In a country of 37 Million, spread over nearly 10 Million kilometers, two official languages and more than 200 languages spoken at home, Canada is known for its diversity and tolerance. Hosted by Canadian Senator Mobina Jaffer, Every Voice Counts is a unique voice in the Canadian Political landscape. Herself a refugee, Senator Jaffer and her guests will explore topics of marginalization and belonging, as well as informing Canadians about the role of the Senate in 2020.
Lex Gill on the Importance of Protecting Individual Privacy Rights
Striking a balance between maintaining border security and protecting individual privacy rights - how far is too far? Listen to my conversation with legal expert Lex Gill where we discuss Bill S-7 and the potential consequences of expanding the search of personal digital devices in an effort to increase border security.
Journée internationale de la langue maternelle
En novembre dernier, au début de la 44e législature, j'ai réintroduit le projet de loi S-214, Loi instituant la Journée internationale de la langue maternelle. Deux semaines plus tard, le 9 décembre 2021, le projet de loi a été adopté de façon unanime par le Sénat et a été envoyé à la Chambre des communes. J’ai bon espoir que cette fois-ci mon projet recevra la Sanction royale et que le 21 février sera reconnu officiellement comme Journée internationale de la langue maternelle au Canada.
International Mother Language Day
This past November, at the beginning of the 44th Parliament, I reintroduced it as Bill S-214, An Act to establish International Mother Language Day. Just over 2 weeks later, on December 9, 2021, the bill was adopted unanimously by the Senate and sent to the House of Commons. I am hopeful that this time around my bill will receive Royal Assent, and that February 21st will be officially recognized as International Mother Language Day in Canada.
The Honourable Kim Pate C.M. - Senator for Ontario
My good friend and colleague Senator Kim Pate is a nationally renowned advocate who has spent nearly 40 years working in and around the legal and penal systems of Canada, with and on behalf of some of the most marginalized, victimized, criminalized and institutionalized — particularly imprisoned youth, men and women. Following a recent tour together into several prisons across Canada, I had the change to sit down with Senator Pate to find out more about her upbringing, her drive for prisoner justice, and her journey to the Senate of Canada.
Visit to Kent Institution
I recently had the unique opportunity to visit three federal prisons in British Columbia, accompanied by lifelong prisoner rights advocate and my friend, Senator Kim Pate. Our third and final visit was to Kent Institution, the only federal maximum-security prison for men in the Pacific Region. When we arrived, we were met by the senior staff at the prison who informed us that out of 240 men inside, 88 (about 1/3) are Indigenous, 22 are Black. We also learned that some prisoners feel the prison has created a racist and toxic environment. This is another reminder of the racism and discrimination that happens behind prison walls every day.
Visit to Fraser Valley Institution for Women
I recently had the unique opportunity to visit three federal prisons in British Columbia, accompanied by lifelong prisoner rights advocate and my friend, Senator Kim Pate. Our second visit was to Fraser Valley Institution, a multi-level (minimum, medium and maximum) security prison for women located in Abbotsford. We first met with the staff, inside the prison’s gymnasium. We were told that 61% of all prisoners and 89% of those classified as maximum security are Indigenous women. This is yet another example of the over-representation of Indigenous Peoples, in particular of women, in Canadian prisons.