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Roméo Dallaire

Lieutenant-General The Honorable Roméo A. Dallaire, O.C., C.M.M., G.O.Q., M.S.C., C.D., L.O.M. (U.S.) (Retired), B.ésS., LL.D. (Hon.), D.Sc.Mil (Hon.), D.U. Senator LGen. the Honourable Roméo A. Dallaire (Ret’d), received the Order of Canada in 2002 in recognition of his efforts during the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda. He was appointed to the Senate on March 24, 2005.

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Senate did not stifle debate

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Published by Senator Joan Fraser on 25 July 2009

In the July 23 Canwest News Service story in the Leader-Post, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson, in reference to Bill C-15, said that, "when it got to the Senate at the beginning of June, we found it impossible to even get them to debate it." Bill C-15, a government bill, concerns drug offences. This allegation utterly distorts the truth.

Bill C-15 took more than three months to pass in the House of Commons, not an unreasonable time for a complex legislative proposal. It arrived in the Senate on June 9. A week later, the Conservative government's sponsor of the bill opened the second-reading debate with a speech on June 16. The opposition critic is the first speaker after the government sponsor of a bill, but it is normal for the opposition to take a few days to consider the government's stated position before speaking. In this case, however, the government side, without warning, tried on June 22 to have a bill sent directly to committee without waiting to hear from the opposition. This was blatantly counter to normal parliamentary practice, and the Senate voted to reject the government's manoeuvre.

The next day, on a motion put by the government leadership, the Senate rose for the summer recess. When we resume sittings in the fall, Bill C-15 will receive normal consideration. No one has suggested that the Senate not proceed with it.

Sen. Joan Fraser is the Liberal chair of the Senate legal and constitutional affairs committee.


Recent Publications

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25 Mar, 2014 | By Senator Percy Downe | I’ve spoken with many Canadians recently who’ve expressed that they want more transparency and greater accountability from their Government. They don’t want catch phrases. They don’t want promises. They want action; and given that both the Senate and the House of Commons represent the key link between Canadians and their government, it is our responsibility to keep up with these public demands.

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Ottawa Senators Become Free Agents: The New Senate

4 Feb, 2014 | By Senator Jim Cowan | On Wednesday, the Senate of Canada entered a new era. Justin Trudeau announced that the 32 sitting Liberal Senators would no longer be members of the national Liberal Caucus. His goal: to do his part to remove the excessive partisanship that has interfered with the Senate fulfilling its role of “sober second thought”. He promised Canadians that when he becomes Prime Minister, he will also end patronage appointments to the Senate, putting in place an open, transparent, and non-partisan public process for appointing and confirming senators.

The Case for an Unelected Senate

8 Dec, 2013 | By Senator Art Eggleton | Canadian Senators frequently express frustration at getting little or no attention for the work they do -- the comprehensive policy studies, and the "sober second thought" of legislation from the House of Commons. And when the spotlight does finally settle on the upper chamber, it is over the alleged misbehaviour of a few. Without doubt, such matters need full investigation, full disclosure, and appropriate corrective action for any misdeeds.
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