House of Commons photo

Track Irwin

Your Say


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is justice.

Liberal MP for Mount Royal (Québec)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 41.40% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Holocaust Remembrance Day May 15th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, national Holocaust Remembrance Day reminds us, as the survivors know only too well, of horrors too terrible to be believed but not too terrible to have happened, of the Holocaust as a war against the Jews in which not all victims were Jews, but all Jews everywhere were targeted victims.

It is symbolized by the marking this year of the 70th anniversary of the mass deportation of 430,000 Hungarian Jews to the death camps in Auschwitz in 10 weeks, representing the fastest and most brutally efficient extermination of the Shoah.

I commemorated the rescue of the remnant of Hungarian Jews by Raoul Wallenberg in the March of the Living in Auschwitz-Birkenau. Wallenberg, the disappeared hero of the Holocaust, demonstrated that one person can confront evil, can resist, can prevail, and can thereby transform history.

Holocaust survivors with us today, including those rescued by Wallenberg, are the true heroes of humanity. With them we pledge to never again be silent or indifferent in the face of evil, never again to acquiesce in racism and anti-Semitism, and always to speak and to act on behalf of our common humanity.

Never again. Jamais plus.

Iran May 13th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, we are in the midst of the third annual Iran Accountability Week, which occurs as nuclear negotiations with Iran risk overshadowing, if not sanitizing, the regime's massive domestic repression.

It also coincides with the sixth anniversary of the imprisonment of Iran's Baha'i leadership, an execution binge that has seen 650 executions since Rouhani took office last August, and the continuing unjust imprisonment of more than 900 prisoners of conscience.

Today parliamentarians heard from FDD experts Mark Dubowitz and Ali Alfoneh on the importance of sanctioning human rights violators and terrorists and from former Iranian political prisoners Marina Nemat and Suzanne Tamas of the Baha'i on the importance of standing in solidarity with political prisoners.

The centrepiece of this week is the Global Iranian Political Prisoner Advocacy Project, which pairs parliamentarians with an adopted political prisoner on whose behalf they advocate. I am advocating on behalf of the seven imprisoned Baha'i leaders.

Two of the prisoners whose cases we took up last year, Nasrin Sotoudeh and Hamid Ghassemi-Shall, have since been released.

Inspired by their courage and by the courage of those who remain in prison, we will continue to sound the alarm until the Iranian people—

Kidnapping of Girls in Nigeria May 12th, 2014

Yes, Mr. Speaker, I believe we do need a focal point. I would like to recommend that it be an all-party focal point. We do not have differences on this issue. It is not a partisan matter. I would also like to recommend that within that framework that we establish, as the United States has done, an atrocities prevention board that can be an inter-agency framework in that regard, and that we make the question the prevention of mass atrocities. I want to thank my colleague for introducing the motion. We just had a national day of commemoration with respect to remembrance and action in the matter of mass atrocities. We can do no worse and we can do all that needs to be done to begin with if we establish that focal point and if we establish in conjunction with it a mass atrocities prevention board and if we make R2P in all its configurations a priority in our foreign policy.

Kidnapping of Girls in Nigeria May 12th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I would like to express my appreciation to my colleague and others from other parties who have expressed their condolences regarding my niece. I never spoke about this in the close to 15 years I have been here. It was the events in Nigeria that somehow brought back the recall this evening.

To the question from my colleague, I believe that we need to engage in this at the Standing Committee on the Status of Women. We are engaged in this somewhat at the Foreign Affairs subcommittee. I happened to attend the United Nations when the Conservative government was dealing, among other things, with the issue of forced marriage and there was an important debate in that regard that was actually chaired by Canada at the United Nations session.

We need to bring together all the resources, domestic and international. Whether it be at parliamentary committees such as the Status of Women or the Foreign Affairs subcommittee, or whether it be within the international arena, this must be a priority in our domestic and foreign policy: the promotion and protection of the human dignity, the safety, and the security of young girls and women.

Kidnapping of Girls in Nigeria May 12th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I would like commend the NDP for this initiative that has given us the opportunity to have this debate this evening. My colleague from Etobicoke North also lobbied for this debate.

As far as the treaty is concerned, I want to reiterate that it must be ratified.

Kidnapping of Girls in Nigeria May 12th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, we have had a number of take-note debates in the House. Very recently we had a take-note debate on South Sudan. We had a take-note debate on the Central African Republic. We have been dominated by lessons on the 20th anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda. There are other countries we have not mentioned that bear involvement, such as Eritrea and Ethiopia and the like.

I mention this because there are two things about Africa. One is the enormous potential that resides in the people. Having been in Africa, I have witnessed the enormous sense of resilience and commitment and hope of the people. On the other hand, they have too often been victimized by their governments. We therefore have to make the question of Africa a priority in our foreign policy as a whole. We have to make within that policy the question of education in Africa a fundamental tenet of our foreign policy. We have to make the responsibility to protect it in all its configurations, including global investment in education, a priority as a matter of principle and policy.

Kidnapping of Girls in Nigeria May 12th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I rise to join with my colleagues this evening with a profound sense of concern, a profound sense of shared feeling with the victims of Boko Haram, and a sense of apprehension because of the history of Boko Haram, a group that has emerged as a prototype of hostis humani generis, of enemies of humanity and of the litany and pattern of its atrocity crimes.

And so, I join my fellow parliamentarians from all sides of the House, not only in condemning the Boko Haram kidnapping of 300 schoolgirls and its threat to sell them into slavery and acts of forced conversion, but to express our solidarity with the people of Nigeria, with those affected by this act, and extend our sympathies to the families who seek nothing more than the return of their loved ones safe and sound.

Let there be no mistake about it. This is not the first criminal assault by Boko Haram and unless we effectively combat its criminality, its crimes against humanity, this terror will not end and this will not be its last terrorist assault.

I note that yesterday was Mother's Day, a time to celebrate and reflect upon the contribution of women in all our lives. I cannot help but feel terribly saddened to think of the mothers and fathers of these abducted women and those who were killed or harmed in earlier assaults by this same Boko Haram cruelty. I cannot help but feel saddened to think of what these families must be thinking in this moment of despair. Indeed, we must think not only of the schoolgirls, but of their families and their communities, and even other schoolgirls who, because of this, may be even more afraid to attend school and receive an education.

As my colleague, the member for Etobicoke North, said it so eloquently this evening in her compelling remarks, “Enough is enough, these abductions must stop”.

As she put it and reminded us, let us not forget that Nigeria has 10 million schoolchildren who are out of school, more than any other country in Africa, more than any other country in the world, a backdrop to that which we are discussing this evening.

Indeed, it is important to stress that those kidnapped were young girls. Boko Haram, whose name means roughly, and it has been mentioned this evening, “western education is a sin”, is really a manifestation of its extremist Islamist ideology. I concur with my colleague, the member for Jeanne-Le Ber, as he put it, this is not an expression of Islam; it is in fact a repudiation of it.

I was pleased to note Muslim leaders have spoken out in repudiation of the Boko Haram because this is a group that thrives on the marginalization, on the exclusion, on the oppression of young women and girls.

As Nicholas Kristof put it recently in the New York Times:

Why are fanatics so terrified of girls’ education? Because there’s no force more powerful to transform a society. The greatest threat to extremism isn’t drones firing missiles, but girls reading books.

That is why we must seek to empower women and girls to provide them the knowledge, the skills, the resources, and the protection which they need to succeed and to fight back against oppression, against punitive patriarchy, against early forced marriage, against enslavement and sexual violence, against forced conversion, against all these manifestations of terrorism that have been visited upon them, and to make their own choices without fear.

Canada's most recent honorary citizen, Malala Yousafzai, who has been quoted this evening, and appropriately so, and I will quote her again, supports that which has been said by my colleague. As she put it:

Education is education. We should learn everything and then choose which path to follow.

Education is neither Eastern nor Western, it is human.

As should be evident, empowering women and girls is a question of fundamental human rights, of the promotion and protection of human dignity, in the most profound sense of the word. As I have often said in this House, but it does bear repeating again, women's rights are human rights, and there are no human rights which do not include the rights of women.

We must see the fight for women's rights as the fight for the rights of us all, beginning with the most vulnerable of the vulnerable, defenceless children abducted from what should have been a protected space, a school dorm, and regrettably with an attendant sense of impunity, nurtured by the inaction of both the Nigerian government and the indifference of the international community. This did not just begin now. It has been going on for years, and the tormented have only their victimization to bear witness.

This sentiment about the importance of promoting the dignity and the well-being of young girls and women was echoed by the First Lady Michelle Obama, who this week declared:

These girls embody the best hope for the future of our world...and we are committed to standing up for them not just in times of tragedy or crisis, but for the long haul.

We are committed to giving them the opportunities they deserve to fulfill every last bit of their God-given potential.

I emphasize her words “for the long haul”. It is a tragedy and shame that far too often for women and girls that inherent God-given potential is stifled, and far too often by lack of access to education.

As Malala Yousafzai writes so movingly in her book I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban:

Let us pick up our books and our pens.... They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world. [...]

To sit down on a chair and read my books with all my friends at school is my right. To see each and every human being with a smile of happiness is my wish.

I do not wish to recount the terrifying details of this terrorist act of kidnapping that forms the subject of tonight's debate, as I believe colleagues have recounted the situation in detail and have expressed quite eloquently the need for action. Indeed, it was the absence of action, and this bears mentioning again, the absence of outrage, not just at this latest Boko Haram profanity, but at the earlier assaults and profanity, over all of these years, which has nurtured an attendant sense of impunity that led to the pattern of criminality.

My colleague from Ottawa—Vanier has contrasted the sustained preoccupation of the international community with the missing Malaysian airline. We need and still need to be concerned by what happened, but there has been sustained CNN 24/7 preoccupation, to the exclusion of everything else, including the exclusion of what has been happening through the assault by Boko Haram, whose atrocities have gone unaddressed, let alone unredressed.

As I prepared my remarks today, the latest development indicated that the leader of the Boko Haram terrorists announced that he would release more than 200 schoolgirls abducted by his forces in exchange for prisoners held by the Nigerian authorities.

It is this issue I wish to address by recounting a story I have yet to tell in the Commons these 14 years that I have been here, though I wrote about it earlier this year. It is the story of my niece, Hagit Zabitsky.

I like to remember Hagit as a thoughtful 22-year-old, both shy and introspective. Born in Jerusalem into a family of five children, she travelled abroad and spent the 1996-1997 winter with my family in Montreal. We had many conversations that winter, including conversations about her future plans when she would return home in the spring of 1997. She planned to attend university, study humanities, work with the disadvantaged, and eventually become an artist reflective of her artistic sensibility. Tragically, she never had the chance.

Hagit lived in Kafr Adumim, a community in the Judean desert outside Jerusalem. A nature lover, Hagit loved to hike and explore nature in the Judean hills outside her backyard. She was hiking with a friend in the hills when she was abducted and bludgeoned to death. As was later established, her attacker was a terrorist who set out to kill a Jew, any Jew. My niece was not personally targeted; she was simply a Jew on the nature trail. Today there is an annual hike in Hagit's memory, where friends and family gather by a plaque in her honour not far from her home.

I am remembering this because I could not help but think of Hagit and her family when I thought about the abducted Nigerian girls. I think not only of the suffering of these young Nigerian girls but how they may be forever changed, and their families transformed as well. I think of how my family would have done anything to have Hagit return safe and sound if only they could have had that chance. The murderer of my niece is now in jail, but that does not bring her back. It does not stop the suffering that the family endures to this day. Indeed, my family tells me that they remain fearful that her killer may yet be released as part of a terrorist prisoner release to further Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

There is a certain universality of terrorism in its murderous assault, as in the terrorist Boko Haram killing and enslaving of these young girls or in its murderous slaughter of innocents over the years or in the many innocents killed and injured and lives destroyed, in the pain of victims and their families, in the impact on their communities and beyond.

Again, and let there be no mistake about it, Boko Haram views these young girls, those that they have abducted and others, as prospective sex slaves, as human beings to be trafficked as if they were cattle to be bartered, as recruits for child soldiers, the whole as yet another link in the chain of assaults on young women, be it through early forced marriage or violence against women in conflict zones.

Once one is touched by this kind of assault, it is impossible to return to normal. As one of the escaped Nigerian girls told CNN, while her school remains closed after the attack, even if it were open, she would not go back. The fear is too great.

We are reminded, as I said earlier when quoting my colleague, that there are 10 million young Nigerians out of school. Fear is there among the targeted and their families and, as we know, people on every continent can be targeted simply for their gender, race, religion, beliefs, and the like. Indeed, as in the case of the abducted young Nigerian girls, they were targeted simply for being who they were.

There is, of course—and one must never forget this—the counter to fear, namely courage. Here I think of the heroic young escapees who fled their abductors to be reunited with their families and who, as we meet this evening, have been bearing witness to these calumnies. I know I speak for everyone in the House when I say we hope that all these schoolgirls will have the same chance to reunite with their families, to live and attend school in peace, to be free from any violence or threat of violence.

All this leads to the question of combatting terrorism, of protecting women and children, and what can and ought to be done.

Let me be clear on this. I view the acts of which we are speaking today as acts of terrorism, as patterned acts of terrorism over a period of time. They are acts of wanton terrorist criminality designed to intimidate those girls who seek an education in addition to afflicting harm upon those abducted. However, that does not mean that our addressing the situation must come only in the ways that one typically, albeit necessarily, associates with the combatting of terrorism rather than through a more comprehensive and inclusive set of principles and policies.

As Nicholas Kristof put it recently in the The New York Times:

To fight militancy, we invest overwhelmingly in the military toolbox but not so much in the education toolbox that has a far better record at defeating militancy.

He goes on:

Educating girls and empowering women are also tasks that are, by global standards, relatively doable. We spend billions of dollars on intelligence collection, counterterrorism and military interventions, even though they have quite a mixed record. By comparison, educating girls is an underfunded cause even though it's more straightforward.

As well, it would reap untold benefits.

This must be our lessons learned, our action to be taken. While we hope and pray these young women are returned, we must redouble our commitment to the protection and education of women and girls regardless. We must seek a principled foreign policy that will ensure that aid goes toward programs and initiatives that seek to empower women and provide them with the knowledge and skills they need for life. We must help in the development of the rule of law in civil society abroad, in countries such as Nigeria, to help others benefit from Canadian expertise and experience in these matters while at the same time furthering the cause of human rights for all. We must continue to combat early and forced marriages, trafficking in persons, and sexual violence in armed conflict, as has been mentioned this evening.

We must always appreciate that with respect to developing a principled set of policies, there are three foundational principles and policies we must bear in mind.

First, we must reaffirm the responsibility to protect principle, which, regrettably, the government from time to time neglects or marginalizes, though it is our international admission card in the family of nations. That is because what this principle, unanimously adopted by 192 nations in 2005, says simply but clearly is that if there is ever a situation of war crimes or crimes against humanity or ethnic cleansing or, God forbid, genocide in any country, and that country is unable or unwilling to do anything about it, then there is a responsibility on the part of the international community to protect.

That does not mean military intervention. It means a whole range of protective initiatives that can be taken. Reference has been made to them this evening. There was reference to an investment in the Global Fund for Education, to humanitarian assistance, to empowering young women and girls with the necessary resources and making sure that education is the crucial bedrock for what we do in that regard.

Second, we must make the protection of the vulnerable and the protection of children a priority. I have often quoted in the House that my daughter taught me the most important lesson I have ever learned. It is that if we want to know how to protect children and protect human rights, we should always ask ourselves at any time, in any situation, in any part of the world, such as what is happening in Nigeria, “Is it good for children?” That should inform our foreign policy, just as the protection of women must inform our foreign policy.

Therefore, as I draw to a close, I would like to quote a passage from the Supreme Court of Canada's decision in the Suresh case, which I quote as follows:

One the one hand stands the manifest evil of terrorism and the random and arbitrary taking of innocent lives, rippling out in an ever-widening spiral of loss and fear. Governments, expressing the will of the governed, need the legal tools to effectively meet this challenge.

The court goes on to talk about the importance of that, and I will not cite it, for reasons of time.

I will close on this point. We have to see terrorism as being fundamentally an assault on the security of democracies like Canada or Nigeria and a fundamental assault, as we have seen with regard to the young girls, on the right to the life, liberty, and security of their inhabitants.

Therefore, anti-terrorism law and policy is the promotion and protection of the security of a democracy and of the human rights of its inhabitants in the most foundational sense, but always in accordance with the rule of law--

Justice May 6th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, a simple question: Does the Minister of Justice believe that the Chief Justice should flag the issue of a Supreme Court candidate's eligibility when consulted? If yes, why malign the Chief Justice? If no, why consult the nation's highest jurist if the government did not value her counsel and advice?

Yom Ha'atzmaut May 6th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, today we commemorate the 66th anniversary of the establishment of the state of Israel, which comes one week after the commemoration of the Shoah, which I observed last week on the March of the Living in Budapest and at the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp.

It is sometimes said that if there had not been a Holocaust, there would not have been a state of Israel, as if the establishment of a state can ever compensate for the murder of six million Jews, but the reality is the other way around. If there had been an Israel, there might well not have been a Holocaust or the horrors of Jewish and human history.

Israel, at its core, is the embodiment of Jewish survival and self-determination, the reconstitution of an ancient people in its ancestral and aboriginal homeland.

May I conclude with the age-old Hebrew prayer for peace:

[Member spoke in Hebrew as follows:]

Oseh Shalom Bimromov, Who Yaaseh Shalom Alenu V'al Kol Israel, V'imeru.



May God, who establishes peace on high, grant peace for us all. Amen.

May the 66th anniversary usher in a real, just, and lasting peace for Israel and all peoples of the Middle East.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns May 6th, 2014

With regard to bijuralism and harmonization: (a) what measures are in place to ensure legislative bijuralism across all departments; (b) since the adoption of the “Policy on Legislative Bijuralism”, how has the Department of Justice (i) ensured that all legal counsel in the Department are made aware of the requirements of legislative bijuralism in order for them to be able to take it into account when advising client departments on legislative reforms, (ii) enhanced the capacity of the Legislative Services Branch to draft bijural legislative texts, (iii) undertook, in drafting both versions of every bill and proposed regulation that touches on provincial or territorial private law, to take care to reflect the terminology, concepts, notions and institutions of both of Canada’s private law systems; (c) since the adoption of the “Policy for Applying the Civil Code of Quebec to Federal Government Activities”, what measures are in place to ensure (i) changes to Quebec’s Civil Code are known and monitored by the government, (ii) assessment of federal legislation relative to changes to Quebec’s Civil Code, (iii) federal legislation is introduced to reflect, where necessary, changes to the Civil Code of Quebec; (d) with respect to the “Index of Bijuralism and Harmonization Caselaw” found online and indicating its most recent update was June 12, 2012, (i) how often is this page updated, (ii) given that some cases thereupon are from 2013, when was this page last updated, (iii) whose responsibility is it to update this page, (iv) what cases are currently being monitored for potential addition to this page; (e) with respect to cases involving bijuralism and harmonization, (i) in what ways are these made known to the Department, (ii) whose responsibility it is to monitor these cases, (iii), what role does the Federal government play in these cases if a party, (iv) what role does the government play if not a party, (v) who makes the determination and as to when the government should intervene if not a party and how is this decision made; (f) with respect to Bijurilex, whose website at appeared not to function as of March 17, 2014, (i) is this website still available, (ii) if not, when was it taken off-line and why, (iii) where can its former contents be found; (g) what resources exist to provide information about the implications and challenges of bijuralism as it relates to legislation;

(h) with respect to the bijuralism publication of the Department entitled “THE LINK”, (i) how often is it published, (ii) when is it next expected, (iii) what causes it to be published, (iv) who prepares it, (v) how is it disseminated and to whom; (i) what specialized consultative services are offered to the government with regard to bijuralism issues; (j) when were the most recent services in (i) sought and provided, and at what cost; (k) what studies have been undertaken within the last five years regarding (i) the relationship between federal law and the law of the provinces and territories, (ii) between the common law and civil law legal traditions, (iii) between these legal traditions and Aboriginal law; (l) what studies are presently being undertaken regarding (i) the relationship between federal law and the law of the provinces and territories, (ii) between the common law and civil law legal traditions, (iii) between these legal traditions and Aboriginal law; (m) what training courses on bijuralism and comparative law have been developed for Justice Canada’s legislative drafters, (i) how often are they offered, (ii) how many participate, (iii) are they open to individuals from other departments; (n) what bijural drafting notes and course material for training on bijuralism have been developed in the past five years and by what means are these accessible (i) within the Department of Justice, (ii) across the government, (iii) to the legal community, (iv) to the public; (o) what issues and challenges of legislative bijuralism has the government most recently identified and how does it seek to address these; (p) what issues and challenges of harmonization has the government most recently identified and how does it seek to address these; (q) what is the content of the departmental policy on the application of Quebec civil law to the government; (r) what was the mandate and role of the Civil Code Section upon its creation and how did the role and mandate change over time; (s) in what ways does the government review any situation in which legal rights are in issue or proceeding under Quebec civil law which concerns the government; (t) in what ways has the government ensured inclusion of Quebec civil law in the curriculum of the Departmental continuing education programs;

(u) with respect to the Department’s recognition that “si le bijuridisme vise d’abord le respect et la prise en compte du droit civil et de la common law dans le contexte fédéral, notamment en matière de rédaction et d’interprétation des textes législatifs fédéraux, il n’exclut aucunement le respect et l’intégration d’autres règles propres au droit fédéral, la prise en compte d’autres sources, notamment en matière de droit international, ni le respect d’autres cultures juridiques, plus particulièrement les cultures autochtones” (i) what other rules has the government found to apply to it, (ii) what sources of law has the government recognized other than civil, common, aboriginal, and international law, (iii) what other cultures has the government sought to respect in this regard and how; (v) with which international law sources has the government sought to harmonize its laws and how so; (w) with what aboriginal law sources has the government sought to harmonize its laws and how so; (x) how may the Bijural Terminology Records Research Index be accessed and how often is it updated; (y) of what cases is the government currently aware where the matter at issue is one of bijuralism or harmonization; (z) what statutes would benefit from modification to respect best practices with respect to bijuralism and harmonization; (aa) what statutes have been identified as having bijuralism issues and how have they been so identified; (bb) what statutes require amendment to conform with the solutions proposed in the Bijural Terminology Records Research Index; (cc) is a new Federal Law--Civil Law Harmonization Act being prepared; (dd) what efforts have been made to identify whether a new Federal Law--Civil Law Harmonization Act is necessary and what determines its necessity; (ee) how is proposed legislation vetted or otherwise checked to ensure conformity with bijuralism and harmonization best practices; (ff) in what ways are existing statutes checked to ensure conformity with bijuralism and harmonization best practices; (gg) what prompts the introduction of legislation to address an issue of bijuralism / harmonization; (hh) in what Federal-Provincial-Territorial (FPT)) meetings have bijuralism issues been raised and in what context; (ii) in what FPT meetings have harmonization issues been raised and in what context; (jj) in what ways is Quebec’s new Code of Civil Procedure being analysed by the government, (i) by whom, (ii) with what mandate, (iii) with what purpose; (kk) does Quebec’s new Code of Civil Procedure--fully coming into force in 2015--suggest any need for legislative response on the part of the Government of Canada to ensure federal law harmonization with civil law practice in Quebec; (ll) does the review of government legislation under the Department of Justice Act include in any way the review of legislation for any issues of bijuralism and, if so, how and to what extent; (mm) does the review of government legislation under the Department of Justice Act include in any way the review of legislation for any issues of harmonization and, if so how, how and to what extent; (nn) to what extent and in what ways are regulations reviewed to ensure conformity with bijuralism best practices; (oo) to what extent has cabinet been informed of the importance of bijuralism, by what means and on what dates; (pp) is bijuralism assessed in any way when filling vacancies at the Department of Justice and, if so, how; (qq) what grants and other programs exist to promote bijuralism (i) within the Department of Justice, (ii) across government, (iii) within the legal community, (iv) at law schools, (v) to the broader public; (rr) what involvements and engagements are being undertaken with respect to bijuralism internationally;

(ss) in what ways and forums has Canada shared its bijuralism expertise and experience with other countries; (tt) does a review of legislation for harmonization issues include any consideration of provincial implementation cost; (uu) in what ways are coming into force provisions used, if any, to assist with harmonization; (vv) is there any federal legislation that has not been reviewed for bijuralism or harmonization issues in any way and, if so, how and why is this so; (ww) are private member’s bills reviewed for issues of bijuralism and harmonization and, if so (i) by whom, (ii) in what context, (iii) with what mandate, (iv) to what extent, (v) reporting to whom, (vi) with what work product, (vii) at what point or points in the Parliamentary process, (vii) with what consequence if an issue is spotted; (xx) with respect to the gap between publications dated 2006 and prior and the most recent publication in 2013 on the “Bijuralism and Harmonization” webpage at, (i) why does this gap exist, (ii) were any reports or studies conducted during this time, (iii) if so, were they published and if not, why not, (iv) what materials are being presently prepared or research that may be published on this page; (yy) in what ways does the Department seek to promote contact between the civil law and common law traditions; and (zz) with respect to Canada’s four legal audiences (anglophone common law lawyers, francophone common law lawyers, anglophone Quebec civilian lawyers and francophone Quebec civilian lawyers), in what ways does the department ensure it has the means and resources adequate to address the unique concerns of each with respect to bijuralism and harmonization, and what issues and challenges have been identified?