[ SkipToMainMenu ]

Speeches RSS (opens in a new window)

Bill S-203 - Third Reading (ending the captivity of whales and dolphins)

All my relations: An adult female beluga whale lying motionless below the body of her dead baby calf; an orca lying motionless on her side, floating towards the top of the tank, heavily sedated from an accidental overdose of Valium; a sharp, rust-coloured, steel-edged grate covered in blood, the result of carelessly transporting a beluga whale between tanks; finally, an indoor tank lacking both natural light and quality air ventilation, and now a sickly green colour caused by a breakdown in the…
Read More

IAP Records of Residential School Survivors

Honourable senators, I rise today to speak to my Inquiry No. 52, which highlights the importance of preserving the Independent Assessment Process, or IAP, records of Indian residential school survivors who claimed compensation for historic physical and sexual abuse that was suffered while attending residential school. Through this speech and inquiry, it is my hope that I will convey the importance of acting to preserve these records not only to my honourable colleagues but to the Canadian publi…
Read More

Bill C-45 - Third Reading - Wielding the Hammer

Do I have the hammer? Honourable senators, First Nations, Inuit and Metis continue to live under abusive and unsafe conditions that have become commonplace and constant. Situations that were at one time rare, such as muggings and gang activities, are now ordinary in our communities. As the majority of us have lived our entire lives under occupation by federal laws and policies — in our own country, no less — there is the stark realization that instabilities and insecurity have been routine for…
Read More

Bill C-45 - Third Reading - Consultation

I thank and acknowledge everyone who has gathered to meet in this chamber. Honourable senators, I rise today to give voice to the Indigenous issues that were raised in the course of debate and through committee testimony on Bill C-45 and the legalization of cannabis. I would first like to thank the senators and staff of the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples, especially our chair, Senator Dyck, for their hard work on this file. I want to thank my elders Senators Sinclair, Dyck and…
Read More

Bill C-45 - Third Reading - Indigenous Youth

Honourable senators, it is well known that a high number of youths are already smoking marijuana in Canada, and that includes a high percentage of Indigenous youth. Why they choose to do so is an issue that has not been given priority and not been investigated. In his book Handcuffed by History, Gordon Cruse interviews men who were in juvenile detention centres as youths, many of them for marijuana use. Mr. Cruse worked with these youths for over 40 years and interviewed them 20 years later to…
Read More

Motion No. 325 - Call On the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops

Hon. Mary Jane McCallum, pursuant to notice of April 24, 2018, moved: That the Senate call on the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops to: (a) invite Pope Francis to Canada to apologize on behalf of the Catholic Church to Indigenous people for the church’s role in the residential school system, as outlined in Call to Action 58 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report; (b) to respect its moral obligation and the spirit of the 2006 Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement and…
Read More

Maiden Speech in the Senate Chamber

Honourable senators, I am humbled to rise in this chamber for the first time to share with you a story that contains an important and valuable lesson. The following is taken from Quite an Undertaking: The Story of Violet Guymer, Canada’s First Female Licensed Funeral Director: The young woman was carried into the morgue and placed on the slab. She had died while in labour at the hospital only a short time ago, and with no family to claim the body, she was immediately brought to the funeral home…
Read More