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Meet Senator

Percy Downe

The Hon. Percy E. Downe, B.A. Senator Percy E. Downe was appointed to the Senate of Canada by the Right Honourable Jean Chrétien. He has served in the Senate representing Charlottetown in the province of Prince Edward Island since June 26, 2003.

Statements & Hansard

Employment Insurance Benefits for Sadie and Maurice Ricketts

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Statement made on 29 April 2009 by Senator Jane Cordy

Hon. Jane Cordy:

Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Trooper Kyle Ricketts, a Canadian soldier from Newfoundland and Labrador, was critically injured by a roadside bomb on March 8 in Afghanistan. He has gone through a dozen or more reconstructive surgeries. Of course, his parents wanted to be with their son, as any parent would, while he went through the operations.

Mr. and Ms. Ricketts are seasonal workers and they were told that if they came to Ottawa to be with their son, they would be stripped of all their Employment Insurance benefits. Only one of the parents would be entitled compassionate leave, while the other would lose his or her benefits.

Minister Finley personally intervened. She assured the family that indeed, this would not happen and that they would both be able to be with their son and continue to receive benefits. Minister Finley's commitment was the following:

. . . the Ricketts' case has been resolved and they would get their benefits.

Then she added:

. . . it is obvious that Canadian soldiers and their loved ones deserve the best possible care and support when they need it, and this situation is no exception.

The military did fly Sadie and Maurice Ricketts to Ottawa to be with their son. Can the leader update us on what has happened since Minister Finley made her commitment to the Ricketts family?

Please click here to read the full text of the Senator's question

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?

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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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