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Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

2nd Session, 37th Parliament,
Volume 140, Issue 16

Wednesday, November 6, 2002
The Honourable Dan Hays, Speaker


Wednesday, November 6, 2002

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



Coady International Institute

Hon. B. Alasdair Graham: Honourable senators, it is my pleasure to draw your attention to a special reception being held on November 18, on Parliament Hill, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Commonwealth Room, in honour of the Coady International Institute. At the reception, this real Canadian success story will be launching its vision for the future, entitled: "Education for Democracy, Peace and Prosperity."

Established by St. Francis Xavier University in 1959, the Institute was named in honour of Rev. Dr. Moses Coady, a great Canadian, prominent social innovator and founder of the Antigonish movement, one of the truly inspirational models of a people-based, self-help approach to development.

After World War II, Dr. Coady broadened the mandate of the movement that he had originated in addressing the poverty of local fishers, farmers and coalminers of the region and began to devote his prodigious energies to the plight of newly emerging nations. In this way, the values, principles and philosophy of the self-help movement, rooted at St. FX developed into global outreach programs which have, over the decades, very significantly focused on a commitment to empower disadvantaged peoples with the knowledge and the skills they need to shape their own destinies.

When I was a student at St. FX, I used to serve this giant of a man in the priest's refectory. I have always felt privileged to have crossed paths and indeed have had many discussions with an individual whose personal impact on poor fishermen and coalminers from my part of the world would grow to attract community leaders from over 120 countries to the beautiful campus at St. FX.

The international demand for knowledge and how to mould and shape individuals to become masters of their own destiny remains, more than ever, immensely important in today's world. The Coady Institute is a shining example in the creation of a more just and equitable world. I hope all honourable senators will make every effort to attend the reception.

National 4-H Week

Hon. Catherine S. Callbeck: Honourable senators, I rise today to draw your attention to the fact that this week is National 4-H Week. Across Canada, 4-H Clubs will be setting up displays and organizing events to promote their organization.

The 4-H organization helps youth to build leadership and life skills while promoting agricultural awareness. Indeed, the Canadian 4-H program has been essential to life in rural Canada. My home province of Prince Edward Island has close to 900 members and 400 leaders. I should like to commend all of the 4-H leaders across Canada, as they volunteer their time, to put a great deal of effort into the organization's programs and events.

Those involved in 4-H have many opportunities open to them. There is the opportunity to travel, both within and outside of Canada, and to participate in exchanges. Members can also apply for various 4-H scholarships to aid them in post-secondary education.

I believe that 4-H is an important organization and I am happy to see that it is still going strong as it enters into its ninetieth year in Canada. One only needs to hear the motto of the organization to understand the potential value that it can bring to our youth. The motto is: Learn to do by doing.


Foreign Affairs

Notice of Motion to Authorize Committee to Meet During Adjournment of the Senate

Hon. Peter A. Stollery: Honourable senators, I give notice that, at the next meeting of Senate, I shall move:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs be empowered, in accordance with rule 95(3), to sit at 6 p.m., on Monday, November 18, 2002, even though the Senate may be then adjourned for a period exceeding one week.

Transport and Communications

Notice of Motion to Authorize Committee to Meet During Adjournment of the Senate

Hon. Joan Fraser: Honourable senators, I give notice that, at the next sitting of the Senate, I shall move:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications be empowered, in accordance with rule 95(3), to sit at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, November 19, 2002, even though the Senate may be then adjourned for a period exceeding one week.


Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources

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

Hon. Tommy Banks: Honourable senators, I give notice that, tomorrow, I will move:

That the Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources be authorized to examine and report on emerging issues related to its mandate:

(a) The current state and future direction of production, distribution, consumption, trade, security and sustainability of Canada's energy resources;

(b) Environmental challenges facing Canada including responses to global climate change, air pollution, biodiversity and ecological integrity;

(c) Sustainable development and management of renewable and non-renewable natural resources including water, minerals, soils, flora and fauna;

(d) Canada's international treaty obligations affecting energy, the environment and natural resources and their influence on Canada's economic and social development; and,

That the Committee report to the Senate from time to time, no later than February 28, 2005, and that the Committee retain until March 31, 2005 all powers necessary to publicize its findings.


Official Languages

Notice of Motion to Authorize Committee to Meet During Adjournment of the Senate

Hon. Rose-Marie Losier-Cool: Honourable senators, I give notice that tomorrow, Thursday, November 7, 2002, I will move:

That, pursuant to rule 95(3), the Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages have permission to meet at 4 p.m. on Monday, November 18, 2002, for the purpose of discussing its future business, even though the Senate may then be adjourned for a period exceeding one week.

National Finance

Notice of Motion to Authorize Committee to Meet During Adjournment of the Senate

Hon. Lowell Murray: Honourable senators, I give notice that tomorrow, Thursday, November 7, 2002, I will move:

That the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance be empowered, in accordance with rule 95(3), to sit at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, November 19, 2002, even though the Senate may then be adjourned for a period exceeding one week.


Banking, Trade and Commerce

Committee Authorized to Meet During Sitting of the Senate

Hon. E. Leo Kolber: Honourable senators, with leave of the Senate and notwithstanding rule 58(1)(a), I move:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce have power to sit at 3:30 p.m. today, even though the Senate may then be sitting, and that rule 95(4) be suspended in relation thereto.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

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

Hon. Lowell Murray: Will the honourable senator explain, please?

Senator Kolber: Honourable senators, the Banking Committee is in the middle of two major studies. We have a plethora of witnesses to hear in a very short time. Today, we will be hearing from Mr. Thomas d'Aquino of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, along with two other groups of witnesses, all of which will take a long time. If we do not start, honourable senators, we will not finish. With the indulgence of the Senate, we would like to get to work.

Motion agreed to.



Solicitor General

United States Drug Enforcement Agency—Illegal Activities in Canada

Hon. Pierre Claude Nolin: Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate and concerns illegal conduct in Canada by a major U.S. agency, the Drug Enforcement Agency.

Honourable senators, on August 1, 2002, the Supreme Court of British Columbia, in U.S.A. v. Licht, ordered a stay of legal proceedings in relation to an extradition order by the U.S. authorities relating to Brian Anthony Licht. This individual was wanted by the Drug Enforcement Agency, the DEA, for narcotics trafficking in California.

In support of its decision, the Canadian court invoked the fact that a DEA informant entered Canada illegally on August 21, 1999, in order to carry out a sting operation involving a narcotics sale, culminating in the arrest of Licht in December 1999.

The DEA did not have RCMP authorization to carry out such an operation, as required by an agreement duly signed by Canada and the United States.

I would point out, honourable senators, that the United States denied having acted in this way until February 2002, when forced to admit the contrary by an order from the same court.

The Canadian court has concluded that Mr. Licht was a victim of abuse of procedure, because the DEA's actions on Canadian territory and the U.S. authorities' refusal to disclose vital information on the DEA's operations at the time of the extradition procedures were both contrary to article 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The U.S. government has not appealed. I should make it clear to senators that the DEA reports directly to the U.S. Justice Department.

In its judgment, the court is highly critical of the DEA's attitude in this case. In paragraph 56 of her decision, the judge writes:


This conduct is clearly contrary to Canadian sovereign interests.


The judge went on to say, in paragraph 57:


This was not a bona fide investigation being carried out in Canada[...]. The failure to immediately advise the RCMP of this conduct is indicative of further bad faith on the part of the requesting state.


Considering the fact that the Americans show little regard for their legal obligations toward Canada, Canadian laws and particularly our sovereignty, could the Leader of the Government in the Senate indicate to the members of this chamber —


Hon. John G. Bryden: Your Honour —

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I should draw your attention to the rule that points of order are not in order during Routine Proceedings. However, I assume Senator Bryden might be rising to cite rules that relate to Question Period and a short preamble preceding a question.

Senator Bryden: I thought the honourable senator was speaking on an inquiry.


Senator Nolin: In order to ensure that all honourable senators understand the importance of the question that I am going to ask the minister, I deemed it important in my preamble to explain the scope and the consequences of this decision, which seems to me to be quite strange, given the close relations that Canada and the United States claim to have.

Considering the fact that the Americans show little regard for their legal obligations toward Canada, Canadian laws and particularly our sovereignty, could the Leader of the Government in the Senate indicate to the members of this chamber whether this is an isolated incident, or if similar cases have been brought to the attention of the RCMP or of the Solicitor General of Canada in recent years? In other words, is this common practice in Canada for the DEA?


Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, the honourable senator has asked a very important question. Regrettably, I must tell him that I cannot answer it.

The minister is aware of the situation. However, he is not prepared to comment at this time. After having provided me with this information in advance, and despite our inquiries on his behalf, that is the extent of what I can tell the honourable senator. However, I can assure him that, as soon as I am given more details about this case, I will make those details available in this chamber.


Senator Nolin: Since the Licht case exposed the dubious and even illegal DEA activities in Canada, could the Leader of the Government in the Senate indicate, in due course, whether, in the name of Canada's sovereignty, the federal government has lodged a formal complaint with the U.S. authorities concerning the reprehensible actions of a DEA employee?


Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, I will certainly pass on the representation of the Honourable Senator Nolin as to what the federal government should do. However, I must repeat: I have no further information to give to the honourable senator at this time. Clearly, he has dealt with an issue of great import between the two nations; an issue in regard to which we need some answers. I will obtain those answers for him at the earliest possible opportunity.



Cost of Corporate Borrowing

Hon. Donald H. Oliver: Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. The latest monetary policy report from the Bank of Canada acknowledges that Canadian corporations have been slow to finance new investments, and that the banks have been increasingly cautious in their lending practices. The report states that higher risk corporate borrowers are facing increased costs for capital and reduced access to external financing as a result of wider corporate bond spreads, lower equity prices and a reduced supply of bank loans.

This week's The Economist has a table that compares the interest rates of the economies of nine countries. Of those nine, Canada now leads the pack with the highest rates on corporate bonds. Indeed, our corporate bond rate is 44 basis points ahead of the economy of the next country on that list, Denmark.

Honourable senators, the monetary policy of the Bank of Canada is primarily concerned with short-term rates. Is the Government of Canada at all concerned that, at the present time, the cost of corporate borrowing in Canada, and thus the cost of investing in new machinery and equipment, exceeds the cost of corporate borrowing of all our major trading partners?

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, clearly the Government of Canada is aware of where Canada fits in relation to other nations of similar size and economic distribution. However, as the honourable senator knows, it is not the policy of the Bank of Canada to become involved in that particular area of interest rates. I will certainly inquire further as to whether there is to be a change in that policy but, to my knowledge, no change is anticipated.

Monetary Policies of Bank of Canada and Government

Hon. Donald H. Oliver: Honourable senators, I have a supplementary question that relates to an apparent conflict between fiscal and monetary policy. There is a growing speculation that, in the coming months, the government will announce significant new spending measures as the Prime Minister attempts to build his legacy. This speculation has not gone unnoticed by the Bank of Canada. At a symposium sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and held in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the Governor of the Bank of Canada said:

...discretionary fiscal policy can also get governments into trouble if it leads them to neglect their long-run fiscal anchor — particularly since discretionary action is more likely to be associated with an easing in policy than a tightening. This neglect would risk eroding fiscal credibility — the trust that the public has that the fiscal targets will be met.

Honourable senators, in last month's monetary policy report, the Bank of Canada again signaled that it will be slowly raising interest rates as it tightens its monetary policy. The Government of Canada appears set to embark upon an expansionary fiscal policy. In other words, it will slam on the accelerator while the Bank of Canada slams on the brakes.

Does the government take Mr. Dodge's concerns seriously? If so, could the Leader of the Government in the Senate assure honourable senators that they are not about to witness the spectacle of fiscal and monetary policy working in opposite directions?

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): The honourable senator asks a number of interesting questions. Anything that the Governor of the Bank of Canada says, the government takes seriously. However, Mr. Dodge's forecasts of wild spending sprees on behalf of the Government of Canada are just not true. The reality is that we have an excellent Finance Minister who has made it clear that the government will not go into a deficit position. Mr. Manley has stated that the Government of Canada will have a surplus and that, because of increasing activities internationally, there will be a contingency fund to meet any unforeseen expenditures that might not be covered under the usual budgetary practices. The ship is sailing on in quite a normal fashion, as it has done since this government took over and began to balance the books in 1993.

Human Resources Development

Surplus in Employment Insurance Account

Hon. Terry Stratton: Honourable senators, my question for the Leader in the Government is on the subject of the Employment Insurance surplus, a surplus that has been collected on the backs of the working people. Over the years, I have asked this question many times. Once again I will try to embarrass the government by pointing out what an incredible surplus is in that account.

In the Public Accounts, the Auditor General has again drawn Parliament's attention to this government's inflated Employment Insurance, EI, account. This marks the fourth time that the Auditor General has raised the issue of how EI premiums are set. As of last March, there was $40 billion in the EI account, or $25 billion more than the $15 billion that the program's actuary says that we would need if there were a downturn. Yet, the surplus in the EI account continues to rise.

In spite of such massive surpluses, EI premiums were set at $2.25 for 2001 by the Employment Insurance Commission and at $2.20 for 2002 by cabinet. The Auditor General noted in the Public Accounts that neither the commission nor the government, in setting these rates, has clarified and disclosed what they consider to be an adequate balance of the account, the time required to reach that level and the factors considered. She went on to state that, accordingly, she is unable to conclude that the intent of the Employment Insurance Act has been observed in setting premium rates.

Could the Leader of the Government in the Senate advise honourable senators as to whether the government has any views at all on what is an adequate balance in the EI account? There is enough in the account today to give everyone a two-year premium holiday and still have enough left to cover a downturn. How high is the government prepared to allow the balance in the fund to climb before it says enough is enough? Is it $1 billion, or what is the number?

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, interestingly, when the other side was in government in 1993, EI premiums reached a high of $3. What has happened over the last nine years? Premiums have gone from $3 to $2.95 to $2.90 to $2.70 to $2.55 to $2.40 to $2.25 and to $2.20. In addition, the Government of Canada has been able to provide an increase in maternal and paternal benefits from 26 weeks to 52 weeks. Recently, an announcement in the Speech from the Throne gave us hope that there will be a caregiver package for those who look after gravely ill family members.

The government has it right. It has struck a balance between the announced program initiatives which will provide a higher level of service for all Canadians and the continued reduction of EI premiums since 1995.

Senator Stratton: Honourable senators, the honourable leader did not answer my question at all. Last Wednesday's economic and fiscal update includes projections on EI benefits and revenues for this year and for the next five years. Unless there is a significant drop in EI premiums, or unless there is a significant expansion of benefits, revenues will continue to outstrip benefits by at least $2.4 billion to $3 billion each and every year. Given the current track, EI premiums will exceed benefits by a further $16 billion on that planning horizon. If that amount were added to the $40 billion surplus, the total surplus would be a staggering $56 billion.

Honourable senators, EI premiums are collected on the backs of working Canadians and those who employ them. How can the government justify adding an additional $16 billion surplus to the EI account?


Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, as I have indicated to the honourable senator, there is a balance to be struck between increasing benefits and reducing premiums. The government has been consistent. It has added benefits. It has also reduced premiums.

The government has announced premium reductions on a regular basis, and I suspect that another EI premium reduction will be announced soon. The government believes that it is responsive, and it will continue to be responsive to the needs of Canadians in our work force.

Senator Stratton: The government is using the EI account, which stands at $40 billion today, to cover other costs, and then it brags about surpluses. The honourable senator still has not answered my question: When is enough, enough? When will the government call a halt to this rape?

Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, the honourable senator has not been listening carefully. I have gone over with him the consistent reduction in the rates by this government since 1995.

Senator Stratton: Despite that, there is still a $40 billion surplus.

The Senate

Ratification of Kyoto Protocol

Hon. Gerry St. Germain: Honourable senator, my question is to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. The government has clearly expressed that ratifying the international Kyoto Protocol is a national priority of the Liberal government. Yesterday, the minister said that the government planned to examine the Kyoto Protocol, which essentially addresses the reduction of carbon dioxide. The plan would be to examine the protocol in Committee of the Whole in this place. The government further said that honourable senators would be asked to fast-track the approval before we recess for the Christmas break.

Given the government's current deficit of parliamentary business in the other place and in this place, and given that the government side in this place has said repeatedly that the Senate establishes its own rules and sets its own agenda, will the minister respect yesterday's calls from honourable senators to bring in witnesses and begin the process of an in-depth examination of this international agreement today?

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I must say no to the honourable senator because negotiations are ongoing, as he knows. There are meetings taking place this week, and meetings are scheduled in two weeks with the provinces. An attempt is being made to help everyone understand the plan that has been outlined by the Government of Canada. As well, to the extent possible, we want participants from the private sector, as well as from government sectors, to understand the impacts of the Kyoto Protocol. When that plan has met those targeted objectives, there will be a discussion and debate in this chamber, as there will be in the other place.

The Environment

Ratification of Kyoto Protocol

Hon. Gerry St. Germain: Honourable senators, I listened carefully. We are informed that there will be further discussions with the provinces, not necessarily seeking their approval or their support, but basically hoping that they will understand the Liberal position.

The honourable minister was born in Nova Scotia but has lived in Manitoba and was the leader of the provincial Liberals in Manitoba. She has a thorough knowledge of Western Canada from her experiences.

Does the honourable leader realize that this is no different, and could have an even more severe negative reaction, than the infamous Trudeau National Energy Policy?

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, let us continue with my biography. I have also lived for 12 years in the province of Alberta, where my husband was an oil and gas lawyer. I have a good understanding of the impact of that particular industry on this nation. Also, I have had discussions, as recently as this morning, with individuals representing the oil industry in that province regarding their concerns about the Kyoto Protocol.

These meetings with the provinces are taking place not to convince them that the Government of Canada has the right plan, at this point in time, but to ferment and develop a plan with which the provinces can concur and support as well as the private sector, insomuch as they can support it.

It is clear that the participation of industry and of the provinces was running at a very slow pace until the Prime Minister indicated that there would be a ratification vote. That has heated up the level of discussions and the participation in the discussions. We would all hope to come to an agreement that would meet the greatest needs of all Canadians, no matter where they live.

Senator St. Germain: Honourable senators, the Leader of the Government says that the meetings should produce fermentation. I agree. It will end up being a very sour deal because all indications are that it is going to be rammed down the throats of Canadians, which will not only have a negative impact on Alberta and British Columbia, the province in which I reside, but also on Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.

These areas are just coming into their own. Rather than giving them the opportunity to establish strong economic viability, we will thrust the sword in the heart and soul of the people of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador. They have the right to become wealthy "have" provinces. Why would the government deprive the people of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador of the opportunity to become "have" provinces, with this type of regressive, international action that has not had Canadian participation?

Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, the people of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador do not concur with the honourable senator; neither do the people of his own province. Recent polls have shown that 80 per cent of Canadians want the Government of Canada to ratify the Kyoto Protocol; the only negative vote in this country is from the Province of Alberta.

It is always a pleasure to work with the provincial governments; it would be wonderful to have them onside. However, if I have to have anybody on my side, I want it to be the Canadian people.

Senator Stratton: Remember Charlottetown.

House of Commons

Vote on Motion to Elect by Secret Ballot Chairs of Committees—Cabinet Solidarity with Regard to Parliamentary Secretaries

Hon. Lowell Murray: Honourable senators, I have a question about the conventions of cabinet government that, if the minister does not wish to extemporize, she may wish to obtain a prepared reply.

I was reflecting on the vote yesterday in the House of Commons on a procedural matter. Cabinet solidarity was invoked for ministers of the Crown. They voted as a unit. However, the whips were not applied to government backbenchers. I believe that, in more than one case, parliamentary secretaries voted with the majority and against the position of the cabinet.

What is the status of parliamentary secretaries on matters for which cabinet solidarity has been invoked? I realize that parliamentary secretaries are not ministers or Privy Councillors. However, they do get paid extra salary for their work on behalf of the executive government, and they take a separate oath, if I am not mistaken.

I would like to know the extent, if any, to which parliamentary secretaries are bound by the convention of cabinet solidarity in a case such as that of yesterday.

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, it is my understanding that parliamentary secretaries are not bound at all by cabinet solidarity, as they are not members of cabinet. The decision with respect to cabinet yesterday was that cabinet would vote together, and that parliamentary secretaries, although I read some media comment with respect to them, were not included in the issue of cabinet solidarity whatsoever.


Delayed Answer to Oral Question

Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I have the honour to table a response to a question raised in the Senate on October 22, 2002, by Senator Tkachuk, regarding the Francophonie Summit.

Foreign Affairs

Francophonie Summit, 2002—Communiqué Endorsing Saudi Arabian Proposal of Land for Peace—Attendance of Leader of Hezbollah—Recognition of Hezbollah as Terrorist Organization

(Response to question raised by Hon. David Tkachuk on October 22, 2002).

Canada joined most of the international community last spring in welcoming the proposal by Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah to offer pan-Arab normalization of relations with Israel in exchange for Israeli withdrawal from the territories occupied in 1967.

The proposal itself was attractive by its very simplicity, but above all it signalled an engagement on Middle East peace by Saudi Arabia, which had heretofore held itself aloof.

Israeli Foreign Minister Peres called the proposal a "fascinating, interesting new opportunity." Israeli President Katsav also expressed interest in it, as he did a week later during his State Visit to Canada, and offered to visit Crown Prince Abdullah in Riyadh to discuss it further.

The proposal is based on the principle of "land for peace" which has underpinned the Middle East Peace Process since the Madrid Conference and the Oslo Agreements, which followed the first intifada.

Notwithstanding this, or the many other helpful suggestions made by third countries, it is Canada's policy that an end to the conflict, and a permanent settlement that brings about a just and lasting peace, can only be reached by the two parties themselves.

Sheikh Nezrallah is one of the 18 religious leaders of Lebanon who is regularly present at ceremonies and events of national importance in that country.

No representative of the Canadian Government was consulted in advance on whom the Lebanese Government would invite to the opening of the Sommet de la Francophonie, nor did we expect to be.

The Lebanese government alone was responsible for the invitations that it issued.

Canada's policy on Hezbollah has not changed. We treat its military wing as a terrorist group, but we are aware of the fact that other elements of the organization play a significant role in the government and social services of South Lebanon.



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. Herbert O. Sparrow: Honourable senators, with regard to Bill C-10, I should like begin with a story about being humane to animals.

I had a rat that I wanted to get rid of in one of my sheds. I decided to trap it. I went to a store that supplies items such as traps, and I asked the attendant there if he had any humane traps. He replied, "Yes, we do. What do you need the humane trap for?" I said, "Because I want to catch a rat." He said, "You mean you want a humane trap?" This indicates that I was concerned about being humane even to rats.

I did get the trap. I did catch the rat. I will not tell you how I disposed of it.

I am concerned about Bill C-10 in regard to a number of things. The first criticism I have is that it is an omnibus bill. It deals with two different problems in two different areas. Many of us here have been opposed to omnibus bills for a long time.

Today, I will speak only to the part about cruelty to animals, because the other part, involving gun control, is an issue unto itself. I am sorry it did not come in as an amending bill on its own, as there are many issues there.

Most people are opposed to animal cruelty. I just heard the Leader of the Government say that 80 per cent of people are in favour of the Kyoto Protocol. I heard the same story about 80 per cent of people being in favour of gun control. Eighty per cent of people are in favour of doing something about animal cruelty.

That is right. We do want gun control. Some aspects of it were bad news, however, particularly to native communities and to Western Canada.

Am I in favour of gun control? Of course I am, but only to some degree. Am I in favour of the Kyoto accord? Yes, I am with the 80 per cent, but whether I support it is questionable because it may contain provisions, or insufficient provisions, that would prevent me from supporting it completely.

The same thing is true of animal cruelty. We are all opposed to animal cruelty. The exception would be 1 to 3 per cent, perhaps, of the population. Are we in favour of preventing cruelty to animals? The answer is, "Of course, yes."

Many of the animal rights extremists whom I have talked to or have read about in the press are opposed to the consumption of any animal. It does not matter what one does; it is cruelty to animals to slaughter them for food purposes or for any other purpose. That carries the argument in favour of animal welfare too far.

Bill C-10 reads that it is a criminal offence for anyone who "kills an animal without lawful excuse."

That wording is very foreign to me because I do not know how one determines, in a particular case, what is a "lawful excuse." How does one decide what the lawful excuse is when one kills an animal? Some honourable senators know that I have been concerned about the explosion of the gopher population in Western Canada. Is that an excuse to kill them? Many people in the nation say, "No, catch them and let them loose somewhere else. You have no lawful excuse for killing that animal in any way, shape or form."

Is there some type of pain that would take place in that regard? Yes, there is. If you shoot, there will be pain, unless the animal is killed instantly. With trapping there will be pain, as with poisoning and drowning.

The need for such killing is crucial, but there are people who say it is not necessary to kill predators. We have many predators in Western Canada. This bill, as it reads now, would prohibit the killing of predatory animals, because one has to determine a lawful reason for it.

It reads, in clause 182.2(1)(d):

...without lawful excuse, poisons an animal, places poison in such a position that it may easily be consumed by an animal...

We are getting back to predators now. We will not, as agricultural people, be able to use that type of control for predators on our farms. We have gone through this on gun control issues. The farmer, in most instances, has to go through great detail to be able to control predators by the normal process of shooting them. That has been taken away from the native community as well as from the agriculture community. We in the agricultural industry are continually having the methods by which we make a living infringed upon.

What about humane societies and veterinarians? Humane societies have to do away with animals because they are in surplus. Adoption is not available for these animals. They are healthy animals. They are not predators. They are now allowed to do away with those animals. What happens to a veterinarian if you take an animal to him and say, "We must dispose of this animal"? He has to dispose of it. However, under this bill, it would be illegal for him or her to do that.

What about a horse that breaks its leg in a gopher hole or on the racetrack? That injury is not life-threatening to a horse because one could tape and repair it so that it could limp for the rest of its life. However, that horse will not live in a normal manner, so we have the right to do away with that horse. Under the bill, we would not have the right to do that. The issue is so involved.

Are we talking about being humane? Yes. Do we talk about humane with regard to human beings? The answer is yes. We have medical operations, and we are in great pain afterwards. Many of us have gone through that. With palliative care, human beings with pain are allowed to suffer that pain. We say that there is nothing that we can do about that, that we will allow that pain. Instances of quick pain for an animal, be it for branding or dehorning, are not covered in the bill. Those types of actions are excluded. That is the danger. The animal rights activists can tell us that it is excluded, and I know very well that they will jump on that aspect immediately. The animal rights people have a place in society; do not get me wrong. Anything you do to animals — dehorning, castrating, branding, any pain to animals — will be unlawful under this bill.


I wish I had more time to study the bill. I have not spent as much time as I should. Between now and the time it goes to committee, I hope to have the time to look at it further and interview more people, as well as take part in the committee. I know from my statement of this day that I will never be a member of the committee; however, I can still go and discuss the issues.

I appeal to all senators to look carefully at the repercussions of this bill. I am no different than any of you. I want to be as humane as possible to the entire animal world.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Hon. Gerry St. Germain: Following that excellent dissertation on this issue, I look around the Senate and I will bet that the majority have never witnessed the branding or dehorning of an animal, which are part of the ranching process.

The results of that fact relate to the plight of our Aboriginal peoples. Most people have never spent time on the tundra hunting, which is part of the Northern lifestyle and survival. Yet, the majority of honourable senators have never seen it. We think we are wise and can pass judgment on these people. Senator Joyal worked on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which espouses the protection of the rights of minorities. He spoke in depth on this bill and the classification of "animal" in the Criminal Code.

Honourable Senator Sparrow is, I believe, the senior senator in this place. Does he see any possible window of opportunity for these groups of people, so adversely affected by the urban, shallow ignorance of those who pass judgment, to influence the resolution on this issue? Is there any hope of a proper resolution to this issue given the honourable senator's experience of 30 years in this place ?

Senator Sparrow: Honourable senators, first of all, I am not the senior senator here. Senator Taylor may be older than I am. I may have served the longest, but I am not the senior senator.

Senator Taylor: You have more mileage.

Senator Sparrow: I have more mileage.

I thank the honourable senator for his question. Of course, there are people who are not aware of the agriculture community, as the honourable senator stated. They are not aware of how it operates. Many of us are not very aware of the problems of the native community in their hunting and fishing practices. I admit that I am not as familiar with it as I should be. There is a basic ignorance out there. The word "ignorance" means lack of information. We are not talking about ignorant people; we are talking about people who are ignorant of the issues involved. There is a selling job to do.

The people opposed to the agriculture industry and animal rights are better organized than perhaps we are now.

As a step toward answering the question, the urban community wants the entertainment value of animals, such as those used in rodeos, fairs and exhibitions. There is also an element out there that believes we should not have exhibitions, agricultural fairs, horse races and so on. The finger extends so far into the community affected by animals.

It appears to me that this bill was prepared by people who do not understand the agriculture industry or native hunting and fishing. They do not understand that issue.

When we speak of branding, for example, we say that it is a normal practice, because branding enables the animal to be easily recognized and sorted from horseback when that animal is turned out with other animals owned by other people.

It may be easy to say that it is a reasonable and lawful reason for branding, but the farmer or the rancher brands his calves in the spring, and not necessarily all those animals go out with other herds. A portion of those animals may stay in the corral where there is no need to brand. They would be caught in this bill because there is no excuse for branding if the animal is kept back. The rancher may not decide which animals will go out until after some time, when he knows what the final usage of that animal will be. A rancher could be caught a month or so later with cattle in the corral that were branded but were not put out to pasture.

This is the type of ignorance that prevails within the total system. As one of the senior senators, I hope that answers the question.

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, Senator Sparrow's time has expired. There are senators wishing to ask questions.

Senator Sparrow: Honourable senators, I ask for leave.

The Hon. the Speaker: Is leave granted?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Hon. Eymard G. Corbin: Honourable senators, I was struck by Senator Sparrow's use of the word "extremists" in relation to animal rights. I wish he had made a further distinction between animal rights extremists and vegetarians, for example, people who out of their own free choice decide not to make animal flesh part of their diet.

I wonder whether the honourable senator would care to fine- tune his use of the term "animal rights extremist" in the light of other people's choices. Some of the choices are very much cultural in nature. I am worried that his categorization of animal rights extremists could be offensive to some sectors of society inasmuch as they are not as concerned with the eating of flesh as they are with indulging in what they consider to be a healthy diet.


Senator Sparrow: Could the honourable senator repeat the question?

First of all, I do not think I used the word "extremist" in that context. If I did, I apologize. There certainly are people concerned with animal rights who are doing a great job as far as animal rights are concerned. I do not argue that at all. Many of the groups are very effective in their concern about animal rights. There are some extremists within that group, but I did not want to tie those people to vegetarians. I do not consider vegetarians extremists. They have decided on a way of life for themselves, and there is nothing wrong with that.

I hope I am making clear that the term "extremist" is not intended to tar all animal rights supporters. It certainly does not tar people who choose to be vegetarians.


Hon. Pierre Claude Nolin: Honourable senators, I spoke at second reading stage of Bill C-15B, which died on the Order Paper at the end of the first session. The bill has been reintroduced, and I have no intention of delivering again my speech on how lobsters are cooked. Everyone who has heard it no doubt remembers what I said. In fact, I informed the honourable senators at the time that, from now on, we could no longer boil our lobsters any old way, but only with care and due regard for the fundamental rights of lobsters.

Let me read a few lines of Bill C-10 on cruelty to animals. This is a very brief quote from the summary. It says:

This enactment amends the Criminal Code by consolidating animal cruelty offences and increasing the maximum penalties.

If we only read the summary, we might get the impression that the lawmakers are only updating existing offences in the Criminal Code and taking that opportunity to increase penalties, but when we read Bill C-10, we realize that they are doing much more than consolidating offences.

At second reading stage, it is important that we get clarification before we vote on the principle of this bill. Why would the State be justified in increasing penalties and creating new offences, and even redefining existing offences? No one has provided us with an answer to these questions. What is criminal law all about? What are we trying to achieve by passing this legislation? Is it to feel better? How far are we prepared to go to feel better?

I have heard several speeches and have read some more about human, commercial and industrial activities affecting animals. Is the intention to ostracize Canadians? No.

The speech I just heard was most eloquent. I did not inquire about these procedures. I suppose that most of us are not interested in bringing to its knees a very major industry in one region of Canada.

What is our objective in adopting this principle? No one has ever demonstrated to us the connection between the bill we are being asked to pass and the principles of criminal law. How does this bill protect individuals?

For the sake of discussion, let us set aside animal rights. The Parliament of Canada acknowledged them a long time ago. The provisions in the Criminal Code relating to cruelty to animals are not a recent addition. What would convince us to change those offences, create new ones and even increase the penalties? What is the connection between animal cruelty and protecting Canadians? The government needs to convince us of the validity of this bill's principle. That has not happened. No one has even attempted to do it. It is a given that we are opposed to animal cruelty and, therefore, that we ought to add these new provisions to the Criminal Code.

When the bill gets to committee, we are going to discover — and have already had an example of this — that it is not just the people with farm animals, but also other Canadians, including academic researchers, who are asking about the legislators' intentions. The bill's sponsor, and the government, have a responsibility to inform us of the intention behind it and to answer the simple question, "why?"


The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I have a senator who wishes to speak.

Do you have a question, Senator Adams?

Hon. Willie Adams: No, I do not.

Senator Kinsella: A motion has been introduced.

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, a motion has been introduced, but I have not put the motion, and I have received notice from a senator wishing to speak. I would follow our practice when there is a senator wishing to speak, that he be allowed to do so.

Hon. Anne C. Cools: Honourable senators, if a senator wishes to speak, all that he has to do is rise in his place. There is absolutely no need for His Honour to inform us or to receive a message. If a debate on an item on the Order Paper is ongoing, and properly so, a senator who wishes to speak need only rise. It is a very easy matter.

The Hon. the Speaker: You are quite right, Senator Cools, nor is there anything wrong with a senator approaching the Chair and indicating he or she wishes to speak.

Senator Cools: Honourable senators, actually, there is a lot wrong with it and perhaps we should begin to debate it.

Hon. George Baker: Honourable senators, let the record show that I did both. I not only mentioned it to the Honourable Speaker, but I also rose in my place at the appropriate moment.

I decided to say a few words about this bill. After listening to the debate in the Senate and knowing that many senators wish to speak concerning the principle of the bill, I am reminded of the old expression, "This is a job for Superman."

Honourable senators, this bill is a job for the Senate. It is a bill that has been on the go now for several years. I was in the House of Commons for 29 years, and I can recall this bill starting in 1998 and 1999. Honourable senators, it was finally passed in the House of Commons, but the key questions concerning the bill still remain. They are principally legal questions.

I received an e-mail the other day from a retired couple. I imagine every senator got that letter. This retired couple said, "We are retired, we have two cats, and we want you to pass the bill before the Senate because we cannot imagine anyone injuring cats in their home that they own."

To those people, that is the principle of this bill. To honourable senators, there are various principles of this bill. For example, Senator Watt's principle in this bill is how this bill will impact on the people in northern areas of Canada. It is a combination of two bills, gun control and cruelty to animals. I cannot think of any other two pieces of legislation that have had such a dramatic effect on people in rural and northern areas of Canada.

The fact is that seven weeks from now is the deadline for gun registration, and 1.4 million Canadians have not registered their guns yet. That is according to a survey done by the Justice Department itself. There are many amendments to that legislation that the Senate will be considering in committee.


Honourable senators, the reason I say it is a job for the Senate when this bill gets to committee is that, no matter which group of people concerned about this bill you listen to, it removes from the present Criminal Code three defences. They are all under section 429(2) of the Criminal Code, which says that anyone who is charged under any section of the Criminal Code from sections 430 to 446 — and the cruelty to animal sections are presently 445 to 446, to my recollection — shall have available the defence of legal justification or excuse and colour of right. All the interest groups that we have heard from, including those the House of Commons has heard from, argued that this must be put back in the code because the proposed legislation totally removes it.

Honourable senators, the question is this: Is it needed? Some of the experts who are purporting to support these amendments say it is really not necessary. They say that legal justification and colour of right is available under the common law. Honourable senators, some of us disagree with that. The Supreme Court of Canada disagrees with that, the Court of Appeal of Ontario disagrees with that and, most important to me, the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland disagrees with that. Honourable senators, that is, indeed, serious.

As Senator Nolin says, yes, the penalties are increasing. It now becomes a "hybrid offence." What are "hybrid offences," honourable senators? What really hits me about hybrid offences is that once an individual is charged, he or she is fingerprinted, photographed and put on CPIC, not CPAC. Under the Identification of Criminals Act, a hybrid offence is considered to be indictable, right? Absolutely. Here you are, honourable senators, with some fairly serious changes being made to the Criminal Code.

Honourable senators, one thing we can say for certain about Senate committees is the objectively with which they look at things. Some of the country's foremost legal experts are senators. In fact, one of them was recognized recently by the Canadian Bar Association and was given an international award. The House of Commons does not have the legal experts the Senate has, and never did have in its committees, when examining a piece of legislation like this.

Once this bill is in committee, members of that committee — and I am on the committee — will look at the concerns of Senator Watt, the serious concerns of the university scientific community, the concerns of the farming community and the concerns of the retired couple, who are concerned about their two cats.

The Hon. the Speaker: Will the honourable senator permit a question?

Senator Baker: Yes.

Senator St. Germain: The Leader of the Government in the Senate today said that, according to the polls, most Canadians support the Kyoto Protocol. If people were polled about their support for legislation prohibiting cruelty to animals or were asked if they support the Charter of Rights, their answers would be favourable. These are motherhood issues.

My question to Senator Baker is this: What is driving this policy from the other side, from your perspective? Unless we know what is causing this cancerous type of mentality in legislation, it is tough to deal with it. Something must be dragging this agenda. I was in the other place with the honourable senator, and in cabinet. Some of the things that transpired in my era did not make sense either. It is like gun control. Ask anyone if they believe in gun control. As Senator Sparrow says, who does not?

The honourable senator said today that approximately 1.4 million people have not registered their guns. I am one of them. I will be waiting until the very end. I will live within the law because we are lawmakers, not lawbreakers, but there are over 1 million people waiting to register.

On the question of cruelty, on the animal portion, I accept that I lost on Bill C-68. However, on this cruelty scenario, what could be dragging this agenda?

Senator Baker: Honourable senators, I cannot really answer that question. That question can best be answered by reviewing the statements of the Ministers of Justice who proposed this legislation in the past and by reviewing government policy as to how it relates to this particular measure.

As to my being a backbencher in the House of Commons, when this started in 1999 and in 2000, honourable senators, I can only refer to the poem The Charge of the Light Brigade, which states in part:

Their's not to reason why,Their's but to do and die."

Senator Nolin: Honourable senators, I thank Honourable Senator Baker for his remarks. I do not know if I am in order to ask a question about debate in the other place; however, if I am wrong, I will be told.

You have explained the defences in the code. I think we should alert our colleagues that if we are to remove a defence from the Criminal Code and say, "We do not need it because the House of Commons is providing for such defence," the court will not think that we are doing it because the common law is already doing it. They will adopt the stance that we are deciding to remove the defences, knowing that the defences were used and we decided not to let the defences be used any more. Is that what we want? I am not sure.

Why are we being asked to do this? It is labelled as "consolidating" the actual offences. However, it is more than that. We all know that. What is the answer to the "why?" Why are we doing that? Is there more cruelty to animals? How does that relate to Canadians and individuals living in Canada and the safety and security of our people?

Senator Baker: Honourable senators, again, I cannot answer the question as to why; all I can do is read. I have read a lot of information concerning why the legislation was proposed — that is, the stated reasons. It covers everything from surveys done of Canadians to concerns by various organizations.

In 1988, the Department of Justice undertook a survey of Canadians on cruelty to animals, of their own volition. That was something that they did out of their own concern about laws that were being broken.

The honourable senator is absolutely correct on the removal of the defences. If one were to speak to a lawyer from the Department of Justice or to the legal policy adviser on this bill at the Department of Justice, a brilliant person, one would be told that there is no difference between what is presently in the common law and the effect that it would have on the bill if those three specific defences were removed.


That is the problem, and honourable senators should realize that that is the problem that we have. We have differences in the interpretation of the law. However, I think that it only makes sense. Think about it. People who are living in rural areas could click on Quicklaw or Carswell, as many honourable senators have done in their offices, paid for from their budgets. Not many MPs have it, but they should have it so they are able to check the law. When you click on it and you put in "colour of right" and "chickens," or "colour of right" and "fish," or "colour of right" and "environment," all these cases pop up. In R. v. Jorgenson, Lamer, in paragraph 6, spells it out, Supreme Court of Canada, 1995. This is a separate defence that involves errors of law, not facti but juris. That is the Supreme Court of Canada, and that is our Courts of Appeal, and that is what I think we should consider when the bill goes to committee. That is why I say it is for the Senate committee to take those legal questions. We should trust the committee to come back with what is right for all Canadians.

Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Senator Cools: Honourable senators, Senator Baker is, to my mind a most experienced —

The Hon. the Speaker: I have just been advised by the Table, Senator Baker, that your time has expired.

Senator Baker: Honourable senators, I would like an extension, if I could.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Senator Cools: As I was just saying, Senator Baker is, to my mind, a welcome and wonderful addition to this chamber because he has served with distinction in the House of Commons and, in addition, he brings the peculiar experiences of rural Newfoundland to the debate as well.

I have been following with considerable care and attention the entire debate on Bill C-10. This particular debate in this chamber has been characterized by a lack of defence of the bill. As a matter of fact, if one were to read the debate, one would see that speaker after speaker, senator after senator, at this stage of second reading, has been raising questions, objections and problems with the bill. As a matter of fact, if one were to look at the record, it is as though the bill has no defenders.

I wonder if Senator Baker could perhaps comment on this phenomenon. It seems to me that it is an expectation of honourable senators that, as their questions are raised, the government should be giving timely, appropriate and bountiful explanations. It is the duty of the government here in the Senate to provide explanation and clarification as colleagues raise concerns.

Senator Baker is an experienced member of Parliament and debater He was known to be one of the finest speakers and debaters in the House of Commons. I wonder if Senator Baker can comment on the fact that in this chamber there is absolutely no defence or explanation of this bill during this process of debate.

Senator Baker: Honourable senators, ignorantia juris non excusat. Once upon a time, back in Roman times, that maxim was the law. Why was it the law? It was the law because all laws were laws of morality that everyone understood. Today there are so many laws and regulations that a normal, reasoning person does not know what laws and regulations govern them from when they wake up until they go to bed at night. It is getting worse and worse. A hunter in Nunavut, when he walks out through his door in the morning, is wondering what law he has broken.

Therefore, honourable senators, the law has evolved. I never had much time to deal with the intricacies of the law when I was in the House of Commons because I was too enthused about solving Unemployment Insurance problems and things like that. I did not have time to spend on issues like this. However, I do know that as time goes on, we are passing so many new laws and regulations that it is incumbent on the Senate — this is a job for Superman, a job for the Senate, and I think that the Senate is fulfilling that job — to ensure that the Criminal Code so protects Canadians accordingly. In other words, it should recognize officially induced error in law. Officially induced error occurs when someone does not know they have broken the law but they have broken the law, and yet they have checked with an authority who is supposed to know the law and is there to consult with, but the authority is wrong. The person is convicted. That happens many times. It is up to the Senate to do the job that the Commons cannot do, and that is the case in this bill.

We talk of legal justification or excuse and colour of right, and you can take the word "and" and change it to "or" because that is the most recent interpretation of courts of appeal. Those three defences, honourable senators, are very important. They are important to everyone in this country, and we should consider them carefully when allowing a piece of legislation to pass that removes those three defences in the Criminal Code, all because some legal expert in the Department of Justice tells you that it really does not matter.

Hon. Norman K. Atkins: Honourable senators, hearing Senator Baker is very refreshing. He makes a lot of sense. My question is whether he will tell the members of the executive council that they have to listen to the Senate if they want to make good sense.

Senator Baker: Honourable senators, I did, for a period of 13 months, but then I was removed.

Hon. Marcel Prud'homme: Honourable senators, following on what Senator Atkins said, the best proof of what the senator is trying to convey can be found in the Speaker's chambers. It is in Latin and says that order excludes haste and precipitation. The best way for the executive to understand would be for the Senate — and I call on Senator Robichaud to be patient with this bill, because the more people talk, the more we learn — to go even so far as to say the time has come to say "no" to the chamber, so as to send the exact kind of message to which Senator Atkins was referring.


Senator Baker: Honourable senators, section 8(3) of the Criminal Code addresses the issue that all defences available under common law shall apply to the Criminal Code. In this instance, the Senate should say that it is not adequate to merely repeat that phrase in this particular bill. We must ensure that the legislation will provide the protections of legal justification or excuse and colour of right. That was the focus of all of the organized groups that made representations.

Honourable senators, clause 100 of the wildlife species at risk bill reads, "Due diligence is a defence in a prosecution for an offence." Although some may say that is redundant, I believe it is necessary.

Just a few years ago, section 78.6 was added to the Fisheries Act. That section states that due diligence will be a defence under the act, and if someone reasonably and honestly believed in the existence of facts which were true, it would render the person's conduct innocent. That is the definition of colour of right. That is found in the Fisheries Act.

Why would we not include exactly the same definition in this proposed legislation?

Hon. Gerald J. Comeau: Honourable senators, in his very pointed speech, Senator Nolin questioned the very principle of this bill. If that is the case, why are we proceeding with this bill? That is at the crux of my question.

If we are to vote on a bill of which we do not know the principle, should we not simply vote against the bill? If we are questioning the very principle of the bill, is there any merit in sending it to committee?

Senator Baker: Honourable senators, the tone of the discussion on the principle of the bill depends on which senator is speaking to it.

If I were to ask Senator Nolin what the principle of this bill is, I would bet, honourable senators, that he would say that his concern is that we will pass a bill that excludes three defences.

In assessing any bill, a senator must ask himself or herself: What is the purpose of this bill? We must not forget that the provisions of concern are already contained in the Criminal Code. This bill, however, elevates the punishment provisions found therein.

What is the punishment for common assault? The punishment for common assault, if it is dealt with as an indictable offence, is up to five years imprisonment. For an assault with a weapon charge, which is proceeded with summarily, a person can be sent to jail for 18 months. What is the penalty for cruelty to animals, should there be a conviction under this proposed legislation? If the charge is dealt with by indictment, the penalty can be five years imprisonment, as is the case with common assault. If the matter is dealt with summarily, the penalty can be 18 months imprisonment or/and a $5,000 fine. If the cruelty is inflicted on a police dog, the amount of the fine can be doubled. The bill contains a punishment that is greater than the punishment in the Criminal Code for common assault against an individual.

The principle of the bill, to some senators, may be seen as the fact that we are removing three defences; to others it may be that we are creating a penalty for cruelty to animals that it is greater than the penalty for a common assault on a human being. The principle is different things to different people. However, our duty is to sit down in committee and make sure that the appropriate words are contained in that bill and that we truly represent Canadians.

Hon. David Tkachuk: It was interesting to hear Senator Baker say that there were too many laws and regulations, which is the reason most of us sit on this side of the chamber. Perhaps I should welcome him to this side.

Nonetheless, the honourable senator raises a good point; it is the same point that I raised. Perhaps, because of the issues surrounding gun registration, we should split the bill before sending it to committee. We could then study the amendments related to gun registration separately from the proposed provisions relating to cruelty to animals. To me, that would make more sense. It would also make our work easier because we would not be confusing the two issues.

Senator Baker: The honourable senator is correct in saying that there are two distinct issues here. The effects of both measures will have serious consequences for our northern peoples and people in our rural areas.

Some of the changes regarding gun control registration being proposed in this bill are of concern to certain members of this house. Those clauses will be looked at closely, especially those that will allow non-residents to be exempt from the provision. People from outside the country would be exempt from the provisions of a law in Canada. The Senate committee must decide how to proceed.

As far as gun control is concerned, I must admit, it would be difficult to accommodate some of the changes that honourable senators think should be made. A ruling from the chair would have to apply to a great many of these requests. However, it would not be out of the question. The chair of the committee, a prominent St. John's lawyer, Senator Furey, is a capable leader.

Senator Tkachuk: Would the honourable senator be supportive of splitting the bill before it is referred to committee?

Senator Baker: As a former chief clerk of a provincial legislature, I would suggest that that cannot be done at this point. It would require an amendment at committee or at report stage.

Hon. Gérald-A. Beaudoin: Honourable senators, I follow the honourable senator's reasoning very well. The only course is to refer the bill to committee and for the committee to study everything that has been said in this chamber. The committee can certainly divide the bill. I would, therefore, suggest that it be referred, in due course, to committee.

On motion of Senator Adams, debate adjourned.


Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament

Second Report of Committee Presented

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

Hon. Lorna Milne, Chair of the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament, presented the following report:

Wednesday, November 6, 2002

The Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament has the honour to present its


Your Committee, to which was referred by the Senate on Thursday, October 31, 2002, the motion that for the duration of the present session any select committee may meet during adjournments of the Senate, reports as follows:

Your committee recommends that, for the purpose of rule 95(3), committees of the Senate be permitted to meet at any time on any weekday the Senate stands adjourned during a Senate sitting week.

Respectfully submitted,


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

Senator Milne: Honourable senators, with leave of the Senate and notwithstanding rule 58(1)(g), I ask that this report be placed on the Orders of the Day for consideration later this day.

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

Some Hon. Senators: Yes.

Some Hon. Senators: No.

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

Speech from the Throne

Motion for Address in Reply—Debate Continued

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Morin, seconded by the Honourable Senator Hubley, for an Address to Her Excellency the Governor General in reply to her Speech from the Throne at the Opening of the Second Session of the Thirty-seventh Parliament.—(6th day of resuming debate).

Hon. David Tkachuk: Honourable senators, the Speech from the Throne was no surprise to those of us who have followed the career of the current Prime Minister. What surprised many of us is that the legacy wish list took so long — I might add, "gratefully," in the view of many of us — to see the light of day. His political seers, the homeless, full of wisdom, to whom, I imagine, he still talks on a regular basis, may have caused his delay. This about-turn to fulfil the promises of the Red Book may also be a result of the outpouring of emotion shown after the death of former Prime Minister Trudeau.

The former Prime Minister had the Constitution and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to preserve his legacy for all Liberals and for many others who have used the Charter to change the way we do business in our country — some for the better and some for the worse.

While the Prime Minister's legacy of bringing the deficit under control and restoring the financial integrity of the country is, to my way of thinking, enough to earn him the respect of the history books, this Speech from the Throne reverses course and sends him packing to the Liberals of old who believe that government's role is to do good for us by using taxpayers' money to fulfil their own social ambitions, which, to Conservatives, is best left to the people themselves.

My advice to the Prime Minister is: Do not undo what good you have accomplished for the country. If a few Liberals think that is not enough, forget them. Remember, it took the Conservatives, under Brian Mulroney and Michael Wilson, nine years to get spending under control, to bring down interest rates, and to introduce free trade and the GST. It took Preston Manning and the arrival of the Reform Party to make deficit financing unpopular. You must remember that it took you and Paul Martin four more years to undo the harm that Trudeau and his financial advisors did to this country. Their inflationary spending robbed Canadians of their savings and pensioners of their pensions by 50 per cent over one decade, as surely as thieves in the night. Do not forget, that is the other part of the Trudeau legacy.

Adding to the Prime Minister's consternation is the fact that he fears Paul Martin will rewrite the history books to show that he, alone, was the sole deficit fighter. We are witnessing something new in politics in Canada — a man who believes he is the Prime- Minister-in-waiting, turning the screws, whenever possible, on the current Prime Minister. Their once uneasy relationship, which is now outright war, is destabilizing the Liberal Party, about which I have no regret. However, more important, it is destabilizing the country.

From bank mergers to Middle East policy, to terrorism, and to the Kyoto Protocol, this government is in disarray. Unfortunately, no one knows who is really in charge. Further evidence of this is the fact that no one disagrees that the Prime Minister has lost control of his caucus and of his party.

Judging from the bank merger controversy and the unseemly attacks on the government by his Minister of Defence, there is no question but that he is losing control of his cabinet as well. While the media talk of Mr. Manley's missteps, or perhaps they were the Prime Minister's missteps, few are discussing the wholesale condemnation of the Liberal government by the Minister of Defence, who is part of that government. In similar circumstances, the Minister of Defence would resign over the immense policy differences, or the Prime Minister would fire him or her. These, however, are not sane times.

Further evidence: an aide from the Prime Minister's office phoned a bank official to tell him that bank mergers are off the table. An aide from the Prime Minister's Office went to Toronto and deleted part of Minister Bevilacqua's speech relating to bank mergers. Do they not have phones in the Prime Minister's office? This is what should have happened: "Hi John, this is Jean, the Prime Minister. Those bank mergers are not on the table. What were you thinking? I have a legacy to pass on." Perhaps the Minister of Finance should have phoned the bank presidents to say, "Sorry, the Prime Minister has nixed the idea. My apologies to you, to your employees and to the thousands of shareholders."

While the Prime Minister assures us of our security, we remain sceptical. The Minister of Defence adds to our scepticism and elicits outright fear as he claims that our Armed Forces are so underfunded that they are unable to do their job. As far as I am concerned, there no longer is a government in Canada; there are simply a number of ministers fending for themselves and trying to ingratiate themselves to whomever they think will be their new master.

Recently, we had an odd scenario: The federal-provincial conference on Kyoto was cancelled at the last minute, and the Prime Minister has said that he does not want to meet with the premiers concerning Kyoto. It is not that the premiers are being their old, cranky selves, as is so often portrayed, but the Kyoto Protocol will affect the exploration and extraction of natural resources. Even the most twisted centralist knows that is constitutionally the prerogative and jurisdiction of the provinces.

Today, I am asking the Prime Minister to show his leadership and to meet with the premiers before Parliament ratifies the Kyoto Protocol. I expect that all Liberal senators concerned about their regional interests, especially those from Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, as well as all provincial governments opposed to the Kyoto Protocol, will join my colleagues and me in urging the Prime Minister to take this action as quickly as possible.


The accord is causing concern, not only because many believe that it is based on flawed science — the same people who have difficulty predicting tomorrow's weather — but because it will concern the individual financial health of all Canadians from heating to electrical bills, transportation to manufacturing costs, and just about every other expense.

The government assures us there will be no carbon tax, just as we were assured that they would scrap the GST, never have an airport tax at Pearson, rewrite the Free Trade Agreement, increase health care funding and provide an ethics package. A myriad of other promises stand as testimony of their deception.

I stand here today and tell you all that if Kyoto passes, we will have a carbon tax and a myriad of other taxes on fossil fuels that will drive a permanent wedge between fossil producers and the rest of Canada and the federal government. That may include not only Western Canada but the Atlantic provinces as well. It will make the National Energy Program look like child's play.

Just so there is no misunderstanding on the other side, I want to assure honourable senators that Progressive Conservatives across Canada will fight this intrusion on provincial rights and the pocketbooks of Canadians with the same vigour and determination that Joe Clark and the Progressive Conservatives defended Canada from the National Energy Program.

I will turn now to government spending. I have often read and heard that the Liberals today are fiscally conservative, that Paul Martin is a Conservative in disguise. Those senators across the aisle will be happy to know that is not true. The editorialists are wrong. Former Finance Minister Martin has been quietly squandering money at a rate that far exceeds what is believed, although not at a rate that would make the "Copp-ites" or the "Rock-ites" happy. They would like to spend more.

The Liberals can divide themselves into two: those who like to spend lots of money and those who like to spend even more, a buffet of extravagance. "How can that be," people ask, "that Martin is tight-fisted?" The figures do not support that.

In 1993, not counting the Canada Pension Plan, Canada collected $115 billion in taxes. Today it collects $174 billion. In 2007, the economic and fiscal update estimates that tax revenue will be $221 billion. That is despite the supposed tax cuts or, perhaps, because of the tax cuts. Revenue is up, not down. This does not count the increases we will face when the Kyoto accord is passed, if the Liberals get their way.

Of the countries in the OECD, we are behind only Denmark, Finland and Sweden in our tax burden. We are not in good company.

In 1996, government spending was at its lowest, $104 billion, mostly due to cuts in education and health. Today, government spending will be $134 billion, a $30-billion increase in six years. The anticipated $15-billion surplus by 2007 is not planned to pay down the debt. Mr. Manley is already looking at new ways to spend the money, rather than using it for putting the military on a sound footing or increased health care payments to provinces.

The debt is down since 1996 by $47 billion. However, we forget to note that it is still $14 billion higher than it was in 1993. We all think it is going down. It has not gone down since 1993. The cumulative payments on interest since 1993 have been $375 billion. Over the next five years, another $181 billion will be paid in interest, providing interest rates remain the same.

These numbers show that Paul Martin is a prolific spender. He may wear the mantle of a fiscal conservative, but in reality he is a free-spending Liberal who thinks tax cuts are bad, who believes people should not have their own money, and who has not seen a government program he did not like.

The Speech from the Throne promises to confer the legacy of a Prime Minister searching for the old and rusted Liberal values, but in the other place, the king has been deposed. The Chrétien government is over. The sad thing is that everyone knows it except him.

Hon. Douglas Roche: Honourable senators, since this is the last debate about a Speech from the Throne that I expect to participate in, I would like to offer some comments about Canada's role in the world at this critical moment.

First, as an independent senator, I would like to express my appreciation to the Speaker and the leadership on both sides of the aisle for the fair and courteous manner in which I have been treated. I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to contribute to the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, and particularly to its ground-breaking study on health care.

I pay my respects to Her Excellency and commend the mover and seconder of the address in reply to the Speech from the Throne for their valuable presentations. It is the international dimensions of the Speech from the Throne that I wish to address.

The speech stated that Canada would continue to work through organizations such as the United Nations to ensure that the rule of international law is respected and enforced. We will work with the United States to address shared security concerns. We will double our development assistance by the year 2010, with half of that increase going to Africa. Engaging Canadians in a discussion about Canada's role in the world, the government will set out a long-term direction on international and defence policy that reflects our values and ensures that Canada's military is equipped to fulfill the demands placed upon it.

One would have to say at the outset that this is a laudable vision, however lacking it is in detail. Let us look at some of the details. Let us try to get past the headlines of the day, which dwell incessantly on conflict and have produced a climate in which it appears to be downright unpatriotic if we do not rush to pour new billions of dollars into Canada's Armed Forces as a Canadian response to the security threats of today. Let us not be so mesmerized by the tragedy of September 11 that we think a military response is the only way we can guarantee our security in the future. Let us not follow the path of the United States administration, which is putting that country on a permanent war footing in the name of peace, a stance that is sure to become more strident in the wake of yesterday's election results.

Honourable senators, the over-arching principle that should guide Canada's security policies is that militarism alone cannot provide security in the complex world of globalization that we are in. Rather, security can be achieved only by the implementation of programs for sustainable development in every part of the world, and the protection and advancement of human rights in all their dimensions as outlined in the United Nations instruments. In this context, the military has a role to play, to not only guarantee, but if necessary, enforce peace through the rigorous application of international law.

In the context of the legitimate fears for personal security evoked by the terrorism of September 11, an idea has taken hold in Canada that funding for our Armed Forces must be greatly increased. The focus has been put on more money, lots of it, for the military, and then we can all breathe a sigh of relief because we will be protected from the adversities of unknown enemies. In short, the logic presented to us suggests more money for defence equals more security. An important debate the country should be having about how to enhance domestic and global security is thus skewed by the September 11 syndrome. The debate needs to be put in broader terms to produce the best public policies.

The idea that Canadian taxpayers are presently underfunding the military should be examined. Canada's defence budget is just over $12 billion, which puts Canada in the top 10 per cent of military spenders worldwide. The International Institute of Strategic Studies in London rates Canada as the seventh highest military spender of NATO's 19 member states. While Canadian military spending declined in the 1990s, this decline mirrored global trends. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute reports a global decline of 11 per cent from 1992 to 2000. The Canadian decline in the same period was 12 per cent. Thus, as Project Ploughshares points out, "the charge that Canada's military spending has shrunk to unconscionably low levels relative to the rest of the world does not stand up to scrutiny."


World military expenditures are now shooting upwards. This is driven by the enormous increase of $50 billion by the U.S. this year alone. The U.S. is now spending $400 billion a year on defence, which is more than the next 25 countries combined. It is somewhat disingenuous for the U.S. Ambassador to Canada to be constantly chiding this country for low military spending, as if the gargantuan budget of the U.S. should become the standard for Canada. The U.S. is also, of course, driving the NATO spending pattern. At $500 billion a year, NATO accounts for 60 per cent of all military spending globally. If Canada added $2 billion or $3 billion annually to the NATO figure, how could this credibly be argued as adding to global security? It can hardly be argued that peace and security are threatened simply by a dearth of global military capacity.

Defence advocates do not like to admit it, but in terms of the absolute levels of Canadian military spending, Canada is well above the global average. Does this mean that Canada's Armed Forces should be denied proper, well-functioning equipment or equitable pay scales? Of course not. The question should be: What are we spending money on? What is our policy? Is it to continue Canada's highly regarded role in peacekeeping and peace building, or is it to modernize our combat capability to fight the wars of the future, wars, one would have to add, that the U.S. is preparing to fight? If the U.S. is determined to fight in Iraq, even without the authorization of the United Nations Security Council, thus undermining international law and opening the door to more battlefields, including space, then Canadians should know now that that is why they are being asked to increase Canada's defence budget. To equip Canada for war-fighting capability for the future would be a significant change in Canada's defence policy.

This serves to emphasize how important it is that the government set out a long-term defence policy, as promised in the Throne Speech. So far, we have not heard a word about the prioritization of future needs. If those needs are to defend Canada, appropriate funding should be put in place. If those needs are to join in U.S.-led wars, extra funding should be denied. In short, there should be more money for Canada's military if necessary, but not necessarily more money.

In latter years, Canada has distinguished itself by advancing a human security agenda, which recognizes that the security and well-being of persons depend more on economic, social and political conditions than on military strength. This agenda, as the analyst Ernie Regehr points out, embraces economic equity, human rights, democracy and a sustainable physical environment. This is an agenda requiring a major infusion of new resources, which can prevent future regional armed conflicts as well as end terrorism.

The centrepiece of this human security agenda is Official Development Assistance, known as ODA. The government recognizes this by saying that it will double development assistance by 2010. It was one of Canada's great Prime Ministers, Lester B. Pearson, a Nobel Peace laureate, who first crafted the UN target of providing 0.7 per cent of gross domestic product for ODA. If Canada's defence community is unhappy at the 14 per cent cut they absorbed in the 1990s, consider the 31 per cent decline in ODA in the same period.

Canada is only at 0.25 per cent in ODA today, which ranks us seventeenth among 22 aid donor countries. We are well behind the average donor performance of 0.39 per cent. This is not a record to be proud of. Moreover, it belies Canada's posture that the human development agenda is a prime consideration of our global security policies.

Our country joined in the United Nations Millennium Declaration, which identified millennium goals in disarmament, development and poverty eradication that are essential to building sustainable peace. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, arguing that every step taken toward reducing poverty is a step toward conflict prevention, said that $50 billion extra was required to achieve millennium goals. This $50 billion represents one-sixteenth of what the world currently spends preparing for war. In Canada's case, the Canadian Council for International Cooperation calculates that Canada's share of the $50 billion would be an additional $2.5 billion per year. Even if we were to meet that obligation, which would require a doubling of current Canadian ODA, we would still be well short of meeting the overall UN target of 0.7 per cent.

The government says that we must be content with an increase of 8 per cent in ODA this year. That is better than nothing, but it is still insufficient given the work that must be done in the world to build the conditions for peace and security. This is not difficult to figure out. The evidence shows that states in the bottom half of the human security index are three times as likely to experience wars than those in the top half. If we want peace, we must pay for peace. This means paying for the destruction of surplus gun stocks, paying for the dismantling of nuclear weapons, paying for the disposal of fissile materials, as well as paying for economic or social programs to give people the human security they so ardently crave.

Honourable senators, Canada must face up to the need for increased security spending. This is a bigger subject than military spending alone. The government wants to review its policies. Let that review commence now, with public input appropriately organized, funded and publicized.

Canada must help the world community to find solutions to the principal challenges of our time: widespread war and violence, terrorism, poverty and environmental degradation. With the Nobel Peace laureates, who recently met in Rome, let us stand firmly against the cynicism and despair that crushes hope and vision. Our common humanity demands public policies for peace, humanity and equality.

On motion of Senator Robichaud, debate adjourned.


Code of Conduct and Ethics Guidelines

Motion to Refer Documents to Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament—Order Stands

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Robichaud, P.C., seconded by the Honourable Senator Carstairs, P.C.:

That the documents entitled: "Proposals to amend the Parliament of Canada Act (Ethics Commissioner) and other Acts as a consequence" and "Proposals to amend the Rules of the Senate and the Standing Orders of the House of Commons to implement the 1997 Milliken-Oliver Report," tabled in the Senate on October 23, 2002, be referred to the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament.

Hon. Donald H. Oliver: Honourable senators, I thought the debate was adjourned yesterday in the name of Senator Sparrow. I was going to speak after Senator Sparrow.


Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, under Government Business, debate is not adjourned in any particular senator's name. If any senators wish to speak to this motion today, they are free to do so. Senator Sparrow let me know that he will be speaking to it tomorrow.

Order stands.


Banking, Trade and Commerce

Committee Authorized to Study Public Interest Implications of Bank Mergers

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Kolber, seconded by the Honourable Senator Maheu:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce be authorized to study the public interest implications for large bank mergers on:

. Access for Canadians throughout the country to convenient and quality financial services;

. The availability of financing for individuals and businesses, particularly small and mid-sized businesses;

. The Canadian economy and the ability of Canadian business to compete internationally;

. Communities and bank employees; and

. Any other related issues;

That the Committee be empowered to permit coverage by electronic media of its public proceedings with the least possible disruption of its hearings; and

That the Committee submit its final report no later than March 31, 2003.—(Honourable Senator Tkachuk).

Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Question!

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

Motion agreed to.

Agriculture and Forestry

Findings in Report Entitled "Canadian Farmers at Risk"—Inquiry—Debate Adjourned

Hon. Donald H. Oliver rose pursuant to notice of October 29, 2002:

That he will call the attention of the Senate to the findings contained in the report of the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry entitled Canadian Farmers at Risk, tabled in the Senate on June 13, 2002, during the First Session of the Thirty-seventh Parliament.—(Honourable Senator Oliver).

He said: Honourable senators, I am pleased to speak to this inquiry. Last year, under the capable leadership of Senator Gustafson, the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry conducted a major international study that led to a definitive report called, "Farmers at Risk." A week ago, I was honoured to be elected chair of the Agriculture Committee and, because of all the work that went into that report, I wanted to take time today to call honourable senators' attention to some of the important conclusions in it.

Before so doing, I should like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to Senator Gustafson as former chair. Senator Gustafson, a Saskatchewan farmer, assumed the chair I now occupy in 1996. Under his leadership, this committee has set an impressive standard for hard work, in-depth analysis and strong, realistic solutions. Over an eight-year period, he chaired some 130 meetings of the committee and heard over 480 witnesses. With Senator Gustafson at the helm, this committee demonstrated a great deal of influence in agriculture and forestry in Canada with its review of eight different bills and the tabling of seven substantive reports dealing with such issues as trade, food safety and the environment.

This year, the committee is embarking on a major study on climate change and we will analyze and discuss some of the ways farmers and those involved in forestry must adapt to changes imposed upon them by changes in climate. Hopefully, we will also have an opportunity to look at other areas of concern to farmers and those in the forestry industry with shorter, more focused studies on such topics as bioterrorism, GMOs, food safety, the cheese industry, the grape growers and wine producers, exporter industry, softwood lumber and other issues.

Today, honourable senators, I should like to deal with the concept of multi-functionality. That phrase is not one we hear often in this country, at least not in the context of agriculture. Briefly, if somewhat inadequately, it is the concept that people involved in agriculture fulfil a variety of roles other than simply producing food, and for this they should be compensated. Having grown up in a rural environment, I think that many Canadians believe farmers just have two jobs: to plant crops in the spring and, God willing, to harvest them in the fall. All the rest of the time is spent either sitting in the sun in Florida or sitting on the beach. The reality is obviously quite different. In fact, the average farmer in Canada works from sunup to sundown, as do many other members of the family. Rather than simply sitting about, they play important roles in maintaining and sustaining the local environment, for example. They do this by protecting local groundwater supplies, by following approved fertilization policies, by providing green spaces for migratory animals, and so on. Farmers also play economic roles above and beyond producing and selling crops. They provide thousands of jobs, they attract investment in local commerce and they, their families and neighbours create demand for infrastructure that, in turn, generates economic activity. I am thinking of things like water, roads, sewage, electricity, schools, garbage pick-up, and so on. Without farmers, none of this could exist. There would just be empty land producing no food or revenue for anyone.

Farmers play a cultural role as well. They preserve important parts of our heritage by maintaining historic buildings. They produce local foods, like Oka cheese and Niagara wines, that cannot be found anywhere else. They help maintain the traditions and distinctions that set people and geographic areas apart from neighbours. An example of this would be the way in which Quebec farmers divide their farmland, which is unique to that province.

Farmers provide all these things, honourable senators, that have nothing to do with farming per se, and they do all of that for free in Canada. According to the theory of multifunctionality, these actions are important and a tangible part of maintaining the economic and cultural viability of large regions of many countries. Therefore, farmers deserve to be compensated for the time, the effort and the money that they spend in doing them.

The idea of compensating farmers in this way has been public policy for barely a decade in a number of countries, most notably those of the European Union, in Japan and in Australia. It began, interestingly enough, as an offshoot of the big environmental debate that took place in the early 1990s over issues like global warming and sustainable development. What came out of this debate was the notion that rural areas are a form of ecosystem. They are an integral yet distinct part of society as a whole. Within these areas, farmers provide a number of services that are both tangible and intangible. Together, these help to maintain the viability of rural life and the rural economy. Indeed, they are a crucial factor in the economic welfare of society as a whole. There is a holistic relationship between rural areas and the rest of the country. The health and well-being of one is intrinsically linked to the other.

Unlike our friends in the European Union, Japan and Australia, we here in Canada have not, so far, embraced this notion of multifunctionality. In fact, outside of a relatively small group of agricultural professionals and university professors, it is still a relatively unknown idea. The generally accepted explanation for this is that Canada is a free trading nation. We are committed to reducing and eventually eliminating all trade barriers. Multifunctionalism, because it provides funding to farmers for activities not strictly related to food, goes against our trade liberating principles. Therefore, we do not support it. In other words, by paying farmers to leave fields lying fallow so migratory birds can nest there, or remunerating them for the role they play in ensuring that everyone in the country has adequate access to food supplies, European governments embracing the policy of multifunctionality are, in effect, subsidizing them. For Canada, this is apparently unacceptable.


This is the type of debate that tends to get fairly intense. Those in favour of trade liberalization reject the EU notion that agriculture is an ecosystem comprised of a multitude of non- productive activities for which farmers deserve compensation. For them, agriculture is strictly about producing food. As producers, farmers should be left to compete in the open market the same as everyone else. On the other side of the fence, free traders like the United States cry foul while providing billions of dollars in subsidies to their own farmers.

I should add as well, just to put things in somewhat a larger perspective, that the debate over multifunctionality is not a purely North American phenomenon. Many Third World countries, such as those in Africa, are extremely critical of multifunctionality. They see it as little more than a blind by advanced nations to justify elevated agricultural subsidies with which they cannot compete fairly.

Honourable senators, the Agriculture and Forestry Committee has examined the issue at length, and among the recommendations we have included in the report is that Agriculture and Agri-food Canada should study the applicability of the concept of multifunctionality here in this country. More particularly, it should attempt to determine the different roles the farm sector fulfils, how these vary from region to region, and how the federal government could, if it chooses, best promote the idea among Canadians. The report said that the committee believes that support should be provided to farmers in recognition of their role as stewards of the land and that government support should target the other roles of agriculture to promote rural values.

Some honourable senators may well be wondering why Canada has not embraced the idea of multifunctionalism, given that many European countries have done so. One factor could well be the way we develop public policy here. Unlike many European countries, particularly France, Canada does not generally make public policy based on theoretical frameworks. We try to solve issues incrementally. In other words, we fix problems as they occur. We tend to draw up policy only when an issue has provoked widespread concern and some sort of consensus has emerged that something should be done about it.

A second factor is the issue of private property. While Canada is not as fervently insistent on the issue as the Americans, in part thanks to Mr. Trudeau and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the federal government in this country has, nonetheless, traditionally been somewhat reluctant to tell people how to manage their private property. Whether this is a Canadian trait or linked to the ever-present squabbles over jurisdiction is perhaps a moot point, but the fact remains that, in the case of the environment, for instance, the federal government sets the national standards which are, in turn, implemented by provincial governments, while the question of land use is governed by local authorities under property and civil rights. Given all these competing jurisdictions, it is perhaps little wonder why nothing has ever been done.

A third factor to explain the absence of multifunctionality from public policy debate in this country lies again south of the border. The American government is solidly opposed to the idea, and like it or not, when they are unhappy, we are often obliged to put on an unhappy face as well, whether it is in our national interest or not.

Last but not least are the attitudes and feelings of the Canadian people. One of the driving factors behind the implementation of multifunctionality in Europe has been the fear that many feel about such things as rural depopulation and long-term food security. These issues have never been a concern in Canada.

Ironically, one of our greatest assets as a nation plays against the development of any sort of public pressure in favour of multifunctionality. That, of course, is our size. We are the second biggest nation on earth. We have huge tracts of green space, the world's biggest supply of fresh water, and immense — perhaps immeasurable — supplies of natural resources. As a result, Canadians do not feel hemmed in like many of our European or our Japanese counterparts, nor do they see issues such as food security in an urgent light. Lacking these insecurities, there has been little public debate, no consensus, and ultimately no public pressure on government.

Added to this, 70 per cent of our population lives in urban areas. Our culture is essentially urban, and this is reflected in our political priorities. Crime and highway construction trump green spaces and cultural preservation every time. There is nothing new about this. Indeed, it is perhaps a given of any modern Western society, but that does not make the problems facing rural areas any less real or any less important or any less worth solving. After all, there are still 30 per cent of Canadians — over 9 million people — who classify themselves as rural dwellers. Surely their needs should count for something.

As the owner of a small tree farm in Nova Scotia, I can attest first-hand to the many difficulties facing rural people, even in this supposedly modern day and age. Despite the recent growth and diversification of the rural economy, our young people continue to leave the land, infrastructure is suffering, land values are falling and investment is declining. The federal government is not completely insensitive to these trends. I understand something called the "Rural Secretariat" has been established to address some of these issues, but are such bureaucratic initiatives enough? Do we really need another study?

We need more than rural secretariats. We need a plan, and we need some solutions. Maybe multifunctionality, or some form of it, could be part of the answer to maintaining the viability of our rural communities. I am not sure it would work as a national policy for some of the reasons I have just outlined, but I see no reason why it could not be adapted to fit various regional needs within an overall framework of national goals and priorities.

On motion of Senator Gustafson, debate adjourned.


Committee Authorized to Continue Study on Matters Relating to Oceans and Fisheries

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

That the Senate Standing Committee on Fisheries be authorized to examine and report upon the matters relating to oceans and fisheries;

That the documents and evidence received by the Committee during its consideration of these same matters in the First Session of the Thirty-seventh Parliament be referred to the Committee;

That the Committee table its final report no later than June 30, 2003; and

That, notwithstanding usual practice, the Committee be permitted to deposit its final report with the Clerk of the Senate if the Senate is not then sitting, and that the report be deemed to have been tabled in the Chamber.

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

Senator Comeau: Honourable senators, pursuant to rule 30, I ask for leave to modify my motion. Before I read the amended motion, I would ask that the pages distribute the new motion to each honourable senator.

The Hon. the Speaker: I believe the information has now been distributed.


Motion in Amendment

Hon. Gerald J. Comeau: Honourable senators, the motion would now read, as amended:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries be authorized to examine and report from time to time upon the matters relating to straddling stocks and to fish habitat, and

That the documents and evidence received by the Committee during its consideration of these same matters in the First Session of the Thirty-seventh Parliament be referred to the Committee; and

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


Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, if I understand correctly, the Honourable Senator Comeau is asking us to replace the motion that is currently on the Order Paper with the motion that he just presented.

Hon. Lowell Murray: Honourable senators, the new motion appears to be more limited in its scope than the motion on the Order Paper. Why?

Senator Comeau: There were suggestions that the scope of the original motion was too broad. We discussed it in committee. The committee agreed to limit the scope of the original motion. The motion that we are now proposing gives a good indication of the work that we must do in the coming year.


The Hon. the Speaker: I shall put the matter to the chamber. Senator Comeau has requested leave to delete the existing item No. 31 under Motions and replace it with the motion that he has distributed to honourable senators today and read to the Senate.

Is leave granted, honourable senators?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Hon. the Speaker: Leave is granted.

Senator Comeau: Honourable senators, I wish to move passage of this motion.

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

Motion agreed to, as amended.

National Security and Defence

Committee Authorized to Deposit Second Report with Clerk of the Senate

Hon. Colin Kenny, pursuant to notice of October 31, 2002, moved:

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

He said: Honourable senators, if I may, I should like to speak briefly to the motion.

The motion is a specific one, relating to a single occurrence. It is different from the type of motions that we have seen in the past that have been broad, open motions allowing committees to table reports when the Senate was not sitting.

When the committee was considering this motion, we looked carefully at the purpose of the phrase "notwithstanding the usual practices." The usual practices of the Senate relate to the overarching principle that the Senate is the master of all committees. The committees are subordinate to the chamber and they will carry out the will and the direction of the chamber.

Bearing that principle in mind, we thought about the usual context when referring to "usual practices." Normally, when the Senate gives an order or an instruction to a committee to study something, it expects to be the first to hear back from that committee; the Senate expects that it will hear back from that committee in this chamber. It is an important principle that honourable senators will hear first from a committee, before the press and before the public.

We also reflected on the more general interests of the Senate. It does not have just one interest in this case. I would argue that the Senate has many interests, but at least two upon which I will comment.

The first interest is informing senators. Senators do not like to be blindsided. I do not like to be blindsided when a report comes forward. We do not want to have a friend or journalist break the news about a committee report by telling us that it was in the newspaper.

We think it is important that senators be informed in advance. However, we do not think it is necessary to go through the physical act of placing the report on the Table to inform senators in advance. There may have been a time when that was the only way to do it. The rule was probably written at a time when train was the mode of travel to Ottawa and when communicating via telegraph was the standard, a time when placing a report on the Table was the only way that senators could be sure that they were informed in advance.

We now have other ways of protecting this vital interest of senators to know in advance the contents of a report. That can be accomplished by a number of means when the Senate is not sitting. Reports can be sent to honourable senators via e-mail, fax or priority post. We have tried to take that into account in this motion.

There are other interests that are important to honourable senators and to the Senate. One is that the public be informed, in the best way that we can inform them, about the work that we are doing.

I must confess that when I first came to this institution I heard senators say that their report stood on it merits and that the logic of the report was compelling. Essentially, they were saying that the world will beat a path to the door once the report was tabled because the arguments were sufficiently compelling that no effort was required to ensure that people know what we are doing. I accepted that at first. That was 18 years ago, a time when I did not know any better.

Since then, I have come to the conclusion that not everyone holds this chamber in high esteem, because many people do not know of our work. I have made it my business to try to find as many ways as possible to publicize the good work done in the chamber, to ensure that the public knows what we are doing.

I would argue that it is of great interest to this chamber that the public know what we are doing. We must understand that it is a very competitive world out there. It is very difficult to get the message out to the public. I cannot see the gallery from here, but I suspect that someone who can see it will tell me that it is empty.


Senator Day: There is no one in the gallery.

Senator Kenny: This is a daily occurrence, regrettably. If we wish to ensure that the public knows about the work we are doing, we must go out of our way to make sure that the public hears about the work of the Senate. Throughout the work that I have been engaged in, I have tried hard to accomplish that.

With this particular motion, I am trying to take into account at least two of the interests of this chamber: first, to protect all honourable senators to the extent that we know what the report is about; and second, to make an effort to ensure that the public knows about it as well. Assuming the report can be completed on time, barring mechanical and technical problems that can occur, we would proceed with the report during the week when people are thinking about matters that relate to defence and to veterans. November 11 is the day that we remember the sacrifice and what our soldiers did for us. People are attuned and are thinking about matters relating to defence and security at that time. To come forward during that week with a report on matters relating to defence would seem to be quite consistent with how people are thinking. Not only would it be timely, but it would also be appropriate to deal with the report then. Coming forward with the report that, we hope, will be deemed supportive of those people and consistent with their aspirations and their hopes would be a good way to honour them.

This is a one-time proposal that was presented before an adjournment of a number of days. The report endeavours to deal with the two interests that I have described — the importance of informing senators in advance and of ensuring that the public understands well the work that we are doing.

Honourable senators, I urge your support of this motion.

Hon. Lowell Murray: Honourable senators, I intend to speak to the report, but first I wish to ask the Honourable Senator Kenny a question.

Senator Kenny said that the report is not complete, that there are various technical and other problems to be overcome. What is the status of the report?

Senator Kenny: Honourable senators, the report is undergoing the final editing and pagination stages.

Senator Murray: Will there be another meeting of the committee before November 19?

Senator Kenny: There is no meeting of the committee, but the authority exists for these final details to be dealt with. The committee has approved the substance of the report in its entirety, and I can assure the honourable senator that the tabling process does not require another meeting of the committee.

Senator Murray: In other words, apart from the mechanical matters, the only matters to be dealt with are what the honourable senator qualifies as editing, which are not substantive matters. I presume the committee had before it the full report in both official languages when it adopted the report.

Senator Kenny: The committee had the report in both official languages and they also had a report that instructed me to make certain changes of a technical nature, which were editing and pagination.

Senator Murray: The committee had before it the same document in both languages — the full report — subject to certain editing changes that the honourable senator is authorized to make.

Senator Kenny: I can qualify that. The report is actually two documents — an English document and a French document.

Senator Murray: Yes, there is an English version and a French version of the same document. When did that happen? I sent for the minutes of proceedings of the committee, and perhaps I read them too quickly or missed a date, but I could not find the motion that adopted the report and authorized the honourable senator to do what he is doing.

Senator Kenny: Honourable senators, I presume that the honourable senator is referring to the minutes of proceedings dated Monday, October 28. These minutes do not reflect the proceedings of meetings that took place in camera, which is when this took place — Monday, October 28.

Senator Murray: I appreciate that that meeting would have taken place in camera and that it is not unusual for a committee to enter and complete the drafting process in camera. However, there should have been a motion to adopt the report in both languages. I presume that motion was made and passed.

Senator Kenny: I am sure that the honourable senator is not asking me to break the rules and discuss what went on in camera, but I can assure him that everything is in order. I would not be standing here if everything were not in order.

Senator Murray: I appreciate that. One of the explanations that I heard from another, not from the chairman, about why this time would be needed was that the "French translation" was not ready. Senator Kenny, who has been around here for quite some time and served, as I recall, in Prime Minister Trudeau's office, would know the importance of insisting on the equality of both official languages in the adoption of these reports by committees.

Honourable senators, as Senator Kenny indicated, there had been question, in recent times, about the growing practice of committees seeking blanket authorization or blanket dispensation from the convention and practice of tabling reports in this chamber first.

I objected to that practice, and recent motions indicate that Senator Kenny and others would rather proceed on a case-by-case basis, as he is doing in this instance. He is proceeding in the right way.


I could not agree less with him on some of the points he made in his remarks this afternoon. He speaks of the interests of honourable senators, the interest in having a report from a committee tabled in this place and the interest of having our works publicized. This is not a question of interests. It is a question of the rights and the status of one of the Houses of Parliament. It is our practice, tradition and convention, and there are good reasons for those, that committees table their reports in the chamber first.

My hat goes off to the honourable senator for what he has done in the past on the several committees that he has been associated with or has led and the success he has had in publicizing the work and the findings of those committees. That is all very useful. However, I do not agree that it is necessary to dispense with important conventions and traditions and rules of this place in order to advance a media strategy.

We are talking about the rights of this place. In a case like this, I have to ask myself and others, if the media strategy is so important, what other rights, prerogatives, conventions and rules are we prepared to dispense with in the interests of a media strategy? I think we take the media strategy a bit too seriously, frankly, but I do not want to get into that in any great detail because then we would be arguing media strategy.

In the two cases recently before us, being the report of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology on the Canadian health system and the various reports of my friend's from the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence, these are extremely topical subjects. They are subjects in which the media is extremely interested. I do not think it would matter whether Senator Kirby had tabled his report in the chamber on a Thursday afternoon and then met the media on Friday as he did. The committee and the report would have had as much attention as it got.

The same holds true for the report that will be brought down eventually by the honourable senator. If I were to ask the honourable senator why he cannot wait until we are back here on November 19, his answer would be that he is following a media strategy, and the media strategy is that he will get a better "media pop," as they say, by making the document public during a week when the Senate and the House of Commons are not sitting and there are no other distractions, he hopes. Who knows what other matters will come up to attract the interest of the news media on that particular day or during that particular week?

Honourable senators, as to process, my friend is going about it the right way. He is proceeding on a case-by-case basis. His explanation for doing so is that it will, he hopes, advance his and the committee's media strategy. That is not adequate. That is not sufficient, in my mind, to dispense with the practice, conventions, rules and the rights of this chamber in these matters. Therefore, I will oppose and do oppose his motion.

That being said, I will point out that, as we speak, the Standing Senate Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament is struggling with this very issue and will, I hope, report on it in due course. I would not use that argument to prevent the honourable senator from bringing forward his motion. However, as I say, on the merits of his motion and the merits of his argument, I have no hesitation in maintaining my position, which is that it has to be a very exceptional case for Parliament or one of the chambers of Parliament to dispense with a convention, a tradition, a right, a rule of this kind, and that forwarding a media strategy in almost any case would not qualify in my view.

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

Some Hon. Senators: On division.

Motion agreed to, on division.

Committee Authorized to Meet During Adjournment of the Senate

Hon. Jane Cordy, pursuant to notice of November 5, 2002, moved:

That the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence be empowered, in accordance with rule 95(3), to sit on Monday, November 18, 2002, even though the Senate may then be adjourned for a period exceeding one week.

Motion agreed to.

Human Rights

Committee Authorized to Meet During Adjournment of the Senate

Hon. Shirley Maheu, pursuant to notice of November 5, 2002, moved:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights be empowered, in accordance with rule 95(3), to sit on Monday, November 18, 2002, even though the Senate may then be adjourned for a period exceeding one week.

Motion agreed to.

Agriculture and Forestry

Committee Authorized to Permit Electronic Coverage

Hon. Donald H. Oliver, pursuant to notice of November 5, 2002, moved:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry be authorized to permit coverage by electronic media of its public proceedings with the least possible disruption of its hearings.

Motion agreed to.

Committee Authorized to Engage Services

Hon. Donald H. Oliver, pursuant to notice of November 5, 2002, moved:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry 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.

Motion agreed to.

Legal and Constitutional Affairs

Committee Authorized to Permit Electronic Coverage

Hon. George J. Furey, pursuant to notice of November 5, 2002, moved:

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

Motion agreed to.

Committee Authorized to Engage Services

Hon. George J. Furey, pursuant to notice of November 5, 2002, moved:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs 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.

Motion agreed to.


Official Languages

Committee Authorized to Permit Electronic Coverage

Hon. Rose-Marie Losier-Cool, pursuant to notice of November 5, 2002, moved:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages 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. Rose-Marie Losier-Cool, pursuant to notice of November 5, 2002, moved:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages 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.

Foreign Affairs

Committee Authorized to Permit Electronic Coverage

Hon. Peter A. Stollery, pursuant to notice of November 5, 2002, moved:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs be authorized to permit coverage by electronic media of its public proceedings with the least possible disruption of its hearings.

Motion agreed to.

Committee Authorized to Engage Services

Hon. Peter A. Stollery, pursuant to notice of November 5, 2002, moved:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs 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.

Motion agreed to.

Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament

Committee Authorized to Permit Electronic Coverage

Hon. Lorna Milne, pursuant to notice of November 5, 2002, moved:

That the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament be empowered to permit coverage by electronic media of its public proceedings with the least possible disruption of its hearings.

Motion agreed to.

Committee Authorized to Engage Services

Hon. Lorna Milne, pursuant to notice of November 5, 2002, moved:

That the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament 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.

Motion agreed to.

Committee Authorized to Meet During Adjournment of the Senate

Hon. Lorna Milne, pursuant to notice of November 5, 2002, moved:

That the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament be empowered, in accordance with rule 95(3), to sit on Monday, November 18, 2002, even though the Senate may then be adjourned for a period exceeding one week.

Motions in Amendment

Hon. Lorna Milne: Honourable senators, pursuant to rule 30, I request leave to modify my motion by adding "and Tuesday, November 19, 2002," after the words "Monday, November 18."

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

Hon. Anne C. Cools: I rise on a point of order.

The Hon. the Speaker: Does Senator Stratton have a question?

Hon. Terry Stratton: Perhaps we should hear the point of order, and then I will have a question.

Senator Cools: I believe I just heard Senator Milne ask the chamber for leave to modify a motion. My understanding is that an amendment to a motion is not accomplished by simple leave being granted. If one wants to amend a motion, one would have to move a motion to that effect.

Senator Stratton: That is right.

Senator Cools: Is the Honourable Senator Milne asking for leave to amend a motion?

The Hon. the Speaker: Does Senator Milne wish to comment?

Senator Milne: Honourable senators, under rule 30, a senator who has made a motion or presented an inquiry may withdraw or modify the same with leave of the Senate. I am asking for leave of the Senate to modify my motion to allow the committee to meet, as it regularly does, on Tuesday morning.

The Hon. the Speaker: To be certain, I will ask again. Is leave granted, honourable senators?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Hon. the Speaker: Leave is granted.

Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion as amended by Senator Milne?

Senator Stratton: Honourable senators, our side has a problem with attending a meeting on Monday. Our normal meeting times are Tuesday mornings and Wednesdays at noon. My office has discussed this with Senator Andreychuk's office, who is the deputy chair of this committee. They have no knowledge of this discussion about asking for permission to meet on Monday, November 18. Our side has a problem in that we have no idea whether members of the committee from our side are available to man the committee on Monday. We also have yet to see the justification to meet on Monday when we can meet during our regular hours. Senator Andreychuk has to come from Saskatchewan, and that is not as easy as travelling from Toronto or Montreal. The availability of flights from the West is extremely difficult, and I think it is wrong to push for meetings on Monday when we have two regular time slots during the week. Our side cannot support this motion. We will support the motion as it relates to Tuesday, but not as it relates to Monday.

Senator Milne: Honourable senators, all I can say is that this matter was raised in the steering committee. I thought I had Senator Andreychuk's agreement to take it up with her whip as I took the issue up with my whip. I thought we had agreement to meet on Monday to complete the report that we are presently working on.

Senator Stratton: Honourable senators, our concern is the availability of members who must travel. I agree that this matter is important, but I think we can deal with it during our regular hours. We would require an amendment to change the day to Tuesday.

Senator Milne: May I suggest that we amend the motion by striking the word "Monday"?

Senator Stratton: Yes, I would agree to that. I would so move.

The Hon. the Speaker: Is the house ready for the question?

Some Hon. Senators: On the motion in amendment.

The Hon. the Speaker: Do you wish to proceed by leave or amendment?

Some Hon. Senators: Amendment.

The Hon. the Speaker: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion as amended by Senator Milne?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Motion agreed to, as amended

The Hon. the Speaker: It is moved by the Honourable Senator Stratton, seconded by the Honourable Senator Kinsella that the motion be amended by deleting "Monday, November 18, 2002."

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Motion agreed to, as amended.

National Security and Defence

Motion to Authorize Committee to Travel—Debate Adjourned

Hon. Joseph A. Day, pursuant to notice of November 5, 2002, moved:

That the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence be authorized to adjourn from place to place within and outside Canada for the purpose of pursuing its study.

He said: Honourable senators, I thought this motion seemed somewhat out of order with the usual process. Honourable senators merit an explanation as to why we are moving this motion.

The motion is brought as a result of article 95(1) of the Rules of the Senate. That rule states, "A select committee may adjourn from time to time and," — and this is the operative portion — "by order of the Senate, from place to place." The committee wishes to adjourn from place to place. Of course that could be taken to mean that the committee wishes to travel from place to place.

Included in the motion are the words, "...within and outside Canada..." since the committee may travel to the United States. This type of motion would normally be moved after the Standing Senate Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration had considered the budget. Our budget has not reached that committee and has not been considered at this stage. I am mindful, as we all are in our committee, of article 2:08 of Appendix II in relation to the expenditure of funds, which states:

2:08 A Committee shall not incur any special expenses until a report to the Senate pursuant to guideline 2:06 has been adopted.


That has not happened. We will not be incurring any expenses, but that does not preclude the Senate from authorizing this motion to travel as long as we do not incur any expenses. We have the opportunity to travel, at the invitation of the Minister of National Defence, to study the Colorado Springs and NORAD facility, which is extremely important at this time. We would not be incurring any expenses. That is why we are moving this motion at this time.

Hon. Tommy Banks: Honourable senators, to reinforce and to add to what Senator Day has said, there is a cogent and current imperative reason for the committee to be asking for Senate approval of this motion for the specific purpose of travel to Colorado Springs. In the last few months, honourable senators will recall the report of the committee having referred to the establishment of what is called the Northern Command of the United States. The fact is that the Northern Command of the United States resides, for all intents and purposes, in Colorado Springs in close concert with the command centre of NORAD, which also resides there. Those two things are not the same, but the members of the committee are most anxious to determine the nature of the relationship, both the physical proximity and otherwise, between those two things and to reinforce again, as it has in the past, the importance of Canadian sovereignty in the operation.

Honourable senators, to let you know how closely and effectively the NORAD partnership has existed over the past years, it is worthwhile remembering that, in the events of September 11, 2001, the officers in charge that morning in the NORAD control rooms in Colorado Springs were Canadian officers. They were in command of all the air defences of North America and all the air reactions to those events at the time. That is an example of how closely and effectively NORAD has worked since its formation shortly after the Second World War.

The committee wishes to ensure that there is a clear and distinct difference with regard to the unilateral undertaking of the United States of establishing a Northern Command on the one hand and the bilateral arrangements that exist under NORAD on the other. That is a clear and present question before us on our deliberations having to do with matters that the Minister of Defence, among others, has asked us to look at. It is at his invitation, as Senator Day has said, that we wish to make this trip. It may cost us a lunch out of our pockets or something like that. The point I wish to reinforce is that the transportation costs and the accommodation costs of this visit will in no way be a cost of or to the Senate.

Hon. Terry Stratton: Honourable senators, we are assuming here. Does that mean that the ministry and the Minister of Defence are paying for this trip?

Senator Banks: Partly.

Senator Stratton: The honourable senator says "in part." Is the United States picking up any part of the tab?

Senator Banks: No, not that I am aware of. I believe we will be staying at existing facilities in Colorado Springs. There are guest facilities at Colorado Springs, for which there is no cost, in the sense of anyone writing a cheque.

Senator Stratton: Who else is paying for this? If it is not just the Minister of Defence who is paying for it, who else is paying for it?

Senator Banks: "Pay" is the operative word. There are costs involved; for example, the accommodation at Colorado Springs. However, as I said, that is not a cost in the sense of writing a cheque to anyone. As to transportation costs, I stand to be corrected, but I believe that the transporting of the members of the committee from here to Colorado Springs would be at the expense of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Senator Stratton: Meals and accommodation are at the expense of whom?

Senator Banks: NORAD, I believe, senator.

Senator Stratton: NORAD is a bi-national organization, a joint U.S.-Canada organization; is that correct?

Senator Banks: That is correct.

Senator Stratton: No conflict of interest?

Senator Banks: I cannot see how there can be a conflict of interest with a committee that is charged with examining questions having to do with Canada's Armed Forces, among other things, being transported to a place where those activities take place by Canada's Armed Forces.

Hon. Eymard G. Corbin: Honourable senators, I should like to know if the date for this visit has already been set.

Senator Banks: It has been set tentatively because the leadership has asked that committees, when they plan tentatively to travel, advise the offices of the respective whips, to ensure that not too many committees are travelling at the same time. In future, when committees wish to travel, all committees will be asked to advise the offices of the whips in advance of establishing dates for those trips on a tentative basis, to ensure they do not conflict with other committees travelling.

Senator Corbin: What are the tentative dates?

Senator Banks: I do not know.

An Hon. Senator: That is how tentative they are!

Hon. Jerahmiel S. Grafstein: I should like to ask the Honourable Senator Kenny a question, if I may.

Hon. Colin Kenny: Honourable senators, first, there are significant precedents. This government has established precedents for committees of this sort to travel on Canadian Forces aircraft. Some of you will recall the joint committee in 1993 that this government established and then provided with an aircraft to go from coast to coast in the United States, coast to coast in Canada, to Europe and the Balkans. Incidentally, we flew to NORAD headquarters and stayed there as well. That precedent is clearly established.

As far as the costs go, the committee was initially looking at a trip to Moose Jaw, Regina, Edmonton and Cold Lake in the first week in December. Having said that, the date today is November 6, and the Senate is not sitting next week. As of now, no committee, aside from the Social Affairs Committee, has had an opportunity to appear before the Internal Economy Committee to apply for its budget. The earliest possible time for any committee to appear before the Internal Economy Committee would be the week we return, on November 19. There would be three days, 19, 20 and 21, if the Internal Economy Committee is ready to receive applications for budgets. However, as of today, we have not received any word from the Internal Economy Committee that they are prepared to receive applications for budgets. In the event that they were organized in a fashion so they could receive the applications, and in the event that they saw fit to approve budgets for committees, one still must return to this chamber to have the budget approved.


If the committee were very lucky and got to see Internal Economy when it meets on November 21, it could then come back to the chamber on November 26 and give notice and hope that on November 27 or November 28 the Senate might in fact approve the budget. However, there is no certainty that things would happen that quickly. In fact, I am sure Senator Stratton will recall that this committee's budget did not get passed in two days the last time it came forward. "Well spent and good value for the taxpayers" — is that what I heard, Senator Stratton? I am sure I heard something along those lines from Senator Stratton.

Having said that, not knowing whether we were likely to have the funds, we did not feel we could go to the people in Moose Jaw, Regina, Edmonton and Cold Lake for the second time. We had already gone to them once in August, before the prorogation, laid on the trip, made all the arrangements, and when prorogation came, we had to cancel all those arrangements. We did want to get back to them, could not do it, and obviously with the funding not being certain, could not do it now.

As it happened, the invitation came from the Minister of National Defence and from the NORAD people to go down to Colorado Springs. This is a matter that the committee has studied and just reported on to this chamber. The report was before honourable senators in September. We recommended significant modifications to how they conduct their affairs there. It seems reasonable that we have an opportunity to see what is going on.

We are not talking about funds out of our pocket; we are talking about funds from Her Majesty, though. Frankly, it is a lot less expensive for Her Majesty to pay, or for the taxpayers to pay, for us to travel on a single aircraft as opposed to paying commercial airlines. Either way, the taxpayers will be paying the travel expenses. I am hard pressed to see where the conflict of interest lies, inasmuch as the taxpayers will pay for this one way or another.

Second, the government of the day, this administration, not only has set a precedent but encouraged a previous committee studying defence matters to utilize defence aircraft, and facilitated the committee's travel. Those who served on that committee — I see Senator Forrestall in the room — did not find themselves compromised or in any conflict position when they flew down on that flight. If anything, we found it an uncomfortable way to travel and an unpleasant way to get around, and, if anything, we were biased against them rather than for them. Frankly, it is just a non-issue.

We think it would serve the interests of the Senate if we had an opportunity to see whether things are being implemented there. It is something that will not come out of the Senate budget. The Senate will have an opportunity, if it approves this, to have a committee up and functioning sooner than it might normally do, because the way the budgeting process appears to be working, it is unlikely that anyone will have an operational budget in this chamber before February, given the timing that I described to you earlier. We can pause until February, or we can get on with our work now. The decision is yours, honourable senators.

Senator Corbin: Honourable senators, I have one thing to say. This is an "either/or" question. Either you are seeking a blank cheque for all future travel of your committee, to undertake your work and examination of issues across Canada, or you are seeking today permission of the Senate to accept an invitation by the Minister of National Defence to visit the facilities, not to hold hearings, but to visit the facilities at Colorado Springs. In the second instance, the committee does not need the permission of the Senate. It only needs to accept the invitation of the Minister of National Defence. If the committee is seeking funding for future work, it should come forward with this kind of request, at which time the Senate will give its okay. I do not see that you need the permission of Senate to undertake the kind of visit you describe.

Senator Grafstein: Honourable senators, I want to comment briefly. I had an opportunity to discuss this with Senator Kenny, and I heard the exchange. If you take the principle that is being enunciated here to its extension, it means that, for example, if a Foreign Affairs Committee that has gone to Europe travelling on Lufthansa takes a bus from the hotel to the airport, it could raise a question of conflict. If any senator from the United States or a member of the House of Representatives arranged a trip, as they do generally, to travel with the President of the United States on Airforce 1, that would be a conflict between the two houses. What if we used a vehicle that is used in the House of Commons for a trip over to the Victoria Building?

Honourable senators, there is political correctness that has some rationale, and there is political correctness that has no rationale.

As soon as the honourable senator tells us transparently that he has an invitation to go down, I accept the proposition put by Senator Corbin — go. If the committee chooses not to do it, do not go. Then it will be transparent; it will be on the public record. That is not, in my view, a conflict. It is an interesting theoretical question, but it is not a conflict. If we take that position as being a conflict, it will be difficult to take a pencil from the House of Commons and write with it.

Senator Kenny has done a magnificent job on behalf of the Senate in the last year, as have all the members of that committee. For us to try and tie him up and to trip him up on minuscule issues like this brings the Senate into a level of disrepute that I do not think any senator will accept.

Senator Stratton: Honourable senators, I think this was carried too far. The question was legitimate. I am satisfied, having heard the answer. Honourable senators took it beyond what it should have been and made implications as to my questioning whether there was a conflict. The question was legitimate. If the honourable senator feels comfortable answering that there is no conflict, I will accept that. I think he should have understood that before he stood.

Senator Grafstein: Honourable senators, I meant the honourable senator no disrespect whatsoever. I was listening to the argument and hoped to join in the debate. If he took any words that I said in any way, shape or form to be disrespectful to him or in any way, shape or form to prevent him from making an argument, I would withdraw.

Hon. Shirley Maheu: Honourable senators, the broad implications of the resolution or the motion could end up looking like a blank cheque. Could not Senator Kenny put forward a date, even a month — the month of December, for example — rather than ask the Senate for permission for him to travel anywhere he wants whenever he wants?

Senator Kenny: Honourable senators, in fairness, it is not my motion. I was asked a question. More to the point, the Senate has to give us funds to travel anywhere, so there is no possibility of us travelling. A date is superfluous because without the funds and the motion that goes with it, we could not travel even if we wanted to.


Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, the motion before us raises many questions in my mind on the Rules of the Senate. How does a committee obtain permission to travel? How can a committee initiate expenditures, whether current or special? I do not feel in a position to answer these questions. I wish to propose that we continue the debate on this motion at the next sitting of the Senate.


Hon. Rose-Marie Losier-Cool (Acting Speaker): Honourable senators, is Senator Robichaud's motion a motion to adjourn the debate?

Senator Robichaud: Precisely. I have proposed that we continue the debate on this motion at the next sitting of the Senate.


Hon. Anne C. Cools: I rise on a point of order. I plead that Her Honour look to the back of the chamber sometimes. She will find senators standing hoping for an opportunity to speak.

Honourable senators, I wish to have clarification before the debate is adjourned. The question has not been put, therefore, my intervention is timely.

Senator Kenny should know that a large number of senators here are proud of the fine and outstanding work that he has been doing on this particular committee. Many of us hold that work in high esteem.

It seems clear that the request is a bit unusual, but there is no form of conflict of interest or any other kind of conflict. As a matter of fact, I would say that the request is harmonious with the terms of reference of Senator Kenny's committee. It is also consistent and consonant with the kind of quality of work that has been performed. I would include Senator Day in these remarks.

The motion is asking for the authority of the Senate Committee on National Security and Defence to be authorized to adjourn from place to place within and outside Canada for the purpose of pursuing its study. We should understand that Senator Kenny is neither asking for money to be spent nor causing money to be spent. They are asking for the authority of the Senate to approve their wish, so to speak, to accept a special and unusual invitation from the Minister of National Defence and from the NORAD people in Colorado Springs, U.S.A.

I would like to add to that request. Senator Grafstein and other senators say that perhaps the committee does not need authority from this chamber to accept such an invitation; the committee could simply go.

However, the chamber should understand that Senator Kenny is an extremely thorough individual. The authority that he is here seeking is the authority that the committee can act as a committee, in other words to be able to constitute itself as a committee while on these trips. That authority must be sought from this chamber.

Perhaps many honourable senators are not aware, but rule 95(1) reads:

A select committee may adjourn from time to time and, by order of the Senate, from place to place.

The rule states, "...adjourn from time to time..." but it means that the committee may act and conduct its affairs as a committee, that is, the committee may hold hearings, if necessary, and have proper records kept. In other words, the committee may act as a committee, not as a collection of individuals travelling together.

The conflict of interest argument is a tired one. There is clearly no sort of conflict in this. To my mind, it is a credit to this particular committee and to Senator Day, Senator Kenny and Senator Banks that such an invitation has been extended by the Minister of National Defence and by NORAD.

This chamber should view this as an opportunity for the Senate and senators to expand their vision a little bit and to expand their capabilities. This chamber should give Senator Kenny and Senator Day a ringing endorsement and ringing approval for this particular initiative.

Senator Smith can be heard behind me to say, "Where there is no vision, the people will perish."

Permission is being sought of the Senate to allow a Senate committee to act, behave and conduct itself as a committee and to be received in the United States as a committee.

If the concerns are so profound, all that need be done is add to the motion, if it were the sense of the house, that they need to accept a particular invitation and to clarify or to limit it in that way. We can say, with all honesty and with a fair amount of certainty, that a particular authority is being sought for a particular set of events, and that is to be able to respond to a particular set of invitations to a particular place in the United States.

As such, I say bravo, and good for Senator Kenny and Senator Day.

The Hon. the Acting Speaker: Senator Cools, I was advised by the Table that you were standing before Senator Robichaud.

There is a motion before the house to adjourn the debate.

Senator Kenny, do you have a question? We cannot debate a motion to adjourn.

Senator Kenny: I do not wish to participate in the debate; I wish to ask a question.

The Hon. the Acting Speaker: Senator Kenny wishes to ask a question of Senator Robichaud. Is leave granted?

Senator Robichaud, will you take a question?


Senator Robichaud: Honourable senators, I have just moved that we continue the debate tomorrow, so that we can have a little time to consider this motion that was moved today. It raises a number of questions with respect to the Rules of the Senate. My motion is on the floor; it is not open for debate. We will have the opportunity to come back to this tomorrow.


The Hon. the Acting Speaker: It is moved by the Honourable Senator Robichaud, seconded by the Honourable Senator Milne, that further debate on the motion be adjourned until the next sitting of the Senate.

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

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Some Hon. Senators: No

The Hon. the Acting Speaker: Will those honourable senators in favour of the motion please say "yea."

Some Hon. Senators: Yea.

The Hon. the Speaker: Will those honourable senators opposed to the motion please say "nay."

Some Hon. Senators: Nay.

The Hon. the Acting Speaker: In my opinion, the "yeas" have it.

On motion of Senator Robichaud, debate adjourned, on division.

The Senate adjourned until Thursday, November 7, 2002 at 1:30 p.m.