Statement made on 12 March 2009 by Senator Lillian Eva Dyck
Hon. Lillian Eva Dyck:
Honourable senators, I listened very carefully to all the speeches in the chamber, and I want to address Senator Murray's motion.
Up until this morning, I was convinced that was the way to go. I think every one of us sitting in the chamber has wrestled with this budget bill within ourselves, trying to decide the right thing to do. That is why we were appointed to this chamber. There are things in this bill that we accept and there are things that we do not. The Prime Minister has very cleverly put us in this lose-lose situation. No matter what we do on this side, it will be seen as the wrong thing to do.
I originally thought we had to stand up because it was an empty threat, but I no longer think that is true. The Prime Minister is blaming us for what he has put in this bill. He will say it is the Senate's fault that pay equity will suffer. It is not our fault. If we vote against Bill C-10, as Honourable Senator Carstairs just said, we lose; if we vote for it, we lose. It is a terrible situation.
This bill is not bullying the Senate so much as it is disrespecting the citizens of this country — the voters of this country. The government is trying to remove, I believe, fundamental rights from women. Rather than come right out and do it in an open fashion, the Prime Minister snuck it into this bill and he will blame us no matter what we do.
Somehow we have to tell the voters that this is the case; it is all a big trick; it is a masterful strategy and we keep falling for it. We have to keep telling people that this is a trick and he is using us, the Senate, as a big part of that trick. However, what he is really after are Canadians' fundamental rights as human beings, as citizens of this country.
Therefore, I support the Liberal leadership in this bill and will not support Senator Murray's motion in amendment.