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Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

1st Session, 36th Parliament,
Volume 137, Issue 88

Thursday, October 29, 1998
The Honourable Gildas L. Molgat, Speaker


Thursday, October 29, 1998

The Senate met at 2:00 p.m., the Speaker in the Chair.


Business of the Senate

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, so that all in the chamber will be aware, through mutual agreement it has been decided that the deferred vote will not be held at 5:30 this afternoon, but at 3:30, and that the bells will ring at 3:15.

The Hon. the Speaker: Is it agreed, honourable senators?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.


Women's History Month

Tribute to Canada's Unsung Heroines

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, allow me to borrow your attention briefly, that we might honour the acts and deeds of great women from our country's history. There remain so many women who have contributed significantly to our history and to our society, many more than I could mention in one month.

Agnes Macphail dedicated her life to politics and to making society more equitable for everyone, especially women. She spearheaded prison reform in the 1930s and was the first woman member of Parliament in 1921.

Nancy Hodges made great efforts to secure better rights for women in the workforce during her stint in the British Columbia legislature. In 1950, she became the first woman to be appointed to the position of Speaker on a permanent basis in all the British Commonwealth.

Tilly Rolston had a very active career in the British Columbia legislature and worked on considerable social legislation in the 1940s. She was Canada's first woman cabinet minister with portfolio in 1952 when she became education minister for that province.

Charlotte Whitton was mayor of Ottawa in 1951, the first woman mayor of a Canadian city. She was instrumental in social work reform and in tax restructuring in the City of Ottawa.

Women who grew up at the turn of the century - Louise McKinney, Mary Ellen Smith, Cairine Wilson and Emily Murphy - laid a foundation and passed their torch to a new generation of women - Ellen Fairclough, Thérèse Casgrain and Tilly Rolston - who also built on that foundation so that the progress of women's stature in Canadian society was enhanced.

The framework has been added to in more recent years by women we all know well: Jeanne Sauvé, the first woman Speaker of the House of Commons; Audrey McLaughlin, the first woman leader of a national political party; Nellie Cournoyea, the first woman aboriginal leader in Canada; our first woman Prime Minister, Kim Campbell; our first Deputy Prime Minister, Sheila Copps; our first woman elected as a premier of a province, Catherine Callbeck; and our first Leader of the Government in the Senate, Joyce Fairbairn. Many others could be added to this growing list.

All of those I have presented to you were politicians, but all of them also made significant contributions to Canadian social life outside of politics. Some were feminists of varying degrees, some were more traditional wives and mothers who only wanted to change some injustice they perceived. Regardless of their backgrounds, each one of these women has contributed to the transformation of Canadian society.

Today I would like to pay homage to those women who did not make the history books but, by either contributing to local groups and associations or participating in public dialogues, have transformed the very nature of our society, helping to bring women not only to positions of influence within governments in this country but also to positions of prominence in the business community and other professions traditionally dominated by men.


Honourable senators, the importance of having women in these positions is not just for notoriety, or simply for the sake of gender equality in its own right. Gender equality is not just an end; it is a means. Women have different values and different ideals to those of men. Their participation structures dialogue, changes prior conceptions, and offers new insight. In this chamber, there are now more women senators than ever before, and we try to contribute to debate by speaking of issues that, left to themselves, perhaps the other gender would not address.

We owe our places here to those who came before us, those who laid the groundwork from which we are now able to hold out our torch to a future generation, a generation which will benefit from the change in society's values that we have engendered. This torch we shall pass is not just the one lit by the Cairine Wilsons of Canada but by every woman who has undertaken a cause. Who would have believed they could change the world? Canada is a richer place, thanks to their efforts.



National Distribution of French Language Television Service by TVA Network

Hon. Jean-Maurice Simard: Honourable senators, I welcome the upcoming availability of TVA, the Quebec television network, on TVs in the francophone community in Canada.

This morning, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission announced its approval of national distribution of the French language television service by the TVA network.

The CRTC's decision forces the large- and medium-sized cable companies as well as the direct-to-home satellite broadcasting and multipoint distribution systems to carry TVA.

As the president of the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada said this morning:

The availability of a new French language network on our televisions represents a significant gain. It is another tool for us in our day-to-day efforts to promote the vitality and creativity of our communities.

I am confident that TVA will honour the commitments it made in its application for a national license.

We thank the CRTC for its courageous decision. Well done, TVA, and hooray for the Canadian francophone community on television.


Remembrance Day

Rededication of Restored Paintings in Clerestory

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, before I call for the tabling of documents, I would remind all honourable senators that they have received an invitation for a special ceremony here in the Chamber on Tuesday, November 3. This is in conjunction with the coming Remembrance Day on November 11. I am pleased to see so many senators wearing the poppy.

On that occasion, we will have with us here in the chamber 17 veterans from World War I, and it will be an important rededication service for the paintings. The Padre General of the Armed Forces will be here especially for that rededication.

We will also have pipers from the Black Watch. I would remind you that the painting at the far end shows the pipes of the Black Watch piping Canadian troops to shore in Saint-Nazaire in 1915. That regiment will be represented by the same pipes that were there in 1915.

I hope that all honourable senators can be here at 9:45 a.m. on Tuesday, November 3. If honourable senators have no objections, where an honourable senator is not in his seat, would it be agreeable to seat some of our guests on that occasion?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.


Clerk of the Senate

Annual Accounts Tabled

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I have the honour to inform the Senate that, pursuant to rule 133 of the Senate, the Clerk of the Senate has laid on the Table a detailed statement of his receipts and disbursements for the fiscal year, 1997-98.

Annual Accounts Referred to Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration Committee

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, with leave of the Senate and notwithstanding rule 58(1)(f), I move that the Clerk's accounts be referred to the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration.

The Hon. the Speaker: Is leave granted?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Motion agreed to.



Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, with leave of the Senate and notwithstanding rule 58(1)(h), I move:

That when the Senate adjourns today, it do stand adjourned until Tuesday next, November 3, 1998, at 2:00 p.m.

The Hon. the Speaker: Is leave granted, honorable senators?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Motion agreed to.


Committee of Selection

Notice of Motion to Convene Committee to Elect New Chairman

Hon. Shirley Maheu: Honourable senators, I give notice pursuant to rule 57 (1)(d) that on Tuesday next, November 3, 1998, I will move:

That it be an instruction of this House to the Standing Senate Committee of Selection, that no later than Tuesday, November 17, 1998, the committee convene in order to elect a new Chairman, and that the Clerk of the Senate be empowered to call such a meeting.


Solicitor General

Treatment of Protestors at APEC Conference by RCMP-Status of Public Complaints Commission-Government Position

Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Acting Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, the saga of the "forces of darkness" continues. Yesterday we learned that an RCMP task force looking into complaints about the conduct of RCMP officers at the APEC summit in Vancouver recommended that charges be laid against certain officers, and that the British Columbia Crown attorney refused to lay charges. The Crown attorney's office has now refused to say why it would not act on the task force recommendations, stating that no reason will be released. Why? Because it would jeopardize the RCMP Public Complaints Commission hearing.

Does the Leader of the Government in the Senate agree that the RCMP Public Complaints Commission is once again placed in jeopardy, and will never be able to continue its role as a fair and impartial quasi-judicial body looking into these serious allegations? One of those allegations is that the basic human rights of some Canadians were violated. Another is that the Prime Minister used the RCMP for political purposes.

Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, perhaps I should clarify one particular point: The RCMP said yesterday that it did not make a recommendation to the British Columbia Crown counsel that charges be laid.

Having said that, we have a reference to the Federal Court, made by the Public Complaints Commission.

Hon. Eric Arthur Berntson: So you cannot say anything more.


Senator Graham: It is rare that I would ever stop short at that particular point, Senator Berntson, without saying that the Public Complaints Commission has earned a very enviable reputation for its work, both nationally and internationally, as well as for the manner in which it carries out its work in a very diligent and fair-minded way.

Senator Kinsella: Is the Leader of the Government in the Senate suggesting that all of these different circumstances are just coincidental and that there is no causal connection?

Senator Graham: Honourable senators, I do believe it would be coincidental.

Treatment of Protestors at APEC Conference by RCMP-Rumoured Auditing of Tax Returns of Students-Government Position

Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Acting Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Perhaps the Leader of the Government in the Senate might also comment on another rumour floating around, that seven of the students who complained, and whose complaints are now being heard by the RCMP Public Complaints Commission, are having their income tax returns audited?

Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government): Senator Kinsella's sources with respect to rumours are better than mine. This is the first time I have heard that rumour.

United Nations

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights-Recent Responses to Questions from Committee-Request for Copy

Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Acting Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, I have a question on a different topic for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. He may not be able to answer this question now, but perhaps notice might be taken.

The United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, now meeting in Geneva pursuant to the provisions of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to which Canada is a party, asked the Government of Canada to respond to some 81 questions regarding Canada's third periodic report. It is my understanding that the government quite recently sent its response to the United Nations committee.

Would the Leader of the Government be prepared to attempt to provide a copy of the government's response to this chamber?

Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I will attempt to provide that document as soon as possible.


Judges Act


On the Order:

Motion of the Honourable Senator Milne, seconded by the Honourable Senator Butts, for the adoption of the Fourteenth Report of the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs (Bill C-37, to amend the Judges Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, with amendments) presented in the Senate on October 22, 1998.-(Speaker's Ruling).

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, earlier this week, Senator Milne moved the adoption of the fourteenth report of the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs proposing to make several amendments to Bill C-37 dealing with the Judges Act. Before there was any debate, however, Senator Cools rose on a point of order. While the senator expressed her satisfaction with several amendments seeking to delete some clauses of the bill, she challenged the acceptability of an amendment to clause 6. This clause establishes the Judicial Compensation and Benefits Commission. The amendment proposed by the committee seeks to provide certain evaluative criteria that the commission should apply in carrying out its mandate. Senator Cools argued that this amendment was procedurally objectionable for a number of reasons.


First, the senator held that the amendment was out of order because it was different from, or contrary to, the principle of the bill as agreed to when the bill received second reading last month. Second, the senator contended that the amendment, in expanding the original scope, powers and objects of Bill C-37, exceeded the terms of the Royal Recommendation attached to this bill. Third, the amendment is objectionable, according to the senator, because it infringes the Royal Prerogative relating to the right of the Crown to make judicial appointments. Fourth, Senator Cools asserted that the amendment was defective because it lacked the necessary Royal Consent indicating the Crown's agreement to the modification of its prerogative rights proposed by the amendment. Finally, to support her objection to the procedural acceptability of the amendment, Senator Cools referred to a precedent from the other place. In April 1975, Speaker Jerome ordered that amendments to a bill which had infringed the Royal Recommendation be struck from the committee report before allowing the report to be debated. The senator suggested that I, as the Speaker of the Senate, should consider a similar course of action in dealing with this amendment.


Following Senator Cools' intervention, several other senators rose to speak on the point of order, either in response to it or to solicit further information. First to speak was Senator Stewart, who mentioned the problems that have arisen in modern practice with the present form of the Royal Recommendation. According to his assessment, not only must Parliament come to terms with the vagaries of the present Royal Recommendation when the appropriation it authorizes is more or less identifiable, but we must also try and fathom its scope and meaning when confronted with what Senator Stewart called "virtual" Royal Recommendations.

The Deputy Leader of the Government, Senator Carstairs, then explained that the committee had followed the proper procedures in reviewing the bill and presenting its report last Thursday, October 22. With respect to the amendment to clause 6, Senator Carstairs maintained that its effect was to provide some guidelines for the Judicial Compensation and Benefits Commission rather than leaving its mandate so open-ended. Next, Senator Kinsella, Senator Grafstein and then Senator Robertson made some comments.

Finally, Senator Milne, Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, explained that the proposed amendments to Bill C-37 were unanimously adopted by the committee. The senator went on to state that the purpose of the amendment to clause 6 was intended "to narrow the sorts of things that the comission could look at to come to its decision." Senator Milne also mentioned that clause 6 would require that the report of the commission, which, as she reminded the Senate, has only an advisory role, be tabled in both houses and be referred to an appropriate committee.

On this last point, Senator Cools replied that such a procedure was also out of order. As the senator put it: "No statute can ordain that any report introduced into this chamber be referred to any committee."


Shortly thereafter, I said that I would be prepared to hear more arguments no later than the next sitting since some senators had indicated they would like an opportunity to review the point of order raised by Senator Cools. Yesterday, Senator Beaudoin and Senator Joyal raised certain issues concerning the point of order. Senator Beaudoin challenged the merits of the objection raised by Senator Cools with respect to the claim that the amendment to clause 6 was contrary to the principle of the bill. Senator Joyal focused his remarks on the assertion that the amendment exceeded the provisions of the Royal Recommendation attached to Bill C-37.

I wish to thank all honourable senators who spoke to the point of order that was raised by Senator Cools. I have carefully reviewed the arguments that were made and I have also examined some of the references to the parliamentary authorities and to the particular precedent cited from the other place. In reaching my decision, I am guided by the proposition that, as Speaker, I should use my authority to rule on points of order to restrict debate on amendments only when the evidence is conclusive and compelling. In all other cases, my preference is to allow the Senate itself to reach its own decision on the subject-matter.


I propose to deal with the different procedural points that were raised in the order that Senator Cools presented them. The first point has to do with the claim that the amendment to clause 6 is contrary to the principle of Bill C-37. As we have all experienced at one time or another, the principle of a bill is not always easily grasped. With respect to Bill C-37, it appears to accomplish a number of related objectives dealing with the remuneration and compensation of judges and the proposal to replace the current triennial commission with one that would sit every four years. Senator Cools claims that the amendment dealing with the commission has, in fact, substantially altered the principle of the bill. In my view, however, the amendment seeks to outline the criteria by which it might conduct its inquiry and nothing more. The language of the amendment makes this very clear.

According to citation 698 of Beauchesne Sixth Edition at page 207, amendments to the clauses of a bill are inadmissible if, among other things, they are irrelevant to the bill or beyond its scope. They are also inadmissible if they are inconsistent with the bill or contradictory to it. So far as I can determine, there is nothing in the amendment that would lead me to think it is inadmissible, nor is there any evidence indicating that this amendment is inconsistent with the principle of the bill. If the purpose of the bill is, in part, to establish a commission, how can the amendment be regarded as inconsistent or contrary if its purpose is intended to provide guidelines as to how the inquiry of the commission should be conducted? Indeed, as citation 567 of Beauchesne at page 175 confirms, an amendment can have as its object the modification of a question so as to increase its acceptability or to present a different proposition as an alternative. This appears to be the goal of this amendment. Whether it is, in fact, more acceptable to the Senate than the original proposition should be settled by debate.


The second question that Senator Cools raised concerns the impact of the amendment on the Royal Recommendation. According to the senator, the amendment infringes on the financial prerogative of the Crown. In order to make a persuasive case, it seems to me that it would be necessary to demonstrate that the appropriation implied in this bill has been affected by this amendment.

To do this requires the marshalling of some evidence indicating how an amendment that purports to outline the criteria the commission should consider in conducting its inquiry affects the appropriation establishing the commission itself. In this case, however, the commission remains firmly bound by the terms set forth in clause 6 to which the Royal Recommendation is attached. The amendment does little to change the overall operations of the commission.


Both on Tuesday and again yesterday, some critical comments were made by several senators about the form of the current Royal Recommendation. I think that there is a good deal of merit in these complaints. Perhaps the Senate might consider reviving a proposal first raised, as Senator Stewart and Senator Joyal pointed out, nine years ago when the National Finance Committee first studied the question of the Royal Recommendation. As I myself have stated in some recent decisions, the vagueness and imprecision of the Royal Recommendation remains a problem that unduly affects the rights of parliamentarians to study legislation and propose amendments.

In making her case, Senator Cools referred to a decision made by Speaker Jerome of the other place. I have reviewed that 1975 decision and I find it to be relevant as a comparative example of how the Royal Recommendation can be affected by an amendment. On that occasion, as Senator Cools stated, the Speaker ruled out of order some amendments that had been made by the committee charged with the bill's examination. The bill in question dealt with parliamentary allowances and salaries. The Royal Recommendation attached to the bill established certain fixed levels of indemnity for various parliamentarians and ministers and also stipulated the duration of this remuneration. The amendments, however, sought to introduce a scheme to index these salaries and also to extend the time period to be covered by the bill. Consequently, the Speaker felt compelled to rule the amendments out of order.

With respect to Bill C-37, the situation is not at all comparable. As Speaker, I am not confronted by any clear evidence that the terms and conditions of the Royal Recommendation attached to Bill C-37 have been in any way altered by the proposal contained in the amendment to clause 6.


Next, Senator Cools argued that the amendment should be ruled out of order because it proposed that the commission consider as one of its evaluative criteria "the need to attract outstanding candidates to the judiciary."

Senator Cools contended that this aspect of the amendment infringed the Royal Prerogative with regard to the Crown's right to make judicial appointments. With respect, I do not find that the objection is well founded. The text of Bill C-37 establishes that the power of the commission is limited to presenting a report to the Minister of Justice containing recommendations about the adequacy of salaries and other benefits payable under this Act. The bill says nothing about the process of judicial appointments. Even with respect to the recommendations on salaries, there is nothing to indicate that they are binding on the minister. Moreover, insofar as the amendment itself is concerned, the right of the minister to exercise the prerogative right of the Crown to appoint judges is not affected. The portion of the amendment dealing with the need to attract outstanding candidates has nothing to do with the Royal Prerogative. Instead, it is simply a criterion to be used in guiding the work of the commission in preparing recommendations on the adequacy of salaries and benefits for judges.


For similar reasons, I have reached the same conclusion with respect to the related objection that Senator Cools raised on the need for the signification of Royal Consent. As the senator rightly pointed out, the consent of the Crown is necessary in matters involving the prerogatives of the Crown. As was already explained, however, the amendment to clause 6 does not infringe the Royal Prerogative and, consequently in this case, does not require Royal Consent.

Lastly, Senator Cools, in response to a point raised by Senator Milne last Tuesday, claimed that the provisions of the bill requiring that the report of the commission be tabled in each House of Parliament and subsequently be referred to an appropriate committee of each House was out of order. Senator Cools indicated that this process encroaches on the right of Parliament to determine its own affairs. To my knowledge, this is not the first time that this question has been raised, but it would seem to be more a question of policy rather than one of procedure or law. Certainly this provision before us is not at all unusual in recent acts adopted by Parliament. In passing these laws, the Senate and the House of Commons have sanctioned this procedure. There are now numerous laws providing the automatic referral of some report or document to a parliamentary committee. Be that as it may, this objection does not relate to the amendment that is the focus of Senator Cools's point of order. Rather, it is part of clause 6 that has been an element of Bill C-37 since it was received from the other place.

For these reasons, I find that the point of order raised by Senator Cools is not established. Debate on the fourteenth report of the Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs may now proceed.

Hon. Lorna Milne: Honourable senators, I rise again to discuss with you the fourteenth report of the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs. This report presents our proposed amendments to Bill C-37, to amend the Judges Act.


Bill C-37 essentially deals with three subjects: They are the judicial compensation commission process, judges' salaries and benefits, and additional judicial appointments. There are also some technical amendments to the Judges Act contained within the bill.

In all, the committee held six hearings on Bill C-37 with a variety of witnesses. This group included the Minister of Justice; Mr David Scott, the Chair of the 1995 Commission on Judges' Salaries and Benefits; assorted expert academics and lawyers who discussed the constitutional validity of the proposed changes; and member of Parliament Svend Robinson.

The concerns of the witnesses generally focussed on the constitutional validity of several provisions of the bill, specifically, the new definition of "surviving spouse" to be added to the bill, and the role of the Judicial Compensation and Benefits Commission. Thus, your committee's amendments focus on these two areas.

One area of contention with "surviving spouse" was the inclusion of the phrase "of the opposite sex" in clause 1 of the bill with regard to who may receive pension benefits. This concern was expressed by witnesses, and by members of the committee, that the exclusion of same-sex couples would be a violation of section 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, particularly in light of recent court rulings. Furthermore, the current Judges Act does not contain any definition of "surviving spouse," thus making this a new exclusion.

In order to correct this problem, the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee recommends that clause 1 of Bill C-37 be deleted. In this case, we feel that maintenance of the status quo is preferable to potentially making bad law.

Another problematic section following the definition of "surviving spouse" is the common-law provisions, which I am sure many honourable senators have heard and read allusions to in the media recently. Many different points of view were heard on this issue, revealing it to be incredibly complicated and divisive. Therefore, your committee feels it would be better to delete clauses 9, 10 and 11, which deal with these provisions, rather than changing the Judges Act in this manner.

While the provisions called for in Bill C-37 would serve to align the legislation with current federal pension practice, this entire issue obviously warrants further study before these provisions are adopted. I hope that when the Judicial Compensation and Benefits Commission begins its work the members can analyze this contentious issue.

The other main area of concern with Bill C-37 was the proposed Judicial Compensation and Benefits Commission. Members of the committee saw the need to clarify and delineate the mandate of the proposed commission. Simply put, it was feared that without objective criteria for the commission to follow, Parliament's supremacy over judicial salaries, as established by section 100 of the Constitution, would be threatened.

In order to stop this from happening, your committee recommends that objective criteria be added to clause 6 - criteria that would help to circumscribe the commission's mandate while still allowing it to decide what is fair for judicial salaries. These factors include consideration of the current cost of living in Canada, the condition of the Canadian economy, the need to attract qualified candidates to the judiciary, and the need to provide for judicial independence through financial security. With a clear and well-defined mandate provided by Parliament, the commission will be able to work in the public's interest to develop objective and fair recommendations with regard to judicial salaries.

Honourable senators, I believe these suggested amendments are the perfect example of the Senate's fulfilling its function of "sober second thought." Various members of the committee, and other senators, listened to the testimony and worked together to bring forward amendments that would address their growing unease with the bill as originally drafted.

Honourable senators, this is certainly not the first time since I have been here that we have acted to improve legislation. Bill S-5, to Amend the Canada Evidence Act, the Criminal Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act, was a government bill that started in this chamber. After hearing witness testimony, we amended it to ensure that human rights in this country were better protected.

Let me close with some words from Mr. John MacLean, an Ottawa journalist who recently gave a rare pro-Senate speech in a CBC morning radio commentary. In a discussion of a Triple-E Senate, and effectiveness, Mr. MacLean declared:

Effective! It already is. It fixes about 75 per cent of badly written House of Commons laws so they finally come out saying what the Commons was trying to say in the first place. And it looks into subjects the Commons won't or doesn't tackle ... at far less cost than Commons inquiries.

Yes, honourable senators, once again we have demonstrated our ability to reach across party lines and make positive amendments. We are doing the job that the Senate was designed to do. Yet again, we can leave this place proud of what we are and what we do.

I wish to thank all honourable senators who took part in our discussions.


Hon. Gérald-A. Beaudoin: Honourable senators, the purpose of Bill C-37 is to amend four areas of the Judges Act: increase judges' salaries by 4.1 per cent over two years; change the annuity scheme eligibility criteria; increase the number of appeal court and unified family court judges in Nova Scotia, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland; and, finally, create a Judicial Compensation and Benefits Commission.

The Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs heard several witnesses and experts with respect to the division of powers and to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

It is my view that section 100 of the Constitution Act, 1867, gives the Parliament of Canada full authority to make legislation with respect to judges' salaries, including their annuities. Section 100 stipulates that judges' salaries, allowances and pensions shall be fixed by the Parliament of Canada. This is a direct and intentional power. In my opinion, Parliament may also use its ancillary power to make legislation with respect to surviving spouses, when these are referred to directly in the Pension Act.

The report is unanimous: yes to increased salaries, yes to the Judicial Compensation and Benefits Commission, yes to new annuity scheme eligibility criteria. At this time, however, the committee feels it would be wise, for two reasons, to delete the definition of surviving spouse. First, the proposed definition is not entirely consistent with Supreme Court equality rights rulings. Second, the Judges Act contains no definition of surviving spouse. The committee recommends that the existing legislation and the interpretation of the courts be allowed to stand. I favour the status quo in this regard.


The Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs recommended an amendment in respect to the new Judicial Compensation and Benefits Commission. It added objective criteria and guidelines which read as follows:

(a) the prevailing economic conditions in Canada, including the cost of living, and the overall economic and current financial position of the federal government;

(b) the role of financial security of the judiciary in ensuring judicial independence;

(c) the need to attract outstanding candidates to the judiciary; and

(d) any other objective criteria that the Commission considers relevant.


These factors will more clearly define the new commission's mandate. We must not forget that Chief Justice Lamer also suggested similar factors in the reference on judges' remuneration. I think that the addition of these factors is an improvement over the original bill.

In short, honourable senators, I think that the amendments to Bill C-37 suggested by the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs improve the bill. I recommend that the report be adopted.


Hon. Anne C. Cools: Honourable senators, I rise to speak to this report of the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs. I should like to take this opportunity to thank Senator Gildas Molgat for his ruling on my point of order.

I should also like to take this opportunity to thank our Deputy Leader of the Government, Senator Sharon Carstairs, for her steadfastness and for her perseverance in the day-to-day guidance of legislation in this place. The job of the Deputy Leader of the Government is difficult, and one that is often thankless and rarely appreciated. I thank her again, and I express my personal appreciation to her for her efforts, particularly during this time when the fates have brought her some vicissitudes in her personal life. As you know, Senator Carstairs, my prayers are with you.

Honourable senators, on the parts of this report regarding the deletion of Clauses 1, 9, 10, 11 from Bill C-37, the Senate can claim a great victory. I agree wholeheartedly with that. These clauses, described by myself as the "double spouse clauses," came to the Senate seemingly unstudied by the House of Commons. I noted them on my very first review of the bill back in May. In the September 12, 1998 edition of The Ottawa Citizen, these clauses were described by former Supreme Court Justice Willard "Bud" Estey as giving his former colleagues on the bench the right to a "kind of home-made harem." They have been described as the "harem clauses." He was perfectly right.

I worked all summer with several Canadians to correct these clauses. At no time did I ever discuss these clauses with any judge. I repeat, I have never discussed these clauses with a single judge. However, I have discussed these clauses exhaustively with judges' wives, their representatives, many lawyers, and other interested persons and organizations. I discovered, honourable senators, that very few judges were aware that these clauses were contained in Bill C-37. With regard to the judges' wives, I shall say this: These women were adequate to a very difficult task. They recognized that Bill C-37 was politicizing them. Being aware of their difficult circumstances, politically and personally, at all times, I advised propriety, diligence, endurance, and prudence. These women met every test and challenge. I thank those women for the confidence they placed in me, as they asked me to take on this formidable, political task of obtaining corrections to these clauses while constrained by their own personal and special circumstances. It turns out that these clauses were so poor that amendment was impossible, even potentially disastrous. The easiest and best solution, the government concluded, was to delete them from Bill C-37. I thank these women for their very proper conduct in their representations to me, and their meetings with me, and for their sensitivity and duty to their husbands' judicial offices. I thank them for supporting me in the very high standard of public and private behaviour required to be followed to win this political situation. We won, and I am grateful to them.

I thank the Minister of Justice for her concession and for her yielding to the deletion of these clauses. I thank all honourable senators, on and off the committee, for the same.

Honourable senators, there is much that needs correction in family law and in the administration of family law today. The injustices are numerous, particularly as fathers are dispossessed emotionally and financially, and have difficulty maintaining meaningful relationships with their children. On Bill C-37, I adopted the position that if family law is faulty, which it is, then the law should be fixed for all citizens of this land, not just for the judges. The judges should not, as Mr. Estey said "...have a privilege when nobody else does...." Judges should be judged by the same law by which they judge others in their own courts.

Honourable senators, this battle is over, and I am grateful to all who made this victory possible. The one regret that I have is that some judges and some interested persons knew that these clauses would be deleted before I did, or before any formal Senate action to do so was taken in committee or in this chamber. That disturbs me deeply, and is vexing to me. However, the Judges Act is still deficient in these areas and still needs correction, as Senator Milne has pointed out. We should understand that, very clearly, we have deleted those clauses but there are still problems in respect of the judges' proper remuneration and compensation, particularly in the areas of pension and family benefits.

Honourable senators, I move now to the second amendment in respect of clause 6 of Bill C-37. This amendment speaks to the powers of the new proposed judicial commission. I oppose these expanded powers and the amendment itself. I noted yesterday that I was disappointed that there was insufficient time for discussion between my Liberal colleagues and myself. I raise this point in the context of traditional Liberal Party positions on this and other related issues. Also, in a previous debate in the chamber in 1996 on Bill C-42, another bill to amend the Judges Act, I reminded this chamber of my Liberal side's position on the judges during the 1993 NAFTA debate. Senator Allan MacEachen, our fellow Liberal senators and myself fought the Tories' NAFTA Bill C-115 strenuously in that debate. On our Liberal side, an important item in that debate was the proper use of judges, judicial independence, and Liberal senators' opposition to the use of Canadian judges in dispute settlement tribunals.

Honourable senators, this amendment is seriously inadequate in its merits and its substance. Further, the enactment of such an amendment is unfounded in our history and parliamentary practice, and in the practice and operation of our Constitution. Little evidence put before this committee actually supports this amendment. I would submit that no testimony or evidence has been adduced on this amendment itself. It employs vague and undefined terms, such as financial security, judicial independence, objective criteria, and financial position. These terms have no precise meaning and no identifiable statutory definition. Neither has the Senate received any evidence on the definition or precise meaning of these terms. The meaning of this amendment is not clear on the face of any of the words, and consequently these words will be very vulnerable to faulty interpretation. These terms have no statutory definitions and no widely agreed-upon non-statutory definitions. Simply put, the financial security of judges and the judicial independence of judges will become what they, the judges themselves, say it is. Further, terms such as "judicial independence" are political terms, not legal terms.


In this amendment we have brought forth into statute certain constitutional conventions. We have brought into statute political concepts and placed them within the reach of judicial interpretation and judicial decision. This subjection of politics to judicial interpretation is unprecedented in British and Canadian parliamentary responsible government. We have actuated law without clarity and without definition based on rhetorical affirmations.

Honourable senators, yesterday and the day before, during the debate on the point of order on the admissibility of this amendment to Bill C-37, clause 6, some senators quoted the Supreme Court's 1997 judgment on the remuneration of judges of the Provincial Court of Prince Edward Island. I declined to quote judgments during the debate. I preferred to keep the judges' own words out of the debate on the amendment's procedural irregularity. I did so deliberately. In personal honour of the judges, I thought I should confine my use of their words to the substantive issues and not employ them in the procedural propriety issues. I did that deliberately, honourable senators, because I thought it was the judicious and proper thing to do. Flawed and threatening as I think that their judgment is, I chose my course carefully because I thought it right and proper not to mix procedural propriety in this chamber with the substantive issues. However, on the substantive issue of this amendment, I feel no such constraint.

Honourable senators, by this amendment, the potential of Mr. Justice Antonio Lamer's words in that judgment will now take on a judicial life of their own.

In that judgment, Mr. Justice Lamer said:

Governments are constitutionally bound to go through the commission process....Nevertheless, though those recommendations are non-binding, they should not be set aside lightly, and, if the executive or the legislature chooses to depart from them, it has to justify its decision - if need be, in a court of law.

These words are now clearer in the context of this amendment to clause 6.

When I spoke on September 22 at second reading, I cited Mr. Justice Gerard La Forest's dissenting decision extensively. I pointed out that Mr. Justice La Forest stated strongly that he felt compelled to express his view of that judgment because of the weight that he thought would be given to it. Mr. Justice La Forest said that the Constitution:

...does not require legislatures, however, to establish what in some respects is a virtual fourth branch of government to police the interaction between the political branches and the judiciary. Judges, in my opinion, are capable of ensuring their own independence by an appropriate application of the Constitution.

Honourable senators, substantially, my objection is that I sincerely believe, rightly or wrongly, that this amendment is a mini-constitution for what Mr. Justice La Forest described as the creation of a fourth branch of government. That is why I said yesterday in debate in this chamber:

Senator Joyal...certain judges will have engineered a revolution by signalling their allegiance to a new legal order. This is a political development, not a legal development.

There is a difference, honourable senators. I was heartened by some of the statements in the point of order ruling, especially that senators should look more carefully at the use of Royal Recommendations as they come before us.

Honourable senators, Bill C-37's clause 6 amendment will affect the relationship between Parliament, the executive and the judiciary in the future. Those are the reasons I pushed for a debate, because these parliamentary principles, history and practice are no longer widely known in this country. I believe that we owe a duty to uphold our proud history. The reason I raised issue about insufficient discussion in our Senate Liberal caucus is that, in Canada, the development of these principles are closely tied to the development of the Liberal Party of Canada.

Honourable senators, about the justices of this land I say the following: Since Canada's inception at Confederation, Canada has been noble and distinguished in its administration of justice. Canada's judiciary, as well as Canada's RCMP, were known internationally for their incorruptability. I used to hear that when I was a little child. It is that incorruptibility that I strive to uphold and to protect as a member of Parliament. I believe it is my duty to do so as a member of Parliament.

I thank the judges of Canada for their good service, as most of them labour unsung and unpraised. I praise and uphold them. I support their salary increase. Further, I promoted that their salary increase be passed swiftly in the manner and style of a singular, distinctive bill, proceeding in Parliament without controversy. That was the custom that ministers of justice used to follow. This salary increase should have been passed into law already. It pains me that many judges have been calling their senator friends to say the matter should have been handled better. I do believe that we have handled the salary increase inadequately by bringing it forward in Bill C-37.

I was unsuccessful in my attempt to have the salary increase swiftly passed into law by way of a singular bill, but I was successful in causing the deletion of the double spouse clause.

Honourable senators, I am an old soldier, but I am a soldier of Parliament. I believe in the sovereignty of Parliament. I do what former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau put me here to do: I invoke liberalism and its proud history in developing these systems of responsible governance and its related constitutional conventions, which allows the system to work in a state of constitutional comity.

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable Senator Cools, I regret to have to interrupt you, but your speaking time has elapsed. Are you requesting leave to continue?

Senator Cools: I do request leave to continue, Your Honour.

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, is leave granted.

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Senator Cools: Honourable senators, I close with a humorous story which speaks colourfully to the mystery of human relationships, particularly between lawyers, non-lawyers, judges and parliamentarians responsible for the expenditure of the public purse. In a piece of sardonic wit, Sir Lyman Duff, Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, who later became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in 1933, in a speech to the Ontario Bar Association on May 22, 1925, described the British Liberal Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone's relationship with accomplished lawyer but unsuccessful politician, Solicitor General Jessel. Sir Lyman said:

He obtained a seat in the House of Commons, made a few political speeches, that attracted precisely the attention they deserved, which was none....The great Liberal leader used to say that Jessel, speaking in the House of Commons on a legal question, spoke in the accents of an angel; while on politics he was incapable of anything but partisan commonplace. Mr. Gladstone was not particularly fond of lawyers as a profession. He always objected to the salaries of the judges as much too high. He was horrified at the fees earned by the law offices of the Crown. He used jocularly to say, glancing at those same fees, that lawyers in public life had one sovereign infirmity - they could never keep their hands out of the till ...

Honourable senators, when I was doing my research, I thought that that was the sort of humour that lawyers and judges used to engage in before the current era. I thought that I would share that anecdote with colleagues who enjoy old literature and that style of wit.


Honourable senators, I shall close now. There are those who capriciously insist that my lack of enthusiasm for their loyalty and unquestioned obedience to banality is somehow a dislike of judges. I ask honourable senators to please discourage that and to speak against it.

Honourable senators, I also ask that when certain individuals advance that view in questions about me, you uphold that I am a servant of Parliament and expose that caprice of theirs to be precisely what it is: scandalous nonsense.

I thank honourable senators. I thank the Senate for being the Senate. I thank all members on the committee for doing the best job they could. I also thank Senator Carstairs and Senator Graham. I say again, "We did a good job."

The Hon. the Speaker: If no other honourable senator wishes to speak, it was moved by the Honourable Senator Milne, seconded by the Honourable Senator Butts, that this report be adopted now. Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Motion agreed to and report adopted.

The Hon. the Speaker: When shall this bill, as amended, be read the third time?

On motion of Senator Carstairs, bill placed on the Orders of the Day for third reading at the next sitting of the Senate.

Private Bill

The Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Mackenzie Bill to Amend-Second Reading-Debate Suspended

Hon. Nicholas W. Taylor moved second reading of Bill S-20, to amend the Act of incorporation of the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Mackenzie.

He said: Honourable senators, this is a housekeeping bill which has been hanging around for some time. The bill is to amend the Act to incorporate the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Mackenzie.

The mission of the Roman Catholic Church to the native peoples of the Canadian Arctic and sub-Arctic regions began in 1847 with the arrival of Father Taché, OMI, or Oblates of Mary Immaculate, to Fort Chipewyan, Alberta. Father Taché set out from Saint-Boniface with the hope of reaching the isolated population of the western Arctic. In so doing, he staked out the existence of a mission which became known as the Mackenzie-Fort Smith Diocese. This was in size equivalent to that of Quebec.

Literally hundreds of missionaries have followed, pioneering not only in the field of Christian evangelization but also in the fields of education and health. They established mission schools and hospitals as early as 1867. For nearly 100 years, together with representatives of the Anglican Church, they were the sole dispensers of education and health services on behalf of the church and the Canadian government.

I might even mention that following my graduation from university after the last war, I was employed doing geology and mapping up near the Arctic Ocean. At that time it was only the Anglican and Catholic churches that had any form of health care and schools for people in the area.

On May 13, 1862, the Pope created the Vicariate Apostolic of Mackenzie, encompassing all the territory between the following boundaries: 55 degrees to the South, the Rocky Mountains to the West, Hudson Bay to the East, the North Pole to the North. That is quite a substantial territory. Bishop Faraud, OMI, became the first Vicar Apostolic of that vast territory.

In order that the business and property of the Vicariate could continue and be held on an uninterrupted basis through a succession of vicars, the Vicar Apostolic was incorporated by Act of Parliament in 1913.

Another change worth noting is the new ecclesiastical appellation given to the Vicariate Apostolic of Mackenzie. On July 27, 1967, the Pope's representation in Canada announced the elevation of the Vicariate to the rank of Diocese. The geographic territory remained unchanged.

Since 1913, the vicar, and eventually the bishop, has continued to serve the social as well as the spiritual needs of Canada's northern people.

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable Senator Taylor, I regret I must interrupt your speech. It is now 3:15. By agreement of the Senate, the bells are to ring at 3:15 for the vote to be held at 3:30.

Honourable senators, we will thus suspend the sitting of the Senate, and the bells will ring for 15 minutes.

The sitting was suspended until 3:30 p.m.

Parks Canada Agency Bill

Third Reading-Motion in Amendment-Debate Continued

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Fitzpatrick, seconded by the Honourable Senator Ruck, for the third reading of Bill C-29, An Act to establish the Parks Canada Agency and to amend other Acts as a consequence,

And on the motion in amendment of the Honourable Senator Ghitter, seconded by the Honourable Senator Kinsella, that the Bill be not now read the third time but that it be amended:

1. in the preamble, on page 2, by replacing line 29 with the following:

"(l.1) to effect the conservation of ecosystems and natural areas that extend beyond national park boundaries by working in co-operation with adjacent landowners, and being involved in research, environmental assessment and planning processes within the region, and".

2. on page 8, by adding after line 8, the following:

"12.1 (1) The Minister shall appoint a Consultative Committee consisting of 12 persons with expertise in park management and conservation biology and interested in matters for which the Agency is responsible to hold office for a term of no more than five years.

(2) The Consultative Committee shall, at least once in each quarter of the calendar year, meet with the senior management officials of the Agency for the purpose of discussing any issues of national interest related to the management of national parks, national historic sites, and other protected heritage areas and heritage protection programs.

(3) No member of the Consultative Committee may receive pecuniary gain or remuneration for service in connection with the Agency but members may be paid for any reasonable out-of-pocket expenses incurred by them for services rendered to the Agency.".

3. in Clause 32, on page 15:

(a) by adding the following after line 15:

"(1.1) The Agency shall, before any management plan referred to in subsection (1) is provided to the Minister under that subsection, hold a public hearing to hear all persons having an interest in and wishing to be heard in connection with the management plan.";

(b) by replacing line 18 with the following:

"protected heritage area every two years and"; and

(c) by adding the following after line 21:

"(3) A public hearing to hear all persons having an interest in and wishing to be heard in connection with any amendments made to the management plan shall be held before any amendments are tabled in either House of Parliament.

(4) The Agency has, in relation to any public hearing under this section, the powers of a Commissioner under Part I of the Inquiries Act.

(5) A public hearing under this section may be held at such place in Canada or at such places in Canada by adjournment from place to place as the Agency may designate.

(6) The Agency shall give notice of any public hearing under this section in the Canada Gazette and in one or more newspapers in general circulation throughout Canada, and in particular in those areas of Canada where, in the opinion of the Agency, there are persons likely to be interested in the matters to be considered at the hearing.".

And on the motion in amendment of the Honourable Senator Bolduc, seconded by the Honourable Senator Beaudoin, that the Bill be not now read the third time but that it be amended, in clause 25, on page 13, by adding the following after line 40:

"(1.1) The Minister shall not fix a fee under section 23 or 24, or under any other Act under which the Agency provides services, facilities, products, rights or privileges, to be paid for admission to a national park.".

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, it was moved by the Honourable Senator Fitzpatrick, seconded by the Honourable Senator Ruck, for the third reading of Bill C-29, to establish the Parks Canada Agency and to amend other acts as a consequence;

And on the motion in amendment by the Honourable Senator Ghitter, seconded by the Honourable Senator Kinsella:

That the Bill be not now read the third time but that it be amended -

An Hon. Senator: Dispense!

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I think that we are only voting today on Senator Bolduc's amendment.

The Hon. the Speaker: Yes, but I must go through the procedure.

And further, on the motion in amendment by the Honourable Senator Bolduc, seconded by the Honourable Senator Beaudoin -

An Hon. Senator: Dispense!

An Hon. Senator: No!

The Hon. the Speaker: No? Honourable senators wish me to read the entire motion in amendment?

I am sorry, Senator Robichaud, but you may not enter the chamber at this point in time.

On the further motion in amendment by the Honourable Senator Bolduc, seconded by the Honourable Senator Beaudoin, that the Bill be not now read the third time but that it be amended in clause 25, on page 13, by adding the following after line 40:

"(1.1) The Minister shall not fix a fee under section 23 or 24, or under any other Act under which the Agency provides services, facilities, products, rights or privileges, to be paid for admission to a national park.".

Motion in amendment of Senator Bolduc negatived on the following division:


Andreychuk, Atkins, Balfour, Beaudoin, Berntson, Bolduc, Cochrane, Cohen, Comeau, DeWare, Di Nino, Doody, Ghitter, Keon, Kinsella, LeBreton, Lynch-Staunton, Murray, Roberge, Rossiter, Simard, Spivak, Stratton-23


Adams, Butts, Carstairs, Chalifoux, Cook, Cools, Corbin, De Bané, Fairbairn, Ferretti Barth, Fraser, Grafstein, Graham, Joyal, Losier-Cool, Maheu, Mahovlich, Mercier, Milne, Moore, Pearson, Pépin, Poulin, Poy, Prud'homme, Rompkey, Ruck, Stollery, Taylor, Watt, Whelan, Wilson-32



The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, we are now back to the motion in amendment of the Honourable Senator Ghitter, seconded by the Honourable Senator Kinsella -

On motion of Senator DeWare, for Senator Kinsella, debate adjourned.

Private Bill

The Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Mackenzie Bill to Amend-Second Reading

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Taylor, seconded by the Honourable Senator Poy, for the second reading of Bill S-20, An Act to amend the Act of incorporation of the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Machenzie.

Hon. Nicholas W. Taylor: Honourable senators, since 1913, the vicar, who eventually became the bishop, continued to serve the spiritual needs of the Arctic, and for over a century has contributed a visible and important presence in the Canadian north for the Roman Catholic Church.

In 1913, when the Act of Parliament which is now before the honourable senators was first passed - and Bill S-20 will amend it - sections 4 and 6 placed certain restrictions on the corporation, including limiting the value of property and assets of the corporation to $50,000, and the length of the time the corporation may own land. This limited amount of property was at the time, no doubt, sensible and appropriate. In the decades since that time, however, the corporation has grown from investments and benefactors to considerably more than the legislated limits. The corporation today holds land far longer than the 10 years originally permitted.

It is important to continue the work of the corporation and the financial well-being of the diocese, which now consists of 38 local churches and missions and has an annual budget in excess of $1 million; that it has the limits upon its holdings removed so that it may continue with the worthwhile service in northern communities. The proposed amendments to sections 4 and 6 bring the act into line with the modern reality of the corporation.

The other amendment is the proposed technical amendment to the French name of the corporation. The proposed amendment to the French name of the corporation better translates the intention and context of the English name of the corporation, and brings the Act into line with current French drafting terminology.

Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Acting Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, Bill S-20 is one of those bills which appear from time to time before the Senate. It is often referred to as an act to establish a corporation sole. An examination of the record of the Senate will illustrate that, from time to time, some of those applications have raised concerns in this place and were not proceeded with.

Generally speaking, one would expect this type of bill to be brought before a legislative assembly - usually under their Companies Act or Incorporations Act, depending on the province. However, we do receive them before Parliament in some instances. This is one of those instances, I believe, where the bill is coming from a territory of the country that is under federal jurisdiction, both historically and operationally. Therefore, this is probably one of those bills for a corporation sole that is properly brought before us.

We, on this side, do not have any difficulty with this particular bill in principle, and will support it at second reading. It will then go to committee for the detailed studies that we give to these types of legislative proposals.

The Hon. the Speaker: If no other honourable senator wishes to speak, I will call the second reading motion.

It was moved by the Honourable Senator Taylor, seconded by the Honourable Senator Poy, that this bill be read the second time.

Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Motion agreed to and bill read second time.

Referred to Committee

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, when shall this bill be read the third time?

On motion of Senator Taylor, bill referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology.

Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration

Twenty-sixth Report of Committee Presented

Leave having been given to revert to Presentation of Reports from Standing or Special Committees:

Hon. Bill Rompkey, Chair of the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration, presented the following report:

Thursday, October 29, 1998

The Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration has the honour to present its


Your Committee has examined and approved the supplementary budget presented to it by the Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology for the proposed expenditures of the said Committee for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1999 for its special study on Social Cohesion.


Professional and Other Services   

 $ 22,500


 $ 22,500

Respectfully submitted,


The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, when shall this report be taken into consideration?

On motion of Senator Rompkey, report placed on Orders of the Day for consideration at the next sitting of the Senate.

Privacy Commissioner

Annual Report-Referred to Committee of the Whole

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Kinsella, seconded by the Honourable Senator Gustafson:

That the Report of the Privacy Commissioner for the period ended March 31, 1998, tabled in the Senate on Tuesday, September 29, 1998, be referred to a Committee of the Whole for the purpose of hearing witnesses and making a report; and

That the Committee report no later than February 15, 1999.-(Honourable Senator Carstairs).

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, this motion was proposed by the Honourable Senator Kinsella in order that the report of the Privacy Commissioner for the period ended March 31, 1998, tabled in the Senate on Tuesday, September 29, 1998, be referred to the Committee of the Whole.

My colleagues and I have discussed this matter in our caucus and have come to the agreement that this is a positive initiative. We look forward to the appearance of the Privacy Commissioner before the Committee of the Whole.

Motion agreed to.

Aboriginal Peoples

Committee Authorized to Permit Electronic Coverage

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Deputy Leader of the Government), for Senator Watt, pursuant to notice of October 28, 1998, moved:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples be empowered to permit coverage by electronic media of its public proceedings with the least possible disruption of its hearings.

Motion agreed to.

The Senate adjourned until Tuesday, November 3, 1998, at 2 p.m.