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 4 of 243)


May 29, 2015

Hon. Irwin Cotler (Mount Royal, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the Burundian diaspora in Canada, members of which are in the gallery today, is alarmed by the political and humanitarian crisis in Burundi.

Ever since President Nkurunziza declared his intention to run for a third term, with no regard for the Constitution, the country has been rocked by demonstrations and a violent campaign of repression perpetrated by the police and armed militia.

Opposition members, human rights advocates and journalists have been targeted, and the leader of an opposition party was assassinated on Saturday.

In Burundi, there are currently more than 100,000 refugees, as well as hundreds injured and dozens dead. A number of countries and international organizations have already cut off their financial aid to the Burundian government and are calling for the election to be postponed.

Canada must fast-track family reunification and immigration applications, stop deportations to Burundi, and join in the efforts of the international community to ensure that human rights are being respected in Burundi.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Burundi
Full View Permalink

May 26, 2015

Hon. Irwin Cotler (Mount Royal, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, 10 years ago Parliament and Canada at large were in the midst of an intense yet generally dignified and democratic discussion about the recognition of same-sex marriage. Appellate courts began upholding the constitutionality of same-sex marriage, and as the minister of justice in 2004, I referred the matter to the Supreme Court. The court heard from some 27 intervenors before unanimously affirming that same-sex marriage was consistent with the Constitution, and I was proud to draft and introduce the Civil Marriage Act in February 2005.

It took effect 10 years ago this summer, enshrining two fundamental charter rights: the equality rights of same-sex couples and the fundamental principle of freedom of religion.

At the time, Canada was only the fourth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage, and the first outside of Europe. Today, with the recent addition of Ireland, same-sex marriage is recognized in some 20 countries, with more to come.

This year, as we mark the 10th anniversary of the Civil Marriage Act as well as the 30th anniversary of the charter's equality rights provisions, we can be proud of Canadian leadership in matters of equality, freedom, justice, and human rights.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Same-Sex Marriage
Full View Permalink

May 8, 2015

Hon. Irwin Cotler (Mount Royal, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, people gathered in Quebec City and Montreal to mark the sad anniversary of Raif Badawi's sentence to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes. Every time we ask the government to demand Raif's immediate release, the government talks about clemency. However, clemency does not mean his immediate release or reunification with his family in Quebec. In this case, clemency is not justice.

When will the government demand the immediate and unconditional release and exoneration of Raif and his lawyer, Waleed Abu al-Khair.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
Full View Permalink

May 8, 2015

Hon. Irwin Cotler (Mount Royal, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, today is the 70th anniversary of VE Day, a special and poignant moment of remembrance and reminder, of celebration and tribute, which we marked in a ceremony of remembrance at the cenotaph in my riding in Côte Saint-Luc. We remembered those who made the ultimate sacrifice so that we may live in freedom and peace.

We were reminded of the values that they sought to protect and preserve, and that underpin our freedom and democracy today. I recalled the words of my father on my fifth birthday that VE Day. As he put it, the VE Day marked the end of two wars: the Nazi war against the allies and the Nazi war against the Jews.

We celebrated Canada's role in the liberation of the Netherlands in the presence of the Dutch Consul General, and we paid tribute to the veterans among us.

My riding is privileged to have one of the largest percentage of veterans in the country, and when they returned from the horrors of the war, they rebuilt their lives as they rebuilt our communities. Indeed, my riding, like so many across Canada, is full of facilities and institutions built by veterans.

Thanks to them, we can look to the future with hope. May the values that inspired them inspire us all.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Victory in Europe Day
Full View Permalink

May 8, 2015

Hon. Irwin Cotler (Mount Royal, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to commend my colleague from Etobicoke North for her very carefully researched and evidence-based policy submission.

I want to ask the member, as someone who has also been engaged in protecting against violence against women in armed conflict and internationally, whether she believes that a national plan of action with regard to protecting against violence against women should include reference to protection against international violence against women.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
Full View Permalink