[ SkipToMainMenu ]

Speeches RSS (opens in a new window)

Bill C-7 - Medical Assistance in Dying - Conscience Rights

Honourable senators, I rise to speak to the theme of conscience rights under Bill C-7. I feel this is the appropriate theme and the right time to voice my concern over the direction that this debate has gone at certain times. In a discussion around conscience rights and the expectation that this bill places on medical practitioners, many without their consent, an equally valid discussion is the conscience rights of senators as we debate, amend and vote on this bill. I think most of our colleagu…
Read More

Bill C-7 - Medical Assistance in Dying - Indigenous Consultation

Honourable senators, I rise today on debate on Bill C-7. Once again, I speak to you from the perspective of a First Nations woman and a health professional who practised on reserves in Manitoba since 1973. During that time, I’ve had many conversations with grassroots people to leaders in Manitoba and throughout Canada regarding the plight of the descendants of Canada’s original peoples. As I have previously stated, assisted dying was never one of those conversations. However, assistance to a g…
Read More

Bill C-7 - Medical Assistance in Dying - Senator Jaffer's Amendment

Honourable senators, I rise to speak in support of Senator Jaffer’s amendment to Bill C-7. Much like Senator Jaffer, I have serious concerns and misgivings about how such a critical life-and-death piece of government-driven legislation could be lacking in such a fundamental way with regard to the analysis undertaken at the outset of the drafting process, as well as its shortcomings in protecting vulnerable and minority groups. In a letter sent to the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Const…
Read More

Bill C-7 - Medical Assistance in Dying - Senator Plett's Amendment

Honourable senators, I rise today to speak on Senator Plett’s amendment to Bill C-7. I, too, am concerned about where this debate is going. It is not going in the direction that First Nations and the disability community want it to go. I’ve worked on reserve as a health professional for over 30 years. In January 2021, I went to my home reserve to provide service at a dental clinic. On my travel there, I spoke to many nurses and doctors regarding MAID. Many were unaware of this bill, just as the…
Read More

Bill C-7 - Medical Assistance in Dying - Question to Senator Cotter

Hon. Mary Jane McCallum: Would the honourable senator take a question? Senator Cotter: I would be honoured to take a question. Senator McCallum: Thank you, Senator Cotter. I want to thank you for your powerful speech and to let you know that we are blessed to have you with us in the Red Chamber. Senator Cotter, we have heard, a number of times already throughout this debate, reference to the fact that consideration should remain firmly on the principle of this bill. This is something I’m unc…
Read More

Bill C-7 - Medical Assistance in Dying - Second Reading

Honourable senators, I rise today to join debate on Bill C-7, which would make amendments to the medical assistance in dying legislation. My remarks come after discussions with groups on both sides of this debate: ones that are in favour of this legislation, as well as those who have voiced concerns with the processes and procedures by which this legislation came to fruition. While I was initially inclined to support the passage of this bill, information about the consultation period, or lack th…
Read More

Speech in Support of Bill S-207, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code

Hon. Mary Jane McCallum: Honourable senators, I rise today to speak in support of Bill S-207, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (independence of the judiciary). I would like to thank Senator Pate for bringing this important bill forward. I would also like to extend my gratitude to Mr. MacKenzie Cheater, a criminal law practitioner based in Winnipeg, whose support was instrumental in the crafting of this speech. I wanted to thank MacKenzie, a young man, for taking the time to walk a senior citiz…
Read More

Speech in Support of Bill S-209, An Act to Amend the Canada Elections Act

Hon. Mary Jane McCallum: Honourable senators, I wish to speak in support of Bill S-209, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and the Regulation Adapting the Canada Elections Act for the Purposes of a Referendum (voting age), which would lower the voting age from 18 to 16. I would like to thank Senator McPhedran for not only sponsoring this bill but also for challenging me to think beyond my comfort zone, my biases and my belief that I knew what was best for our youth. As Senator McPhedran…
Read More

Speech from the Throne- Motion for Address in Reply

Hon. Mary Jane McCallum: Honourable senators, I want to start off with a prayer in my language. [Editor’s Note: Senator McCallum spoke in Cree.] Thank you, Creator, for giving me the privilege of waking another day, for giving me breath once again. Thank you for giving me the privilege of seeing Mother Earth once again because that is what we live for. If we don’t have Mother Earth, we won’t be here. Thank you for giving me the ability to come here, to stand here and to speak and to help me to…
Read More

Motion to Call on the Government to Adopt Anti-racism as the Sixth Pillar of the Canada Health Act

Hon. Mary Jane McCallum, pursuant to notice of November 3, 2020, moved: That the Senate of Canada call on the federal government to adopt anti-racism as the sixth pillar of the Canada Health Act, prohibiting discrimination based on race and affording everyone the equal right to the protection and benefit of the law. Hon. Mary Jane McCallum​: Honourable senators, I rise today to speak to my Motion No. 41, which asks that the Senate of Canada call on the federal government to adopt anti-racism a…
Read More