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Irwin Cotler, MP

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Cotler Introduces Bill C-701: the Commissioner for Children and Young Persons in Canada Act

Posted on June 19, 2015

Hon. Irwin Cotler (Mount Royal, Lib.)

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-701, An Act to establish the Office of the Commissioner for Children and Young Persons in Canada.

He said: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce this bill to establish the office of the commissioner for children and young persons. This legislation is inspired by a bill previously introduced by the member for Westmount—Ville-Marie. I thank him for the excellent work he has done to promote the well-being of children and youth in Canada and around the world.

Indeed, the true measure of a nation’s standing is how well it cares for its children. Especially after the recent report by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission into the experiences of the survivors of Indian residential schools, we understand now more than ever the dire consequences of failing children.

Accordingly, a children’s commissioner would advocate for children and examine law and policy with a view to ensuring children’s rights and welfare, including their health, their education and simply their sense of being loved.

The legislation is inspired as well by my daughter, who when she was a child herself told me, “Daddy, if you want to know what the real test of human rights is, always ask yourself, at any time, in any situation, in any part of the world: Is what is happening good for children? That’s the real test of human rights.”

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

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