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At a glance
November 20, 2017

While senators’ duties are mainly as legislators within Parliament, their work also takes them far beyond. Learn more about some of their activities.

Monday, October 23 — Senator Ratna Omidvar interviews Zabeen Hirji, now retired VP and Chief Human Resources Officer at RBC and Co-Chair of the Toronto Region Immigrant Council in front of over 100 GTA business and community leaders. The senator and Ms. Hirji engaged in a discussion on championing diversity and immigrant inclusion.

Wednesday, October 25 — Senator Nancy Greene Raine received an award from the International Maple Syrup Institute-North American Maple Syrup Council at their awards banquet during their annual meeting held in Levis Quebec.  The award was for the work she did as a senator in moving the new International Maple Syrup Institute proposed grades initiative through the mechanics of government.

Thursday, October 26 — Senator Ratna Omidvar sits down with Samia Madwar, Managing Editor of The Walrus magazine at the Ismaili Centre in Toronto to discuss citizenship, multiculturalism and reflections on Canada.

Thursday, November 2 — Senator Vernon White visits grade 4, 5 and 6 students at Arch St. Public School in Ottawa. The kids gathered in the school library to hear him speak.

The Senator took many questions from these very inquisitive students about the Senate and his former career in the RCMP and on police forces.

Monday, October 30 — Senator Marilou McPhedran hosts a screening of the documentary “Is Anybody Listening?” followed by a discussion on veterans’ health. Taking part in the panel, seated on the senator’s left, are senators Joseph A. Day and Gwen Boniface.

Wednesday, November 1 — Senator Kelvin Kenneth Ogilvie attends the Canadian Consortium in Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA) Annual Science Day & Partners Forum in Toronto as the keynote speaker.  The senator made a passionate presentation on dementia and the urgent need for a national strategy.

Wednesday, November 1 — Senator Raymonde Saint-Germain joins panelists, including Sébastien Bovet (Radio-Canada) and the honourable Louis Lebel (former Supreme Court judge), after a discussion on the delicate balance between institutional transparency and accountability with regard to state prosecutors. The event was organized by the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions of Quebec and was held in Orford, Quebec.

Senators Raynell Andreychuk, Marc Gold and Percy E. Downe meet with the family of the late Sergei Magnitsky, as well as human rights champion Irwin Cotler and author Bill Browder, to mark the adoption of the Magnitsky Law, which will facilitate the imposing of sanctions on human rights abusers in foreign governments.

Thursday, November 2 — Senator Jane Cordy meets with students at Acadia University to talk about the Senate’s role, with a particular focus on how senators represent Canadian provinces/regions in the Senate during a third-year level history course.

Friday, November 3 — Senator Marc Gold spoke to students at Lester B. Pearson Catholic High School on the role of the Senate and the importance of giving back to one’s community.

Monday, November 6 — Senators Betty Unger, David M. Wells, Serge Joyal and Patricia Bovey present the newly-struck medals by the Royal Canadian Mint in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Red Chamber’s first sitting. The medals will be awarded to a number of Canadians who’ve contributed greatly to their communities.  

Wednesday, November 8 — Senator René Cormier attends the commemorative ceremony at St. Julien Memorial in Belgium with Constable Mathieu LeBlanc, an Acadian from Moncton. Over the course of the week, the senator represented the upper chamber at a number of events commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele.

Other events that senators participated in:

  • Thursday, October 26 — Senator Ratna Omidvar received the COSTI Immigrant Services Lifetime Achievement Award in Toronto for her advocacy work and leadership on immigration and diversity issues.
  • Monday, October 30 — Senator Ratna Omidvar moderated a panel discussion in Toronto on “Unconscious bias around board governance” in partnership with DiverseCity onBoard, Ryerson University.
  • Tuesday, November 7 — Senator Percy E. Downe appeared on CBC’s Power & Politics with Duncan McCue to discuss the Canada Revenue Agency's unwillingness to measure the tax gap.
  • Tuesday, November 7 — Senator Wanda Thomas Bernard hosted a group of young Black women from East Preston, Nova Scotia on Parliament Hill. The initiative was built on the International Day of the Girl theme ‘claim your space’ as the youths brought their issues of concern directly to parliamentarians — namely calling for an end to systemic racism in areas such as education, employment and the justice system.