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Meet Senator

James Cowan

The Hon. James  Cowan, Q.C., B.A., LL.B., LL.M., LL.D. Senator James Cowan has greatly influenced the educational and legal communities of Nova Scotia. He was appointed to the Senate on March 24, 2005 by the Rt. Hon. Paul Martin.

Statements & Hansard

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

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.
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