December 10, 1981

ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

HUMAN RIGHTS

PC

Frederick John King

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fred King (Okanagan-Similkameen):

Madam Speaker, I rise to move a motion under the provisions of Standing Order 43. In view of the fact that today is the thirty-third anniversary of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and that Canada is one of the foremost supporters of that Declaration, having ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Human rights which gives legal expression to that declaration; and in view of the continuing abuses of human rights in almost all parts of the world by both left wing and right wing regimes, I move, seconded by the hon. member for Scarborough East (Mr. Gilchrist), the hon. member for Saskatoon East (Mr. Ogle) and the hon. member for Don Valley East (Mr. Smith):

That this House condemn human rights abuses and urge all states to conform to the norms set out in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and to ratify the International Covenant on Human Rights.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   HUMAN RIGHTS
Sub-subtopic:   ANNIVERSARY OF UNITED NATIONS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS-MOTION UNDER S O. 43
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LIB

Jeanne Sauvé (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Madam Speaker:

Is there unanimous consent for this motion?

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   HUMAN RIGHTS
Sub-subtopic:   ANNIVERSARY OF UNITED NATIONS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS-MOTION UNDER S O. 43
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   HUMAN RIGHTS
Sub-subtopic:   ANNIVERSARY OF UNITED NATIONS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS-MOTION UNDER S O. 43
Permalink
LIB

Jeanne Sauvé (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Madam Speaker:

Carried.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   HUMAN RIGHTS
Sub-subtopic:   ANNIVERSARY OF UNITED NATIONS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS-MOTION UNDER S O. 43
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   HUMAN RIGHTS
Sub-subtopic:   ANNIVERSARY OF UNITED NATIONS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS-MOTION UNDER S O. 43
Permalink
LIB

Jeanne Sauvé (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Madam Speaker:

I see the hon. member for Okanagan-Similkameen (Mr. King), but I must advise him that the motion is now carried and, therefore, debate cannot take place. If the hon. member had risen before, I could have allowed him to debate the matter.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   HUMAN RIGHTS
Sub-subtopic:   ANNIVERSARY OF UNITED NATIONS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS-MOTION UNDER S O. 43
Permalink
PC

Frederick John King

Progressive Conservative

Mr. King:

I had, Madam Speaker.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   HUMAN RIGHTS
Sub-subtopic:   ANNIVERSARY OF UNITED NATIONS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS-MOTION UNDER S O. 43
Permalink
LIB

Jeanne Sauvé (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Madam Speaker:

I apologize; I did not see the hon. member. Therefore, in order for the hon. member to be recognized, I must ask for the unanimous consent of the House. Is there unanimous consent?

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   HUMAN RIGHTS
Sub-subtopic:   ANNIVERSARY OF UNITED NATIONS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS-MOTION UNDER S O. 43
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   HUMAN RIGHTS
Sub-subtopic:   ANNIVERSARY OF UNITED NATIONS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS-MOTION UNDER S O. 43
Permalink
PC

Frederick John King

Progressive Conservative

Mr. King:

Madam Speaker, I would be a more imposing figure had my parents fed me better when I was a youth.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   HUMAN RIGHTS
Sub-subtopic:   ANNIVERSARY OF UNITED NATIONS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS-MOTION UNDER S O. 43
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   HUMAN RIGHTS
Sub-subtopic:   ANNIVERSARY OF UNITED NATIONS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS-MOTION UNDER S O. 43
Permalink
PC

Frederick John King

Progressive Conservative

Mr. King:

It is a signal honour which permits me to speak to this most important and timely motion.

Nothing in all of man's activities can even closely parallel in value those efforts put forth in response to human need wherever it occurs. No emotion can possibly equal the emotion involved in feeling at one with fellow men anywhere in the world who suffer individual or national abuse. No calling is of demonstratively more worth than the devotion to respect for human rights in our community, in our nation, and throughout the world.

No single occurrence should inflame our impatience, rebuke our indifference and galvanize us to action more than the oppression of man's spirit and the denial of man's freedoms. In this respect, we are our brother's keeper. Dr. Sakharov in response to Dr. Shcharansky's ordeal said:

Shcharansky represents us all.

This is never more true than when applied to all who suffer from national breaches to human rights.

There is no cause on earth more worthy of our attention as parliamentarians, more demanding of our vigilance, more precious in the sight of God and of man than that cause which pursues as its ultimate goal the enhancement of human and spiritual values and dignities. Wherever abuses occur in Canada, in Europe, in Africa, in Asia, in South America, it is man's spirit that is oppressed, the very substance of humanity which is threatened.

Favoured Canadians generally are the poorer for a lack of real appreciation for the value of human dignity. This lack of understanding results from being part of a most favoured society in a most blessed land, and this sheltering environment breeds a complacency which too easily absorbs us.

Canada has ratified the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which gives legal expression to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Canada has acceded as well to Article 41 of the Covenant which allows a state, signatory to both the Covenant and the Article, to bring to the United Nations Human Rights Committee a charge that another "state party" has violated its obligations under the Covenant. Most significantly, Canada has ratified the optional protocol to the Covenant which recognizes the right of individuals to bring such charges to the Human Rights Committee. To date, only 12 of the 61 states

December 10, 1981

which have ratified the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights have acceded to Article 41.

Dr. Andrei Sakharov has said that "without human rights there is no detente ... no peace". That is true of nations and it is true of the individual. God grant that even we in Canada will have no peace-no personal peace-so long as the human spirit is denied liberty anywhere in the world. Dr. Sakharov also said that "the price of exercising your rights may well be imprisonment". That, indeed, has been his experience. May we, to the extent possible, share in his suffering.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   HUMAN RIGHTS
Sub-subtopic:   ANNIVERSARY OF UNITED NATIONS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS-MOTION UNDER S O. 43
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   HUMAN RIGHTS
Sub-subtopic:   ANNIVERSARY OF UNITED NATIONS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS-MOTION UNDER S O. 43
Permalink
LIB

Gerald Augustine Regan (Secretary of State of Canada; Minister of Amateur Sport)

Liberal

Hon. Gerald Regan (Secretary of State):

Madam Speaker, in rising to speak in support of the motion may I say that as we mark the 33rd anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights today, I am pleased to report to this House on behalf of the government and, in particular, on behalf of my colleagues, the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. MacGuigan), and the minister responsible for the status of women, that Canada has taken yet a further step in its commitment to promote the full and practical enjoyment of human rights.

Canada has today, with the support of all provinces and territories, deposited at the United Nations its instrument of ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   HUMAN RIGHTS
Sub-subtopic:   ANNIVERSARY OF UNITED NATIONS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS-MOTION UNDER S O. 43
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   HUMAN RIGHTS
Sub-subtopic:   ANNIVERSARY OF UNITED NATIONS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS-MOTION UNDER S O. 43
Permalink
LIB

Gerald Augustine Regan (Secretary of State of Canada; Minister of Amateur Sport)

Liberal

Mr. Regan:

In ratifying the Convention, all jurisdictions in Canada have indicated their commitment to take appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the political and public life of the country, and to ensure equal rights with men in the fields of education, employment and health care, and in the areas of marriage and the family.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   HUMAN RIGHTS
Sub-subtopic:   ANNIVERSARY OF UNITED NATIONS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS-MOTION UNDER S O. 43
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   HUMAN RIGHTS
Sub-subtopic:   ANNIVERSARY OF UNITED NATIONS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS-MOTION UNDER S O. 43
Permalink
NDP

David Orlikow

New Democratic Party

Mr. David Orlikow (Winnipeg North):

Madam Speaker, I intended to move a somewhat similar motion. I am happy that hon. members of the House agree.

I want to use this occasion to congratulate the many organizations, particularly Amnesty International, for the work which they have done in acquainting the people of Canada and Members of Parliament with the violations of human rights that occur in so many parts of the world-in the east, the west, the north and the south-and for the urging they continue to give to us to do the kind of thing we are doing today.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   HUMAN RIGHTS
Sub-subtopic:   ANNIVERSARY OF UNITED NATIONS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS-MOTION UNDER S O. 43
Permalink

December 10, 1981