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Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

2nd Session, 37th Parliament,
Volume 140, Issue 14

Thursday, October 31, 2002
The Honourable Dan Hays, Speaker


THE SENATE

Thursday, October 31, 2002

The Senate met at 1:30 p.m., the Speaker in the Chair.

Prayers.

[Translation]

SENATORS' STATEMENTS

House of Commons

Sergeant-at-Arms Maurice Gaston Cloutier—Tribute

Hon. Marcel Prud'homme: Honourable senators, yesterday, in the House of Commons, the Prime Minister of Canada, the Leader of the Official Opposition, Mr.Gilles Duceppe, memberfor Laurier-Sainte-Marie, Mr.Bill Blaikie of
Winnipeg-Transcona, speaking for the NDP, and the Right Honourable Joe Clark, member for Calgary Centre, all paid tribute to Major General Maurice Gaston Cloutier, better known as "Gus" Cloutier. It is worth noting, despite our differences — I mean between the other place and ourselves — that there are some 15 of us here who are former MPs, who have known him well, and who have been well served by him. It is very rare for a person to be able to say he has been a public servant for 50years, first in the military and then as an officer of the House of Commons.

Thanks to him, I was able to be a better Chair of the Members' Services Committee. I was never absent on a Wednesday afternoon, since all political parties used to take part in it in a spirit of harmony, in order to make parliamentarians' lives easier. I am told that this is changing more and more.

It will not be long before we will be celebrating the longest serving Sergeant-at-Arms since Confederation, Henry Robert Smith, who served 26 years. Maurice Gaston Cloutier is now up to 24 years and some months.

The MPs he served want to join in the tributes paid to him yesterday. I wish to tell him, in a very friendly way: "Okay, Gus, but remember, this is our turf." He needs to know that here, it is up to Senator Bacon, as our worthy new Chair of the Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration, and to all of us here, to decide what is to be done in the Senate.

[English]

The Senate

Allotment of Time for Tributes

Hon. Herbert O. Sparrow: Honourable senators, a few sittings ago, in statements pertaining to tributes to senators in the chamber, Senator Lapointe made reference to the fact that I might promote the idea of having stamps produced by the post office for eminent senators. I am not sure, but I think that he made that suggestion, tongue-in-cheek. If he was serious, I want honourable senators to be aware that it does not change my opinion on the motion that Senator Lapointe has put forward, to limit the time for tributes to senators. I will be speaking on this issue next week.

Senator Lapointe's motion states that:

The Speaker shall advise the Senate of the amount of time to be allowed for each intervention by Senators paying tribute, which shall not exceed three minutes; a senator may speak only once.

That is fine, but I should like to know how His Honour will be aware of who wishes to speak. A senator has the right to rise in his or her place at any time. If more than one senator rises, then His Honour must decide which senator he sees first. That takes away from the idea that it is necessary for a senator to make a proposal ahead of the time that he wishes to speak, as has happened today, as I am not on any list of speakers.

The next paragraph of the motion reads:

Where a Senator seeks leave to speak after the 15 minutes allocated for Tributes has expired, the Speaker shall not put the question.

This means that if a senator asks for leave to extend time, His Honour shall not put the question, which is entirely at odds with the Rules of the Senate. Leave is granted unconditionally in our rules, in the following manner:

3. Notwithstanding anything in these rules, any rule or part thereof may be suspended without notice by leave of the Senate, the rule or part thereof proposed to be suspended, and the reason for the proposed suspension, being distinctly stated.

(1340)

If we went that route, honourable senators, it would be a serious change and set a definite precedent in the Rules of the Senate. I want Senator Lapointe and all honourable senators to know that this is the stand I am taking on the suggestions contained in his motion.

I draw to the attention of honourable senators that Senator Lapointe, while speaking about tributes, is reported to have said in committee, "I believe that an enormous waste of time is caused by these tributes." Further on, he is reported as saying that, "They have lasted nearly an hour and a half." Further on, he said, "However, they are a waste of time and certain aspects of certain traditions must be changed. I was witness to endless tributes twice since my arrival to the Senate. Each time we arrived at the end and we quickly turned the pages of the Order Paper to appeal to the points of the Orders of the Day and all were deferred one after another. Not a senator made a speech he had a right to make because it was already 5:15. People had enough and wanted to return home."

The honourable senator indicated that the tributes went on until 5:15. That is not the case. They did not go on for that period of time at all. In the period of time that the senator has been here, the tributes that took place lasted an average of only four minutes and two seconds per speaker who took the time to present a tribute.

The Hon. the Speaker: I am sorry to inform the honourable senator that his three minutes have expired.

Senator Sparrow: I shall continue my dissertation next week.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Retrial of Louis Riel

Hon. Laurier L. LaPierre: Honourable senators, Louis Riel was retried recently on the Newsworld channel of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. I am not opposed to the recreation or dramatization of historical events. In fact, I am in favour of this practice, having done so myself. I applaud those whose talent and respect for the historicity of the events make them come alive. However, it can be a dangerous exercise — even when handled by persons of good faith. This is particularly so since, in our country, history may easily be transformed into a political act or used as a club to subjugate, insult or get even. Rather, we want our history to illuminate our present.

What is of great importance and national significance in this retrial of Louis Riel is that it has caused great pain, I am told, to those most involved in his life and trial: the Metis people.

Let there be no doubt in anyone's mind that Louis Riel was not an ordinary person and his trial was not an ordinary event. He was a Father of Confederation and the founder of Manitoba. He was aproud man, a convinced patriot and a person of profound faith. Above all, he incarnated in his person the just aspirations of an entire community of First Peoples whose marginality has been permitted to exist in our country for too long.

Louis Riel's participation in our national life is therefore a sacred national trust. It should be treated as such. Moreover, Louis Riel belongs to a people, the Metis people, who have endured a long history of mischief and persecution, insecurity and despair, but who have never lost hope that their rights will be fully recognized. The history of that struggle is also a sacred national trust. It should be treated as such.

I suppose the CBC will wake up one day and retry Jesus Christ.

[Translation]

The Senate

Allotment of Time for Tributes

Hon. Jean Lapointe: Honourable senators, I would like to respond to Senator Sparrow.

[English]

The Hon. the Speaker: I am sorry to interrupt, but I should draw to the attention of honourable senators our rules, which indicate that the time for Senators' Statements is not a time for debate.

Senator Lapointe: For the information of senators, I was serious when I mentioned that I would suggest stamps for eminent senators. That is my statement. I will wait until the honourable senator speaks next week to challenge my friend.


[Translation]

ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

The Estimates, 2002-03

Supplementary Estimates (A) Tabled

Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, pursuant to rule 28(3) of the Rules of the Senate of Canada, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the 2002-03 Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2003.

[English]

Clerk of the Senate

2002 Annual Accounts Tabled

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I have the honour to table the clerk's "Statement of Receipts and Disbursements for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2002," pursuant to rule 133.

Legal and Constitutional Affairs

Report Pursuant to Rule 104 Tabled

Hon. George J. Furey: Honourable senators, pursuant to rule104 of the Rules of the Senate of Canada, I have the honour to table the first report of the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, which deals with the expenses incurred by the committee during the First Session of the Thirty-seventh Parliament.

(For text of report, see today's Journals of the Senate.)

Aboriginal Peoples

Report Pursuant to Rule 104 Tabled

Hon. Thelma J. Chalifoux: Honourable senators, pursuant to rule 104 of the Rules of the Senate of Canada, I have the honour to table the first report of the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples, which deals with the expenses incurred by the committee during the First Session of the Thirty-seventh Parliament.

(For text of report, see today's Journals of the Senate.)

[ Senator Sparrow ]

[Translation]

The Estimates, 2002-03

Notice of Motion to Refer Supplementary Estimates (A) to National Finance Committee

Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I give notice that on Tuesday next, November 5, 2002, I will move:

That the Standing Committee on National Finance be authorized to examine and report upon the expenditures set out in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2003, with the exception of Parliament Vote 10a.

Notice of Motion to Refer Parliament Vote‚10a of Supplementary Estimates (A) to‚Standing Joint Committee on the Library of Parliament

Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I give notice that on Tuesday next, November 5, 2002, I will move:

That the Standing Joint Committee on the Library of Parliament be authorized to examine the expenditures set out in Parliament Vote 10a of the Supplementary Estimates(A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2003; and

That a Message be sent to the House of Commons to acquaint that House accordingly.

Notice of Motion to Authorize National Finance Committee to Continue Study of‚Main‚Estimates

Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I give notice that on Tuesday next, November 5, 2002, I will move:

That the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance be authorized to examine and report upon the expenditures set out in the Estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2003, with the exception of Parliament Vote 10a and Privy Council Vote 35; and

That the papers and evidence received and taken on the subject during the First Session of the Thirty-seventh Parliament be referred to the Committee.

[English]

Personal Watercraft Bill

First Reading

Hon. Mira Spivak presented Bill S-10, concerning personal watercraft in navigable waters.

Bill read first time.

(1350)

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

On motion of Senator Spivak, bill placed on the Orders of the Day for second reading two days hence.

[Translation]

Clerk of the Senate

Notice of Motion to Refer 2002 Annual Accounts to Internal Economy, Budgets and‚Administration Committee

Hon. Lise Bacon: Honourable senators, I give notice that Tuesday next, November 5, 2002, I will move:

That the Clerk's Accounts, tabled on Thursday, October31, 2002, be referred to the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration.

[English]

Energy, the Environment and Natural‚Resources

Notice of Motion to Authorize Committee to‚Engage Services

Hon. Tommy Banks: Honourable senators, I give notice that, at the next sitting of the Senate, I will move:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources have power to engage the services of such counsel and technical, clerical, and other personnel as may be necessary for the purpose of its examination and consideration of such bills, subject matters of bills and estimates as are referred to it.

Notice of Motion to Authorize Committee to Permit Electronic Coverage

Hon. Tommy Banks: Honourable senators, I give notice that, at the next sitting of the Senate, I will move:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources be empowered to permit coverage by electronic media of its public proceedings with the least possible disruption of its hearings.

Notice of Motion to Authorize Committee to Study Matters Related to Mandate

Hon. Tommy Banks: Honourable senators, I give notice that, at the next sitting of the Senate, I will move:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources be authorized to examine such issues as may arise, from time to time, relating to energy, the environment and natural resources.

Aboriginal Peoples

Notice of Motion to Authorize Committee to‚Engage Services

Hon. Thelma J. Chalifoux: Honourable senators, I give notice that, at the next sitting of the Senate, I will move:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples have power to engage the services of such counsel and technical, clerical, and other personnel as may be necessary for the purpose of its examination and consideration of such bills, subject matters of bills and estimates as are referred to it.

Notice of Motion to Authorize Committee to Permit Electronic Coverage

Hon. Thelma J. Chalifoux: Honourable senators, I give notice that at the next sitting of the Senate, I will move:

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.

National Security and Defence

Notice of Motion to Authorize Committee to‚Deposit Second Report with Clerk of‚the‚Senate

Hon. Colin Kenny: Honourable senators, I give notice that, on Tuesday, November 5, 2002, I will move:

That the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence be permitted, notwithstanding usual practices, to deposit its second report with the Clerk of the Senate on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 and that the report be deemed to have been tabled in the Chamber; and

That copies of the report be made available to all Senators in their offices and by e-mail at the time of tabling.


Distinguished Visitors in the Gallery

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I should like to draw your attention to the presence, in our gallery, of our former colleague the Honourable Ray Squires and his wife Grace.

On behalf of all honourable senators, I bid you welcome.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!


QUESTION PERIOD

National Defence

FSME-Immun Vaccine for Tick-Borne Encephalitis—Assessment of Inoculated Troops to Determine Presence of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

Hon. J. Michael Forrestall: Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government and arises out of an exchange that we had yesterday.

In answer to my question about possible exposure of some 5,000 Canadian troops to mad cow disease through contaminated vaccine, the minister stated:

...this vaccine is recommended by such agencies as the World Health Organization, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and, of course, Health Canada.

I have in my possession an e-mail from G4 Medical Plans at Canadian Forces Medical Group Headquarters here in Ottawa that states that the Canadian Forces declined the vaccine, in April 2002, for use in inoculating troops going to Georgia for the exercise "Cooperative Best Effort," based on a risk assessment.

Can the minister tell the chamber why she failed to mention that fact yesterday as she defended the use of the vaccine and tell us for what reason the risk assessment failed to recommend the vaccine?

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I did not fail to give my honourable friend the answer or provide the information that he has now requested because I did not have the information. I shall seek to obtain that information and provide it to the honourable senator.

Senator Forrestall: Honourable senators, the leader was extraordinarily well-prepared yesterday, well-prepared enough to accuse me of underhanded methods with respect to questioning.

Some Hon. Senators: Shame!

Senator Forrestall: I want the leader to be aware that I rarely ask questions to which I do not have the answers either.

When was the Department of National Defence first alerted that the European tick-borne encephalitis vaccine could have been manufactured with contaminated blood?

Senator Carstairs: The honourable senator continues to raise questions about this particular vaccine. It is important, once again, to indicate the potential risk of this vaccine, which is one in 100 million. To make people concerned that they may have been exposed to a serious risk, quite frankly, is not dealing with the fullness of this particular issue.

Having said that, Health Canada and DND are exercising due diligence. They are informing people, but they are also informing them of the extent of the risk, which is again one in 100 million.

Senator Forrestall: With all due respect, honourable senators, I asked the Leader of the Government why she did not mention the action taken by our own Medical Group Headquarters. The honourable senator gave a reasonable answer, and I accept that. What I do not accept is her extending that answer to include the nonsense she gave us yesterday.

When were affected Canadian Forces personnel first notified that they could have received a vaccine that had been contaminated? In addition, could she tell us or find out for us just how they were notified?

Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, let me re-emphasize that there have been no documented cases anywherein the world, not just in Canada, but anywhere in the world,of anyone contracting mad cow disease from this vaccine. Let us be very clear about that fact. I am very concerned that the honourable senator would create fear among individuals, a fear that, in my view, is not legitimate and is inappropriate. I have indicated that the department is exercising due diligence, working with Veterans Affairs, Health Canada and DND, to notify Canadians who may have had the vaccine and also to inform them of the very remote risk associated with it.

(1400)

Senator Forrestall: Honourable senators, I can only repeat that it would be really appreciated. The leader has complained about the number of questions I ask in this chamber. I have not complained yet about the number of non-answers that I get from the leadership across the aisle.

The question was straightforward, and I will simply repeat it in the hope that the leader can find an answer: Why is it that the Canadian military medical authorities declined to use the vaccine on a risk basis? After studying the vaccine, why did they decline to use the vaccine?

Senator Carstairs: The honourable senator first said that I did not provide that information, when he clearly said to the chamber that in his view I had it, and I replied by saying that I did not have it but that I would seek it, and I will seek that information and provide it to the honourable senator.

Furthermore, I have never complained about the number of questions the Honourable Senator Forrestall has asked in this chamber.

Senator Forrestall: I thought you were complaining.

Senator Carstairs: The honourable senator may ask as many questions as he wants. I will, however, argue strenuously that if the honourable senator does not like the answer he receives, he considers the question to be unanswered.

Senator Forrestall: Honourable senators, the honourable leader has not answered 10 per cent of the questions I have asked in the last few years, and she knows it.

Fisheries and Oceans

Announcement of Projects under Aquaculture Collaborative R&D Program

Hon. Gerald J. Comeau: Honourable senators, on October24, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans announced a number of projects under the Aquaculture Collaborative R&D Program, which was announced in August2000. This current announcement of over$1.8million worth of projects is broken down by region. On the very same day, the Minister of Labour, on behalf of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, announced the same projects in the New Brunswick share of the program. The parliamentary secretary of the Minister of Fisheries did the same for the Gaspé region. The Member of Parliament for
Guelph-Wellington announced a project on behalf of the minister in her area. The Minister of National Resources announced the Pacific region projects on behalf of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. As if this were not enough, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans announced approval of projects in Nova Scotia on the same day. Thank God he did not announce it in his own name, on behalf of himself.

Honourable senators, in total, it took 10 pieces of paper printed on both sides, in fact 20 pieces of paper, if you count it, in two official languages, for the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to announce and re-announce the same projects. I wish to ask the minister if this is an example of the government leading by example in promoting sustainable development and conservation of our resources?

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I believe it is an example of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans making sure that those affected by this activity were fully informed of same.

Senator Comeau: Honourable senators, I have a supplementary question.

I believe they are finally fully informed, up to their gills. Every little bit helps when one istruly committed to the wise use of our natural resources and energy. Consider the trees that need to be cut down when all this kind of paperwork becomes the norm.

I ask the Leader of the Government in the Senate if she will join with all senators to commit her government to the conservation of energy and resources?

Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, the conservation of all energy and resources is important to all of us. It is for that reason that I will certainly support the concept that we should all conserve wherever we can, and that is why I will fully support the Kyoto Protocol and assume that the honourable senator will do the same.

National Security

Hezbollah—Placement on Terrorist List

Hon. David Tkachuk: Honourable senators, my question for the Leader of the Government in the Senate centres on what we learned yesterday, that Ayub Fawzi, a Canadian with strong links to Hezbollah, was, according to the Israelis, a key planner in Hezbollah terrorist attacks on Israel.

Along with that information, the National Post has reported that CSIS has been providing the government — I would assume the cabinet, the Prime Minister, the Solicitor General — with information that Hezbollah uses Canada as a base for terrorist activities, and that information has been gathered since 1996. When will this government place all of the Hezbollah organizations on the list of known terrorists under the Criminal Code?

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): The Government of Canada has, as the honourable senator well knows, placed the Hezbollah External Security Organization, also known as ESO, on its list, following the listing also by the United Nations, on November 7, 2001. It has, as the honourable senator also knows, a further listing process. If we get a recommendation to further list this External Security Organization, I am sure that we will do so.

Senator Tkachuk: Honourable senators, last week I asked about this organization. The honourable leader informed me that the External Security Organization is the one that has been placed on the terrorist list. However, from what I can gather, CSIS has been reporting to the government that it is one organization. Most experts on terrorism in the world, including our own security force, CSIS, say that it is one organization, that it is not three organizations or two organizations. It is one.

What is the source of the government's information that there are separate arms of this organization, that it is not one organization, when everyone one talks to, including Hezbollah in Lebanon, says that it is one organization?

Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, the Canadian government chose to follow the exact process that was followed by the government in the United Kingdom, in which the ESO was listed as a terrorist organization. For example, we chose not to list the political party, which exists in Lebanon and has 11 members in a freely elected democratic government, as part of that terrorist listing.

Senator Tkachuk: Honourable senators, the minister used this argument before because the leader of that organization was sitting with two other spiritual leaders, a weed between two flowers. Somehow this made him a better person.

The organization itself has only two goals. One of those goals is the elimination of Israel. That organization wants to wipe Israel off the map. They want an Islamic revolution in Lebanon. Pity the Christians who will be there when they take over. This is an organization of killers, murderers, bombers and thieves, an organization that uses this country as a base to funnel money to Lebanon so that they can equip their people with bombs and send them to Israel to kill women and children. It is not much more complicated than that, and that is what CSIS is saying. That is what all the organizations involved in this terrorist activity in the world are saying, except this government.

I ask the Leader of the Government in the Senate again to table information in this place as to the rationale used in leaving this organization off the terrorist list?

Senator Carstairs: I will restate what I said a few minutes ago. The honourable senator said "except this country," and it is not "except this country." I indicated very clearly that the other country that has accepted only the ESO as the terrorist organization of Hezbollah is the United Kingdom. That government has chosen to take the aspect of the ESO, which has clearly been listed by the United Nations as a terrorist organization, and as such we have also listed them as a terrorist organization.

However, I will repeat: There is a political party in Lebanon— a democratic country. The members of that party are duly elected as members of that democratically elected government, and I do not think it is appropriate that we list them with the External Security Organization, which no one doubts is a terrorist organization.

The Senate

Foreign Affairs Committee—Briefing on Middle East Situation

Hon. Marcel Prud'homme: Honourable senators, I wish to congratulate the honourable leader for remaining cool under such a barrage of misinformed accusations. I would suggest kindly to some honourable senators that the time may have come to get a full briefing of the true situation in the Middle East.

(1410)

The Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs is about to start its activities. That committee has not revisited Canada's relations with the Middle East since its 1985 report. The Middle East has been the most explosive part of the world since 1982. Since the publication of that report, everything has been done not to revisit that subject. That report was published by very prominent senators, including Senators van Roggen, Macquarrie and Hicks, people whose devotion to the state of Israel was never in doubt, including Senator Lapointe.

Honourable senators we have never revisited that subject matter, to study the exact difference between terrorism and politics. I, for one, who visited Lebanon at my expense, and the other members who went with the Prime Minister, should rejoice to see that all the factions of Lebanon, for the first time, are trying to live together to build a better country in peace and harmony.

It is not easy. If we continue to be badly informed by any source, including our own security sources, it will not be the first time, and I would hope that the minister will stick to her answer. It was the right answer.

My question is very simple: Would the honourable leader do whatever she can to have the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs give us a full briefing on Middle East affairs? I would be more than happy to participate, and invite the honourable senator to attend.

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, it is well within the mandate of the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs to undertake such a series of hearings and to invite Foreign Affairs to give it a full briefing. Should that committee choose to honour the request of the honourable senator, I would be delighted that such a briefing takeplace.

[ Senator Tkachuk ]

Fisheries and Oceans

Coast Guard—Decommissioning of Foghorns

Hon. Pat Carney: Honourable senators, my question is addressed to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. I am appealing to her Nova Scotia roots.

The Canadian Coast Guard has announced that it is decommissioning most of the foghorns on the B.C. coast, on the West Coast of Vancouver Island and on the middle coast. This was put out in Notices to Shipping, in August, a venue that is not much monitored by fish boats, kayakers, recreational boaters and fishermen.

Since the coastal communities have become aware that these foghorns are slated to be silenced, the protests are rolling in to our office. For instance, the harbour master of Tofino says that these foghorns are needed because of the shoaling waters and the number of American and Canadian recreational boaters who can get lost in this area.

The regional district of Port Alberni-Clayoquot says that decommissioning the foghorns in the Tofino-Ucluelet area, which is heavily used in Barclay Sound, is totally unacceptable.

I am appealing to the minister to convey to her cabinet colleague, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, to reconsider this decision that will place people in coastal communities at very high risk.

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I thank the honourable senator for her question. My understanding, and I certainly can be corrected by the honourable senator, is that consultations are taking place with stakeholders about the plans to do such things as to de-staff light stations, use more modern technology, study infrastructure and their operations and deal with life cycle material management, but that is all within the guise of a study. No decision has been made at this particular point in time.

Senator Carney: Honourable senators, I would never dare correct the Leader of the Government, but she does represent this chamber at the cabinet table. I am asking her to convey the concerns that have been raised in this chamber on this issue.

The B.C. coastal pilots are the people who are in charge of the marine pilots that guide the cruise ships, the freighters, the oil tankers and so forth, and they have advised me that there has been an erosion of Coast Guard services on the coast, that services have been cut to the bone, and their pilots are now at risk if there are any further cuts.

The situation is so bad that the kayakers of Quadra Island, which is at the entrance to Johnstone Strait, a heavily used transit point, have told us about watching a father and his son sinking in the ocean, calling the Coast Guard emergency marine service telephone number and being told that the number was no longer in service. Given that that is the current scenario with respect to services on the coast, and given that the Estimates indicate that the rescue portion of the Coast Guard and DFO will be cut from

around$126million to$114million in this fiscal year and the next fiscal year, I am asking the minister to convey to her colleagues the deep concern of people who are represented in this chamber by British Columbia senators and by East Coast senators about the threat to their safety.

We need the Coast Guard. It is our security net. There are areas of the coast where they are cutting foghorns, where there is no radar or technological alternative. I am asking the honourable leader to convey to her cabinet colleagues that this is a deep concern to both east and west coastal communities.

Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, I shall certainly bring the honourable senator's concerns to the cabinet table. However, I do want to reiterate that, to the best of my knowledge, no decisions have been made on this. A study is ongoing. That study is across the breadth of what is going on in the Canadian Coast Guard.

As the honourable senator well knows, some 18,000 aids to navigation are presently there to help mariners navigate safely and efficiently. There are 264 light stations that exist. The honourable senator is correct that, in the 1980s and the 1990s, we de-staffed a number of those.

All these things need to be re-evaluated. They need to be studied. That is the study that is being undertaken. As part of that study, it is important for the committee to hear from the honourable senator and the representations she made to me today.

Senator Carney: As a supplementary on that, these so-called consultations must be taking place with ghosts, because no one I know is aware of the consultations. The people and the communities who are contacting my office have never heard of these designated cuts. They were totally unaware that this was taking place until my colleagues and I raised it. Therefore, if the Coast Guard is telling the minister that consultations are taking place, they must be with the wreck of the ancient mariner because they are certainly not available on the coast.

Concerning the navigational aids that the honourable leader referred to, some of them are rusting out, some are deteriorating, and they are not being replaced. This is what the people who use the channels and the inlets tell us. Given that boats are being taken out of service there, there is one boat with the capacity to lift the buoys up and repair and replace them. When the B.C. marine pilots tell us that their pilots are at risk, that services are being cut to the bone, I suggest that the Coast Guard is not being straightforward with the information provided by the minister.

Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, all I can tell the honourable senator again is that I will bring forward her representations. However, honourable senators, I am informed that the current study is reviewing the Canadian Coast Guard mandate. It is reviewing programs and services within the context of the mandate. It is assessing their strengths and their challenges. They are analyzing internal and external drivers and trends. They are in the process of the development of a revised vision for the Coast Guard and identification of options to respond to the challenges that are identified.

(1420)

Agriculture and Agri-Food

Wheat Board—Marketing of Grain

Hon. Leonard J. Gustafson: Honourable senators, I rise to ask a question about the marketing of grain because I feel it is someone's responsibility to do so. Today in Lethbridge, a number of farmers are going to jail because they marketed their own product. They marketed a product in Western Canada against the rules of the Canadian Wheat Board. If they lived in Ontario, they could market that grain without any problem.

This is an issue of rights. We have rights in Canada under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. One wonders if we have crossed the line a bit in this case.

I market through the Canadian Wheat Board, and I have some respect for it, I must say, but I think the time has come when we must ask if there is not a better way of dealing with this situation.

Senator Wiebe: Obey the law.

Senator Gustafson: I know that that is the answer we hear: "Obey the law." However, is the law just if it deprives farmers of their right to market their own product?

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): First, let us be very clear. These individuals made the choice to go to jail. They violated the law. They could have paid a fine. They chose not to pay the fine. They chose to go to jail. They have their own reasons for doing that. The honourable senator clearly believes that the process does not reflect their needs or their desires.

Let me quote from a letter written by Ken Ritter, Chair of the Canadian Wheat Board. He said in an open letter to all Western Canadian farmers:

...these people need not break the law to have their voices heard. A democratic process now exists to elect CWB directors, who set the direction for grain marketing. Since sweeping changes were made in 1998, 10 of the 15 CWB directors have been elected by farmers. It is they who control the CWB, not the federal government.

Senator Gustafson: I am well aware of that argument. I am asking if it is not time that we come up with a better solution to this problem. We all know how many times the Americans have challenged this monopoly situation.

If a senator were to raise the matter of allowing a monopoly in any other sector of the economy, this chamber would be in an uproar. Maybe it is time for some freedom of choice. That is the point I am making. Does the honourable leader not think it is time that Western Canadian farmers should have certain rights in this area?

Alberta is unique. I am a Saskatchewan farmer, and we look at the Wheat Board quite differently. In Alberta, a large percentage of the farmers would agree with that position. In fact, the premier of that province is appearing in Lethbridge today. Does the minister not think it is time that we give some very serious consideration to this problem?

Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, let us begin with the statement regarding the challenges that have been made by the United States. Yes, they have lost every single one of them with respect to the Wheat Board. There have been nine challenges and nine defeats. The record of the Canadian Wheat Board is very favourable in this regard.

The Canadian Wheat Board is now controlled by democratically elected farmers. It is the farmers who have decided that this is what they want. Yes, some farmers in the country disagree. That is true of almost any organization or any political process in this nation. There will always be those who disagree.

The reality is that the vast majority of Western Canadian farmers have made it very clear they like the Canadian Wheat Board and they want the Canadian Wheat Board. They feel that it is to their best advantage to have the Canadian Wheat Board.

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I regret to advise that the 30 minutes for Question Period have expired.


ORDERS OF THE DAY

Criminal Code
Firearms Act

Bill to Amend—Second Reading—Debate Continued

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Jaffer, seconded by the Honourable Senator Maheu, for the second reading of Bill C-10, to amend the Criminal Code (cruelty to animals and firearms) and the Firearms Act.

Hon. David Tkachuk: Honourable senators, I rise today to speak to Bill C-10. I did not intend to speak to this bill, but I have been following the debate quite closely. After listening to some honourable senators, I thought I would make a few comments.

I listened with interest to Senator Jaffer's speech and to the thoughtful interventions made by Senator Stratton, Senator Joyal, Senator Cools and Senator Watt. They raised some serious issues, and I should like to discuss them from the perspective of my region.

A big legal shift will take place if this bill is passed, as Senator Joyal has articulated so well. Cruelty to animals as an offence will no longer be treated as a property crime. There is something tantalizingly simple about property to me. Since a person owns it, that person has much greater self-interest in protecting it. This bill actually removes all animals, it seems, domestic and wild, from the protection of the owner and moves them to the protection of the state. That troubles me. We are removing them completely from our care and our responsibility for their safety to the care of the criminal justice system. Yet, animals on their own have no say in the system, lacking the ability to reason and a consciousness of the system we are imposing on them.

Hunters, for example, have ownership over their resources because they have a self-interest in keeping those resources for the long term. They want to be able to hunt birds. They want to be able to hunt wild animals, not only for the sport of it but, in many cases in this big country, for a living. Organizations such as Ducks Unlimited and others care for and harbour stock for future generations. We participate in this— we, all of us, within our communities — as volunteers and caring citizens.

I want to turn for a moment to an issue that Senator Cools raised, as did Senator Jaffer. I remember when Bill C-68 was before the Senate. I thought Senator Cools gave an excellent presentation last week about the propaganda that we were forced to endure. Many senators did not buy into it. Many of us voted against the bill and tried to amend it. If honourable senators revisit those speeches and all of the things that were wrong with that bill, they will know that, in that debate, we said what would happen. It was not only us. We were simply representing the citizens of this country who had made proposals to us, sent us briefs, who begged and pleaded with us not to do this.

The following statement actually comes from the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies and relates to this crimes against animals bill, Bill C-10. It can be found on their Web site.

It has been well documented that there is a clear link between violence to animals and violence towards humans. And it is highly appropriate to protect animals because they can suffer, regardless of whether someone owns them. However, the common law defences in Section 429(2) are not lost.

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Section 8(3) of the Criminal Code states:

(3) Every rule and principle of the common law that renders any circumstance a justification or excuse for an act or a defence to a charge continues in force and applies in respect of proceedings for an offence under this Act...

I urge honourable senators to read the rest of the paragraph.

This is a reasonable organization that has, as part of its agenda, the protection of animals and the rejection of cruelty to animals, which we all support here. This organization is saying that a person who is mean to an animal will be mean to a human being. It is saying that there is some correlation in that person's behaviour. It is not that the meanness to the animal causes violence to a human being, it is that that type of person is a mean person and a poor, unsuspecting animal is easier to mistreat than a human being. This behaviour has nothing to do with anything. To say that it does, is intellectually wrong. There is no evidence, no proof, that violence to animals leads to further violence against humans. There is nothing that would cause us to accept this kind of propaganda that the government itself is trying to purport as true.

In actual fact, they use examples like the young man who skinned his cat alive. That is a terrible thing to do. Why would you charge adolescents or teenagers and send them to jail for that action? If some young person skins a cat, you would want that

person to receive treatment so that he or she does not kill a human being. The act of skinning a cat provides the first evidence that there is something wrong and that perhaps society should have a look. You do not throw that person in jail. It should not lead to a criminal record. You do not do that to people. You use that as a reason to get these people into treatment. The terror of the cat should be a signal to society of the propensity of that person to commit evil acts, not that that particular evil act causes further violence.

It is the same canard and logic used by the federal government in its implementation of gun registration. Both are responses to special interest groups using the common law to fight a social problem that will only increase bureaucratic power, and all the provinces will have to administer these laws.

We should know what happened with the gun bill, but we have no idea, because we have not been provided the information. No one talks about it, which scares the heck out of me. Perhaps they do not want the same situation to happen with respect to this bill.

How much will the administration of these laws cost provincial governments? They are both responses to special interest groups using the common law to fight a social problem that will only increase bureaucratic power and cost millions of dollars. We place the highest value on the common law. We should be very careful what we do with this.

Senator Joyal speaks so articulately because he is a lawyer and, as is the case with many lawyers here, because of his love of the law. If there is one good thing the British left with us at the end of colonialism and all of the imperialistic acts it is this parliamentary system and our common law. We should not take that common law for granted and abuse it by trying to fix all our social problems with it, particularly when our problems should not be solved in that manner. It should be reserved for matters that deserve our respect so that we demonstrate that we respect the law. Passage of this bill will not cause respect for the law. It is an abuse.

Turning to the subject of domestic animals, in the West we grow animals for food. If it were not for beef and leather, there would be no cows. They would not exist.

Senator Carstairs: I think it is the other way around.

Senator Tkachuk: Were it not for our need for pork, hide and human body parts, there would be no pigs. We would have no use for them. We would not have domestic animals. We keep them as property and we look after them. We are farmers. We are worried about this bill because, as has been said by other senators in this place, the proposed provisions are not clear. The problem with this law is that farmers, ranchers and dairy farmers do not understand it. Aboriginal people do not understand it. Hunters and fishermen do not understand it. Who could understand this bill if these people do not understand the bill? They are the people who will be required to live by it. Many organizations have told us that they do not understand the bill. Perhaps, honourable senators, we should be worried about it if they are, because they are the people who will be harassed.

I will now turn to the subject of activists and why certain organizations are worried. There are many animal rights organizations, and I could not believe how many nutty ones there are compared to good ones; and they all have charitable donation numbers. I researched some of these organizations on their Web sites. I restricted myself to Canadian sites. Honourable senators, there are thousands of them. I would suggest you go to "Animal Rights Canada," and then under "Campaigns" you will see "Dairy." It appears that dairy is a bizarre human fixation. How it became popular to consume mammary secretions is a serious question to ponder, although I do not think many of us have ever done that. On that Web page there is reference to www.MilkSucks.com which leads to a number of Web sites such as "got fat?"; "Scary Dairy Tales"; "got sick kids?"; "got breast cancer?"; and "got...pus?" Everything is blamed on milk and dairy products. Dairy products are a health hazard.

How about the Animal Advocate Society of B.C., which states on its site "report dog neglect and abuse. A good goal." We love living in Canada, because there is so much diversity and so many good ideas that we can discuss. These people do care about dogs. Sometimes, people get carried away in fighting for a cause. Here is what senators must look for: "Is the shelter big enough for the dog to stand up in comfortably and turn around?" When I was a kid, my dog never had a shelter. She was never in the house. She lived outside all the time. Now, I would be in big trouble. Many farms do not have nice pens for the animals to live in. They are outside all day. They do not get fed three times a day. We do not treat them like children.

Senator LeBreton: Did you not have a barn?

Senator Tkachuk: No, we did not have a barn. We lived in a small town, so our dogs just ran around with all the other dogs. They even ran after cats. People who do not live in the city know about these things.

The Web site then asks, "Is the shelter dry inside?" You are spying on your neighbour here. It goes on to ask, "Is it positioned to provide protection from wind and heat?" Excuse me! It further asks whether you have witnessed it "being beaten or yelled at?" I can see "being beaten," being bad, but I do not see "being yelled at" as a particular problem that we should be concerned about. Another question is this: "Do you visit it?" Not only are you spying on your neighbour to see how that dog or cat is doing, but you must also visit it. You must talk to it and feed it treats. Another question is whether you have asked the dog owner if you can take his or her dog for a walk so that you can steal it, take it to the dog pound, and tell the people there about the terrible owner? This organization has a Web site.

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There is also the Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade. Why? They exist because they believe that fur trapping by itself is cruel and, therefore, they want it abolished.

I cannot believe that there are so many of these organizations. Of course, there is also an organization that wants to abolish the Canada seal hunt. As well, there is the American Anti-Vivisection Society which wants to protect mice and rats from abuse in laboratories. Honourable senators, what about the Farm Animal Reform Movement which wants to get rid of all farms except farms that grow vegetables, wheat and barley? They would not allow farms that grow meat. These people will now have a cause.

The Hon. the Speaker: I regret to advise the Honourable Senator Tkachuk that his time has expired.

Senator Tkachuk: Honourable senators, I ask for leave to continue for a couple more minutes.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Senator Tkachuk: Who will police these provisions? These organizations will use the criminal justice system to report, spy and further their political aims. They do, however, have a right to persuade. If they do not want people to eat meat, that is fine. They can go on TV, advertise and do whatever they want. I could not care less.

This bill has not had a significant amount of publicity in the newspapers. Is that because they are scared of the animal rights movement? Honourable senators, if you do not think the media are not intimidated by these people as they were by the gun bill, then you are wrong. Many of these groups are also violent. Honourable senators can search out the Web sites to which I have referred. Alternatively, if you come to my office on Tuesday, I will show you the Web sites that have information on the fact that they advocate violence to achieve their aims.

As legislators, our job is to introduce and pass clearly defined bills on behalf of Canadian citizens. We uphold the values of a civil society. I am neither a farmer nor a hunter. I first used a .22 when I was about 12 years old. I shot a squirrel. When I saw what happened, I did not want to use a gun again. However, my dad hunted and all my relatives hunt. Good for them, and they have a right to do it.

I am a member of the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry. To agricultural people, the matters I have spoken about today are of genuine concern. This bill shows a lack of understanding about the rural nature of this country.

Honourable senators, I will end by saying that, usually, we vote for a bill in principle. Who is against cruelty to animals? The principle of the bill is fine with me. However, the drafters of the bill included these gun registration elements. While I am not opposed to gun control, I am opposed to gun registration.

Honourable senators, I will vote against this bill on second reading. Unless amendments are made to it, I will vote against it at third reading as well. It is too bad I am not on the committee. If I were, I would be able to vote against it in committee. I hope the members of the committee will spend the time and effort to realize that these Canadian people, who are very concerned about the issues in this bill, not only have a right to be heard, they have a right to be listened to. They have warned us before about matters like this. They are the ones who have to live within this law. Let us give them an opportunity to hear the arguments.

Even though I will vote against the bill, it will be passed anyway.

[ Senator Tkachuk ]

Honourable senators, thank you for your time today. I ask you not to support this bill.

Hon. Marcel Prud'homme: Honourable senators, I wish to ask my colleague a question. The beauty of the Senate is that we can agree with our fellow senators on some issues, while disagreeing with them on others. Today, I agree with the honourable senator's point of view on this bill.

He seems to have done a significant amount of study on the issues surrounding this bill. He spoke about human rights organizations that have charitable donation numbers. Is the honourable senator aware of how many children's rights groups there are versus animal rights groups? We know of the millions of children who die in Africa.

Next week, I propose to make a comparison between those groups who defend the rights of animals, non-violently, and those groups who are ready to kill to defend animals. Does the honourable senator have any statistics in that regard, which would be helpful to us? If not, I am sure others will be prompted, by what the honourable senator has said today, to find out.

Senator Tkachuk: Honourable senators, I do not have any statistics in that regard. However, I am sure that such information is available.

Hon. Willie Adams: Honourable senators, when I was young, I used to watch the movies, and sometimes I still do. If a cowboy's horse breaks its leg, will he still be able to shoot it to put it out of its misery, or is there a different procedure to follow now?

Senator Tkachuk: Under this bill, I would not know what to do, and neither would Senator Adams. A person could be charged for doing that. It is not clear. I am sure the honourable senator has received phone calls about the pertinent clause of the bill, which I believe is clause 182. I do not know what I would do. I think I would have someone else shoot the horse.

Senator Adams: When our dogs were no longer useful because they were getting old and could no longer pull our sleds, we would shoot them.

The honourable senator also spoke about the young man who skinned a cat alive. That is only the second story I have heard about someone doing that.

I remember hearing about a woman who, after having washed her cat, put it into the microwave to dry its hair. The next thing she knew the cat exploded inside the microwave. Would such behaviour be dealt with under the cruelty to animals clauses of this bill?

Senator Tkachuk: Honourable senators, I wish to adjourn the debate in the name of Senator Sparrow.

Senator Prud'homme: Honourable senators, I wish to adjourn the debate in the name of Senator Comeau.

The Hon. the Speaker: It is moved by the Honourable Senator Tkachuk, seconded by the Honourable Senator Gustafson, that further debate be adjourned until the next sitting of the Senate; and that the matter stand in the name of Senator Sparrow.

Hon. Jack Wiebe: Honourable senators, I wished to take part in the debate today. If the Honourable Senator Tkachuk were to allow me to speak to the bill for a few minutes, perhaps he could then move the adjournment motion on behalf of the Honourable Senator Sparrow.

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The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, because we are in the middle of a motion, unanimous consent is required to return to it. Is leave granted, honourable senators?

Some Hon. Senators: Yes.

Some Hon. Senators: No.

The Hon. the Speaker: The motion is to adjourn debate on BillC-10. Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Some Hon. Senators: Yes.

Some Hon. Senators: No.

The Hon. the Speaker: All those in favour of the motion, please say "yea."

Some Hon. Senators: Yea.

The Hon. the Speaker: All those opposed to the motion, please say "nay."

Some Hon. Senators: Nay.

The Hon. the Speaker: I believe the "nays" have it.

Senator Wiebe: Honourable senators, I wish to speak briefly to this proposed legislation. I had not intended to speak today but, because of some of the comments that have been made, I think it is necessary to do so. Comments made such that those of us who are involved in the livestock industry— besides being a grain farmer, I had an intensive hog operation for 18 years— are left with the feeling that we do not understand this legislation; that we do not really know what is happening; and that it is difficult for us to read the intricacies of Bill C-10. That is wrong. Just because we are farmers and livestock people, that does not mean that we do not understand legislation.

I assure honourable senators that every livestock operator and organization in Canada knows and understands every clause of this bill.

Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Senator Wiebe: Let me say, as well, that, as far as this particular bill stands, it is good. I speak as a farmer, and I speak as a livestock owner. I do not think there is a livestock producer or owner in the country who does not care about his animals, and each one of them shares the desire of everyone that penalties be increased for those who are deliberately cruel to any form of livestock.

Honourable senators, the health and well-being of the livestock industry in Canada depends on the health and well-being of the animals that are under the care of the livestock producer. If an animal is in pain or under stress, that animal will not do well for that producer.

I do not believe anyone in this country looks after their animals better than those involved in the livestock industry. One of the greatest successes in raising livestock is to ensure that you have healthy and, let me emphasize, content animals under your care. Honourable senators can rest assured that anyone in this country who makes his or her living out of raising or feeding livestock is doing exactly that.

I wish to stress to the members of the committee, who will give clause-by-clause consideration to this bill, that some improvements could be made to the bill. Members of the committee must ask the questions and listen to the points of view that are put forward by the livestock operators. They do not want the bill to be defeated, but they would like to have one simple amendment to the bill.

Their concern, which was expressed by the previous speaker, is that there are some, not all, animal activist rights groups within Canada that are on record as saying that, if Bill C-10 passes, they will use it to launch test cases against farmers and ranchers who use legitimate, normal, animal husbandry practices. That is of great concern to a livestock producer such as myself. It is unfair to place the livestock producer in such a position that they must spend hard-earned money to defend their right to be able to produce an animal in a proper manner.

There is one simple amendment that can be added to this bill, and I know, having spoken to members of the livestock organizations throughout Canada, that they will present that amendment to the committee at the appropriate stage of the process. I urge all honourable senators on the committee to listen carefully to the arguments that they present and to the logical reasons that they give in support of that particular amendment.

Honourable senators, I thank you for giving me the time for these brief remarks.

Hon. Terry Stratton: Honourable senators, will the honourable senator take a brief question?

What is the amendment to which the honourable senator refers?

Senator Wiebe: I would have thought that the honourable senator would have spoken to some of the livestock operators. If he had done that, he would know what amendment will be put forward. It is not my place, as a senator, to suggest an amendment if I am not planning to move it. If this were third reading, and the amendment had not been placed —

Hon. Anne C. Cools: The honourable senator can move the amendment.

Senator Wiebe: I am not interested in moving it at this time. It is the responsibility of the members of the committee to consider that amendment.

Hon. John Lynch-Staunton (Leader of the Opposition): What is the amendment?

Senator Wiebe: My comments, and I am hopeful that honourable senators will accept them as such, are simply to ask that, when these livestock operators suggest an amendment, the committee take a close look at it.

Senator Lynch-Staunton: What is the amendment?

Senator Wiebe: Do I have to tell the honourable senator?

Senator Lynch-Staunton: Senator Wiebe raised the issue.

Senator Stratton: Tell us what the amendment is.

Senator Wiebe: If honourable senators are interested in the context of the amendment that the livestock producers want to present, may I suggest that honourable senators ask them?

Senator Stratton: Senator Wiebe opened the debate.

Senator Wiebe: May I suggest that the honourable senator pick up the phone, call them and say, "I understand you are concerned. We want to listen to you."

Senator Lynch-Staunton: We should have adjourned the debate and saved the honourable senator this embarrassment.

Senator Wiebe: The honourable senator will have the opportunity, as does every senator, to attend the committee.

Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Will the honourable senator advise the house as to whether he will abstain from the vote in this matter, pursuant to rule 65(4)?

Senator Wiebe: Would the honourable senator please repeat the question?

Senator Kinsella: Honourable senators, I compliment the honourable senator for bringing before the house an important consideration— the concern of the livestock community in Canada, of which the honourable senator has advised us he is a member.

The honourable senator has told us of his involvement in that industry and he should advise the house on whether he intends to abstain from any vote on the matter in consideration of rule 65(4), which provides that:

A senator is not entitled to vote on any question in which the senator has pecuniary interest —

Senator Wiebe: I would thank the honourable senator for bringing that rule to my attention. When Bill C-10 is referred to committee, or at second reading for that matter, I intend to vote in favour of the bill because I no longer have an interest in livestock.

[ Senator Wiebe ]

Senator Stratton: The honourable senator just told us that he had an interest in livestock operations.

Hon. Pierre Claude Nolin: I am certain that Senator Wiebe is familiar with the fact that the Criminal Code has sections pertaining to cruelty to animals. In the honourable senator's last comment, he said that he would vote in favour of the bill. What does the bill add to what is already contained in the Criminal Code?

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Senator Wiebe: I believe it adds a considerable amount. It covers animals that are now under the care and protection of the police forces in this country. The bill adds animals that are in the care of Mother Nature, that someone, for example, may take advantage of while hunting.

I think that it is an excellent bill. It clarifies the act, and it increases the penalties. The key is that it increases the penalties for offences against some of the animals in this country.

Senator Nolin: Does Senator Wiebe believe that an increase of the penalty will increase the respect for the rule?

Senator Wiebe: I very much believe that it will do that. I liken it to a speeding ticket. If someone were charged $20 for going over the speed limit and no points were deducted from his licence, he will not think much about that. However, if the penalty is increased to$1,000 and 20 points against his driver's licence, it will make a big difference in how he will react.

Senator Prud'homme: This is the beauty of the Senate and debating, senator. A long time ago, I believe I campaigned in Saskatchewan near your area.

You mentioned that you did not want to get into the details of the amendment. I am a city person. I believe in good equilibrium, because my family is rural. My father is the only one who went to the city. We still have farms.

You could influence my judgment if I knew who will make up the committee that will study the bill. The committee may be full of highly sophisticated people with very limited experience in rural areas. Therefore, I would like to know what kind of amendment you think could convince a person like me to change my opinion? I am not stubborn. That is my first point.

As to my second point, you raised it yourself. I do not know how a very honest farmer, who is not too rich, could face these highly sophisticated, highly well-organized, well-oiled organizations that may decide to make an example of one person in particular and say, "This will be our test case." It will be a David-and-Goliath kind of fight. I do not know any farmers who have a charitable donation number, to defend themselves against anything they perceive to be unfair and unjust. I believe we should be very careful.

Even though I have my law degree, Senator Nolin is one I always look to for guidance because of his expertise in practical law. It troubles me. I know the Criminal Code. If the Criminal Code were to be used appropriately, it would cover almost everything that this bill proposes, just as the conflict of interest guidelines cover almost everything that applies to members of Parliament. The biggest danger we face is that people may forget to read the appropriate number in the Criminal Code that applies to corruption, et cetera. That is another debate we will have eventually.

The honourable senator has asked us why we have not called farm organizations. I do not know big organizations that I can call this afternoon and ask what kind of amendments they are going to suggest. As yet, I do not even know who will be members of our Legal Committee, but I think they may be top-notch lawyers with little practice in rural affairs.

Senator Wiebe: Had the honourable senator listened to my comments, he would have heard me say that some organizations indicated to me that they would be presenting suggested amendments to the committee in order to make some of the corrections that they feel are necessary. They have shared ideas with me, but those may not be the ideas that they will eventually share with the committee. The idea of second reading debate is to debate the principle of the bill. I mentioned that so that the members of the committee who will be studying this bill will look seriously at whatever proposals the livestock industry in this country makes when the bill goes to Committee of the Whole.

Senator Adams: Honourable senators, my question is for Senator Wiebe. If that bill dealt only with livestock and farmers, I would agree with him. However, I think the bill refers to any type of animal. Aboriginal people hunt over a hundred different types of animals. Does the bill refer only to livestock?

Senator Wiebe: No, it does not. In this particular bill—

Hon. Shirley Maheu (The Hon. the Acting Speaker): I regret to inform the honourable senator that his time for speaking has expired.

Senator Prud'homme: Let him finish.

The Hon. the Acting Speaker: Are you asking for leave to continue?

Senator Wiebe: Yes.

The Hon. the Acting Speaker: Is leave granted?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Senator Wiebe: The definition of "animal," which is certainly what I was talking about, in the bill under proposed section 182.1 states:

In this Part, "animal" means a vertebrate, other than a human being, and any other animal that has the capacity to feel pain.

Senator Adams: If I want to eat, I would eat an animal that can feel pain. When I return to my community next week or next month and the bill has been passed, I would be guilty of cruelty to the animals if I ate what I had hunted. I go caribou hunting, seal hunting, fishing, ptarmigan hunting, and rabbit hunting. In fact, honourable senators, I hunt all kinds of animals. Those animals are not considered to be my livestock. I hunt those animals on the land, which is where I provide food for my family.

On motion of Senator Comeau, debate adjourned.

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Business of the Senate

Motion to Authorize Committees to Meet During Adjournments of the Senate

Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government), pursuant to notice of October 8, 2002, moved:

That for the duration of the present session any select committee may meet during adjournments of the Senate.

The Hon. the Acting Speaker: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, does the honourable colleague opposite who has moved this motion wish to provide an explanation?

[Translation]

Senator Robichaud: Honourable senators, rule 95(3) states, and I quote:

By order of the Senate any select committee may meet during an adjournment of the Senate which exceeds a week.

This motion would allow a committee to meet during adjournments of more than one week, without seeking the approval of the Senate. This would simplify the work of committees and the chairs would not need to ask permission to sit when the Senate is adjourned for a period of more than seven days.

[English]

Senator Kinsella: Honourable senators, this is a particularly important matter for the good conduct of the work of our Senate committees. My honourable colleague has drawn our attention to rule 95. It is important for committee chairs or steering committees to understand the operation of rule 95(2), which reads as follows:

When the Senate adjourns for a week or less, a select committee may sit on those days over which the Senate is adjourned if notice of the intention to meet during the adjournment of the Senate has been given to the members of the committee one day before such adjournment.

For example, honourable senators, if we were not sitting next week, it would have been necessary for a committee to give notice to its members on Wednesday, adopted on Thursday, that that committee was going to meet next week.

However, pursuant to rule 95(3), if the Senate is in a state of adjournment for longer than one week, a committee cannot sit during that adjournment, save and except by special order from the Senate.

The proposal that is before us is to give a blanket authorization for a committee to meet during adjournments of the Senate.

If one were to examine the record, one would find that this is more the practice than the exception. The practice has actually, for a number of years, been contrary to what the rules provide.

Referred to Committee

Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Under that circumstance, honourable senators, I move that this motion be referred to the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament prior to us taking any action. In that way, the Rules Committee can study and report back to the Senate on this matter.

The Hon. the Acting Speaker: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Motion agreed to.

Study on State of Health Care System

Final Report of Social Affairs, Science and Technology Committee—Order Stands

On the Order:

Consideration of the third report (final) of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, entitled: "The Health of Canadians — The Federal Role, Volume Six: Recommendations for Reform," tabled in the Senate on October 25, 2002.—(Honourable Senator Kirby).

Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, this item has been on the Order Paper for some time — three days, I believe. It is the subject of major national consideration. This is one of the most important studies done by a Senate standing committee in recent times.

Honourable senators will recall that there was some dispute around the process followed for the tabling of the report. That dispute was in relationship to the press conference held concerning the report.

Given that the report is of such pith and moment — in terms of the public reaction — it would be preferable for this debate to be launched as early as possible. I would encourage all honourable senators to prepare for that debate. It is my hope that the chair of that committee will launch the debate next week.

Hon. John Lynch-Staunton (Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, my colleague spoke gently. I shall speak more harshly. I find it appalling and deplorable that a report as significant as this one, which has been before the house for a week, has yet to be debated, started, of course, by the chairman. He has found the time to hold press conferences, to appear on television, to go on the radio and to lend himself to interviews by editorial boards. However, the chairman has not yet found time to speak to this report before the house, which authorized the study to initiate the debate on such an important topic.

I think all of us should deplore this disinterest by one of our own colleagues in the opinions of this house, which authorized the report. I cannot understand, and certainly do not accept, that the Senate be treated in such a cavalier fashion, particularly by one of its own. I support Senate efforts being given the widest publicity possible, but I do not accept that Senate participation in an exchange of views on this topic, which preoccupies Canadians the most, be not found important enough yet to be heard. I find it particularly ironic, given that the House of Commons discussed

the health situation in Canada in a government-sponsored take- note debate on Monday afternoon, in which participants of the debate made constant reference to the Social Affairs Committee report. They have already started discussing it on the other side and it is not even their report. Here we are a week later.

I find it sad, honourable senators, that the committee chairman, the main person behind this study, has yet to be heard in his own chamber.

[Translation]

Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I will ensure that the comments made here this afternoon are brought to the attention of the Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology.

Order stands.

(1520)

Rules, Procedures and the Rights of‚ Parliament

Fourteenth Report of Committee Presented in First Session of‚Thirty-seventh Parliament—Referred Back to Committee

Hon. Jean-Robert Gauthier, pursuant to notice of October 22, 2002, moved:

That the recommendations and proposed rules contained in the Fourteenth Report of the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament presented to the Senate in the First Session of the 37th Parliament on June 11, 2002, be adopted, mainly:

1. a) Recommendation:

That the Senate adopt a procedure that would

(a) enable the Senate, following its approval of a report submitted by a select committee, to refer that report to the Government with a request for a comprehensive response within 150 calendar days;

(b) require the Leader of the Government in the Senate to either table the Government's response within the 150day period or provide the Senate with an explanation; and

(c) deem the report and the comprehensive response to be referred upon tabling to the select committee for review, and provide that the select committee be deemed to have been referred the matter for consideration should the 150day period lapse without a comprehensive response being received.

b) Proposed Rule:

That the Rules of the Senate be amended in rule 131,

(a) by renumbering rule 131 as 131(1); and

(b) by adding after subsection 131(1) the following:

"Request for Government response

(2) Where the Senate adopts either a resolution or a report from a select committee, other than the report on a bill, requesting the Government to provide a full and comprehensive response to the report, the Clerk of the Senate shall communicate the request to the Government Leader in the Senate who shall, within one hundred and fifty calendar days after the adoption of the report, either table the Government's response or give an explanation for not doing so in the Senate.

(3) Where the Senate adopts a resolution or a report under subsection (2), the report of the select committee and the response of the Government or the explanation of the Government Leader for the absence of a response are deemed to be referred to the select committee one hundred and fifty calendar days after the adoption of the report."

2. a) Recommendation:

That the Senate adopt a rule based on Senator Gauthier's proposal relating to petitions, setting out the requirements as to their form and content, providing for a presentation procedure and providing that the subject matter of each public petition shall be referred to the appropriate standing committee, which shall consider it and, where it believes such action to be desirable, report back to the Senate with findings and recommendations.

b) Proposed Rule:

That the Rules of the Senate be amended by replacing rules69 to 71 with the following:

"Presentation of petitions

69. (1) A Senator may present a petition to the Senate, including a petition for the passage of a private bill or for the redress of a grievance.

Senator's signature

(2) A Senator who presents a petition to the Senate must sign it as the sponsor, but the signature of the Senator is not an indication that the Senator agrees with the content of the petition.

Multiple sponsors

(3) More than one Senator may sponsor a petition.

Report attached

(4) A Senator who presents a petition for the purposes of rule 71 shall present it with the report of the Examiner of Petitions attached.

Content of petition

(5) A petition to the Senate must:

(a) be identified as a petition;

(b) be addressed to the Senate or to the Senate in Parliament assembled;

(c) respectfully request the Senate to do something that it is able to do;

(d) if it is the petition of one or more individuals, contain the original signatures of the petitioners, their names and correct addresses and the dates of their respective signatures; and

(e) if it is the petition of a corporation, be dated and duly authenticated and under the seal of the corporation.

Form of petition

(6) A petition to the Senate must:

(a) be in a form prescribed by the Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament, on sheets of paper of standard or legal size;

(b) be an original, not a photocopy or facsimile;

(c) be legible, whether it is written, typewritten, printed or some combination of these;

(d) be free of extraneous matter in its text and of alterations; and

(e) reproduce on every sheet its identification as a petition to the Senate or to the Senate in Parliament assembled and the text of the request, if it consists of more than one sheet of signatures and addresses.

Examiner of Petitions

(7) The Director of Committees shall be the Examiner of Petitions.

Petition on behalf of public meeting

70. Petitions signed by persons purporting to represent public meetings shall be received only as the petitions of the persons who sign.

Public petitions

71. (1) In this rule, "public petition" means a petition to the Senate or the Senate in Parliament assembled by at least 25 persons, other than Senators and members of the House of Commons, that is filed for examination, presentation, referral and report under this rule.

Filing for examination

(2) A person may file a public petition with the Clerk of the Senate who shall, at the request of a Senator who proposes to sponsor it, refer it to the Examiner of Petitions for examination for compliance with rule 69.

Referral

(3) Where a Senator presents a public petition in the Senate with a report by the Examiner of Petitions attached advising that the petition is in compliance with rule 69, the petition, its subject-matter and the report shall be referred, without notice and without debate, to the appropriate standing committee.

Report

(4) The committee to which a public petition is referred under subsection (3) may report on its findings and recommendations, if any, to the Senate.".

3. a) Recommendation:

That, with the exception of clauses 26.1(8) to (11), the Senate adopt the substance of the October 16, 2000 motion of Senator Kinsella, seconded by Senator Forrestall, that would add a rule 26.1 to provide for the expeditious consideration of secession referendum questions or referendum results by Committee of the Whole, upon their being tabled in a provincial legislature or otherwise officially released.

b) Proposed Rule:

That the Rules of the Senate be amended, in rule 26,

(a) by adding the following before subsection (1):

"Constitutional business

(1) Constitutional Business: Orders of the Day for motions under rule 26.1(3)."

(b) by renumbering subsections (1) and (2) as (2) and (3) and all cross-references thereto accordingly; and

(c) by adding the following after rule 26:

"Question considered

26.1 (1) Immediately after the government of a province tables in its legislative assembly or otherwise officially releases the question that it intends to submit to its voters in a referendum relating to the proposed secession of the province from Canada, motions to refer that question to Committee of the Whole for consideration and report may be moved without leave at the next sitting of the Senate, and, if moved, must be considered and disposed of in priority to all other orders of the day.

[ Senator Gauthier ]

Clear majority considered

(2) Immediately after the government of a province, following a referendum relating to the secession of that province from Canada, seeks to enter into negotiations on the terms of which that province might cease to be a part of Canada, motions to refer the subject of the clarity of the majority achieved in the referendum to Committee of the Whole for consideration and report may be moved without leave at the next sitting of the Senate, and, if moved, must be considered and disposed of in priority to all other Orders of the Day.

Order of business

(3) Notwithstanding rule 23(8), the Speaker shall call for motions under this rule as the first item of business after Question Period.

Priority

(4) Motions under this rule shall be considered and disposed of in the following order: a motion, if any, by the Government Leader; a motion, if any, by the Leader of the Opposition; a motion, if any, by the leader of a recognized third party in the Senate; motions, if any, by other Senators.

Deemed disposition

(5) Only one order of reference at a time may be made under subsection (1) or (2) and, as soon as an order of reference is adopted, with or without amendment, the remaining motions shall be dropped from the Order Paper.

Time

(6) Where the Senate adopts an order of reference under this rule, the Committee of the Whole shall report within fifteen calendar days after proceedings commenced in the Senate under subsection (1) or (2).

Transmission of findings

(7) When the Senate adopts a resolution in respect of a report presented pursuant to this rule, the Speaker of the Senate shall transmit copies of the resolution and of all proceedings held under this rule in the Senate and in the Committee of the Whole, including a complete copy of every representation made under this rule, to the Speaker of the House of Commons and to the Speakers of each provincial and territorial legislative assembly in Canada."

He said: Honourable senators, this motion proposes that the recommendations and proposed rules contained in the fourteenth report of the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament presented on June 11, 2002, be adopted.

The Senate committee met on 14 occasions on this matter and proposed five amendments to the Rules of the Senate. The Senate has already dealt with the recommendation to strike a standing committee on official languages, and has adopted it. We also sent a message to the House of Commons informing them of that decision, on October 10. Nine senators will be on that committee. This decision will enable the Senate to make use of its institutional memory, its experience, its expertise in the area of official languages in a non-partisan and productive atmosphere. The Senate has fulfilled its constitutional obligations by representing the regions of Canada and the minority official language communities.

The Senate committee also recommended the adoption of a provision concerning committee reports other than reports on a bill. Once a motion was adopted, it could be handed over to the government with a request for an overall response within 150 days of that adoption.

At present, when a report is tabled in the Senate, and not adopted, there is no follow-up. This is also the case when the debate on the report is over and it is adopted. I am merely asking that, once a report has been adopted, this report be made the subject of a request for a comprehensive response by the government. This is reasonable. It is a totally normal follow-up on an action taken by Parliament.

The Clerk of the Senate would transmit the request to the Leader of the Government in the Senate, who, within 150calendar days of the adoption of the report, would have to table the government's response or justify his silence or his refusal to respond. Of course, there would then be a follow-up and we would be in a position to evaluate the merits of the case.

The Senate should also adopt a rule on petitions that would spell out the criteria for their form and content, and a procedure for their presentation, which would provide that the topic of each public petition be referred to the appropriate standing committee for review and, if necessary, a report to the Senate with the committee's conclusions and recommendations.

Currently, petitions are tabled in the Senate but, again, there is no follow-up. Nothing happens, and thousands of Canadians sign these petitions, thinking they will make things change, but everything is shelved. This is not right.

It is high time the Senate adopted a rule on petitions, because right now a senator may present a petition that was signed in good faith by Canadians, but we all know that there is no
follow-up.

[English]

Honourable senators will understand the importance of this proposal, it being a long-established parliamentary practice and tradition whereby the people may address the Senate or the Senate in Parliament assembled by petition purporting to represent matters of importance to which parliamentary attention and possibly action is required.

This proposal would allow for such petitions to be duly presented to the appropriate Senate committee for examination, thereby ensuring serious consideration for redress of the grievances.

The fourteenth report of the committee also recommended that the Senate adopt the substance of a motion that was proposed by Senator Kinsella on October16, 2000, which is two years ago, that, in effect, will add a rule to provide for the expeditious consideration of secession referendum questions or referendum results by the committee of the whole upon that being tabled, either in the provincial legislature or otherwise officially released. This is essential, and I would like to support that initiative.

There was general agreement in committee with the principle that is reflected in this proposal by Senator Kinsella. Discussion focused on detailed refinements to ensure its effectiveness. The committee added that the Senate would contribute effectively to the consideration of secession referendum questions by proposing a procedure that the Senate findings or results be taken into account by the House of Commons. Some of you will remember that vote, where the Senate was more or less excluded from the process. This corrects an injustice and corrects a situation that I find is irregular.

Finally, the committee considered a proposal that attendance by video conference would be recorded as full attendance. In other words, a senator who attends a meeting by video conference would be registered as present at the committee hearing, even though he or she may be thousands of miles away.

(1530)

Honourable senators discussed this issue for a long time and concluded that this proposal opens the door to a range of complex issues. Honourable senators decided to address the issue in a subsequent report. It makes sense for us to look at issues like these. The new chair of the committee will understand that when I bring these issues forward. That is because I have been here for a few years. I am trying to do here what is done in other parliaments, that is, give Canadians satisfaction that when they appeal to the Senate, or when they come to the Senate of Canada for an action, there will be a follow-up on their concerns, whatever that follow-up may be.

[Translation]

Referred Back to Committee

Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government): I thank the Honourable Senator Gauthier for refreshing our memory and reviewing this report that was presented by the Standing Senate Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament. I believe we should refer this motion to committee for study and then the committee can report back to the Senate as soon as possible, so that we may act accordingly.

Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, the committee has already conducted anin-depth study. The Standing Senate Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament made recommendations on the three issues included in this motion. I fully agree with the third recommendation in this report.

The committee studied this report as well as the suggestion to establish a practice whereby the government must respond to a committee report once it has been adopted, and the suggestion to establish a better system for the presentation of petitions. We are prepared to support this motion immediately. I wonder why it is necessary to refer this motion to the Standing Senate Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament for another study. In my opinion, this is not necessary. Perhaps it is simply because the government does not accept the principle of responding to the report. Could the honourable senator explain this to me?

Senator Robichaud: Honourable senators, there is no question of unduly delaying consideration of this motion. A new committee is in place, and some of its members are new. I think that this committee could review this report relatively quickly since, as the Honourable Senator Kinsella indicated, consideration and study have already taken place. This could go very quickly. As regards his question as to whether the government would object to responding to committee reports, that is not the issue. The recommendation has to be written in such a way as to be understood. A recommendation cannot be used to require the government to respond. Only legislation can require the government to act on a given issue. As I said, I think this review could be carried out relatively quickly.

[English]

Senator Kinsella: I thank the honourable senator for the explanation. I take it that the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament will move with all due haste, expeditiously and without undue delay, and that we will have the support from the government side because they accept the principle contained therein. I do note that one little curiosity is that the principle of sending everything to a committee was not followed when the proposition was before us to create the Official Languages Committee. That was not sent to the Rules Committee for deliberation. However, I accept the explanation of the Deputy Leader of the Government.

The Hon. the Acting Speaker: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Motion agreed to.

Agriculture and Forestry

Committee Authorized to Study Impact of Climate Change

Hon. Jack Wiebe, pursuant to notice of October 30, 2002, moved:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry be authorized to examine the impact of climate change on Canada's agriculture, forests and rural communities and the potential adaptation options focusing on primary production, practices, technologies, ecosystems and other related areas;

[ Senator Gauthier ]

That the papers and evidence received and taken on the subject and the work accomplished by the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry during the First Session of the Thirty-Seventh Parliament be referred to the Committee and;

That the Committee submit its final report no later than December 31, 2003.

Motion agreed to.

Fisheries

Committee Authorized to Permit Electronic Coverage

Hon. Gerald J. Comeau, pursuant to notice of October 30, 2002, moved:

That the Senate Standing Committee on Fisheries be authorized to have the public proceedings of the Committee, at its discretion, televised with the least possible disruption of its hearings.

Motion agreed to.

Committee Authorized to Engage Services

Hon. Gerald J. Comeau, pursuant to notice of October 30, 2002, moved:

That the Senate Standing Committee on Fisheries be authorized to hire such counsel, technical, clerical and other personnel as may be necessary for the Committee's study of bills, subject-matters of bills and estimates referred to this Committee.

Motion agreed to.

[Translation]

National Security and Defence

Committee Authorized to Permit Electronic Coverage

Hon. Joseph A. Day, pursuant to notice given on October 30, 2002, moved:

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

Motion agreed to.

Adjournment

Leave having been granted to revert to Government Notices of Motions:

Hon. Fernand Robichaud (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, November 5, 2002, at twoo'clock in the afternoon.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Motion agreed to.

The Senate adjourned until Tuesday, November 5, 2002, at 2p.m.