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Archive from May 2012

The Conservatives are indifferent towards the Inuit and First Nations

30 May 2021 at 20h26

Hon. Céline Hervieux-Payette: Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. After more than two decades of negotiations between representatives of the Canadian government and Aboriginal peoples, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted by a majority of the 143 states.

The declaration is part of a universal framework to ensure that states set minimum standards for the well-being of Aboriginal peoples and respect their individual and collective rights. Although the Conservative government initially voted against the declaration, it did sign in 2010 under pressure from the international community.

Recently, we learned that the Harper government intends to eliminate funding for the National Centre for First Nations Governance and the Native Women’s Association of Canada’s health services. These two organizations are critical to the delivery of health services, assistance, education and the management of community funds.

In light of the recommendation of the United Nations expert who condemned the lack of nutritious foods available to Aboriginal peoples and to ensure that women and children can benefit from better health through nutrition, can the government leader tell us which programs and funds will be made available to Aboriginals and when we will have a policy on funding for the transportation of perishable goods to the far North? (more…)

Loss at JPMorgan: the conservatives are still opposed to reforming the financial system

16 May 2021 at 20h54

Hon. Céline Hervieux-Payette: Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. You have certainly heard the recent news of JPMorgan posting over $2 billion in losses in two weeks after speculating on credit derivatives.

After that debacle, U.S. President Barack Obama said that this incident only underscores why it was so important to reform the rules that apply to Wall Street and all financial sectors, and why those rules need to be fully enforced, not just on an ad hoc basis.

A few weeks ago, I asked a question about the fact that Canadian banks had received secret loans totalling billions of dollars in order to prevent some of them from going bankrupt at the beginning of the crisis in 2008.

When will the Prime Minister work with President Obama — for once, I believe that we, on this side, agree that they should work together — in order to regulate the financial system and prohibit Canadian banks from making any speculative investments, considering that the banks are funded for the most part by Canadians’ pension funds? (more…)

Harper forces the press to pledge allegiance

4 May 2021 at 14h25

Honourable senators, on this World Press Freedom Day, I speak in this chamber today to assure the Canadian public that the fundamental principles of journalism are being respected.

Allow me to refer to the code of conduct of the Fédération professionnelle des journalistes du Québec to outline the fundamental values of journalism in Canada.

We know that journalists” work must be based on the critical thinking that pushes them to question everything, the impartiality that pushes them to do their research and report on the various aspects of a situation, the independence that keeps them at arm”s length from power and lobby groups, the honesty that makes them stick to the facts, and a number of other principles. (more…)

Long Live the Free Press

3 May 2021 at 20h29

OTTAWA, May 3, 2021 – On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, Senator Hervieux-Payette is grateful to Canadian journalists and to all those who practice a profession vital to democracy and human rights. She also pays tribute to those who lost their lives defending this ideal.

“There can be no liberty and no justice without an independent and free press. All Heads of States, all governments, all politicians who defend individual freedom and justice must guarantee the freedom and independence of this pillar of democracy, “said Senator Hervieux-Payette.

On April 2nd 2012, the Conservative government imposed on CBC journalists a so-called code of values ​​and ethics for journalists employed by public radio and television broadcasters.

“They are asking CBC journalists to pledge allegiance to the government. This political interference aimed at controlling the media is extremely serious. Prime Minister Harper clearly demonstrated that his discourse on transparency and accountability was vote pandering and manipulation”, she stated.

The new “code of conduct” warns that any serious breach is considered “wrongdoing” and that the offending person “is liable to disciplinary action up to and including immediate dismissal.” However, under the Broadcasting Act, employees of the CBC are not subject to this code of ethics and values. Although the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is a government institution, the Broadcasting Act clearly states in paragraph 44(3) that employees are not officers or servants of Her Majesty.

“After tabling Bill C-30 to spy on Canadians’ electronic communications, the Conservative government has demonstrated that their conception of freedom is limited only to the free-market. The consumer is free. The citizen is under control. The journalist is muzzled “concluded the Senator.

Conservatives secretly bailout Canadian banks for $114 billion

2 May 2021 at 18h28

Hon. Céline Hervieux-Payette: Honourable senators, let us continue with financial matters. We might wonder if the government should take remedial Math 101.

This morning, as I was studying a report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, I read the following:

The Conservative government secretly lent more than $114 billion to Canadian banks, although the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance boasted around the world that the federal government did not have to bail out Canadian banks at the beginning of the financial crisis.

I have raised the issue a number of times but without mentioning the amount of $114 billion, which includes amounts from the United States and various other sources. This secret loan represents almost $3,400 per Canadian, which amounts to more money per taxpayer than the U.S. provided to American banks.

In the U.S., the figures were made available to journalists and the public whereas in Canada many documents had to be closely examined and studied in detail in order to arrive at this conclusion.

How can the government expect Canadians to believe that the financial system does not need reform and oversight when it secretly lends money to banks to prevent their bankruptcy? How can this government continue to pay millions of dollars annually to the CEOs of Canadian banks? (more…)


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