Debates of the Senate  
1st Session, 41st Parliament, Volume 149, Issue 181
  Wednesday, June 26, 2013
 
Bill C-304: Canadian Human Rights Act (Third Reading)
Hon. Lillian Eva Dyck: Honourable senators, I would like to say a few words about this bill. I made a longer speech at second reading. I still object to the bill and will not vote for it, but I want to put it into context with respect to vulnerable groups. The first group that comes to mind, of course, is Aboriginal people.

There was a survey done in 2010 called the Urban Aboriginal Peoples Study which indicated that three in four Aboriginal people believe that they are targets of racism. That is a very high percentage. These days, as we heard from previous speeches, a lot of that messaging will come to people through the Internet, through social media.

Coming from Saskatchewan, I am concerned and I hate to say this, but Saskatchewan is a province where the rates of racism are higher than they are in other parts of the country, such as in Ontario.

It is very important to give vulnerable groups the protection that they are entitled to under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in section 15(1). Some people have said to me, "Well, if you have that protection under the charter, why do you need clause 13 under the Canadian Human Rights Act?"

To me, that makes no sense, because section 13 is negating the right to protection. We need both to make for a strong case. Vulnerable people need the protection. As other senators have said, we know that Canada is made up of a variety of different racial groupings. In 2006, something like 16 per cent of our country was immigrants and it is higher now.

In order for people to integrate, flourish and reach their full potential, they must not be subjected to any kind of discrimination. As I said before, the Internet and social media are predominant ways of messaging these days.

In particular, it affects young people. That is how young people now communicate. They communicate through the various social media. They do not communicate by letters, reading books and that kind of thing. It is all through social media.

As we all know, within the Aboriginal population, more than 50 per cent is under the age of 25. We know that Aboriginal youth are subjected to more racism and they are more vulnerable.

I cannot see where passing this bill will do any good at all, and it will really harm Aboriginal youth. We already know that the rates of suicide are high. We have already seen where the use of social media for cyberbullying has taken lives. I definitely will vote not to pass this bill.