🇨🇦 Meet Canadian Senator Nancy Ruth

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Who inspired you to get involved in public life?

I am the fourth generation of women in my family to be involved in ecumenical social action and public policy reform.

What do you think are the biggest public policy issues facing Canada today?

We have not built a shared vision of a country that builds on all of our people and not on debt, either public or private. Violence against women is deeply embedded and costly in all kinds of ways. Governments make all kinds of human rights commitments to values and tools, such as constitutional equality rights and the implementation of gender-based analysis, and then ignores them.

hon-nancy-ruth-senate-photoWhy should more Canadians care about what happens in the Senate?

c150-logo-red-nouvnew_1469624863855_engThe Senate has always had a unique constitutional role with respect to the protection of minorities, which in my view has expanded since the patriation of the Constitution of Canada to have a unique role in ensuring governments meet the requirements of all Charter rights, including equality rights.

What legislative or committee work are you most proud of participating in to date?

Four stand out. I played a role in ensuring that the then Auditor General, Sheila Fraser, studied the federal government’s implementation of gender-based auditing, and found it dismal. The Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights’ study on “Women, Peace and Security: Canada Moves Forward to Increase Women’s Engagement” led to Canada’s implementation of a national action plan. I also introduced the first bill in the Senate on medical aid in dying (Bill C-225). I am a leader of the public campaign for a gender neutral English National Anthem (www.singallofus.ca) and I am the sponsor of Bill C-210, An Act to amend the National Anthem Act (gender) in the Senate.

Translation in French follows

Qui vous a transmis le désir et l’intérêt de participer à la vie publique ?

Je fais partie de la quatrième génération de femmes de ma famille à jouer un rôle lié à l’action sociale œcuménique et à la réforme de la politique publique.

Selon vous, quelle est la plus importante question de politique publique au Canada à l’heure actuelle ?

10444382_10152084729661890_7990077022073516117_nNous n’avons pas encore bâti une vision commune de notre pays qui se fonde sur toute notre population et non sur notre dette, publique et privée. La violence contre les femmes est encore profondément ancrée et a d’importantes répercussions économiques. Les gouvernements prennent toute sorte d’engagements pour le respect des valeurs et le développement d’outils en matière de droits de la personne, notamment le principe constitutionnel de l’égalité et la mise en œuvre de l’analyse comparative entre les sexes, puis ils ne les respectent pas.

Pourquoi un plus grand nombre de Canadiens devrait s’intéresser aux travaux du Sénat ?

Le Sénat a toujours joué un rôle constitutionnel unique en ce qui a trait à la protection des minorités. Je crois que, depuis le rapatriement de la Constitution du Canada, ce rôle a évolué et consiste maintenant à faire en sorte que les gouvernements respectent toutes les exigences de la Charte, notamment les droits à l’égalité.

À quels efforts législatifs ou travaux de comité êtes-vous le plus fier d’avoir participé ?

Quatre travaux me viennent à l’esprit. D’abord, j’ai contribué à faire en sorte que la vérificatrice générale, Sheila Fraser, examine la mise en œuvre par le c150-logo-red-nouvnew_1469624863855_enggouvernement fédéral de l’analyse comparative entre les sexes. Elle a brossé un tableau plutôt sombre de la situation (rapport déposé au printemps 2009). De plus, l’étude du Comité sénatorial permanent des droits de la personne intitulée « Les femmes, la paix et la sécurité : Le Canada agit pour renforcer la participation des femmes » a mené à la mise en œuvre d’un plan d’action national au Canada. J’ai aussi déposé au Sénat le premier projet de loi sur l’aide médicale à mourir (projet de loi C‑225). Enfin, je suis l’une des dirigeantes de la campagne publique pour un hymne national anglophone neutre (www.singallofus.ca) et je suis la marraine, au Sénat, du projet de loi C-210, Loi modifiant la Loi sur l’hymne national (genre).

What is a hidden gem in your region that more Canadians need to know about?

Use Pat Staton’s book, Toronto Women – A Walk Through History, to learn about women here; see Toronto’s diverse neighbourhoods and eat in local restaurants with terrific world food.

Can you name a guilty pleasure song / album that always makes you smile and why?

Anything from K. D. Lang.

What is the last book you read or movie you saw which you recommended to someone else and why?

The movie Play Fair, about women and sport in Canada – because we need to know what is working and what is not. The book It Was Their War Too: Canadian Women in World War I – because too often the official narrative gives token space to the contributions of women. Both are open access on the Internet.

What sports team (amateur/professional) do you support?

Live theatre and music are my national passions.

Pouvez-vous me nommer un trésor caché de votre région que les Canadiens gagneraient à découvrir ?

10444382_10152084729661890_7990077022073516117_nLe livre de Pat Staton, Toronto Women – A Walk Through History, pour découvrir les femmes d’ici, les différents quartiers de Toronto et les restaurants locaux où l’on y découvre des mets incroyables de partout dans le monde.

Pouvez-vous me nommer une chanson ou un album qui vous fait toujours sourire ?

Tout ce que fait K. D. Lang.

Quel est le dernier livre ou film que vous avez recommandé à quelqu’un et pourquoi ?

Le film « Play Fair », sur les femmes et le sport au Canada parce que nous devons savoir ce qui fonctionne et ce qui ne fonctionne pas. Il y a aussi le livre « It Was Their War Too: Canadian Women in World War I » parce que trop souvent les récits officiels laissent peu de place aux contributions des femmes. Les deux sont accessibles sur Internet.

Quelle équipe de sport (professionnelle ou amateure) appuyez-vous ?

Le théâtre et les concerts de musique sont mes passions nationales.

Pourquoi êtes‑vous fière d’être Canadienne ?

Nous sommes tellement chanceux de vivre dans un endroit pacifique, le monde est bienvenu ici et tous ensemble, nous pouvons jouer un rôle de premier plan pour apporter la paix et la justice aux autres.

Courtesy of Parliament of Canada – Posted Sept 16, 2016

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How do LGBT rights look in your country?  and Why are you proud to be Canadian?

We are blessed to live in a peaceful place, the world is welcome here and all together we can take leadership on achieving peace and justice for others.

Some big things have changed for women and lesbians in my lifetime in Canada. Others, like violence, have hardly changed. I do not see the world through LBGT eyes. I see it through the eyes of a woman. Being a lesbian is my second level of discrimination.

“L, B, G and T are different communities — communities in a big, diverse and complex world of communities. We deserve to be treated as such, not lumped together as “Other.”

Over the past 30-plus years in Canada, women and LBGT communities in Canada have made legal gains. Canada adopted a constitutional Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1985. It has offered a degree of substantive and formal equality for the disadvantaged. I look to the Charter to ensure that people achieve equality in their day-to-day lives, as Canada guarantees affirmative action in its Constitution.

In 2005, Canada became the fourth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriages. We forgot to fix our divorce legislation so that those who had married here could divorce here! We’ve fixed that now.

When I came of age in the 1950s and 60s, there were few spaces I could go to be safe as a woman and as a lesbian. That remains the case today for many women, for many lesbians. We have been formally accommodated, both in the mainstream and in gay culture, but not fully included.

Economic, social and cultural realities, like all aspects of violence, remain gendered and racialized. We spend vast amounts on the ISIS war on terror, but not on the war on terror against women and girls, the violence in the next room, street or town. Now the buzz is that because sex and gender are a matter of personal choice, across a spectrum and fluid, we have no use for sex and gender. I do not believe this. Sex is determined at birth with a DNA pattern. Gender fluidity is a matter of personal choice.

Ultimately, through these changes, I remain committed to laws, communities and spaces that address widespread and deep discrimination against women in all of their diversity.

Courtesy of CNN – By Nancy Ruth a Canadian Senator – posted  June 27, 2013.

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PRIDE AT ACADIE LOVE — CELEBRATING A CULTURE OF INCLUSION AND OPENNESS: SEN. CORMIER.


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Canada Day Challenge

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Celebrate your future!

Youth are invited to draw a picture, take a photo, or write a short story, a poem or an essay. They can decide which category works best for them, or they can also submit entries in each of the three categories. Each entry must be submitted separately.

We are looking for entries that celebrate Canada’s culture and identity, illustrate young Canadians’ vision of the future, and reflects their exploration and participation in their community.

What will you contribute to the future? What part will you play to lead the world?

Eligibility details

chuckie-contest-canadaTo submit an entry, participants must be aged 8 to 18 years old. Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada or legally allowed residents in the country at the time of the Challenge are eligible.

The Challenge is not open to an employee or member of the immediate family of an employee or persons living under the same roof as an employee of Canadian Heritage. Entries must comply with these official rules.

Application deadline

The 2017 Canada Day Challenge will start accepting entries on January 3, 2017 and will close on March 31, 2017.

What you need before you start

animated-shopping-smiley-image-0002Participants must make sure to read through the contest rules and regulations before submitting their entries, as there are specific requirements for each category.

There are the three categories: Write it! Snap it! and Draw it!

How to submit an entry

Entries in the Snap it! and Write it! categories may be submitted electronically using the smilie-buz3online entry form.
Entries in the Draw it! category have to be submitted in person or by mail to one of the Canadian Heritage Regional Offices across Canada by using the PDF entry form.
Entries in the Snap it! and Write it! categories may also be submitted in person or by mail.
Each entry must be accompanied by an entry form.

Contact us

Should you require more information, please contact the Celebrate Canada Team or email us at PCH.defi-challenge.PCH@canada.ca.

The Canada Day Challenge – Information Guide 2017

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