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Bill S-227, An Act to establish Food Day in Canada - Third Reading

Food as reconciliation. Harry S. Truman said, “In the long view, no nation is any healthier than its children or more prosperous than its farmers . . . .” Honourable senators, I rise today in support of Bill S-227, which seeks to establish food day in Canada. I would like to thank Senator Black for his continued and committed advocacy toward the land, soil safety and the agriculture community on Turtle Island. Farming has always been and continues to be a key part in the solution toward pro…
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Bill S-219 - An Act respecting a National Ribbon Skirt Day - Third Reading

Honourable senators, I rise today to speak to third reading of Bill S-219. I would first like to thank my honourable colleagues for their support in having this bill sent to committee. In doing so, you helped to facilitate and hold space for youth. This case concerns a young First Nations girl named Isabella Kulak. We hold space for her and, in doing so, we also hold space for other youth. This is so for two reasons: The first is to explore and understand why that violence occurred. The second…
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Senator Boyer's Inquiry - The Positive Contributions of Métis, Inuit, and First Nations

Honourable senators, I rise today to speak to Inquiry No. 3, which calls the attention of the Senate to the positive contributions and impacts that Métis, Inuit and First Nations have made to Canada and to the world. I would like to thank our colleague Senator Boyer for introducing this inquiry, as it is of great importance that senators, and all Canadians, become familiar with the critical work done by the Indigenous peoples of Canada. I am pleased to use this inquiry to highlight the work don…
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Bill S-220 - An Act to amend the Languages Skills Act (Governor General) - Second Reading

Honourable senators, I rise today to speak at second reading of S-220. I would like to thank Senator Carignan for introducing this bill, thereby giving senators the opportunity to discuss and debate bilingualism. It also gives senators the chance to confront the elephant in the room: the central question around the history of languages in Canada, their uses in the historical and current colonization of First Nations, Métis, Inuit and non-status peoples, and the effects of this continuing assimil…
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Bill S-210 - An Act to restrict young persons’ online access to sexually explicit material - Second Reading

Honourable senators, I rise today to speak to Bill S-210, An Act to restrict young persons’ online access to sexually explicit material. I want to thank Senator Miville-Dechêne as this bill’s sponsor for her important work on this matter. This is a timely and much needed piece of legislation as there is an insidious relationship that exists between pornography and human trafficking. The catalyst of this relationship is the dangerous consumption of pornography by males/females that can lead thos…
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Bill S-218 - An Act to amend the Department for Women and Gender Equality Act - Second Reading

Honourable senators, I would like to begin by highlighting why this slight but powerful and timely piece of legislation is so critical. This bill would enshrine the requirement for the Minister for Women and Gender Equality to table a statement that sets out potential effects of the bill on women, and particularly Indigenous women. This gender-based analysis or statement would be a requirement for every future piece of legislation to assess the gender-specific impacts of policies, legislation an…
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Bill S-219 - An Act respecting a National Ribbon Skirt Day - Second Reading

Honourable senators, I rise today to speak to second reading of Bill S-219, which would establish January 4 of each and every year as “National Ribbon Skirt Day.” Through this bill, Canada would have the opportunity to further their understanding and education of Indigenous culture and heritage — specifically the ribbon skirt, which is a symbolic piece of clothing used in Indigenous tradition and ceremony. I want to thank Chief George Cote of the Cote First Nation in Saskatchewan, as well as Is…
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Motion 10 - Racism and the Harmful Legacy of the Residential School System

Honourable senators, I rise today to speak to Motion No. 10, which deals with the harmful impacts and the legacy left behind by the residential school system. The residential school legacy: . . . is not an event that only occurred in the past; for some Indigenous peoples, this institution is a living history, and a lived experience that they are still processing. This is a quote from Dr. Natahnee Nuay Winder in the book Residential Schools and Indigenous Peoples: From Genocide via Education fo…
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Motion 11 - Call to adopt anti-racism as the sixth pillar of the Canada Health Act

Honourable senators, I rise today to speak to my Motion No. 11, which asks that the Senate of Canada call on the federal government to adopt anti-racism as the sixth pillar of the Canada Health Act. This request for the sixth pillar comes from several sources across Canada, and I’m speaking on their behalf. This appeal first came to my attention through an open letter addressed to many people, including myself, from Josée G. Lavoie, Professor at the University of Manitoba; Mary Jane Logan McCal…
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Motion 12 - ENEV Committee Study on the Cumulative Impacts of Resource Extraction and Development

Honourable senators, once again I rise today to speak to Motion No. 12, which constitutes an order of reference for the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources. As is indicated in the motion itself, I would like this committee to undertake a study on the cumulative impacts of resource extraction and development, and their effects on environmental, economic and social considerations. My interest in studying this matter in depth came from this committee’s previ…
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