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David Smith

The Hon. David P. Smith, P.C., Q.C., B.A. LL.B. Appointed to the Senate by the Rt. Honourable Jean Chrétien, Senator David Smith represents Ontario, and has served in the Senate since June 25, 2002.

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Suicide Prevention Week

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Statement made on 08 February 2012 by Senator Dennis Dawson

Hon. Dennis Dawson:

Honourable senators, this week is suicide prevention week. In a previous speech on this subject, I mentioned a number of facts that I think bear repeating here.

Suicide is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Each day, more than 10 Canadians commit suicide. In the past 30 years, more than 100,000 Canadians have taken their own lives. According to the World Health Organization, at 15 per 100,000, Canada's suicide rate is one of the highest in the world. Also according to WHO, there are up to 20 attempted suicides for each death. Suicide is the second most common cause of death among people aged 10 to 24, according to the Quebec psychiatric association.

To talk about suicide is not a fun thing. It hurts us. We always find it painful, but we have to talk about it. We need to talk about it and tell everybody that suicide is not an option. We have to tell people that there are resources, and we need to help them.

Every time someone commits suicide, everyone suffers. During this suicide prevention week, let us all take a moment to reflect on what we can do as a society and, particularly, what we can do as senators to address the problem.

The House of Commons adopted a nearly unanimous motion calling for the development of a national suicide prevention strategy.

I urge you, honourable senators, to support the motion I moved last fall. I hope that Senator Carignan, who is supposed to speak on this issue, will have the opportunity to do so, and I hope that we can count on his support.

Recent Statements from Liberal Senators

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10 Apr, 2014 | By Senator Lillian Eva Dyck | Honourable senators, I would like to say a few words about this motion. I am definitely in support of it. The idea of a First Nations education act is critically important to the welfare of First Nations across Canada, and especially to our young people.

Income Inequality

10 Apr, 2014 | By Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette | What does the government intend to do to learn from the financial crisis, reduce wealth inequality, and follow the lead of other jurisdictions that have started to rein in compensation that has nothing to do with the productivity of the people who earn the average salary of a Canadian in half a day?

Broadcast of Senate Proceedings

10 Apr, 2014 | By Senator Grant Mitchelll | What is the leader's personal opinion about televising the Senate?

National Pharmacare

10 Apr, 2014 | By Senator Art Eggleton | That was supported unanimously in the Senate, so I take it, senator, that you would be willing to now advance this idea to the government.

National Pharmacare

10 Apr, 2014 | By Senator James Cowan | My question is: Will this government put National Pharmacare on the agenda?
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