|The Honourable Dr.
Thomas Benjamin Banks
OC AOE LL.D. FRCMT
|Senator for Alberta, Alberta|
April 7, 2000 – December 17, 2011
|Appointed by||Adrienne Clarkson|
|Preceded by||Ron Ghitter|
December 17, 1936 |
|Profession||pianist, conductor, arranger, composer, television personality and former senator.|
Host of nationally- and internationally-syndicated and network television programmes, including: “The Tommy Banks Show” (1968-1983), “Somewhere There’s Music”, “What’s My Name”, “ Love and Mr. Smith”, “Celebrity Revue”, “Symphony of a Thousand”, “Tommy Banks Jazz”, etc.
He provided musical direction for the ceremonies of the XI Commonwealth Games, EXPO ’86, The World University Games, the XV Olympic Winter Games, and for countless television shows. He has produced and/or conducted command performances for Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal Family, and for President Ronald Reagan. He is a member of the A. F. of M., ACTRA, the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (U.S.), the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, and of the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television. Banks made his jazz-playing debut in 1950 in the touring band of saxophonist Don (D. T.) Thompson. Since then, he’s played jazz throughout North America, Western and Central Europe, Japan, and Southeast Asia. In 1983 his quintet became the first jazz band to tour in continental China since the 1949 revolution.
He was appointed to the Senate by Governor General Adrienne Clarkson at the recommendation of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien in 2000. He represented the Senatorial division of Edmonton, Alberta. Sitting as a Liberal, In the Senate, he served as a member of the Standing Committee on National Finance, of the Special Committee on Illegal Drugs, of the Standing Committee on National Security and Defence (SCONSAD) and on its Steering Committee, and as chair of the Subcommittee on Veterans’ Affairs. In each of the 37th, 38th, and 39th Parliaments he was elected Chair of the Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment, and Natural Resources. In the 37th and 38th Parliaments he served as Chair of the Alberta Liberal Parliamentary Caucus. Following dissolution of the 37th Parliament Senator Banks was named to an all-party Committee of Parliamentarians from both Houses, given the task of advising the Government on the setting up of parliamentary oversight of security intelligence matters. He served on an ad hoc basis on several additional committees of the Senate. He was vice-chair of the Caucus task force on urban issues that produced Canada's Urban Strategy - a Blueprint for Action which Report led to an important national debate.
Senator Banks is the author of The Statutes Repeal Act, (2008); and of An Act to Amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act and the Auditor General Act (involvement of Parliament) (2010). He was the sponsor of the Canada National Parks Act (2000); the Canada National Marine Conservation Act (2001); the Species At Risk Act (2002); the Act to Establish the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (2005); the Act to Amend the Migratory Birds Convention Act 1994 and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act 1999 (2005); the Canada Border Services Agency Act (2005); and An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (justification for detention in custody) (2010). His Senate term ended on 16 December 2011.