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Eid on the Hill

Honourable senators, I would like to take this opportunity to commend the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism for hosting the Eid on the Hill event, which took place one week ago today. Working with two incredible groups — the Association of Islamic Charitable Projects and the India-Canada Organization — Minister Kenney welcomed over 200 members of the Muslim community in Canada to Parliament Hill to celebrate the recent holiday of Eid-al-Adha, as well as…
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Bullying Awareness Week

Honourable senators, I rise today to call attention to the ninth annual Bullying Awareness Week, taking place this year from November 13 to 19. Created by Bill Belsey, an acclaimed Canadian educator, Bullying Awareness Week aims to prevent bullying through awareness and education in a positive and proactive manner. Schools in the country and around the world take part in activities throughout the week to “Stand Up!” to bullying, which is this year’s theme. Children are encourag…
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Maternal and Child Health

Honourable senators, a 15-year-old girl in sub-Saharan Africa has a one in 31 chance of dying from pregnancy-related causes in her lifetime. In 2008, an estimated 358,000 women died from maternity-related causes, and in 2009, around 8 million children died before reaching their fifth birthday. It is clear that despite recent progress and growing international attention on this issue, there is still much work ahead in improving global maternal and child health indicators. Many c…
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The Honourable Vim Kochhar

Honourable senators, I rise today to bid farewell to my friend and colleague Senator Vim Kochhar. Senator Kochhar has been a motivational force among us. I have seen his passion first-hand on the Human Rights Committee, where he has fought for the rights of the physically disabled in sports and otherwise. I have seen it exemplified in his role as Chair of the Canadian Paralympic Foundation and in his creation of the Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons. Through h…
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Mr. Amjad Baiazy

Honourable senators, today I rise to bring your attention to the grave conditions in Syria and the unjust treatment of individuals such as Amjad Baiazy by the Syrian government. On May 12, Amjad Baiazy, a Syrian resident on his way back to the United Kingdom, where he has studied and lived for the past four years, was stopped by Syrian security forces at Damascus International Airport. Frantically, Amjad called his brother and attempted to explain what was going on. Close to tw…
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The Late Honourable Shahbaz Bhatti

Honourable senators, on March 3, I had the opportunity to travel to Pakistan with the Minister of Immigration and Multiculturalism, Jason Kenney. Despite endless threats from terrorists and even warnings from the Canadian government that it was not safe to travel to Pakistan, Minister Kenney and I felt obligated to honour our dear friend, the recently assassinated Minorities Minister of Pakistan, Shahbaz Bhatti. After a 20-hour flight and hours spent at airports waiting for con…
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The Late Honourable Shahbaz Bhatti

Honourable senators, it is with deep regret that I stand here today to commemorate the inspirational life of my good friend Shahbaz Bhatti, who was assassinated in Pakistan today. It is reported that al Qaeda and the Taliban are taking credit for this deplorable act. As Pakistan’s Minorities Minister, Mr. Bhatti was a tireless campaigner against the unjust blasphemy laws that suppress Pakistan as a nation. I had the opportunity to meet with Mr. Bhatti on numerous occasions, inc…
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