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Tribute to Senator Keating

Honourable senators, on February 4, 2020, I welcomed Judith Keating to the Senate. It is with great sadness that I now bid her farewell. In my welcome, I touched on Senator Keating’s impressive career, how she was designated as a provincial chair of the All Nations and Parties Working Group on Truth and Reconciliation, how she served as Deputy Minister of Justice and Deputy Attorney General for New Brunswick. She was, in fact, the first woman to serve as New Brunswick’s Deputy…
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Welcoming New Colleagues

Honourable senators, let me start by saying how nice it is to see all of you in person in this chamber after so many months of limited sittings. It is my pleasure, honourable senators, on behalf of the Independent Senators Group, to extend a warm welcome to our new colleagues, Senators Arnot, Clement, Quinn and Yussuff. Their arrival on this opening day of the Forty-fourth Parliament, together with four more senators to be sworn in this afternoon, means that the Senate is more…
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Motion Concerning Genocide of Uyghurs

Honourable colleagues, I am glad for the opportunity to speak to this motion, which is controversial for many reasons and has generated strong emotions.  Unlike in the House of Commons, we are having a real debate about it, which I believe does honour to the chamber of sober second thought.  There are of course different points of view, including some that are uncomfortable to many, but let’s embrace diversity of opinion rather than seek to shout it down. The motion has two par…
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Bill C-208, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (transfer of small business or family farm or fishing corporation)

Honourable senators, I am pleased to add my voice to the debate on Bill C-208. I would like to thank Senator Griffin for her leadership on this bill, as well as other senators who have spoken to it. The impulses behind this bill are laudable. We can all agree on the importance of tax fairness, family farms and a healthy and thriving agriculture and fisheries sector. This bill, however, has moved through the Senate extremely quickly, to the point where we are now on the precipic…
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The Province of Canada in the World

Honourable senators, I’m pleased to add my support to this inquiry, and I thank Senator Omidvar for introducing it. I also thank the previous speakers on this inquiry who have covered a wide range of issues related to the question of immigration and Canadian prosperity. There is no need to repeat the importance of immigration for Canada, both in historical terms and for our future success. While there are still pockets of our population who are anti-immigration, this opposition…
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Tribute to His Royal Highness

Honourable colleagues, His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh was laid to rest on Saturday, 17 April at St. George’s Chapel  on the grounds of Windsor Castle. Many of the funeral arrangements were planned by Prince Philip himself, especially the choice of music, which included several pieces with a strong connection to his time in the navy. One such piece was “Eternal Father, Strong To Save” . This same hymn was played in Canada by the dominion carillonneur on…
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Tribute to Senator McCoy

Honourable senators, erudite, effervescent, elegant and enigmatic, the Honourable Elaine McCoy was a force of nature in the Senate and in all of her life. As someone whose early, formative period in the Senate was shaped by the late Senator McCoy, I’m honoured to pay tribute to her on behalf of the Independent Senators Group. She was, of course, the founding facilitator of the ISG. I remember well the many occasions I visited her in her office on the fifth floor of Centre Block…
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Amendment to Bill C-7

Honourable senators, we spent 45 minutes earlier today paying tribute to the first facilitator of the ISG, who was described as independent-minded and a maverick. Perhaps I’m paying the best tribute to her now in offering an independent and, perhaps, maverick view. Let me start by saying that it would be unfair to make a presumption that any one of us speaking on any side of this issue lacks empathy or seeks to stigmatize or somehow is not in touch with people who have mental i…
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Bill C-7 (MAID), Third Reading

Honourable senators, I would like to share with you a few reflections on Bill C-7. Allow me first to acknowledge the work of our Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, led by Senator Mobina Jaffer. Our colleagues have worked very hard over the recent weeks to organize hearings, receive witnesses and prepare reports. They were ably supported by Senate clerks, analysts, translators, technicians, cleaners and more, all of whom delivered the hearings under t…
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