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Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
National Security and Defence

Issue 10 - Evidence - Meeting of July 28, 2008

OTTAWA, Monday, July 28, 2008

The Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence met this day at 9:06 a.m. in camera to examine and report on the national security policy of Canada; to give consideration to a draft report; and to give consideration a draft agenda (future business).

Senator Colin Kenny (Chair) in the chair.

The committee resumed in public.


Senator Banks: Honourable senators, in light of events and information which have overtaken it, I move that the committee's approval of the report entitled Canadians Wounded in Afghanistan be rescinded.

The Chair: Discussion?

Senator Tkachuk: I object to this motion not only on behalf of the Conservative members of this committee but the Senate itself. We passed this report on June 16. It was referred to the steering committee for grammatical and other changes but no changes of substance. It would be highly unusual to rescind the whole report — it is the only report we have — and then authorize staff to write a new report, which I think is the intention of Senator Banks. I want to make that clear before we continue our discussion.

Senator Banks: My intention, put most simply, is that the report previously approved by the committee should be modified in light of events and information that have come to light since it was approved. Since it has not been tabled by virtue of mechanical reasons, it is still in the possession of the committee, and it is perfectly appropriate for the committee to amend or modify the report in light of that new information.

The procedure that I understand is correct in order to do that is to rescind the previous approval of the report so that it can start over again. I presume we will start over again with the report before us as a draft and that we will be able to make modifications to it by motions today in this meeting so that the report can be brought up to date in light of that new information.

Senator Zimmer: Would it be appropriate, Senator Banks, to include in your motion the reason you wish to rescind?

Senator Banks: I have referred to it.

Senator Zimmer: Is that what you just did?

Senator Banks: In the motion, I did refer to the fact that it was in light of information and events that have come to light since the report was approved. That is the reason.

Senator Zimmer: That is fine.

The Chair: Question?

Senator Tkachuk: I think this motion is highly inappropriate. I understand this has been going on because we received new copies of both the report on the wounded soldiers and the general's report, both of which we passed in this committee. New versions have been written without my knowledge — I am not sure about other senators' knowledge — by the chairman of the committee, and those are the versions that will be put before us today after we rescind reports that we have already dealt with and passed. This is very unusual behaviour. It is not something I have ever seen before. I think that all senators need time if we are to do a new report.

First, I think this motion is totally out of order. I know that the clerk is saying that we are in possession of the report. The Senate is not in session. If we think that the committee is acting inappropriately, we can turn to no particular body to make our case. The committee was not constituted for the summer months to do this. The committee met twice to deal with the report on emergency preparedness, not to deal with the two reports that we had already passed. That is the reason the meetings were called. Now we are bringing forth new items and reports that we have already dealt with and already passed. This kind of precedent for Senate committees should be avoided; it is unethical and wrong. I think we should not support the motion.

The Chair: Senator Tkachuk is talking nonsense. The motion put through the Senate did not make mention of the names of any reports. It simply talked about three reports.

Second —

Senator Tkachuk: Was it always your intention, chairman, to bring these two reports up?

The Chair: I am not finished.

Senator Tkachuk: I do not care if you are not finished. Do not say I am talking nonsense, Mr. Chair.

The Chair: I just did.

Senator Tkachuk: You are talking nonsense. You have behaved nonsensically and you have behaved unethically.

The Chair: The second reason is that the changes that he has requested in this report are in the report, so for him to tell you that he was unaware that another report or that a revision to a report was going ahead is untrue because —

Senator Tkachuk: Do not lie.

The Chair: — he sent changes reflected in this report.

Senator Tkachuk: I sent those because I was trying to make a point. We were dealing with the report. It was dealt with quickly. I sent those comments. We would have dealt with it another way. If the chairman wished to bring those reports to this committee and had brought the reports and constituted a new report, or perhaps an appendix, that would be fine, but I was going to make my points. I made them public to you because I was going to make them public at a press conference. A new report was written without me or any members of the committee being notified, done in secret in your office.

Senator Day: I do not agree with these comments being made by Senator Tkachuk. It is the responsibility of each of us to improve upon any report of our committee. If we come forward with new information that will improve upon the report, we should deal with that. The chair of the committee has a greater responsibility as chair to do so.

We are not saying that we will ask you to adopt something you do not know anything about. We are rescinding a report. At this stage, the motion is to rescind a report we adopted earlier because we believe we can make improvements. Let us get on with the vote on rescinding the report, and let us see if we can make some improvements to it.

The Chair: Could I have a motion, please?

Senator Tkachuk: Do we not need authorization for a new report? I do not think we can do this.

The Chair: Those in favour?

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Those opposed?

Senator Tkachuk: Strongly opposed.

The Chair: The motion is carried.

Senator Banks: Before we proceed, I would like advice from the clerk. I assume this is a properly constituted meeting of the committee. Was the motion we just considered and passed in order?

Shaila Anwar, Clerk of the Committee: It is procedurally in order.

Senator Tkachuk: We rescinded the report, so no report exists now.

Ms. Anwar: No.

The Chair: Correct.

Could we have a motion to go in camera now, please?

Senator Tkachuk: No. Why are we going in camera?

Senator Day: To debate the changes.

Senator Tkachuk: My staff is going to stay here, by the way. We are not leaving.

Senator Day: This committee is the master of its own procedure.

Senator Tkachuk: That is exactly right.

Senator Day: One person should not feel that he can usurp the desire of the majority. There is a motion, and I call the question.

The Chair: All those in favour?

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: We will proceed in camera.

The committee continued in camera.

The committee resumed in public.

Senator Banks: Senators, I move that we rescind previous approval of the Four Generals and an Admiral report.

Senator Tkachuk: I would like to make a few comments.

First, earlier on when we were in camera, chair, you implied that I had made some comments about the report and that I knew you were rewriting it, which was totally not true. I will quote from the letter I sent to you on July 2, 2008, because of our responsibility as a steering committee to look at grammatical or style changes but not substantial changes. I wrote:

I am writing today to outline some concerns I have over the Four Generals and an Admiral report which currently sits with the SCONSAD Steering Committee. As you know, the report was distributed in committee for the first time on June 16, 2008 and adopted during that same meeting, referred to the Steering Committee to correct typos and grammatical errors. Upon study, the following are comments I would like to include which reflect some of the concerns I raised during the meeting. I understand the report cannot be changed at this point, so it would perhaps be simplest to add similar language that we added to the previous report issued on Afghanistan. (Regarding typos and grammar, I have a copy of the Report ready with corrections to provide to the Clerks when we are ready to finalize this report.)

For you to imply that I was asking you to change the report is totally not true and you know that, because I sent you this letter and I told you that. Yet, you sit there at this meeting and say that somehow I knew that you were rewriting the report when I did not know you were rewriting the report. I thought we were going to have a steering committee and that we would deal with this report in the way that the committee instructed us to deal with it on June 16.

The Chair: Did you not give me additions that you wanted from General Natynczyk's testimony?

Senator Tkachuk: What I did was point out some of the problems for future work. We received that report and passed it on that same day and referred it to committee. I was trying to point out that there were problems with the report. I knew and told you full well in this letter that I did not expect you to change the report, nor did I believe the report should be changed, but that we should only deal with the matters that the steering committee referred to us. I sent not only this letter but also changes that were grammatical, et cetera, that I thought had to be dealt with by the steering committee. I am not asking you to change the report.

You changed the report. I read that report and you put my name in there. You have no right to do that, stating that I believed certain things when you do not even know that I believe them. You distributed it to all members of this committee. How could you do that when you know full well that that is not the way the Senate does business, nor does the committee ever name senators in reports in that fashion?

The Chair: On your last point, you are right, and I apologize. I will recommend changes in that regard. I will do that.

Senator Tkachuk: I appreciate that.

I want you to know that I do not agree with this whole procedure, but I also realize that I am in the minority position here. I want to make my case as strongly as I can to ensure that there is no misunderstanding that I wish that this report be changed in any way or that I would ever go against the wishes of the committee.

The Chair: Thank you.

Senator Moore: Chair, it seems to me that we all want to make the best report possible. We just went through that process with the Canadians Wounded in Afghanistan report. The changes were nothing substantial, mostly cleanup. A couple of small things were added to make the report a little more illustrative, and that was it.

The Chair: There were about 50 changes, actually.

Senator Moore: Right, but nothing was substantial. I expect we will be doing the same thing with the other reports. That is our job. We are procedurally, legally and in every other way able to do that.

The Chair: That is my belief as well.

Senator Day: I think we should try to stay focused. We have been meeting now for six hours. We had an off-the- record, closed-session discussion with respect to the report entitled Canadians Wounded in Afghanistan, and we did a good job. The motion before us now is to rescind the Four Generals and an Admiral. Why not get on with this process, and then if we want to go back to the same closed-session procedure in terms of comments and background with respect to that report, we can determine as a committee whether there is a need for any changes.

Senator Tkachuk: I understand your concerns, senator. I have a huge concern over the fact that we are changing a report that has been adopted.

My second concern is that the report was changed without the knowledge of the other side.

Senator Day: It has not been changed yet.

Senator Tkachuk: Just a moment, please. The report that will be laid down before you today did not come from thin air. It has been worked on by committee staff and it changes the report that we had already passed. If we come to the conclusion that our report is not sufficient, we could rescind it and then authorize the staff and the chair, with the committee's full knowledge so that we can all contribute, to go ahead and write a new report for us to consider at a later time.

To receive a report that has already been done without authority while the other one is still on the table is what I find very unusual. I not only find it unusual, I think it is out of order. I think it is a question of privilege for senators. We are here as equals. I do not work for Senator Kenny. I work for myself, and I work for the province of Saskatchewan and my caucus in the Senate. I do not work for Senator Kenny, and neither do any of you.

Senator Banks: I do not know what the procedure is. I would like the agreement of senators to withdraw my motion. My motion was to rescind the approval of the report called Four Generals and an Admiral, and that is not really what I want to do.

My understanding is that this report has been approved subject to changes, not substantial change, but changes by the steering committee. I really meant to move, and I would appreciate your concurrence, that we rescind the motion that authorized the steering committee to deal with changes to the report, and that this committee now deal with the changes to the report.

The Chair: The first thing I have to do is ask committee members if they wish to have Senator Banks withdraw the first motion?

Senator Moore: I am agreed.

The Chair: We have a new motion before us substituting the committee for the steering committee.

Senator Tkachuk: So that the committee would deal with this report the same way as the steering committee would deal with the report and with the same instructions given at the meeting of June 16?

Senator Banks: Exactly.

Senator Day: Is there a motion? There is no motion.

Senator Moore: Senator Banks made a motion.

Senator Day: My concern, Senator Banks, is that your motion would only allow the committee as a whole to deal with changes discussed at that earlier meeting and to make minor typographical and grammatical changes as necessary.

Senator Banks: Yes.

Senator Day: It would not allow us to consider anything submitted by anyone in relation to that report since June 16.

The Chair: Correct.

Senator Banks: No, because there are suggestions that have been made by Senator Tkachuk and by me as to the construction of the reports that are not substantive but that change the language as the steering committee would.

Senator Day: You see, that is exactly what we would like to consider, but your motion now merely takes away the delegation to the subcommittee of what was dealt with on June 16. What you want to do is set aside the adoption of that interim report, which was your earlier motion. You want to set that aside so that we can consider things that have happened since June 16.

The Chair: I would ask the clerk to clarify.

Ms. Anwar: The original motion that the committee used to adopt the report empowered the steering committee to make the changes discussed on that day as well as any minor typos, spelling, grammar, without modifying the substance of the report.

From our standard, anything that modifies the substance of the report would be anything beyond adding commas, periods, changing capital letters or spelling mistakes. Anything that modifies the report beyond those types of minor changes constitutes a substantive change.

Senator Banks: Editorial changes are substantive?

Ms. Anwar: Yes.

Senator Banks: With apology, I revert to my first motion because Senator Tkachuk, I and others have made proposals with respect to this report that go beyond what you have just described as minor grammatical changes.

Ms. Anwar: It will be like two reports that the committee has adopted and only one of them will be tabled in the Senate. The soundest way to proceed is to rescind the original adoption.

Senator Banks: I revert to my original motion. I move that we rescind the committee's previous approval of the report called Four Generals and an Admiral.

Senator Tkachuk: Just to be clear, I do not want to be drawn into something I never intended. I do not intend my questions of substance, and I never did intend, to change the report. It was to point out that because we rushed like we did, I foresaw some problems. Where I pointed out questions that were non-substantive, those can be recorded, but I do not want to leave any impression whatsoever that I want changes made to a report that has already been passed by the committee, nor do I have any intention of moving in here because I still think what we are doing here is a little out of order and that the original report is our report. I do not want any substantial changes made as a result of my letter to the chair. I made those comments to the chair because I thought it was important to make them.

Senator Banks: Since they are important, would it not be wise for us to take them into account?

Senator Tkachuk: I do not want to be drawn into something with which I totally disagree. This whole procedure is totally disagreeable to me, Senator Banks. This whole matter of not acting on the report once it is passed by the committee and then changing the report without the other side knowing is not a precedent that I will participate in, nor do I wish to participate in. I want that to be clear. I am participating in this meeting under great duress by a majority with their minds made up to get rid of two reports and to redo them. That is what you are doing.

Senator Banks: I am sorry. That is not right, senator. We are not getting rid of the reports. We are modifying them in light of suggestions which you have made and which I proposed.

Senator Tkachuk: Do not put me in there.

Senator Banks: I have a question of the clerk: Is my motion in order?

Senator Day: Absolutely.

The Chair: Those in favour of rescinding the report —

Senator Tkachuk: Are we rescinding the report now?

Senator Banks: We are not rescinding the report. We are rescinding the previous approval of the report.

Senator Tkachuk: Is it a simple majority or is it two thirds?

The Chair: A majority, yes.

Senator Tkachuk: A simple majority to rescind.

Senator Banks: The approval of the report.

The Chair: All those in favour?

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Opposed?

Senator Tkachuk: I am opposed, and I would like the vote recorded, Mr. Chairman.

Senator Day: Before we go to an in camera session —

The Chair: We are still on a vote.

Senator Day: I am sorry.

Ms. Anwar: Honourable Senator Banks?

Senator Banks: Yea.

Ms. Anwar: Honourable Senator Day?

Senator Day: Yea.

Ms. Anwar: Honourable Senator Moore?

Senator Moore: Yes.

Ms. Anwar: Honourable Senator Tkachuk?

Senator Tkachuk: No.

The Chair: I do not want to vote.

The motion is carried three to one.

Senator Tkachuk: I am really surprised.

Senator Moore: I take it, Senator Tkachuk, that you do not want your comments considered with regard to the report that you submitted to the chair?

Senator Tkachuk: I do not want to be drawn into a process that I have not approved from the start. I told you, and I quoted from my letter, that I have no intention of undermining the votes of two of my colleagues who were at the meeting of June 16 and who voted. I am not interested in having my comments dealt with on this report. That is not why I sent them in, and certainly not to have them put into a new report by the chair without me even knowing about it.

The Chair: The committee puts things into —

Senator Tkachuk: You had already written the report.

Senator Moore: I do not think the senator is undermining his caucus colleagues. He submitted some comments, and I would think he put them in to make the report better, as was everyone's intention. I guess he would like to have them considered but does not want to be ill-thought-of by his caucus colleagues.

Senator Tkachuk: Do not put words into my mouth. If you want to argue with my point of view, go right ahead.

Senator Moore: Do we consider his comments or not? That is all I want to know.

The Chair: Can we have a motion to go in camera, please?

Senator Tkachuk: Why do we have to go in camera, chair?

The Chair: Those in favour?

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Those opposed?


Senator Tkachuk: I think we need some discussion, and I think this is out of order, chair.

Senator Banks: Do we need a minute to do that?

The Chair: Yes, we do.

Senator Tkachuk: Well, if that is the way you want to do it.

The committee continued in camera.

The committee resumed in public.

Senator Tkachuk: Let me do that again. I thought this part of the meeting was public, but I will make the point again. I am sorry to have to do this, but I want to make it in public.

I did not want to in any way leave the impression that the letter I had written regarding the generals report was an attempt by me to reopen that report. I want to quote from the letter of July 2 and make sure it is on the record. The problem I had is that the report we considered on June 16 was received, discussed, passed and referred to the steering committee all on the same day. I wanted to point out that because of the speed of all of that, here are some of the things that I thought were a bit of a problem. I wanted to alert the chair of that and also to be helpful in the steering committee process when we got together later on down the road as far as some structural and grammatical things that we thought should be raised. I wanted the report to be clear, and I want now to quote from the letter:

Upon study, the following are comments I would like to include which reflect some of the concerns I raised during the meeting. I understand the report cannot be changed at this point, so it would perhaps be simplest to add similar language that we added to the previous report issued on Afghanistan.

I want that to be part of the record.

How are we dealing with this, Mr. Chair? Are we dealing with the emergency report first and then going to the other two reports that we rescinded?

The Chair: Yes.

Senator Tkachuk: Let us to go the emergency report. If I have additional comments, I will make them and then we will get to the other ones and make sure they are in public.

Senator Banks: I move the adoption of the National Emergencies report by the committee and that the chair be authorized to table the report with the Clerk of the Senate.

The Chair: Including today's changes, please.

Senator Banks: Yes, as we have changed it today.

Senator Moore: As amended.

The Chair: Does that work?

Ms. Anwar: So that the report on National Emergencies in Canada be adopted incorporating the changes that were discussed today, and that the chair table this report with the Clerk pursuant to the motion adopted in the Senate on June 18, 2008. That is the motion that authorized filing with the Clerk.

Senator Day: We do not need to repeat the words about authorizing to file because that has already been authorized, right?

The Chair: Yes.

Those in favour?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Those opposed?


Senator Moore: Unanimous.

Senator Day: I move the adoption of the draft report entitled Four Generals and an Admiral, with the changes that were discussed and accepted here today.

Senator Moore: Amendments.

Senator Tkachuk: Because we are on the record, I will make the arguments that I made before, but I will make them now on the public record. I will not make them again when we get to the second report.

As a matter of principle, both of those reports were adopted on June 16. One was adopted with a request that the chair table it in the Senate, which is the wounded soldiers report. Then the report on the generals was adopted and referred to the steering committee to make certain additions because at the end of June we had asked for permission to file it with the Clerk of the Senate.

I want to make strong objection to the fact that we would take the wounded soldiers report, which was passed by the committee, rescind it and not issue a new report or authority for a new report, the new report having already been completed without consultation with our side by the chair and brought forward to be discussed immediately after the previous report was rescinded.

The same thing took place with the generals report which was passed and referred to the steering committee. In the meantime, that report was changed and a new report was written without the knowledge of the deputy chair and our side. I found that to be extremely inappropriate.

I have not wished in any way to impede the work of the committee. The committee had completed two reports. As far as I was concerned, there was only one left. I had serious problems with the meeting being held here today, July 28. I wanted to raise the issue and the propriety of holding the meeting without having discussions between the chair and the deputy chair as to appropriate dates and the ability of members to come and fulfill their obligations in the Senate. I do not think we were allowed that opportunity. I thought the opportunity was lost when there was no change in the position of the chair. I decided that I would come and try to protect our interests and my interest as best I could.

I did attempt to assist in the drafting of the emergency measures report that we adopted. We sent letters.

I hope that this does not happen again. My hope is that if committee meetings have to be held outside our time zone over the summer months when the Senate is not in session, a simple phone call to address a time — I had indicated that August would be fine with me and I am sure would have been fine with other members.

Senator Banks: It would not have worked with me.

Senator Tkachuk: You know what, senator, all we need is a quorum.

Senator Banks: Right.

Senator Tkachuk: It is not funny, Senator Banks.

Senator Banks: Yes, it is.

Senator Tkachuk: This is not funny; this is a serious issue. Both sides should be represented at these meetings. It should not be a forced issue. It should be an issue that is communally agreed upon. We should make every effort to ensure both sides are present, that being the only other thing we have to worry about outside of having a quorum. This is not about one-party meetings. This is about two-party meetings. There are two parties in the Senate, and I think both of them have to be included.

I have made my point, chair. I know you have heard it before because I made it when we were in camera, but I wanted to have it on the record as much as time will allow. I am now willing to go to the agenda at hand, which was the adoption of the two other reports.

The Chair: I wish I could help you on that, but I have a few things to say before that happens.

Senator Tkachuk: You go right ahead, and we will have a little discussion here.

The Chair: First, consultations were made with all members of the committee as to when they were free. Your comments were that you wanted to take the summer off.

Senator Tkachuk: That is not what I said. Do not put words in my mouth on the record. I did not do that to you.

The Chair: I am sorry; I did not interrupt you, Senator Tkachuk.

Senator Tkachuk: But I did not say things like that.

The Chair: I am sorry; you did say it.

Senator Tkachuk: No, I did not.

The Chair: You said it in committee.

Senator Tkachuk: I sent you a letter. I told you August would be fine.

The Chair: No, what you said was that you wanted to go ahead just before the trip to Washington.

Senator Tkachuk: Do you want me to read that letter I sent you? Have you forgotten it?

The Chair: No, I do not. I want you to keep quiet for a change —

Senator Tkachuk: Well, then, do not put words in my mouth.

The Chair: — because we have heard so much from you. All we have heard is you all day. You think you can push people around by talking all the time and by talking over other people and by talking out of turn.

Senator Tkachuk: Mr. Chair, that is enough.

The Chair: You are doing that now.

Senator Tkachuk: There are one, two, three, four senators —

The Chair: I am sorry; you are doing that now. Nobody said a word while you had the floor. Now, you observe the same courtesy. We are quiet when you speak, so you should be quiet when other people speak.

Senator Tkachuk: I am trying to observe the same courtesy, Mr. Chair.

The Chair: Then let us not hear from you until other people are done. Everyone has the same rights here to talk, not just you. You have been talking the whole bloody day.

Senator Tkachuk: I would like to compare Liberal and Conservative space in this meeting.

The Chair: The fact that your members chose not to show up is not my problem. You have people fishing or enjoying the cottage. That has nothing to do with me.

Senator Tkachuk: That is for sure.

The Chair: We looked around to find a time where we could have a quorum and we found a time. We did not have an interest in waiting until the week before going to Washington. The letter that you sent made it very clear that you had changes that you had an interest in for the report. You interpret it the way you want; I will interpret it the way I want.

All I can tell you is that we had direct input from members on your side. There are additions to the Four Generals and an Admiral report that come directly from Senator Nancy Ruth. She was perfectly aware of what was going on. You had read it and were comfortable with it, you said.

Copies of the report were circulated in advance once translation was complete, and we held the reports until we were absolutely satisfied that they were complete. We have, in this room now, which I should mention, copies of every report that we are dealing with today, in both official languages. I want to verify that with the clerk.

Is that correct?

Ms. Anwar: Yes.

The Chair: The clerk says yes.

The process that we have followed has been within the Senate rules. The Senate rules call for a quorum. We have been meeting, for most of the meeting, with two in excess of a quorum. We have proceeded to retract the reports, which is perfectly within the authority of this committee to do. Until the reports are tabled with the Clerk of the house, this committee has the authority to do whatever it wishes with the reports.

Furthermore, if we see deficiencies in a report before it has been tabled, I, as chair, and any other senator have a responsibility to draw that to the attention of colleagues and to have them make the changes.

Every member of this committee got copies of this report as soon as we had French and English copies available, and they had an opportunity to comment. Some chose to; some chose not to. That has been the same case on every report that we have done. Some senators choose to send in comments; some senators choose not to.

The process that we have followed has been consistent with the procedural advice that we have, which is the best available to us, and we have endeavoured to follow the rules in every respect.

We have also taken the input that you brought forward, and wherever it was specific, we endeavoured to include it. We also, today, accepted numerous changes in the text that you requested.

Senator Tkachuk: I appreciate that.

The Chair: We endeavoured to come forward with an effort that was bipartisan, even to the point where you said that there was unanimous support in favour of Four Generals and an Admiral. That seems to me to be a positive step forward.

There was also unanimous support for National Emergencies. That is two unanimous reports that have gone forward, and we will have to see how the third one proceeds.

If you look at the third one, there were about 50 changes made, none of them substantive, with the exception of Senator Mitchell's email, but all of them improved the report and made it a better report going out.

I think that the record needs to reflect those views in addition to your views.

We have another report.

Senator Moore: Have we voted on the motion of Senator Day?

The Chair: No, we have not as of yet. If I may, I would like to call the question. I would like to ask all those in favour to so indicate.

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: All those opposed?

Senator Tkachuk: I will abstain on the basis that I already voted for this report in June. I would like to make it clear that our meeting today was conducted in a way that we were able to come to agreement on almost all issues, but because of the procedure that was used to deal with this report, I am not able to vote for it.

Senator Moore: I want to repeat what I said earlier today. The convening and process of this meeting is absolutely within the Rules of the Senate. Until a report is tabled, there is a duty on each and every one of us to make the report as good and as complete as possible, and that is what we did here today.

Having said that, I would like to now make a motion with regard to the third report. The report is entitled, Canadians Wounded In Afghanistan: How Well Does Canada Rescue, Treat and Rehabilitate? I would like to move that that report —

The Chair: Our clerk is whispering in my ear that we have already adopted that.

Senator Moore: You did the generals report.

Senator Day: I did the generals report, yes.

Senator Banks: I did the National Emergencies report; Senator Day did the generals report.

Senator Day: Yes, he is right.

Senator Moore: I move that the report as amended today be adopted and tabled.

The Chair: Thank you.


Senator Banks: The clerk has a question about the order in which we have done the reports. I want to ensure that we have done what we think we have done.

Ms. Anwar: I thought you had made mention of the evacuation report.

Senator Day: No. I probably misspoke. I mumbled probably because I made a little joke about "and one admiral."

The Chair: What counts is what the senators think. Are we all of the view that you have adopted the National Emergencies report?

Senator Day: Yes.

Senator Banks: Yes.

The Chair: Are we all of the view that we have adopted the Four Generals and an Admiral report?

Hon. Senators: Yes.

The Chair: Are we all of the view that the only report remaining to be voted on is Canadians Wounded In Afghanistan: How Well Does Canada Rescue, Treat and Rehabilitate?

Senator Moore: Yes.

Senator Banks: Yes, and that motion is now before us.

The Chair: Does anyone disagree with what I have said so far?

Senator Banks: No.

Senator Moore: That is the record so far.

The Chair: That clears the record.

Ms. Anwar: I apologize.

The Chair: No problem. It has been a long day and you have done very well.

Senator Day: On the question, Mr. Chairman, I think it is important for the record to show that we are voting on these drafts as changed through an extensive discussion today. We want to thank you for your leadership in bringing forward a document for us to work from, but it was not in any way a report of this committee until we vote on it here and now, which is what we are doing.

The Chair: Thank you.

All those in favour of the report?

Some Hon. Senators: Yea.

The Chair: Opposed?

Senator Tkachuk: I would like to abstain for the same reasons. I object to the procedure that we used to consider these two reports after passing them both on June 16.

Again, I realize that we have had a good meeting. We participated and had good discussion, but at the same time I do not agree with the way this process has taken place, so I will abstain. I already voted once on this report.

Senator Banks: You do not disagree with the report in its present form.

Senator Tkachuk: I did not say anything. I just said that I already voted for this. I do not have to explain myself.

Senator Moore: He contributed to the improvement of it, so that is pretty good.

Senator Banks: There is a letter, of which I got a copy from Senator Tkachuk, about the payment of an invoice for Jessica Post.

The Chair: Correct.

Senator Banks: I would like to deal with this matter, if we can.

The Chair: The letter reads as follows —

Senator Banks: Can you set out the background for us? I only saw that letter; I do not know what else it is about.

The Chair: The Rules of the Senate and the rules that the Internal Economy Committee has set out require that both the chair and deputy chair sign off on employees' invoices.

Senator Banks: Are these contract employees?

The Chair: Yes.

Senator Tkachuk: That is correct.

The Chair: In this case, there were two invoices involved. One was approved by both Senator Tkachuk and myself, and one was only approved by me. In the event of a stalemate, the rules state that the issue has to go to the full committee at a public meeting where it will decide whether or not to pay the invoices.

I should point out that the contract that was signed requires payment within 10 days, so we are in violation of the contract. This individual is working from paycheque to paycheque. The letter that I received — actually, it is addressed to you — said:

Please find attached two invoices for: Jessica Post for June 2008; and Dan Turner, for April, May and June 1, 2008.

I cannot sign Jessica Post's contract since I have not seen any evidence of her work even though I do not dispute that it is possible that she worked 160 hours for the Committee during the month of June until June 27th when I received her invoice.

I have signed Dan Turner's invoice but advise I am concerned that his bill for the month of June is dated June 2, 2008, and that his invoice does not break down his work into an hourly rate as specified in the contract. In the future, I will not sign any contracts that do not comply with our Senate contract agreements.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or comments about these matters.

I am bringing this matter forward to the committee, and I would like to show the committee some of the work that she has done. Here are three of the pieces she has done. Please pass them around.

Senator Banks: We are now being handed work that Jessica Post did?

The Chair: Yes. What you see there is a summary of recommendations, up until these reports, that are for the benefit of anyone, including committee members.

You are welcome to look at it at least, Senator Tkachuk. It is not a matter of shrugging.

Senator Moore: This lady has not been paid since when?

The Chair: It has been almost a month now.

Senator Moore: Do you want a motion to honour our agreement? So moved.

The Chair: Thank you. I also wanted to point out that she gathers the press clippings in both English and French for the committee. She also deals with the media calls that come to me, which run between three and five a day and which require a great deal of follow-up. That is the amount of media coverage that we have had since she has been working for the committee. She has had to do a lot of work dealing with the people coming in and going out.

The fact that Senator Tkachuk does not see it is because she sits in the office next to mine. Most of the time, the work involves questions about the committee and they come to the chair of the committee, and I deal with them.

I brought this here so committee members would have concrete evidence that in fact she not only works but she works hard and has done a good job for the committee. I think that the document you have in front of you will turn out to be a very valuable document as we proceed.

There is a motion on the floor.

Senator Day: Given that we are in default of the payment date, is there a penalty clause or should we consider a penalty clause in this instance?

The Chair: This is an opportunity to do that. Also, when the full budget came out, again, as a result to some extent of Senator Tkachuk's speech in the chamber where he opposed her position, the Internal Economy subcommittee did not see fit to continue her payment beyond the third month in the fiscal year. Therefore, she is no longer working for the committee, which is very unfortunate.

The Chair: I would like to see who is in favour of paying her invoice. All those in favour, please raise their hands.

Senator Moore: Just a second, Mr. Chair. The clerk has passed me a suggested form for the motion:

That the committee authorize the chair to certify as payable an invoice for Jessica Post, dated June 30, 2008, in the amount of $937.

"Certify as payable" but not to "pay"? Where do we say we will pay this lady and meet our obligations?

Ms. Anwar: That will initiate the process from the Finance Directorate.

Senator Moore: Is that enough wording for the Finance Directorate to go ahead and do this?

Ms. Anwar: Yes.

Senator Moore: I so move.

Senator Day: That is what I voted for.

The Chair: All those in favour? Opposed? Carried.

Senator Banks: To ensure fullness of proceedings, certain documents have been brought forward today, some of which we will dealt with in our consideration of the reports. It would be prudent to move that documents presented to us today be accepted as evidence.

The Chair: There is more to it than that. Perhaps Ms. Anwar could speak to that.

Senator Banks: For one thing, we have distributed copies of my recommendations for changes in the reports and others, your letters and new drafts of reports, as you have pointed out.

The Chair: There is also evidence in relation to the reports that was contested and needs to come forward.

Senator Banks: There are responses to questions we have asked that have to do with these reports. I already have some that were sent to me electronically.

The Chair: There is also the issue that Senator Tkachuk raised regarding information that we received during a prorogation. Do you want to read that through, Senator Banks?

Senator Banks: We have all received these electronically, right? I did, anyway.

Ms. Anwar: The items in pencil were distributed today.

Senator Banks: Right. I am talking about the notes from Senator Tkachuk; the letters from Senator Tkachuk; the notes from me on the respective reports plus the things that I think I received electronically: a response to a question taken on notice at the June 2 appearance by Lieutenant-General Natynczyk regarding the recruitment at pride events — this is in response to questions raised by Senator Nancy Ruth. There are responses from the Public Health Agency of Canada to follow up questions from the Library of Parliament on August 14, 2006; responses from Public Safety Canada to follow up questions from the Library of Parliament on August 30, 2006; and a response from Brian MacDonald to Senator Kenny regarding the future ratio of military spending to gross domestic product, which is listed in Appendix E of the report.

In order that we properly consider and have properly considered all of those things, they should be taken into evidence at this meeting. That is the nature of my motion.

Senator Day: It is a fine motion.

The Chair: Question. Those in favour? Opposed? Carried.

Senator Banks: Mr. Chair, if I may, I will raise a difficult subject. I am sorry to bring this up, senators, but I want us to discuss this matter. It has to do with the authorization under the line item in our budget of promotion of reports. I need you to convince me, Senator Tkachuk, that you will promote the reports of the committee. That is what that money is for. We are talking about monies that have been authorized; committee funds to be spent.

Senator Tkachuk: We already dealt with that.

Senator Banks: We have.

Senator Tkachuk: Why are we doing it again?

Senator Banks: I am asking you to tell me whether you will, in fact, go to those places. I cannot remember where they are — Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, I think.

Senator Tkachuk: I believe it is Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and maybe one more. I think there are three, right?

Senator Day: Only two of them will be proceeded with.

Ms. Anwar: Calgary, Montreal and Toronto.

Senator Tkachuk: Those have been passed.

Ms. Anwar: Those are three separate authorizations.

Senator Tkachuk: Do I have any others on the books? Did I file for another one? I think those are the only three that I put forward.

Senator Banks: So far. However, since we passed those motions, we have had a budget change. Our budget has been reduced.

Senator Tkachuk: No.

Senator Banks: Yes.

Senator Tkachuk: No, that is not true.

Senator Banks: Yes, it is.

Senator Tkachuk: No. The reason we did not pass them in the first place is because the budget was not approved. We passed one. Then, when the budget was approved, we passed the other two. That is what happened after the budget was approved. That is when we passed the other two. The first one was passed when we had our initial budget. The second and third ones were passed after we got our budget approved. That is what happened.

Senator Banks: Maybe my recollection is wrong.

Senator Tkachuk: It is.

Senator Banks: However, I am concerned because of your concern expressed today, and otherwise, about the nature of our reports. What do you have in mind with respect to promoting them?

Senator Tkachuk: We have our point of view.

Senator Banks, I do not understand, first, why you are bringing this up. Senator Banks, I have been around here a long time. I do not screw around with stuff like this. What did I say I would do?

Senator Banks: Promote the reports.

Senator Tkachuk: You name me a time when I say I will do something and I do not do it? I do what I say I will do. I do not think you have any concern about that.

Senator Banks: My concern derives from the fact that you have reservations about the reports.

Senator Tkachuk: No, I have reservations about the process, Senator Banks. I thought we had a heck of a good discussion today.

Senator Banks: We did.

Senator Tkachuk: We finally passed — well, I thought we already passed two of the reports. It is lucky I did not hit the road then. However, they had not been filed yet, so I really could not. We had passed two of the reports. The other report that we have here is fine. What is the issue?

The Chair: For the record, you said you were not voting on these reports because you had already voted. That does not show much support for these reports.

Senator Tkachuk: Well, I am stating my point of view. I am a democrat. The committee has adopted the reports.

Senator Banks, I do not think you have any problem with me. I have not given you any problem talking to the media since I have been appointed, frankly. I do not know what the problem is. You have no problem with me.

Senator Banks: So you are going to Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal to promote the committee's reports?

Senator Tkachuk: I will promote the committee's reports. Yes, I am.

Senator Banks: All right. Thank you.

Senator Moore: In a positive way, I would think.

Senator Tkachuk: I find this whole discussion quite offensive. We have already passed these motions, Senator Banks. We have already agreed on this. As a matter of fact, I got interested in doing this because of what you said regarding what happened with the chairman going on a couple trips. Then he moved a motion to go on others. I enquired about why we were doing this, and you said, "If you want to state your point of view, you should go."

I thought I would do that. I brought motions to the committee to pass so that I could also be involved in promoting the report. I am a Conservative member and deputy chair.

Senator Banks: It was not I who said promote your point of view, but I certainly agree.

Senator Tkachuk: I do have a point of view.

Senator Banks: Yes, but these monies in the budget are to promote reports. I just wanted to ensure that is what you had in mind for these trips. The reason I am asking the question is because of reservations you have expressed about the reports in these meetings and elsewhere. However, if are going to promote the reports, then I have no question and no problem.

Senator Tkachuk: Well, there you go.

Is the interrogation over? Are we moving on to other matters?

Senator Day: What is the possibility of a collage of photographs? Do you need a motion to spend some money with respect to preparing a collage? Would that be for 13 members or 13 times $100?

Ms. Anwar: Approximately.

Senator Day: I think that is a good idea and it would be nice to have. Each member of the committee would receive them and we might possibly give one to some of the —

Ms. Anwar: It is for the members and staff who traveled to Afghanistan.

Senator Day: I would like to move:

That the expenses incurred for the framing of a photo collage of committee members from their trip to Afghanistan in March/April, 2008, in the estimated amount of $1,300 — one for each person who traveled to Afghanistan — be applied to the line item for "office supplies" and "miscellaneous" from the "General Expenses" activity.

The Chair: Comments?

Senator Tkachuk: It is a good idea. It is very nice.

The Chair: Who is in favour?

Senator Day: Yea.

Senator Tkachuk: Yea.

Senator Banks: Do you have any interest in having one of those?

Senator Tkachuk: I was not there.

Senator Banks: I know.

Senator Tkachuk: Senator, who was there from our side? Senator Meighen? Give a nice one to Senator Meighen; that would be good.

Senator Day: Yes, I think he would like that.

The Chair: I thought Senator Tkachuk would want a picture of me on his wall.

Senator Tkachuk: I would have a place to put it.

The Chair: All those in favour? Opposed? Carried.

Senator Banks: I have another matter. I have only heard of this, but I think I recall an authorization for a trip to Israel.

The Chair: Correct. There are additional stops, and it is unclear whether they will involve additional funding. A proposal has come back to visit the state counter-terrorism school.

Senator Banks: This is also in Israel?

The Chair: Yes. We would also visit the Israeli SWAT school; the Port of Ashdod; a border crossing; to have the security at Ben Gurion International Airport reviewed for us; to have a demonstration of advanced security technologies in Israel; to visit the Command and Control Centre of the Israeli Defence Force Homefront; the Western Galilee medical centre, which is the only CBRN-protected hospital in the world; and a visit to the passenger terminal at the Port of Haifa.

Senator Banks: What is the main thing?

The Chair: It is the conference.

Senator Banks: Of course.

The Chair: We have had meetings with the Mossad, with the Israeli ambassador and with an individual called Rafi Sela, who is a defence contractor. They have put together this package.

Senator Banks: The visit to the airport by itself is worth going there for if there was not a conference, but you said there might not be an additional cost. Do you have an estimate of what, if any, the additional cost would be?

The Chair: No, we do not. We know that we have a flat rate of $20,000, which is all that can be spent on conferences, and the conference registration is almost $800. The airfare is about $8,000. What are the hotel costs?

Ms. Anwar: We do not know exactly, but probably $200 a night.

The Chair: It will be nip and tuck on the expenses. We do not know whether we have to arrange for our own transportation to go to these places or whether the government will provide us with transportation.

Senator Tkachuk: How much have we allocated already? Did we not have a motion on that?

The Chair: Yes, the whole $20,000.

Senator Tkachuk: For the conference.

The Chair: That is what we budgeted.

Senator Tkachuk: That was all that was in the convention budget because we had a discussion that the whole budget is being used for one trip.

Senator Banks: What can we do about any potential additional expenses if we are tapped?

The Chair: The conference money can only be used for conferences, but the money for report promotions may also be used for Senate business or for committee business.

Senator Banks: If we were to consider approving whatever additional expenses there may be, I would presume it would come from the "Promotion of reports, meetings and other matters related to committee business" line item?

Ms. Anwar: It is for two authorizations. The conference is separate. It is a separate motion that has already been agreed to. This motion is for the Senate attendance policy: that senators would be travelling on committee business for the purpose of the attendance policy; and that any expenses be applied to the "Promotion of reports, meetings and other matters related to committee business" budget.

Senator Banks: Do we have money left in that budget?

The Chair: Yes. The plan is not to go for any longer time than was originally scheduled for the conference. The flight leaves on Thursday and gets you in Friday night. The conference starts Sunday night or Monday morning. There is a day free at the other end, with the two people coming back on Friday. It is within that time frame that it looks like they have a two-day program set up. It is the first day and the last day in all probability, or part of it may come out of the conference.

Senator Banks: It does not sound like the additional expenses will be all that much.

The Chair: There will be no additional hotel or flight expenses.

Senator Banks: There might be with regard to renting a car.

The Chair: There may be additional expenses getting transportation back and forth, that sort of thing.

Senator Tkachuk: We have $8,000 for air travel, and $1,500; so that is $9,500 and we have $10,500 left over.

The Chair: No, the math is not right. The airfare for two people is $16,000.

Senator Tkachuk: What are we asking for here? How much money are we asking for?

The Chair: I am still waiting to find out the hotel prices.

Senator Banks: What kind of motion, if we were to entertain it, would be appropriate?

Ms. Anwar: Can I give you a motion to read out?

Senator Banks: Yes. I want to be sure that we do not go over the edge.

The Chair: I have not seen the motion yet.

Senator Banks: Colleagues, this is the proposed motion:

That pursuant to the motion adopted by the committee on June 18, 2008, authorizing Senator Kenny and Senator Day to travel to a conference in Herezlivam, Israel, the committee also authorize Senator Kenny and Senator Day to attend additional meetings with Israeli police representatives, airport security officials at Ben Gurion International Airport, and site visits to the counterterrorism school of the IDF and Israeli SWAT school, the port of Ashdod, the passenger terminal at the port of Haifa, to Northern Israel for a demonstration of advanced security technologies, to the Command and Control Centre of the IDF Home-front, to the Western Galilee medical centre and to a land border crossing; and

That they both be considered on official business for the purposes of the Senators Attendance Policy; and

That the cost of the expenses incurred be applied to the "Promotion of reports, meetings and other matters related to the committee business" budget activity.

Senator Tkachuk: We do not have a number?

The Chair: What it boils down to is that I am very sceptical. If you take the cost of the flight and the hotel registration, you have almost $9,000.

Senator Banks: Each.

The Chair: Yes. I do not think you can get the meals and the hotels for $1,000 and a car if you have to rent one. We are talking about essentially the per diems, the hotel bills and a car, if a car is not provided. If they are providing a car, that is terrific.

Senator Banks: It is not likely to be a large amount of money.

The Chair: I do not think so.

Senator Banks: Is there a safe envelope we can put around it using words like "up to"?

The Chair: Up to an additional $5,000?

Senator Banks: Do we have an additional $5,000?

Ms. Anwar: In the promotion of reports budget, yes.

Senator Banks: Is "up to" okay?

Senator Tkachuk: Is committee business included in that promotion of reports budget?

Ms. Anwar: "Promotion of reports, meetings and other matters related to committee business" is the title of the envelope.

Senator Tkachuk: Mr. Chair, I have a lot of trouble with spending $25,000 on one trip for two committee members. Usually, if you cannot afford something, you do something else. You know how I stand on this issue. I will not support it.

Senator Banks: I have reservations about it too, but I have to say that given our airport history, the Ben Gurion International Airport is the most secure airport in the world. Seeing it would be worth the price of admission alone.

I will move this motion, but the last sentence would say:

That the cost up to $5,000 of the expenses incurred be applied to the "Promotion of reports, meetings and other matters related to committee business" budget activity.

In other words, the motion would read exactly they way it is written down here, with the addition of the words "up to $5,000" after the word "cost."

Mr. Chair, I reiterate: Can we afford that? Do we have that money in the budget? Do you think that will cover this trip at the outside?

The Chair: I do.

Senator Banks: So moved.

The Chair: The clerk says it will take two votes, one for the amendment of the $5,000 and then the other for the main motion as amended.

Senator Banks: Why?

The Chair: Because you have added the words "up to $5,000."

Senator Banks: That is part of my motion.

The Chair: It is all one motion?

Senator Banks: Yes. We are not amending it. We have not passed the main motion.

Senator Tkachuk: You do not need a seconder.

Senator Banks: My motion is exactly what is written here except it refers to "the cost up to $5,000 of the expenses incurred." That is the motion.

The Chair: Those in favour?

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Senator Tkachuk: I would like a recorded vote.

Ms. Anwar: The Honourable Senator Banks?

Senator Banks: Yea.

Ms. Anwar: The Honourable Senator Day?

Senator Day: Yea.

Ms. Anwar: The Honourable Senator Kenny?

The Chair: Yes.

Ms. Anwar: The Honourable Senator Moore?

Senator Moore: Yea.

Ms. Anwar: The Honourable Senator Tkachuk?

Senator Tkachuk: No.

The Chair: The motion is carried.

Senator Moore: Chair, I think you met with CSIS in Toronto.

The Chair: I would like to report on that, if I could.

Senator Moore: I know you went to Quebec City.

The Chair: Right. I do not have any motions for that, but I do want to make a report.

I did continue the meetings in Toronto with CSIS. Senator Meighen and I had a very constructive meeting that extended almost two and a half hours. When we go on our trip to Borden, we should take time on the way there to spend some time with the CSIS folks in Toronto.

Can I have a motion to go in camera at this point?

Senator Day: Is there anything else we need to do in public?

The Chair: No.

Senator Banks: Do we want to discuss Washington in public? Can we discuss that in camera?

Senator Tkachuk: I have no idea. We can discuss anything we want in camera or out of camera, I think. Certain things should be discussed out of camera. Are we passing any motions or are you just giving a report?

The Chair: I am just giving a report.

Senator Tkachuk: If you think it is important we do it in private, I suppose that would be all right.

Senator Banks: I move we go in camera.

The Chair: All in favour?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chair: Opposed? Carried.

The committee continued in camera.

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