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Welcome

Senator Harb at work in the Chamber .JPG

Thanks for visiting this site. I hope you will find it a useful source of information on the Senate, and in particular, on my work here on behalf of the people of Ontario and all Canadians.

 

 Mac Harb

 

 

What’s New?... 

  

Seal Hunt Bill defeated: The Senate showed great courage in debating Bill S-210, my legislation to formally end the commercial seal hunt. Unfortunately, despite the support of my colleague Senator Larry Campbell, the Bill was defeated on February 27, 2013.

I am disappointed that this legislation will not go to a Senate Committee and that we will not, therefore, have an in-depth study of the current state of the commercial seal hunt in this country. I still believe that the Senate has a role to play looking into issues that are regionally sensitive and prone to political pressures such as the dying subsidized commercial seal hunt.

Please be assured I will continue to work on behalf of the majority of Canadians who have called on the government to end the commercial seal hunt and help transition sealers into viable, productive opportunities.

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Bill could end open scrutiny of regulations: As Opposition Critic to the government’s Bill S-12, An Act to amend the Statutory Instruments Act and to make consequential amendments to the Statutory Instruments Regulations I spoke in the Senate on November 6, 2012. This is a bill that raises serious concerns about the health and well-being of the parliamentary scrutiny of regulations and the future of the legislative and regulatory process in Canada.

I explained to my colleagues that as we debate this bill, we must keep in mind the dominant constitutional role entrusted to Parliament: to make legislation, to pass law, and to oversee the regulatory process. If this bill is passed in its present form, it will further erode the power of Parliament by increasing the power of the executive at the expense of the legislator. It will also make criminals out of otherwise law-abiding citizens who would not have adequate access to the content of Canadian laws.

Bill S-12 represents a very broad grant of power to regulation makers. For those who specialize in the principle and practice of drafting regulations, this legislation is something of a blockbuster. We must give this legislation a serious review and our most careful consideration.

Let me quote from Parliament's advice on this issue to the government in a 2009 briefing to the Minister of Justice. Unanimously, the Parliament of Canada and the Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations said:  . . . ambulatory incorporation of material generated by the regulation-maker is frequently justified as being a more "flexible approach." What this really means is that it allows rules to be imposed without having to go to through the regulatory process, with its requirements for examination, registration and publication. In effect, rules that Parliament intended would be imposed by legislation will be put in place by administrative fiat.

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Oct. 23, 2012 Committee report calls for massive cull of grey seals: As a member of the Senate Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, I cannot support its latest report “The sustainable management of grey seal populations: A path toward the recovery of cod and other groundfish stocks” and have therefore voted against its conclusions and recommendations. 

I am very disappointed that the Committee has decided to ignore testimony including the Department of Fishery and Ocean’s own reports as well as research carried out by independent marine scientists – testimony which overwhelmingly concluded that a cull of grey seals cannot be scientifically justified.   The Committee has also chosen to ignore the complexities of the marine ecosystem and the very definite risks and uncertainties inherent in a large scale seal cull.

I cannot support recommendations that distinctly ignore the facts: 

  • Cod stocks are facing extinction due to overfishing by humans;
  • Cod stocks are still being commercially fished in some zones despite being endangered and no recovery targets and timelines have been established;
  • Cods stocks are in fact recovering in areas of the highest seal populations;
  • Cod stocks were depressed due to increases in forage fish populations which are now decreasing due to seal predation;
  • The latest scientific evidence concludes that large scale culling would have no net benefits for the fishery, and could, in fact, decrease the groundfish populations further;
  • Proceeding with a cull could cause Canada to be in breach of the United Nations Environmental Protocols;
  • Cull would have to be carried out in protected nature reserves (Sable Island National Park Reserve and Hay Island Nature Reserve). 

Canada has nothing to gain and much to lose should the government choose to follow the recommendations contained within the Report and proceed with an indefensible large scale cull of marine mammals.  Taxpayers will be out millions of dollars.  Science in this country will be, once again, put on the back burner as political games are played with Canada’s oceans management policies.  And the domestic and international outcry will further erode Canada’s reputation as a responsible steward of our oceans. 

I therefore call on the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to abandon any proposals for a seal cull and to work with the scientific staff at DFO to meet Canada’s national and international commitments to establish sustainable ocean management practices.

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S-210 Debate continues:  On October 16th, I delivered a speech in the Senate on the need to end the commercial seal hunt in Canada as part of the ongoing debate on my Bill S-210.  We worked hard to put forth the rational, factual arguments in favour of moving those involved in this industry into better economic opportunities.  However, the Conservative response on S-210 reveals the sorry state of leadership on this file.  Misleading claims that sealers make 35% of their annual income from the seal hunt (meaning that east coast fishers who made an average $1000 in recent hunts would be bringing home a grand total of $3,000 per year) and a continued failure to acknowledge that the market for seal products is gone and not coming back, symbolize the Conservatives’ stubborn refusal to accept and work with the facts facing the commercial sealing industry. 

The Conservatives’ continued attacks on Canadians who are opposed to the hunt, and on animal welfare groups in particular, shows how out of touch the government is and how desperately it is trying to hide its own lack of long-term management plans for the seals and the larger fishery. The government is not listening to Canadians, it is not helping sealers and it is not helping our northern and aboriginal sealers who need their support.  Canadians deserve better.

Please keep up the great work letting Senators know that you support our efforts to end the commercial seal hunt and to move those affected into profitable, viable economic opportunities.

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S-210 at Second Reading: On June 14, I moved Second Reading of Bill S-210, a bill to end commercial seal hunting and in my statement I explained to my fellow Senators why we need to debate the ending of the unviable commercial seal hunt. I called for a rational and hard look at the facts which include: the national and international opposition to the commercial hunt, the lack of markets for seal products, the scientific evidence that shows seals are not responsible for the poor recovery of the cod stocks, the importance of supporting Canada’s Inuit and First Nation’s subsistence hunters, and the need to formally end the hunt in order to provide compensation and transition services to the former sealers. The Senators unanimously agreed to continue this important debate in the fall.

Please let your Member of Parliament and Senators know you support S-210 and a legislated end to the commercial seal hunt. Thanks!

Click here to read my introductory comments at Second Reading.

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Swiss National Council ban seal product trade, May 29, 2012: We were pleased to see the Swiss National Council voted overwhelmingly to ban trade in seal products, ensuring Switzerland doesn’t end up being an alternative market given the broad EU ban of commercial seal products trade.

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Members of European Parliament Support Bill S-210 - The European Parliament’s Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals sent me a letter applauding the Senate’s unanimous decision to move S-210 to Second Reading for full and open debate. I am grateful for their support and trust that the upcoming debate will convince the Canadian government to listen to the majority of Canadians who have been calling for the end to the commercial seal hunt. To read the letter from the Intergroup, please click here. For timely updates, follow me on Twitter at @mharb20.

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May 2, 2012 – Seal Hunt Bill to be debated in Senate: I would like to thank my Senate colleagues for unanimously supporting the passage of my Bill S-210, An Act to amend the Fisheries Act (commercial seal fishing) on to Second Reading today. I am grateful to Senator Larry Campbell who seconded the motion required to move the bill on in the legislative process.

Whether you are for or against the commercial seal hunt, it has become apparent to many that the industry is hobbling along on taxpayer-funded life support. Markets have disappeared as country after country bans the trade in seal products. In 2004, there was $12.8 million worth of seal products exported. By 2010, the value was only $2.2 million and in 2011, less than $1 million. Despite a record high total allowable catch (TAC or quota), the actual number of seals killed has fallen by about 90% since 2004. Defenders of the hunt suggest that pelts are worth $32 each this season up from a low of $20 last year, but given the fact the Newfoundland government gave $3.6 million to a processor to buy this year's harp seal pelts and stockpile them, I’d say taxpayers are on the hook for that sudden jump in price. These kinds of handouts are not sustainable and I honestly don’t think a handout is what these hardworking fishermen are looking for.

With only 250 sealers reported participating in the hunt last year, this is not an industry that is able to support East Coast families and communities as it has in the past. The legislation I have introduced is a necessary step to provide direct, tangible assistance to these communities. Only by formally ending the hunt will the government be able to shift its focus and its resources away from futile World Trade Organization appeals and pointless trade missions, and on to the issues of compensation, retraining, and investment in other industries.

There is a strong and rationale economic argument to explain why the commercial seal hunt is no longer a viable industry that can stand on its own feet in this country. There may be a time and a place for memorializing the historical role the commercial seal hunt has played in Canada but we cannot let nostalgia stand in the way of the modern realities. It is my hope that the upcoming debate in the Senate of Canada will bridge the gap between two very polarized views of the commercial seal hunt and help us move forward together to a sustainable, viable future.

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May 1, 2012 -- Reintroduction of Bill to end Commercial Seal Hunt: The end of the commercial sealing industry is now inevitable. It's time to take the politics out of the debate and simply acknowledge the facts. The Conservative government is ignoring Canadian opposition to the commercial hunt and has turned a deaf ear to the international community and its global boycott of commercial seal hunt products. Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan have joined the European Union, the United States, Mexico and others who have banned trade in seal products. And despite millions in taxpayer dollars spent by the federal government, markets in China have failed to materialize. The global market for these products has been eliminated. There now appears to be unstoppable momentum towards the end of the commercial seal hunts around the world. Canada stands virtually alone in its defense of this industry.

Workers in East Coast rural communities need to hear the truth from the government. They do not need to be patronized with handouts and hollow promises that the industry might come back, some day, maybe... The Conservative government should stop wasting taxpayers’ dollars, tell the sealers the truth that the market is dead, and transition these hard-working Canadians into sustainable economic development programs.

This is why I am re-introducing legislation on May 2, 2012 to end the commercial sealing industry in Canada. Formally acknowledging the end of this industry will send a clear message to Canadians that we are working towards a viable future for the workers of this region and it will end the costly and economically damaging challenges currently before the WTO.

I encourage you to contact members of the Senate of Canada and call on them to support my bill to end the commercial seal hunt in Canada. For the latest updates, please follow me on twitter at: @mharb20. Your efforts are making a difference and I thank you for your encouragement and support.

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Time for true global cooperation - February 29, 2012: Ten years ago the launch of the World Trade Organisation’s Doha Development Round was big news around the world. Its goal was to reform the way the global trading system works, leveling the playing field for developing countries by giving them better access to developed country markets. Today the world’s poorest nations are still waiting for any substantive progress on those important promises. 

We hear of farmers in the poorest countries forced to sell their cows because they cannot compete with the low prices of the subsidized western milk that floods their markets. We read stories of boats of desperate migrants who risk their lives to get to countries where there are jobs and hope for a future. By failing to advance the Doha Round, we are failing the world’s poorest people. Global powers have pushed the development agenda off to the sidelines. The World Trade Organization must break the link between market size and political weight so that small and poor countries can have a voice in the trade negotiations.

I called on the Canadian government to play a strong, principled and proactive role to ensure that the Doha Development Round succeeds. We must ensure that poor countries and least developed countries have a voice in the trade negotiations and that, ultimately, they have the capacity to support their people. They have waited long enough.

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February 2012: While MPs prepare to pose Thursday for photographs with seal fur pins on their lapels in support of the sealing industry, Senator Harb called on the Conservative government to face the facts and move sealers into new, viable industries. To see the text of the news release, click here.

 

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December 2011:  I would like to commend the Russian Federation, Belarus and Kazakhstan for their recent decision to ban the trade in harp seal products. Given that Russia received an estimated 90% of Canadian harp seal skin exports, this decision will help to end, once and for all, any serious thoughts of maintaining what is an outdated, unpopular and economically unviable industry in Canada. These countries join more than 30 countries around the world, including the United States, the European Union, Mexico, and Croatia who have stopped trade in this product. Many more, including China and Taiwan, are considering similar bans. There now appears to be unstoppable momentum towards the end of the commercial seal hunts around the world. Canada stands virtually alone in its defense of this industry.

 

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WTO challenge threatens relations with Canada’s second largest trading partner, November 2, 2011:  I joined Rebecca Aldworth of Humane Society International/Canada, Elizabeth May, MP and Leader of the Green Party of Canada, and David Martin, Member of the European Parliament, to call on the Canadian government to withdraw its World Trade Organisation challenge against the EU ban on seal product trade.  We spoke out against the commercial seal hunt and the damage it is doing to our important international trade and political relationships. 

Canadians are increasingly frustrated at the refusal of the government to respect the right of the EU to domestically ban its trade in products of commercial seal hunts. Canada’s commercial seal slaughter produces little economic benefit, and now threatens relations with Canada’s second largest trading partner.  Of course, it is not doing much to help Canadians in Atlantic Canada either.  The doomed WTO challenge will cost Canadians more than $10 million and it does nothing to develop sustainable economic alternatives for the Atlantic communities. 

Important facts:

  • Though polling shows 86 % of Canadians support the right of the EU to ban seal product trade, the Canadian government challenged the ban at the WTO in November 2009, and requested a dispute panel in February 2011.
  • The EU is Canada’s second largest trading partner after the United States.
  • Canada has never challenged the United States ban of trade in commercial seal products which has been in effect since 1972.  
  • In June 2011, the European Parliament adopted a Resolution threatening to block ratification of the multi-billion dollar EU-Canada trade deal (CETA) if Canada fails to withdraw its WTO challenge. More than 100 MEPs have signed an open letter to the Canadian government saying the EU Parliament should not ratify CETA until Canada drops its challenge.
  • Canadian legal experts have estimated the cost of the WTO challenge to be about $10 million – more than thirteen times the landed value of the seal slaughter this year.

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The cull of 70,000 grey seals:  On October 25, 2011 the Senate Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans began a study to justify the cull of 70,000 grey seals off Canada’s East Coast based on the assumption such a slaughter will aid in the recovery of cod stocks.   I have asked the committee to broaden the scientific evidence it considers before making a recommendation that could needlessly endanger the fragile marine ecosystem at great cost to taxpayers and Canada’s international reputation. 

 

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Medical Devices Registry Act S-202:  On June 15, 2011, I re-introduced legislation to establish a National Registry for the users of Medical Devices in Canada. Although this legislation was passed at Second Reading a year ago and forwarded to the Social Affairs, Science and Technology Committee for further study, it died when the federal election was called and the parliamentary session ended.

I remain deeply committed to the creation of a voluntary registry that would ensure registered users of medical devices are notified if a device should fail. I believe that the government must ensure that Canadians are not only provided with safe and effective products but that they are kept informed should these devices or the manufacturers that produce them fail. Health Canada’s Medical Devices Regulations prescribe a system that puts the responsibility for notification of problems on manufacturers and health care professionals, a system that has failed in the past and is not optimal for the future.

A national registry would allow patients to be proactive in their monitoring of the safety of their devices. It would contain, with their consent and in keeping with Canada’s privacy laws, the names and addresses of persons who use implantable medical devices or prescribed home-use medical devices.

This registry will bridge an existing gap in the health care system. I am confident that my colleagues in the Senate will work with me to get this legislation back on track so that Health Canada is able to fulfil its mandate to protect the health and safety of all Canadians, including those who depend upon medical devices. Click here for more information.

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Government’s WTO challenge of EU ban on seal products will be costly - Ottawa, Ontario, June 8, 2011: The Conservative government’s decision to waste $10 million on a baseless challenge of the European Union’s right to ban commercial seal products is sabotaging a multi-billion dollar free trade agreement with the EU and abusing taxpayers’ money in the process.

A resolution tabled in the European Parliament this week calls on Canada to withdraw its WTO challenge prior to the EU’s ratification of a major bilateral free trade agreement. At the same time, video footage of this year’s hunt released today by the International Fund for Animal Welfare confirms the hunt has failed to meet Canadian and international standards.

The Conservatives are taking a huge risk by thumbing their noses at the EU’s legitimate ban. This latest video footage underlines that there is no basis for the Conservative government’s appeal and definitely no reason to endanger our relationship with our second largest trading partner. The commercial hunt is impossible to regulate, it is a dying industry with a bleak, unreliable future, and still the government pours taxpayers’ money down the drain to support it.

Few sealers participated in the hunt this year, with only 38,000 seals landed despite the government’s quota of 400,000. Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans figures reveal the landed value of the commercial seal hunt for 2011 at less than $750,000. The free trade agreement with the EU could result in an estimated $12 billion in GDP gains for Canada by 2014.

The Conservative government has failed to support the sealers in any meaningful way such as setting up transitional or license buy out programs.

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UNfairness at the Pumps” Act, Bill C-14, March 2011: Bill C-14 updates provisions of the Electricity and Gas Inspection Act and the Weights and Measures Act to provide greater protection for consumers. The bill will impose mandatory inspection frequencies common to many Western nations. It is supported in principle by consumer and retail groups consulted by Measurement Canada.

I am committed to consumer protection and agree that ensuring trade accuracy is a good goal. The issue of inaccurate pumps or scales deserves attention. Canadians should get what they pay for.

Although we had before us a this bill that covers a wide array of consumer sectors, from logging to dairy and from retail food to electricity, each with varying rates of compliance to accuracy standards, and although the retail gas sector has the highest compliance rates, for some reason, the short title of the bill is "Fairness at the Pumps Act."

The bill in no way protects consumers from high gas prices. It does not address the issue of competition in the retail gas sector. The increased inspections will result in increased costs, and there is a real concern that these costs will add to the cost of gas for consumers. Again, this short title also misleads Canadians who read "Fairness at the Pumps Act" and conclude that these concerns are being addressed. They are not.

In debate at Third Reading, I proposed an amendment to change the short title of the bill, in fairness to those in the retail gasoline sector and to Canadians who would have been misled by the title. Unfortunately, the Conservative members chose to stubbornly support their government’s misleading title and the bill was passed without approving the Liberal amendment.   

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National Holocaust Memorial, Feb. 2011:  I was very pleased to rise to speak to Bill C-442, an Act to Establish a National Holocaust Memorial, a bill which was passed unanimously in the House of Commons and which I believe should receive the same unanimous support in the Senate.

Once the monument is built, we will have a tangible, daily reminder of Canada's steadfast opposition to hate-filled ideologies. The monument will teach future generations about the root causes of the Holocaust and its consequences … it will help to prevent future acts of genocide. We cannot be complacent.

We have only to look to Rwanda, to Bosnia, to Darfur, or to the all too common acts of vandalism and violence that continue to arise out or hatred and intolerance to know that as Canadians, we must be vigilant and we must be proactive.

I commend our colleagues in the House of Commons for finding unanimity on this Bill. I believe that there is a singularity of purpose here that transcends partisan lines and I encourage all Senators to support this worthwhile and important legislation. To read the text of this speech, please click here.

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Sister Betty Ann Kinsella awarded the Order of Ontario, January 2011: I would like to extend my congratulations to Sister Elizabeth Ann Kinsella, founder of the Youville Centre in Ottawa.  Sister Betty Ann was recently named to the prestigious Order of Ontario.

I have had the pleasure of working alongside this remarkable woman for almost three decades.  In that time, I have witnessed her unique ability to bring together those who need assistance with those who are capable of providing it has made all the difference to her community.

As a teacher and then as a founder of a school for young mothers, Sister Betty Ann has shown the greatest dedication to shaping our future by changing the lives of young people in our community.  In 1985, Sister Betty Ann saw the need to provide single teenage mothers with a place to live, care for their children and with the resources and services to allow them to obtain their high school diplomas.  Her vision came to life when, after tireless fundraising and building bridges within our community, the Youville Centre was born.

I have had the honour of participating in many graduation ceremonies at the Youville Centre, and it is always humbling to see the promise and confidence that shines from within each student.  Sister Betty Ann’s life has been dedicated to improving the odds for these young mothers and their children.  Not only has she sent her graduates out into the world with the tools to succeed, but she has ensured that the society in which they live and work accepts their right to education, support and a bright future.

Sister Betty Ann Kinsella has used her personal strengths throughout her life to build strong kids, strong families and stronger communities.  Awarding Sister Betty Ann the Order of Ontario serves to recognize her enormous contributions to the province, but also underlines the importance of her life’s work.

Congratulations Sister Betty Ann!

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National Volunteer Emergency Response Service, Oct. 2010:  In an effort to improve Canada’s emergency response capacity, I have tabled Bill S-224, An Act to establish a national volunteer emergency response service in Canada.

A recent internal government audit revealed Canada’s public health agency is not adequately prepared to handle emergencies such as natural disasters, pandemics or terrorist attacks. I believe that a national volunteer service could add critical capacity to strained public agencies in times of crisis.

Canadians have always spontaneously risen to the occasion to help one another. It is time we put a coordinated national structure in place that ensures those stepping forward to help have the necessary training to prevent, mitigate and respond to a disaster situation.

It is important to note that a National Volunteer Emergency Response Service would not only provide valuable, trained assistance in the time of crisis, but would also promote volunteerism, enhance citizen engagement and further the development of civil society in Canada.

I would appreciate any thoughts you may have on the proposed bill. I thank you for your input and look forward to creating a national service that helps Canadians help themselves in times of crisis.  Please click [here] to access the text of this speech.

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Innovation, Technology and Markets in the Aerospace Sector: On September 27, I participated in a round table hosted by the Embassy of Italy in Canada, Carleton University and the aerospace company AleniaNorthAmerica here on Parliament Hill. A broad representation of academics, parliamentarians, and industry leaders from both Italy and Canada attended this day-long conference that served to explore and promote scientific and industrial innovation and cooperation between our two countries. When it comes to aerospace industries, Canada and Italy are ranked fifth and seventh respectively in the world. It makes sense to work together to ensure the survival and the long-term success of our national aerospace industries. For the text of my comments prepared for the round table, please click here.

 

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Pension options for Canada's doctors: On June 17, I rose to call the attention of the Senate to the fact that to retain physicians and protect our investment in the doctors we train, Canada should change federal tax laws to allow provinces to negotiate for pensions with physicians which would increase retention without necessitating increased funding and reduce federal involvement in this provincial area of jurisdiction. Please click [here] to access the text of this speech.

 

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Medical Devices Bill S-217 was passed at Second Reading on June 15, 2010 as senators voted to send this legislation to the Social Affairs, Science and Technology Committee for further study. On behalf of Canadians who depend upon medical devices in their day to day lives, I thank my colleagues for their support and look forward to the day when a registry of patients who depend upon these devices is up and running in this country.

 

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Commercial seal hunt inquiry: The 2010 commercial seal hunt came to an end on June 14th. Despite a set quota of 335,000, only 66,000 seals were killed, down from 72,000 in 2009. The government has failed the people of Canada by refusing to accept that it is time to transition those involved in the commercial hunt into viable jobs with a future. The government’s lack of leadership has also caused considerable damage to the well-being of Canada’s Inuit and other indigenous hunters, and to Canada’s international reputation. On June 15, I rose in the chamber to draw the attention of the Senate to the government’s astounding lack of leadership on this file and I wanted to take a moment to share my latest speech in the Senate with you. Please click [here] to access the text of this speech.

 

Please share this information with your friends and colleagues and send me copies of any correspondence to add to the more than 650,000 calls, emails and letters that we have received in support of efforts to end the commercial seal hunt. I will continue to work hard to bring the government to account for its lack of leadership in the hope that the 2010 hunt will go down in history as the last commercial seal hunt in this country.

 

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S-207 Commercial Seal Hunt: On March 9, 2010, I rose in the Senate Chamber to introduce Bill S-207 to end the commercial seal hunt. The Bill was formally introduced but sadly, the majority of Senators have once again decided not to allow debate. To ensure this debate does take place, I encourage you to contact all the Senators to tell them you want a debate on Bill S-207.  In the meantime, I intend to travel to the ice floes this spring and use every opportunity available to rise in the Senate to make inquiries about the commercial seal hunt. We need to take pro-active steps now towards viable alternatives to the doomed commercial seal hunt. Bill S-207 is an important move in the right direction.

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Medical Device Registry Act:  A bill tabled in the Senate on November 24, 2009 by Senator Harb will establish the National Registry of Medical Devices to be overseen by Health Canada. If a medical device fails, there is no fool-proof system to make sure the users depending on that device are notified. Since 2005, more than 37,000 new types of medical devices have received market authorization from Health Canada. A total of 2,505 faulty devices were reported to Health Canada during that same period. And the odds are some users may never learn their device is faulty because while there is a registry for devices, there is no central registry of the patients who are using those devices. A registry would allow Health Canada to take its responsibility "the last mile?, ensuring timely notification to registered users should something go wrong with the device. For the Senator's speech on Bill S-243, please click [here].

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Commercial Seal Hunt:  Senator Harb travelled to British Columbia on November 1, 2009 to meet with Canadians to discuss his proposed legislation to end the commercial seal hunt in Canada.  Senator Harb pledged to continue his efforts to get the federal government to work with those involved in the dwindling hunt to find alternative, long-lasting and meaningful employment opportunities.   For more information on the commercial seal hunt in Canada, please click on the Seal Hunt tab on the right.
 
 
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Medical Devices Registry Act:  On October 27, 2009, Senator Harb re-introduced legislation to establish a National Registry for Medical Devices to protect the millions of Canadians who depend on medical devices in their day to day lives.  The current system relies on the manufacturers of those devices to notify health care professionals or Health Canada should a device malfunction.  If a manufacturer goes out of business or a health care professional’s records are not properly kept for example, Canadians involved may not be notified about a potential health risk.  Sadly, there are many documented cases of just such an occurrence.  As well, the current website recall and warning listings maintained by Health Canada are difficult to access, even for those with advanced computer literacy.  This legislation will ensure that Canadians can voluntarily register with a national agency that will then be able to advise them in a timely manner should a problem occur. To see a copy of this legislation, click here.

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Nortel Networks, October 21, 2009:  Senator Harb called on the government to act swiftly to help the Nortel employees and pensioners who face financial hardship caused by the government’s lack of action as this Canadian R & D flagship progresses through bankruptcy protection.  For the text of the Senator’s comments in the Senate, please click here.