House of Commons
Individuals with Disabilities
Hon. Kent Hehr (Calgary Centre, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, it is National AccessAbility Week, and this is an opportunity for all of us to recognize the contributions of Canadians with disabilities, and to assist increase awareness concerning the need for larger accessibility and inclusion in our society.
While our authorities is breaking down limitations, many nonetheless exist. Can the Minister of Public Providers and Procurement and Accessibility inform the Home how our authorities is taking action to ensure an inclusive, accessible Canada for all?
Hon. Carla Qualtrough (Minister of Public Providers and Procurement and Accessibility, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Calgary Centre for his tireless effort and advocacy on behalf of citizens with disabilities.
That is indeed Nationwide AccessAbility Week, the third annual that our authorities has put forth. This week we rejoice the contributions of people and organizations who are certainly removing obstacles. We additionally, God prepared, have the proposed accessible Canada act here in front of the House of Commons again this week, so that we will remove obstacles in the regulation and create a proactive system to make it possible for everyone is treated equally.
I need to thank all the advocates who made this invoice the most effective that it can be, and I reiterate our government’s commitment to accepting all the amendments put forth—
Mr. Nathaniel Erskine-Smith (Seashores—East York, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, as our lives are more and more lived online and corporations more and more profit from massive knowledge and our private info, we need to respect, shield and strengthen our privacy and digital rights.
Our parliamentary privacy committee has worked across celebration strains to spotlight and take these points on, and this week we are joined by parliamentarians from around the globe to guard our privacy, strengthen competitors and maintain social media platforms accountable.
How is our government working to deal with these issues and to build trust for Canadians in our more and more digital world?
Hon. Navdeep Bains (Minister of Innovation, Science and Financial Improvement, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for his management with regards to privacy.
A couple of days after the leader of the official opposition laid out an economic vision right out of 1993, I introduced Canada’s new digital constitution based mostly on Canadian values, based mostly on 10 rules designed to actually help empower Canadians to have extra management over their knowledge and in addition degree the enjoying subject for Canadian companies so they can innovate and grow and create good-quality middle-class jobs proper throughout the country.
We now have a plan for the digital financial system. We’ve got a plan for the longer term, and we’ll proceed to advance that by means of the digital constitution.
The Hon. the Speaker informed the Senate that the next communication had been acquired:
May 27, 2019
I’ve the honour to inform you that the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor Common of Canada, signified royal assent by written declaration to the payments listed in the Schedule to this letter on the 27th day of May, 2019, at 1:37 p.m.
Assunta Di Lorenzo
Secretary to the Governor Common and Herald Chancellor
The Speaker of the Senate
Bills Assented to Monday, May 27, 2019:
An Act to amend the Canada-Israel Free Commerce Agreement Implementation Act and to make related amendments to other Acts (Invoice C-85, Chapter 6, 2019)
An Act to implement the Convention between Canada and the Republic of Madagascar for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on revenue (Bill S-6, Chapter 7, 2019)
An Act to amend the Oceans Act and the Canada Petroleum Assets Act (Bill C-55, Chapter eight, 2019)
Hon. Marc Gold: As a senator from Quebec, I rise as we speak to register my opposition to Invoice 21, An Act respecting the laicity of the State. This bill, which was introduced by the Government of Quebec, would prohibit academics, cops, judges and lots of others from sporting spiritual symbols in the efficiency of their duties.
I am a proud Quebecer, and I know my historical past. I understand the dominant political position that the Church performed in Quebec and the mark it left on generations of Quebecers. I lived by way of the Quiet Revolution, which was something I supported, and I strongly consider in state secularism. Nevertheless, Invoice 21 is predicated on a flawed interpretation of secularism, one that is incompatible with Quebec’s spiritual and constitutional traditions.
Right here’s what I stated greater than 10 years in the past once I testified earlier than the Bouchard-Taylor commission:
We should always help a Quebec-specific model of secularism . . . in which the state does not promote one specific faith over another however can also be not required to ban all spiritual symbols from public areas, as radical secularism calls for.
Honourable senators, I do know that the Government of Quebec has the constitutional authority to enact Invoice 21 and that it has the help of many Quebecers. I take very significantly my duty as a senator to think about the opinions and interests of my fellow Quebecers. Nevertheless, as senators, we aren’t the agents or representatives of our provincial governments. We have been also not appointed to simply channel the opinions of the public, even if the public takes a robust stand. As members of the Parliament of Canada, we have now the duty to behave in the national curiosity, and it is in the nationwide curiosity that we defend the rights of spiritual minorities when they are focused by discriminatory legislation.
Bill 21 infringes on the elemental rights of all citizens who choose to publicly categorical their spiritual beliefs. Although the invoice applies to many spiritual minorities, including practising Jews and Sikhs, its most important focus is Muslim ladies who put on a hijab or veil. As a Quebecer, a Canadian, a senator and a Jew, I really feel compelled to voice my robust opposition to Bill 21. Thanks.
Orders of the Day
Indigenous Languages Bill
Second Studying—Debate Continued
On the Order:
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Sinclair, seconded by the Honourable Senator Day, for the second reading of Invoice C-91, An Act respecting Indigenous languages.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, as is allowed by our apply, Senator Patterson will rise on debate in Inuktitut throughout our proceedings at this time. Honourable senators might take heed to a simultaneous interpretation.
On debate, Senator Patterson.
Hon. Dennis Glen Patterson: Honourable senators, thank you for acknowledging, in chatting with Invoice C-91, An Act respecting Indigenous languages, my want to speak in an Aboriginal language in this chamber.
I want to briefly pay tribute to my predecessor, Nunavut Senator Willie Adams and our former Senate colleague, Senator Charlie Watt, for having pushed for this modification to the principles that permits for that to occur upon affordable discover.
I will, in my imperfect Inuktitut, be chatting with this invoice in the primary language of my constituents, but not for the entire speech.[Editor’s Note: Senator Patterson spoke in Inuktitut — translation follows.]
Honourable senators, I rise as we speak to talk to Bill C-91, An Act respecting Indigenous languages.
On December 6, 2016, Prime Minister Trudeau stood before the Meeting of First Nations Particular Chiefs Assembly and pledged to deliver this invoice ahead. Two-and-a-half years later, in the dying days of his government’s mandate, we have now a invoice that your Aboriginal Peoples Committee carried out a pre-study of. A pre-study which I helped provoke as a result of I knew there can be valuable little time to provide this essential bill the due consideration it deserves and because I know how necessary getting this proper is to Inuit in my region and in addition all through Inuit regions in Canada.
As senator for Nunavut, a territory where 86 per cent of residents are Inuit and the place Inuktut is a majority language, I do know that the protection and preservation of the language is among the highest priorities for the Inuit and territorial leaders. Nevertheless, this invoice, which introduced with it a lot promise, stays significantly flawed and lacking.
It was only after your committee’s research and the tabling of our report calling on elevated guarantees round funding that the government determined to append a Royal Suggestion to this bill. Without it, the packages outlined in this invoice would have been wholly reliant on present funding ranges.
Honourable senators, we now have heard time and time once more that the funding obtainable is neither enough to deal with the present decline of many Indigenous languages nor wouldn’t it be sufficient to promote and shield the decline of healthy languages akin to Inuktut. I’m wondering how, earlier than the addition of the Royal Suggestion, the federal government meant to satisfy its promise “to provide adequate, sustainable and long-term funding to support Indigenous languages,” as Minister Rodriguez said during his March 19, 2019, look before your committee.
The government also prided itself on the co-development process. Minister Rodriguez advised us:
We’ve worked very arduous with the Meeting of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the Métis Nationwide Council to co-develop the legislation during the last 18 months.
He went on to state that the federal government was:
. . . persevering with our dialogue with ITK and the 4 rights-holding Inuit regional organizations. The Inuit could be assured that this legislation applies to them and their languages too. Being inclusive is essential to us. Greater than essential, Madam Chair, it’s elementary.
And but Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami President Natan Obed, and Nunavut Tunngavik Included President Aluki Kotierk, each clearly rebutted that testimony. The image painted for us by Inuit was that their specific considerations weren’t being listened to.
On March 20, 2019, President Obed gave his perspective on the co-development course of, saying:
During, Inuit have been very clear that we’re not interested in largely symbolic laws. We have an interest in the practical implementation of our proper to use, converse, work and receive providers in Inuktut, our language.
. . . Invoice C-91 presently falls far in need of fulfilling the Authorities of Canada’s personal dedication to develop distinctions-based laws. It was on the idea of this commitment that ITK agreed to take part in this legislative initiative.
Invoice C-91, as it is presently drafted, utterly overlooks the unique standing of Inuktut and the sensible wants of its audio system.
This was echoed on April 2 by President Kotierk, who expressed her disappointment in the federal government’s lack of response to considerate suggestions brought forward by Inuit representatives. She stated:
The resolutions that we beneficial have not been checked out, which is unlucky. If only that they had looked at our recommendations correctly, the committee. We will probably be passing these on to you at the moment. I do know Tapiriit Kanatami talked about that. We’ve not heard anything about whether or not our suggestions and our additions to this are feasible or useable. Can it’s legislated or not?
I don’t assume they made any issues or selections about them. We had not heard anything about our suggestions and whether or not they will be added. Inuit are also Aboriginal individuals, represented by the Queen. We hope that they will be telling the reality about every little thing and dealing with the Inuit on these matters. Inuit are a part of Canada.
Regardless of your committee highlighting the federal government’s failure to incorporate Inuit considerations into this proposed laws in its report back to this chamber following the conclusion of the pre-study, your committee acquired a letter from President Kotierk, dated May 14, 2019, that shockingly said:
Unfortunately, I am obliged — and very much disillusioned — to report to you that, regardless of the passage of time since my appearance in early April, NTI has not been contacted to that finish.
Honourable senators, this can’t stand unaddressed.[Editor’s Note: Senator Patterson spoke in Inuktitut — translation follows.]
Language, honourable senators, isn’t just about tradition; it is about dignity and independence.
Throughout his April 2, 2019 appearance before your committee, the Honourable David Joanasie, Minister of Languages, Minister of Culture and Heritage, and Minister of Schooling for the Government of Nunavut, advised us:
. . . Nunavummiut proceed to be handled as second- or third-class residents once they communicate or receive providers from federal departments or federally regulated our bodies working in our territory, as these providers or packages are insufficient or not offered in Inuktut.
This want to have extra federal providers delivered in Indigenous languages, the place numbers warrant, is among the suggestions put ahead by Inuit. I feel that’s very affordable and is language that can also be in the Official Languages Act of Canada respecting Canada’s two official languages. Where numbers warrant is an inexpensive qualification on a right.
Additionally they asked for instructor training help and mechanisms to make sure initiatives looking for to ship key providers associated to schooling, health care and the administration of justice in cooperation with provinces and territories can be eligible for federal funding help.
Is it too much to ask that federal authorities packages and providers be delivered to the Inuit, who established sovereignty for Canada in the tough northern latitudes, which we’re proud to say outline the extent and magnificence of this nice nation — ought to be delivered to a population whose first and sometimes solely language just isn’t English or French? The Commissioner of Official Languages in Nunavut, Ms. Helen Klengenberg, advised the committee that Canada has not acknowledged their obligation to deliver packages and providers to unilingual Inuit in Nunavut in their very own language, regardless of that obligation being set out clearly in the Inuit Language Safety Act of the Legislative Meeting of Nunavut. The powers to carry the Authorities of Canada answerable for the supply of federal providers in Inuktut is outlined in the Nunavut Act. Ms. Klengenburg submitted a authorized opinion to that effect.
This invoice is an opportunity to implement this affordable requirement of federal departments delivering packages and providers to Inuit.
Let me additionally acknowledge that Invoice C-91 has one clause that merits our help and commendation. That is the clause that recognizes that the rights of Indigenous peoples, acknowledged and affirmed by part 35 of the Structure Act, 1982, embrace rights associated to Indigenous languages. Having been involved as a participant in the three years of intense efforts to extra precisely outline the which means of section 35, following repatriation of the Structure, among federal, provincial, territorial and Aboriginal leaders — which obtained precisely nowhere in that noble aspiration — clause 6 in the invoice is a superb leap ahead. In fact Aboriginal rights embrace Indigenous language rights, for languages are the carriers of cultures, which define the distinctiveness of Aboriginal peoples.[Editor’s Note: Senator Patterson spoke in Inuktitut — translation follows.]
The amendments that I intend to desk during clause-by-clause consideration of this invoice end result instantly from the beneficial modifications introduced forward by Inuit.
Honourable senators, I hope these amendments receive the help of the committee and, finally, of you. It is very important make sure that any legislation addressing Indigenous languages responds to the considerations of all of Canada’s Indigenous peoples.
I might be remiss in chatting with this bill if I didn’t acknowledge a senator in this chamber who has long been a champion of Indigenous languages: Senator Joyal. When Senator Joyal was Secretary of State in one other Trudeau government, the Northwest Territories thought-about turning into formally bilingual at the urging of the Government of Canada. We ultimately did so. I’m pleased with having been a part of that. However at the time, we stated to Mr. Trudeau’s authorities, “But what about also supporting the preservation and enhancement of Aboriginal languages, of the majority of our population, as well as English and French?”
Senator Joyal reached out to us in his office of Secretary of State, because it was then referred to as, in the N.W.T., recognizing that almost all inhabitants of the N.W.T. spoke — and to this present day that is much more true in Nunavut — in first languages aside from English or French. Together with his leadership, vital provisions have been established at the moment to permit the N.W.T. to preserve and improve its Indigenous languages. These measures also applied to different regions.
I salute him for that. I know Senator Joyal is intently following this invoice, having launched however withheld his own personal member’s bill on this topic, awaiting the federal government’s initiative. I’ll rely on Senator Joyal’s help for amendments that may come ahead to improve this bill.
In closing, honourable colleagues, I need to make it clear that I have heard from First Nations and Metis leaders that Bill C-91, although disappointing to them in some respects, is essentially thought-about by them to be an essential first step in addressing Indigenous languages, which are sadly struggling and dealing with extinction. As we deliberate on this necessary bill, please allow us to not overlook the rights and aspirations of another small minority of Indigenous peoples in Canada, the Inuit, who are additionally engaged in a wrestle to stop the erosion of their first language.
Thank you. Nakurmiik.
Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!
The Hon. the Speaker: Are honourable senators prepared for the question?
Hon. Senators: Question.
The Hon. the Speaker: It was moved by the Honourable Senator Sinclair, seconded by the Honourable Senator Day, that this invoice be learn the second time.
Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
(Movement agreed to and invoice learn second time.)
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