Irwin COTLER

COTLER, The Hon. Irwin, P.C., O.C., B.A., B.C.L., LL.M., LL.D., Ph.D.

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Mount Royal (Quebec)
Birth Date
May 8, 1940
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irwin_Cotler
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=0d8486f0-be42-41d4-ac82-c51a7f9c0fa9&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
lawyer, professor of law

Parliamentary Career

November 15, 1999 - October 22, 2000
LIB
  Mount Royal (Quebec)
November 27, 2000 - May 23, 2004
LIB
  Mount Royal (Quebec)
  • Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada (December 12, 2003 - February 5, 2006)
June 28, 2004 - November 29, 2005
LIB
  Mount Royal (Quebec)
  • Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada (December 12, 2003 - February 5, 2006)
January 23, 2006 - September 7, 2008
LIB
  Mount Royal (Quebec)
  • Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada (December 12, 2003 - February 5, 2006)
October 14, 2008 - March 26, 2011
LIB
  Mount Royal (Quebec)
May 2, 2011 - August 2, 2015
LIB
  Mount Royal (Quebec)
May 2, 2011 -
LIB
  Mount Royal (Quebec)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 243)


June 19, 2015

Hon. Irwin Cotler (Mount Royal, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, Iran tragically executes more people per capita than any other country in the world. Moreover, Iran is engaged in a horrific execution binge that has resulted in 120 executions in May alone, while this month has seen an unparalleled wave of executions, with one execution every two hours.

All this is occurring while Iran is otherwise engaged in massive domestic repression, including the criminalization of dissent, the persecution and prosecution of ethnic and religious minorities, violations of women's rights, and the imprisoning of over 1,000 political prisoners.

Regrettably, the nuclear negotiations have not only overshadowed but sanitized this massive domestic repression, as witnessed by the deafening international silence surrounding it. The fact that a country is massively violating the rights of its own people, and lying about it, raises serious questions about the validity and veracity of its nuclear undertakings.

As negotiators seek a legal framework for the nuclear issue, the Iranian regime is in standing violation of its human rights obligations under international law.

It is time to sound the alarm and to hold the regime to account on both the nuclear and human rights concerns, to the benefit of both the international community and the Iranian people themselves.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Iran
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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.

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)

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Commissioner for Children and Young Persons in Canada Act
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June 19, 2015

Hon. Irwin Cotler

Mr. Speaker, this Parliament has admirably adopted a number of religious and cultural heritage months. Therefore, there have been consultations among the parties and I trust that there will be consent for the following motion: That the House recognize the month of November as Jewish heritage month in recognition of the important contributions of Jewish Canadians to the settlement, development and growth of Canada; the cultural diversity of the Canadian Jewish community; the present significance of the Canadian Jewish community to this country; and the importance of creating opportunities for Canadians to learn more about each other in order to foster greater awareness, cohesion and mutual respect.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Qausuittuq National Park of Canada Act
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June 18, 2015

Hon. Irwin Cotler (Mount Royal, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to present three separate petitions today.

The first is a petition on behalf of Canadians who are calling on the Government of Canada and members of Parliament to take note of the human rights violations perpetrated in Venezuela by the government of President Nicolás Maduro, including the criminalization of dissent, the shuttering of independent media and the imprisonment of opposition leaders.

The petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to further study the human rights situation in Venezuela, including a mission to conduct first-hand evaluations of the situation there.

This is a particularly timely petition as opposition leader Leopoldo López and former San Cristobal mayor Daniel Ceballos have embarked upon a hunger strike to protest their imprisonment and that of other opponents of the regime.

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is on behalf of Canadians who wish the government to apologize to Dr. David Shugar for the human and civil rights violations he suffered, including serious damage to his reputation and loss of employment as a result of false accusations that he was a Communist spy in 1946.

The petitioners call on the government to submit a letter of apology to Dr. Shugar who, as a result of these civil rights abuses, and despite being exonerated of all the accusations against him, was summarily dismissed from his position with the federal Department of National Health and Welfare, unable to secure employment and forced to emigrate to Poland where he resides today. He is close to 100 years of age.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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June 18, 2015

Hon. Irwin Cotler (Mount Royal, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the third petition is signed by Canadians who are concerned about the situation of Seyamak Naderi, an Iranian citizen and former political prisoner and resident of camps Ashraf and Liberty, currently living as a refugee claimant in Albania and who is in urgent need of medical care.

The petitioners are concerned about the grave dangers he would suffer if returned to his native Iran. His sister Saeideh, the only member of his family who can provide the needed ongoing care that he requires, is a Canadian citizen seeking his reunification with her here in Canada.

The petitioners call upon the Government of Canada and the House of Commons to do everything in their power to expedite the recognition of Seyamak Naderi as a refugee and reunite him with his sister here in Canada as soon as possible.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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