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Speeches

Announcement of funding to Media Action - Bilingual

Honoured guests, ladies and gentlemen.  On behalf of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women, I am pleased to be here today to announce such a worthy project supporting the strong leadership of women in Canadian media.  Today, the experience of seeing and hearing women in the media and in public discourse is an everyday reality.  There are women anchors headlining major broadcast news, and women columnis…
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Battle of Passchendaele

Honourable senators, 93 years ago today on November 6, 1917, the Canadian Corps led by Lieutenant-General Sir Arthur Currie took Passchendaele. After great success at Vimy Ridge and Hill 70, the Canadians were viewed as the best bet to secure the Belgian town. This would open up all of northern Belgium for the Allies, allowing them to gain momentum and capture German submarine bases. Allied casualties had been extremely high, objectives had not been met, they had gained just a few miles and the…
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Citizenship Ceremony and Presentation of Citizenship Awards - Bilingual

Good morning.  It’s a pleasure to join all of you here today for a citizenship ceremony for some of our newest Canadians. Today I also have the special privilege of honouring some of our most esteemed Canadian citizens. These citizens have helped newcomers in successfully integrating into Canadian society and have worked diligently to promote the value of Canadian citizenship. J’ai également aujourd’hui le privilège particulier de rendre hommage à c…
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Inquiry into the Benefits of Canada's Oil Sands

Honourable Colleagues, I rise with great enthusiasm to commence a Senate Inquiry into Canada’s oilsands, the world’s most ethical source of oil. I am enthusiastic because by the nature of public affairs, the attention of Parliament is often directed to bad news or problems or shortcomings. And, like any human endeavour, the oilsands come with their share of challenges. But when measured by our national values, the oilsands are a good news story, a story that all of us can be proud…
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Persons Day

Honourable senators, this morning as I walked to the Senate, I paused at the Famous Five Monument of Nellie McClung, Emily Murphy, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Louise McKinney, and Irene Parlby, who are now immortalized in bronze on Parliament Hill. Thanks to these five trailblazers who challenged the status quo, I have the privilege of speaking today as a Canadian senator. In 1927, five women approached the Supreme Court of Canada to question whether the word "person" in section 24 of the British N…
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2010 Governor General’s Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case

Your Excellencies, Ambassadors, Parliamentarians, honoured awards recipients past and present, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. Your Excellency, on behalf of everyone here today, I extend special congratulations on your recent appointment as Canada’s 28th Governor General.  We appreciate your gracious patronage of this event commemorating a milestone in the quest for equality for women. In 1929, the Persons Case brought long-awaited human rights to Canadian women &nd…
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Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement - Twenty-fifth Anniversary

Twenty-five years ago this coming Sunday, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney stood up in the House of Commons and said: “I have spoken today to the President of the United States to express Canada’s interest in pursuing a new trade agreement between our two countries.”  This declaration is brief and straightforward, but it ends up having a profound and lasting impact on the life of every Canadian. By the end of 1988, negotiators from the two countries conclude the Canada-Unite…
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Bill C-13: Fairness for Military Families Act

Honourable senators, I am proud today to rise to speak to Bill C-13, this government's legislation to support military families. Permit me to begin with a history of how this bill came about for those of you who do not know. The member of Parliament for Nepean-Carleton was canvassing one afternoon late last year when he knocked on the door of a Canadian Forces member named Lieutenant-Colonel James Duquette. Mr. Duquette proceeded to recount a negative experience he had had with his Employment I…
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Aboriginal Affairs - Inquiry by Senator Patrick Brazeau

Honourable senators, I rise to address the state of accountability and responsibility for the First Nations citizens of this country. There is a wonderful phrase that students of history know encapsulates the promise Canada pledges to all its citizens. It was written in the Constitution Act 143 years ago today, and it remains our nation's oath to its people: Peace, order and good government. That promise is an unpretentious guarantee, but I can think of no recipe more necessary to ensure optim…
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The Battle of the Somme - Ninety-fourth Anniversary

Honourable senators, in three days it will be July 1, Canada Day. Across this country, men, women and children will spend this wonderful day with family, friends and neighbours, celebrating the anniversary of Confederation and honouring Canadian values such as freedom, equality, equity, justice and democracy. However, for generations of men and women from Newfoundland and Labrador, July 1 is not only a day of celebration, but it also continues to be a day of sadness, sorrow and solemn remembr…
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