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Bill C-305: An Act to amend the Criminal Code (mischief) - Second Reading

Honourable senators, I rise to speak as critic to Bill C-305, An Act to amend the Criminal Code as it pertains to mischief against places of religion. Bill C-305 extends the definition of mischief relating to religious property to include property that is used for educational, cultural or residence for seniors by an identifiable group. This means that perpetrators of mischief against a religious centre or educational institution would face the same 10-year maximum penalty as they would if it wa…
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Bill C-16: Canadian Human Rights Act - Senator Plett Amendment

Honourable senators, I rise today to speak to Senator Plett's amendment to 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. Regardless of whether one supports or opposes this legislation, I know that there is a unanimous view in this chamber that hostility and discrimination against transgendered persons is completely unacceptable and must not be tolerated in a ju…
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Bill S-239: The Eliminating Foreign Funding in Elections Act - Second Reading

Honourable senators, it is a fundamental tenet of Canadian democracy that Canada's electoral process belongs to the Canadian people and only to the Canadian people. Nothing is more central to preserving the integrity and legitimacy of Canadian elections than ensuring that no outside influence is involved — especially when not disclosed. A nation that permits foreign meddling in its politics cannot claim to be truly sovereign. Clandestine foreign meddling is the most dangerous of all, because it…
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Statement: Annual B'nai Brith Canada‎ Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents

Honourable senators, last week B'nai Brith Canada released its annual audit of anti-Semitic incidents. The audit found that 2016 ". . . was a record-setting year for anti-Semitism . . .." Unfortunately, almost every year in the last decade has been a record setting one. There is cause to be deeply concerned. Anti-Semitic incidents in Canada rose by 26 per cent this year over last, and were higher than the previous high set in 2014. Holocaust denial, having accounted for only 5 per cent of docu…
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Bill S-232: the Canadian Jewish Heritage Month Act - Third Reading

Honourable senators, it is my pleasure to rise in this chamber and speak at third reading in support of Bill S-232, the "Canadian Jewish Heritage Month Act." This legislation enjoys support from all parties in both the House of Commons and the Senate. In that spirit, allow me to acknowledge the efforts of Michael Levitt, Member of Parliament for York Centre, who is responsible for initiating this bill. I would also like to thank Senators Wetston, Fraser, Gold and Jaffer for their speeches during…
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Bill S-232: Canadian Jewish Heritage Month - Senate Human Rights Committee

Thank you Senators for this opportunity to testify in favour of Senate Public Bill S-232: An Act Respecting Canadian Jewish Heritage Month.   This is certainly my first time on this side of the hearing table, and I’m so happy that I’m able to do so in support of a Bill that has already received so much support in our chamber. This Bill is the result of a bi-partisan, bi-cameral effort to formalize in law a time, each year, to celebrate the contributions of the Jewish community to Canada.  I wo…
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Bill C-6: Citizenship Act - Third Reading

Honourable senators, I rise to propose an amendment to Bill C-6 on behalf of my dear colleague and friend, Senator Eaton. Of course, I do not need to elaborate on the sad reason why I am putting this amendment forward rather than the proposer herself. Despite the last four months being an exceptionally challenging time for Senator Eaton, as critic of Bill C-6 she has followed the debate on the bill with dedication and a deep concern. I know I speak on behalf of all senators in expressing our dee…
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Bill S-201: Genetic Non-Discrimination Act - Concurrence of Amendments

Honourable senators, I rise today to speak about Bill S-201, An Act to prohibit and prevent genetic discrimination, introduced by Senator Cowan on December 8, 2015. This is one of the most studied pieces of legislation in our Senate's recent memory and it now returns back to the Senate having passed the house with an amendment. While I have on multiple occasions expressed my support for the substance of this bill, notably that it creates rules to govern the use of genetic personal information,…
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Bill C-6: Senator McCoy Amendment

Honourable senators, I rise to speak to an amendment to Bill C-6 put forward by Senator McCoy on March 9. After the committee hearings on the Liberals' immigration reform bill, Bill C-6, I remain as opposed to its cynical and ill-considered measures as ever. No doubt the Liberals' promises of fast-tracked access to Canadian citizenship and relaxed language requirements were real vote-getters in urban areas in the election of 2015. Whether or not these measures are in the best interests of Canad…
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Speech: Modernization of Question Period in the Senate

Honourable senators, I welcome the opportunity to speak to the ninth report on Senate modernization, which seeks to reform Question Period in the Senate. I think we can all agree that Question Period plays an important function in this chamber, given it provides all senators the opportunity to question the government on timely issues of importance. We can also agree that Question Period works best when it follows an orderly, transparent process. The ninth report of the Senate Modernization Com…
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