The Liberal Senate Forum

Connect

facebook Ideas Forum youtube flickr

Meet Senator

Lillian Dyck

The Hon. Lillian Eva Dyck, B.A. Hon, M.Sc., Ph.D. Senator Lillian Dyck was appointed to the Senate in 2005 by Prime Minister Paul Martin as representative of Saskatchewan. Before her appointment, Senator Dyck was one of Canada's leading neurochemists, whose research was instrumental in the development and patenting of new drugs to aid in the treatment of diseases such as Parkinson's, schizophrenia and Alzheimer's.

Statements & Hansard

Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Bill

More on...

Share

Feedback

Read the comments left on this page or add yours.
Statement made on 29 June 2010 by Senator Joan Fraser

Hon. Joan Fraser:

Honourable senators, the matter of matrimonial rights on First Nations reserves is surely one of the most difficult that ever comes before Parliament. It has had to come before Parliament too many times because we try and we fail to get it right.

Honourable senators, a few years ago, when Senator Andreychuk was Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights, I was a member and participated in a study of this incredibly difficult issue. The testimony we heard only confirmed the extraordinary complexity of what is at stake. Among other things, there are Aboriginal identity; Aboriginal rights in the lay sense, but also Aboriginal constitutional rights; and, also, women's rights.

Like many honourable senators, I feel strong loyalty to the notion that this chamber has a duty to uphold the rights of minorities and disadvantaged groups, including Aboriginal peoples and women. Therein lies the difficulty. It would be so easy to say that we will just do it this way and this one group will win and the other group will have to lump it. It does not work that way in a responsible Parliament. Thus, we come back to this issue again and again; and it is agonizing each time.

No one, not only in Parliament but in Canada, has a greater right to speak to these issues than Senator Lovelace Nicholas.

Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.

Senator Fraser: Senator Lovelace Nicholas spoke so movingly yesterday. It is to her that the rest of the country owes its awareness of these terrible questions for the battle that she fought when she must have been very lonely a great deal of the time many years ago. I suspect that then she could hardly have believed that she would be still fighting that battle here today.

When Senator Lovelace Nicholas, of all people, rises to speak against this bill, I suggest that this requires more than ordinary consideration from the rest of us. She knows of what she speaks. She has lived it. Although I did not participate in the committee's current study of Bill S-4, I gather that many members of the committee felt, at the very least, conflicted as they listened to the testimony from Aboriginal peoples about the impact of this proposed legislation.

It is because these matters are so important and go directly to the core of what we believe we are here to do as senators that I am surprised it should not be deemed appropriate to continue debate on this bill. I do not know what the perceived rush is. If we were to pass this bill tonight, nothing would change because this is a Senate government bill and the House of Commons is not sitting. It would simply languish all summer long.

Why should we do that? Honourable senators, at least let us recall that the Senate will continue to sit through next week and quite possibly subsequent days. There is time for more debate on Bill S-4. The one thing I know about matrimonial property rights on reserves is that we should understand what we are doing and it is not easy to understand what we are doing because these matters are so complex. I do not understand why anyone should feel compelled to rush to judgment on a bill as important as this one.

Please click here to read the full text of this debate


Recent Statements from Liberal Senators

Business of the Senate

19 Jun, 2014 | By Senator Joan Fraser | Colleagues, I'm rising to speak on behalf of my leader, the Leader of the Opposition, Senator Cowan, who had to be in Halifax tonight on public business. I must tell you that when I called him to say we were going to be adjourning for the summer tonight, he was, I could tell, quite irritated, not because he wanted us all to go on working like galley slaves but because he had already written a speech that he wanted to give tomorrow morning.

Lighthouses as Irreplaceable Symbols of Maritime Heritage—Inquiry

19 Jun, 2014 | By Senator Jim Munson | Thank you, Your Honour, and my apologies to Senator Champagne.

Unequal Access to Justice—Inquiry

19 Jun, 2014 | By Senator Joan Fraser | Colleagues, I know that Senator Jaffer was preparing to close this debate but, before she did that, I just had to say how terribly important the subject she has raised is.

The Senate—Promoting and Defending Causes that Concern the Public Interest—Inquiry

19 Jun, 2014 | By Senator Jim Munson | Honourable senators, I am looking for a bit of love and empathy at this late hour because I do have a speech, but you have to understand that, in the interest of having dignified departures for our five senators this week, I gave up my time to make sure that we were able to celebrate the departures of Senator Buth, Senator Segal, Senator Callbeck, Senator Dallaire and Senator Champagne.

Study on Status of Canada's International Security and Defence Relations

19 Jun, 2014 | By Senator Grant Mitchell | So, you thought you weren't going to hear from me? Well, I fooled you! So there! I rise in support of this report by the Defence Committee recommending that Canada become involved in ballistic missile defence with NORAD. I congratulate Senator Lang and other members of the committee for what I think was great collaborative work, completely non-partisan, very extensive and detailed with intense research.
« 1 2 3 4 5  ... » 
Recycle

You can retrieve this page at:
http://www.liberalsenate.ca/In-The-Senate/Statement/10198_Family-Homes-on-Reserves-and-Matrimonial-Interests-or-Rights-Bill.
Please recycle this document.