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Iran Negotiations

Hon. Linda Frum: Leader, yesterday you stated that the Government of Canada is not engaging in any discussions regarding diplomatic re-engagement with the Iranian regime until Maryam Mombeini  is allowed to return to her home in Canada. That is admirable, as far as it goes, but for nearly 10 years, Canadian permanent resident Saeed Malekpour  has been held captive on trumped-up charges in Iran’s Evin prison . Will your government extend the same assurances to the family of Saeed Malekpour and ce…
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Jaswal Atwal

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Trudeau confirmed that he believes the Government of India was involved in a conspiracy to invite a convicted attempted assassin to dinner in order to embarrass the Canadian Government. If this is true, it seems odd that the Member of Parliament for Surray Centre, Randeep Sarai, claimed full responsibility for the invitation to Jaswal Atwal.  Anyone who subscribes to this conspiracy theory would have to accept that Mr. Sarai was in on the scheme and acting on b…
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Bombardier Sale of Aircraft to Iran

Hon. Linda Frum: Leader, last year the Liberal government chose to provide Bombardier with bailout funding to the tune of nearly $400 million. In January, the Canadian Press reported that Bombardier is in the process of completing its first commercial aircraft sale to an aviation company in Iran. This sale would include significant financing provided by Bombardier. If this media report is true, does this mean that Canadian taxpayer money assisted with the financing of the sale of aircraft to an…
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Diplomatic Relations with Iran

Hon. Linda Frum: Leader, yesterday Iran’s foreign minister issued a press release indicating that Iran and Canada will be holding expert-level meetings to discuss re-establishing diplomatic ties between our two countries. Canadian officials, however, have not made any statements about these meetings. Leader, surely you would agree that Canadians shouldn’t have to go to Iranian news sources to learn about the activities of our Department of Global Affairs. Can you confirm that these meetings are…
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Iranian Human Rights

Hon. Linda Frum: Honourable senators, in an article published by The Hill Times yesterday, we learned that government officials recently returned from Tehran having concluded a second set of talks with Iran this year. This government has made it clear that it has no qualms about engaging with a regime that is responsible for murdering its political opponents and those accused of drug offences, same-sex relations, apostasy and blasphemy. Journalism bloggers in Iran are jailed and tortured for exe…
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National Holocaust Monument

Hon. Linda Frum: Leader, the National Holocaust Monument is an impressive memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. This monument was made possible due to the significant financial contributions of the Harper government and private donors. It stands prominently in our National Capital Region as a powerful reminder of the atrocities of the Holocaust and the capacity for evil on this earth against which we must always be vigilant. For this reason, I am disappointed to learn that the National Capi…
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Foreign Funding in Canadian Elections

Hon. Linda Frum: My question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Leader, today the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee released a report that highlights the significant gaps in the Canada Elections Act that enable foreign entities to influence Canadian elections. Both the Commissioner of Canada Elections and the Chief Electoral Officer acknowledge that under the current electoral financing regime, third parties can receive unlimited foreign funds, provided they accept the …
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Government Action on Foreign Financing

Hon. Linda Frum: My question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. The Commissioner of Elections Canada, Yves Côté, recently appeared before the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs. Mr. Côté confirmed that it is legal for a Canadian-registered third party to receive unlimited sums of money from a foreign contributor to use during an election. Furthermore, if the funds are received at least six months plus one day before the writ drops, there is no requireme…
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Appointment of Chief Electoral Officer

Hon. Linda Frum: Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. In June of last year, nine months ago, former Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand announced he would step down from his position at the end of 2016. Despite ample advance notice provided by Mr. Mayrand, the government has yet to find a full-time replacement and is choosing instead to rely on the Deputy Chief Electoral Officer. This coming Monday, there will be five federal by-elections held in…
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Legalization of Marijuana (Minister of Health)

Hon. Linda Frum: Minister, today in response to Senator Carignan, you reaffirmed your government's promise to introduce legislation that will legalize marijuana this spring. Did I hear that correctly? We are 21 days from spring, and the question that comes to mind is that we know that marijuana legalization will directly violate international treaties that Canada is party to, which include the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and the 1988 United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic…
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