Hon. Carolyn Bennett
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The Honourable, Dr. Carolyn Bennett, MD, MP, was first elected to the House of Commons in 1997 representing the Toronto riding of St. Paul’s. She is currently the Liberal Critic for Aboriginal Affairs & Northern Development, and Chair of the National Liberal Women's Caucus. From 2003 to 2006, she was Canada's first Minister of State (Public Health). Prior to her election, Dr. Bennett was a family physician, President of the Medical Staff Association of Women's College Hospital and Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto.

Entries by Hon. Carolyn Bennett

Ending Discrimination Against Indigenous Children Requires More Than Money

(11) Comments | Posted March 3, 2017 | 9:27 AM

As Elder Clarence Wolfleg sat and dedicated the teepee recently at Mount Royal University in Calgary, he said to all of us, "We have to bring our children home, so that they no longer need to be afraid."

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was dedicated to the "Child that was...

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Reconciliation Will Not Be Realized Until We Live Up to Past Promises

(15) Comments | Posted June 12, 2015 | 6:42 PM

Seven years ago today, the Prime Minister stood in the House of Commons and delivered a poignant apology to the survivors of residential schools. Last week the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) released its 94 recommendations. We now have a renewed path forward for Canada's unfinished...

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Harper's "Action Plan" for Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women and Girls: No New Action

(82) Comments | Posted September 18, 2014 | 2:20 PM

The "Action Plan" tabled in the House of Commons this week does nothing new to actually "Stop the Violence" against indigenous women and girls. Unfortunately the Prime Minister sees the overwhelmingly disproportionate number of indigenous women and girls facing violence, who go missing or who are murdered, as nothing more...

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Harper Lacks Compassion and Leadership When it Comes to the Safety of Indigenous Women

(77) Comments | Posted August 24, 2014 | 11:45 AM

Prime Minister Harper's dismissal of the growing over-representation of Indigenous women and girls as victims of violence, homicide and persons who go missing as isolated crimes to be investigated by police illustrates just how out of touch he is. Moreover, the callous tone of his remarks yesterday, and failure to...

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A National Inquiry For Aboriginal Women Should Not Be a Partisan Issue

(5) Comments | Posted May 22, 2014 | 10:15 AM

It is not surprising that the Prime Minister's former lawyer Benjamin Perrin wrote an article supporting Mr. Harper's stubborn refusal to call a national public inquiry into the ongoing tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

However, his position is in stark contrast to the overwhelming...

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The UN Confirms It: Canada's Relationship With First Nations Is Broken

(45) Comments | Posted May 16, 2014 | 1:28 PM

Monday, James Anaya, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, issued his highly anticipated report on "The situation of indigenous peoples in Canada." Professor Anaya has reported a broken relationship between the federal government and Indigenous peoples, which is mired in distrust. He highlighted a...

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An Open Nomination Doesn't Mean Liberals Reward Bad Behaviour

(24) Comments | Posted March 20, 2014 | 6:17 PM

There seems to be some confusion as to the difference between open nominations and the commitment in the Liberal Party for open and fair nominations.

As Justin clarified in Kingston this week: "It [open nominations] doesn't mean that anyone can behave in any particular way they like and...

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Indigenous Women: Harper Is on the Wrong Side of History

(13) Comments | Posted March 13, 2014 | 1:30 PM

Indigenous women in Canada experience rates of violence more than three times that of non-Indigenous women and young Indigenous women are five times more likely to die of violence. Moreover, recent research shows that more than 800 Indigenous women and girls have disappeared or been murdered in Canada...

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Dear Harper, It's Time to Reset Your Relationship With Aboriginals

(9) Comments | Posted December 14, 2013 | 1:17 AM

Below is a joint letter my colleague, the Hon. Geoff Regan, and I sent to the Prime Minister regarding our concerns about the current relationship between the Crown and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada.

December 13, 2013

Dear Prime Minister,

We are writing to...

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Written Proof Harper Doesn't Care About Aboriginal Education

(137) Comments | Posted November 27, 2013 | 12:24 PM

Last week's sensational release of documents from the RCMP's Information to Obtain (ITO) production order in the ongoing Senate scandal created a political firestorm. This is not surprising, given it is now abundantly clear that the RCMP believes individuals in the...

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'See You In Court': An Expensive, Time-Consuming Wrong-Headed Strategy

(24) Comments | Posted November 14, 2013 | 12:42 PM

Last year the Conservative government spent more fighting Indigenous people in the courts than it spent going after tax frauds. The latest Public Accounts show that the $106 million that the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development spent on litigation last year was more than any other...

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Improving First Nations Education Outcomes Must Be First Nations Led

(30) Comments | Posted October 11, 2013 | 11:57 AM

With the start of the new Parliamentary session next week, a key part of the government's agenda is expected to be sweeping legislation dealing with First Nations' education.

Unfortunately, the Conservatives are pursuing the same flawed approach on this critical issue as last session's bills on First Nations' water, matrimonial...

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Canadians, You Should Be Outraged

(96) Comments | Posted July 22, 2013 | 6:26 PM

The contents of recent reports alleging that Aboriginal children were intentionally malnourished and used as guinea pigs by the federal government in the 1940's and 1950's requires immediate and decisive action. The reports, which were based on research done by University of Guelph historian Ian Mosby, recount these children being...

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How Government Should Treat Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women

(4) Comments | Posted March 26, 2013 | 6:21 PM

Tuesday night the Special Committee On Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls will meet for the first time. This special committee, created by the Liberal motion unanimously passed on February 19, will have the mandate to conduct hearings on the critical matter of missing and murdered Indigenous women and...

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Talking Points No More: Harper's Duty to First Nations Is Far From Done

(23) Comments | Posted January 16, 2013 | 8:01 AM

At the end of Friday's meeting between Prime Minister Stephen Harper and First Nations leaders, it was astounding to hear the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs John Duncan tell the people of Canada that the Conservative Government has fulfilled its constitutional "Duty to Consult" First Nations on the legislation affecting them.

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Why Aboriginal Frustration Is Boiling Over

(58) Comments | Posted December 13, 2012 | 12:52 PM

The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) hosted a Special Chiefs Assembly in Ottawa last week to develop a plan to deal with the Conservative government's increasingly confrontational approach toward First Nations. Speaking to the Assembly, National Chief Shawn Atleo referred to the deterioration in the relationship with Ottawa noting, "We've...

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Aboriginal People Need Solutions, Not More Jail Time

(46) Comments | Posted September 28, 2012 | 4:06 PM

"The current state of over-representation of Aboriginal women in federal corrections is nothing short of a crisis." This rebuke is not from a politician or civil society group, but directly from a report commissioned by the Department of Public Safety itself. The unusually forceful language in this recent government report...

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Once Again, Harper Gives Northern Issues the Cold Shoulder

(12) Comments | Posted August 24, 2012 | 6:07 PM

The Prime Minister's annual trip to Canada's North is always tough for me because it never deals with the real problems facing the North. Watching the television coverage, I find it difficult to understand why the Prime Minister has a chuckling smile on his face amid the serious challenges facing...

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Attawapiskat didn't Mismanage Funds, Harper -- You Did

(101) Comments | Posted August 2, 2012 | 8:28 AM

The government was wrong in its response to the crisis in Attawapiskat and its ongoing attempt to divide Canadians with misleading information is shameful. Federal court ruled
this morning the that the Conservative government's response to the crisis in Attawapiskat was unreasonable and failed to look...

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Please, Mr. Harper, May I Have More?

(13) Comments | Posted June 1, 2012 | 8:45 AM

The Conservative government is turning its back on an estimated 800,000 Canadian households that struggle to put nutritious food on the table. Instead, they are attacking those who raise legitimate concerns about food insecurity. Although this "shoot the messenger" approach seems to be the Conservative's standard response to every issue,...

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