During recent weeks, ParlAmericas delegates have contributed to a number of important regional and global meetings hosted by partner organizations. Each served as a valuable opportunity for the exchange of experiences and good practices on issues of hemispheric relevance.
On July 23, the Women’s Caucus (Mesa de Mujeres) of the Congress of Peru hosted an international gathering on political violence against women in Lima, Peru. The gathering was divided in two parts: panel discussions dedicated to building understanding of the topic and the revision of a draft national law to address the issue in Peru. ParlAmericas delegates -- Member of the National Assembly Karina Arteaga (Ecuador), Vice-President of the ParlAmericas Parliamentary Network for Gender Equality for South America; and Member of the Chamber of Deputies Lidia Patty Mullisaca (Bolivia) -- participated in the meeting and offered insights informed by their countries’ experiences legislating against violence against women in politics.
On July 30-31, ParlAmericas was in Santiago, Chile, for the 57th Meeting of the Presiding Officers of the Regional Conference on Women of Latin America and the Caribbean organized by the gender affairs division of the Economic Commission of Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). During the meeting, which served as an organizing space for the next Regional Conference on Women, discussion centred on women’s autonomy in changing economic scenarios. Member of the Legislative Assembly Cristina Cornejo (El Salvador) and Member of the Chamber of Deputies Marcela Sabat (Chile), made interventions that highlighted, respectively, the importance of strengthening women’s political participation and addressing gender-based violence in order to advance women’s autonomy in region. Ms. Cornejo and Ms. Sabat, who both serve as Vice-Presidents of the Parliamentary Network for Gender Equality, each outlined the critical role of parliamentarians in advancing this work through legislative functions.
Finally, on August 5-7, ParlAmericas attended the Equal Rights Coalition (ERC) Global Conference in Vancouver, Canada. Jointly presided by Canada and Chile, the ERC is a global inter-governmental coalition dedicated to LGBTI human rights and inclusive development. Member of Congress Sandra Morán (Guatemala) spoke on a panel that explored how these themes intersect with indigeneity and offered reflections on ways in which ERC member countries can ensure that the perspectives of Indigenous LGBTI individuals are reflected in policymaking and human rights mechanisms. The ParlAmericas delegation also attended a session held on the margins of the Conference for parliamentarians to foster discussion on parliaments’ place within this agenda at the international level.
ParlAmericas thanks Global Affairs Canada for the support that made our engagement in these meetings possible.
July 19, 2018
ParlAmericas participated in the 5th Open Government Partnership Global Summit in Tbilisi Georgia
On July 17-19, the Government of Georgia hosted the 5th OGP Global Summit in Tbilisi Georgia. A ParlAmericas delegation participated in this Summit, which provided an excellent opportunity for leaders from OGP’s 75 participating countries and beyond to exchange ideas on how they are making their governments more transparent, accountable and responsive to citizens.
A Parliamentary Meeting was hosted by the Parliament of Georgia on July 17, where parliamentary delegations gathered to discuss the OGP’s legislative engagement policy, exchange best practices to strengthen parliamentary transparency and accountability, and explore innovative technologies to modernize parliamentary work. Senator Blanca Ovelar (Paraguay), President of the ParlAmericas Open Parliament Network participated in High-Level Talks where she discussed the current status of parliamentary openness in the Americas. “We have to move forward by consolidating an open and inclusive culture that allows us to confront inequalities and build a world where there is social justice” declared Senator Ovelar.
The Summit continued on July 18-19 with sessions covering topics such as civic engagement, anti-corruption and public service delivery among others. In a session on Working with Parliaments to Strengthen Oversight of Service Delivery and National Action Plans, Member of Parliament Randy Boissonnault (Canada), Vice-President of the ParlAmericas Open Parliament Network for North America, presented the positive impacts that efforts undertaken through OGP are having on parliaments. “Through OGP, many countries in the Americas are working to improve transparency and access to public information. These efforts are contributing to narrowing the gap of information between governments and parliaments, which is crucial to strengthening parliaments’ oversight functions” stated Mr. Boissonnault.
ParlAmericas, along with its partners, is pleased to announce that the Open Parliament e-Network (OPeN) was launched within the framework of this Summit. Through this initiative, we join Directorio Legislativo, the Latin American Legislative Transparency Network, the National Democratic Institute, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, and the Westminster Foundation for Democracy to form OPeN and enhance collaboration to support the growing number of opportunities to strengthen the legislative openness movement.
For further information, visit https://openparliamentenetwork.squarespace.com/.
July 10, 2018
ParlAmericas participated in working session on experiences in legislative transparency and systematization of jurisprudence in matters of transparency and the right of access to information
On July 10-12, the working session “Experiences in Legislative Transparency and Systematization of Jurisprudence in Matters of Transparency and the Right of Access to Information” was held in Argentina. It was organized by EUROsociAL+, a cooperation programme between Latin America and the European Union, and the Secretariat for Political and Institutional Affairs of Argentina. Javier Macaya, Member of the Chamber of Deputies of Chile and Vice-President of the ParlAmericas Open Parliament Network for South America, participated as a panellist.
The working session focused on access to public information and sought to include legislatures’ experiences in transparency. Good practices were shared on this topic and on systems for measuring access to information, and a collaborative process was built for the systematization of jurisprudence in transparency and rights to access to information as part of EUROsociAL’s work to support the implementation of the Law on Access to Information in Argentina.
During his presentation in the session “Transparency and Open Parliament,” Member of the Chamber of Deptuies Macaya emphasized the importance of fostering more open parliaments, presented ParlAmericas’ Road Map towards Legislative Openness, and shared examples of the ways in which parliaments across the region are advocating for greater transparency, accountability, citizen participation, and ethics. “Working for open parliaments should be at the centre of our efforts as legislators, as this helps us to strengthen our democratic systems and advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” Member of the Chamber of Deputies Macaya stated.
For further information, visit EUROsociAL+ on social media.
July 6, 2018
ParlAmericas is now hiring a Communications and Digital Content Officer. Applications will be accepted until July 22, 2018. For more information, please read the job description.
June 29, 2018
ParlAmericas is now hiring a Program Officer - Climate Change and Sustainability. Applications will be accepted until July 15, 2018. For more information, please read the job description.
June 26, 2018
On June 22, 2018, ParlAmericas and the National Forum of Women in Political Parties (FONAMUPP, by its Spanish acronym) signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen their collaboration in advancing women’s leadership and political participation in Panama and across Latin America. This MoU was signed in the presence of 300 representatives from different political parties, the diplomatic corps and international organizations.
The signing took place during FONAMUPP’s 25th anniversary celebration in Panama City. FONAMUPP is a Panamanian organization that works nationally to promote women’s political development. The organization provides analytical tools, information, and training to promote greater participation by women in political parties, electoral processes, and decision-making and greater representation of women in leadership positions at the national level.
Through the MoU, ParlAmericas and FONAMUPP committed to undertaking jointly-coordinated activities that bring together electoral candidates, members of political parties, activists and civil society representatives, and parliamentarians to exchange experiences and good practices learned from work on this agenda. Informed by these exchanges and in accordance with Sustainable Development Goal 5, the MoU also encourages the adoption of actions and commitments to build on progress achieved.
The organizations were represented by Mariela Vega, Member of the National Assembly of Panama and Member of the ParlAmericas Board of Directors, and by Juana Herrera, President of FONAMUPP. “It is truly an honour for ParlAmericas to expand our partnership with FONAMUPP. Together, our organizations have an important opportunity to work to improve citizen participation, good governance, and the extent to which our decision-making bodies reflect the composition and diverse perspectives of our societies,” Ms. Vega stated.
Dr. Herrera added that, “FONAMUPP is pleased to continue growing our partnership with ParlAmericas. The concrete actions that will result from the signature of this MOU will support today’s women candidates in Panama and will help to create a context in which future generations of women leaders can more easily see themselves reflected in our country’s political life.”
June 21, 2018
Opening of Grenada’s New Parliament Building
ParlAmericas would like to extend its congratulations to the people of Grenada on the opening of the country's new Parliament building.
Following the passage of Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and damage to the Parliament building, the Parliament of Grenada has been holding its Sittings in a rented facility. With the financial assistance from other countries, Grenada has been able to construct a new Parliament building. The opening ceremony took place on June 21, 2018.
“The recent return of the Parliament building is not only a testament to the enduring will of the Grenadian people,” stated Senator Marcela Guerra, President of ParlAmericas, “but also to the importance and strength of their Parliament, embodied by the very building it now calls home.”
The Parliament of Grenada is an active and valuable member of ParlAmericas: the Honourable President of the Senate, Chester Humphrey, serves as the Vice-President of the ParlAmericas Parliamentary Network for Gender Equality, and the Grenada Women’s Parliamentary Caucus is featured in our recent publication on Multi-Party Caucuses for Gender Equality alongside other good practice case studies from the region.
June 21, 2018
ParlAmericas applauds the historic approval of Bill S-238 “An Act respecting Latin American Heritage Month” by the House of Commons (300 votes in favour - zero against) on June 20th, 2018. This Bill, sponsored by the late Senator Tobias C. Enverga Jr. recognizes that members of the Latin American community in Canada have made significant contributions to the social, economic and political fabric of the nation, and designates October as the Latin American Heritage Month as a meaningful way to remember, celebrate and educate the public about these contributions.
According to the 2011 National Household Survey, there are nearly 750,000 people of Latin American heritage in Canada, out of which almost 50% are under the age of 25, being one of the fastest growing population groups in the country. During the bill’s debate in the Senate and the House of Commons, parliamentarians from all political parties recognized the important contributions made by Latin-Americans to the culture, history and economy of Canada. This bill represents a significant moment for the Latin-American community in Canada and embodies the country’s multiculturalism.
Senator Tobias C. Enverga Jr. passed away in 2017 while on parliamentary business as a member of the Canadian delegation to ParlAmericas’ Annual Plenary Assembly. The passing of this legislation is a testament of his legacy and commitment to the Latin American community.
June 5, 2018
Statement of Solidarity with Guatemala
The member parliamentarians of ParlAmericas express our sincere condolences and solidarity to the people of Guatemala, who have suffered irreparable human losses and material damages as a result of the eruption of the Volcano of Fire.
We recognize the efforts by the State and the communities that are organizing to address the consequences of this natural disaster, and call upon our governments to provide the necessary support to the respective national authorities.
These unfortunate events highlight the urgent need to continue to implement legislative actions to respond to natural hazards and extreme climate events and develop initiatives for risk management that consider the differential needs of the population, including those most vulnerable.
ParlAmericas reaffirms its commitment to inter-parliamentary action to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.
June 5, 2018
ParlAmericas is pleased to share that today the Government of Canada announced it will contribute $4.99 million for a project to advance women’s political leadership in Latin America and the Caribbean.
This three-year project led by ParlAmericas will provide targeted support to multi-partisan women’s organizations working through local chapters and affiliates, and in collaboration with national parliaments. The project will build enabling environments for women of diverse backgrounds and ages to participate in elections and other political processes in their countries.
“This initiative is a unique opportunity to strengthen the capacity and sustainability of women’s organizations that bring together emerging and experienced leaders across political lines. These organizations are dedicated to tackling the barriers to women’s political participation in our region,” said Senator Marcela Guerra of Mexico, President of ParlAmericas.
This announcement reflects commitments outlined in Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP), which recognizes that reducing poverty and inequalities requires a transformation of social norms and power relations that disadvantage women and girls. This aligns with the guiding principles and activities of ParlAmericas to promote women’s political participation and partnerships for inclusive governance.
“We are thrilled by the support that Global Affairs Canada is providing. The Government of Canada has been a steadfast partner in ParlAmericas’ efforts to advance gender equality through joint actions by parliamentarians and civil society,” stated the Hon. Bob Nault, Member of Parliament of Canada, Vice-President of ParlAmericas, and Chair of its Canadian Section. “It’s clear that investing in women’s rights and gender equality is both the smart thing to do – as it will accelerate all development priorities – and the right thing to do, from a human rights perspective.”
For over 15 years, ParlAmericas has facilitated inter-parliamentary activities and collective efforts to advance women’s political leadership and gender mainstreaming in legislative work in the Americas and the Caribbean. These efforts are supported by a permanent working group of parliamentarians, the ParlAmericas Parliamentary Network for Gender Equality.
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May 21, 2018
From Tuesday, May 22 to Thursday, May 24, ParlAmericas will host the 10th gathering of the ParlAmericas Parliamentary Network for Gender Equality: Gender-Responsive Climate Action, in collaboration with the Parliament of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in the city of Port of Spain.
During the gathering, which will be held in the parliament, parliamentarians from more than 20 countries in the Americas and the Caribbean will engage in dialogue on the critical nexus between gender and climate change, as well as the decisive role of parliaments in ensuring that countries adopt a gender-responsive approach to climate action and disaster risk reduction.
“I am honoured to welcome our colleagues from across the region to Trinidad and Tobago on this important occasion, ParlAmericas' 10th annual gathering dedicated to gender equality. Over the course of the next three days, we will assess the principal resources at our disposal to strengthen climate resilience and women's empowerment — issues which must go hand-in-hand,” stated the Honourable Bridgid Annisette-George, MP, Speaker of the House of Representatives (Trinidad and Tobago), host of the gathering, and member of ParlAmericas Board of Directors. Speaker Annisette-George further emphasized that, “The identification of the available principal resources, however, is not enough. Gender responsive budgeting must be employed as a mechanism to help ensure that climate change and disaster risk reduction are addressed in a manner that effectively responds to the needs of all members of society."
For the last ten years, the ParlAmericas Parliamentary Network for Gender Equality has been promoting women’s political leadership and gender mainstreaming in the agendas and operations of the national legislatures of the Americas and the Caribbean. It creates diverse and inclusive working spaces to further promote the shared agenda for gender equality in close collaboration with civil society partners.
Member of the Chamber of Deputies Karina Banfi (Argentina), President of the Network, commented that “Women are more likely to live in poverty and experience compounded social, political and economic barriers. They are therefore more likely to also experience greater risks related to climate change. We must include, value, and invest in women [and] remove the barriers to their participation in climate decision-making spaces.”
Senator Marcela Guerra (Mexico), President of ParlAmericas, affirmed that this gathering will be of critical importance, as “Parliaments play a vital role in achieving a development vision that recognizes the inherent links between gender equality and climate change impacts. In that sense, cooperation among the countries of the hemisphere is critical to promoting the exchange of best legislative practices for the adoption of gender-responsive climate change policies.”
April 25, 2018
The Honourable Javier Ortega, Member of the National Assembly of Panama and president of ParlAmericas’ Parliamentary Network on Climate Change participated in the opening of the Fourth Congress of the Ibero-American Federation of Green Municipalities
From April 16 to 20, Member of the National Assembly Javier Ortega (Panama), president of ParlAmericas’ Parliamentary Network on Climate Change (PNCC) participated in the Fourth Congress of the Ibero-American Federation of Green Municipalities, titled “Municipal Institutional Transformation: the key to an inclusive and sustainable country”. Organized by the Association of Municipalities of Panama (AMUPA), the Congress brought together mayors, parliamentarians, and Latin American specialists to address problems related to sustainability and climate change at the municipal level.
Delegates acknowledged that cities and urban areas contribute more than 70% of global energy-related CO2 emissions and are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Moreover, it was mentioned that the current scale of urban expansion offers an opportunity for cities to implement plans that in the future will be the basis for a sustainable and resilient society.
During the Congress, Member of the National Assembly Ortega, who participated in the opening panel, invited the audience to reflect on the priorities for cities, emphasizing that municipalities must “implement policies and practices based on evidence to resolve local problems; guarantee diversity of opinions in decision-making, including women, young people, indigenous communities, and residents living on the outskirts of the city; as well as create and build up collaborations with researchers, legislators, and professionals for a more effective effort and better informed-policies to take action at the municipal level”.
The president of ParlAmericas’ Parliamentary Network for Climate Change underlined the importance of working collaboratively with different state actors and the vital role that legislators play in strengthening the legislative agenda to combat climate change and its impacts in the hemisphere and in promoting actions aligned with the Nationally Determined Contributions adopted in the Paris Agreement.
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Arpil 23, 2018
ParlAmericas is now hiring a Program Officer - Finance and Logistics. Applications will be accepted until May 5, 2018. For more information, please read the job description.
April 9, 2018
On Wednesday, April 11 and Thursday, April 12, ParlAmericas, in collaboration with the Congress of the Republic of Peru, will host the third gathering of the Open Parliament Network: Open States for Democratic Governance against Corruption, in the city of Lima in the framework of the VIII Summit of the Americas.
The gathering, which will be held on the premises of the Congress of the Republic, serves as the official parliamentary gathering of the Summit of the Americas, in which legislators from more than 20 countries in the Americas and the Caribbean will discuss the importance of open states for democratic governance against corruption, as well as the crucial role that legislatures play in developing and implementing solutions to this problem.
ParlAmericas Open Parliament Network promotes open parliaments through transparency and access to public information, accountability, citizen participation, and ethics and probity, with the aim of fighting corruption and strengthening citizens’ confidence in the hemisphere’s legislatures. It will be an opportunity for parliamentarians from the hemisphere to exchange knowledge and experiences with respect to ethics and probity and gender mainstreaming in the fight against corruption, and to establish guidelines for the formulation of open parliament action plans. Moreover, two new tools will be presented and made available to legislatures: the Toolkit for Citizen Participation in the Legislative Process and a follow-up mechanism for open parliament commitments.
“This gathering is a major opportunity for legislators from the hemisphere to work together with the aim of developing strategies that will enable us to eliminate the causes and impacts of corruption at all levels. On behalf of the Congress of the Republic of Peru, it is an honour to welcome parliamentary delegations from the Americas and the Caribbean who will join us in continuing to make progress on this agenda,” stated Member of Congress Luis Galarreta, president of the Congress of the Republic of Peru and host of the gathering.
For her part, Senator Marcela Guerra, president of ParlAmericas, affirmed that “parliamentarians play a vital role in the fight against corruption, not only in exercising our powers of representation, legislation, and political control, but also by promoting actions on legislative openness, which facilitate interactions between citizens and legislatures, access to public information, and citizen empowerment.”
Consult the agenda and be sure to follow @ParlAmericas on social media using the hashtag #ParlAmericasOPN to get the most recent updates on the gathering.
February 20, 2018
On Thursday, February 22, and Friday, February 23, parliamentarians from the Americas and the Caribbean will meet in Panama City to discuss disaster risk reduction in the hemisphere. This activity, which will consist of two days of working sessions and a field visit, is being undertaken as the result of a partnership between ParlAmericas and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and in response to a call by signatory countries to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.
Participants will provide information on relevant legislation that currently exists or is being drafted in their respective countries in order to support dialogue between parliamentarians, experts, and civil society representatives on the fundamental role of parliaments in the implementation of disaster risk reduction action plans. The meeting, in addition to serving as a space for the presentation of technical knowledge that can contribute to reducing disaster risk in the countries of the hemisphere, will initiate the development of a new parliamentary protocol on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.
Member of the National Assembly Javier Ortega (Panama), president of the ParlAmericas Parliamentary Network on Climate Change, stated that “this dialogue is a space for exchanging ideas and knowledge in order to identify key elements that must be considered when promoting legislative reforms and making informed decisions on risk and climate change adaptation.The agenda for the next two days has been designed to facilitate the effective implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in our legislatures.”
For further information and updates on the meeting, consult the agenda and follow @ParlAmericas on social media using the hashtags #ParlAmericasCC and #Switch2Sendai.
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January 31, 2018
ParlAmericas is now hiring a Web and Design Officer. Applications will be accepted until March 1, 2018. For more information, please read the job description.
January 23, 2018
On January 24-25, ParlAmericas, in collaboration with the Parliament of Jamaica, will convene an inter-parliamentary meeting in Kingston titled Partnerships to Transform Gender Relations, hosted by the Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport. This meeting will bring together lawmakers from the Anglophone Caribbean and Canada to examine how collaboration across various sectors can foster positive cultural transformation and advance the gender equality agenda.
Integrating the expertise of civil society practitioners, academics and government representatives, the meeting will highlight good practices and critical moments for change that can facilitate alliance building. The Honourable Minister Grange emphasised that this meeting “presents an opportunity for legislators across the region to learn from each other and to develop partnerships towards transforming gender relations and advancing gender equality in our individual countries. Gender equality is about ensuring that men and women equally enjoy the socially valued goods, opportunities, resources and rewards and I am very happy to welcome all our delegates to Jamaica and I look forward to our discussions and the impact that they will have on our societies.”
Topics on the meeting’s agenda include national strategic plans for gender equality and legislation on workplace sexual harassment. Delegates will also consider the powerful role of the media and the arts in awareness-raising, as well as the importance of men’s active participation in gender equality initiatives. Finally, drawing on the meeting’s themes, delegates will conduct strategic planning for the commemoration of International Women’s Day in their countries on March 8, 2018.
According to Dr. Saphire Longmore, Senator of Jamaica and Member of the ParlAmericas Board of Directors, “This gathering deliberately centres culture and social norms in the conversations about tackling gender inequalities through our legislative functions. The ParlAmericas Network for Gender Equality is an important forum for knowledge sharing in these areas; I look forward to sharing with our international colleagues the progress Jamaica has made.”
For updates, including the live graphic recording of this event, follow @ParlAmericas on Twitter and join the conversations using #ParlAmericasGender.
ParlAmericas extends its thanks and recognition to the Bureau of Gender Affairs of Jamaica, as well as to Global Affairs Canada for providing support to this meeting.
Read the job description
December 11, 2017
ParlAmericas is now hiring a Web and Design Officer. Applications will be accepted until January 5, 2018. For more information, please read the job description.
November 17, 2017
On November 21, ParlAmericas, in partnership with the Open Government Partnership’s Legislative Openness Working Group, Directorio Legislativo Foundation and the Chamber of Deputies of Argentina, will be hosting a parliamentary meeting on Parliament’s role in the Open Government Partnership (OGP) within the margins of the OGP Americas Regional Meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This meeting will take place within the Chamber of Deputies of Argentina, and will gather legislators from 15 countries across the Americas and the Caribbean. On November 22, the delegation will attend sessions of the OGP Americas Regional Meeting at the Centro Cultural Kirchner.
Since its creation, the OGP has promoted transparency, citizen empowerment, the fight against corruption, and the use of new technologies to improve governance in countries that have joined this international initiative. Through this activity, supported by Members of the Chamber of Deputies of Argentina, Margarita Stolbizer and Karina Banfi, legislators will receive a briefing on the OGP and its impact to date, and discuss how results of the National Action Plans adopted through this multilateral initiative can improve citizens’ lives and support legislatures in the exercise of their representation, law-making and oversight functions. The keynote address will be presented by the Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board of Canada, and supporting government co-chair on the OGP Steering Committee.
“Parliaments play a critical role in the achievement of OGP objectives and in ensuring the sustainability of this initiative throughout electoral cycles and changes in governments” expressed Senator Hernán Larraín, President of the ParlAmericas Open Parliament, “it is important for legislators to be aware of the open government agenda, the role of the OGP, the benefits of these initiatives for the work of the legislature and for citizens’ lives, and to build cross-partisan support to continue prioritizing and monitoring this work”.
For further information, consult the agenda and follow @ParlAmericas on social media.
November 16, 2017
ParlAmericas wishes to express its sincere condolences for the loss of Canadian Senator, The Honourable Tobias C. Enverga, Jr., who passed away suddenly this morning in Medellin, Colombia, while on parliamentary business as a member of the Canadian delegation to ParlAmericas’ Annual Plenary Assembly.
Senator Enverga was a valued contributor to our inter-parliamentary community in the Americas and the Caribbean, and a devoted voice for his constituents and for Canada.
As an advocate for multiculturalism, he recently sponsored the Latin American Heritage Month Act in the Senate of Canada.
He was a dedicated public servant and deeply respected parliamentary colleague. Known for his community service, Senator Enverga was a champion for people living with disabilities and founder of the Philippine Canadian Charitable Foundation.
Senator Enverga was appointed to represent the province of Ontario in the Senate of Canada in September 2012. He is survived by his loving wife Rosemer Enverga and three daughters.
The full statement is also available here.