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Bill C-36: An An Act to Amend the Statistics Act - Third Reading

Honourable senators, I rise today to speak at third reading as critic of Bill C-36. The stated intent of Bill C-36 is to strengthen the independence of Statistics Canada and, in particular, the independence of Canada’s Chief Statistician. It also seeks to improve the way in which Statistics Canada collects data. These are laudable goals, and I do support the intent of the bill. The extent to which the bill achieves all of its stated goals, however, is a matter of debate. The role of Statistic…
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Canadian Friends of a Democratic Iran

Hon. Linda Frum: Honourable senators, earlier this week I was honoured to speak at a multi-partisan event hosted by the Canadian Friends of a Democratic Iran with distinguished guests including the Honourable Irwin Cotler, Judy Sgro, Tony Clement, Peter Kent, former Senator David Smith and our colleague Senator David Tkachuk. Over 200 Iranian-Canadians from across Canada gathered in Ottawa to share their views on the Liberal government’s proposed re-engagement with Iran. Two things were made c…
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Senate 150 Anniversary Medal

The Senate 150th Anniversary Medal commemorates the first time senators came to Ottawa to sit in Parliament, on November 6, 1867.  The medal was created to mark this important occasion and give Senators the opportunity to recognize twelve individuals who have made significant contributions in their communities. The medals are being awarded to Canadians or permanent residents who are actively involved in their communities and through their generosity, dedication, volunteerism and hard work, mak…
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Inquiry: State of Political Prisoners in Tibet

Honourable senators, the People’s Republic of China’s abuse of human rights towards the people of Tibet has continued unabated for far too long. Even within the context of China’s authoritarian regime, Tibet has suffered among the worst. Since the conquest of the region by Mao in 1950, innocent Tibetans have faced imprisonment for crimes they did not commit, are prohibited from practising their religion and are unable to express their freedom of speech. Sophie Richardson, the China director of…
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Statement: The Late Murray Bernard Koffler, O.C., O.Ont.

Honourable senators, it is with a heavy heart that I rise today to pay tribute to the life of Murray Koffler, one of Toronto’s best-known entrepreneurs and philanthropists, who died on November 5, 2017, at the age of 93. Murray was the child of Leon and Ernestina Koffler, Jewish immigrants from Romania who began a small drugstore chain known as Koffler’s Drugs in the early 20th century. Following the untimely death of his father, Leon, Murray, at the age of 17, was tasked with operating the fa…
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Bill S-219: An Act to deter Iran-sponsored Terrorism, Incitement to Hatred, and Human Rights Violations - Third Reading

Honourable Senators, I rise at Third Reading of Bill S-219: An Act to deter Iran-sponsored terrorism, incitement to hatred, and human rights violations. I commend Senator Tkachuk for sponsoring this important piece of legislation and for his tireless dedication to this issue. Bill S-219 is grounded in a moral and ethical purpose: and that is to monitor one of the most malign nations in the world and to calibrate our nation’s sanctions accordingly. Bill S-219 requires the Government of Canada t…
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Bill C-36: An An Act to Amend the Statistics Act - Second Reading

Honourable senators, I rise today to speak as the official opposition critic of Bill C-36, An Act to amend the Statistics Act. This legislation will make a number of changes to the way that statistics are gathered in Canada. First, it would entrench into law that the Chief Statistician is responsible for the methods, procedures and operations of statistics-gathering programs. In the event that the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development requested a statistical program to be do…
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Speech: 29th Anniversary of the 1988 Iranian Massacre

The following remarks were delivered at an event in Richmond Hill, Ontario to commemorate the 1988 Iranian Massacre Good Afternoon, It is my honour to be with you here today to stand in solidarity with you, and with Iranian political prisoners and prisoners of conscience as we recognize and remember the 29th anniversary of the 1988 mass murder of Iranian political prisoners. Friends, today’s important commemoration not only brings meaning to the lives of the innocent victims lost in the polit…
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Bill C-16: Canadian Human Rights Act - Third Reading

Honourable senators, I rise to speak at third reading of Bill C-16, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code by adding the words "gender identity" and "gender expression" as prohibited grounds of discrimination. Colleagues, as I said in an earlier speech in support of Senator Plett's amendment to Bill C-16, I support this legislation and its virtuous intent to provide protections to transgender persons. However, I note, once again, for the record, that there are no e…
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Statement: Controlling Foreign Influence in Canadian Elections Report

Honourable senators, I will rise briefly to thank the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs for the report that has just been tabled entitled Controlling Foreign Influence in Canadian Elections. I want to commend the chair of the committee, Senator Runciman, and the deputy chair, Senator Baker, and all committee members for taking the initiative to bring attention to this important and troubling issue. As we learned during committee hearings and against all logic and contrary to…
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