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Speeches

Motion to Authorize Committee to Study Tax Consequences of Various Public and Private Advocacy Activities Undertaken by Charitable and Non-Charitable Entities Negatived

Honourable senators, I would like to share a few reflections on Senator Cowan’s very thoughtful motion which was brought forward to this chamber on May 8, 2012. I thought we dealt with part (a) of the motion very thoroughly last spring. We conducted an inquiry into the interference of foreign foundations in Canada’s domestic affairs and their abuse of Canada’s existing Revenue Canada charitable status. We had some very productive debate on the matter and benefited from the in…
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The Late Krystyna Rudko

Honourable senators, I rise today to announce that Krystyna Rudko, my Policy Adviser, died after a short illness last Wednesday. For Krys, life was about others, not about herself. She looked after everyone else but did not look after herself. Her death was shocking, surprising and devastating. I first met Krystyna at Conservative Party Headquarters in 2008, where she was executive coordinator for the Conservative Party of Canada. To quote a co-worker: ‘‘Because of Krys, everythi…
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Bill C-44: The Helping Families in Need Act

Mr. Speaker, It is an honour to rise to speak to the Helping Families in Need Act, and to help guide this bill through this honourable chamber. This bill represents our government’s latest initiative to help Canadian workers and their families.  This is achieved by way of three major amendments: the creation of a new EI special benefit for parents of sick and injured children, enhanced access to sickness benefits for parents and Canada Labour Code job protection that aligns with the …
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Bill C-38: A Great Budget for Charities and the Arts

Colleagues. It is with a great deal of pleasure that I rise today to discuss the ways in which our government is delivering for Canadians through Bill C-38. I’d like to begin by highlighting the economic results so far. Between July 2009 and May 2012, over 760,000 net new jobs have been created, 90 percent of which were full-time jobs — the result of the strongest job growth of all G-7 nations during the recovery. While Canadians can be proud of their country’s economic perf…
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Diamond Jubilee Medal Recipients

Honourable senators, it is not often that one has the opportunity to publicly thank 30 individuals who have given so much of themselves to their community and their country. The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee offered each of us that opportunity. In every region, every province, every city and town, we have the honour to recognize someone's selfless work, passion and belief that one person does make a difference. Last week I awarded my last medal. The decision of whom to recognize with this pr…
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United Nations

A couple of weeks ago, a UN special rapporteur on the right for food, Olivier De Schutter, finished an 11-day visit to Canada – his first to a developed country. Unbelievably, he handed our government a laundry list of recommendations on very serious concerns about food safety.  One has to wonder if perhaps he booked a flight to the wrong continent from where he really intended to go. Clearly the time has come for a serious global examination of the role and viability of the UN. &nbs…
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Betraying Canada

Honourable senators, before a parliamentarian takes their seat, the member or senator must make a solemn affirmation of allegiance or loyalty to Canada. In other words, we must all make a pledge to conduct ourselves in the best interests of this country. Breaking the oath of allegiance is a serious offence. Parliamentarians come together in both Houses of Parliament to debate, to innovate and to act in the best interests of Canada and all Canadians. That includes healthy criticism, together wit…
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Multiculturalism

Last week, I had the honour to participate in a Ditchley Foundation conference. The conference brought together 40 experts from different professions representing 14 countries. Ditchley Foundation conferences stress open, informal discussions that reflect personal thinking and take place under strict rules of confidentiality. The overall aim of this conference was to look at ways in which domestic issues around multiculturalism and religion inform and influence the development of foreign polic…
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Nutrition

Honourable Senators, government intervention in personal nutrition and food choices has been the subject of heated debate for years. I strongly disagree that the government should dictate what we put in our mouths. Canadians have a responsibility to choose what they eat, and they must take initiative to educate themselves on the health consequences that go along with their choices. Rather than imposing regulations, our government has been working very closely with the food and beverage industry…
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Human Rights in Iran

Colleagues. I am honoured to rise today to participate in our Senate day of recognition for Iranian political prisoners. Permit me to commend my colleague, Senator Linda Frum for proposing and organizing this day in the Senate. Senator Frum has spoken and written passionately about the tragedy that we are drawing attention to today. Iran’s record of poor prison conditions, torture and ill treatment of political prisoners is well documented. Their abject disregard for human rights is appa…
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