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Role in Protecting Minorities—Inquiry—Debate Continued


On the Order:

Resuming debate on the inquiry of the Honourable Senator Nolin calling the attention of the Senate to its role in protecting minorities.

Hon. Serge Joyal: Honourable senators, Senator Nolin has introduced an important inquiry in relation to the role of the Senate in protecting minority rights or minorities generally. I would like to address that issue on three grounds: First, I would compare the role of the Senate of Canada and its structure to other upper chambers in the world. I would like to pay particular attention to how the American Senate functions and addresses the issue of minorities, if it does so, of course; how the House of Lords in the mother of Westminster-style Parliaments addresses the issue of minorities; and how the Canadian Senate does that.

Second, I want to propose for reflection following the initiative of Senator Nolin how the Canadian Senate was structured by the Fathers of Confederation to address the issue of protecting minority rights.

Third, I would like to pay attention to the Supreme Court of Canada ruling in April 2014 and the comments and conclusion drawn in respect of the protection of minorities.

Those will be the three parts of the address I would like to propose to you. Considering the late hour, I would reserve the remainder of my time.

(On motion of Senator Joyal, debate adjourned.)