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Perspectives — April 11-13, 2017
April 19, 2017

Military funding, honouring the sacrifices of journalists and tackling pollution were some of last week’s highlights.


Last week, we worked diligently to correct and improve legislation.

First, I would also like to congratulate my colleagues Senator Scott Tannas and Senator Victor Oh on their amendments of Bills C-4 and C-6 that passed in the Senate last week.

Senator Daniel Lang tabled a report on Military underfunded: The walk must match the talk, which outlines the urgency for Canada to increase military spending to 2% of Canada’s GDP to prevent the continued erosion of our existing military capabilities and to fulfil our obligations to Canadians and our allies.

Finally, Senator Claude Carignan’s Bill S-231 on the protection of journalistic sources was adopted at 3rd reading in the Senate.

Please also keep Senator Nancy Greene Raine in your thoughts as she recovers from treatment for thyroid cancer. We are wishing her a speedy recovery and effective treatment.

Senate Liberals

Last week in the Senate Chamber, Senator Joan Fraser rose to make a statement that unfortunately has become an annual ritual. Using information from the Committee to Protect Journalists, she paid tribute to those journalists and media support workers who lost their lives last year because of their profession.

“We can't bring them back, but we can bear witness to them and honour them,” she said. By reading their names into the Senate record, she reminds us of the sacrifice they have made for us in the pursuit of the truth.

Senators come from a variety of backgrounds and bring a wealth of diverse perspectives. Senator Joan Fraser is a former journalist who has won two National Newspaper Awards for editorial writing (1982 and 1991), and four National Newspaper Award Citations of Merit for editorial writing (1986, 1987, 1990, 1994). She has also won other awards for journalism, communications and her work on women’s issues.

Senator Joan Fraser is dedicated to ensuring that we never forget the sacrifices that these men and women have made.

As she has reminded us annually, they died to bring us the truth. We owe them an impossible debt.

Independent Senators Group

This week we catch a glimpse of the Senate through the eyes of Senator Rosa Galvez.

On Thursday April 13th, 2017, I gave my maiden speech in the Senate. I chose to use that time to honour Mother Nature because planet Earth is our only home.

From a young age I was compelled by images of pollution and sought an education and career in engineering to dedicate my life to finding solutions to these problems. Humanity is so young, yet in minutes, we burn through fuels that took Nature millions of years to make. We must learn to preserve and protect all resources, renewable and non-renewable.  We live in an era that equates success with infinite growth, which is incoherent with finite resources. We must promote a circular approach to production, as well as focusing on renewable resources. Only through Science and the democratization of knowledge can we achieve that. Knowledge is infinite.

It is clear that solving pollution problems is largely more expensive than preventing them.

Canada is well placed to demonstrate that climate change is an inconvenient opportunity. We must leverage all our institutions to become and remain a leader in the knowledge economy. We can send a clear message: carbon reduction through clean technology in a circular economy equals job creation and a clean environment in which to live. Let us be knowledgeable, but let us also be wise.

Canada is on the verge of a renaissance and we must not let that opportunity pass us by.