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Liberal Statement on today’s National Roundtable on Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls

Posted on February 27, 2015 | No Comments

CALGARY– Liberal Aboriginal Affairs Critic Carolyn Bennett made the following statement today on the National Roundtable on Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls:

“The Liberal Party of Canada recognizes the leadership and tireless efforts of the governments, organizations and families that made this roundtable happen. We welcome it and hope it will be a needed first step towards ending the ongoing epidemic of Indigenous women and girls who are going missing and being murdered. This roundtable is an important opportunity for all levels of government, Aboriginal leaders and the victims’ families to create a real plan to put an end to the violence. We are disappointed the Prime Minister refused to lead the federal delegation, but we are still hopeful that this meeting will lead to the urgent joint action needed to end this epidemic of violence.

“There is clear consensus that such joint action must include better coordination between government departments and jurisdictions, increased resources, and much more emphasis on the underlying causes and prevention. There is also a clear and unambiguous consensus on the need for a national public inquiry into this tragedy. Only a national inquiry would have the have the credibility, scope and resources to address the systemic problems underlying the violence, provide the accountability to ensure its implementation, and bring justice and reconciliation for victims and their families. This is why all of the premiers, Aboriginal leadership, international bodies, experts and the victims’ families have all urged the federal government to call a national public inquiry.

“We urge the federal government to listen to the voices around these tables today and take the real, urgent and collaborative action – including a national public inquiry – that is needed to end the ongoing violence.”

In the House: February 26

Posted on February 26, 2015 | No Comments

Today I rose to once again call on the government to call a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

The full transcript of my remarks is below.

Hon. Carolyn Bennett (St. Paul’s, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the Legal Strategy Coalition on Violence Against Indigenous Women released a comprehensive review of 58 relevant reports, and found only a handful of the over 700 recommendations have been implemented.

The coalition said that only a national enquiry would have the scope, resources and accountability to ensure the implementation of an effective and coordinated action plan to end the violence. On the eve of tomorrow’s round table, will the government finally get on the right side of history, listen to premiers, aboriginal leaders, experts and families, and call a national public enquiry?

Hon. K. Kellie Leitch (Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, CPC): Mr. Speaker, having met with many of these families, what I can say is what they want is action and they want it now. They do not want to wait for another study or actually even read another study. What they would like is to be supported and protected and have preventative programs put in place. That is what this government has done, whether it has been safety programs or the matrimonial property rights which the opposition members voted against, taking away an essential right for women.

We are here to support them and we will continue to do that.

Irwin Cotler on Antisemitism

Posted on February 25, 2015 | No Comments

My colleague Irwin Cotler, renowned human right activist and former Mister of Justice, spoke in a take-note debate in the House last night on antisemitism.  You can watch the video of his remarks below.

I was proud to stand and ask a question, the response to which is also below.

Hon. Carolyn Bennett (St. Paul’s, Lib.): Mr. Chair, I would ask if the member could explain why anti-Semitism is different from all other forms of discrimination and racism.

Hon. Irwin Cotler: Mr. Chair, one might ask why in fact we have a take-note debate on anti-Semitism. What about the other types of racism and discrimination that we must be concerned about, as the member for Ottawa Centre mentioned?

There are certain features that do make anti-Semitism unique.

Number one, it is the oldest and most enduring of hatreds, and is in fact the most lethal in that regard.

Second, it is the one form of racism that has a global dimension, such that we find it even in countries without Jews. I just read that in Yemen, where there are only some 55 Jews left, the militant Houthis, who are controlling Yemen, say that their primary foreign policy objective is to target Jews.

The third is that the species of racism known as anti-Semitism is characterized by what I mentioned: state-sanctioned and state-orchestrated incitement to hate, even to genocide.

Fourth, no other form of racism is laundered under universal public values, as I mentioned.

Number five, there is a dramatic global escalation in anti-Semitic attacks on Jews, Jewish property, and Jewish institutions. This pandemic of hatred has rendered the largest incidence of attacks on Jews ever, be it in France, the United Kingdom, or across Europe.

The last point is that we are witnessing a resurgence of the classical libels with respect to Jews. I will not go into it, but there are some six historical libels, such as the particular libel with regard to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, all of which have been resurrected again in a global configuration. No other people and, I would say, not other state is the object of such a litany of libels.

In the House: February 23

Posted on February 23, 2015 | No Comments

Hon. Carolyn Bennett (St. Paul’s, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, it is clear that this week’s national round table on missing and murdered indigenous women and girls will […]

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Roundtable on the Arts with the Hon. Stéphane Dion

Posted on February 20, 2015 | No Comments

On February 12, 2015, we brought together residents from across Toronto-St. Paul’s to discuss arts and culture in Theatre Direct at Artscape Wychwood Barns.  We were […]

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Remarks by Justin Trudeau on the Anti-terrorism Act

Posted on February 19, 2015 | No Comments

Update: Please take a look at yesterday’s open letter penned by former Prime Ministers Jean Chretien, Joe Clark, Paul Martin and John Turner on the need for […]

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Flag Day 2015

Posted on February 13, 2015 | No Comments

I was so honoured to take part in a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Canadian Flag organized by the Hon. Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of […]

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As it Happens tonight ……makes me so proud

Posted on February 10, 2015 | No Comments

  Was so proud to hear the the Carol Off  interview tonight on As It Happens with Peter O’Brian (front row 2nd from R)….. truly important […]

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Thank you all for the tremendous support you have given Peter ( and our whole family) in response to his article on Child Abuse in the Globe and Mail today

Posted on February 7, 2015 | No Comments

  here’s the link to Peter’s article in the Globe and Mail   This is our Ben’s wonderful drawing called Pirie – which was Peter’s nickname […]

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In the House: February 5

Posted on February 5, 2015 | No Comments

Today I rose to ask why the government continues to fail at its duty to consult Aboriginal communities, to the detriment of the economy. The full […]

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