Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Deputy Leader of the
Government): Honourable senators, today, in commemoration
of Women's History Month, I would like to present to you
Emily Murphy. Emily Murphy is well known as the leader of the
Famous Five who took the Persons Case all the way to the Privy
Council of Great Britain in order that women, too, might be
considered persons under the Canadian Constitution. However,
there is much more to the story of Emily Murphy than just that,
for she was Canada's first woman magistrate in 1916 and was, in
fact, the first woman magistrate appointed in the
Although her family was of a legal background, she herself did
not study the law, albeit she certainly showed a flare for it. She
was well-educated and showed particular interest in the
improvement of opportunities as well as basic justice for women.
She married Arthur Murphy in 1887, a parson with the British
Missionary Society. He travelled widely for some years, during
which time Emily Murphy became an accomplished writer.
When the society ran out of money, Arthur Murphy decided to
become an entrepreneur in Manitoba, and the family moved to
Swan River. In 1907, the family moved to Edmonton, and it was
there that Emily Murphy made her mark.
Like many western cities at the turn of the century, Edmonton
was a hotbed of activity for women, particularly for those who
believed in extending the right to vote to women. She became
active in church organizations, particularly those that provided
help to destitute women and children. She worked with Indian
families and recent immigrants who spoke no English. She soon
became a leader of the franchise movement.
In June of 1916, the Law Committee of the local Council of
Women began a crusade to set up a women's court, whose
purpose would be to try cases involving women. Emily Murphy,
who had taken a special interest in criminal justice, was asked by
the government of the day to become the first woman magistrate.
Many applauded the appointment, but there was some
controversy. At her very first sitting, her legitimacy was
challenged. Defence counsel argued that she was not a person
and, therefore, she had no right to be holding court. According to
a precedent in 1867 under British common law, women were
persons in matters of pain and penalties but not in matters of
rights and privileges, and therefore, since the role of magistrate
was a privilege, Emily Murphy was not eligible and no decisions
of her court were binding. However, no one actually challenged
her right to the position to a higher court, and she continued to
hear court cases.
As a magistrate, her style was certainly different. She often
invited the women on trial to dinner in her home, and often
engaged in friendly conversation with them. On one occasion,
she had an accused murderess released to her custody, and after
she ordered a perfumed bath and a new gown for the distraught
woman, the story emerged about the degradations imposed upon
this woman by her husband. She received a light sentence,
perhaps the first case in which battered wife syndrome was used
as a defence.
Better known for her work in the Persons Case, Emily Murphy
also contributed enormously towards women's issues in other
capacities, most notably as our first woman magistrate.
Hon. Thelma J. Chalifoux: Honourable senators, today is a
very significant day in the history of our nation. Louis Riel was
born on this date in 1844 - a great Canadian, a dedicated leader
and a fighter for the rights of First Nations, Métis and the
minority immigrants who came to this harsh land of ours.
Thanks to this great man and the work of the Métis provisional
government of the Red River, the Manitoba Act was able to be
negotiated, which brought Manitoba into Confederation rather
than joining the United States to the south. Also thanks to Louis
Riel, the French language is enshrined in the Manitoba Act.
Louis Riel was elected to Parliament three times, but due to
the discrimination of the ruling political party, he was never
allowed to take his rightful place in the House of Commons. This
is one of the most shameful events of Canada's history. All
Canadians, including our children, should learn about the
struggle of this man and his involvement in the development of
our country and as one of the proud heroes of Canada. Louis Riel
was a true Canadian who fought for the rights and freedoms of
Canadians even when the central government of this country
exiled him. He was still proud of his French, Métis, Canadian
heritage. He truly was a hero of Canada.
Hon. Lorna Milne, Chair of the Standing Senate Committee
on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, presented the following
Thursday, October 22, 1998
The Standing Senate Committee on Legal and
Constitutional Affairs has the honour to present its
Your Committee, to which was referred Bill C-37, An Act
to amend the Judges Act and to make consequential
amendments to other Acts, has, in obedience to the Order of
Reference of Tuesday, September 22, 1998, examined the
said Bill and now reports the same with the following
Meeting held in Washington, D.C.-Report of Canadian
Hon. Jerahmiel S. Grafstein: Honourable senators, I have the
honour to table the report of the visit of the Canadian co-chairs
of the Canada-United States Interparliamentary Group to
Washington, D.C., in July of this year.
Commission of Inquiry into Treatment of Protestors at
APEC Conference by RCMP-Refusal to Fund legal
assistance for Students-Assurance of Due
Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Acting Deputy Leader of the
Opposition): Honourable senators, given the decision of the
government to deny legal assistance to the students involved in
the RCMP Public Complaints Commission hearings, my question
to the Leader of the Government in the Senate is this: What
steps, if any, will the government now take to ensure that the
right to due process will be respected during the commission's
Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government):
Honourable senators, the government has confidence in the
ability of the commission and its members to ensure due process.
The commission's counsel has already assured the Canadian
public that due process will be carried out.
Senator Kinsella: As honourable senators know, one of the
elements of due process that must be present at any hearing, no
matter how informal the given hearing may be, is the right to be
heard. We have the wise insight of those learned in
jurisprudence, such as Justice Sutherland of the United States
Supreme Court, who stated that the right to be heard would be of
little avail if it did not include the right to be heard by counsel.
Will the government agree and concur with the RCMP Public
Complaints Commission if it decides to use its budget to fund the
students involved in that hearing?
Senator Graham: Honourable senators, I do not believe that
the commission, under its present rules, would be permitted to
use its budget to fund legal counsel for the complainants.
On the point my honourable friend raised with respect to the
esteemed justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, we
must remember that this is not a trial or a court; it is a
fact-finding body. That is very important to remember as the
commission continues to go about its work under very difficult
Honourable senators, Senator Kinsella asked the other day if I
might table the correspondence between Minister Scott and Mr.
Gerald Morin with respect to funding the complainants of the
APEC hearing. I would be tabling, therefore, the initial letter, in
both official languages, from Mr. Morin and the other two
members of the commission to Minister Scott, a news release
from Minister Scott, and Minister Scott's letter to Mr. Morin.
With permission, honourable senators, I wish to do so at the
The Hon. the Speaker: Is it agreed, honourable senators?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
Commission of Inquiry into Treatment of Protestors at
APEC Conference by RCMP-Examination of Role of Prime
Minister's Office in Security Arrangements-Government
Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Acting Deputy Leader of the
Opposition): To cut to the chase, honourable senators, will the
RCMP Public Complaints Commission hearing be able to inquire
into whether persons in the Prime Minister's Office gave
instructions to the RCMP relating to suppressing the rights of
assembly and the rights of expression of opinion of Canadians
enjoying that APEC meeting?
Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government):
Honourable senators, that would be up to the commission
members. They know what their mandate would permit, and I
presume the answer would be in the affirmative.
I should point out that, although counsel for some of the
complainants walked out earlier, I understand one of them is
back. The vast majority of the complainants and witnesses are
continuing to take part in the commission's work. I understand
that, at last count, 44 out of 50 complainants and 105 out of 128
witnesses are continuing to participate. It is also worthy of note
that none of the complainants who left the hearing room last
week have actually withdrawn their complaints.
Commission of Inquiry into Treatment of Protestors at
APEC Conference by RCMP-Ability of Commission to Fund
Defence of Students-Government Position
Hon. Pat Carney: Honourable senators, I wish to pursue the
same subject and ask for a further clarification of this issue.
Over the past few days, we have been discussing the fact that
the Public Complaints Commission has been provided with more
than $1 million for this inquiry, which will make it the most
expensive in Canadian history. There is some confusion about
whether this money can be used to fund the students. In the other
place, the Liberal government has said the commissioners have
the right to give some of these funds to the students for legal
counsel. Meanwhile, the commissioners are saying they do not
have the right to use that money to fund the students' lawyers.
My question to the Leader of the Government is extremely
simple. Can the RCMP Public Complaints Commission use its
own funds or the funds provided by the government to provide
legal aid for the students?
Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government):
Honourable senators, let me again be within the realm of the
good judgment of commission members. I can say that in both
1990 and 1996, the federal Department of Justice provided
Treasury Board with an opinion that the Public Complaints
Commission could not fund lawyers for complainants.
Further to that, Senator Carney, I believe it was in 1997 that
the Public Complaints Commission sought an outside legal
opinion which indeed confirmed that the panel did not have
authority to pay the legal costs of complainants. That decision, I
believe, has been confirmed by the Federal Court, in July of this
Commission of Inquiry into Treatment of Protestors at
APEC Conference by RCMP-Request for Particulars of
Mandate and Numbers of Counsel Reporting to Prime
Minister's Office-Government Position
Hon. Pat Carney: Honourable senators, possibly the
information that we have been provided with here could be
provided to the Solicitor General. It is Minister Scott who
continues to raise the possibility that the commission can fund
the students. He is the minister to whom the RCMP reports.
In addition to the many federal government lawyers
representing the RCMP at the commission, and also the
government, it is my understanding that the federal justice
department has a team of lawyers reporting directly to the Prime
Minister's Office. That is in addition to the ten lawyers at the
hearing. There is a nest of vipers over at the Langevin Block
assisting the Prime Minister. The "forces of darkness" have
gathered in the Langevin Block to assist the Prime Minister's
Office on this issue.
Some honourable senators on the government side are
laughing; they think this is funny. I hope that those honourable
senators who have been appointed on the Liberal side and who
have a career and a lifelong interest in human rights think that
this is amusing, too.
My supplementary question is this: Could the Leader of the
Government tell us just how many federal government lawyers
are reporting to the PMO on this case, and what is their mandate?
Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government): I
take your question very seriously, Senator Carney. Certainly, you
would know where all the bones and the bodies would be in the
Langevin Block from your distinguished career in a previous
government as minister of trade and president of the Treasury
Board. You probably know your way around the Langevin Block
better than I.
Senator Berntson: Or any other block.
Senator Graham: My information is that there are three,
possibly four, lawyers acting on behalf of the Government of
Canada. I am not aware of any others.
Senator Carney: Then the total comes to 14, anyway.
Meeting to be held in Malaysia-Possibility of
Prime Minister making statement on Human Rights
Record of Host and Other Participants-Government
Hon. Mabel M. DeWare: Honourable senators, this year the
APEC conference will take place in Malaysia. It is soon to begin.
The Right Honourable Prime Minister will be attending that
conference, representing Canadians and Canadian values.
Can the Leader of the Government in the Senate assure us that
the Prime Minister will take open and direct measures to
communicate Canada's displeasure over human rights abuses in
countries such as China, Malaysia and Indonesia?
Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government):
Honourable senators, the Prime Minister of our country has
indicated publicly both in Canada and abroad, be they Team
Canada missions or APEC meetings, his concerns about human
rights abuses, even in the country where he happens to be.
It is extremely important that we are mindful of what has taken
place and what is taking place. It is important that Canada be on
the world stage and be a member of the world community.
Whether it be at OECD or APEC or the World Trade
Organization, Canada should be there making our unique
contribution based on our stature as a modern and a very
respectable country in the world.
Senator DeWare: Honourable senators, can the Leader of the
Government determine whether the Prime Minister will ask the
president of Malaysia to clarify his position on human rights in
that country? It would be in the best interests of all Canadians if
we could have that clarification.
Senator Graham: Honourable senators, the Prime Minister's
attendance at APEC could provide an excellent opportunity to
express views on the subject directly to the President of
Meeting to be held in Malasia-Intention of RCMP with
respect to carrying firearms while guarding Prime
Minister during attendance at conference-Government
Hon. Mabel M. DeWare: Honourable senators, my question
is this: Is Senator Graham aware whether the Prime Minister's
complement of security officers will be allowed to carry firearms
while protecting the security of the Prime Minister and, if so,
Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government): I
am not aware of any final plans that have been made in that
regard because, as I indicated the other day in the chamber, there
have been reciprocal arrangements made with respect to the
RCMP, who have the responsibility for protecting our Prime
Minister, to carry arms in other countries. By request and
agreement, reciprocal arrangements have been made whereby
those responsible for the protection of the leaders of other
countries have been granted the status of temporary peace
officers in that country.
Treatment of Protestors at APEC Conference by
RCMP-Transparency of Government Response to
Hon. Ron Ghitter: Honourable senators, I have a question for
the Leader of the Government. This entire APEC situation is
such a mess. It is such an embarrassment to Canada. It involves
the suppression of rights. It involves the suppression of freedom
of speech. It involves the suppression of freedom of assembly.
Fair-minded Canadians who believe in the democratic system
have been viewing with dismay what is occurring, and has
occurred in Vancouver. It is fundamental that we get all of the
facts into the open to ensure that this sort of situation does not
Is it the government's intention to hold back on information
and facts so that Canadians will not know what really went on at
Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government):
Honourable senators, the government clearly recognizes that it
has an ongoing obligation to provide all the relevant
documentation that should be available to the commission. The
government has made every effort to respond to the
commission's request for documentation relating to APEC.
It is the responsibility of commission counsel, as I understand
it, to determine what documentation is relevant to the hearing
and when it should be made available. In that respect, the
government, as I understand it, has fully cooperated, Senator
Ghitter, with the Public Complaints Commission on producing
the documentation, and will continue to do so.
Senator Ghitter: As a supplementary, does the government
not understand the one-sidedness of what is occurring when
government lawyers are coming to this hearing with their
abilities, their knowledge and their wisdom to scrutinize
documentation and to understand the issues while some
university students are coming almost naked to the proceedings
without any assistance whatsoever? If it is the government's
desire to bring the facts out appropriately in this situation, how
can they deny the students access to trained minds in order to
ensure that their position is protected, and that all of the facts will
Surely the government's refusal to provide legal assistance to
these students tells Canadians that the government is unwilling to
see that all the facts come out? Indeed, the government seems
willing to allow the students to stand alone against the battery of
lawyers that the government is putting up on the other side. Is
that fair and appropriate? I would suggest that the government
should be embarrassed by their conduct in this matter.
Senator Graham: The Honourable Senator Ghitter mentioned
in his earlier question the suppression of rights and the
suppression of freedom of assembly. If you follow carefully and
fairly the events as they unfold - and it is important for us to
watch and listen to the testimony that comes before the
commission - you will find that every effort was made to
provide an appropriate space for the students to assemble and to
make their protest.
As I mentioned at an earlier time - I do not believe you were
in the chamber, Senator Ghitter - that request had been made
through the president of the University of British Columbia, on
whose campus the conference was held.
All of us have lessons to learn from this particular event. As a
matter of fact, the world can learn from this event. I would never,
for one minute, deny the right of people to demonstrate or to be
heard. I think it is terribly important for us to be conscious of
what those young people are going through in their lives. At the
same time, we must remember that the host country is
responsible for the protection, the security and the orderly
conduct of those meetings.
We have been assured by the commission counsel that he will
be able, with the help of those who are assisting him, to ensure
that all the facts will come out and that everyone will be treated
fairly. It is very important that we allow the commission to
continue with its work. Perhaps in two or three weeks or a month
from now, we will be able to make an assessment of how that
work is progressing.
Senator Ghitter: Honourable senators, I know Senator
Graham to be a fair-minded man. What he has expressed has
been expressed in all sincerity and he has presented the
government's position today. However, this is not a matter of
providing space for people, and it is not a matter of saying that
the independent counsel for the commission will be able to do
the job. I have sat on these commissions and I have acted as
counsel on them. I have never seen a complainant walk in before
a fact-finding tribunal, an inquiry, a judicial commission, or
whatever, without counsel. The position of the independent
counsel is to see that the facts get out, but he is not in an
adversarial position. He is not there representing a particular
person. The government is represented to the nth degree, but you
are leaving these students without representation. I find that
Failure of OECD Multilateral Agreement on
Investment-Review of Cost to Sovereignty of Chapter 11
of North American Free Trade Agreement-Need for
Transparency in Dispute Settlement Panels-Government
Hon. Mira Spivak: Honourable senators, according to press
reports yesterday, the Minister of International Trade has
declared the Multilateral Agreement on Investment a dead deal.
Some of us might cheer, some of us might not, but the talks have
broken down because the deputy secretary of the OECD said that
the stumbling block was the treaty's impact on sovereignty -
specifically, its conflict with the sovereign right of countries to
pursue health, environmental and labour objectives and their
right to protect culture.
The vast majority of OECD countries are not accepting this
limit on their sovereignty but Canada has already accepted it on a
scaled-down basis in the NAFTA.
My question is this: Given that Canada is learning the hard
way through the NAFTA panel ruling on MMT and other new
challenges what investment treaties really mean, is the
government planning to review publicly the full cost to our
sovereignty of NAFTA, chapter 11 before it is extended to the
WTO, the Free Trade of the Americas Agreement, or any other
multilateral or bilateral treaty? There is also the question of
transparency, the lack of which has been criticized a lot in these
dispute settlement panels.
I should like to know if the Leader of the Government in the
Senate can provide us with the government's feeling or thinking
now that the MAI is no longer on the front burner?
Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government):
Honourable senators, with respect to negotiations, it is quite clear
that the OECD negotiations are over. That does not change the
fact that Canada is a great place to invest and remains so.
The global investment rules would reduce the risks for
Canadian foreign investment abroad which last year, for the first
time, overtook investment in Canada. It increased
from $188 billion to $194 billion.
With respect to transparency, I do not know if I should attempt
to respond to Senator Spivak's very interesting question because
there were many questions and opinions contained in her
preamble. I should like to examine it more carefully and bring
forward a more detailed and, I hope, accurate answer. If I try to
give one today, I may live to regret it.
Failure of OECD Multilateral Agreement on
Investment-Role of World Trade Organization in
Investment Rules-Government Position
Hon. Mira Spivak: Honourable senators, people on this side
are well aware of the benefits of free trade. To jog your memory,
it was actually the Mulroney government that succeeded in
putting in place the free trade agreement.
I understand that the transparency question is not one to which
the leader can give me an answer today, but there is also the
philosophical question in terms of sovereignty. You can have free
trade and you can have some protection - certainly the United
States succeeds at it admirably. It is the philosophy behind
extending the chapter 11 business into the WTO. The WTO has
sometimes been the saviour with regard to disputes within the
free trade agreement in trade and the Free Trade Agreement of
Can the Leader of the Government provide any enlightenment
or can he determine the philosophy of the government on this
issue at this point in time?
Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government):
Honourable senators, if I were a philosopher, I would go on and
on and use up the balance of the time for Question Period.
Simply put, there is a new reality. We have worked diligently
to get international trade rules from the World Trade
Organization, and we believe that the WTO should be the home
for international investment rules.
Possible Evaluation of Impact of Chapter 11 of North
American Free Trade Agreement-Request for Copy of
Hon. Lowell Murray: Honourable senators, there must be in
the files of the government somewhere a recent evaluation,
conducted by its advisors and officials, of the impact of
chapter 11 of the NAFTA on Canada's interests. Would the
minister agree and undertake to let us see a copy of such an
evaluation - that is, if one exists?
Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government):
Honourable senators, if such an evaluation does exist, I should be
happy to bring it forward.
Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Deputy Leader of the
Government): Honourable senators, I have a response to a
question raised in the Senate on September 30, 1998, by the
Honourable Senator David Tkachuk, regarding security
arrangements at the APEC conference and the responsibility for
briefing the Prime Minister.
Security Arrangements at APEC
Conference-Responsibility for Briefing of Prime
(Response to question raised by Hon. David Tkachuk on
September 30, 1998)
As stated by Government Counsel in his opening
statement before the Commission:
"It was necessary for the Prime Minister's Office to work
with the RCMP and other departments and agencies before
and during the conference on security and other matters.
However the evidence before the Inquiry will show that final
decisions respecting security arrangements before and during
the APEC conference were taken solely by the RCMP. They
were taken for security reasons alone."
On this issue of security arrangements, the Commission
will hear witnesses from PMO/PCO.
This matter is before the RCMP Public Complaints
Commission. The Commission has the necessary powers to
ensure that it hears all the facts that it needs.
Hon. Ross Fitzpatrick moved the third reading of Bill C-29,
to establish the Parks Canada Agency and to amend other Acts as
He said: Honourable senators, I am pleased to rise in the
Senate today for third reading of Bill C-29, to establish the Parks
I should like to take this opportunity to express my thanks to
my colleagues on the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the
Environment and Natural Resources for the interest and concern
they have shown as we have studied this important piece of
The committee members' commitment to our national treasury
was confirmed by our decision to report Bill C-29 without
amendment. However, the committee has also reported certain
observations. These observations are welcomed by the
government and will be subject to further study so that we can
continue to protect our natural and cultural heritage.
Our national parks, national historic sites and other protected
heritage areas are a great source of pride and delight for
Canadians and a precious heritage for all of us to protect and
enjoy. The government has a strong commitment to these special
places in that they are an expression of Canada and that the
government intends that they be preserved and managed in a
manner that leaves them unimpaired for future generations.
A key element of this commitment is the establishment of an
organization dedicated to carrying out these responsibilities. That
is why the government announced its intention, in March of
1996, to create such an organization, the Parks Canada Agency.
Bill C-29 will achieve several important goals. First, it will
establish the Canadian Parks Agency dedicated to the
management of Canada's national parks, national historic sites
and other related heritage areas. Second, it will provide the Parks
Canada agency with special abilities, ensuring continued quality
service to Canadians. Third, it will maintain the momentum
toward the completion of the national parks system and the
expansion of systems of national and historic sites, marine
conservation areas and other related protected heritage areas,
thereby strengthening and reflecting Canada's values and
A key element of the new agency is the emphasis on
accountability. First and foremost, the Parks Canada Agency will
remain fully accountable to the Minister of Canadian Heritage
and to Parliament. The Minister of Canadian Heritage will retain
current direction over the agency and its programs and activities.
The Minister of Canadian Heritage will approve submissions to
cabinet, including those to Treasury Board, and will table in
Parliament key documents such as the corporate plan for the
agency, management plans for the parks and sites, and the annual
report on the agency's operations. As well, at least every five
years, the Minister of Canadian Heritage will table in Parliament
a summary report on how the human resources regime supports
values established for management of human resources.
The chief executive officer will report directly to the Minister
of Canadian Heritage. Treasury Board and the Auditor General
will also have roles in the accountability structure. Treasury
Board will approve the contents of the Parks Canada Agency
corporate plan and will recommend approval to Parliament for
appropriations for the agency through the Main Estimates and
Supplementary Estimates. It will also approve the negotiating
mandate for collective bargaining.
The Auditor General will audit and provide an opinion on the
financial statements of the agency, and will evaluate its
performance with respect to its mandate, objectives and
The creation of the Parks Canada Agency will ensure that
employees have the tools to carry out their mandate of working
toward the completion of the national parks system. Through the
Parks Canada Agency, improvements are being sought in the
First, organizational stability: It is the intention to formally
establish an organization that is firmly dedicated to, and focused
on, its tasks.
Second, organizational simplicity: The agency will have a
simple organizational structure creating modern and efficient
Third, financial flexibility: The agency will need innovative
financial tools for peak performance within its budget.
Fourth, a dedicated human resources regime: The Parks
Canada Agency will have its own human resources regime, one
that can meet its special operational requirements.
The flexibilities and authorities that the legislation provides
are designed to support the agency in delivering services within
its budgets. The specific authorities which help to meet this goal
are: one, the delegation of administrative authorities; two, the
retention of revenue that will flow back into operations, and
three, a more tailored human resource regime that will give
employees the tools they need to effectively carry out the
Operating revenues will flow back into parks and sites,
creating part of the appropriations for establishing new heritage
places. The retention of revenues from the sale of surplus fixed
assets will be reinvested for establishing new heritage places. A
biennial round table will permit interested persons to share their
views on the agency, and to participate more fully in the
management direction of our treasured places.
In conclusion, honourable senators, I trust that my comments
have clarified the strategic direction and priorities of Bill C-29 to
establish the Parks Canada Agency. The responsibility for
managing these special places has a long tradition, stretching
back to 1885 when the initial steps were taken to establish
Canada's first national park. We must ensure that this tradition
The new agency will ensure the continued fulfilment of this
mandate of managing our national parks, national historic sites
and other heritage areas which together reflect and celebrate the
very best of what it is to be Canadian.
Honourable senators, I am proud to speak to this bill at third
reading, and I am confident of your support in recognizing the
importance of this legislation.
Hon. Ethel Cochrane: Honourable senators, I should like to
make a few remarks about Bill C-29. I will focus on two
particular concerns. The first is the fate of seasonal employees
under the management of the new parks agency. The second is
the need to ensure that the beauty of our national parks continues
to be preserved and enhanced.
We know that all existing Parks Canada employees will be
offered a transfer to the new agency with their existing wages,
benefits and pensions. I understand that PSAC is not concerned
about future job cuts in the parks service because those cuts have
already been made over the past few years. However, I am
concerned that there are no guarantees that the agency will
employ the same number of seasonal workers.
At present, there are about 5,000 Parks Canada employees.
About one-third of those are seasonal employees, and most of
them are students. In many small communities in and near the
parks, those jobs are very important both to the people who hold
them and to the local economy. For many of the students, these
jobs are an opportunity to gain valuable work experience in
fields that are relevant to their area of expertise, such as biology
and forestry. It would be, at best, a shame and, at worst, a very
severe economic blow if the agency decided to reduce costs by
cutting the number of seasonal jobs available.
My second concern is dear to my heart, that being the
preservation of the beauty of our parks. The government has told
us that it will deliver cost-effective and efficient services to
visitors of our national parks. To many of you, those may be
reassuring words but to me they are a little frightening. I am
certainly in favour of efficiency, but I hope that the pursuit of
cost effectiveness does not mean a future deterioration of the
splendid hiking trails, the camping and other facilities, and the
natural attraction that we find in our national parks.
Every year I make it a point to visit Gros Morne National Park
in Newfoundland. Each time I return, I find that improvements
have been made, and made in such a way that they blend in with
the surroundings and enhance the clean and pure beauty of the
Over the years, the people who work in our park service have
established standards of excellence for the maintenance and
continuing upgrading of the parks. The results of their efforts are
admired by visitors from all over the world. I would hate to see
those standards relaxed and those efforts diminished in the
pursuit of cost savings and efficiency.
I fear that the agency may be tempted to contract out more
work and services in order to reduce costs. If that happens, will
contract workers have the same commitment to preservation of
the natural beauty of the parks that the park service employees
exhibit? Will private companies worry about ensuring that
facilities blend harmoniously with the environment?
I fear that the new agency may be tempted, or even pressured
by the government, to raise more revenues by allowing more
commercial development in the parks. That, too, would threaten
the natural beauty for which our parks are so famous.
Honourable senators, I hope that my fears will prove to be
groundless, and that the standards of preservation and
enhancement of our natural parks will be maintained for many
years to come. I will continue to visit Gros Morne National Park
every year and other parks in the future, and I hope the parks will
remain as beautiful as they are today.
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable
Senator Bryden, seconded by the Honourable Senator
Stewart, for the second reading of Bill C-3, An Act
respecting DNA identification and to make consequential
amendments to the Criminal Code and other acts.
Hon. Pierre Claude Nolin: Honourable senators, it is
understood that Bill C-3 will be referred as quickly as possible
- perhaps as early as today - to the Legal and Constitutional
Affairs Committee. I will try to be brief.
Everyone is aware of the scope of this bill, which seeks to
complement an initial step taken in 1995. At the time,
amendments had been made to the Criminal Code to allow for
the taking of DNA samples for investigative purposes, under the
authority of a judicial warrant. This was the first legislative step
in this area. Bill C-3, which provides for the establishment of a
national DNA data bank, was tabled in the House of Commons in
September 1997. It is the second step taken by the federal
government to legislate the use of DNA samples to identify
Honourable senators, this is a historic bill and one of the most
important in the area of criminal justice in the past 100 years,
that is since 1898, when authorization was granted under the
Identification of Criminals Act to take fingerprints to identify a
person suspected of being responsible for a crime.
It is important to agree on a definition of DNA. If the
committee wishes to get explanations from scientists, it will have
ample opportunity to do so. I will not get into a scientific
explanation since I am not an expert in the field but, from what I
understand, DNA is a substance that contains the genetic code of
an individual. Every individual has his or her own code, unless
we are dealing with identical twins, in which case the genetic
code would be the same for both.
The bill is aimed at the creation of a bank that would contain
information relating to these codes. This is a very powerful tool
with an impact not only on the efficacy of criminal justice, but
also on the security of the population and of the state, on the
private lives of Canadians, and on their relationship with
With this bill, the state gains considerable power, because it
addresses an aspect of private life that has never been addressed
since the beginning of human history. The state is now in a
position to obtain information on people's daily lives, such as
genetic, and therefore highly personal, information on
individuals and their families, from computerized data banks and
from cross-referencing information files - for instance, our
income, our credit, our medical files, our academic records. The
Canadian government could therefore, in the near future, be able
to gain information on our predisposition to certain diseases, our
academic abilities, our character, and even our predisposition to
challenge social authority.
Before this latest intrusion into people's private lives, the
state's use of electronic surveillance against people without their
knowledge was considered the most serious offence under the
It is, therefore, important for this new initiative against crime
to be used with the greatest care for our constitutional and
democratic principles and with respect for people's privacy and
The purpose of this bill is to create a national DNA bank to
help law enforcement agencies identify persons alleged to have
committed designated offences, including those committed
before the coming into force of this act.
The bill in question is based on two major principles, and it is
vital for the coexistence of these two principles to be understood.
The first is what I would call "the efficacy of the criminal justice
system." It is acknowledged first of all that the protection of
society and the administration of justice are well served by the
discovery, arrest and prompt sentencing of offenders, and that
this may be facilitated by the use of DNA profiles. No one here
can deny our duty to provide the state and the law enforcement
agencies with the means of attaining that objective.
There is a second principle - one the government recognizes
in its bill - that I would call "the protection of legal rights,"
because the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms refers to
this protection. The bill also includes two provisions for the
protection of personal information. First, safeguards must be
placed on the use and communication of, and access to, DNA
profiles and other information contained in the national DNA
Second, safeguards must be placed on the use of, and access
to, bodily substances that are transmitted to the RCMP
commissioner for the purposes of the act. These two principles
- vital to an understanding of the legislation - must coexist
and complement one another. This is a tall order. On the one
hand, we want the police to have all the available tools but, on
the other, we want to make sure that, in exercising their new
powers, the police respect the constitutional rights we demand.
Parliament's challenge is to ensure that the legislation respects
Bill C-3 offers certain benefits. The administration of criminal
justice in cases of serious crime or sexual assault will be more
effective. If traces of DNA are found at crime scenes, the police
will probably be in a better position to identify the perpetrator
with absolute certainty. As well, a data bank will make it possible
to solve crimes for which there have so far been no suspects.
I will use all three descriptions, even though the scientists do
not like it when I mix them up, but I think you understand what
I am driving at.
Using DNA will be useful in prosecuting and convicting those
who really committed crimes and in proving the innocence of
those wrongly convicted. Since it was first used in Canada in
1988, DNA evidence has proven extremely useful in correctly
identifying suspects in a number of investigations.
This bill contains several flaws, and it will be the committee's
job to identify these flaws and correct them where necessary, so
that the two basic objectives of this bill can coexist.
In spite of this bill's benefits in terms of improving the
efficiency of criminal justice and the police investigation process
across the country, it has nevertheless raised concerns with
respect to its potential impact on the concepts of privacy and
security of the person. While most stakeholders who came before
the House of Commons justice and human rights committee
recognized that Bill C-3 strikes a balance between the need to
ensure the security of the state and society and the need to
protect individual rights and privacy, a number of them expressed
concerns about the potential short-term effects of this bill.
The committee must conduct a detailed review of Bill C-3. We
must make sure that, in keeping with the spirit of the bill, the two
aforementioned objectives can continue to coexist without one
overriding the other. It would be a grave mistake to become so
absorbed in our quest to make criminal justice more efficient that
we forget about the need to protect individual guarantees. By
their decisions, the courts would show us the error of our ways.
It is our duty to ensure that, at the end of the legislative
process, this necessary legislation respects the democratic
constitutional guarantees we all hold dear.
I have concerns about the confidentiality of the information
contained in the data bank and about the management of this data
bank. I do not question the existence of the bank. The
administration of this bill must be very carefully controlled.
I have concerns about access to the content of the bank and
about the nature of the information kept there. As to the
administration of the data bank, even if samples are destroyed,
the profiles of the individuals acquitted would remain in the
system. In other words, an individual is arrested, charged and
acquitted. We would keep the profile, but the elements, the
substances used to create the profile, would be destroyed.
Is the potential for recidivism noted in each case in order to
justify such a decision? These profiles would be made
inaccessible, we are told, so what then is the point of keeping
them? The government guarantees that the link between the
profile and the individual would be cut to avoid any connection
between the two. It contends that the destruction of the profiles
would pose a computing problem.
In this field, what seems insurmountable today will seem like
nothing in three years. We need look only at the changes in
computer science and the capabilities we have today compared to
those of 10 years ago. When I hear people claiming that, for
computer processing reasons, it would be impossible to do what
you are suggesting, permit me to question it. It will be the duty of
your committee to question senior officials, to go beyond this
answer and explain the nature of this computer problem. We will
go beyond a facile response in order to understand, I promise you
that. If the government does not want to destroy the profiles and
assures us that no link will be possible between an individual's
name and the profile, why keep them? Our committee will look
at the responses.
There is a troubling situation, too. During an inquiry, persons
may voluntarily offer bodily substances from which their DNA
profile may be derived. In an effort to facilitate an inquiry or to
avoid being charged, individuals may voluntarily decide to
provide a sample - all in an effort to help the police.
Under the bill, these samples must be destroyed immediately
and are not to be used in investigations of other crimes. In
examining the bill's provisions, we must make sure that the bill's
objective is in fact respected.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, the 15 minutes
are up. Are you going to ask for leave to continue, Senator
Senator Nolin: If my colleagues would be kind enough to
allow me a few minutes, I will be brief.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, is leave
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
Senator Nolin: Honourable senators, many things are done in
the name of science. Science and research are magic words.
Perhaps I am mistaken, but the creation of a data bank worries
me. The control measures are clear in the bill. What guarantee is
there that someone, not even a scientist, much less an
ill-intentioned one, will not have access to this bank? Who can
say that science will not have evolved sufficiently in a few years
for scientists to have discovered the potential of a DNA bank
such as this one right there for the taking?
It may become an object of considerable attraction for
researchers, and one readily accessed. We must take steps to
ensure that this bank is set up only for the purposes set out in this
We need to draw on our experience to try to predict the future,
for science is advancing even faster than we think. We hear about
genetic manipulation. We find it interesting; we read about it in
the newspapers. However, we need to realize that what can be
done now with animals can be done with humans as well. You
can see how far genetic manipulation can go. Far be it for me to
suggest that such is the government's intention. What I do want
you to understand is that access to a data bank can turn into a
megaproject for a scientist. We must prevent this from
happening, even if it means putting in supplementary protections
that may seem excessive to us. The bill will be reviewed in five
years and this is a great idea. If we find the additional controls
excessive, we can water them down in five years.
I have some serious concerns about lobby groups. I am
thinking in particular of the Canadian Police Association, which
would like to see the bill amended as far as the timing of sample
collection is concerned.
I will not make any snap judgments on what was said in the
other place, but let us not lose sight of the fact that, since 1981,
we have had a Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It may
be a nuisance to us at times, but we cannot decide to have one
just when it suits us. That charter contains protective
mechanisms, guarantees. Should we be tempted to change the
timing of sample collection, we would have some serious
If you have six constitutional experts before you, three will say
you will have problems and three will say the contrary. We are
playing with the private lives of individuals, criminals or not. We
have no right to advance into the unknown. If a measure may be
unconstitutional, we must not touch it.
You have probably begun to receive documentation from the
various lobbies, all well-intentioned. I am not questioning their
motives, but I suggest you bear in mind that the Canadian
Charter of Rights and Freedoms could be threatened by this bill.
The Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee will examine
this bill very thoroughly.
Hon. Eymard G. Corbin moved the second reading of
Bill C-52, to implement the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban
He said: Honourable senators, I am grateful for the privilege
and the honour to move today the second reading of the bill to
implement the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty, which
Canada needs in order to carry out its obligations under the treaty
and which, once passed, will enable Canada to ratify the treaty.
Over 50 years ago, Canada had the capacity to manufacture
nuclear arms. It decided, however, not to do so. Instead, we have
devoted a considerable amount of resources and energy to
developing a plan to free the world of nuclear arms while at the
same time permitting the harnessing of nuclear energy for
Canada probably paid a political and economic price for
sticking to its convictions; still it did not back down. For
instance, time and time again we have chosen not to sell nuclear
reactors to countries that were not willing to provide the
necessary safeguards and honour their international obligations
with respect to nuclear non-proliferation.
Unfortunately, the nuclear tests by India and Pakistan have
revived the threat of proliferation and weakened rather than
strengthened regional security. Sadly, by their actions, they may
have set an example for other countries tempted to contribute to
nuclear proliferation. As a result, we are running the risk of
seeing a number of states decide that it is acceptable in
international policy to defend the proliferation or build-up of
Such an attitude jeopardizes the progress made in turning back
the nuclear clock. We must condemn this attitude if we want to
achieve our ultimate goal of ridding the world of nuclear arms.
The absence of international censure against India and Pakistan
and, worse yet, their recognition as nuclear states will increase
the pressure to expand the nuclear club. That is why Canada
strongly condemned those tests and rejected the arguments
invoked to justify them.
It is equally important that we constantly renew efforts to
promote nuclear disarmament, the other indissociable part of the
While we Canadians can take pride in the sustained and
persistent efforts of our successive governments to extend the
non-proliferation regime, through the extension, in 1995, for an
indeterminate period, of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of
Nuclear Weapons, the coming into effect, in 1997, of the
Chemical Weapons Convention, and the agreement allowing the
international community to begin talks on a treaty prohibiting the
manufacturing of fissile materials used in nuclear weapons, we
must still continue to fight with determination.
The House of Commons unanimously passed Bill C-52. It is
now up to us, honourable senators, to give our support, which
will no doubt be unanimous.
The treaty is an indispensable component of the international
regime of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. Its coming into
force will put an end to nuclear testing, regardless of where such
tests are conducted, thus improving world security. It is a fact
that nuclear tests prevent us from achieving the fundamental
objectives of disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear
It is ridiculous and paradoxical to see these objectives being
jeopardized by states which seek to join the nuclear club for
reasons of vanity. The comprehensive nuclear test-ban treaty is a
more effective deterrent than any other previous disarmament
treaty. It will help restrict the development of new nuclear
weapons and the improvement of existing ones. The treaty will
also provide safeguards to nuclear states, thus supporting the
efforts made in the area of nuclear disarmament.
The treaty provides for an international monitoring system to
detect any nuclear explosions that take place. The global network
will include 321 stations and 16 laboratories using four different
detection technologies: first, seismological monitoring to
measure shock waves in the earth's surface; second,
hydroacoustic monitoring to measure shock waves in water;
third, infrasound monitoring to measure low frequency pressure
fluctuations in the atmosphere; and, finally, radionuclide
monitoring to measure the presence of certain radioactive fission
products in the atmosphere, which will make it possible to
determine whether they are the result of a nuclear explosion.
Fifteen of the 321 stations will be located in Canada, which
will also have a radionuclide laboratory. The list can be found in
a schedule to the treaty, which is included in the bill. All these
stations will operate 24 hours a day. It is practically impossible to
carry out testing secretly. States will have to think long and hard
before resorting to clandestine activities.
Once the treaty is implemented, the organization responsible
for its enforcement will be able to carry out on-site inspections
should any suspicious events be detected by its own international
monitoring system or other means.
No one should be in any doubt as to the reliability of the
international monitoring system and the effectiveness of the
technologies used to detect explosions. Although it is not yet
fully operational, the international monitoring system
nonetheless detected the recent explosions in India and Pakistan.
This is already a sign of its effectiveness.
We are certain that, once the international surveillance system
is fully operational, it will be practically impossible to carry out
nuclear testing in secret on this planet. The test-ban treaty also
limits the ability of governments to develop nuclear weapons and
improve existing ones. The treaty will also put the brakes on
vertical, or quantitative, proliferation and on horizontal, or
qualitative, proliferation. Furthermore, the treaty sets for all
countries, and this is perhaps its greatest strength, a general
standard against nuclear testing. Its main virtue lies in the strong
international consensus behind it.
With 150 countries as signatories, including five declared
nuclear powers, the treaty carries with it the moral weight of the
international community and can be felt even by countries that
have yet to sign it.
We note that, because of the pressure of the international
community, India and Pakistan have, since they conducted their
tests, indicated their willingness to consider signing the treaty -
testimony to its authority. We very much hope they will do so
Concluding the treaty had long been one of the aims of
Canada, which made a very positive contribution to the
negotiations. Despite the comments by some critics, our
ministers and diplomats did everything they could do in an
imperfect world, and we owe a substantial debt of gratitude to
these devoted and hard-working officials.
If we want to continue playing an important role in this regard,
our words must be accompanied by actions. We must ratify the
The bill before us contains the elements required for Canada to
honour its obligations under the treaty. First of all, it will make it
an offence to carry out a nuclear weapon test explosion or any
other nuclear explosion in Canada for the purpose of developing
or improving nuclear weapons; second, to set out the respective
and joint responsibilities within the National Authority for
Canada of the Departments of Foreign Affairs and International
Trade, Natural Resources, and Health in managing all matters
relating to Canada's obligations under the treaty; third, to require
Canadian industries to report to the National Authority any
chemical explosion using 300 tonnes or more of TNT-equivalent
blasting material that could be taken for a nuclear explosion.
The bill will not be difficult to enforce, since it does not make
onerous demands on Canadian industry. In fact, implementation
of the treaty provides some advantages for Canadian technology.
There may be some extremely interesting economic advantages
for Canada, given our expertise in the field.
Canada's national authority for implementation of the treaty
will be made up of existing components of Natural Resources
Canada, Health Canada, Environment Canada and the
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. It will
not be necessary to create a new bureaucracy. Canada's annual
contribution to the treaty organization will represent most of the
money needed to implement the treaty. It is provided that
Canada's additional expenditures to put in place its component of
the international monitoring system will be repaid by the treaty
If the Senate approves the bill, it will enable Canada to ratify
the treaty and give increased legitimacy to its efforts to prevent
new risks of nuclear proliferation. Adopting this bill will make
Canada one of the first major nations to ratify the treaty.
Canadians fervently wish the world to be freed of the nuclear
threat. They want to take the lead in pursuing this objective.
Ratifying the treaty will meet their expectations.
If passed by the Senate, this bill will send a clear message that
our country remains committed to the objectives of
non-proliferation and disarmament, objectives which Canadians
Before I conclude my remarks, you may have noticed,
honourable senators, that only one amendment was made in the
other place to the bill as introduced by the minister. Under this
bill, the Minister of Foreign Affairs will be required to table an
annual report before the House of Commons within 15 days of
receiving it. Why is he not required to table his report in the
Senate as well? I do not know. The amendment was moved by
the Bloc Québécois and unanimously approved by the House of
Commons. It may be that someone was asleep in the other place.
In committee, I intend to move an amendment to have the
department's annual report also tabled in the Senate for
consideration by the honourable senators.
On motion of Senator DeWare, for Senator Andreychuk,
Hon. Lois M. Wilson rose pursuant to notice of October 20,
That she will call the attention of the Senate to the fiftieth
anniversary year of the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights, and its implications for Canada.
She said: Honourable senators, it is with both humility and
pride that I take my place as a senator from Ontario in this
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!
Senator Wilson: Many of you have far more political
experience in policy-making in this country than I can ever hope
to have. I want to learn from your collective experience.
However, I am prompted also to acknowledge with pride that my
appointment honours the ecumenical, interfaith and
non-governmental communities in Canada with whom I work on
Born, educated and nurtured in my formative years in the
province of Manitoba, which gives me some claim to being a
Westerner, I am pleased now to represent the regional interests of
Ontario, having lived and worked extensively in both the
northern and southern parts of that province for almost 40 years.
I apologize for having to speak English but I am far from
bilingual. However, I pledge to learn French as soon as possible.
As we approach the millennium, I join with others in this
chamber in the hope of contributing a measure of wholeness to a
world and a community that is experiencing much brokenness.
Acknowledging that our lives and our efforts are limited, my
focus will be on three priorities: Canada's foreign policy in
international human rights and related subjects; support for the
aspirations of Canada's aboriginal people; and facilitation of civil
society as it emerges more and more strongly as a constructive
partner with government on significant policy issues. Of course,
underlying everything I do will be advocacy for a more equitable
role for women. These issues provide a context for the
development of government policy.
First, let me remind honourable senators that December 10,
1998, heralds the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The declaration speaks
not only of civil and political rights, around which we have made
significant progress, but also around economic, cultural and
social rights. These need much more attention from policy
makers, particularly as one-fifth of the world's population lives
in abject poverty.
The recently released United Nations Human Development
index points out that Canada's standing in overseas development
assistance, for example, remains at an all-time low of
0.32 per cent, far below the internationally agreed target of
0.7 per cent, which is reached only by Nordic countries at the
For the fifth year in a row, the report rated Canada as the best
country in the world. I rejoice in that fact. In my calling as
Christian minister, ecumenist, university chancellor and author, I
have travelled the world widely, and there is no country other
than Canada in which I would want to live in.
However, several indicators factored into this report for the
first time call our number one standing into question. The gap
between the rich and the poor in this country, and the unequal
distribution of wealth, called the poverty indicator, drop us to
eleventh place. Some 9 per cent of Canadian families received
food assistance in 1994, and half the children of single parents in
Canada live far below the poverty line. Cuts in health, education
and social spending have had a negative effect on the most
marginalized in Canada - the aged, the ill, single parents and
While I am fully aware that much of the responsibility for the
delivery of social programs is the responsibility of provinces, I
am also acutely aware that the federal government has a critical
role to play in ensuring wholeness in the life of the poor. We are,
after all, a country; not just a group of disconnected provinces.
Literacy in Canada was rated by the report as 99 per cent.
However, it is also noted that the so-called literate have such low
levels of functional reading skills that they cannot understand the
instructions on a bottle of medicine; nor can they meet the basic
requirements of a society with changing competitive markets.
The social cohesion study of this chamber in the context of
globalization and other economic and structural forces is very
important in pointing the way to sound social policy for this
The issue of recognizing the aspirations of the aboriginal
people of Canada is of much concern to the people of Ontario.
The territory of the Nishnawebe-Aski Nation covers two-thirds
of the land mass of Ontario. This territory stretches across
Northern Ontario, encompassing all of the lands in the province
that are drained by Hudson Bay and James Bay. The nation's
government-to-government relationship with the Crown was
initially formalized in Treaty No. 9 and Treaty No. 5. The
Nishnawebe-Aski number over 28,000 First Nations people.
They live and work in 50 First Nations communities across
Northern Ontario. These people are both Ojibway and Cree and
speak various dialects of Cree, Ojibway and Oji-Cree. Many still
live in isolated communities.
Some 35 communities are inaccessible by road. Twenty-seven
are unconnected to the Ontario Hydro grid. Many depend, in
various degrees, on the land and its resources for food as the
basis for their economy. Their culture is based on and thrives on
their relationship to the land and their environment.
Grand Chief Charles Fox points out that both Canada and
Ontario have recognized their inherent rights to self-government
and the fiduciary obligations to protect their rights in instruments
that they have signed. While they are still pursuing full
recognition and implementation of their rights to self government
in their territories, which in their view includes management and
control of their lands and resources, they face some pressures
that would remove lands from their control. That is partly why
the Senate study on self-government of aboriginal people is so
critical to Canada.
Last week I took leave of the Senate at the request of Canada's
Foreign Affairs Minister to be an observer, along with federal
parliamentarians and representatives of the Assembly of First
Nations, of the elections in the State of Chiapas, in Mexico. I
built on my experience of observing elections in El Salvador and
Chile on other occasions.
Our purpose was to be passive participants but active
observers. Our visit demonstrated concern and support for the
indigenous peoples of Chiapas, assessing their participation in
the democratic election process for local government under very
current and tense conditions there. We also assessed the utility of
conventional election processes in meeting the needs of people
wishing to retain their traditional ways to choose their own
representatives. In the process, we noted the grinding poverty, the
geographic isolation and the fierce independence of a people
whose leaders will doubtless be watching Canada's policy around
aboriginal people and self-government.
The increasingly important role of civil society in partnering
with government on the formation of public policy has been
salutary in Canada around the landmines treaty of one year ago,
as well as the International Criminal Court launched in Rome in
July 1998. In both instances, the research networking, informed
citizen input and the pressure of public opinion contributed
significantly to Canada's ability to give splendid leadership in
these two areas. A non-government organization, the World
Federalists, coordinated the efforts of 200 NGOs in Canada to
support the International Criminal Court initiative even though it
was not supported by the U.S.A.
The United Nations Human Development Index emphasizes
the importance of citizens in participating in decisions affecting
their lives and affecting public policy. That report is filled with
instances of this emerging trend. As Senate appointees, we forget
this at our peril.
Here is a story to enlighten and enliven your weekend. Senator
Bill Bradley, of New Jersey, was attending a political dinner in
Washington, D.C., and shortly after they were seated, the waiter
came around with butter and put one pat on the senator's bread
and butter plate. "I would like two pats of butter," said the
senator. "Sorry," said the waiter, "only one to a customer."
"Well," said the senator, "I guess you do not know who I am."
"No," said the waiter, "I do not." "I am a senior member of the
United States Senate. Before that I was an all-star basketball
player with the New York Knicks and before that a Rhodes
scholar at Oxford." The waiter was unimpressed and replied,
"I guess you don't know who I am." No, I do not," said Bradley.
The waiter drew himself up to his full height and said proudly,
"I am the guy with the butter."
My third priority is to remind appointed senators of who in
Canada actually has "the butter" and to facilitate access for these
groups to policy-making.
Finally, underlying everything I do in the Senate is my
commitment to women. The United Nations Human
Development Index rated Canada number seven in the world in
terms of its ability to create real opportunities for women to
participate fully in the economic and political life of this country.
The World Council of Churches has just completed a
decade-long program with women and has found that violence,
whether verbal, physical, economic or political, is the
commonality that women around the world experience. I wonder
where Canada would stand if violence against women were
factored into the next UN Human Development Index.
The situation of women may not be surprising when one reads
in the same UN report a chart indicating the world's spending
priorities: $6 billion on basic education; $11 billion on ice cream
consumed by Europeans; $12 billion for reproductive health care
for women; $17 billion for pet food in the U.S.A. and Europe;
and, $740 billion on military requirements. Anyone who has
managed a household budget knows that the world's spending
priorities are badly distorted.
Honourable senators, Canada gave a splendid lead to the
international community this past summer. At meetings to launch
the International Criminal Court in Rome, Canadian delegates
insisted and won the right of that body to be granted jurisdiction
over war crimes that specifically affected women. The crimes
identified were rape in conflict situations, sexual slavery,
enforced pregnancy, enforced prostitution or sterilization. All of
these used to be labelled as inhuman and degrading punishment
but are now recognized as tools of genocide in a conflict
After World War II, no charges of sexual violence were laid,
although Korean women are now asking for compensation for
the hundreds of their numbers turned into comfort women and
enlisted forcibly to sexually service Japanese troops. After the
Gulf War, no charges of sexual violence were laid against
anyone. There were no legal structures to address the situation.
The world is at last codifying violence against women and
identifying sexual violence as criminal acts in international law.
I applaud the statements of the Deputy Leader of the
Government about women's contributions to the political life in
Canada. I wear a medallion today commemorating the fiftieth
anniversary of the ruling of the Persons Case of October 18,
1929, when it was decided that women were persons with regard
to appointments to the Senate. There is now a second persons
case afoot that seeks to guarantee equal appointment of women
and men to the Senate.
Upon my appointment, I was reminded that I bear the same
name as the first woman senator, "Wilson," and I therefore have
large shoes to fill. I will do what I can, in cooperation with
honourable senators, to bring wholeness to a broken world. By
addressing international human rights in its broadest sense, by
standing with aboriginal people and by reminding members of
who has "the butter," we men and women can together develop a
strong and viable country for the next millennium.
Parliamentary Seminar on Conflict Resolution and
Democratic Development in the Caucasus held in Tbilisi,
Republic of Georgia-Inquiry
Hon. Jerahmiel S. Grafstein rose pursuant to notice of
October 20, 1998:
That he will call the attention of the Senate to the
Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe
(OSCE) Parliamentary Seminar on Conflict Resolution and
Democratic Development in the Caucasus, held in Tbilisi,
Republic of Georgia, from October 3 to 6, 1998.
He said: Honourable senators, I was pleased to represent
Canada as a member of the extended bureau of the Organization
for Security and Cooperation in Europe, at a seminar for
parliamentarians on conflict resolution and democratic
development in the Caucasus, held two weeks ago in Tblisi, the
capital of the new Republic of Georgia.
Members of government and parliament from Georgia,
Armenia and Azerbaijan attended with members of the OSCE
from Russia, Germany, Denmark, Poland, Ukraine, Romania,
Greece, Turkey and others. I was asked to speak on the theme
"Building democracies for open communication." I chose as my
topic "Television and Democracy: Tblisi and Toronto." I have
circulated these notes to all senators.
I spoke from the perspective of living and working in the
pluralistic, multicultural cosmopolitan society that has become
Toronto. I attempted to transmit what we have learned in Toronto
in Canada on building an inclusive, pluralistic, civic society from
the ground up.
Honourable senators, the Caucasus lies sprawled between the
Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. Caucasia has been the
playground for imperial powers for centuries. In the last era, the
empires of Turkey, Britain, Russia, Germany and France all
played what they call "the great game," a clash between
avaricious imperial powers in this region. Each empire held
territorial, economic and strategic ambition in Caucasia, the land
bridge between Asia and Europe. I recalled that this ancient
region always played havoc because of its simmering strategic
and economic importance.
After the First World War, Georgia achieved independence for
the first time in seven centuries. Then the Bolsheviks forcefully
caused Georgia to be rolled back into the new U.S.S.R. in 1921
as a part of the transcaucasian federation along with Armenia and
Azerbaijan. This was no accident. Stalin was born in Georgia.
His first official responsibility in the Soviet government was as a
commissar of minorities. From Moscow, he promoted a
particular view to create hollow autonomous republics in
Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia, melded in a synthetic
transcaucasian federation in order to gain closer and tighter
control via the organism of the communist party. In fact, his
desire for total control and subservience even troubled Lenin.
This led to a major dispute with Lenin. The "Georgian question"
was the last dialectical battle Lenin fought, already helpless and
disabled but alert from his final strokes. Lenin attempted to enlist
Trotsky and others to divert Stalin but they demurred. Lenin
wanted to create a voluntary, independent group of states to join
the new entity he called the U.S.S.R. This dispute with Stalin led
to what was called "Lenin's Last Testament." Lenin secretly
dictated final notes from his sick bed. He noted Stalin's conduct
and accumulation of power and sought to derail him as his
successor, but Lenin died and Lenin's last directives, though
known and circulated, were never followed. Put on his guard,
Stalin had already pre-empted and outmanoeuvred Lenin, having
shrewdly seized power at the central committee, and his views
predominated. Together with his Georgian cohorts, including
Beria, he seized autocratic control of all Russia. The name
U.S.S.R. survived, but little else of the idea of federalism
remained. Sometimes history takes strange twists and turns.
After 70 years of powerful prominence, the autocratic
U.S.S.R. disintegrated in 1991. For the first time Georgia,
Azerbaijan and Armenia achieved democratic independence.
Today they are struggling to gain support in all corners of their
own geography, control within their own borders, while
grappling with crushing economic problems. The population of
Georgia is about 5.5 million. Their average income is the highest
of the three republics. It is about $800 U.S. a year. Many in the
bureaucracies in Georgia have not received their pay, nor have
national pensions been paid for several months.
"Separatists," as they are called in Georgia, have taken control
in the Abkhazia region of Georgia. "Separatist" threats are faced
in the Ossetia region as well. "Separatist" militias have usurped
autonomy and have established local power. The "separatist"
implosions have triggered a massive transfer of refugees; so in
Georgia, separatism is equivalent to social disruption and
Added to 300,000 displaced persons from without, there are
300,000 Georgian refugees coming from the "separatist" region
of Abkhazia. Some observers suggest that Russia, a peace-keeper
in the region, is fomenting this unrest. Democratic friends have
observed these concerns with care and attention as Russia itself is
a member of the OSCE.
Two lessons I can bring back - the disease of "nationalism"
and the dangers of elevating and exaggerating "nationalist"
myths and "national" minorities impedes economic progress,
unity and civic society. "Imperialist" ambitions can still foment
divisions and unrest.
Policies of inclusion and pluralism remain the preferred path
to political and economic cohesion and stability.
Honourable senators, let me say that President Schevardnadze,
who himself has survived several recent assassination attempts,
spoke at our meeting with passion and insight. He described the
current "separatist" issues, the costs and dislocation of refugees,
and the economic uncertainty in the region. On the other hand, he
pointed to projects entitled "The New Silk Road" and a proposed
pipeline traversing Caucasia from Baku, which reputedly sits in
the centre of the largest oil reserves in the world, across Georgia
to Turkey. Two pipeline routes are proposed through Georgia, but
the Russians want another, a Russian route. He sketched
economic visions and economic plans to modernize the Georgian
infrastructure to better utilize these riches and resources of the
region to the benefit of all their people. His economic vision for
unity rose above the clashes and clamours for local "separatist"
autonomy. There are high strategic stakes at play in that region,
and these were all outlined with detail and care in his economic
May I note the largely unpublicized and unheralded work on
democratic development by the OSCE and its members and
leadership under Madam Helle Degne of Denmark, the President,
and its Secretary General, Spencer Oliver of the U.S. We now
know that there is no quick, romantic fix from autocracy to
democracy, particularly in these regions. Step by step, party by
party, consensus by consensus, democracy will evolve. Advice
and assistance is still useful at every step. This is the Georgian
desire, and we, as members of the OSCE, should provide it.
Since I left Georgia last week, an abortive military mutiny put
down and control reasserted by the government over western
Georgia. It has been argued in Georgia that the ensuing unrest
there is an attempt by Russia to weaken and divide these young
democracies for a return to Russian hegemony and to divert
pipeline investment from Georgia to Russia. This we should
observe with concern and with interest.
Honourable senators, despite these setbacks, I was impressed
by a taste of the legendary hospitality of Georgia and the
passionate interest of members of parliaments from these three
republics to listen, to learn and to move forward towards
democracy and economic stability. We have much to learn from
the problems of these regions. There is much we can do to help
democracy along the way. Regretfully, we suffer from false cost
economies in the Department of Foreign Affairs by our absence in
Canada has no permanent representation in the Caucasus, in
this incendiary and strategic gateway linking Europe and Asia.
Canada has played little or no part in the gigantic $3-billion
pipeline project, which is of vital and strategic significance to the
West. We have deep and appropriate Canadian expertise, and we
have simply not deployed it. I would hope that the Canadian
government would see its way to open up at least one small
office in the Caucasus to observe the needs of the citizens of that
region and Canada in the anticipation of peace and stronger
stability and building partnerships for peace. Better preventive
assistance and economic partnerships than fire-fighting
When the report of the OSCE meeting is available from the
extended bureau of the OSCE, of which I am a member, I will
table it at the appropriate time in the Senate.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, if no other
honourable senator wishes to speak, this inquiry is considered
Commission of Inquiry into Treatment of Protestors at
APEC Conference by RCMP-Provision of Funds for legal
counsel for Students-Motion-Debate Adjourned
Hon. Pat Carney, pursuant to notice of October 20, 1998,
That the Senate supports the granting of funding for legal
counsel to complainants at the APEC hearing in Vancouver
before the RCMP Public Complaints Commission.
She said: Honourable senators, the Goddess of Democracy is a
sweet-faced statue located behind the main library near the SUB,
or the Student Union Building, on the University of British
Columbia campus. She was erected by UBC students to
commemorate the killing of Chinese students by Chinese soldiers
who, acting on government orders, turned their tanks and guns on
the student dissidents massed in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, a
carnage which horrified the world in June 1989.
At a Goddess of Democracy rally following this event, one
human rights activist and two parliamentarians stood on the UBC
library stairs and to the enthusiastic cheers of students berated
the Conservative government for its slowness in reacting to the
Chinese action. They were Raymond Chan, now Secretary of
State for Asia Pacific in the Liberal government, MP Svend
Robinson, and myself, a Canadian senator born in China.
Nobody pepper-sprayed us or inhibited our right to dissent. The
only expression of concern was made privately by Canada's
Minister for External Affairs, who happened to be my
parliamentary roommate at the time. Our Charter-protected right
to attack our government's actions on campus or anywhere else
Now fast forward to September 22, 1997, two months before
the APEC conference, to be attended by 18 Asia-Pacific leaders,
was scheduled to be held at UBC. Then two students were
arrested at the site of the Goddess of Democracy statue. Their
crime? They had spray painted APEC FREE ZONE at her feet.
These two incidents reveal how our basic human rights have
been eroded under this current Liberal government and Prime
Minister Jean Chrétien. It was not the statue which was defiled,
honourable colleagues; democracy itself was defiled by this
government, whose chokehold approach to Canadians has been
revealed by its stand on funding the victims of tainted blood, by
false allegations against its political opponents - including our
former prime minister Brian Mulroney, who this day is receiving
Canada's highest honour, the Order of Canada - and a
government which has repeatedly refused to use public money to
provide legal counsel to the students who were arrested but not
charged with expressing dissent. However, the government is
providing the state and the police and the Prime Minister's Office
with publicly funded legal counsel during the Public Complaints
Commission hearings now underway in Vancouver.
The hearings into the RCMP actions against the students,
which included pepper-spraying them, strip searching them and
jailing them without charge, will be one of the most expensive
ever undertaken by the commission - in fact the most
expensive. The cost is estimated at over $1 million, including a
$650,000 top-up by the government.
None of this money will be available to protect the rights of
the students who brought the complaints or to provide them with
the expert counsel they require to cross-examine the state's
witnesses. Nor does it include the clutch of legal talent which has
been assembled in the Prime Minister's Office - the Langevin
Block across from Parliament - to help the Prime Minister's
spin doctors undermine the evidence being presented during the
Observers at the hearings tell me that the presence of so many
government lawyers arrayed against the inexperienced students
has created a climate that is oppressive, ugly, ominous. All
Canadians should be fearful of this process, this government, this
policing policy. Who will be next?
The issue here is not the outcome of the process but the protest
itself. The PCC itself has asked that the students be provided
with legal counsel and the PCC's request has been refused. That
is the issue before the Senate. Should the students be provided
with the legal aid necessary in an adversarial process? We
provide rapists, murderers and thieves with legal counsel in order
to protect their rights. Why not students whose human rights
have been violated?
Why are their human rights so important? Prime Minister
Pierre Trudeau explains it at page 77 of Ron Graham's book, The
Certain political rights are inseparable from the very
essence of democracy: freedom of thought, speech,
expression (in the press, on the radio, etc.), assembly, and
association. Indeed, the moment these freedoms suffer the
smallest restraint, the citizens have lost their full power to
participate in the organization of the social order. And so
that each citizen may feel the benefit of the inalienable right
to exercise his liberties - in spite of anyone, in spite of the
state itself - to these rights two more must be added:
equality of all before the law, and the right not to be
deprived of one's liberty or one's goods without recourse to
a trial before one's peers, under an impartial and
independent judicial system.
So spoke Prime Minister Trudeau. He added:
These rights are so basic that they are regarded in
democratic philosophy as inalienable...
Who are these students and what police actions were taken
against them? Far more was done, honourable senators, than we
see portrayed in a television clip involving far more students
over a sustained and extensive period of time. Let us examine
what took place using material provided by the media, including
The Vancouver Sun, to show you that what happened on my
campus went far beyond what we saw on TV.
This was not a case of a violation of the human rights of a
handful of professional protesters as the government implies.
This was harassment and intimidation of thousands of students
who mobilized last fall to express their right of dissent.
I call this "my campus" because I am a UBC alumna. In fact,
I was at Homecoming last weekend on the UBC campus. I am
also an adjunct professor at the UBC's School of Community and
Regional Planning in the faculty of Graduate Studies. Some of
my students were involved in these protests.
I want to stress that planning is not a profession known for
radicalism. If anything, planning and anarchism are at the
opposite ends of the spectrum.
The APEC protest at UBC was a well-organized, sustained
protest and quite a normal event for a university campus. Yet, on
September 22, when the protest kicked off, two months before
APEC, two people were arrested for painting "APEC Free Zone"
around the Goddess of Democracy statue.
Every Wednesday prior to the meetings, protesters played ball
hockey in the driveway of UBC President Martha Piper. Three
people were arrested on Halloween last year for chalking graffiti
on the atrium at President Piper's house. Do you know what they
wrote, honourable senators? They chalked "Boo." For this
transgression they were arrested. On subsequent days, protesters
gathered to rally, to chalk graffiti, and to set up a tent city at the
Four protesters were arrested at the tent city on November 22,
after the federal government took control of the site.
Two protesters were arrested returning to the same site on
November 23, still two days before APEC. One protester was
arrested on November 24 on warrant charges in a take-down
police said was designed to keep him out of the protest.
That evening, November 24, one protester was arrested at the
flag-pole which is nowhere near the site of APEC but has a view
of the motorcade. Police pepper-sprayed others as someone tried
to place a flag on the pole. Later, three more protesters were
arrested as they were walking towards the museum where the
APEC was scheduled to meet. Five more were arrested at the
flagpole for refusing to leave the security zone. This is the
evening before APEC.
On November 25, the day of the meeting, 3,000 protesters
gathered at the Goddess of Democracy statue to listen to
speeches, music and to watch street theatre. They then proceeded
to the security line.
One of the problems here is that the designated area which was
prepared by the police was less than the area agreed to by the
president's office at UBC. It was located next to the faculty of
law building. It was set up by the police to give protesters an
opportunity to be seen by APEC leaders. However, it was well
away from the motorcade route and the protesters were penned
into the law building by a nine-foot security fence which the
police had erected across the entire UBC campus. That was like
putting a red flag in front of a bull, according to the RCMP
liaison to the Indonesian delegation. They were further shielded
from the view of the APEC leaders by a row of trees that were
planted shortly before the leaders' meeting at the museum.
At 12:00 p.m. on the day of the APEC conference, police
pepper-sprayed protesters tearing down the security fence in an
attempt to symbolically arrest Suharto. We are not arguing for or
against this. We are simply saying there were far more people
involved than we imagined.
Police formed a secondary security line with bikes and sprayed
a second and third line of protesters.
At 2 p.m., students and protesters barricaded the motorcade at
Marine Drive. Police pepper-sprayed protesters between this
motorcade route and the Chancellor Boulevard motorcade route.
Shortly before 4 p.m., the protesters blocked the motorcade
route in a sit-down demonstration. The RCMP, on short notice -
estimated by the cameraman at nine seconds - used pepper
spray on these students. Minutes later, a motorcade of 18 APEC
leaders drove past.
The bottom line, honourable senators, is that thousands of
students took part in these protests. This is not the work of rowdy
anarchists. These were Canadian students, including my students,
and they require assistance. It is our responsibility and our moral
duty to see that they get that assistance.
I would like to read into the record the mandate of the RCMP
Public Complaints Commission's current inquiry from the Notice
The commission will:
...inquire into and report on:
a) the events that took place during, or in connection
with, demonstrations during the Asia Pacific Economic
Cooperation ("APEC") Conference in Vancouver, B.C.
between November 23 and 27, 1997 on or near the
UBC Campus and subsequently at the UBC and
Richmond Detachments of the RCMP;
b) whether the conduct of members of the RCMP
involved in the events was appropriate to the
c) whether the conduct of members of the RCMP
involved in the events was consistent with respect for
the Fundamental Freedoms guaranteed by section 2 of
the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The records of the complaints commission show that there
were 49 complainants in this case. The description of the
complaints are shocking and I would like to read them into the
One of the first complainants is Donald Griffiths' and the date
is November 25. The particulars of the complaints are as follows.
On the afternoon of November 25, 1997, on the University of
British Columbia campus, Craig Jones was pushed to the ground,
handcuffed and arrested by unidentified members of the RCMP.
According to Mr. Griffiths, Mr. Jones had wheeled two
chalkboards on to the grass outside the barricade, one board
printed with the word "Democracy," the other with the words
"Freedom of Speech." Mr. Jones obeyed an order of an
unidentified member to move the signs back but, five minutes
later, an unidentified member told Mr. Jones the signs had to be
removed. Mr. Jones refused to remove the signs. He was then
The second complaint came from Steffan Riddell regarding
events on November 24, the day before the APEC conference.
At about 1600 hours on November 24, 1997, at a flag-pole
above the Rose Garden Parkade on the University of British
Columbia campus, David Malmo-Levine was speaking to a
gathering of students. Mr. Riddell says that Staff-Sergeant
Stewart approached David and said something to him. David said
he was not leaving. The staff-sergeant then pushed David's head
against the flag-pole, grabbed his throat and twisted his arm.
David was then pepper-sprayed two or three times. While David
was on his knees, he was kneed in the head by the staff-sergeant.
Then, without any warning, Staff-Sergeant Stewart
pepper-sprayed the crowd. When Mr. Riddell asked for the
staff-sergeant's name, Mr. Riddell was threatened with arrest.
However, the staff-sergeant eventually gave his name. When
asked why David was being arrested the staff-sergeant replied,
"Because he's being foolish."
There is another complaint on November 24.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable Senator Carney, I regret
to have to interrupt you, but your 15-minute speaking period has
expired. Are you requesting leave?
Senator Carney: Yes, Your Honour.
The Hon. the Speaker: Is leave granted?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
Senator Carney: I am not reading all 49 complaints but there
are some here that we should be aware of.
At about 1600 hours on November 24, at a flag-pole above the
Rose Garden Parkade at the University of British Columbia, a
man was speaking to a gathering of students. Several RCMP
members went through the gathering towards the speaker and
toward a person who was climbing on the flag-pole. The person
on the pole was pulled down. The person speaking said to the
police that he had a right to speak. It was not a restricted zone
until 1800 hours. An unidentified member of the RCMP twisted
the speaker's arm until he screamed with pain. His throat was
held and then Staff-Sergeant Stewart fired pepper spray into the
speaker's face while he was being held. The staff-sergeant then
sprayed eight to 10 other people who were standing at least 4 feet
away - none of whom were obstructing the police. No warning
of any kind was given.
There is a fourth one. This one occurred, again, on
November 25, and is by Jamie Doucette. On November 25, he
was an observer at the University of British Columbia reporting
via walkie talkie to people at the student union building. While
he was sitting watching events, he was approached by an
unidentified RCMP member with a dog. Before Mr. Doucette
could move, the dog bit Mr. Doucette's right arm causing an
injury which required hospital treatment. Mr. Doucette said he
was rescued from the dog by another student and has the names
There are 45 other complaints that the students have listed. I
think I have given you a sense of their concerns.
Honourable senators, these students require aid because these
students require legal counsel. We cannot trust the Public
Complaints Commission, which does have the right and the
power and the jurisdiction, because the commission and its
counsel are bound by law and convention to maintain
impartiality and neutrality. Furthermore, the commission was set
up to deal with complaints dealing with neglect of duty, or
personnel complaints, or improper search of premises, or policy
and equipment services. It was not really set up for this
magnitude of complaints.
I should like to close my speech with another quote from
Mr. Trudeau, which sums up the reason why we are moving this
motion. Prime Minister Trudeau said:
Democracy tends towards the good of community by
encouraging each citizen and each group of citizens to
protest against the defects of society and to demand justice.
That is what we are demanding: justice. Justice will be served
by the government by providing funding for the legal aid of the
students as they are providing funding for the legal aid of
On motion of Senator Carstairs, for Senator Graham, debate
The Senate adjourned until Tuesday, October 27, 1998,
at 2 p.m.