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57 Elizabeth II, A.D. 2008, Canada

Journals of the Senate

2nd Session, 39th Parliament


Issue 35

Tuesday, February 26, 2008
2:00 p.m.

The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, Speaker


The Members convened were:

The Honourable Senators

Adams, Andreychuk, Angus, Bacon, Baker, Banks, Brown, Bryden, Callbeck, Campbell, Chaput, Charette-Poulin, Cochrane, Comeau, Cook, Cools, Corbin, Cordy, Cowan, Dallaire, Day, De Bané, Di Nino, Downe, Dyck, Eggleton, Fairbairn, Fox, Fraser, Gill, Grafstein, Gustafson, Harb, Hervieux-Payette, Hubley, Jaffer, Johnson, Joyal, Kenny, Keon, Kinsella, Lapointe, LeBreton, Mahovlich, Massicotte, McCoy, Meighen, Mercer, Merchant, Milne, Mitchell, Moore, Munson, Murray, Nancy Ruth, Nolin, Oliver, Pépin, Peterson, Phalen, Poy, Prud'homme, Ringuette, Robichaud, Rompkey, St. Germain, Segal, Sibbeston, Smith, Spivak, Stollery, Stratton, Tardif, Tkachuk, Trenholme Counsell, Watt, Zimmer

The Members in attendance to business were:

The Honourable Senators

Adams, Andreychuk, Angus, Bacon, Baker, Banks, Brown, Bryden, Callbeck, Campbell, Chaput, Charette-Poulin, Cochrane, Comeau, Cook, Cools, Corbin, Cordy, Cowan, Dallaire, Day, De Bané, Di Nino, Downe, Dyck, Eggleton, Fairbairn, *Fortier, Fox, Fraser, Gill, Grafstein, Gustafson, Harb, Hervieux-Payette, Hubley, Jaffer, Johnson, Joyal, Kenny, Keon, Kinsella, Lapointe, LeBreton, Mahovlich, Massicotte, McCoy, Meighen, Mercer, Merchant, Milne, Mitchell, Moore, Munson, Murray, Nancy Ruth, Nolin, Oliver, Pépin, Peterson, Phalen, Poy, Prud'homme, Ringuette, Robichaud, Rompkey, St. Germain, Segal, Sibbeston, Smith, Spivak, Stollery, Stratton, Tardif, Tkachuk, Trenholme Counsell, Watt, Zimmer

PRAYERS

SENATORS' STATEMENTS

Some Honourable Senators made statements.

DAILY ROUTINE OF BUSINESS

Tabling of Documents

The Honourable Senator Comeau tabled the following:

Document entitled: The National Child Benefit — Progress Report 2005.—Sessional Paper No. 2/39-448.

Presentation of Reports from Standing or Special Committees

The Honourable Senator Keon, Deputy Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, tabled its seventh report entitled: Population Health Policy: International Perspectives.—Sessional Paper No. 2/39-449S.

The Honourable Senator Keon moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Andreychuk, that the report be placed on the Orders of the Day for consideration at the next sitting.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

The Honourable Senator Keon, Deputy Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, tabled its eighth report entitled: Maternal Health and Early Childhood Development in Cuba.—Sessional Paper No. 2/39-450S.

The Honourable Senator Keon moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Andreychuk, that the report be placed on the Orders of the Day for consideration at the next sitting.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

Introduction and First Reading of Government Bills

A message was brought from the House of Commons with a Bill C-37, An Act to amend the Citizenship Act, to which it desires the concurrence of the Senate.

The bill was read the first time.

The Honourable Senator Comeau moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Di Nino, that the bill be placed on the Orders of the Day for a second reading two days hence.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

A message was brought from the House of Commons with a Bill C-44, An Act to amend the Agricultural Marketing Programs Act, to which it desires the concurrence of the Senate.

The bill was read the first time.

With leave of the Senate,

The Honourable Senator Comeau moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Di Nino, that the bill be placed on the Orders of the Day for a second reading at the next sitting.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

Introduction and First Reading of Senate Public Bills

The Honourable Senator Banks presented a Bill S-229, An Act to amend the Constitution Act, 1867 (Property qualifications of Senators).

The bill was read the first time.

The Honourable Senator Banks moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Corbin, that the bill be placed on the Orders of the Day for a second reading two days hence.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

The Honourable Senator Milne presented a Bill S-230, An Act to amend the Excise Tax Act (zero-rating of supply of cut fresh fruit).

The bill was read the first time.

The Honourable Senator Milne moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Pépin, that the bill be placed on the Orders of the Day for a second reading two days hence.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

Tabling of Reports from Inter-Parliamentary Delegations

The Honourable Senator Grafstein tabled the following:

Report of the Canadian Delegation of the Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group, respecting its participation at the 62nd Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Legislative Conference, held in Traverse City, Michigan, from August 26 to 29, 2007.—Sessional Paper No. 2/39-451.

Report of the Canadian Delegation of the Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group, respecting its participation at the Canadian/American Border Trade Alliance Conference and Congressional Meetings, held in Washington, D.C., United States, from September 9 to 12, 2007.—Sessional Paper No. 2/39-452.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Bills

Second reading of Bill C-42, An Act to amend the Museums Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.

The Honourable Senator Di Nino moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Gustafson, that the bill be read the second time.

After debate,

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

The bill was then read the second time.

The Honourable Senator Di Nino moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Nolin, that the bill be referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

Second reading of Bill C-40, An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code, the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act, the Canada Student Loans Act and the Public Service Employment Act.

The Honourable Senator Segal moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Johnson, that the bill be read the second time.

After debate,

The Honourable Senator Callbeck moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Day, that further debate on the motion be adjourned until the next sitting.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

Motions

Order No. 1 was called and postponed until the next sitting.

OTHER BUSINESS

Senate Public Bills

The Order was called for resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Moore, seconded by the Honourable Senator Banks, for the second reading of Bill S-224, An Act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act (vacancies).

SPEAKER'S RULING

Honourable Senators, on Thursday, February 14, 2008, Senator Comeau raised a point of order with respect to proceedings on Bill S-224, An Act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act (vacancies). He argued that, by imposing a time constraint on the Prime Minister to give advice to the Governor General, the bill would affect the prerogative powers of the Crown and therefore requires Royal Consent.

The issue of the Royal Consent has been raised on a number occasions in the Senate in the recent past.

As noted by Marleau and Montpetit in House of Commons Procedure in Practice at page 643:

Royal Consent . . . is taken from British practices and is part of the unwritten rules and customs of the House of Commons of Canada. Any legislation that affects the prerogatives, hereditary revenues, property or interests of the Crown requires Royal Consent, that is, the consent of the Governor General in his or her capacity as representative of the Sovereign.

In the UK, Royal Consent is signified in both Houses at some point before third reading. The Consent is usually given whether the government approves of a bill or not. In Canada, practice as to when the Royal Consent is given has not been the same. In the past, here in Canada, it has been signified in only one House.

The central issue in the current point of order is whether Bill S-224 requires the Royal Consent. Clause one contains the proposal that has led to the issue being raised. The clause stipulates that a Prime Minister would have to give advice to the Governor General to fill a Senate vacancy within 180 days of its occurrence. The only element of the Senate appointment process affected by the bill would be the time allowed to the Prime Minister to give advice to the Governor General. Nothing else would change. Whether this is a desirable change is for Parliament to decide. All that must be noted here is that the bill in no way affects the powers of the Governor General with respect to actually making Senate appointments. Simply put, no prerogative powers would be affected by the bill, and the Royal Consent is not required.

As a final issue, I would like to address when a point of order can be raised. This was a matter on which clarification was requested on February 14, in light of an earlier Ruling. I wish to make it clear that there is no obligation that a point of order be raised at the earliest opportunity, although that is always preferable. A point of order—that is to say a complaint or question raised by a Senator who believes that the rules, practices, or customary procedures of the Senate have been incorrectly applied or overlooked—can be raised at any point during debate.

In the Ruling of February 14 on the motion for a Message, I had sought to describe the process followed to that point: proper notice had been given, the motion was correctly moved, and debate had started. The point of order had, as I understood it, questioned the content of the motion. I wish to be clear that the timing for raising the point of order was not an issue. Instead, based on the content and plain language of the motion, the Chair found that there was nothing defective about the motion itself, and so there was no point of order.

In conclusion, the objection raised with respect to Bill S-224, that it requires Royal Consent, is not well founded, and debate can continue.

The Senate resumed debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Moore, seconded by the Honourable Senator Banks, for the second reading of Bill S-224, An Act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act (vacancies).

The Honourable Senator Comeau moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Andreychuk, that the debate on the motion be adjourned until the next sitting.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

Orders No. 2 to 4 were called and postponed until the next sitting.

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Grafstein, seconded by the Honourable Senator Callbeck, for the second reading of Bill S-210, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (suicide bombings).

After debate,

The Honourable Senator Tkachuk, for the Honourable Senator Prud'homme, P.C., moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Stratton, that further debate on the motion be adjourned until the next sitting.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted, on division.

Second reading of Bill S-227, An Act to amend the National Capital Act (establishment and protection of Gatineau Park).

The Honourable Senator Spivak moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator McCoy, that the bill be read the second time.

After debate,

The Honourable Senator Tkachuk moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Brown, that further debate on the motion be adjourned until the next sitting.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

Orders No. 7 to 18 were called and postponed until the next sitting.

Second reading of Bill S-222, An Act to establish and maintain a national registry of medical devices.

The Honourable Senator Harb moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Adams, that the bill be read the second time.

After debate,

The Honourable Senator Comeau, for the Honourable Senator Keon, moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Tkachuk, that further debate on the motion be adjourned until the next sitting.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

Order No. 20 was called and postponed until the next sitting.

Commons Public Bills

Order No. 1 was called and postponed until the next sitting.

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Eggleton, P.C., seconded by the Honourable Senator Fox, P.C., for the second reading of Bill C-287, An Act respecting a National Peacekeepers' Day.

After debate,

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

The bill was then read the second time.

The Honourable Senator Eggleton, P.C. moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Peterson, that the bill be referred to the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

Orders No. 3 and 4 were called and postponed until the next sitting.

Second reading of Bill C-299, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (identification information obtained by fraud or false pretence).

The Honourable Senator Comeau moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Di Nino, that the bill be read the second time.

After debate,

The Honourable Senator Comeau moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Oliver, that further debate on the motion be adjourned until the next sitting.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

Order No. 6 was called and postponed until the next sitting.

Reports of Committees

Consideration of the second report of the Standing Committee on Conflict of Interest for Senators, (budget—mandate pursuant to rule 86(1)(t)—power to hire staff), presented in the Senate on February 13, 2008.

The Honourable Senator Joyal, P.C., moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Corbin, that the report be adopted.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Keon, seconded by the Honourable Senator Segal, for the adoption of the second report of the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament (amendments to the Rules of the Senate—reinstatement of bills from the previous session of the same Parliament), presented in the Senate on November 20, 2007.

After debate,

The Honourable Senator Cools moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Dyck, that further debate on the motion be adjourned until the next sitting.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Keon, seconded by the Honourable Senator Eyton, for the adoption of the third report of the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament (amendments to the Rules of the Senate—questions of privilege and points of order), presented in the Senate on November 20, 2007.

After debate,

The Honourable Senator Tardif moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Fraser, that further debate on the motion be adjourned until the next sitting.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

Other

Orders No. 3, 69 (motions), 11 (inquiry) and 80 (motion) were called and postponed until the next sitting.

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Oliver seconded by the Honourable Senator Di Nino:

That the Senate take note of the important contribution of black Canadians to the settlement, growth and development of Canada, the diversity of the black community in Canada and its importance to the history of this country, and recognize February as Black History Month.

After debate,

The Honourable Senator Tkachuk moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Johnson, that further debate on the motion be adjourned until the next sitting.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

Orders No. 4, 8 (inquiries), 79, 4, 78 (motions), 10 (inquiry), 62, 76 (motions), 9, 3 (inquiries), 5 (motion), 7 (inquiry), 6, 11 (motions) and 6 (inquiry) were called and postponed until the next sitting.

MOTIONS

The Honourable Senator Joyal, P.C., moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Pépin:

That this House urge the Government to reconsider its decision not to appeal the death sentence of Ronald Smith, a Canadian citizen, who is on death row in a prison in Montana, and seek from the American authorities a commutation to life imprisonment; and

That the Government abides by the basic principle of the sanctity of life and commit itself to supporting, at all international forums, the abolition of the death penalty in the full knowledge that this country abolished capital punishment more than 30 years ago.

After debate,

The Honourable Senator Joyal, P.C., moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Robichaud, P.C., that further debate on the motion be adjourned until the next sitting.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

The Honourable Senator Fraser moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Rompkey, P.C.:

That, pursuant to rule 131(2), the Senate request a complete and detailed response from the Government to the fifth report of the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, adopted by the Senate on February 12, 2008, with the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada being identified as Minister responsible for responding to the report.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

The Honourable Senator Banks moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Day:

That, notwithstanding the Order of the Senate adopted on December 12, 2007, the date for the presentation of the final report by the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources on the review of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (1999, c. 33) pursuant to Section 343(1) of the said Act be extended from February 29, 2008 to March 31, 2008.

After debate,

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.


Ordered, That Order No. 4 under ORDERS OF THE DAY, OTHER BUSINESS, Senate Public Bills, be again called.

Second reading of Bill S-228, An Act to amend the Canadian Wheat Board Act (board of directors).

The Honourable Senator Mitchell moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Hubley, that the bill be read the second time.

After debate,

The Honourable Senator Brown moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Gustafson, that further debate on the motion be adjourned until the next sitting.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

REPORTS DEPOSITED WITH THE CLERK OF THE SENATE PURSUANT TO RULE 28(2):

Notice of opinion concerning Regulations Amending the Public Agents Firearms Regulations (SOR/2005-240 and SOR/2006-258), Regulations Amending the Gun Shows Regulations (SOR/2005-241 and SOR/2006-292) and Regulations Amending the Firearms Marking Regulations (SOR/2005-242 and SOR/2007-266), pursuant to the Firearms Act, S.C. 1995, c. 39, sbs. 119(4).—Sessional Paper No. 2/39-436.

List of Commissions issued for the year 2007, pursuant to the Public Officers Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. P-31, s. 4.Sessional Paper No. 2/39-437.

Summary of the Amendments to the 2005-2009 Corporate Plan, the 2005 Operating Budget and the 2005 Capital Budget, pursuant to the Financial Administration Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. F-11, sbs. 125(4).—Sessional Paper No. 2/39-438.

Summaries of the Operating and Capital Budgets for 2006 of the Canadian Tourism Commission, pursuant to the Financial Administration Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. F-11, sbs. 125(4).—Sessional Paper No. 2/39-439.

Summaries of the Operating and Capital Budgets for 2007 of the Canadian Tourism Commission, pursuant to the Financial Administration Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. F-11, sbs. 125(4).Sessional Paper No. 2/39-440.

Report on the administration and operation of the Canada Health Act for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2007, pursuant to the Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-6, s. 23.Sessional Paper No. 2/39-441.

Report on the operations under the Canada Water Act for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2003, pursuant to the Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-11, s. 38.Sessional Paper No. 2/39-442.

Report on the operations under the Canada Water Act for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2004, pursuant to the Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-11, s. 38.Sessional Paper No. 2/39-443.

Report on the operations under the Canada Water Act for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2005, pursuant to the Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-11, s. 38.Sessional Paper No. 2/39-444.

Report on the operations under the Canada Water Act for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2006, pursuant to the Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-11, s. 38.Sessional Paper No. 2/39-445.

Report on the administration and enforcement of the Motor Vehicle Fuel Consumption Standards Act for the year 2007, pursuant to the Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. M-9, s. 38.Sessional Paper No. 2/39-446.

Federal-Provincial Implementation Agreement with the Province of Quebec, pursuant to the Farm Income Protection Act, S.C. 1991, c. 22, sbs. 6(1).—Sessional Paper No. 2/39-447.

ADJOURNMENT

The Honourable Senator Comeau moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Nolin:

That the Senate do now adjourn.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

(Accordingly, at 5:17 p.m. the Senate was continued until 1:30 p.m. tomorrow.)


Changes in Membership of Committees Pursuant to Rule 85(4)

Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry

The names of the Honourable Senators Adams and Sibbeston substituted for those of the Honourable Senators Callbeck and Baker (February 14).

The names of the Honourable Senators Callbeck and Baker substituted for those of the Honourable Senators Adams and Sibbeston (February 25).

Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament

The name of the Honourable Senator Adams substituted for that of the Honourable Senator Fraser (February 14).

The name of the Honourable Senator Fraser substituted for that of the Honourable Senator Adams (February 25).

Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs

The names of the Honourable Senators Campbell, Cowan, De Bané and Chaput substituted for those of the Honourable Senators Watt, Fox, Joyal and Carstairs (February 15).

The name of the Honourable Senator Ringuette substituted for that of the Honourable Senator Chaput (February 21).

The names of the Honourable Senators Watt, Joyal, Fox and Carstairs substituted for those of the Honourable Senators Ringuette, De Bané, Cowan and Campbell (February 25).

Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence

The name of the Honourable Senator Nolin substituted for that of the Honourable Senator Tkachuk (February 19).

The names of the Honourable Senators Tkachuk, Nolin and Segal substituted for those of the Honourable Senators Nolin, Meighen and Nancy Ruth (February 25).

The name of the Honourable Senator Nancy Ruth substituted for that of the Honourable Senator Segal (February 26).

Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages

The name of the Honourable Senator Keon substituted for that of the Honourable Senator Champagne (February 25).

The name of the Honourable Senator Champagne substituted for that of the Honourable Senator Keon (February 26).

Standing Senate Committee on National Finance

The name of the Honourable Senator Tkachuk substituted for that of the Honourable Senator Stratton (February 25).