The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I should like to draw your
attention to the presence in our gallery today of a very distinguished
group.That group is a delegation from the Parliament of Finland, led by Speaker
Uosukainen. The delegation is accompanied by His Excellency, the Ambassador.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, two House of Commons pages
have been selected to participate in the exchange program that we began last
year. They are here with the Senate for the week of October 28 to November 1,
and have taken their places at the back of the Senate on this occasion.
Christopher Gray, from Sidney, British Columbia, is enrolled in the Faculty
of Social Sciences at the University of Ottawa, majoring in political science.
Kathleen Jackson is pursuing her academic career at the University of Ottawa
in the Faculty of Social Sciences with a major in political science. Kathleen is
a native of Simcoe, Ontario.
I welcome these two pages from the House of Commons. I hope that they will
enjoy their week with us.
Hon. Erminie J. Cohen: Honourable senators, for the first time in its
history, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada launched a
four-week national public awareness program on menopause during the month of
October entitled "Menopause - Let's Talk About It!" It culminates this
week of October 28, which has been proclaimed National Menopause Awareness Week.
Health care partners in this initiative, which is a first in North America, are
the Osteoporosis Society of Canada, the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the
Canadian Pharmaceutical Association.
Throughout the month of October, the four-week program focuses on health
promotion, disease prevention, quality of life beyond the fifties and, through a
public education campaign of cross-country dialogues and fora, allows women and
men to look at menopause issues together with their caregivers.
Author David Foot, in his best seller, Boom, Bust and Echo, in
reference to baby boomers warns:
...get ready to be inundated by a flood of articles about health issues
related to ageing. Prostate problems, already mentioned, will be big news -
menopause, which affects the entire female population, will be even bigger.
Honourable senators, by the year 2000, 4 million Canadian women will enter or
experience menopause. The impact on our health care system will be staggering.
Women - baby boomers in particular - will be demanding more information and more
focus on them as they struggle with this major transition period in their lives
that, in varying degrees, affects their physical and emotional well-being.
Public information is needed in specific areas of concern; in particular,
lifestyle changes, hormones and cancer, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis,
so that all Canadians have the opportunity to exercise informed choices and
learn to distinguish between fact and fiction.
Political recognition of menopause as a fast growing public health issue is
crucial and will translate into increased health care demands and costs.
Therefore, on Thursday, October 31, my colleague Senator Lise Bacon and I will
host a breakfast in the Parliamentary Dining Room for members of this chamber
and the other place to highlight this anticipated burden on a thinning budget
and to encourage government and Canadian society to enter into meaningful
dialogue about key health care issues. The presentation on Thursday is entitled:
"Menopause: Issues Expected to Dominate Canada's Future Health Care
Agenda." Please join us and let us talk about it.
Hon. P. Derek Lewis: Honourable senators, I have the honour to table in
both official languages the third report of the Standing Joint Committee of the
Senate and the House of Commons for the Scrutiny of Regulations, which deals
with Public Lands Mineral Regulations, C.R.C., c.1325.
Referral of Constitutional Issues
to Supreme Court of Canada-Government Position
Hon. John Lynch-Staunton (Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators,
I should like to ask the Leader of the Government in the Senate if the three
constitutional questions that pertain directly to Quebec have been referred to
the Supreme Court of Canada, as announced by the Minister of Justice on
Hon. Joyce Fairbairn (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators,
I cannot answer that question. However, I will obtain a reply for the honourable
Position of Prime Minister on
Quebec's Place in Confederation-Government Position
Hon. Gerry St. Germain: Honourable senators, my question is directed to
the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Today, I read with interest the
Liberal Party briefing note in regard to its criticisms of the Reform Party. The
briefing note encourages Liberals to say that the Reform Party is pitting one
region against the other, pitting the rich against the poor, pitting anglophone
against francophone. It goes on to state that that is not a plan for unity but a
reckless recipe for chaos, and that the Reform Party has exploited the conflict
and divisions of this country for their own political purposes, rather than
working to bring Canadians together.
I am forced to agree with all of that. However, we are most likely witnessing
here the best case in Canadian political history of the pot calling the kettle
black. Unless my memory fails me, I believe it was the current Prime Minister
who exploited this issue for his own political purposes during his leadership
race for the Liberal Party when he joined the likes of Clyde Wells in 1990 to
speak out against the concept of Quebec as a distinct society.
In 1986 Mr. Chrétien held the same opinion that is now held by Mr. Manning
with regard to the recognition of Quebec as a distinct society. In fact, it was
only when the country was on the brink of collapse, almost a year ago to this
day, that Mr. Chrétien embraced the concept.
Does the Leader of the Government in the Senate agree that Mr. Chrétien's
concept of Quebec as a distinct society has changed since he first spoke out
against it in 1986? Will she also concede that Mr. Manning and Mr. Chrétien
once stood together in opposition to the Meech Lake Accord and, in particular,
to the distinct society clause?
Hon. Joyce Fairbairn (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators,
my honourable friend will know that Mr. Chrétien has always been one of the
strongest supporters of the special nature of Quebec within Confederation. He
had differences of opinion with others regarding the Meech Lake Accord.
With regard to the relationship between the views of Mr. Chrétien and Mr.
Manning, Mr. Chrétien has spent a lifetime trying to keep this country together
with Quebec as an equal and strong part of Canada. This is something he will
continue to do during his mandate as Prime Minister, and for as long as he is in
Mr. Manning's party has fluctuated on some of its national unity views over
Senator Lynch-Staunton: What about the Liberals?
Senator Fairbairn: Our party takes exception to the views of the
Reform Party of Canada, not only on this issue, but on many others, including
its total about-face on its fiscal policy, its social policy or whatever policy
one could name.
Senator Lynch-Staunton: Let us talk about Liberal policy.
Senator Fairbairn: We watch the progress of the Reform Party with
great interest. We are also taking the opportunity to try to explain it as best
we can to other Canadians, including ourselves.
Senator St. Germain: Honourable senators, the minister has talked
about fluctuations. The present government has fluctuated greatly on NAFTA, the
GST and other issues. If fluctuation is a pastime, then the Liberal Party has
excelled at it in the last three years.
I was at the Liberal convention in 1990.
Senator Doody: Shame!
Senator St. Germain: I was there as an observer for my party.
Some Hon. Senators: Oh, oh!
Senator Graham: Did you learn anything?
Senator St. Germain: I actually saw the hugging session that took
place between Mr. Chrétien and Mr. Wells when he was being congratulated for
killing the Meech Lake accord, something which, unfortunately, he did
Does the government have a plan to deal with the unity issue over and above
its reference of the questions to the Supreme Court of Canada? If there is a
plan, can she explain to us in a nutshell what they are doing besides
criticizing the Reform Party, although that party should be criticized, and
criticized aggressively for the position it has taken against a united Canada?
Is there a plan in place and, if so, would the Leader of the Government explain
it to us?
Senator Fairbairn: Honourable senators, my greatest sadness is that my
honourable friend was not an observer at our recent convention.
Senator Lynch-Staunton: Once bitten, twice shy!
Senator Fairbairn: He would have been more than welcome. Indeed, a
number of people from the Reform Party were observers at our convention.
Senator Lynch-Staunton: They will go anywhere.
Senator Fairbairn: We are keeping an eye on Senator St. Germain. I
carry a blank membership card in my pocket in the idle hope that he might see
the light and want to sign up.
The honourable senator asked me to explain our national unity plan in a
nutshell, apart from the reference to the Supreme Court of Canada. I regret that
he was not at the convention because a summary of our program was given by the
Prime Minister himself, not once but twice, as well as the frequent speeches and
comments by Stéphane Dion, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.
It would take me a long time to outline all the things we are doing on the
national unity front. The one thing that was very clear at our meeting over the
weekend was the absolutely fundamental desire on the part of the Prime Minister,
and the thousands who attended, that this country stay united, with Quebec
playing a pivotal role in the unity of this nation. We are ensuring this in a
number of ways, some of which have been passed in this chamber as a result of
commitments made in the referendum. The Prime Minister has expressed his
intention to move ahead at the appropriate time towards entrenchment -
Senator Lynch-Staunton: When is the appropriate time?
Senator Fairbairn: - of the legislation or the resolutions that have
passed through Parliament in the last year.
In the meantime, a great many other things - practical, everyday things - are
being done by this government in collaboration with the provinces - including
the Province of Quebec - to help renew this federation and to make it work more
efficiently, more directly and more effectively for Canadians in every province.
I will not burden the house with a lengthy dissertation on exactly what those
Senator Berntson: Please do.
Senator Lynch-Staunton: We want to know what they are.
Senator Fairbairn: You know many of them: labour markets, labour
market training, mining and forestry.
Senator Lynch-Staunton: Clyde Wells and Elijah Harper want to know
what they are. Can you not be more specific?
Senator Fairbairn: I would be pleased to be more specific. However, I
do not think that Question Period is the time to do it.
Senator Lynch-Staunton: To give answers? You are correct.
Senator Fairbairn: I would be prepared to stand here for half an hour
and give an answer, but to respond to Senator St. Germain's question, the
federal government is not waiting for the "big conference" to set
forward a saving strategy for Canada. It is doing just that every single day,
and providing good government and fair government and renegotiated processes in
the areas in which provinces can handle the responsibilities better than the
federal government can. We are working with the provinces and with the people of
Canada to keep this country together every day of the week.
Hon. Pierre Claude Nolin: You did not answer Senator St. Germain's
question. If we compare statements made by the Prime Minister at the time of the
Meech Lake Accord and the wonderful resolution you adopted on the weekend, there
is definitely a big difference.
So I will put to you again the question asked by Senator St. Germain: What
caused this late conversion, the conversion of Jean Chrétien, the Prime
Minister of Canada?
Senator Fairbairn: Honourable senators, I thank Senator Nolin for his
comment. He was at the Liberal convention on the weekend, so he was able to get
the flavour of the deliberations there.
Senator Nolin: I was watching.
Senator Fairbairn: I am sure, if he listened carefully to the Prime
Minister's speech, that he must have picked up the message that was given.
It was very evident in that room that there has been considerable movement in
this country, outside Quebec and off Parliament Hill, towards flexibility and
accommodation on some of these difficult constitutional issues. The Liberal
Party is aware of that. The Liberal Party is working towards that accommodation.
The Prime Minister of Canada is certainly leading the way in trying to reach the
kind of accommodation that will have our country working together, not just on
the basis of two or three words but on the basis of the value to be found in
every part of this country, and the value of Quebec to every part of this
Role of the Prime Minister in
Defeat of Meech Lake Accord-Government Position
Hon. Pierre Claude Nolin: You know we are not fooled by your rhetoric. It
is getting late. Quebecers can see through your conversion. There were people at
your convention who personally killed Meech Lake, members of your party who
today are members of the House of Commons.
This late conversion to recognizing the unique and distinct character of
Quebec has astonished some people. The motivation you showed on the weekend for
supporting this motion unanimously was, in my opinion, more a matter of playing
to the voters than of looking for long-term solutions to preserve the unity of
our country. You had to be there to see this chorus of praise for Quebec's
distinct society, which must be protected. But where was Mr. Chrétien in the
years that preceded the defeat of Meech Lake?
Senator Hervieux-Payette: In the private sector.
Senator Nolin: Sure, working behind the scenes with Canadians who were
supposed to be defending Canadian unity. Today they tell us that Mr. Chrétien
wants to rally Canadians around the cause of Canadian unity. That is completely
untrue, and you know it. This is just a lot of electioneering. You were opposed
to Meech Lake. It is too late now. Quebecers want more today. It is too late. It
is your fault. It is too late today for you to say: "Let us rally around
Many Quebecers looked forward to the day when this accord would be adopted. I
can see here people who personally worked to get it adopted and others who
worked to make it fail.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, what is the question?
Senator Nolin: Could you tell us whether your Prime Minister's change
of heart is not just electioneering?
Hon. Joyce Fairbairn (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators,
I am happy to place my rhetoric side by side with that of my honourable friend
any day of the week. He is giving us a message today in this chamber that it is
too late for Canada. We respond, through our Prime Minister and our party: Not
at all! This is the time for every Canadian and every Quebecer to feel at home
and welcome in this country. We are developing the kind of atmosphere and the
kind of meaningful policies that will make the everyday life of Quebecers,
Albertans and Newfoundlanders, as the Prime Minister has said, the most
productive in the best country in the world.
Senator Berntson: You are saying that the last referendum was too
Senator Fairbairn: My friend's rhetoric - and I do not believe he
means it for a minute - tells us that it is too late for Canada. I say that,
going into the twenty-first century, we are probably in the best position that
we have ever been in, in decades, to lead this country forward: strong, united
Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!
Senator Nolin: It is too late to support the "distinct
society." Quebecers want more now. It is too late now. What you passed as a
resolution on the weekend was already contained in the Meech Lake Accord 10
years ago. Quebecers want more than that now, and it is your fault. That is what
Senator Fairbairn: Honourable senators, my honourable friend said
earlier, with reference to the Meech Lake Accord or some other part of his
rhetoric, that "you had to be there." Well, we were all there. That
was not the be all and end all for Canadian unity in this Confederation; not at
Senator St. Germain: It sure would have helped.
Senator Fairbairn: When my friend says it is too late, I do not know
for whom he is speaking. I should like to know if the people of Quebec believe
it is too late to continue to be a strong part of this country -
Senator Berntson: You guys, you invented plan B.
Senator Fairbairn: - and to have this country embrace their
distinctiveness, as Canadians across this country, month by month, week by week,
are coming to understand better. I do not believe that we need to be as
pessimistic and as fundamentally negative as is my honourable friend when he is
talking about the future of the country. I do not believe that Quebec is well
represented by negativism.
Senator Lynch-Staunton: Where were you one year ago?
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I should like to remind
both sides of the house that we are in Question Period and not in debate.
Establishment of Canadian Race
Relations Foundation-government Position
Hon. Donald H. Oliver: Last week, Heritage Canada was presented with a
report entitled: "Strategic evaluation of Multicultural Programs."
That report condemns the government's approach to multiculturalism. The minister
in charge is quoted as having said:
...most Canadians are misinformed about multiculturalism and the blame for
that falls squarely on the government.... In the past we have not done a good
enough job in getting the message out and our policy is not clearly enunciated
and I agree.
I also agree. However, the question is: What will the government do? Will the
government continue to pander to the racists in Canada and lie low regarding
multiculturalism, or will it take a strong, forceful stand and, at least as a
beginning, establish and fund the Canadian Race Relations Foundation?
Hon. Joyce Fairbairn (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators,
I am pleased to be able to tell my honourable friend that today my colleague
Hedy Fry announced in Toronto the formation of the Race Relations Foundation.
She also announced the government's renewed mandate for multiculturalism.
The Race Relations Foundation will be headquartered in Toronto. It will have
a $24-million initial budget. Part of that will be to fulfil the commitment to
Japanese Canadians. There is a 15-member blue-ribbon board. I shall be delighted
to send to the honourable senator the list of names that was released by the
minister this morning.
Canadian Race Relations
Foundation-Request for Particulars of Board Members Appointed
Hon. Donald H. Oliver: Would the minister have with her the names of the
membership of the board, and would she read them into the record so we may know
who they are? Does the honourable senator know any other specific actions that
the Government of Canada will undertake to outline their policies?
Hon. Joyce Fairbairn (Leader of the Government): If my honourable
friend wishes, I can read the names of the board members.
Senator Oliver: Yes, please.
Senator Fairbairn: The chairman of the Race Relations Foundation is a
good friend of ours, and I think of yours, the Honourable Lincoln M. Alexander.
Senator Doody: Good choice.
Senator Kinsella: Good appointment.
Senator Fairbairn: The executive director is Moy C. Tam, from Ottawa.
Members are Neil W. Baker, from Toronto; Nicole Beaudoin, from Laval, Quebec;
Anne D. Enge, from Yellowknife; Yvon Fontaine, from Moncton, New Brunswick;
Peggy J. Johnson from St. John's, Newfoundland; Andrew J. Hladyshevsky, from
Edmonton, Alberta; Myer Horowitz, from Edmonton, Alberta; Pana Merchant from
Regina, Saskatchewan; Arthur K. Miki, from Winnipeg, Manitoba; Maria Morellato,
from Vancouver, British Columbia; Fo Niemi, from Montreal, Quebec; Subhas
Ramcharan, from Tecumseh, Ontario; Carolyn G. Thomas, from Dartmouth, Nova
Scotia; Sandra Wilking, from Burnaby, British Columbia; and Frank Joseph Zakem,
from Charlottetown, Prince Edward island.
Route for Offshore Natural Gas
Pipeline from Nova Scotia-Preference of Prime Minister-Government Position
Hon. J. Michael Forrestall: Honourable senators, does the Leader of the
Government in the Senate believe that it is the intention of the government to
endorse a Quebec route for offshore natural gas from Nova Scotia, as opposed to
the most direct route, through the New England states?
Although the National Energy Board would seem to be at arm's length as an
organization, the board must be under some pressure to make a certain decision,
having heard the Prime Minister's preference publicly indicated three times. The
Prime Minister is the one to whom they are beholden for their appointments.
We in Nova Scotia are somewhat edgy. We are feeling somewhat vulnerable, as
you can well understand, because hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake.
Indeed, the funding of the project is not on the most solid ground because of
these statements and the confusion caused by them. This is not what developers
had intended, or for which they did their financial planning.
Could the honourable senator tell us whether the Prime Minister has an agenda
in the back of his mind? Is it his agenda to do for Quebec those things that in
his judgment might be considered fair but will, at the same time, dislocate the
feelings of the people in Atlantic Canada? Perhaps the leader could shed some
light on that situation.
Hon. Joyce Fairbairn (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators,
I will take my honourable friend's question as notice and look at it in detail.
I should also like to review what the Prime Minister has actually said on the
matter. These decisions in the energy field are traditionally guided by the
regulatory bodies and by the market.
My honourable friend is suggesting that there is a purely political linkage
in this issue. I suggest to him that I do not believe that would have been in
the Prime Minister's mind. Certainly, the Prime Minister would not wish to
dislocate the stability for the people of Nova Scotia or anywhere else in
Hon. J. Michael Forrestall: Honourable senators, perhaps I could put it
to the minister this way: Is the National Energy Board an independent body?
Hon. Joyce Fairbairn (Leader of the Government): Yes.
Senator Forrestall: It is an independent body. Can the Leader of the
Government in the Senate then give us the assurance that that board will act in
that capacity and not be persuaded by the thrice-uttered preferences of the
Prime Minister of Canada, who appoints that board?
Senator Fairbairn: The National Energy Board, wherever it is operating
in Canada - and it certainly operates constantly in my area of Canada - is an
independent regulatory board.
Changes to School System-Amendment
to Term 17 of Constitution-Timing of Vote in Senate-Government Position
Hon. Noël A. Kinsella: Honourable senators, my question is to the Leader
of the Government in the Senate. Honourable senators will recall that in the
latter part of June, as we were about to recess for the summer, the government
was highly motivated to deal with the resolution relative to Term 17 of the
Terms of Union of Newfoundland and Labrador. There was agreement in the chamber
that the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs would be
seized with the matter and, under the able leadership of the Chair, Senator
Carstairs, senators gave up their early summer vacation time and dealt with the
matter. The agreement was that the report should be in no later than July 17,
and that deadline was met by the committee.
I would point out to the Leader of the Government in the Senate that we have
been dealing with this matter now for over three months. Some senators are
concerned that the matter might not come to a vote in this chamber.
Some Hon. Senators: Shame!
Senator Kinsella: Therefore, I should like to ask the Leader of the
Government in the Senate: Is it the intent of your government not to have this
matter come to a vote in the Senate?
Hon. Joyce Fairbairn (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators,
my honourable friend is absolutely right in reviewing the progress of this very
important issue, which has profound implications for the province that brought
it forward. There are, as he knows, diverse views within this chamber on both
sides of the house.
Senator Lynch-Staunton: There were in the House of Commons, too.
Senator Fairbairn: Indeed, as Senator Lynch-Staunton says, there were
in the other place as well. We have a number of senators on this side who are
still very interested in expressing their views in debate.
Senator Berntson: How many are you putting up today?
Senator Fairbairn: We will certainly want to hear from them.
Senator Lynch-Staunton: But will the government listen?
Senator Fairbairn: When all the debate is proceeded with, the house
will reach a conclusion.
Senator Kinsella: I have a supplementary question. Given the fact that
a day in the early part of December is the day beyond which any decision taken
by this chamber would be irrelevant, my question is: Will the government
undertake to ensure that honourable senators, exercising a free vote as the
members of the other place were able to do, will be able to vote on this matter
before the end of November?
Senator Fairbairn: Honourable senators, I am very well aware - we are
all well aware - of when the deadline is for our constitutional
responsibilities. It would certainly be our intention to meet those
responsibilities within that deadline.
Route for Offshore Natural Gas
Pipeline from Nova Scotia-Influence of Prime Minister on National Energy Board
Hon. Gerald J. Comeau: I should like to return to the question raised by
my colleague Senator Forrestall regarding the Sable Island gas pipeline project.
The Prime Minister has, on a number of occasions, indicated publicly his
preference for the Quebec route. Needless to say, I am quite sure that members
of the National Energy Board have received a message from the Prime Minister
indicating his preference.
I should like to ask the minister: What is the difference between the action
of the Prime Minister in indicating publicly his preference for the Quebec route
versus the maritime route and the action of the Honourable David Collenette, who
had to resign his seat because he had sent a letter of inquiry to an appointed
Why is the Prime Minister not accepting the ethics guidelines that he has
imposed on others? In other words, he is setting the limbo pole much higher for
himself by having publicly endorsed a project that would see the gas pipeline go
through Quebec rather than in accordance with the maritime project. If the Prime
Minister made public his secret code of ethics, would he himself not be in worse
violation of that code than his own former Minister of Defence, David
Hon. Joyce Fairbairn (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators,
in reply to the honourable senator, I will repeat what I said to Senator
Forrestall: I will certainly inform myself of precisely what it is that the
Prime Minister has said, and I will review both questions now.
My honourable friend is raising a serious question, and I will take it
seriously. However, I would underline the fact that, obviously, no decision has
yet been made on this matter. The National Energy Board operates as an
independent regulatory board, and -
Senator Lynch-Staunton: Sure. So does the CRTC.
Senator Fairbairn: - I will certainly follow up on my friend's
question, as I will Senator Forrestall's.
Senator Comeau: Honourable senators, as a supplementary question, I
wish to point out to the minister that the National Energy Board members are
appointed by the Prime Minister and his ministers. Therefore, obviously, these
people would be very much aware that, in order to keep their careers on the
National Energy Board alive, it might be better if they did what the Prime
Minister bid them to do. I am not suggesting at all that they will, but,
obviously, they know who appoints them at the end of the day.
It might have been wiser for the Prime Minister to have kept his views
private until such time as the National Energy Board itself had the opportunity
to look at this important decision which, if it goes wrong, might create the
kinds of problems that we have now between Newfoundland and Quebec with regard
to Churchill Falls. The Prime Minister, who chose not to interfere in the
Churchill Falls problem, has placed himself in a situation that could backfire
on him, and on Atlantic Canadians.
Senator Fairbairn: Honourable senators, I will carefully look at the
record and, after having done so, will attempt to find a response for my
I think that everyone in this house has great respect for the integrity of
those who serve on the National Energy Board. I would not want anything that is
said here today to imply that we in the Senate do not, and I do not think there
has been any impugning of the integrity of that board at all. However, I want to
make the point that they do have a strong record of judgment in a very important
area of jurisdiction to all regions of this country. I think that all of us
would respect that judgment.
Discrepancy between Pre-Election
Promises and The Main Estimates-Government Position
Hon. Roch Bolduc: Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of
the Government in the Senate. You probably know that the government spends some
$5 billion, if I am not mistaken, on professional services. In the Red Book-not
just any red book, not Mao's red book, - the Liberals promised to cut this
spending by $600 million. However, the public accounts released last week show
that spending, far from being cut by $600 million, actually increased by $163
million. Could the Leader of the Government tell us what is going on? Why did
the government not fulfil its promise?
Senator Simard: Another broken promise!
Hon. Joyce Fairbairn (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators,
I will need to look at that issue, and advise you later.
Senator Bolduc: Like the Mayor of Drummondville, we would like to know
what is going on when it goes up that way when it is supposed to come down. We
cannot make heads or tails of this.
Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable
senators, I have a response to a question raised in the Senate on October 1,
1996, by the Honourable Senator Lynch-Staunton, regarding a referral to the
Supreme Court of Canada - recent statements by the Minister of Justice; and a
response to a question raised in the Senate on October 3, 1996, by the
Honourable Senator Lynch-Staunton regarding a referral to the Supreme Court of
Canada - efficacy of government action.
Referral to Supreme Court of
Canada-Recent Statements by Minister of Justice-Government Position
(Response to question raised by Hon. John Lynch-Staunton on October 1, 1996)
The federal government is not putting into question the right of Quebecers to
decide their future. On the contrary, the government has long acknowledged that
there could be no question of holding Quebecers against their will, clearly
expressed in a referendum on a clear question, with the consequences explicit
and known to all.
The government is proceeding with a reference to the Supreme Court of Canada
to establish a framework of legal certainty and common understanding within
which to address the important issues confronting it.
Such a framework in no way calls into question the democratic right of
Quebecers to express themselves regarding their future. Nor does it consign
Quebecers to a constitutional straight-jacket or prison.
What it does mean is that any change to the existing constitutional order
must occur in an orderly fashion, through a process that is consistent with
Canadian laws, traditions and values and that is respectful of the rights and
interests of all.
Referral to Supreme Court of
Canada-Efficacy of Government Action
(Response to question raised by Hon. John Lynch-Staunton on October 3, 1996)
A reference is a procedure by which the federal government refers legal or
factual questions it considers important to the Supreme Court of Canada for the
Court to hear and consider. The Court issues an advisory opinion in the form of
a judgment. As a legal pronouncement from the highest court in the land, it has
always been treated as binding.
At this stage in the process, the government will not speculate on the
reactions of the Quebec government to an eventual opinion of the Supreme Court
The federal government has an obligation to all Canadians to provide social,
economic and legal stability nation-wide. This obligation requires the federal
government to seek legal clarification for all Canadians regarding some
fundamental issues surrounding Quebec's possible secession well in advance of
any further referendum.
Judicial clarification is especially necessary in light of the position that
the Quebec government has taken in the Bertrand litigation - where it has
effectively stated that it believes that Quebec can secede unilaterally from
Canada and that the courts and the rule of law play no role in any possible
secession. By so doing, Quebec has merely added to the uncertainty surrounding
Bill to Amend-Third Reading-Motion
in Amendment-Debate Continued
On the Order:
Resuming the debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Bryden, seconded
by the Honourable Senator Stollery, for the third reading of Bill C-42, to amend
the Judges Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act;
And on the motion in amendment of the Honourable Senator Nolin, seconded by
the Honourable Senator Doody, that the Bill be not now read the third time but
that it be amended:
(a) in clause 4 on page 3:
(i) by replacing line 13 with the following:
approval of the Council.,
(ii) by replacing line 15 with the following:
granted pursuant to subsection (1), the chief, and
(iii) by deleting lines 23 to 31; and
(b) in clause 5, by replacing lines 11 to 45 on page 4 and lines 1 to
35 on page 5 with the following:
56.1 (1) A judge on leave of absence granted pursuant to subsection
54(1) may, with the approval of the Council granted pursuant to subsection (2),
perform judicial or quasi-judicial duties for an international organization of
states or an institution of such an organization and may receive in respect
thereof reasonable moving or transportation expenses and reasonable travel and
other expenses from the Government of Canada.
(2) Where a judge requests a leave of absence pursuant to subsection 54(1) to
perform judicial or quasi-judicial duties for an international organization of
states or an institution of such an organization, the Council may, at the
request of the Minister of Justice of Canada, approve the undertaking of the
Hon. Sharon Carstairs: Honourable senators, I rise to speak on the
amendment to Bill C-42, a bill to amend the Judges Act, proposed by Senator
Nolin. In so doing, I hope to persuade honourable senators, particularly my
friends opposite, that Senator Nolin's amendment should be defeated and the bill
be given third reading.
If I understand the motion in amendment correctly, it proposes that Bill C-42
be amended in two respects. First, it would amend clause 4 by transferring to
the Canadian Judicial Council the authority that the Governor in Council now has
to approve leaves of absence of over six months for judges. Second, it would
amend the proposed provisions regarding participation by Canadian judges in
international activities, essentially narrowing those provisions to situations
where Canadian judges are allowed to perform judicial or quasi-judicial duties
for an international organization or one of its institutions with salaries and
expenses continuing to be paid by the Government of Canada.
Honourable senators, the first amendment contained in the motion before us is
unacceptable for a very simple reason: It would place in the hands of the
Canadian Judicial Council the decision as to whether or not a particular judge
could be spared from ordinary judicial duties for a period in excess of six
months. Such a decision can have significant implications for the ability of a
court to perform its work. Honourable senators know that in many jurisdictions
in Canada the courts are struggling with significant problems of backlog and
delay. Judges and provincial governments have made great strides in addressing
these problems, whether they be in criminal or civil litigation, but the balance
between the number of judges available to sit and the number of cases that must
be dealt with is a delicate one.
I would argue that it is essential that the Government of Canada have the
ability to make the final decision as to whether a judge should be given a long
leave of absence. It is the federal government that appoints and pays the
superior court judges. The federal government should therefore have a say in
deciding how those judges are to be used.
Honourable senators, I recognize and respect the concerns of those who have
proposed this amendment. The issue of judicial dependence is an extremely
important one. Every effort must be made to limit the areas in which government
discretion can be exercised through ways that can benefit or, indeed, penalize
judges. It is for that very reason that clause 4 of Bill C-42 has been proposed
by the Minister of Justice. Its intended effect is to transfer from the
government to chief justices the authority to approve leaves of absence of up to
six months. Such leaves will allow the judiciary to deal with matters such as
illness, maternity and parental leave, in which the government, quite frankly,
should have no involvement. However, for leaves of over six months, the issue of
the appropriate use of scarce judicial resources cannot be left to the judiciary
alone without compromising the government's ability to account to taxpayers for
how the judicial salary budget is used.
Honourable senators, that brings me to the second amendment contained in the
motion before us, the amendment to clause 5 of the bill. I believe this
amendment crystallizes the main issue with which the Standing Senate Committee
on Legal and Constitutional Affairs has been grappling over the last few weeks.
The issue is whether Canadian judges can, and should, be used for a variety of
purposes, including non-judicial purposes, outside Canada.
Before commenting further on the amendment proposed by the Honourable Senator
Nolin, let me remind honourable senators of the reasons the government proposed
the amendments contained in clause 5, and what their effect would be.
The impetus for bringing forward clause 5 of Bill C-42 at this time was, as
honourable senators know, the decision in late February by the United Nations
Security Council that Madam Justice Arbour of the Ontario Court of Appeal should
succeed Judge Richard Goldstone of the Constitutional Court of South Africa as
prosecutor of the International Tribunal on War Crimes for the former Yugoslavia
and Rwanda. Madam Justice Arbour's name had been recommended to the
Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, and by the
outgoing chief prosecutor, Justice Goldstone. The government sees the choice of
a Canadian judge as an honour for Canada, and one that has imposed on it, if
possible, a duty to implement.
As was made clear in testimony by departmental officials before the Standing
Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, the requirement of the UN
that the prosecutor be paid directly by the United Nations and not by a member
state created the need for an amendment to the Judges Act. For example, I should
like to tell honourable senators that UN staff regulation 1.6 provides that
"No staff member shall accept remuneration from any government."
The Judges Act at present does not contemplate leave without pay for Canadian
judges, although as Professor Arthurs of Osgoode Hall Law School pointed out to
the committee, there is at least one precedent from the early 1960s of a judge
being given leave without pay. Mr. Justice Wilson served in Cyprus under a UN
mandate from 1962 to 1964. Nor does the act appear to allow a Canadian judge to
accept salary or expenses from any source other than the Government of Canada or
Because of the significant implications for judicial independence of
authorizing a Canadian judge to be given leave without pay and to work for the
United Nations, the Minister of Justice consulted the Canadian Judicial Council
in March of this year. He proposed to them two alternatives: either specific
legislative authority for Madam Justice Arbour to accept the position on the
United Nations' terms, or a general amendment that, subject to certain strict
conditions, would allow future appointments with international organizations of
states to be undertaken by Canadian judges with salary and expenses to be paid
by the international organization. The Canadian Judicial Council responded by
saying it preferred the general amendment.
Honourable senators, clause 5 of the bill would create a new section, 56.1,
subsections (2) and (6) of which would allow a judge to be granted leave without
pay to work for an international organization of states, or an institution
thereof, and to accept a salary from that body. However, let us be very clear
what the limitations are to these new, proposed provisions. First, the judge
would need to request this leave without pay. There is no way that a judge's
salary could be stopped except at the judge's request. I emphasize this point
because of the concerns raised by some senators about the effect of the
amendment of the constitutional requirement that Parliament fix and provide
Second, a leave without pay can only be granted to a judge for the purpose of
working for an international organization of states or an institution thereof.
This covers such bodies as the United Nations, UNESCO, and La Francophonie. It
does not include IBM, as some have hinted, nor would it include a single
Third, authorization to take leave without pay to work within an
international organization requires the approval of the Government of Canada.
This guarantees that no judge will be allowed to work for an international
organization or institution in circumstances that would conflict with Canada's
Fourth, the minister would be required in each case, before the Governor in
Council is asked to approve the leave without pay, to consult the chair of the
Canadian Judicial Council. This requirement is included in the bill precisely
because the government feels that the judiciary must be consulted on a decision
which could have implications for the public perception of judges, or for
I suggest to honourable senators that this requirement for consultation
provides substantial protection against misuse of the provision. In particular,
I think it answers those who have suggested that judges will somehow be tempted
to begin lobbying the government for international appointments.
Fifth, the resource implications of allowing judges to work for international
organizations could be considered by the government and by the Canadian Judicial
Council in each and every case. I suggest that such resource implications would,
in fact, not be great for two reasons: Use of this provision will be extremely
rare simply because the opportunities with organizations such as the United
Nations will be very few, and the ability to have the judge's salary and
expenses paid directly by the international organization will allow a Canadian
government to appoint, if necessary, a replacement judge.
Honourable senators, the provisions I have just described relate to leave
without pay to work for international organizations. The other purposes of
clause 5 are to clarify the basis on which Canadian judges can undertake
international activity and to allow expenses to be paid by an international
The new provision would provide express authority for participation in
international activities, especially in the area of technical assistance. It
would apply whether or not a leave of absence was required. With respect to
expenses, proposed subsection (1) would allow judges who undertook such
activities to be paid their expenses by the Government of Canada or by an
international organization. I emphasize that, in the latter case, the expenses
would have to derive from an international organization or an institution
thereof and not from a foreign government, a multinational company or an
individual. This would allow Canada to save money. In my view, there is
absolutely nothing in this provision that could possibly impact on the
independence of a Canadian judge who would be performing these international
activities with the approval of his or her chief justice and the Government of
During the hearings on this bill, the Legal and Constitutional Affairs
Committee heard concerns expressed about the breadth of the term
"international activities" and about the possibility that many judges
would be permitted to engage in such activities to the resulting detriment to
the Canadian court system. Honourable senators, it may be that the committee
should monitor the application of this proposed new provision, calling the
Minister of Justice and the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs before it
in a year or two to discuss the use of Canadian judges abroad. Meanwhile,
however, in the absence of any proposal to clarify the term used, I suggest that
clause 5 is quite acceptable and is an improvement on the existing act.
Honourable senators, the Judges Act is at present unclear with respect to the
ability of Canadian judges to participate in international activities. One
purpose of the proposed amendments is to clarify just that. The wording of the
act, and the precedents for its application, suggest that there is a very broad
range of activities which judges can be authorized to participate in on behalf
of the Government of Canada. There is, however, nothing specifically said about
activities conducted outside Canada.
It would be desirable, in my view, to clarify the provisions of the
legislation insofar as international activities are concerned. It is important
to recognize that judges are capable of performing duties abroad in the present
terms of the Judges Act, so long as they do so with the approval of the
Government of Canada and are paid only by the Government of Canada. For example,
it is under the authority of existing provisions that Madam Justice Arbour is
currently serving as chief prosecutor, pursuant to an Order in Council. The
problem is that the federal government must continue to pay her salary and
expenses, even though the United Nations does not want that to be - in fact, it
is contrary to their own rules that that be so. This situation that Madam
Justice Arbour finds herself in is legal but certainly not ideal, particularly
from the point of view of the United Nations.
Let me now turn to the effect I believe Senator Nolin's amendment would have
on clause 5 of the bill. As I read it, the whole of clause 5 would be replaced
by two simple provisions. Those two provisions, in essence, would provide
authority for Canadian judges to begin leaves of absence of over six months to
perform only judicial or quasi-judicial duties for an international organization
or an institution thereof. The judge in question would continue to be paid
salary and expenses under the Judges Act and could not be paid by the
international organization. The approval of the Governor in Council would be
contingent upon a request by the Canadian Judicial Council.
In short, the motion would gut the proposed section 56.1 almost in its
entirety. A judge could not participate in international activities at the
expense of international organizations. A judge could not be authorized to work
for and be paid by an international organization. There would be no
clarification of the basis for which a judge could participate in international
activities and technical legal assistance programs.
I suggest that the proposed amendment could have the effect of limiting the
scope of the existing provisions of the Judges Act so that Canadian judges would
be precluded from participating in any international activities, including work
for an international organization where the work is not strictly of a judicial
or quasi-judicial nature. I say that because the act does not lend itself to
clear interpretations. The addition of a specific authority for judges to serve
abroad only to perform judicial or quasi-judicial functions could be interpreted
as preventing participation in other kinds of functions in the international
arena, even though they are now allowed to do so by the act.
Such an interpretation would rule out the participation by Canadian judges in
most technical assistance programs where the judges do not judge but teach or
help to establish new court systems. Such an outcome, I believe, would hold
Canada up to ridicule among civilized nations, all of whom are doing their
utmost to lend whatever resources they can spare, including judges, to help
develop democracy and build key constitutional institutions, such as an
Honourable senators, the motion before us would make it impossible for Madam
Justice Arbour to continue as the chief prosecutor for two reasons. It would do
so by restricting Canadian judges who work for international organizations to
performing judicial or quasi-judicial functions. The role of chief prosecutor
goes well beyond this. The motion would also prevent the United Nations from
paying her directly as chief prosecutor, which is important because of the
principle that the prosecutor must be independent of member states, including
Honourable senators, I believe the debate over this bill has boiled down to
the issue posed by the second amendment in Senator Nolin's motion. The question
is: Is it appropriate for a serving Canadian judge to undertake -
The Hon. the Speaker: I hesitate to interrupt the Honourable Senator
Carstairs, but her allotted time of 15 minutes has expired.
Honourable senators, is leave granted to allow the honourable senator time to
finish her remarks?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
Senator Carstairs: I thank honourable senators.
The question is: Is it appropriate for a serving Canadian judge to undertake
non-judicial activities abroad while remaining a Canadian judge? The issues of
whether leave without pay can be granted or what specific kinds of organizations
can engage our judges have, in my view, now become secondary. I would suggest
that the answer to that question lies in the heart of each and every senator.
Canada has an obligation as one of the most secure, democratic and privileged
countries in the world to share its resources with other less fortunate
countries. It also has an obligation to support international efforts to bring
order to the world and to end genocide and war crimes.
If a Canadian judge has the ability to help, and can be spared for a time to
do so, why should Canada not agree to lend him or her? What purpose is served by
limiting the type of function that can be performed in the international field
to a judicial one? The test should be whether the work done abroad will impair
the judge's ability to return to performing judicial functions in Canada. That
test should not hinge on whether or not the judge's international functions are
Honourable senators, it is a reality of the world's geopolitical situation,
following the collapse of communism and the bipolar superpower bloc system, that
Canada and the other industrialized democracies will be called upon increasingly
to assist in the strengthening of the legal and judicial systems of a number of
developing countries, such as South Africa, the People's Republic of China,
Russia and Ukraine. The judiciary is in a position to be of particular help in
this regard. This bill is particularly apropros as Canadian judges volunteer
quite often during their vacation periods to give of their time to help Canada
fulfil its obligations internationally. I suggest it is a moral responsibility.
If Bill C-42 is not perfect, it is certainly preferable to both the status
quo and, with the greatest respect, Senator Nolin's amendments. The bill
represents a major legislative improvement in what is Parliament's first
encounter with a complex issue. I am heartened by the close attention to issues
of judicial independence that has been paid by honourable senators on both sides
during consideration of this bill. That attention is quite appropriate. The bill
has been approved and is supported by the Canadian Judicial Council.
Not only does it not pose a threat to judicial independence, in fact, it
provides added protections against interference with judicial independence.
Hon. Pierre Claude Nolin: Honourable senators, Senator Carstairs has
referred to two fundamental documents: The rules of the UN and the Constitution
of this country. How do we resolve the conflict between section 100 of our
Constitution, which states that only the Parliament of Canada can fix and pay
the salary of judges and pay the allowances, and the rule of the UN? How do we
resolve that conflict?
Senator Carstairs: I think we do it exactly by passing the bill in its
present form. If a judge is to serve outside Canada, then the salary and
benefits of that judge should be set by the international obligation. Section
100 of the Canada Act says that we must set the salaries of Canadian judges.
However, that individual has gone on an unpaid leave of absence, and is now
working for and paid by the United Nations. Therefore, that individual is not
under an obligation in the same way as he or she would have been prior to
leaving to take up that appointment.
Section 100 of the Canadian Charter says clearly that judges' salaries and
benefits are paid. However, they are not paid in perpetuity. They are paid while
that individual is serving as a Canadian judge, and while that judge is not on
an unpaid leave of absence. In the case of Justice Arbour, she would go on an
unpaid leave of absence, and her salary would be picked up by the United
Senator Nolin: Are you telling us that the intent of section 100 is to
permit part-time judges?
Senator Carstairs: As Senator Nolin knows, we already have, in
essence, part-time judges. They are called supernumerary judges. That is
considered, by most in the legal field to whom I have spoken, to be perfectly
Senator Nolin: When I say "part-time," I mean having two
jobs. Supernumerary judges only have one job. Instead of working full time,
their workload is reduced.
If I understand you correctly, you suggest that the intent of the
Constitution was to say, "We will have judges who will have two jobs."
Is that your reading of the Constitution of this country?
Senator Carstairs: No, because while a judge is serving on an
international organization he is not, at one and the same time, serving as a
Canadian judge. He is still a Canadian judge on an unpaid leave of absence, but
he is not serving as a Canadian judge while he is on that unpaid leave of
Hon. Anne C. Cools: Honourable senators, I am heartened that some
defence of the bill is finally being offered within this chamber, because the
silence has been deafening.
If Madam Arbour is on an unpaid leave of absence, perhaps Senator Carstairs
could explain to us proposed section 56.1(7) in Bill C-42.
Senator Carstairs: I do not have proposed section before me at this
moment, so I cannot answer that, but let me answer the first part of your
question. You say that there has been no defence of this bill. In the
introduction of this bill in this chamber, Senator Bryden clearly outlined the
strengths of this piece of legislation. We then heard from very eloquent
speakers such as Senator Andreychuk, Senator Nolin and yourself, who raised
concerns about the bill. Those concerns were certainly discussed and debated in
the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee. We had witnesses who clearly
thought this was a good bill, and we had some other witnesses who clearly did
not think it was a good bill. That is not unusual - at least not in my
experience on that committee. That is what we should hear from both sides of any
Senator Cools: If I could put my question again to Senator Carstairs,
proposed section 56.1(7) may be called a deeming clause. Basically, it says that
if the judge who is on an unpaid leave of absence happens to meet misfortune and
die, he will be deemed to have been on the salary of the Canadian government for
the period of the time away. Perhaps we could have an explanation concerning
Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, I am prepared to discuss this
with Senator Cools outside the chamber. I do not have the bill before me, and I
will not go into a detailed explanation at this time.
Senator Cools: I have another question: Either a judge is on leave
without pay or she is not. However, you cannot pass a law that says that a judge
is on leave without pay and then, within the same law, insert another clause
that says that the judge is then deemed to have been in receipt of remuneration.
That is another issue.
The United Nations has many rules. They have, in some aspects, many
expectations that do not meet local national governments' standards, wishes, or
internal sovereignty. We are looking here at Canadian sovereignty and the locus
of Canadian sovereignty in relation to public policy on the issue of the
judiciary and Canadian judicial independence.
The United Nations has often asked Canada to change its internal policy
regarding how it funds the military. There are persons at the United Nations who
would like to see the Government of Canada fund the military in a different way.
However, the Canadian government has taken no steps to alter the internal
financing and funding of the Canadian military to meet any UN requests. Why,
then, is it that, in this particular instance, the judiciary, the Government of
Canada, and in particular the Department of Justice, are so willing, ready and
able to oblige the UN when we have resisted them on so many other issues?
Senator Carstairs: First, Canada's record in support of the United
Nations has been quite remarkable. In terms of both our funding obligations to
the United Nations and our participatory obligations to the United Nations, I
think Canada has led the world. I do not think anyone questions that.
Do we question some of the activities in which the United Nations engages? Of
course we do. As a member state, that is our right. It is our responsibility to
do exactly that. However, if an international tribunal is to have any
credibility, the members of that tribunal must not only be independent but also
appear to be independent. If they are having their salary paid by a member state
and not by the international organization itself, then it is questionable to
other member states whether they are truly independent.
Senator Cools: I think Senator Carstairs misunderstood my question.
The point I was trying to make is that Canada's record is unimpeachable in terms
of certain UN support. It is so unimpeachable that we need not bring it forward
in rhetorical affirmations. The issue before us is very serious and extremely
The question I put was that, because Canada has stringent ways of funding its
military in terms of estimates, votes, Parliament, et cetera, there have been
many occasions when the UN has wanted Canada to loosen up the way in which it
funds its military, and Canada has not given in. Therefore, if Canada can resist
UN seduction in certain ways, such as in protection of Canada's own political
systems and political sovereignty, why are we not doing so in this instance by
protecting Canada's own judiciary? In other words: What are the different
circumstances that apply in this particular case but do not apply in other cases
of foreign policy?
Hon. A. Raynell Andreychuk: Honourable senators, Senator Carstairs has
said that the constitutional section is not violated because the judge would not
be receiving a salary and that, therefore, the leave is complete because the
judge then assumes a totally different capacity, leaving his or her capacity as
a judge at home to be resumed upon return. Certainly that is the way one thinks
of leave without pay. However, when one considers that the perks of office
follow the judge - as I understand would happen under the bill without the
amendment - for purposes of pension and other benefits, does it not weaken the
honourable senator's argument? Is Canada not in fact paying some aspects of a
judge's wages, although not the direct salary?
Senator Carstairs: Senator Andreychuk, we have an obligation to our
judges to ensure that their pension benefits, their health care benefits, are
continued when we have agreed that they should participate in international
service. That is why it has been maintained in that particular section of the
Senator Andreychuk: The honourable senator's argument was that it is
acceptable for a judge to leave Canada to go and work in the UN service. She
claimed that the UN wants to remain pure, that it does not want to be paid by a
sovereign state. How is it that one portion of the wages is acceptable to be
paid and not another?
I am not arguing whether it is in the best interests of the judge to have
those perks follow; I believe it is. However, the honourable senator's argument
was that the UN will have none of it and that that makes it acceptable and in
line with the Constitution. My point is that either we pay or we do not pay, if
the honourable senator's argument is to remain strong. If we do not pay, then,
yes, the judge leaves all of his or her capacities in Canada, has nothing to do
with the Canadian system, carries on in a pure system with the UN and then comes
back. However, if you leave all the entrails of employment, like pension and
other benefits, you have muddied the principle that the honourable senator is
trying to uphold. Is that not correct?
Senator Carstairs: Senator Andreychuk makes a very good point. I would
have to examine it in more detail.
Senator Andreychuk: I have a question on the interpretation of the
terms "judicial" and "quasi-judicial." If I understand
correctly, the honourable senator believes that Senator Nolin's amendment is too
restrictive. I happen to be one who agrees that judges should help in the
establishment of good governance and democracy. I happen to believe that judges
also should be involved in providing technical assistance in setting up other
courts and other judiciaries. That is why I support Senator Nolin's amendment;
it says "judicial" and "quasi-judicial." My interpretation
of "judicial" is not qualified to just mean sitting on the bench. It
includes all of the trappings that come with a court and with a judgeship.
Surely, judicial education is part of what we believe to be judicial, as well as
the activities of sitting on the bench.
It seems to me that Senator Nolin's amendment supports the kind of activity
that I think is appropriate and necessary for judges. Surely the line we would
draw is, if there is someone else to take on the assignment, why would we want
our judges to do it? If we have capable people as prosecutors, legalists,
economists, human rights advocates, these people should be encouraged to get
involved. Why get into the whole field of judicial independence? Only judges are
capable, competent and necessary in the fields of judicial and quasi-judicial
In other words, I think the use of Canadian judges to help in Ukraine to set
up an independent court is acceptable. However, I certainly do not think our
judges should act as human rights activists carrying on dialogues with other
I leave the question of whether prosecuting can be interpreted as
quasi-judicial to the judicial council. In those delicate fields that are grey,
surely we should turn to the judicial council. They can say, "If we want to
stretch the definition, then let us stretch it." Why does the honourable
senator believe that the definition of "judicial" is so narrowly
interpreted? I have not run into that definition.
I would also want an undertaking that the UN does not have anyone on its
payroll, nor has ever had anyone on its payroll, paid by a sovereign state and
that in fact secondments do occur. It is an ideal that the international civil
servant should conduct matters unfettered by concepts from the sovereign state.
However, is it a reality in today's United Nations? My own feeling is that it is
not, so why are we being asked to be purists in this case when the UN itself is
Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, let me answer the last
question first. The staff regulations are clear. They cannot accept such pay. I
am not and do not pretend to be an expert on the United Nations. However, I do
know that the staff regulations clearly state that the staff cannot receive
remuneration from anyone other than the international organization.
Senator Andreychuk: Honourable senators, is the honourable senator
saying that there are no examples of secondment where the salary continues to be
paid by the state? Is she saying that in no instance is anyone's salary paid
through the government and then reimbursed to the government? In other words,
are there no innovative bookkeeping experiences existing within the UN today?
Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, I do not have that knowledge.
All I can do is quote from the staff regulation, which states that no staff
member shall accept remuneration from any government. If there are violations of
that regulation, I do not know of any. I am not an authority on the United
Nations and cannot address that question, other than to tell the honourable
senator what the staff regulation says.
Senator Andreychuk: Honourable senators, I am not saying that the
United Nations is in violation. The honourable senator has pointed out the
regulations for international civil servants. They have been argued and debated
and put into the form of a handbook for international civil servants. However,
this does not encompass the host of employees of the UN. Senator Kinsella is
pointing out rapporteurs in the human rights field. I am personally acquainted
with that situation and they are not international civil servants in the full
sense of that word. There are other instances of people in the UN who are being
paid in different ways from the one pointed out by the honourable senator. Am I
correct or incorrect in my understanding?
Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, my understanding only extends
to the section I have quoted to you. In terms of the honourable senator's
question with respect to quasi-judicial and judicial functions, we can agree to
disagree. I think Senator Nolin's definition is too narrow. I think it should be
Hon. Noël A. Kinsella: Could we ask that this document on staff
rules, which has been referred to several times, be tabled so that we can
examine it? I, like Senator Andreychuk, believe that its provisions do not apply
to appointees to the United Nations, such as special rapporteurs, special
commissioners of inquiry, et cetera. Rather it is a staff regulation that
applies to international civil servants, the permanent employees of the United
Nations. By definition, in this instance, we are dealing with an ad hoc
appointment. At any rate, if we could see the document, it would be helpful.
Senator Carstairs: I will try to get the full regulation for the
Hon. Eymard G. Corbin: Honourable senators on a point of order, my
understanding was that we extended time to the Honourable Senator Carstairs to
allow her to conclude her remarks. I do not recall that time was extended or
that time is automatically extended to allow honourable senators, following the
conclusion of a speech, to enter into a question period. I find the questions
interesting, but that is beside the point. The new rules were supposed to take
care of abuse of situations involving the allotted time for debate in the Senate
and other purposes.
I should like a ruling as to whether we extended the speaking time for
Senator Carstairs or whether we allowed for unlimited questions and answers. I
would like to get a clear picture of where we are at this precise moment.
Hon. Noël A. Kinsella: Honourable senators, leave was granted to
extend the time provided for the debate that we are engaged in, led this
afternoon by Senator Carstairs. His Honour asked senators whether we agreed to
extend the time and unanimous consent was given and the time was extended. There
is no identified end point, other than the general provision that is found in
the rules, which tells us what happens when the clock reaches 1800 hours.
Senator Corbin: That is your interpretation.
Senator Kinsella: Honourable senators, the honourable senator and I
are disagreeing. He has raised a point of order and so argued. I am arguing the
contrary. I do not think the honourable senator's interpretation of the rules is
The point I raise for His Honour to consider in making the ruling for which
Senator Corbin has asked, is that when unanimous consent is given, unanimous
consent has been given.
Senator Corbin: Honourable senators, one would obviously have to be
mischievous to interpret a request to be allotted extra time to conclude Senator
Carstairs' speech as an open licence to enter into an endless question and
answer period. That makes no sense at all. I think it is mischievous. I should
like a clear ruling on it.
Senator Kinsella: Honourable senators, to counter that argument, this
is probably one of the better debates we have had in the past number of days.
This has been a good and helpful exchange. We have learned a number of new
things about this bill that we are examining as a result of debate, followed by
a series of questions and answers between the speaker, Senator Carstairs, and
various honourable senators. We learned, for example, about the personnel
If anything is mischievous, honourable senators, it is this attempt to quash
Hon. Anne C. Cools: Senator Carstairs indicated to all of us she
wanted extended time. Time was given. I was one who agreed. The Senate has not
acted to counter or correct that leave that was granted. Senator Carstairs' time
is still running, the extension is still going, and it is Senator Corbin who is
frustrating the Senate's will.
Senator Corbin: That is a totally inept interpretation of what I said,
to say the least.
Senator Lynch-Staunton: Mischievous!
Senator Corbin: Senator Kinsella has reiterated what I said. I said
that this was an interesting exchange, but that that was beside the point. I
asked for a ruling on whether or not an extension of time to a senator who has
the floor and who requests additional time to conclude her speech, can
automatically be transformed into a question and answer period for an indefinite
Honourable senators know that questions can go on until six, or tomorrow, or
until eight this evening, if we so decide. To suggest that I am somehow trying
to limit debate, is totally unfair. That is not my purpose. I want this
situation to be clarified. If the Speaker is in the hands of this house on this
matter, I suggest that it be referred to the Standing Committee on Privileges,
Standing Rules and Orders.
Senator Lynch-Staunton: Where were you during the GST debate?
Senator Corbin: That is exactly why the rules were reformed, to
prevent excesses of this kind.
Senator Lynch-Staunton: To bring order, not to be guided by you.
Senator Corbin: Rather than speaking from your seat, why do you not
stand up and make your contribution to the point of order?
Hon. Eric A. Berntson (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable
senators, in the absence of any citation so far on this point of order, I would
refer you to rule 37(4) which reads:
(4) Except as provided in sections (2) and (3) above, no Senator shall speak
for more than fifteen minutes, inclusive of any question or comments from other
Senators which the Senator may permit in the course of his or her remarks.
What we have asked for, Your Honour, is the extension of the allotted
speaking time of Senator Carstairs. Senator Carstairs spoke for a period and
asked for leave to extend her speaking time, which includes questions or
comments following the conclusion of her speech. Leave was granted.
There is nothing to say that that is now limited to five minutes, two
minutes, three questions, four questions, seven questions or midnight, although
there is another rule that deals with six o'clock.
Honourable senators I think any fair-minded person looking at rule 37(4) on
page 39 of our rules will quickly come to the conclusion that Senator Corbin is
The Hon. the Speaker: Are there any other senators who wish to speak
to the point of order?
Honourable senators, I refer to rule 37(4). The matter is out of my hands.
Honourable senators agreed to give leave. Rule 37(4) clearly allows a speaker an
extension of 15 minutes inclusive of any questions. The questions are part of
the 15 minutes. Once leave is given, I cannot control the matter.
The Senate might consider what it is doing when granting leave.
Senator Lynch-Staunton: We knew full well. It was Senator Carstairs
who asked for leave. Do not blame us.
The Hon. the Speaker: I might make the point, however, that the rule
refers to questions, not speeches. If honourable senators would limit themselves
to questions then, in that regard, I can exercise some leeway. Too often the
questions in this place are becoming speeches. Let us have questions and
Senator Kinsella: With the greatest respect for His Honour -
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable Senator Kinsella, the Speaker is
standing. Could you tell me what points you are discussing? The ruling has been
made. We are now on questions to Senator Carstairs.
Senator Bosa: Honourable senators, I should like to make an
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable Senator Bosa.
Senator Bosa: When leave is asked, we should extend the courtesy to
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable Senator Bosa, what point are you
Senator Bosa: On the question of giving leave when somebody speaks.
The Hon. the Speaker: I am sorry, the ruling has been given. The
matter before the Senate now is questions to Senator Carstairs.
Senator Bosa: When will these points be raised again?
The Hon. the Speaker: You can rise on a point of order.
Senator Cools: Honourable senators, before I go to my question, I
think we should thank Senator Carstairs for answering the questions so far.
The Hon. the Speaker: Your question, please.
Senator Cools: Very well. I was thanking her. I think she has been
doing her best.
My question is as follows: Bill C-42 gives chief judges of Canada an enhanced
role in the business of international activity. In the appointment to the UN War
Crimes Tribunal of Madam Justice Arbour, what was the opinion of Madam Justice
Arbour's then chief justice, and who secured that opinion from him?
Senator Carstairs: Senator Cools, I cannot answer that question. I do
not talk to chief judges. I make it a habit not to do so.
Hon. P. Derek Lewis: Honourable senators, I should like to make a
comment with reference to rule 37(4). I notice that it says that time for
speaking is 15 minutes inclusive of any questions.
Senator Lynch-Staunton: Out of order.
The Hon. the Speaker: I am sorry, Senator Lewis, but you are out of
Changes to School System-Amendment
to Term 17 of Constitution-Report of Committee-Motion in Amendment-Debate
On the Order:
Resuming the debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Rompkey, P.C.
seconded by the Honourable Senator De Bané, P.C., for the adoption of the
thirteenth report of the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional
Affairs (respecting Term 17 of the Terms of Union of Newfoundland with Canada
set out in the Schedule to the Newfoundland Act), deposited with the Clerk
of the Senate on July 17, 1996.
And on the motion in amendment of the Honourable Senator Doody, seconded by
the Honourable Senator Kinsella, that the Report be not now adopted but that it
be amended by deleting the words "without amendment, but with a dissenting
opinion" and substituting therefor the following:
with the following amendment:
Delete the words in paragraph (b) of Term 17 that precede subparagraph
(i) and substitute therefor the words: "where numbers warrant,"
Hon. Landon Pearson: Honourable senators, as one of the members of the
Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs who travelled to
Saint John's to hear what the citizens of Newfoundland and Labrador had to say
about amending Term 17, it is my turn today to share my observations with this
I have listened to each of the previous speakers with considerable attention
and a growing awareness that we are as unlikely to come to an agreement on the
resolution to amend Term 17 as the witnesses we heard in St. John's. I regret
this because I am personally convinced that, for the sake of the children who
are the future of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Senate should no longer delay
the passage of this resolution. Perhaps what I say will be able to advance the
Each senator has brought a different perspective to bear on the
constitutional issues raised by the resolution, and each perspective has its own
validity. Yet, somehow, I feel something is missing. In my view, what has been
missing are the students.
I fully respect, of course, the importance of historical precedents,
constitutional processes and minority rights, but in the end, it is the children
and young people of Newfoundland and Labrador whose education and prospects will
be most affected by the resolution we are discussing, so it is on their behalf
that I should like to speak.
Everyone recognizes that there have been serious problems with education in
Newfoundland and Labrador, problems that have been well documented and described
in detail in the Williams Commission report. The challenge for that province is
to improve the life chances of every student within its jurisdiction with its
limited resources. How can it ensure greater equity between children from
Christian and non-Christian families? Is it possible to guarantee that
francophone children will have the same opportunities for a sound education in
their own language as anglophone children? How can the spiritual life of
aboriginal children be better protected within the province's educational
system? How can children who are disabled be placed on a level playing field
with the able-bodied? How can children living in poverty be accorded the same
opportunities as those who live in greater comfort?
I believe very strongly that when schools are supported by the public purse,
as they are in Newfoundland and Labrador, then equity becomes a major issue. Can
this issue be properly addressed within the current Term 17? The provincial
government does not believe it can. It believes that all children in the
province must be guaranteed the right to an education that will enhance their
potential while respecting their differences - such an education as is described
by Articles 28 and 29 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the
Article 29 of this important document, to which the government in
Newfoundland has given its assent, recognizes the right of the child to an
education directed to:
(a) The development of the child's personality, talents and mental and
physical abilities to their fullest potential;
(b) The development of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and
for the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations;
(c) The development of respect for the child's parents, his or her own
cultural identity, language and values, for the national values of the country
in which the child is living, the country from which he or she may originate,
and for civilizations different from his or her own;
(d) The preparation of the child for responsible life in a free society, in
the spirit of understanding, peace, tolerance, equality of sexes, and friendship
among all peoples, ethnic, national and religious groups and persons of
(e) The development of respect for the national environment.
When I went to St. John's last July, I was not at all sure why a
constitutional amendment should be deemed necessary for Newfoundland and
Labrador to reform its school system so that it could bring equity and new
opportunities to its students. Surely, I thought, the parties who had protected
status under the existing Term 17 could negotiate arrangements that would
address the concerns raised by the Williams report and satisfy the requirements
of the children's convention. However, as I listened to the witnesses - and as
far as I can tell we heard from all the stakeholders, including some lively and
refreshing young people who were studying in the system - it became increasingly
clear that for a variety of reasons, there was little prospect of accommodation
under the old Term 17. On the contrary, the power struggle, which, according to
the Right Reverend Donald Harvey, the Anglican Bishop of Newfoundland and
Labrador, had already "weakened and diluted" the province's capacity
to provide the highest quality of education possible within its means for far
too long, was certain to continue. Why? Why were some of our witnesses so
convinced they would lose their constitutionally guaranteed rights, while others
were equally certain that the amended term did not go far enough to respond to
the dreams of many Newfoundlanders for neighbourhood schools and other
I have studied the amended text of Term 17, and it is not possible for me to
read it in the same light as either Senator Doody or Senator Kinsella. In
paragraph (a), the text says, in black and white:
...schools established, maintained and operated with public funds shall
be denominational schools, and any class of persons having rights under this
Term as it read on January 1, 1995 shall continue to have the right to
provide for religious education, activities and observances for the children of
that class in those schools,
Those are the very conditions that the Supreme Court has judged necessary and
sufficient to fulfil the education rights of a constitutionally protected
religious minority. Yet those who spoke on behalf of the Roman Catholic and
Pentecostal churches, as well as the Seventh Day Adventists, were not satisfied
with this guarantee. Why not?
Listening carefully, what I heard in their testimony was concern that the
power and control exercised by their protected denominations in overall school
governance would be diminished. Under the old Term 17, concurrence of the
denominations was required for school reorganization. Some reorganization did
take place this summer - necessary reorganization. It did take place with that
concurrence. Does that not prove that there is no need for the amended term
I do not think it does. For example, would the denominations be so quick to
concur in the establishment of a truly aboriginal school? We do not know the
answer to that. Under the old Term 17, it never happened; under the new Term 17,
the concurrence of the denominations would no longer be necessary. While that
might represent a loss of power for the churches, it would almost certainly
represent a gain for the aboriginal community.
One of my previous visits to St. John's in the mid-1980s was in conjunction
with the publication of the Badgley report on sexual abuse against children. At
that time, certain incidents in Newfoundland had aroused grave public concern.
The people I met in St. John's during my visit - social workers, lawyers and
representatives of women's groups - were distressed that certain authorities
close to the incident seemed to be more preoccupied with protecting themselves
than with protecting the rights of the child victims. Tragically, that is not an
uncommon response in the modern world, and combined with other experiences I
have had, especially during my years in the former Soviet Union, what I learned
on that visit reinforced my concern for power that has no accountability. I
truly believe that, in the long run, democratic institutions that can be changed
by their electorates and kept accountable by the checks and balances of civil
society are the most reliable repositories of power.
Whatever we may think of the resolution to amend Term 17, it came to us
through properly designated constitutional channels consisting of elected
legislative bodies. As an unelected legislative body, the Senate, appropriately
enough in my view, has only a suspensive veto. Our role has been to examine the
issues raised by the resolution with great care and to give them a full airing
both in Ottawa and in St. John's. This we have done and are continuing to do. I
think we have made a real contribution by this activity.
However, honourable senators, I see no merit in proposing a modification that
has already been considered and rejected by the Newfoundland House of Assembly.
I agree with Senator Milne that there is no flaw in the proposed amendment to
Term 17 sufficiently gross to justify such a motion. As an elected body, the
Newfoundland House of Assembly deserves our respect, and if you believe as I do
that national unity will only survive in the context of flexible federalism,
then we should not hold the children of Newfoundland and Labrador hostage to the
history of what has happened in other provinces or the fear of what may happen
again. This is a bilateral amendment to the Constitution under section 45, and I
do not believe that we should either amend it or refuse to pass it.
In conclusion, honourable senators, I should like to return to the testimony
of Bishop Harvey, who agreed that there are certain flaws in the resolution, but
urged the Senate to "give it the necessary approval so that governance of
our school system will come directly into the hands of our elected
representatives." He continued by expressing the hope that the government
with its new authority would then "listen to the dictates of its people as
they attempt to frame a system which will embody the best of the past while
providing for efficiency and consolidation to meet the rapidly changing
demographics of this province. We owe our children no less."
I agree. If we fail to pass this resolution, we will only reinforce
entrenched opinions and, as Bishop Harvey said, make the task of reconciling and
rebuilding relationships even more difficult when our suspensive veto is lifted
and the Constitution is amended. It is the children of Newfoundland who are
paying the price.
Hon. Finlay MacDonald: Perhaps the honourable senator could clarify
something for me. I did not quite understand. You referred to your previous
visit to St. John's in the 1980s. I believe you stated that the purpose of that
trip was to study child abuse?
Senator Pearson: Yes.
Senator MacDonald: You made reference to a lack of accountability. To
whom were you referring?
Senator Pearson: I was referring to the Badgley report, which you will
remember dealt with sexual abuses against children. At that time, not only had
there been the incidents related to Mount Cashel but there had been other
incidents related to abuse. I do not like to name names because I do not think
it is right. However, these incidents related to certain persons within
Newfoundland, and to cases that were, in fact, finally brought to court and in
which the persons involved were found guilty.
At the time, the people were upset with the authorities. I am not just
speaking about church authorities. There were other authorities such as the
police. We know this about the history of Mount Cashel. They were trying to keep
the incidents under control. As I listened to those people at that time, I felt
that there was a problem of accountability. It was a "protection".
They were coming around to protect the school at Mount Cashel, or they were
coming around to protect the particular persons who were involved in the case
that I was brought in to discuss. None of these people were elected. There was
no way in which they could be accountable to the population, as I see a
democratically elected group being responsible.
Senator MacDonald: Senator, you do not have to be elected to be
accountable. I did not understand what you were driving at by making a reference
to that particular time.
Senator Pearson: It is true that you can be accountable to your
conscience, however, when I lived in the Soviet Union, my sense was that there
was a lack of accountability to the population. This was one of the problems
that created such a closed society. My argument is really in favour of an open
society with open decisions, openly arrived at.
Hon. Fernand Roberge moved the second reading of Bill S-10, to amend the
Criminal Code (criminal organization).
He said: Honourable senators, last June 18, I tabled a bill to amend the
Criminal Code by adding a definition of the notion of criminal organization and
certain provisions to combat this scourge. More specifically, this bill says,
and I quote:
This enactment provides that everyone who, without lawful excuse, lives
wholly or in part on any property, benefit or advantage from a criminal
organization is guilty of an indictable offence and liable on conviction to a
term of imprisonment of not less than one year and not more than ten years. A
person convicted of this indictable offence will not be eligible for parole
until three-fourths of the sentence has been served.
Such an amendment of the Criminal Code would give our police forces and
courts new tools to deal with a situation that is becoming increasingly serious
and complex with each passing year. These amendments would allow Canadian
society as a whole to defend itself against an insidious and serious threat,
because we are all victims of organized crime.
It is true that the bosses and most of the employees of these criminal
organizations conduct their activities primarily in large urban centres. There
are also ramifications and accomplices in all regions. What community, what town
in Canada, can say that it has no drug traffic, no prostitution, no theft, and
no fraud that is directly or indirectly related to a criminal network?
As taxpayers, we are all victims as well. It is estimated, for example, that
the amount of money controlled every year by organized crime in Canada
approaches $20 billion. This amount benefits criminals directly. It encourages
illegal activity in many other sectors. However, the misappropriation of all
this money that has been obtained and reinvested illegally also constitutes an
enormous tax fraud, the largest loss of revenue faced by our governments.
At a time when all governments and all citizens have to make sacrifices in
order to get our financial house in order and rebuild the economy, is it right
that we tolerate the existence of an illegal informal economy? Can one of the
most highly taxed countries in the world allow unscrupulous individuals to shirk
their civic duty through illegal means, while enjoying all the benefits and
advantages of Canadian citizenship? When over a million Canadians are unemployed
and tens of thousands of families are living in poverty, are we going to let a
minority of criminals blatantly amass wealth in this shocking manner? At a time
when hospital beds are being closed, when funding for our children's education
is being cut, are we going to close our eyes to the activities of criminals who
are abusing the freedoms we have so dearly won and fought to preserve?
With the bill before you, we can answer all of these questions with a
We Canadians have every reason in the world to be proud of what we have
accomplished together. For several years now, Canada has ranked first of all UN
member nations for its quality of life. Millions of people everywhere in the
world would give up everything they possess for a chance to become Canadian
citizens. Our reputation rests on the integrity, solidarity and determination of
generation after generation of Canadians who have come from all over the globe,
and it is part of the heritage we wish to leave to our children.
However, are we taking all of the steps necessary to protect that heritage,
to allow it to grow? Will our children inherit a Canada that is as peaceable,
cities that are as calm, communities that are as harmonious, as they are now?
We senators have a special responsibility, since a bill similar to the one
before us today was tabled in the other House last February, but was rejected by
the government, thus preventing this vital matter from being discussed in the
Canadian Parliament. Yet, it is the duty of Canada's Parliament to address this
problem, which threatens the very basis of our society.
Our police forces are overwhelmed, and are calling for our assistance in
combatting organized crime, which in some cases is better equipped than the
police. Our courts cannot manage to pull of circulation certain individuals
whose sole activity, sole source of income, is related to their connections with
well-known criminal organizations.
Our police forces and legal authorities have often identified the major
difficulties they face in their fight against organized crime: the abuse of the
Charter, the length and prohibitive cost of police investigations and legal
proceedings, the impossibility of getting to the crime bosses, the infiltration
by organized crime of all institutions and the difficulty of confiscating the
proceeds of crime. These problems are well known.
Yet, the Minister of Justice, while admitting that organized crime is a
serious problem, looked the other way when the time came to act. Like many
citizens, including the victims of organized crime and law-enforcement
authorities, I deplore the Minister of Justice's lack of leadership.
True, our Charter of Rights and Freedoms contains specific provisions dealing
with the presumption of innocence and the freedom of association. I support
these provisions wholeheartedly. However, in a healthy democracy, people have
not only rights and freedoms but also responsibilities and obligations. The
first responsibility is to protect our rights and freedoms against those who
violate the most basic principles of justice and do not respect the lives of
The Minister of Justice seems to think that, just because Canada has a
Charter of Rights and Freedoms, it cannot protect its citizens against criminal
organizations. I suggest that he drag himself away from his law books and look
around him. He would see other countries that are just as democratic as Canada
have given themselves the means to fight criminal associations.
A democracy as venerable as Italy enacted a law against the Mafia. France,
the cradle of human rights, provided itself with a law against crooks when it
needed it. The United States of America, whose 1776 Declaration of Independence
proclaimed that all its citizens were equal, passed the RICO Act.
Of course, we cannot use these laws as models, but we can certainly draw
inspiration from the courage and wisdom of the legislators in those countries.
I would also remind this house that, like all freedoms, the freedom of
association is not absolute and stops where it infringes on another freedom.
Montesquieu once said:
The law is generally human reason.
In December 1989, the Court of Appeal of New Brunswick ruled in Frawley v.
The Queen that an association whose purpose is criminal cannot be protected
by the Charter. It would be paradoxical at the very least for a charter designed
to protect people's rights and freedoms to be used as a screen by those whose
main occupation is crime, robbery, prostitution, drug trafficking and even
In enshrining the presumption of innocence and the right of association in
our Constitution, the legislator certainly did not intend to help criminals join
forces to threaten our safety. Was it not as important to protect Daniel
Desrochers, the 11-year old victim of the war between biker gangs in Montreal,
as to constitutionally protect those who deal in crime on an everyday basis?
More than 30 people have been killed, often by bombs exploding in the middle
of the street, because biker gangs are fighting over who will have the monopoly
over drug trafficking. These gang members are killing one another in public
places, in the midst of our communities, showing the same blindness and
disregard for the law as American gangsters in the 1930s.
There is no doubt that the bill I am proposing today could be improved upon,
and hopefully it will, if it means making it more efficient and facilitating its
passage. What I wish above all is for us to have the opportunity to consider
together, first at the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee, and then in
this house, steps that could be taken to protect society against the actions of
I suggest that the committee not limit itself to considering the provisions
of Bill S-10, but literally sit as a commission of inquiry on organized crime.
We should invite representatives of police forces and of the legal profession to
testify and to tell us, among other things, who is in these groups we are
concerned about, and how they operate.
Should certain groups or individuals mentioned in the course of such an
inquiry feel unfairly singled out, I think they should have every opportunity to
appear before the committee to give their side of the story. We could also tap
into the expertise of other countries in dealing specifically with this problem,
could we not?
We will recall the work done by the Cliche Commission on violence in the
construction industry in 1975 and by the Commission of Inquiry on Organized
Crime. These two commissions were most useful in publicly identifying criminal
elements who, of course, normally prefer to work under the veil of secrecy.
Canada is far from being the only country in the world that faces the threat
of organized crime. Here is what the Secretary-General of the United Nations had
to say on the subject in 1993:
Organized crime is nothing less than a massive attack on the fabric of
society affecting practically all of its components at the individual,
collective and institutional levels. It is also an insidious form of lawlessness
which cynically exploits citizens' rights...for the purpose of reducing risk of
detection and maximizing impunity. In this manner, organized crime threatens
some of the most basic elements of a democratic order.
All countries, to varying degrees, are affected by organized crime. Most
major countries have adapted specific legislation to counter this threat. Why is
it that Canada, which prides itself on the protection it affords its citizens'
rights and security, does not have such legislation?
This problem will not go away. On the contrary, in the latest Annual Report
on Organized Crime in Canada, the chair of the Canadian Criminal Intelligence
Service writes that in the future, Canada will experience the continued presence
of expanded crime syndicates.
The major organized crime groups in Canada are well known to our law
enforcement agencies: Asian organized crime, East European organized crime,
Italian organized crime, aboriginal organized crime, outlawed motorcycle gangs
and Colombian organized crime all have strong roots and ramifications in our big
As to organized crime, I say: Let us oppose it with organized democracy. In
the face of those who flaunt our laws and abuse our freedoms, let us show the
resolve and the strength that made this country great and the haven of equality
and safety for all its citizens. What a tragic irony it would be if a country
that is known for its commitment to peacekeeping around the world was not
willing, or capable, of ensuring safety on its own streets.
On those who act in the dark of night, let us shine the full light of public
opinion and parliamentary scrutiny.
Three centuries ago, the French philosopher Diderot wrote:
Observance of the law, the preservation of freedom and the love of one's
country are the rich sources of all great things and fine actions.
We all love our country. For the sake of this country, let us join together
and do what we must to ensure that our laws are observed and our freedoms
On motion of Senator Losier-Cool, debate adjourned.
Resuming the debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Whelan, P.C.,
seconded by the Honourable Senator Losier-Cool, for the second reading of Bill
C-216, to amend the Broadcasting Act (broadcasting policy).-(Honourable
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, this order stands in the
name of Senator Bolduc; if he will allow Senator Simard to continue the debate
today, there is no problem.
Hon. Roch Bolduc: I agree.
Hon. Jean-Maurice Simard: In my opinion, and after consulting experts
in the field, after meeting with the Fédération des Canadiens-Français et
Acadiens du Canada, after receiving and reading the letter of the Honourable
Senator Gauthier on this issue, and after meeting with the CRTC's top official,
I came to the conclusion that, in its present form, Bill C-216 is a bad piece of
From the outset, I felt that the bill would adversely affect francophones
outside Quebec, but it goes further than that. I also thought that, in the
future, specialty channels would not be accessible to francophones outside
Quebec, or would be restricted. I now realize that access to channels currently
available to Quebecers and francophones, honourable senators, will also be
The intention of the sponsor of the bill, MP Roger Galloway, was laudable and
acceptable. However, I think that Mr. Galloway erred in the wording of Bill
C-216. I have nothing more to say for the time being. I will continue my
research, along with my colleagues, who should take another look at this bill. I
will come back to this issue.
I propose the adjournment of the debate.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators the debate is adjourned on
behalf of the Honourable Senator Bolduc.
You spoke with his agreement. The adjournment motion must remain under the
name of the Honourable Senator Bolduc.
Report of Social Affairs, Science
and Technology Committee-Debate Adjourned
The Senate proceeded to consideration of the seventh report of the Standing
Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology (Employment
Insurance (Fishing) Regulations), presented in the Senate on October 28,
Hon. Mabel M. DeWare: Honourable senators, Senator Simard would like
to make some comments. Therefore, I yield the floor to him.
Hon. Jean-Maurice Simard: Honourable senators, I have a few questions
for the Chair of the committee, Senator DeWare. When the Senate concurred in the
report of the committee on the motion by Senator Comeau, I thought the
honourable senators had understood the essence of the motion.
In my mind, there was no question that the essence of Senator Comeau's motion
was that, in giving a mandate to Senator DeWare, who chairs the Senate Committee
on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, the Senate gave her the
responsibility to review the regulations affecting, among others, fishermen from
the Atlantic region, who will face a shortfall of $33 million next year.
I will read the preamble of the committee report:
Your Committee, to which was referred the Employment Insurance (Fishing)
Regulations made under section 153 of the Employment Insurance Act and approved
on September 17, 1996, and any matter relating thereto, has, in obedience to the
Order of Reference of Thursday, October 3, 1996, examined the said Employment
Insurance (Fishing) Regulations.
This report is not very controversial, but it does not does not shed
sufficient light on the discussions and the work of the committee. I would like
to know more. Senator DeWare, what studies did members of the committee make of
Senator DeWare: Honourable senators, the committee asked the
Department of Human Resources Development to appear before it to answer some
questions and explain to us what the procedure was for introducing the
regulations under the Employment Insurance bill with regard to the fisheries
industry. The witnesses were extensively questioned by members of the committee
from both sides of this house. Assistant Deputy Minister Norine Smith told us
that information had been sent to the fishermen and all parties involved, such
as the human resources development departments in all provinces, the unions and
the fishing organizations, around June 17 and again in September, as well as to
members of Parliament. We informed the department that we also are members of
Parliament, and that we did not receive the document.
Senator Simard: We did not receive it.
Senator DeWare: We reminded them that we are also members of
After extensive questioning on the response received to the information given
to the industry, the witnesses said that they had received no response; that
they had not heard from any members requesting more information or anything
related to the regulations relating to fisheries.
After this discussion, I asked the committee what it wished to do further. A
motion was made that we have some members of the industry appear before the
committee to be heard or, in the alternative, that we travel to hear their
testimony. The motion was turned down by the committee. The witnesses from the
Department of Human Resources Development said that that offer had been extended
to the industry and not one response had been received. It was therefore decided
that no more hearings were necessary at this time.
Senator Simard: That is shocking, honourable senators.
Is the Honourable Senator DeWare telling me that the only information with
which members of the committee were provided was a list of people and
institutions who were sent copies of the regulations? If I understood the
honourable senator correctly, the government received no comments at all from
anyone on that matter, either favourable or unfavourable.
Senator DeWare: That is correct.
Senator Simard: The honourable senator alluded to the fact that
senators, who are members of Parliament, were not sent copies of the
regulations. What explanation did the assistant deputy minister provide to the
committee for the failure of the department to send us those regulations?
Senator DeWare: We just told them that we were members of Parliament.
The document, which I do not have before me, states that the regulations should
be tabled in the House of Commons. It does not say that they must be tabled in
the Senate. We brought to their attention that we, too, are members of
Parliament and deserve the same attention as those in the other place.
The Hon. the Speaker: I am afraid that we are getting into a rather
irregular procedure. The proper procedure would be for the Honourable Senator
Simard to make his speech and then have Senator DeWare respond. We cannot enter
into a question and answer period during the course of normal debate.
Senator Simard, I propose that you ask all your questions and make a speech.
You have 15 minutes to do so. Then, Senator DeWare can answer.
Senator Simard: Did you put a clock on me, Senator Gigantès? Are you
Senator Gigantès: No; I would like to hear another voice.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, let us not argue
needlessly. The table keeps time. As soon as a senator rises, the table starts
the clock. We know when 15 minutes have elapsed.
Senator Simard: I intend to stay within my 15 minutes.
Senator Gigantès: That will be a record.
Senator Simard: Honourable senators, unless I am mistaken, a
discussion took place among the Liberal senators on the committee, where the
decision was made to forbid any trip, any hearing in Ottawa and in the
provinces, whether in the Atlantic region or elsewhere. What happened, Senator
DeWare? I thought that, on our side, we expressed a desire to hear members from
the industry, fishermen, in Ottawa and elsewhere. What is the position of
Liberal senators and others who may have objected to this usual way of reviewing
bills and fulfilling the mandate given on October 3 to the Standing Committee on
Social Affairs, Science and Technology by the Senate to conduct an in-depth
review of clause 153 of the Canada Employment Insurance Act?
The question is: Was there a discussion -
The Hon. the Speaker: Senator Simard, I believe there is a
misunderstanding. What we have before us is a bill. You have 15 minutes to make
a speech, but Senator DeWare cannot reply during that period. When you are done
with your speech, she can reply as she wishes.
Senator Simard: Honourable senators, I will go the usual route. I will
blame, criticize and give notice that, starting today and in the months to come,
this fall, this winter, next summer, and before and after the election campaign
that looms on the horizon, we, on this side, will invite voters to give their
opinion on regulations affecting fishermen in particular.
I shall also remind voters that, last Thursday, it took five Liberal senators
in committee, including three from the Atlantic region, namely Senator Bonnell,
Senator Bosa and Senator Mercier, and Senator Losier-Cool to do this. Again,
this arrogant government, which is represented here by arrogant Liberal senators
from the Atlantic region and the rest of Canada, has kept people from being
heard. The families of these fishermen, including their grandparents and their
children, will be adversely affected.
We are far from the promised policies, from the commitments made in the Red
Book by the Liberal Party of Canada to be transparent and to consult the people.
This is what we will tell them endlessly.
We will pursue the former minister of natural resources and current defence
minister, who has been instrumental in the development of these rules that
penalize Atlantic fishermen.
So, what can we do? I think that the committee chaired by Senator DeWare was
wrong. They did not fulfil the terms of reference this house gave them some time
ago, on October 3. This is too bad.
According to statements I saw in newspapers published in New Brunswick and
elsewhere, there is not the general agreement that might be predicted or
imagined. We have been led to believe that the agreement was general, that there
was no opposition, that everything was fine with these rules.
Need I remind my colleagues that it is not the first time Liberal senators,
Liberal members and the Liberal government have refused to consult with the
people and probably to amend Bill C-12 and the related regulations. The
committee was directed by the Senate to study these regulations.
So what can I do? I think the Liberal senators who sit on the committee have
shown contempt for democracy and for parliamentary tradition. They have shown
contempt for the responsibilities they and other senators have accepted when
they decided to come to the Senate.
All we can say, as the chair of the committee has confirmed, is that the
committee has concluded its study of these regulations, as it was directed to
do. So I would like to ask Senator DeWare if she is satisfied with the work of
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senator, I am sorry but your 15
minutes are up.
Senator Simard: My 15 minutes are up, but I hope that other senators,
even if they are not the chairs of the committees, will provide an answer.
Hon. Peter Bosa: Honourable senators, before I move the adjournment of
the debate, I want to make one simple observation. I wish Senator Simard, who
was around the corner from where the committee was sitting, would have stayed in
committee so that he could have heard for himself the testimony provided by the
officials from the Department of Human Resources Development.
Report of Foreign Affairs
Committee on Study-Debate Continued
On the Order:
Resuming the debate on the consideration of the second report of the Standing
Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs (Special Study on European Relations),
deposited with the Clerk of the Senate on July 18, 1996.-(Honourable Senator
Hon. Jerahmiel S. Grafstein: Honourable senators, I was privileged to
serve as a member of the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs under the
incisive leadership of our chairman, the Honourable John Stewart, in the
extensive and complex work leading to a report entitled, "European
Integration: The Implications for Canada."
Why Europe? Why now? The European Union has emerged as the richest market in
the world. With a population of 375 million, and a GDP of $8.4 trillion U.S.,
Europe now exceeds the United States, which has a population of 260 million and
a GDP of $7 trillion.
As the report points out, European Union exports and imports account for over
one-third of total world trade. The EU is now the single largest exporter of
services and the world's largest importer of goods. The EU is also one of the
world's largest sources of foreign investment, rivalling the United States. By
1999, the EU will take a radical leap towards a single currency married to a
common monetary policy. It is anticipated that the EU, now made up of 15 member
states, will be enlarged by at least three and beyond in the next five years.
Within two decades, it is estimated that an enlarged EU could have a population
of close to a half-billion, third after China and India in absolute size.
Honourable senators, the EU is racing along a very fast track to a greater
enlargement, greater convergence and ever greater growth. Meanwhile, since 1973,
when the Foreign Affairs Committee last surveyed Canada's relations with Europe,
Canada's merchandise trades accounts with Europe have declined in absolute and
In 1973, our merchandise exports to the then nine-member EU accounted for
12.4 per cent of total Canadian exports while imports from EU represented 13.3
per cent of all Canadian imports. By 1995, Canadian merchandise exports to the
EU had fallen 50 per cent to 6.4 per cent of our total merchandise exports. The
merchandise imports from the EU have fallen 30 per cent to 10.1 per cent of our
total imports - all this despite the EU's absolute enlargement from nine members
in 1973 to 15 member states.
Our European trade has downsized to an ever smaller slice of an ever growing
pie. Why? As the report points out, Canada's own trading patterns have changed
dramatically in recent years in size and scope, especially with the advent of
the FTA and NAFTA with the U.S. and now Mexico. The U.S. looms ever larger in
our total trade picture. Today, we are much more heavily dependent on the U.S.
than ever before. Our U.S. trade now represents over 80 per cent of our total,
over a billion dollars daily. While we currently enjoy a comfortable trade
surplus, Canada will increasingly find itself in a most dangerous and precarious
position. It is precisely because of this precarious position that the committee
concluded after intensive hearings in Canada and meetings in Dublin, London,
Paris, Frankfurt, Warsaw and Brussels that there is pressing work to be done in
Canada's national interest to diversify our trade patterns, especially with
Canada is a trading nation. We grow increasingly dependent on trade, honing
and sharpening our comparative advantages in an ever increasing competitive
trade world. More jobs now depend on foreign trade than ever before. More than
50 per cent of all jobs in Canada are now trade-related. Hence, the national
urgency to diversify our sources and patterns of trade.
What storekeeper or manufacturer would depend on one customer and still feel
secure about the future? This overdependence of trade on only one trading
partner, albeit a robust trading partner, surely weakens our freedom of choice,
diminishes our national flexibility and erodes our international
The Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs made 25 succinct
recommendations, ranging from calls for new statistical information on many of
these areas to impact studies on European common currency and European monetary
"Facts first," we said. "Facts before policy." Of course,
the strategic conclusions logically lead back to Canada, to the work necessary
and yet to be done to eliminate the archaic, interprovincial barriers dividing
Canada. We must modernize our own domestic marketplace and do it now.
It seems that Canada can make more progress in liberalizing free trade with
our international neighbours than we can achieve at home. How silly and
dangerous and lacking in political and business leadership. Harmonization at
home should be our first priority. We must harmonize and modernize our own
domestic marketplace. We have no other economic choice. Businessmen can lead
public opinion on this front and they have failed.
In Europe, one danger lurks! One clear and present danger to Canada lurks in
the continuing suffocation of access to the European market. Each European Union
enlargement will inevitably result in diversion of trade and investment to the
newer members of the European Union. As Canadian goods are displaced, the
Canadian presence in Europe will contract even more. This has already happened
at each step of EU enlargement. Canada's goods are being pushed off the shelf as
room is made for new EU members.
To make matters worse, the common EU currency slated for 1999 could devalue
European currency against our currency while decreasing the cost of capital to
European based global players with whom our companies compete, all of which will
add to our trade disadvantage. The Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs
concluded that Canada must be alert, better informed and prepared to counter
sudden shifts and dislocation of trades and investment that will inevitably come
with enlargement and convergence in Europe.
On the security front, deeper strategies lie buried and hidden in public
changes to European security arrangements coming in 1997. The committee studied
most carefully foreign security policies in Europe. We concluded that the
linchpin of our security relationship in Europe still rests with NATO. However,
the committee cautioned the Canadian government to assess each new application
for membership in NATO on its own merits to ensure that each new country will
serve both Canada and Europe's strategic long-term interests in the cause of
Canada must ensure that NATO enlargement does, in fact, add greater security
and stability in Europe. We must remember that each enlargement obligates Canada
under NATO to defend each new member's borders against armed attack. There is
little public understanding of the simply gigantic transformation in security
and cost and strategic risks that will arise with each new addition to NATO.
Change can provoke new and more dangerous risks.
The Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs was concerned about the
valid concerns aroused by Russia and hopes these can be resolved before an
enlarged NATO is "deemed an irrevocable threat to Russia."
Honourable senators will recall that NATO arose as a counter to a palpable
threat to peace and security in Europe posed by an aggressive U.S.S.R. in the
1940s. Today, Russia does not present such a threat. On the contrary, Russia is
seeking to build slender bridges to the West. New thinking, new risk assessment
must march in parallel to any enlargement in NATO to avoid a delayed incendiary
to Europe's security. For example, any enlargement should take place
simultaneously with a treaty with Russia. This is not to say that Russia should
have veto powers within NATO, but to take advantage of Russia's current weakness
is to court future instability and to create another "Versailles" in
the mind of the Russia of the future.
We were the first country to recognize Ukraine. Where do Canada and the West
leave the Ukraine in this strategic equation? There are serious strategic issues
to be addressed before NATO enlargement proceeds.
We watched the EU grappling with common foreign and security policies. It is
perhaps on this front that the EU has failed to achieve a unified voice.
Clearly, on the convergence of economic, monetary, trade and investment
policies, Europe is racing quickly ahead in surprisingly relative harmony. Only
when it comes to security matters and foreign policy do we hear discordant
voices. Recent events in the old Yugoslavia and elsewhere bordering the EU and
Turkey are witness to this failure of consensus and political will.
Therefore, we must work harder to develop a stronger political will within
the existing NATO to secure peace and stability. Much work remains to be done on
this front within NATO.
More does not mean better. An enlarged NATO complicates an already complex
decision-making structure. Enlargement will inevitably diminish Canada's voice
in NATO and in Europe. New strategic and tactical assessments of risk must be
taken now before any enlargement.
Turning to bilateral relations with the EU, the committee stressed the
urgency in concentrating our political will to quickly obtain a trade action
plan that allows Canada direct trade access to the EU market. Canada needs a
solid, fixed trans-Atlantic trade platform, a platform to pry open and keep open
the closing trade doors of Europe. The U.S. has already negotiated and signed a
trade platform. A Canadian action plan has been left out in the cold. Our
"fish war" set back our action plan. Unless we can call on our
European friends to complete first principles, Canada will find itself isolated
and overly dependent upon its North American trade ties. This is not good for
Canada must revive its bilateral ties with member states in Europe and move
quickly to build a strong multilateral trade bridge with the EU itself. Happily,
there has been a fresh and energetic trade initiative on the Asian and South
American fronts in Canada, but that is simply not enough.
Canada must be dealt into Europe and we must be dealt into Europe now. Trade
must not be episodic with government or business. It should be an hourly and
daily preoccupation of both government and business.
Honourable senators, we were surprised to find that our greatest friend in
Europe today is Germany. Our traditional trade links with the U.K. and France
and our close fraternal and cultural ties with other member states in Europe are
being displaced by the magnetic and micro-pull of European convergence. Thick,
multifaceted political and economic activity is preoccupying member states at
every level, deepening and widening internal ties on their economic and trade
fronts, leaving Canada behind and in the dark.
I ask myself, why has Europe moved so quickly on its path to convergence.
What was the source of political will that galvanized this radical
transformation within Europe? Jean Monnet and other visionaries after World War
II concluded that a common market with common institutions, transborder
consortia and shared sovereignty was the only true path to security and
That was nearly scuttled by the U.S. Senate, jealous of American sovereignty.
Yet Americans, led by Senator Vandenberg, who made a U-turn, were prepared to
support the NATO charter, especially section 5, which shared responsibility for
mutual security in Europe, which lead to the Marshall Plan of reconstruction,
which in turn led to a common market and finally to the European Union.
Honourable senators, I observed an arresting paradox at the social and
political level, seen through my particular Canadian prism. While Canada and
Europe share common roots, common language and cultures, one very sad irony
stands out. The heart of Europe, the "idea" of Europe, seems to be
groping toward the federal idea, the cosmopolitan idea, a federation rooted in
equality, in commonality, in melting divisions and barriers of history, language
and religion that have so divided and devastated Europe in the past. Europe
seems to have learned the lessons of history. There is a new Europe where
governments are dedicated to sharing sovereignty, a new Europe arising, a
different kind of European order.
We heard surprisingly common ideas and strong consensus at every level about
a common currency when we visited the economic leaders of the Banque de France
in Paris and Bundesbank in Frankfurt. The common currency, the so-called Euro
dollar, the EMU, will give European states and European companies a distinct
competitive advantage over North American firms. We heard common principles
spoken when we met senior bureaucrats in Dublin and Warsaw and when we met with
politicians in Ireland, France, Germany, the U.K., Belgium and Poland, on almost
All senators were surprised by the extent to which such diverse countries,
former enemies such as France and Germany, Poland and the U.K., and neutralists
such as Ireland, Austria and Scandinavia, were prepared to share sovereignty on
such a broad range of economic and monetary issues.
Indeed, Europe has learned from its past, it seems. Meanwhile, we in Canada
seem to be falling backwards into a quiet abyss, an asymmetrical federation, a
pseudo-federation, where nostalgic notions of regional nationalism and
collective rights undermine and supplant the federalist vision of individual
equality now sprouting all over Europe - "the greening of Europe," I
call it. While we note a "greening" of the European idea, we sense a
continuing defoliation of the federal idea within Canada. Canada's movement
toward the "equal" idea, the cosmopolitan idea, the transcendent
federalist ideal, seems to be floundering while Europe's movement is on a faster
Europe with all the historic differences rooted in language, culture,
identity, and the bloody experiences of war - the old Europe - appears to be
getting its house in civilized order. A new Europe, a different Europe, is being
created before our eyes, and almost faster than we can keep up. Beneath the
surface, beneath the calm, Canada's house remains divided. Our regional schisms
seem to keep growing despite our liberal history of commonality and sharing.
Europe, on the other hand, appears to be propelling itself, pushing back and
pushing away from its old cults of nationalism.
The "idea" of Europe, the ideal of a multi-faceted, cosmopolitan
Europe, based upon French Revolution ideas of universality, a "community of
citizens," a humanistic concept of the culture defined by Julian Benda as
the "autonomy of the spirits," is blossoming everywhere in Europe.
This idea of civic equality, a society of equality, which was almost drowned in
the bloodbath of the Second World War, then rooted in the idea of one culture -
a "Kulturkampf" - ideas of cultural purity and superiority, ideas
deifying collectivity, seems to be supplanted and transplanted by a different
civic idea defined by some as the revival of Erasmus's ancient hope, the project
of European humanism.
Beneath the politics of common trade, the politics of common culture are
being accepted in Europe.
The Hon. the Speaker: Senator Grafstein, I regret to interrupt you,
but your 15 minutes has expired.
Senator Grafstein: I would ask leave for an extension.
The Hon. the Speaker: Is leave granted, honourable senators?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
The Hon. the Speaker: I am tempted to ask for how long, in view of the
earlier problems we had.
Senator Bosa: To the end of his speech.
The Hon. the Speaker: Is that agreed, honourable senators?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
Senator Grafstein: While each member state in Europe continues to
project its own vibrant face of culture, the new European school argues that no
national culture was "pure." What does the new European school teach?
It teaches that each national culture was "polluted" and
"infected" with so-called "alien" sources and
"alien" ideas. Yet the existence of any so-called national culture
owes its presence to predecessor ideas. Ideas are never the monopoly of one
people, or succeed alone in one ethnic group, one collectivity or one place.
Each cultural idea had its hybrid roots some place else, so culture is the
synthesis of the so-called alien influences where only the balance between their
borrowing from afar and invention at home has varied the content of culture.
Vaclav Havel, that brilliant European leader, the Czech writer and now
President of the Czech Republic, said it best:
All human cultures...have more in common...hidden somewhere deep in their
sources and foundations.
Honourable senators, the idea of sharing sovereignty is at the heart of the
European "idea." It has been the Canadian "idea." The idea
of equality is the lifeblood of the new Europe. The notion of a shared culture
and a diminished sovereignty opens the heart of its people to the
"idea" of Europe.
The European "idea" is rising faster and quicker with greater
mobility, greater freedom, greater economic activity and greater long-term
growth and prosperity for each of its citizens.
Honourable senators, I urge a careful study of our report. I commend the
chairman, the vice-chairman, and all members on both sides who worked so
assiduously to produce a report of such great depth and vitality. I urge our
leader in the Senate to bring the report to the attention of the Prime Minister
and the various ministries named in the report. It is my hope that we will
obtain from the government a detailed progress report card on our
recommendations before we adjourn next spring.
Honourable senators, it would be appropriate if we could obtain from the
government a formal response to our report, as is mandatory in the rules of the
other place. I hope that the Committee on Privileges, Standing Rules and Orders
will look at this matter so we can make it mandatory that our reports would
obtain a response from government.
All senators are united in this regard. All senators concluded that a revival
of Canada's interest and activity in Europe is of the highest national priority.
Honourable senators, I should like to extend my thanks to the members of the
staff, the secretary of the committee, the researchers, so ably led by Anthony
Chaplin, our coordinator from the Library of Parliament, our clerk, Serge
Pelletier, and his assistant Josée Thérien, all of whose extraordinary efforts
on behalf of the committee in preparing this complex report were invaluable.
Honourable senators, let me conclude by quoting a great Polish patriot, Josef
Pilsudski, a proponent of avant-garde federalism who wrote shortly after World
War I that newly liberated states...of Central and Eastern Europe need each
other more than they need sovereignty. This was the heart of the idea of a new
Europe. This was the vision that Pilsudski had for Poland and the other states
in Europe, so mired at the time in the blood, the muck and the mud of those
three miserable sisters: fascism, Marxism and nationalism.
Pluralism and progress cannot thrive without one another. It is only the
shared embrace of pluralism and progress together that can lift social mobility
and grasp social justice. This is the principle underlying Canada's need for
greater pluralism in our trade practices and greater diversity in our trade
patterns. We cannot afford to squander our present economic advantage. It is
only temporary. If we allow historic trade and cultural bonds with Europe to
atrophy and unravel even further, we will drive our next generation into a
strait-jacket of overdependency, slowing our economic momentum only to be
overtaken by those who are prepared to work harder and smarter than we are.
Canada wants jobs. Canada wants diversity. It is up to our political and
business leadership to light the way. Our report is but one flashlight in the
darkness. Let us use it and move on.
Resuming the debate on the inquiry of the Honourable Senator Johnson, calling
the attention of the Senate to the state of the arts in Canada.-(Honourable
Hon. Philippe Deane Gigantès: Honourable senators, Senator Johnson
performed a great service when she introduced this inquiry. Her defence of the
arts - the reasons she gave for defending the arts and for suggesting that the
arts cannot be neglected, even in times of fiscal restraint, and that the arts
need public support - was a timely reminder of how important it is for any
country not to neglect the arts, especially this one which sits right on the
border of the United States.
In fact, throughout history, most of the things that have enriched us from
the achievements of civilizations now gone by are the artefacts and the works of
art they have left behind. Thucydides, the great Greek historian of the fifth
century B.C., said that in centuries to come, people contemplating the ruins of
Athens and Sparta would marvel at how small Athens had been, and would hardly
believe how big Sparta had been, because Sparta would have left nothing.
Many of the advances in human thought came through artistic expression. The
original defences of women's rights start appearing in the plays of Sophocles,
and even more so in those of Euripides. The reason I bring this example forward
is that in ancient Athens citizens were paid a day's wages to sit through a
trilogy by one of these great tragedians. A trilogy took a whole day. The
government of Athens - 25,000 citizens and 100,000 people in all - considered it
important enough to pay for people to learn what art had to give them. It is
still terribly important.
We have a speech in ancient Greek, written at that time by someone whose
identity honourable senators would not know, but we classicists have nicknamed
him the Old Oligarch. It sounds exactly like that part of the party of the
honourable senators opposite that left and went to the Reform, when they speak
about art. I do not know what art is, but I know what I like, and I do not like
what I see. They are the ones who would like to give no help to the arts, to
artists, to thinkers, and to universities. All should be a free market
Honourable senators, some things will not immediately sell, yet they are
useful because they are precursors. They open doors. These are points that
Senator Johnson made, and they are important. If they are cultivated, strangely
enough, they earn money. France, for example, spends enormous amounts of money
on maintaining its heritage, its buildings, its museums and its performing arts.
Senator Corbin: And its churches.
Senator Gigantès: Only the artistic part of the churches - it is a
secular state. I do not want to venture into this delicate area. They are not
supporting religion, except perhaps some members of the government who send
their children to Jesuit schools, but then the Jesuits have transcended religion
and become good educators. I had the great privilege of studying under them. Let
us not speak about the Christian Brothers, however.
France makes an enormous amount of money out of what tourists can find there,
not only in museums, on archeological sites and amid the glories of Gothic art
and the Renaissance, but also in the theatres where one can see great plays
performed, new and old, and one can hear great singers.
An article appeared today in The Ottawa Citizen talking about theatre
in Britain. There are tours, all of us know, in which some operator offers you a
hotel, a number of days in London, and tickets to various plays. It is an
industry in Britain, and it is an industry that pays a lot. If we neglect those
things, we lose the money. However, even more seriously, we lose our identity.
I do not want to exclude American art. I watch American sitcoms. I watch
violent American films on television. I also would like help for fledging
Canadian artists, authors and musicians. This need not necessarily cost money.
The copyright bill will help. As Senator Johnson so wisely pointed out, the CRTC
regulation demanding Canadian content produced a flowering of Canadian popular
music that has found its place in the world. Céline Dion is the diva of pop
music around the world. Other Canadian artists in all fields of music and
painting are known the world over. They, and others, got their start because,
for example, there was help for enterprises such as little publishing firms that
would take a risk to produce a book that would not sell very well. They got
their start because the regulation imposed upon stations the necessity to play
the music of these young Canadian artists, and they have since become famous the
world over. We cannot neglect this.
In Britain, under a Conservative government, says an article in The Ottawa
Citizen of November 23, subsidized companies such as the Royal National
Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company are drawing in customers from around
the world, and have launched plays that were so experimental that they could not
possibly have been produced by an unsubsidized theatre. Is one to say that it is
no longer worth playing Shakespeare on the stage? Is one to say that it is not
worth reviving a great play by Chekov? Is one to say that it is not worth giving
J.P. Priestly's great play on the class structure of Britain, AnInspector
Calls, a revival, which no ordinary theatre company would dare undertake?
Honourable senators, Senator Johnson truly performed a great service when she
pointed all these things out and urged us all to applaud and support any measure
that will help our art, our artists, our writers and our musicians make their
mark in the world. This is not chauvinism, nor is it excluding others; this is
our contribution to world culture. From what we will produce, others will learn,
just as we learn from what others produce. If we do not do that, honourable
senators, we are small.
On motion of Senator Berntson, debate adjourned in the name of Senator
The Senate adjourned until Wednesday, October 30, 1996, at 1:30 p.m.