French-Language Learning Opportunities in British Columbia

On October 18, 2016, in British Columbia, Canada, Canadian Heritage, Official Languages, by senjaffer

Earlier this month, the Senate Committee on Official Languages met with government officials, schools staff and young students to learn more about the opportunities to learn French as a minority language in British Columbia. For many years, Senators heard Canadians raised concerns about the limited access to French services and immersion programs. The Senate Committee […]

One Family Torn Apart is one too many: World Refugee Day 2014

50 million people worldwide are either refugees or internally displaced, this is an overwhelming number. All refugees have lost their country, but each of us has a different story. Some of us are extremely lucky and have found a new home here in Canada, however many are still suffering. This past Friday June 20th, I attended […]

There is no “Delicate” Way to Part a Farmer from his Land

At 86 years old, the only constant in Franks life has been his farm. Gifted to his family by King George III in 1798, after the American Civil War, the deed says that John Meyers (Frank’s sixth grandfather) would have the land “forever.” Now the government is going to take his farm and replace it […]

International Mother Language Day

International Mother Language Day was established by the UN in 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. In Canada there are over 200 languages spoken, many spoken coast to coast to coast. The multitude of Aboriginal languages, as well as our two official languages of English and French, holds a special place in […]

Laurier LaPierre

Today’s blog post is to pay tribute to former Senator Laurier LaPierre, who died in December at the age of 83. Senator LaPierre came to national prominence on the CBC program, “This Hour has Seven Days,” a weekly news and currents affairs program that aired on CBC from 1964 to 1966. It’s well-known that Senator […]

Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

On September 18, 2012, in Human Rights, Paralympic Games, Persons with Disabilities, by Senator Jaffer

An international law is only as effective as the strength of its signatories’ resolve. Almost all international law operates successfully on this principle: good faith. When it comes to international law that guarantees human rights, however, citizens must continue to advocate for one another to ensure that states meet the obligations to which they commit. […]

Coverage of the Paralympic Games

On September 13, 2012, in Canadian Heritage, Human Rights, Paralympic Games, Persons with Disabilities, by Senator Jaffer

During the London 2012 Paralympic Games, between August 29 and September 9, Canadian newspapers published 22 front-page stories about the Paralympics. CBC’s The National, CTV News and Canada AM, and SRC Télévision’s Le Téléjournal and Le Point broadcasted 35 stories on the Paralympics during the same period. Contrast those numbers with the same statistics during […]

Canadian Wheelchair Basketball: Teamwork Knows No Bounds

On September 4, 2012, in Canadian Heritage, Human Rights, Paralympic Games, Persons with Disabilities, by Senator Jaffer

Last month I wrote about measuring excellence, ‘the glory of achievement,’ and our collective fixation on medal standings: “Excellence may be immeasurable, but we know it when we see it.” Case in point: the Canadian men and women’s wheelchair basketball teams. What stands out about the Canadian men and women’s wheelchair basketball teams isn’t their […]

Canada’s Great Start at the Paralympic Games

On August 30, 2012, in Canadian Heritage, Human Rights, Paralympic Games, Persons with Disabilities, by Senator Jaffer

The London 2012 Paralympic Games officially opened yesterday evening in a brilliant ceremony that the Daily Telegraph called, “a stirring journey to enlightenment … featuring everything from athletes ‘flying’ on golden wheelchairs to amputees performing gravity-defying acrobatics.” Wrote the same newspaper’s Anita Singh: “this was a celebration of what it is to be human—of reaching […]

Introducing Canada’s Paralympic Team

On August 14, 2012, in Canadian Heritage, Human Rights, Paralympic Games, Persons with Disabilities, by Senator Jaffer

Earlier today the Canadian Paralympic Committee announced Team Canada for the London 2012 Paralympic Games. I am so excited to cheer for Canada’s Paralympians, lead by Chef de Mission Gaétan Tardif and Assistant Chef de Mission Elisabeth Walker-Young, as they compete and represent the best of our country in London. Only fifteen days until the […]