Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

1st Session, 36th Parliament,
Volume 137, Issue 64

Wednesday, May 27, 1998

The Honourable Gildas L. Molgat, Speaker


THE SENATE

Wednesday, May 27, 1998

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

Prayers.

SENATORS' STATEMENTS

The Senate

New Security Insignia for Senators

Hon. Philippe Deane Gigantès: Honourable senators, it is bad enough that the Senate spent unnecessary money to create a new security pin; it is worse that it is so very large and tasteless. However, what is even worse is that apparently the security services will insist that they recognize only this "large non-smoking sign" and not the old elegant pin.

I ask the members of Internal Economy and the Senate bureaucracy to tell the security people that when I come here after I retire, rumbling along in my red-painted motorized wheelchair, that I not be kept out of this building because I am not wearing that abomination, and that the old pin be declared acceptable.

Quebec

Dedication of Statue Commemorating Allied Contributions During World War II

Hon. Jerahmiel S. Grafstein: Honourable senators, here we go again. Certain political leaders in the Province of Quebec continue their particular penchant for rewriting history, for reorganizing historic events, all to suit their personal predilections and peccadilloes. For politicians, rewriting history can be hazardous work. European and Asian autocrats have regularly utilized this approach to amplify their arsenal for suppressing historic truth while promoting their personal convictions. Beware, beware. History has a way of taking revenge.

So it was with a certain interest that I noted the recent dedication of a monument fostered by the Government of Quebec to celebrate the war exploits of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill by unveiling busts to commemorate their wartime meeting in Quebec City hosted by Mackenzie King. A bust of King, then prime minister of Canada, was neither commissioned nor included.

As an aside, it should be noted that the wartime exploits of both President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill were not particularly applauded within the Province of Quebec during the war years, nor during the commemorated Quebec Conference. To eviscerate Mr. King's war role, who utilized all his political wiles and skills to keep a united war front while taking into account the concerns of francophone leaders from Quebec, is unjust, incorrect and unfair to Mr. King's contribution and the historical record - and how ironic!

Honourable senators will recall that, at first, Mr. King was a most reluctant warrior, precisely because his paramount preoccupation was always Canadian unity. This preoccupation inhibited a more vigorous preparation in the years leading to World War II, ensuring its tenuous start.

Honourable senators may recall that early in 1940, Mr. Duplessis, an opponent to Canada's participation in World War II, decided to politically challenge Mr. King and his government by calling an election in the Province of Quebec. Three powerful federal ministers of the Crown of the day from the Province of Quebec, Messrs Lapointe, Cardin and Power, felt that this was a direct challenge to Canada's war efforts. In the result, they all promised to resign if Duplessis was elected. Then they plunged headlong into the provincial campaign that led to Mr. Duplessis' defeat. In the views of many, that political defeat allowed Canada to maintain a united front in the war effort, at least at the start of the war.

Mr. King's war efforts, in combination with Mr. Roosevelt's and Mr. Churchill's, started even before Canada's declaration of war. On September 3, 1939, Britain declared war. Canada's declaration of war, after parliamentary approval, took place seven days later on September 10, 1939. Meanwhile, on September 5, United States Secretary of State Cordell Hull telephoned King. With Roosevelt listening on the other line, Hull explained that Roosevelt was about to issue the Neutrality Proclamation required by American law, and he wanted to know whether Canada was at war along with the United Kingdom. Mr. King explained that Parliament was to meet later that week to make a decision with respect to the declaration of war, which he assumed would be a positive decision. Mr. Hull advised that the American proclamation of neutrality would not apply to Canada. Roosevelt then took the line and asked King to keep in touch with himself and Mr. Hull.

The Hon. the Speaker: Senator Grafstein, I hesitate to interrupt you, but your three-minute time period has elapsed.

Is leave granted, honourable senators, to allow Senator Grafstein to continue?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Senator Grafstein: Honourable senators, I appreciate the extension.

This is an interesting historical aside. In the days between September 5, 1939 and September 10, 1939, advantage was taken of this neutrality, and the Americans transhipped to Canada military aircraft which could not be shipped to Britain or France directly because of the American neutrality law. These crucial planes were delivered to Britain in those fragile, early days of the war. This transhipping continued right up to the moment of Canada's declaration on September 10, as Mr. Pickersgill explained in the Mackenzie King record, "In this friendly and informal fashion, the wartime cooperation between King and Roosevelt which was so fruitful for the Allied cause, had its beginnings."

(1340)

Time, honourable senators, does not allow me to elucidate the various and numerous steps taken by the King government to facilitate the Allied war effort, especially the lend-lease policies, and to act as a vital link between Canada, the United States and England, leading up to the United States' declaration of war more than two years later and, thereafter, until the Allied victory in 1945. This fruitful contribution was noted by both Roosevelt and Churchill.

Honourable senators, I have not been a fan of all of Mr. King's policies or politics. Nevertheless, Mr. King is entitled to the recognition and gratitude of Canadians in all provinces for Canada's efforts during a war in which thousands of Canadians from all provinces of Canada sacrificed life and limb.

Tamper with history, and history will tamper with you. I propose, honourable senators, that the federal government place a bust of Mr. King on the federal lands close to the busts of Mr. Roosevelt and Mr. Churchill, in order to give all Canadian citizens and visitors to Quebec City a balanced and fair view of Canada's history during World War II and Mr. King's undoubted contributions to Canada's war effort on behalf of all Canadians.


[Translation]

ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

Health

National Reproductive Technologies Commission-Notice of Motion

Hon. Thérèse Lavoie-Roux: Honourable senators, I give notice that tomorrow, May 28, 1998, I will move:

[English]

That the Senate urge the Government of Canada and the Department of Health in particular to take action to implement the following recommendations set out in the Final Report of the Royal Commission on New Reproductive Technologies, published in December 1993;

[Translation]

That the federal government establish a regulatory and licensing body, the National Reproductive Technologies Commission (NRTC), to oversee research, technologies and practices; and

[English]

That the National Reproductive Technologies Commission establish committees which would be responsible for regulating how services related to reproductive technologies are provided.

Protection of Conscience of Health-Care Givers-Presentation of Petition

Hon. Gerry St. Germain: Honourable senators, I rise today to present a petition with regard to Bill S-7, which reads as follows:

We, the undersigned, respectful subjects of the Parliament of Canada, being practitioners and students of health and health care in Canada, and concerned citizens of Canada, all being of the age of majority, plead to the Parliament of Canada to undertake to enact as a federal statutory law or amendments thereto the needful defence of conscience from coercion, reprisal or inequity in the pursuit of and practice of the chosen vocation as health-care givers.


QUESTION PERIOD

The Environment

Consideration and Enforcement of Environmental Issues Relating to Privatization of Ports and Airports-Government Position

Hon. Norman K. Atkins: Honourable senators, my question is directed to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Brian Emmett, the Environment Commissioner, in his second annual report, raised this point:

With the current trend to transfer certain federal activities to corporations outside the umbrella of federal departments, we can expect that an increasing proportion of such activities will not be subject to environmental assessment. For example, the Act is unlikely to apply to projects undertaken on federal airport lands that are now leased to local airport authorities.

What does the government plan to do to make sure that environmental assessments are both conducted and observed?

Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, Senator Atkins raises an interesting point with respect to the commissioner's report. The government has taken that report very seriously. They will monitor the situation, and intend to take action to ensure that all necessary measures with respect to the suggestions made in the commissioner's report will be enforced.

Senator Atkins: Honourable senators, the environment is virtually ignored in Bill C-9. Why did the government not include in Bill C-9 something that would cover the situation of the ports that are being privatized on both coasts of the country?

Senator Graham: Honourable senators, the government has full confidence in the authorities that will take over these facilities.

Hon. J. Michael Forrestall: Honourable senators, I have a supplementary question arising from the response of the Leader of the Government to my colleague's question: Where does he think these ports and airports will get the money to do the necessary environmental studies themselves?

Senator Graham: Honourable senators, the government has full confidence that the local authorities, which will assume control of any ports or airports will, through public and private partnering and with their own expertise, be able to find the necessary financing.

Report on Environment and Sustainable Development-Concerns of Commissioner Relating to Climate Change-Government Position

Hon. Terry Stratton: Honourable senators, the Commissioner on the Environment and Sustainable Development has reported that this government has failed to match promise with performance in the area of climate change.

Dealing specifically with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the commissioner found several areas where no progress is being made. Specifically, he found that the roles and responsibilities as between Natural Resources Canada and Environment Canada are not clear; that the management structure for managing the framework within Canada lacks accountability; that no progress has been made on a national implementation plan; that no progress has been made on milestones and identification of interim targets; that no progress has been made on interjurisdictional agreements on measures; and that no progress has been made on a national public awareness communications initiative.

Other than more speech-making about long-term projects, what short-term, interim measures does this government propose to address the concerns raised by the commissioner?

Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, in the first instance, Senator Stratton mentioned the commissioner's observation with respect to the Department of the Environment and the Department of Natural Resources. I can assure my honourable friend that there is very close cooperation between the ministers responsible for those departments in an effort to improve the situation.

The government welcomes the commissioner's report. He is doing exactly the job we envisaged when we promised to create the position in the 1993 Red Book: that is, assessing the government's progress on environmental issues and reporting to Parliament.

With regard to meeting the climate change commitments, the commissioner is referring to pre-Kyoto efforts. Of course, the government reaffirms its commitment to the 6-per-cent Kyoto reduction target in the period from 2008 to 2012.

Specifically, in recent months the government has set up a climate change secretariat to coordinate government actions. The government has committed $150 million over three years for quick-start actions and answers on how to meet the 6-per-cent target, and the government has pledged to have an implementation strategy in place by the end of 1999.

(1350)

Report on Environment and Sustainable Development-Concerns of Commissioner Relating to Endangered Species-Government Position

Hon. Terry Stratton: Honourable senators, from 1993 to 1998 the government has done virtually nothing, other than utter platitudes. What we are asking is this: What specifically are you doing? How can you live up to the Kyoto protocol when you have just papered over the failures? How will you meet those targets? Government members can stand up any day of the week and say you will make them, except for the fact that you have not done anything in the meantime.

When will you tell people about the concrete things that you have done that will fundamentally change the approach to how we deal with the environment? There is an addition to the Endangered Species List every day, and nothing is happening. Do you not think it is time to tell Canadians something specific about endangered species?

Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, Environment Canada is working with all departments of government. It is working with provincial governments and all Canadians to achieve results in four priority areas, which are climate change, clean water, clean air and conserving and preserving nature.

The honourable senator mentions endangered species and biodiversity. The government is working on those specific items at the present time.

Atomic Energy of Canada Limited

Nuclear Cooperation Agreement with China-Enforcement of International and Domestic Environmental Commitments-Government Position

Hon. A. Raynell Andreychuk: Honourable senators, I wish to return to the subject about which I was asking questions of the Leader of the Government in the Senate yesterday.

In light of the commissioner's findings that there is a dramatic failing of the scrutiny of our environmental system within Canada, how will we be able to enforce the contracts that we have signed with China for CANDU reactors? Our departments do not have scrutiny capabilities under those contracts. There are agencies which appear not to be scrutinized by the government. China has only a rudimentary rule of law. It has no commercial courts.

How will we enforce the terms of the CANDU reactor agreement when there are no support systems in China?

Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, as I mentioned yesterday, the nuclear material produced in CANDU reactors supplied by Canada is subject to International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards. These safeguards are designed to verify that such nuclear material is not diverted to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.

Hon. John Lynch-Staunton (Leader of the Oppsoition): Where is the proof?

Senator Graham: We have full confidence in the international agency.

Senator Lynch-Staunton: Do you have the same confidence in India, too? It was a CANDU that gave them plutonium.

Senator Graham: There has to be an element of fairness here.

Senator Lynch-Staunton: As well as accuracy.

Senator Graham: The Leader of the Opposition is expressing a valid concern. Perhaps he will allow me to complete my answer.

The international agency verification of non-explosive use commitments provides a high level of confidence to the international community that states are abiding by their nuclear non-proliferation commitments.

However, there is no question that revelations following the 1991 Gulf War about Iraq's clandestine nuclear weapons program and growing concerns at the same time about North Korea's nuclear activities made clear that there was an urgent need to strengthen the international agency's safeguard systems. As a result, international efforts have now provided the agency with the authority and the means to improve its capability to detect nuclear material and nuclear activities that might not have been declared by a particular state.

Senator Andreychuk: Honourable senators, that is precisely the problem. The agency has only been able to reinforce itself on a scrutiny and detection basis. However, there is no enforcement of the agreements. It is our agreement. We have a moral and legal responsibility to ensure that the nuclear use is non-military. We are left with nothing but the Prime Minister's bilateral, back-room discussions with the leaders of these countries. We have no other mechanisms. Nor do we seem to be able to stand up and make these people accountable, at least in an international forum.

Senator Graham: Honourable senators, I am not so sure that that is accurate. Countries interested in entering into nuclear trade with Canada must sign a nuclear cooperation agreement with Canada tjat meets the requirements of our policy. All bilateral nuclear partners that have purchased CANDU technology or that are seriously interested in purchasing CANDU technology must do so.

The honourable senator has mentioned China. I would add countries such as Argentina, Romania, South Korea, Turkey, as well as others. They have nuclear cooperation agreements in place with Canada that meet the requirements of Canada's nuclear non-proliferation policy.

Senator Lynch-Staunton: If they violate it, is the penalty to close down the reactor?

Senator Andreychuk: Honourable senators, the problem is, as pointed out by the India situation, that there is no enforcement mechanism. If we find out there has been a failure, we can only appeal to their higher values, something which it is obvious they do not have. If they did have such values, they would not be exploding these devices and flaunting these rules.

Will the government, at least, at this point put a moratorium on further sales to see how we can put more teeth into our own agreements as well as those that are of an international nature?

Senator Graham: Honourable senators, non-nuclear weapons states must make a binding commitment to nuclear non-proliferation. They can do this by becoming a party to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty or by making an equivalent legally binding commitment. As I said, they must also agree to implement full International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards on all current and future nuclear facilities. This means that all their nuclear facilities are inspected on a regular basis by the international agency.

The basis of Senator Andrychuk's last question is whether or not Canada should put a moratorium on any further sales of nuclear technology. I point out that the India tests were unexpected and very shocking.

Senator Lynch-Staunton: Thanks to the CANDU.

Senator Graham: Thanks to the CANDU, which is the safest reactor in the world, and thanks to Canadian technology, which makes Canada a world leader in this field.

Senator Lynch-Staunton: Ontario Hydro shut down its own reactors, for God's sake.

Senator Graham: Nuclear energy is a safe, reliable, environmentally sound and cost-effective source of electric energy. Canada remains prepared under adequate safeguards to cooperate with other countries that want to benefit from Canadian expertise in the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Canada has stringent guidelines regarding the sale of Canadian nuclear technology. This country believes that the stringent requirements of its current nuclear non-proliferation policy provide strong assurances that Canadian nuclear technology is used solely for peaceful, non-explosive purposes.

We are all concerned. The world is concerned. This is not the property of one particular party or one particular government. Prime Minister Chrétien, our foreign minister and all leaders are talking almost on a daily basis about this problem. They are giving it prime attention. I am sure it is a concern to all Canadians. It should be a concern to all citizens of the world. It is hoped that cooler heads will prevail in the future with respect to the explosion of nuclear devices.

(1400)

Senator Andreychuk: The Indian situation was significantly troubling to the world when viewed against the backdrop of the amount of equipment moving out of the former Soviet Union and being disseminated around the world. I am asking you to appeal to the Prime Minister to reassess this issue, and not to stand on our past record, because it has failed. This is a dramatic change of events that we now cannot ignore. I urge you to pass on this request to the Prime Minister to deal with it before another sale.

Senator Graham: Senator Andreychuk has not only vast experience in this country but international experience as well. I am pleased to bring her personal concerns, as well as the concerns of all members of this chamber, to the attention of the Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, as well as the Minister of National Defence.

The Senate

Allocation Of Office Space To Retired Senator-Request For Particulars Of Costs

Hon. Marjory LeBreton: I have a question for the Government Leader in the Senate. In today's Ottawa Sun, there is a story confirming whispered rumours that we have been hearing around this place regarding office space being allocated to one Allan J. MacEachen, who retired from this place almost two years ago. The article in the Sun states:

...top Liberal brass insist the fiercely partisan MacEachen's "non-partisan" knowledge is indispensable to Parliament.

"He's very useful in terms of the work of the place and the history of the institution," said Liberal Senate Leader Al Graham. "He doesn't give partisan advice."

Graham's top aide claimed Tory senators agreed to the sweetheart deal because they didn't want to "lose" MacEachen.

"He is here to provide advice and to be available as a valuable resource to all parties because he has such a store of knowledge," the aide said.

Can the Government Leader in the Senate explain to this house how he can justify providing a suite of offices within the Senate precincts for the Honourable Allan J. MacEachen at taxpayers' expense?

Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, many honourable senators in this chamber have known Mr. MacEachen for many years and applaud him for his outstanding contribution to the institutions of Parliament and to the country as a whole, and indeed to his native province of Nova Scotia.

I have found his advice over the years to be very useful. I assure my honourable friend that, since his retirement, Mr. MacEachen has not offered me one single piece of partisan advice, but he has been helpful to me and to many other honourable senators on both sides of this chamber on numerous occasions.

Hon. David Tkachuk: Can we ask him, too?

Senator Graham: I know that during the hearings of the Special Committee of the Senate on the Cape Breton Development Corporation, he was asked to provide advice on a number of occasions.

Hon. John Lynch-Staunton (Leader of the Opposition): Does he need a suite for that?

Senator Graham: It is not a question of myself, as the Leader of the Government in the Senate, trying to provide office space for Mr. MacEachen on my own.

Senator Lynch-Staunton: Who did?

Senator Graham: It was done by agreement between the parties on both sides of the house.

Senator Lynch-Staunton: Can the Leader of the Government give any shred of evidence that any member on this side, past or present, authorized or agreed to a former senator occupying a suite of offices in the East Block? The answer to my own question is no.

Furthermore, I would like a retraction of the insinuation by the Leader of the Government that we were party to a former senator occupying a suite of offices with staff members and full Senate privileges.

Senator Graham: Honourable senators, as in most cases of this kind, one generally goes on a person's word, and that is what I am doing now. This arrangement was made prior to my becoming Leader of the Government in the Senate.

With respect to the people who are in Mr. MacEachen's office, for the most part I understand that they are volunteers. There is one person who is there from time to time who is a member of my staff but who is fully accountable to me. Because there is space there, that arrangement helps ease the strain with respect to the accommodation of my own personal staff.

Senator Lynch-Staunton: Will the Leader of the Government not agree that the arrangement to which this side agreed was that former Senator MacEachen would be allowed to occupy temporary, limited office space in the Victoria Building beyond the two months that a retired senator can occupy his own office space and have a secretary work there with him? We agreed to that out of deference to Mr. MacEachen's many years of service in Parliament and the accumulation of documentation which resulted. We understood that he might need a little more time than most senators in clearing his documentation and sorting it out.

However, never were we asked for approval for him to move into the East Block, which is primary space, with full Senate privileges, with staff, et cetera - never. Therefore I would ask the Leader of the Government to be very careful when he defines our approval as going anywhere beyond temporary, limited, modest office space with no staff in the Victoria Building.

Senator Graham: Honourable senators, I suppose it is one person's interpretation of a conversation.

Senator Lynch-Staunton: It is not an interpretation. I object. It is a fact.

Senator Graham: I do not want to define Senator Lynch-Staunton's assertions as offensive. However, at the same time, my understanding is that there was an agreement that Mr. MacEachen could occupy space in the Victoria Building. When he was moved to the East Block, it was on the understanding that the space that he had been occupying was required by senators on both sides of this chamber for the expansion of their offices, and it was done in order to accommodate those honourable senators.

Senator Lynch-Staunton: That may be so, but we never agreed to his being moved into a lavish office suite, at taxpayers' expense, for an unlimited period, with full staff and Senate privileges.

Senator Graham: I take exception to the comment that there is a full staff.

Senator Lynch-Staunton: Perhaps he does not get travel points.

Senator Graham: Everyone in his office is a volunteer, apart from one person who happens to be on my staff and who, from time to time, uses that office space for his own purposes to serve the Leader of the Government in the Senate.

Senator LeBreton: I would like to continue my question, Your Honour. This little display is all very interesting, but the fact of the matter is that Allan MacEachen is currently sitting in Senate space. Since the Leader of the Government has obviously given some thought to this matter, can he then confirm how many people work in the former senator's office, and whether they are on the payroll of the Senate of Canada or are paid from some other government source?

At the same time, can the Government Leader in the Senate advise this chamber of the cost of providing this suite of offices to the former senator and maintaining the offices, including all the related expenditures such as telephone, fax, and computer costs?

Senator Graham: I would not have that information immediately available to me. As I said earlier, there is one person on my staff who, from time to time, occupies space in that particular area occupied or provided for Mr. MacEachen. If anyone else is there, it is purely on a volunteer basis.

Senator LeBreton: I have a further supplementary: Who are the higher beings in this place who decide which parliamentarians belong to that exalted club defined as a "valuable resource"? Further, will the Government Leader in the Senate put a stop to such arrogant elitist acts? If Mr. MacEachen is deemed to be so valuable by his Liberal colleagues, then move him to the private sector quarters paid for by the Liberal Party of Canada.

Senator Graham: Honourable senators, as my honourable friend knows, there are precedents for such accommodation for former esteemed parliamentarians such as Senator Lemoyne, Senator Eugene Forsey, and Stanley Knowles -

Senator Lynch-Staunton: That was all done publicly. It was not done in secret. It was up front.

Senator Graham: - as was this particular arrangement.

Senator Lynch-Staunton: The arrangement was never referred to the Internal Economy Committee.

(1410)

Senator Graham: It was done with the agreement of parties on both sides of this chamber.

Senator Lynch-Staunton: I disagree. I will raise a point of order, if I must, and ask for a retraction. There was no agreement. I would like to find out why Senator Graham insists that there was an agreement that former Senator MacEachen be allowed space in the East Block. There was no such agreement. We, at least on this side of the house, only found out about it recently and saw the article in the paper today. That is the first knowledge that we had of it.

Senator Graham: The provision of accommodation, of course, is the responsibility of the respective whips on both sides of the chamber. As I said earlier, my understanding is that the movement of Mr. MacEachen from the Victoria Building to the East Block was necessitated by the request of senators on both sides of this chamber for the space that he was then occupying.

Senator Tkachuk: I have a supplementary question. Since the Leader of the Government said that Senator MacEachen is providing valuable service to the institution of Parliament, why were we within the institution of Parliament, my office or that of other members of Parliament in the other place not informed, by letter or otherwise, that he was available to the institution of Parliament and to all its members for consultation services? Or is this simply a service provided to Liberal members on that side and to the Prime Minister's office? Is this, in fact, a government function that has nothing to do with the institution of Parliament?

Senator Graham: Honourable senators, first of all, Senator MacEachen, as an honourable senator behind me just remarked, has always been available to senators on both sides of the chamber.

Senator Lynch-Staunton: Oh, please.

Some Hon. Senators: Oh! Oh!

Senator Graham: I am sure if Senator Murray were here, he would attest to that fact, because Senator Murray consulted with Senator MacEachen extensively during the special committee hearings on Devco. As a matter of fact, when I went to the final hearing during the testimony of then Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Anne MacLellan, I noticed Senator MacEachen in the room. I happened to be attending that particular hearing. It was the first time I had attended one of the hearings, and I was surprised to see him there. I was told that he had, by invitation, attended other committee hearings and provided valuable advice.

In any case, I hasten to say that if an honourable senator were to ask for the office that he now occupies, Mr. MacEachen would be very happy to move elsewhere.

Senator Tkachuk: I have a further supplementary. Would the government -

Hon. Jerahmiel S. Grafstein: He is a natural resource.

Senator Tkachuk: Oh, come on!

Senator Lynch-Staunton: Put up a bust of him next to that of Mackenzie King. Did he win the war, too?

Some Hon. Senators: Oh! Oh!

Senator Tkachuk: I find this whole matter rather repugnant, because it seems that the former senator occupying the office space is a Grit and a Liberal, and that is the only reason he has that office space. Otherwise I want the leader to table in the Senate today the qualifications that must be met by a senator who is retiring, and how he achieves that exalted status of a parliamentary consultant and a "treasure."

Senator Lynch-Staunton: A national treasure.

Senator Tkachuk: Then perhaps some senators on the other side can take advantage of this opportunity. While he is at it, is Senator MacEachen also writing his memoirs, perhaps, while he is serving as a ghostly consultant to the Parliament of Canada?

Senator Grafstein: I hope so. You do not want Canadian history?

Senator Tkachuk: I think we touched a nerve.

Senator Grafstein: If you do not want Canadian history, we will not give it to you. You do not like the history?

Senator Tkachuk: You are as arrogant as anyone on that side of the house.

Senator Grafstein: If Allan MacEachen is called arrogant, and I am called arrogant, I welcome it.

Senator Tkachuk: Arrogant Grit. That is what you are!

The Hon. the Speaker: Order, please. I wish to inform the Senate that the time for Question Period has expired.

Some Hon. Senators: Oh! Oh!

The Hon. the Speaker: Question Period has terminated.

Senator Tkachuk: I want an answer to that question. I want to know what it takes to get office space when you retire on a permanent basis.

The Hon. the Speaker: Delayed Answers.

Senator Tkachuk: I want to know what it is. I want to see the policy guidelines.

The Hon. the Speaker: Delayed Answers?

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Deputy Leader of the Government): I have a response to a question raised in the Senate on May 6, 1998, by the Honourable Senator Donald Oliver regarding the incident at Bakovici Mental Hospital -

Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Acting Deputy Leader of the Opposition): I have a point of order, Your Honour.

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable Senator Kinsella on a point of order.

Senator Kinsella: Honourable senator, pursuant to the Rules of the Senate, the Senate is able to authorize the continuation of Question Period. I make the request that Question Period be extended, with leave.

Senator Carstairs: No.

Some Hon. Senators: No.

Senator Berntson: He has not put the question.

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

Senator Carstairs: No.

Some Hon. Senators: No.

The Hon. the Speaker: Delayed Answers?

Senator Tkachuk: Point of privilege!

The Hon. the Speaker: Senator Tkachuk on a point of privilege.

Senator Tkachuk: Your Honour, I asked a question of the Leader of the Government in the Senate. I thought it was a question to which all senators and all parliamentarians should know the answer. When an honourable senator on the other side continued to speak from his chair, Your Honour did not stop the discussion that was taking place, and the answer to the question was not given. All I am asking is that my question be answered, because Your Honour failed to keep order during that time.

The Hon. the Speaker: Senator Tkachuk, I cannot accept your point of order.

Senator Lynch-Staunton: It was a point of privilege.

The Hon. the Speaker: Delayed Answers?

Delayed Answers to Oral Questions

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I have a response to a question raised in the Senate on May 6, 1998, by the Honourable Senator Donald Oliver regarding the incident at Bakovici Mental Hospital in Bosnia.

National Defence

Incidents at Bakovici Mental Hospital in Bosnia-Investigation Conducted by Regiment's Own Officers-Government Position

(Response to question raised by Hon. Donald H. Oliver on May 6, 1998)

1. In July 1996, Lieutenant-General Baril, as the Commander Land Force Command, announced an investigation into possible failures in leadership, and command and control in the 12e Régiment blindé du Canada (12 RBC) Battle Group (CANBAT 2) in Bosnia. Also at issue were alleged incidents of misconduct by members of the battle group at the mental hospital at Bakovici, Bosnia, in late 1993/early 1994. The 12 RBC Battle Group had a company of the Royal 22e Régiment (R 22e R) under command for part of the tour.

2. The Army level Board of Inquiry commenced its formal work in August 1996. It was conducted by officers from outside the Land Staff who were not party to the allegations. Only one member of a five-member board of inquiry team was from the Royal 22e Régiment. The Board of Inquiry President was Colonel (now Brigadier-General) Jan Arp from National Defence Headquarters (NDHQ). His background is as an officer of the Royal Canadian Artillery.

Of the 60 personnel which the Board of Inquiry recommended for career review board action, only 22 personnel required some form of career action. These 22 persons include members of the R 22e R, the 12 RBC, and Reservists who were members of the 12 RBC Battle Group for the tour.

Both General Baril and the Land Staff members that reviewed the Board of Inquiry were satisfied that the inquiry was conducted in a fair and impartial manner.

At the same time, the Commander Land Force Command (then Lieutenant-General Baril) also requested that the Chief of the Defence Staff order an investigation into the reasons for the delays of the Military Police investigation in getting to the truth about the allegations. This investigation was headed by a civilian, Mr. Lowell Thomas (retired from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police) and came to be known as the Thomas Investigation. Mr. Thomas concluded that there was no deliberate attempt to cover up or delay the investigative processes.

Answers to Order Paper Questions Tabled

Energy-Department of International Financial Institutions-Conformity with Alternative Fuels Act

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Deputy Leader of the Government) tabled the answer to Question No. 97 on the Order Paper-by Senator Kenny.

Energy-Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency-Conformity with Alternative Fuels Act

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Deputy Leader of the Government) tabled the answer to Question No. 86 on the Order Paper-by Senator Kenny.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

Canada Marine Bill

Third Reading-Motion in Amendment-Debate Suspended

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Bacon, seconded by the Honourable Senator Joyal, P.C., for the third reading of Bill C-9, for making the system of Canadian ports competitive, efficient and commercially oriented, providing for the establishing of port authorities and the divesting of certain harbours and ports, for the commercialization of the St. Lawrence Seaway and ferry services and other matters related to maritime trade and transport and amending the Pilotage Act and amending and repealing other Acts as a consequence.

Hon. Janis Johnson: Honourable senators, I rise today to identify myself with Senator Forrestall's remarks and the minority report on Bill C-9, which was appended to yesterday's proceedings.

Motion in Amendment

Hon. Janis Johnson: Therefore, in order to give the small ports in Canada the opportunity to approach the federal government and seek changes in Bill C-9, I move, seconded by Senator Spivak:

That Bill C-9, the Canada Marine Act, be not now read a third time but that it be read the third time on November 25, 1998, in order to give Ports in Canada the opportunity to put their cases regarding the disastrous effects of this Bill before the Government..

Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

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

Some Hon. Senators: No.

(1420)

Hon. J. Michael Forrestall: Honourable senators, I wish to make a very brief intervention. In a sense, I must apologize to the chamber. I had the motion in my hand yesterday and in the noise I sat down without having read it into the record to make it part of the process and proceedings.

The purpose of the amendment is quite straightforward. The concerns of many of the ports, and particularly the smaller ports, subject to automatic divestiture lie in the economic impact on the financial structure of the municipal unit they are in, the city, the town, even the province to some degree. So far, only one or two economic impact studies have been carried out. The carrying out of such impact studies after the fact may be too late for the individual ports to make known their financial position or for the municipal structures that rely on moneys that flow from those ports to make known their concerns. Most important, none of these ports have any idea of the amounts of ancillary expenditures to support port structures. In some cases, thousands of jobs may go wanting or be cut out completely.

Therefore, I appeal to the sense of fairness of honourable senators. Let us not run when we can walk. We are going in the right direction with transport legislation in this country. There is no question about that. Let us not act like lemmings and make a mad dash for the cliffs and the oceans beyond. Let us make sure that each step we take is cautious, careful, studied and that the results of those studies become known to the users of the ports, particularly those who have to look after the financial infrastructure of the communities that support them. In some cases we have whole communities dependent upon their port, Sept-Îles is one that comes to mind. Pugwash is in virtually the same situation.

I appeal to the other side to review the potential impact and provide resolutions for the many problems that will arise. The municipalities and port users are only now, at the end of the process, becoming aware of the full impact of Bill C-9. In a few minutes we will be dealing with amendments to the Canada Shipping Act. They have been around for a while. They are well thought out. They have been viewed by the users. The changes and how they will fit in the structure are understood. That is what I mean by proceeding cautiously. We are not doing that with respect to Bill C-9. I hope we will not regret it too much, particularly because we have one last chance. However, this is a good chance to provide the ports, municipalities and provinces an opportunity to conduct economic impact studies and make their views known to government.

We know that Minister Collenette has reached out in the form of a letter which Senator Bacon was good enough to bring to our attention. This letter was brought about in large measure by the efforts of Senator Bryden. We know there is a willingness to look and to act, so let us remove the process from the vagaries of paper. Let us do it through the more active process. We trust the process. The process will serve us well. However, we must use it properly. I suggest to you that this is a proper use. I hope that you will give some thought to that proposal in the next few minutes.

Hon. Mira Spivak: Honourable senators, I wish to support the amendment presented. The minister pointed out that the process in place for the devolution of the ports does not depend on this bill and that there is no real urgency in terms of time. Therefore, I wish to speak to another aspect which was raised and which, again, the minister addressed in his letter. Nevertheless, I continue to have some concerns.

There is a potent virus in Bill C-9. If we pass this bill as it stands, we will allow it to attack a fundamental principle of environment assessment in Canada, the principle that the federal rules of environmental assessment, as set down in the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, must apply fairly and equally to all. According to that principle, there should be no special status, no environmental assessment holiday and no separate rules for one industry. I do not need to remind senators that this week it is the friends of the government, not the opponents, who have pointed to the fact that there is something not absolutely up to scratch in the manner in which environmental assessment and environmental procedures in general are being carried out in this country.

Today, without Bill C-9 in force, there is one legal trigger that requires ports and the Seaway Authorities to follow the rules of the CEAA and examine the environmental impact of development before work begins. That trigger is the Navigable Waters Protection Act. Bill C-9 would provide that the NWPA would no longer apply to port authorities, public ports or the Seaway once navigational safety regulations and perhaps environmental regulations are in place under this bill.

In place of a legislated requirement for a CEAA assessment, we would have special environmental assessment rules under Bill C-9. The matter was brought to the committee's attention by environmental lawyers who advise the Minister of Environment. They are members of the regulatory advisory committee on CEAA and sit alongside representatives of the petroleum industry, the mining industry, the forestry industry and others on the committee. They know better than anyone what work is required before new CEAA regulations for the ports and the Seaway Authority can be adopted.

The committee has only just begun to examine how port authorities, public harbours and the Seaway Authority can be brought into the environmental assessment regime through the new CEAA regulations. They asked us very sincerely to withdraw the clauses from Bill C-9 that would give the ports and the seaway authority a CEAA holiday until those regulations are in place.

I appreciate the minister's good intent, described in his letter which Senator Bacon shared with all senators on May 14. He assures us that if new regulations under CEAA are still being discussed when the new port authorities are established, there will be environmental assessment regulations under clause 62 of this bill.

I appreciate the intent; however, I am far from confident that those means will get us where we should be going. First, clause 62 makes no mention of giving cabinet the authority to make regulations on environmental assessment. It would require a broad interpretation of the words "environmental protection" in clause 62 in order to do what the minister promises. Second, clause 62 is only one of three similar clauses of this bill and applies only to Canada port authorities. It does not apply to public ports or the Seaway Authority. Should we assume that they will have an environmental assessment holiday? Finally - and this is most important - there is no justification for giving port authorities, public ports or the Seaway a set of rules that are different from the CEAA rules which apply to the mining industry, the petroleum industry, the forestry industry and everyone else in Canada, including governments.

(1430)

We heard from the Vancouver Port Corporation that environmental assessment could delay development and jeopardize competitiveness. The facts are that in more than three years since CEAA became law, there have been 371 screenings triggered by the Navigable Waters Protection Act. Screenings are basic reviews of plants to see how potential damage to the environment can be eliminated. After those 317 screenings, only three projects required a longer comprehensive study to determine how damage could be mitigated up front, at low cost, as opposed to requiring costly clean ups after the harm has been done. In three years, as a result of the NWPA trigger, no project has had to go to a third lengthy review stage. There have been no environmental assessment panels, no public hearings, and none of the lengthy studies that the critics of CEAA complain about.

As Marie Anne Bowden, Associate Dean of Law at the University of Saskatchewan told us:

This bugaboo that everything will require panel hearings, that this will take years to complete, that it will slow down a project, is in fact a myth.

Those lawyers who presented their problem to committee proposed a compromise solution that the government delay removing the sole trigger for environmental assessment under CEAA, the NWPA trigger, until the new CEAA regulations are in place. It was a step back from the position that the NWPA trigger should not be removed. It was a compromise that acknowledged that the NWPA does things in addition to triggering assessments, and retaining it could create problems. It could mean the duplication of some aspects of law under the NWPA and Bill C-9. It was a compromise to give up a statutory trigger for a regulatory authority, knowing that down the road regulations can be changed more easily than laws. Even that compromise was unacceptable to the government. The minister offers the assurance that if regulations are not in place under CEAA, some of what is lost will be reinstated through Bill C-9 regulations.

That is not good enough. If you have one set of files under CEAA and another somewhere else, you cannot expect it not to spread to others. Who is next? Will the mining industry or the petroleum industry be next to have their own rules for environmental assessment instead of following CEAA?

Bill C-9 undermines environmental assessment. It is a legislated assault on the assessment process. The government wants Parliament to approve it. We on this side do not agree. We do not approve taking this huge step in the wrong direction. Last year, a report commissioned by the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation described the direction this government has been taking. The report's author, Andrew Nikiforuk, wrote that "environmental assessment has become a cynical, irrational and highly discretionary federal policy in Canada."

For that reason, honourable senators, I think it would be wise to delay the actual application of the measures in this bill, as is suggested by the amendment.

[Translation]

Hon. Pierre De Bané: Honourable senators, I am very pleased to take part in the debate on third reading of Bill C-9, the purpose of which is to create a new marine act for our country.

[English]

Before we talk about the bill, I want to acknowledge the valuable role that has been played by honourable senators from both sides of this chamber, who took part in the deliberations of our Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications, presided over by our colleague Senator Lise Bacon. It is worthwhile to remind ourselves of the history of that bill.

Prior to the last general election, that bill had been approved by the House of Commons. It had reached the report stage in our Senate Transport and Communications Committee. Then its passage was interrupted by the calling of the general election. During that first phase before the election, many witnesses were heard and many amendments were entertained. All those modifications were made to that bill after the general election. I should like to remind honourable senators that this bill was approved unanimously by the other place after the general election.

Senator Kinsella: That is no commendation.

Senator De Bané: Our committee held extensive hearings on that bill. That is the background that should be kept in mind, and it explains why a postponement of third reading for six months cannot be supported by this side of the house.

[Translation]

The bill addresses a broad range of shipping-related questions and by that very fact attracted many witnesses who were anxious to share their opinions with us. It is extremely important for those affected by this legislation to have real access to the process at every stage of the bill. The success of this parliamentary process requires a reasonable discussion of their ideas and concerns before final decisions are taken. I am pleased to say that, once again, the considerable efforts expended by the Standing Committee on Transport and Communications have demonstrated the constructive role played by the committee examination process in maintaining this essential link with the public.

This was very much a concerted effort. All members worked diligently in discussing the witnesses' concerns and in addressing issues with the minister and his representatives, until the committee was satisfied it had settled all of the questions entrusted to it.

We must also acknowledge the remarkable contribution made by the transport community throughout the country, which focussed great attention on this project throughout the entire three years of the process.

The bill has undergone numerous changes in its two trips through the House of Commons. I do not wish to minimize the merit of the members of that House by indicating that the most judicious changes are due to the various stakeholders from the shipping community, who saw what was needed, promoted it, and took a concrete part in the work on the bill.

[English]

The bill now before us, Bill C-9, gives a new outlook and a new direction for many of our key marine institutions and facilities. The bill sets out to do the following things. First, to focus federal attention on national level and remote area marine facilities; second, to bring major marine decisions closer to users and to local communities; third, to provide major ports with the tools that they need to operate commercially and efficiently, both by cutting red tape and by creating a level playing field; and, fourth, to work in conjunction with the program established for divestiture of local and regional ports, including a $125-million ports divestiture fund to bring the condition of facilities up to standards prior to transfer.

Bill C-9 will also reduce Seaway costs through commercialization of Seaway operations and leave open the possibility of eventual bi-national operations. Another important point is that the bill will improve the efficiency and financial stability of pilotage authorities and maintain effective regimes to deal with safety, navigation and the environment.

(1440)

Bill C-9 will ensure that equitable and comparable pensions and other benefits remain in place for marine sector employees affected by the changes, and finally, it will provide a general review after four years to take stock of the need for future changes. There will be a review in four years' time.

To reach these goals, the bill provides many new structures to address today's changing conditions.

[Translation]

The Canada Marine Act lays the foundation for a closer relationship between the major marine institutions and local users and communities. The Canada Marine Act promotes this closer relationship by establishing uniform transparency, disclosure and funding requirements vis-à-vis local communities.

The Canada Marine Act serves taxpayers by requiring that the investment decisions, other than those required by emergency situations, set out in the bill be reviewed by a commercial credit organization.

The Canada Marine Act is designed to operate in parallel with the ports divestiture program by giving the minister authority for public ports during the period leading up to divestiture, and this authority remains in place even when the official divestiture has taken place.

The Canada Marine Act contributes to safety and protection of the environment through a simplified series of regulatory powers provided for in the bill that go hand-in-hand with the regulatory initiatives taken between Transport Canada and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

[English]

Honourable senators, there is a question of balance. At many points in the bill, we have had to address differences in aspirations and viewpoints by coming forward with a fine balance of objectives. For example, we wanted to maintain a special relationship with port authorities by granting them Crown agent status. This had to be balanced with legitimate concerns of the Crown about related liabilities and with a concern that parties in the private sector not be disadvantaged by the special status of the port authorities. In the end, we found a combination of measures to achieve the goal and balance off the legitimate concerns, including such features as port authorities operating as agents of the Crown for core activities, such as shipping, navigation and the handling of goods. It is recognized that ports may need to undertake non-core activities, such as industrial development related to port operations, in order to be self-sufficient and competitive. The bill establishes that non-core activities should not be undertaken as agents of the Crown so that ports do not have an unfair advantage when competing with local businesses. The scope of core and non-core activities will be specified in each port's letters patent, which will be customized to suit the unique characteristics of each port.

Some would prefer to see our ports, even our major commercial ports, continue to have access to the treasury to fund new investments. In the new arrangements, port loans will be by private sector lenders and can be secured by revenues and non-federal real property.

I wish to speak about the fixtures on federal lands authorized by letters patent. For instance, the financing of a new container crane could include the pledging of the crane itself.

The Hon. the Speaker: I regret to have to interrupt the Honourable Senator De Bané, but under rule 66(3), at 15 minutes before the bell, the Speaker must interrupt the proceedings when there is a deferred vote. We will have the vote, following which we will return to exactly the point at which we are now and the honourable senator can conclude his comments.

Debate suspended.

Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act

Bill to Amend-Third Reading

On the Order:

On the motion of the Honourable Senator Poulin, seconded by the Honourable Senator Forest, for the third reading of Bill S-2, An Act to amend the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act and to make a consequential amendment to another Act,

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

1. In clause 1, on page 1:

(a) by adding the following after line 17:

"(2.1) The definition of "transportation occurrence" in section 2 of the Act is replaced by the following:

"transportation occurrence" means an aviation occurrence, a railway occurrence, a marine occurrence, a pipeline occurrence or a highway occurrence."; and

(b) by adding the following after line 19:

""highway occurrence" means

(a) any accident or incident associated with the operation of a truck, and

(b) any situation or condition that the Board has reasonable grounds to believe could, if left unattended, induce an accident or incident described in paragraph (a);".

"2.1 Section 3 of the Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (4):

(4.1) This Act applies in respect of highway occurrences

(a) in Canada, if the occurrence relates to extraprovincial truck transport; and

(b) outside Canada, if Canada is requested to investigate the occurrence by an appropriate authority.."

3. In clause 3, on page 2, by adding the following after line 21:

"(1.1) Subsection 4(2) of the Act is replaced by the following:

(2) The Governor in Council shall appoint as members persons who, in the opinion of the Governor in Council, are collectively knowledgeable about air, marine, rail, pipeline and highway transportation.".

4. On page 3, by adding the following new Clause after line 10:

"4.1 The portion of subsection 6(1) of the Act after paragraph (b) is replaced by the following:

and in this subsection, "transportation" means air, marine, rail, pipeline or highway transportation.".

5. In clause 7, on page 3, by replacing lines 31 to 36 with the following:

"7. (1) Subsection 10(1) of the Act is replaced by the following:

10. (1) From among the employees appointed under subsection 9(1), there shall be

(a) a Director of Investigations (Air), a Director of Investigations (Marine), a Director of Investigations (Rail and Pipelines) and a Director of Investigations (Highway); and

(b) other investigators.

(2) Subsection 10(2) of the Act is replaced by the following:

(2) Each of the four Directors mentioned in paragraph (1)(a) has exclusive authority to direct the conduct of investigations on behalf of the Board under this Act in relation to aviation occurrences, marine occurrences, railway and pipeline occurrences, and highway occurrences, respectively, but

(a) the Directors' authority under this subsection must be exercised in accordance with any policies established under paragraphs 8(1)(b) and (c); and

(b) the Directors shall report to the Board with respect to their investigations and shall conduct such further investigation as the Board requires under paragraph 8(1)(d).".

6. In clause 13:

(a) on page 5, by replacing line 32 with the following:

"(2) Paragraphs 19(9)(a) and (b) of the Act are"; and

(b) on page 6:

(i) by adding the following after line 4:

"(b) where the investigator believes on reasonable grounds that the medical examination of a person who is directly or indirectly involved in the operation of an aircraft, a ship, a rolling stock, a pipeline or a truck is, or may be, relevant to the investigation, by notice in writing signed by the investigator, require the person to submit to a medical examination;," and

(ii) by adding the following after line 18:

"(3.1) Paragraph 19(14)(a) of the Act is replaced by the following:

(a) to imply that a thing seized pursuant to subsection (1) may not be an aircraft, a ship, an item of rolling stock, a pipeline or a truck, or any part thereof; or".

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, the bells will now ring for 15 minutes.

Call in the senators.

(1500)

Motion in amendment negatived on the following division:

YEAS
THE HONOURABLE SENATORS

 

Andreychuk, Atkins, Balfour, Beaudoin, Berntson, Bolduc, Buchanan, Cochrane, Cohen, Comeau, DeWare, Di Nino, Doody, Eyton, Forrestall, Grimard, Gustafson, Johnson, Kelleher, Keon, Kinsella, Lavoie-Roux, LeBreton, Lynch-Staunton, Meighen, Murray, Phillips, Rivest, Roberge, Rossiter, St. Germain, Simard, Spivak, Stratton-34

NAYS
THE HONOURABLE SENATORS

 

Adams, Austin, Bacon, Bosa, Bryden, Butts, Callbeck, Carstairs, Chalifoux, Cook, Corbin, De Bané, Fairbairn, Ferretti Barth, Fitzpatrick, Forest, Gigantès, Grafstein, Graham, Hébert, Hervieux-Payette, Johnstone, Joyal, Kolber, Lewis, Losier-Cool, Lucier, Maheu, Mercier, Milne, Moore, Pépin, Poulin, Prud'homme, Robichaud (L'Acadie-Acadia), Robichaud (Saint-Louis-de-Kent), Stewart, Stollery, Taylor, Whelan-40

ABSTENTIONS
THE HONOURABLE SENATORS

Nil.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, the question now before the Senate is on the motion by the Honourable Senator Poulin, seconded by the Honourable Senator Forest, for the third reading of Bill S-2, to amend the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act and to make a consequential amendment to another Act.

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

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Some Hon. Senators: No.

Hon. John Lynch-Staunton (Leader of the Opposition): On division.

The Hon. the Speaker: I declare the motion carried, on division.

Motion agreed to and bill read third time and passed, on division.

Canada Marine Bill

Third Reading-motion in amendment-Debate Continued

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Bacon, seconded by the Honourable Senator Joyal, P.C., for the third reading of Bill C-9, for making the system of Canadian ports competitive, efficient and commercially oriented, providing for the establishing of port authorities and the divesting of certain harbours and ports, for the commercialization of the St. Lawrence Seaway and ferry services and other matters related to maritime trade and transport and amending the Pilotage Act and amending and repealing other Acts as a consequence.

And on the motion in amendment of the Honourable Senator Johnson, seconded by the Honourable Senator Spivak, that the Bill be not now read the third time but that it be read the third time on November 25, 1998, in order to give Ports in Canada the opportunity to put their cases regarding the disastrous effects of this Bill before the Government.

Hon. Pierre De Bané: Honourable senators, the government's financial consultant, Nesbitt Burns, found that under these rules the 18 initial port authorities should be financially self-sufficient and should be able to access funding from commercial lenders in amounts sufficient to meet capital expenditures requirements.

When current operations within the Canada Ports Corporation want to borrow from the Crown, in addition to demonstrating a commercial return, they must compete with all other demands on government funds in order to get their financing. The balancing benefit in the new system is to have access to commercial markets in the same way that NAV CANADA and airports are successfully doing.

There are many other points that one can make about the balances achieved under this legislation, but I hope these few examples give honourable senators a clear idea of the care and attention to detail that has gone into the design of all parts of this legislation.

[Translation]

In conclusion, honourable senators, I wish to point out that Bill C-9 is the culmination of much work on the part of the marine sector. It constitutes a practical and realistic balance in the way we run our marine institutions and facilities.

Many parties have said they would have liked to accomplish much more, but we have also heard many others say that the time is right to move forward and implement the decisions that have been made.

This bill is an important part of overall initiatives underway to ready our transportation system for the requirements of the centuries ahead. The new Canada Marine Act takes us another step forward in meeting this challenge. I therefore urge all my honourable colleagues to pass Bill C-9 and I thank the Chair of our parliamentary committee, Senator Lise Bacon, who made sure that everyone was heard. I would like to thank my colleagues, particularly Senator Bryden, who worked exceptionally hard to see that the specific requirements of small ports were taken into account.

On motion of Senator Bacon, debate adjourned.

[English]

Business of the Senate

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, if there is agreement on both sides of the chamber, I suggest that we allow all other items on the Order Paper to stand so that committees can meet as they have planned.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Senate adjourned until tomorrow at 2 p.m.