, hard work, honor, loyalty, civic duty and humility,” Senator Housakos said as his parents, wife and children looked on from the front row of a packed room off the Hall of Honour in the Centre Block.
First elected Speaker pro tempore in 2014 — just eight years after his appointment to the Senate — Senator Housakos became the 44th Speaker of the Senate on May 4, 2015 with the unanimous support of both government and opposition leaders following the death of Speaker Pierre Claude Nolin.