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Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

1st Session, 36th Parliament,
Volume 137, Issue 68

Thursday, June 4, 1998

The Honourable Gildas L. Molgat, Speaker


Thursday, June 4, 1998

The Senate met at 2:00 p.m., the Hon. the Acting Speaker, Eymard G. Corbin, in the Chair.


The Honourable Duncan J. Jessiman

Tributes on Retirement

Hon. John Lynch-Staunton (Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, I rise to pay tribute to our colleague Duncan Jessiman, who sits here today for the last time, since tomorrow, June 5, he will reach the mandatory retirement age. While it is one thing to extol a senator whose career began before one's own, it is quite another to speak of a colleague whose contributions and achievements have been witnessed from their very first day. In Senator Jessiman's case, they have been so numerous that it is hard to believe that they were all realized in only five years.

Unfortunately, this exceptional record is seriously marred by his negligence of the chamber itself. From his appointment until today, the Senate has held 311 sittings, and Senator Jessiman only attended 235 of them, for a paltry attendance record of only 74.4 per cent.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Senator Lynch-Staunton: In anticipation of the official opposition members in the other place haranguing him for his absenteeism - that is, if they can break away from signing on to the parliamentary pension plan through their crocodile tears - I will try as best I can to explain his absences.

No sooner was he appointed in May of 1993 than Senator Jessiman made his presence felt on a number of committees, in particular the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee, the Social Affairs Committee and its Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs, and the Fisheries Committee. He was a most effective and persuasive member of the Special Committee on the Pearson Airport Agreements during the summer of 1995. The following summer he attended hearings on the amendments to Term 17 of the Constitution and stayed with them throughout, despite the pain caused by his delaying major surgery. His participation in hearings on the amendments to the Divorce Act led to the setting up of a Joint Committee on Child Custody and Access, which will not be the same with him gone.

Yesterday, by the way, he was honoured by the Human Equality Action and Resource Team, known as HEART, a national coalition of organizations representing fathers, mothers and extended parents, in recognition of his outstanding work in the promotion of human equality, family law and social policy. He has also come out in favour of the decriminalization of marijuana, and has taken a special interest in the use of drugs in this country and the need to develop a more realistic policy regarding them.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Senator Lynch-Staunton: His passionate interest in the welfare of veterans derives in large part from the fact that he himself is one, having served with distinction in the Royal Canadian Navy, which he joined in 1942 and left at the end of the war with the rank of lieutenant. More than once, his sea duties led him near to death.

I did try to get a copy of his recruitment records, to find an explanation for how a prairie boy ends up in the navy.

Senator Carstairs: They all did.

Senator Lynch-Staunton: Both the Access to Information Commissioner and the Privacy Commissioner counselled restraint on this one.

A successful and highly regarded corporate law graduate from the University of Manitoba, from which he also received an honorary degree, Duncan has been a most active member of the Winnipeg community, having been successfully involved with the University of Winnipeg, the Victoria General Hospital, the United Way, the Canadian Arthritis Society, to name but some of the organizations which have benefited from his energy and enthusiasm. His support of the Conservative Party, both provincially and federally, has been unswerving, particularly during its dark years in the 1950s when Tories in Manitoba were about as numerous as those in Quebec at that time, and even are today, come to think of it.

In the gallery are Senator Jessiman's wife, Alix, and his two sons Duncan and Robert and their wives. To Alix in particular, and to Senator Jessiman's entire family, I wish to express on behalf of all of my caucus colleagues our heartfelt thanks for allowing their personal lives to be disrupted so that Duncan could give us the full benefit of his intellect and uncanny ability to dissect legislation. I must alert them, however, that while he intends to return to the practice of law in Winnipeg, to improve his golf game, especially his putting, with professional help or not, and to arrange cruises no longer threatened with cancellations, he has informed me that he will be available for consultation on a non-partisan basis.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Senator Lynch-Staunton: However, he refuses to be declared a national treasure or resource, out of respect for provincial jurisdiction in this field. As a matter of fact, a request is being forwarded this week to the Internal Economy Committee requesting space for him in the Centre Block and, if approved, he will be installed on weekends in a three-table suite in the fifth-floor cafeteria.


Duncan, we will all miss you. Your five years have been such that your absence will be felt for a long time. May you enjoy an active retirement from the Senate. Few have deserved it more.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I rise today to pay tribute to Senator Duncan Jessiman, a colleague, a friend, a fellow Manitoban and, for many years, a very close neighbour. I lived in number 1, 525 Wellington Crescent and he still lives in number 7, 525 Wellington Crescent. Today is the occasion of his retirement and I will miss him very much.

I should like to start by saying that in this chamber, as individuals and as affiliates of political parties, we frequently oppose one another on motions, on bills and on opinions. However, we often also reach consensus on these very same things. What this allows us to achieve, in a collegial manner, is, in my view, simply respect - respect for one another as individuals and respect for each other's political associations. It is my view that this is what makes this chamber a particularly special legislative chamber.

When I see Senator Jessiman sitting across from me in this chamber, or I see him or hear his name mentioned outside these walls, the concept of respect is at the forefront of my thoughts. Senator Jessiman, through example in this chamber, on Senate committees, in public business and in community work, has both offered respect and has been afforded it in return - and quite justifiably. He has exemplified how an individual can oppose the views of others, and yet still respect them in Parliament and outside. I commend Senator Jessiman for this admirable trait. A great deal can be learned from the example he has set during his five years of membership in this chamber: how, for example, across party lines we can work toward mutual goals.

A second trait of Duncan's that I admire is his intense sense of dedication - dedication to his education, his career, his community work, his political life, and his family.

Nearly 50 years ago, Duncan Jessiman chose law as his educational aspiration and has stuck to it ever since. He received his BA, his LLB, and his LLM from the University of Manitoba, and an honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Winnipeg. After graduation, Senator Jessiman began his legal career and it, too, exudes dedication. I would not find it hard to inform you of all of Duncan's countless career achievements, but I must tell you it has been difficult to choose which to highlight. From 1948 to 1971, for over 23 years, he served as a lawyer with Johnston, Jessiman & Gardner. In 1971, Senator Jessiman traversed to Pitblado & Hoskin, where he became a senior partner. From 1956 to 1967, for over 11 years, he was a lecturer for post-graduate courses in corporation law at the University of Manitoba. While embarking upon his career as a lawyer, Duncan Jessiman volunteered his time to his community with a similar degree of that same dedication.

He also has an extensive history of community service in our province and across our country. Again, I just want to mention a few highlights. For 16 years, Duncan was the chairperson of the board of governors of the University of Winnipeg. He was a founding member, chairperson of the board and member of the executive committee of the Victoria General Hospital Research and Services Inc. He joined the Royal Canadian Navy, as Senator Lynch-Staunton has indicated, as a volunteer in the reserves in 1942 and served in Canada, the United States and France, being honourably discharged with the rank of lieutenant in 1945.

He was a member of the advisory boards of the Rainbow Stage and of the Canadian Arthritis Society, the chairperson of the cabinet of the United Way of Winnipeg, the president of the Rotary Club of Winnipeg, and the list goes on.

With such dedication to career and community, it is hard to find the time, sometimes, that Duncan found to become involved in the Progressive Conservative Party, and I must say, as a former leader in the Province of Manitoba, I wish he had found just a little less time to become involved. He is certainly proof of the adage: If you want something done, ask a busy person. He was much more than simply involved with his party for nearly 40 years; Senator Jessiman has contributed to his party in many ways, not the least of which was that he served as chief fund-raiser at both the federal and provincial levels.

On May 26, 1993, his dedication was recognized when he was summoned to the Senate. A week prior to this, Duncan attended a dinner party in my home and revealed, with some sense of despair, that he did not think the appointment would be his. I suppose he tried to escape his eventual fate because, on the very day his appointment was announced, I tried to deliver a bottle of champagne to my neighbour, but that day, Senator Jessiman was in Vancouver. However, I did manage to deliver it when he returned to the province the next day.

Honourable senators, let me make a connection between Senator Jessiman's role in Canadian society and his role as a senator in this chamber. Senator Jessiman's eclectic background has strengthened his involvement in this place. His experiences in World War II enhanced his work as a senator. Take, for example, his contribution to the Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs and his assistance in developing public and institutional consensus with respect to the War Museum, as well as his very clear concern for appropriate medical services for veterans.

Let us also consider the influence of Duncan's experiences and his involvement on the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee with respect to Bill C-8, the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Far be it from me to suggest what experience Duncan had that led to his strong position in regard to this bill, but whatever it was - most likely his response to witness testimony - it made a strong impact on him. At the age of 73, Duncan became a spokesperson, so to speak, for marijuana decriminalization. Duncan's position was so pronounced, I understand, that his office is still receiving calls from those who support the decriminalization of this drug.

In all sincerity, Senator Jessiman's membership on the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee is exemplary of how this chamber works. Senator Jessiman approached his responsibility on the committee with an open mind, and concluded with an informed position.

Let me recite the words he spoke to the Senate reflecting this admirable trait:

Honourable senators, let me say at the outset that I am and always have been, and always will continue to be, very much opposed to persons using drugs except for medical purposes. Having said this, however, having read a great deal about how the war against drugs is being conducted and having heard from several witnesses, including representatives of our government, members of the Canadian Bar Association, the Canadian Medical Association and several others, I am now of the strong view that the thrust of most governments, including the Canadian government, in criminalizing the possession of drugs is wrong.

With words like this, I believe we can all understand why Senator Jessiman continues to receive phone calls in his office soliciting his support.

Finally, but by no means last, I would like to acknowledge Duncan's dedication to his family, to his wife, Alix, and their three children, Duncan, Robert and Sally, and to his grandchildren. To have as full and as successful a career as Duncan has had, it is obvious that a strong, loving and committed family was walking beside him, and we thank them all for their contributions.

Honourable senators, 75 is the age of retirement in this place. However, the wisdom of the retiring individual continues on within the walls of this chamber. I am reminded of a statement by Stephen Leacock in 1939 on his thoughts about retirement:

The child says, "When I am a big boy." But what is that? The big boy says, "When I grow up." And then, grown up, he says, "When I get married." But to be married, what is that after all? The thought changes to "When I'm able to retire." And then, when retirement comes, he looks back over the landscape traversed; a cold wind seems to sweep over it; somehow he has missed it all, and it is gone. Life, we learn too late, is in the living, in the tissue of every day and every hour.

However, when I look back at the dedication of Senator Jessiman, to his education, political life, his legal career, his community work, and his family, I have full confidence in saying that Duncan, my friend, my colleague, my fellow Manitoban, was never that little boy to start with, and he has lived each and every day to its fullest.

To close, I must say that I prefer an address given by Wilder Penfield at the Canadian Club in Montreal in 1959. He stated:

The time for retirement should be reorganized and renamed. It is the time for embarking on a new career.


I should like to wish the Honourable Senator Duncan Jessiman even greater times in the years to come and a wonderful retirement from the Senate, however he chooses to define it.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Hon. Terry Stratton: Honourable senators, I, too, stand today to pay my respects to our colleague Senator Duncan Jessiman. Much has been said by the previous speakers on which I will not go into further detail. However, I will give an overview from the Tory side.

Speaker Charbonneau welcomed Senator Jessiman to the Senate on May 31, 1993, along with Senators Gustafson and Roberge. When the then Leader of the Government, Senator Murray, introduced Senator Jessiman, he said:

Senator Jessiman, a veteran of the Second World War, is a lawyer and a past bencher of the Manitoba Law Society. In recognition of his reputation in his profession, in the business community and in community service, the University of Winnipeg has conferred upon him an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws.

Duncan was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. At the age of 18, he joined the Royal Canadian Navy as a midshipman. He served in the coastal forces in Canada, the United Kingdom and France. He served with the 29th Canadian Motor Torpedo Boat Flotilla and was part of the Allied liberation of Europe, participating in D-day, June 6, 1944, and in operations on the French, Belgian and Dutch coasts. This was dangerous duty. He survived the destruction of his squadron at 0stend in 1945. He was honourably discharged as a Lieutenant RCNVR in August 1945.

Upon his return to Canada, he attended the University of Manitoba, started practising law in 1948, and continues to do so today. He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1959 and has appeared successfully before the Supreme Court of Canada on four occasions.

The senator has served the community of Winnipeg in many ways. He was a member of the board of the University of Winnipeg for 16 years and is a past chairman of that institution. He was a member of the board of the Victoria General Hospital in Winnipeg for 15 years and is also a past chairman of that institution. He is a past president and member of the Rotary Club of Winnipeg. He is a past member of the boards of the Rainbow Stage and the Canadian Arthritis Society.

Recently, Senator Jessiman was criticized in the other place for being a Tory fund-raiser, which, it was said, somehow made him an unsuitable member of this chamber. Yes, he raised money for the Tories and, by gosh, it was a lot of money. However, he also raised a lot of money for all the charitable organizations he volunteered with, both in Manitoba and throughout the entire country.

Senator Jessiman's background and experience before coming to the Senate has been a tremendous asset to the work we do here. He meticulously reviewed legislation and has greatly enhanced the level of debate in this chamber. We will all greatly miss him.

However, we have heard enough about his curriculum vitae, as it were. We need to think about the human face of the man; what he is really like. When I heard about Duncan when I first became involved in politics, he was "the man," the "éminence grise" and he scared a lot of folks, especially the younger turks. It was not until one got to know him through working on campaigns and attending fund-raising dinners that the human face evolved, and that side of him was seen by many people. That is not to say that he was not a tough negotiator or as tough as heck as a chair of dinners.

Duncan was raised on the prairies during the Depression. As you are aware, the Depression affected the prairies more than any other area of the country. Many folks rode the rails from one town to another to get work. My older brother rode the rails with a few buddies to British Columbia and picked cherries for a while. Duncan ran away from home to do the same, except he was commandeered to fight forest fires and never got to pick cherries.

Senator Jessiman has told me that when he was 16 and was running away from home, the maid gave him a lunch on his way out the door. I wonder whether it was the maid or his mother. He says it was the maid, but you know how kids are at that age, especially boys; they treat the house like a hotel and their mother like a maid.

When the war started, this prairie boy volunteered for service. On the prairies, we have a sea of wheat, so when we look at a sea of water we think it cannot be so bad. Duncan joined the navy and patrolled our East Coast in small boats.

Being a prairie boy, he was constantly seasick. He would have lunch, and by 1:30 in the afternoon his lunch would be in the ocean. He was called into the doctor's office, who told him, "If you do this once more, you will be put on land and will never see the sea again." Thereafter, Duncan was able to hold off getting seasick, at least until he was out of sight of that doctor.

In England, at night, his ship, a very light craft, would cross the channel to France, seeking out and trying to destroy the enemy along the coast. They would head for home at dawn. As dawn was nearing one morning, they came around a point of land straight into a group of German ships. The commander of the flotilla, a kid probably not much older than Duncan, was in the craft ahead which was blown right out of the water, so Duncan considers himself a very lucky man. He was lucky again during his first leave. He came home to Canada and, while he was here, his ship blew up in the harbour. Everyone aboard was killed. Again, he was a very lucky man.

He has also been very fortunate with his family: Alix, his children and his grandchildren. He has said, "I am very, very lucky."

Duncan stole a story from me last night about the "Big O." Duncan has, on his license plate, the "Big Big O." Before he leaves this chamber today, I want him to tell you the story about the "Big O," because in his family he is called "Big." Look at the size of him. There is a wonderful story in that which I think he should tell you.


There is another story about golf. Duncan loves to golf. He is not a bad golfer. As his son said, he had a nice natural swing, except when it came to putting. His wife alluded to the fact that he should see a psychiatrist because he could never solve his putting stroke. It was a jab instead of a smooth swing through.

There is a wonderful story of his wife coming home one day to find Duncan sitting on the couch wearing a set of headphones. I ask Duncan to tell the story, if he can remember it.

The last one, of course, is the one that I would love to tell. It is the story about Mr. Big again and his love of being big. Look at how big he is, honourable senators.

His initials are D.J.J., Duncan James Jessiman. One day he decided to change his second initial to "W," thus making his initials D.W.J. What the heck did the "W" stand for? It stood for Wayne. Guess which Wayne, honourable senators. John Wayne! He loved John Wayne. A couple of years later he realized that it was inappropriate and he changed his initials back to D.J.J.

These are stories from his family which show how much they love the man and how much faith and trust they have in him. They know he can take a joke. For that, Duncan, you are indeed the luckiest guy around. Thank you.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Hon. Philippe Deane Gigantès: Honourable senators, I have much esteem for Senator Jessiman. We have a bond. I watched him wincing while whatever he did in World War II in the torpedo boats was described in such amateurish fashion but with such friendly affection by his colleague and seat-mate. He has been an ornament to this house.

I have had the privilege of sitting with him on the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs where we considered disputatious issues. However, one could always rely on his gentlemanliness and friendliness.

The three of us who also served in World War II who will be left after he takes his leave today will be lonely. However, I will be the least lonely because I am the next to leave. Senator Phillips and Senator Johnstone will be the last ones from that generation in this place. The others can only talk afterward about their grandfathers and what their grandfathers did.

You are a fine man, sir. Best of luck.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Hon. Janis Johnson: Honourable senators, I, too, wish to join in the tributes today to a colleague who has given so much to his country, his province of Manitoba and the Senate of Canada, the Honourable Duncan Jessiman.

I do not think Duncan knows how much I admire him and the work he has done in his lifetime. He is of a generation of men and women who served in the war, built lives and careers afterward and went on to contribute so much to their communities.

In Duncan's case, he built an excellent legal reputation in Winnipeg and still found time to volunteer his efforts on a number of fronts, including the political scene, for which the Conservative Party is eternally grateful. His fund-raising work is legendary, but more important was the way he handled his tasks, always in a gentlemanly manner. This made him unique.

He told us last night at his farewell dinner that the late Sally Thoraldson first got him involved in politics. Of course, anyone who has followed this illustrious Icelander cannot help but be a smart and successful guy. Duff Roblin then got Duncan helping him. Once "Premier Duff" got his hands on you, you were hooked. I know this from personal experience because he brought my entire family into public life, too.

The rest is history in Duncan's case. His work and his reputation grew. He finally came to the Senate after many years of public and private service, one of Brian Mulroney's superb appointments.

It is important for us to tell retiring colleagues that they are valued, and to celebrate their contribution to the work we do. I doubt many senators have done as much in five years as Duncan Jessiman has done. He has worked diligently and given completely of his time and energy to the job and the many committees on which he has served.

I do not know how he did it all. However, I do know he loved every minute of it. Had he arrived here sooner, he would have taken over the place, except for western caucus. Duncan, I still do not know where you were all those nights that our western caucus met. You must have been somewhere a lot more fun than sitting up in the alcove in the Parliamentary Restaurant. Perhaps you could share that with me at another time.

In any event, I doubt that you will retire, Duncan. Rather, I know you will continue in your legal work and your many other pursuits. I wish you, your wonderful wife, Alix, and your terrific family all the very best.

God speed, Duncan.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Hon. David Tkachuk: Honourable senators, I, too, would like to spend some time paying tribute to my friend Dunc Jessiman.

Unlike many Manitobans, I did not know Dunc: I had just heard of Dunc before he arrived in the Senate. I finally met him in February of 1994. There was an election going on at the time.

I had a chance encounter with Dunc in the spring of 1993 when we were both appointed to the Senate. I had to listen to Senator Duncan Jessiman give that speech on the $6,000 expense allowance. Of course, those of you who were here during that time will remember it. For those of you who were not here, we had a little dispute over a piece of legislation which would give $6,000 in accommodation allowance to senators. Then, of course, the Canadian public went absolutely nuts, and we had to gather back here to change our minds.

Dunc, of course, took this matter extremely seriously because this was a big issue and he had just arrived here. We should have known from that speech what kind of senator Duncan would make.

Honourable senators will remember that Duncan had only been here a month when he made that speech. Those of you who are new senators, as I was at the time, will remember how intimidating this place can be. In his speech Duncan told us how he had prepared to make his remarks. As reported at page 3740 of the Debates of the Senate, he said:

Since the vote was taken on June 23, 1993, I have read a list of material respecting the role of senators in Canada. I have perused the applicable sections of the Parliament Act of Canada respecting sessional allowances and expenses for senators and members of Parliament. I have read reports of the two commissions held by virtue of section 68 of the Parliament of Canada Act dealing specifically with the adequacy of payment to members of the House of Commons and to senators, namely the report of the commission to reduce salaries of members of the House of Commons and senators, chaired by William C. Clark and Colleen Campbell, the former members of Parliament referred to by Senator Prud'homme. Then the commission to review allowances of members of Parliament was chaired by Honourable Gerry St. Germain, now an honourable senator....Their report was tabled in the House on October 13, 1989.

I compiled a summary of what the members of the House of Commons and senators received by way of sessional allowances and expense allowances from 1974 to 1993 inclusive and also referred back to 1945 as well. In this summary, I have included the special $6,000 accommodation allowance recommended by the St. Germain commission....

He went on to say:

I did not include in this summary of expenses a per diem allowance of $13.50 given to members of the House of Commons on April 1, 1993....

He then went on to talk about the $6,000 and, frankly, the history of the Senate.


This is a man who is thorough. He went on to discuss the significance of the Senate and the important issues we should study. He was just getting started. Then he did not get to finish because his time was up.

Senator Jessiman is a real gentleman, as you all know. On one occasion he uttered a classic line. The Speaker had risen to tell him that his time had expired, and there were fierce denials to his request to continue. He said: "I did not mention at the outset I would be some time." Then he kept right on going, quoting the Supreme Court, and Senator Murray had to get up and cut him off because he wanted the vote to take place. That was the Senator Jessiman of whom I first became aware.

Shortly after I met Senator Jessiman in 1994, he was telling me in caucus that he did not think it right that senators did not have a right to vote down a government bill. The senators did not have the prerogative to defeat a bill passed by elected members. Needless to say I was shocked. I had just met Mira, the socialist, and Janis, the rebel, who had just helped defeat their own government's bill in June of 1993. Luckily, I had met Senator Terry Stratton, so I did not think the whole province was nuts. However, the Liberals seemed normal. I had met Senator Molgat.

Senator Molgat, you seem very nice, and I hope that makes up for last week.

In the summer of 1995, I was appointed to the Pearson airport committee with Senator Jessiman. Of course, I was his next door neighbour in the Victoria Building. In four months of working together, you get to know a guy.

At the end of it, our greatest accomplishment as fellow Tories is that we turned Dunc into a real partisan, or as much of a partisan as Dunc could be. He must have been mortified during my private harangues against the Grits, against their character, their sexuality and their very souls. Dunc would listen in his own, quizzical way. You know how he always seems so intent on what you are trying to say. I was swearing and yelling at Grits, and he probably thought I had lost my mind, as I switched from my tirade to my friend from Saskatchewan, who was, of course, a prominent Liberal in the province.

As I said last night at our caucus farewell, my friend Dunc is living a great life. He has served his country in war. He has served his party as a volunteer, countless hours over 30 years. He has survived fatherhood. He has raised a great family and been a good husband, which is the greatest tribute. He has been a volunteer for numerous charities. He is the kind of man who called his late brother "my best friend."

Senator Jessiman is a successful lawyer. He is a businessman and he attacked his Senate responsibilities the same way. He sits on five committees, all at one time. He attends them all and he is always prepared. I do not know where he finds the time.

Dunc, I will say it again - my life has been made better and richer for meeting and coming to know you. I think the Senate has been made better by your presence, and our nation has been made better by your actions in this place. I wish you, Alix and all of your family the warmest and the best retirement, even though you are not really retiring.

I wish you the very best and a healthy and long life, Senator Jessiman.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, as you are aware the distinguished Deputy Leader of the Government, Senator Carstairs, was the official spokesperson for this side, for obvious reasons, but I could not let the moment go by without saying a few words about my friend Senator Duncan Jessiman.

Senator Stratton referred to him as "the man" in Progressive Conservative politics in the Province of Manitoba. "The man" is wearing appropriate colours today, in one of his many colourful jackets, in testimony of the colours of the party to which he has demonstrated such tremendous loyalty over the years.

Honourable senators, Duncan is a gentleman and a gentle man in every sense of the word. He has brought a lot of good cheer to this place and a lot of loyalty to this institution. He has been constructive; he has been conscientious. He has been a tough negotiator. I know that firsthand because, when I was Deputy Leader of the Government, I had to negotiate with Senator Jessiman on several pieces of legislation with respect to his legitimate concerns about certain aspects of the legislation. This was done with the agreement of the leadership opposite, sometimes face to face and sometimes by long distance.

I served with Senator Jessiman on the Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs under the chairmanship of Senator Jack Marshall, with Senator Phillips and Senator Cools, with whom we and others travelled to Prince Edward Island at one point.

Alix, we had the enjoyment of your company on that particular occasion as well.

No one has demonstrated a greater knowledge of veterans' affairs in this place - along with Senator Marshall when he was here, Senator Phillips and others - as has our very distinguished, departing colleague, Duncan Jessiman. He has made a very significant contribution to this chamber. He has been highly credible. Indeed, he has been a joy to work with. We will all miss him. We wish him, his wife, Alix, and their family many years of happiness and good health.

We will miss you very much, Duncan.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Hon. Lowell Murray: Honourable senators, there are many reasons why I and other Progressive Conservatives owe a debt of gratitude to Senator Duncan Jessiman. His important contribution to the success of our party in times past made it possible for many of us here and many in the other place to have served. However, I should like to say a word of appreciation to him today in my capacity as Chairman of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology.

Since the beginning of this Parliament, our committee has been engaged in discussions of a complex and sensitive area - the child support guidelines brought in following the passage of Bill C-41 last year. Senator Jessiman's contribution to the deliberations of that committee on that subject have been incomparable. It occurred to me that if the committee had to engage outside counsel of the quality and experience of Senator Jessiman, we would need a much bigger budget. His mastery of the law and of the jurisprudence in this area is extremely impressive. The care and conscientiousness he brings to his work is exemplary. I am well aware, and other senators have indicated this, that he has made a similarly high quality contribution to at least four other committees here in the course of this Parliament.

I personally am most grateful to Senator Jessiman for his wise and generous counsel as a member of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology. I am sure I speak for all members of the committee in telling him how highly we appreciate his leadership and how greatly we will miss him.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Hon. Anne C. Cools: Honourable senators, I, too, rise to pay tribute to Senator Jessiman. I should like to join with the very kind remarks of all the other senators.

I should like to begin by observing that Senator Jessiman is wearing royal blue, which I think is quite suitable for the occasion today. I would also add that I had the opportunity to do a television interview with Senator Jessiman when he was wearing that same royal blue jacket. It went very nicely with my hair.

I thank Senator Jessiman very profoundly for his life and his life's work, for his contribution to this country as a veteran of World War II and as a member of the navy. He was a lieutenant.

I should like to share with honourable senators the fact that I learned a great deal about Senator Jessiman on the particular visit that we paid to Prince Edward Island. Senator Jessiman made it his business to explore what would become Confederation Bridge. I was very touched by that.

We had dinner that night, and I learned a lot about Senator Jessiman. Senator Jessiman spoke about his brother, now his late brother, who was then quite ill. He spoke with special affection about that closeness. He spoke with great affection for his wife and family, his children and his grandchildren.

I would also say to Senator Jessiman that it is frequently said that one can measure the worth of a human being by how he or she treats those who serve them, their staff, their help. I have observed how well Senator Jessiman has treated his staff, dear Janelle Feldstein.

I should like to thank him personally for his contribution to the Veterans Affairs Subcommittee, and I should also like to thank Senator Jessiman on behalf of millions in this country for his contributions on the issues of child custody, access, and child support. I would especially add to that the issues concerning grandparents. I know that thousands of grandparents in this country feel much warmth and affection towards Senator Jessiman.

I thought that I could best pay tribute to Senator Jessiman by reading him one of my favourite poems. This is the poem Invictus. It was written by William Ernest Henley, and I dedicate this to Senator Jessiman:

Out of the night that covers me,
    Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
    For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
    I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
    My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
    Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
    Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
    I am the captain of my soul.
Senator Jessiman, I thank you for being the captain of your soul.

In closing I would like to say, Senator Jessiman, especially from me to you, from a Liberal senator to a Tory senator, thank you for your contribution to issues on behalf of the children of this country, on behalf of mothers and fathers and grandfathers and grandmothers of this country, in your upholding of the principle that all children, even when they are children of divorce, are entitled to the love, support and affection of parents, both mothers and fathers, and of grandparents, both grandmothers and grandfathers. I thank you very personally for that, Senator Jessiman.

In closing, I can see Senator Jessiman's wife, Alix, sitting in the gallery, whom I have met on occasion, and I wish her well. I say to Senator Jessiman farewell, au revoir, hasta la vista, ciao. I shall miss him: Senator Jessiman, good soldier, good husband, good father, good grandfather, good boss, good friend, and good senator.


Hon. Gérald-A. Beaudoin: Honourable senators, Senator Duncan Jessiman is retiring today. He has been with us for only five years.

In that short time, he has left his mark on the Senate and on several committees: the Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, where he was truly in his element, and other standing and special committees, where his expertise and many years of experience were put to good use.

A common law lawyer by training, he was interested in comparative law. He asked me more than one question about the laws of Quebec and its Civil Code. He was always open to new concepts.

We thank him warmly for his many contributions to the Senate and wish him a happy retirement with his family, who are here today listening to the tributes being paid by both sides of the chamber.

Our colleague is returning to private practice. We wish him much richly deserved success. Ad multos annos.


Hon. Marcel Prud'homme: Honourable senators, I am waiting for an Oxford dictionary so I can use the best words that the English language can offer us. While I wait for the dictionary, I will say that I regret very much the departure of Senator Jessiman, and I will say two words on it.

I do not know some senators very well, as you only get to know honourable senators when you work with them. Senator Cools just spoke about Senator Jessiman and the subcommittee, and I could not believe it. I wish all honourable senators could have been there to see how, with his legal mind, he dealt with the bureaucrats who appeared. All of them, I will almost swear, thought that they were appearing in front of a committee of the House of Commons where they could simply pass through and say goodbye. When they appeared in front of a committee of the Senate and started being questioned, first, by the very able Senator Forest, they were speechless. After that, a senator I did not know, Senator Chalifoux, began to question the witnesses. They could not believe it. I leave it to you to think of what happened when Senator Cools began to question on the details. At the very end, Senator Orville Phillips, who we all know to be a wise, old man, was just following everyone. Then came Senator Jessiman, with his legal mind. He was astute, diligent, incisive. At the end of the day and at the end of the week, there was not much left of the witnesses.

This is what I learned from him: to be precise, to be direct, to come to the point. Those who know me know that I can take a long time to come to the point.

Some Hon. Senators: No!

Senator Prud'homme: Why not say openly what most of you think privately?

Having said that, I do not want you to think that because my speech is short, my devotion and affection for Senator Jessiman is diminished. I wish him the best.

For those of you who would like to know more about him, I suggest that you listen to an interview he gave to CPAC. I learned so much. I learned things I did not know. I learned how to do things better. He did it on behalf of the Senate.


Senator Jessiman, I wish you wonderful times with your family and the health to enjoy them. You are always welcome to come back and visit us. My office is right by the entrance to the Senate - I do not know whether that is because they want me to leave or to come in - and it will always be open to you.


Hon. John G. Bryden: Honourable senators, I will be very brief. One of the things that I need to say is long overdue. I wish to offer an apology, not to Senator Duncan Jessiman but to Mrs. Jessiman. Mrs. Jessiman, if I had it to do over again, I would give him a copy of that letter.

During the Pearson inquiry, Senator Jessiman - who I might say brought a great deal of civility to that raucous bunch of partisans on the other side - came to me one day and said, with perhaps a small measure of exasperation: "My wife doesn't like you." That took me by surprise, because I had never met Mrs. Jessiman. Then Senator Jessiman went on to say: "She thinks you should have given me a copy of that letter; that it was unfair of you not to show me a copy of that letter."

I cannot recall offhand what the document was that I had in my hand during that hearing, of which I only had one copy and refused to show to Senator Jessiman. However, if I had to do it over again, Mrs. Jessiman, I would certainly show him a copy of that letter, and I apologize for not having done so at that time.

The other occasion on which I worked with Senator Jessiman was on the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, dealing with the drug bill. The question was not whether or not we were supposed to be legalizing marijuana. However, as more and more witnesses came before the committee, Senator Jessiman, as you have heard, became essentially an advocate for a position about which he came to feel quite strongly. He has become probably the leading advocate, perhaps, of a new movement in the Senate because of his championing of the legalization of marijuana.

Perhaps you are leaving us too soon, Senator Jessiman, because, as some of you may know, there are those who have said that our institution, up to now, tends to run on alcohol, Geritol and nytol. With you as our advocate, Senator Jessiman, perhaps in the future we could be running on Java, Viagra and chutzpah.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Hon. Orville H. Phillips: Honourable senators, I should like to briefly join in the tributes to Senator Jessiman. I wish to express particular appreciation for the fact that he gave up a week in Florida last January to come back and participate in our committee hearings on the future of the War Museum.

A number of senators have referred to the fact that he served in the navy. I may be embarrassing Senator Jessiman by telling this story, but he did not intend to serve in the navy. He was attending the University of Manitoba and had intended to join the air force and then study dentistry. Being from the prairies, he knew that the air force wore blue. However, a navy recruiting officer came on the base, and he was wearing blue. Senator Jessiman got the blues mixed up. He joined the navy instead of the air force, and then had to study law after he was discharged.

I hope, Senator Jessiman, that you will have a very happy retirement and that you will keep your blues straight in the future.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, this is one of those occasions when the Speaker would like to speak, but, as Speakers do not speak, I call on the Honourable Senator Jessiman.

Hon. Duncan J. Jessiman: Honourable senators, thank you very much. I was having lunch with my family at noon today, and my wife asked me, "How long do you think this will take?" and I said, "Well, it starts at two o'clock and I think we will be out of there by 2:30. I do not think there will be many who will speak."

This has been a bit overwhelming, in any event. I wish to thank everyone who did speak. My thanks to all of you. I should like to mention a few with whom I have worked over the five years that I have been here, and although it has been a busy time, it has gone very quickly for me.

I thank my family for coming here today. They have been very supportive. My children always say that I am so soft and teary that I would cry at commercials, so I will pause there for a moment.

Honourable senators, I have been very fortunate in that when I arrived here, I had no secretary. Actually, strangely enough, my secretary in Winnipeg came to me and said she wished to come with me. I did not know why, but she did. Fortunately, someone in the PC Canada Fund with whom I had worked, phoned me and said that his wife was looking for work and was working for another senator; would I interview her. Her name is Donna Lock. She came for an interview and I discovered that she was a wonderful lady. I hired her on the spot. However, because she knew my tenure was for only five years, after a year she had an opportunity to go elsewhere, and she left. I was devastated at the time because she really was very efficient.

Ms Lock recommended a young lady by the name of Janelle Feldstein. I look down, because that name "Feldstein" is difficult. I have called her everything from "Feldsted" to "Feldstood." She has done a great deal of work for the Tories, she is always working, and just the other day, when Elsie Wayne was thanking her, she got the Janelle right but she sure messed up the Feldstein.

With respect to Janelle, I would not have been able to do anything without her. She is more than a secretary. She was engaged as a secretary, but she is actually an assistant. We have always used the research facilities of the Senate and the Library of Parliament. On the odd occasion we have used a researcher, but most often Janelle has been able to research many of the things that I have come out telling everyone I know about. Of course, she has looked it up at my request and given me a number of the answers. She has been a tremendous help to me.

Before I go through the number of people with whom I have worked, I must say, first, thank you to Brian Mulroney for my appointment. It did not come as soon as I wanted it, nor was I appointed as soon as many told me that I would be.


Duff was appointed first. That was before Mulroney had anything to do with it. Honourable senators may not know this, but Mr. Trudeau said, when one of the senators on the Progressive Conservative side was retiring, that he would appoint a PC senator. Joe Clark was in opposition and Mr. Trudeau wanted five names. Joe Clark gave me a call and said I was one of those names, which was very nice and I still have the letter. I was really fifth on the list. Anyway, Duff Roblin got that appointment.

After that, I did a lot of work for the party. There is no question about that. I was very close to all the premiers of Manitoba, starting with Duff and continuing with Walter Weir and Sterling Lyon, and the leader, of course, Sidney Spivak. I was very close to Sidney on a number of occasions, particularly when Duff tried to become the Prime Minister of Canada or leader of our party.

Anyway, I did work a lot for Brian, in 1975 and 1976, and certainly from things he had said to me I thought at the time that if he ever became Prime Minister, I would probably be the second one he would call - not the first, because I thought the first would be Janis Johnson. Janis, as you know, was Mrs. Frank Moores, and certainly Frank Moores and Janis worked very hard for Brian. It was not to be. Mira was very nice when she got her appointment. I called her to congratulate her and she said, as she said yesterday, "I did not ask for it." She was appointed and then Janis was appointed and then Terry was appointed and I was, as Senator Carstairs said, about ready to give up. As it worked out, it has been five years of a wonderful life for me, and, looking back at it, the appointment came at a very good time.

I am retiring now, but I am not retiring with an obscene pension, as Senator Murray referred to when he spoke on the retirement of Senator Doyle. That was not my choosing, but that is the case and no one can say that I now have that.

I would like to speak about the leadership on our side. When I first came to the Senate, Lowell Murray was our leader and Bill Kelly was the whip for about a year. Lowell frightened me a little. Shortly after I was appointed, I worked with some of the in-house Senate counsel on a speech about reform of the Senate. I had given that speech to Lowell, and he just dismissed it and wondered what the heck would I, a junior senator, know about how it should be reformed? I have now been here for five years and I am still of the same mind, and I want to speak about that a little later.

Our leaders, after Lowell and Bill retired from their offices, were John Lynch-Staunton, Eric Berntson, Noël Kinsella, Mabel DeWare and Norm Atkins. I would just like to spend a few minutes talking about John Lynch-Staunton. I have found him a most able person. At some point I thought perhaps it was his assistant who was so able, but he has not had that assistant for a couple of years and John has done just as well in his absence.

We did well - certainly the results were good - on the Pearson airport hearings, but I want it on record, from our side, that without our leader, John Lynch-Staunton, behind the scenes we would not have produced those tremendous results, and I thank you for that, John.

He has been very kind to me in many of the things that I asked to do. I thank him along with Lowell and Mabel, who is a good friend of mine and sat on committees with me, and I will talk about that a little later.

Senator Kinsella is inheriting my secretary and he will be well looked after.

I should like to mention my seat-mates. My first seat-mate was Len Gustafson, and Len has become a good friend. I am impressed by how much he knows about agriculture. He is always talking about it and he has almost convinced me that the Wheat Board has a place. He has not quite convinced me yet, but he is close.

Then I sat on occasion - at least his seat was there - with Michael Pitfield, and I found him an interesting person. When he was sitting there I knew there would be a vote because it seemed that he only turned up - oh, sorry, he is here today.

How are you, sir?

On the first three or four votes, he voted in favour of the Liberal side, but there were a couple of occasions when he did not, and I was happy to see that. He is a very intelligent fellow and I enjoyed the occasions we did speak.

My seat-mate today is Terry Stratton. Terry has been a friend for quite a while. He convinced me that I should join him in opposing gun control. I am from the city, as all of you know. I was not so opposed to it but I did join Terry and some others. I was surprised, really, at how incensed some of the people in the country are with regard to this gun legislation. Terry spent a lot of time working on that, and we certainly have heard both sides of that issue.

I wish to say a few words about our Speakers. There was Guy Charbonneau when I first arrived. I had known Guy for a very long time because he raised funds in Quebec about the same time or a little after I was doing the same job in Manitoba.

Then there was Roméo LeBlanc, whom I found to be very much a gentlemen.

Of course there is our present Speaker. For years before I was appointed to the Senate, I would see him on a plane and he would ask, "Well, do you think you are going to be appointed this year?" And I could not say, yes, but I was still trying. Some have said - and Mira Spivak is one of them - "I never asked to be appointed," and she did not but she was. However, I asked to be appointed and I finally got it. Our honourable Speaker has always been a friend. He lived on the same street as I did in Winnipeg for a very long time, and I have always considered him a very good friend.


Allow me to say a few words about the leadership on the other side. I only had a short time with Mr. Royce Frith. Others on our side of the house found him somewhat difficult. I did not have that much to do with him, but I recall one occasion when the committee on which we were sitting was studying a proposal to change the name of a society, something that required the consent of Parliament. He was not very knowledgeable about the organization, while I happened to know something about it, and he seemed to listen when I spoke. I found him friendly.

Senator Fairbairn is a wonderful, gentle and efficient lady. I was most impressed with the manner in which she carried out her duties. She was always very kind. I appreciated her reaction when we tried to change laws. I hope she thought that what we were doing was right, because I think it will bear some fruit. I thank her for that.

The present leader, Senator Graham, may not remember this, but the reason I argued so strenuously in that famous speech that I never completed was that I had read the arguments of Senator Graham. It made sense to me, as it still does, that we should have received that $6,000. However, I am retiring, and I am not asking that that be done retroactively.

Senator Carstairs is a wonderful lady. She was a wonderful neighbour, albeit on the opposite side of the fence. When I was finally appointed, I received much nicer remarks from our Liberal leader in Manitoba than from our Tory leader. I thank you, Sharon, for that.

I was a member of the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs. I thank Senator Murray and Senator Lynch-Staunton for putting me on that committee. Nathan Nurgitz, a long-time senator, suggested that I would enjoy being a member of it, and I certainly did.

I had many discussions with our first chair, constitutional expert Senator Beaudoin, about that aspect of the law. I learned much from him. However, I was surprised that the next chair was not a lawyer - and now it has happened twice. That chair was Senator Carstairs. Initially, I was unsure whether she was up to the task. I can say now, in all sincerity, that she did a tremendous job.

Senator Milne is now chairing that committee. Unfortunately, I have not been able to attend as many meetings as I would have liked, due to the other committee work that I have been doing.

I would like to say a word about the war on drugs. I was at a NATO assembly in Spain last week. We were given a briefing by people involved with international crime. The amount of crime is unbelievable, and they told us that about 50 per cent of it is related to drugs.

We must find the answer to this worldwide problem. I believe that we are fighting this problem in the wrong way. I am not an advocate of legalizing anything in the way of drugs today. However, I strongly advocate that anyone caught in possession of a drug such as marijuana has not committed a criminal offence. We simply must do something about that.

Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Senator Jessiman: The committee recommended, and the Senate agreed, that there should be a joint committee of the Senate and the House of Commons to study drugs. That was never put in place. If I accomplish only one thing here, I would like it to be that I have persuaded honourable senators to consider setting up a committee to study this very serious problem. It is not something that can be done in a short time. It will be a big and very important study.

I believe that the Senate can do it, and that honourable senators should start. It will not be popular with all Canadians, but you must study this subject. I believe that if possession of marijuana were dealt with as a health issue, rather than as a criminal offence, we would be better off.

I attended the committee hearings in Newfoundland on Term 17. I am told by our good senator from Newfoundland that that initiative is working well. I believe it was wrong to impose the majority's will on a minority. However, if it is working well, that is fine. Nevertheless, I do think it was a bad precedent to pass a law modifying the Constitution of Newfoundland. I hope that that will not be a precedent in Canada for future changes to any Constitution which would affect minorities.

I also sat on the committee on fisheries. That was almost as bad as my joining the navy. In Manitoba, we have perch, pickerel, goldeye, speckled trout, rainbow trout, and many other fish. I learned a great deal in the Fisheries Committee, first under the chairmanship of Senator Rossiter and later under the chairmanship of Senator Comeau.

The Fisheries Committee has not travelled much, but we have learned a lot through teleconferencing. This little lawyer from Winnipeg has learned about weir nets, purse-seines, individual quotas, individual transferable quotas, enterprise allocations, total allowable catch, total allowable commercial catch, quota management areas, inshore fishing, offshore fishing and all the different kinds of gear and sizes of boats. It was a learning exercise for me.


We do have a problem. They are now getting into individual transferable quotas, and whether or not there are certain rights they can sell. They are looking at New Zealand. We have not arrived at an answer yet, but I am sure the committee will eventually and properly advise the government.

I should like to mention the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology. I was a member of its Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs. I also attended meetings of the committee when it dealt with the Divorce Act. That was the first year in which Senator DeWare was the chairman. We had a problem with Bill C-41, and I think our interventions improved the bill.

Regarding the Divorce Act, I want to say two things. One regards the definition of "child of the marriage." We found that the courts have changed what that term meant from when it was first placed on the books, in particular as it concerns a child of the marriage who is over the age of majority. If you are living with your wife and your family, you have no legal obligation to your children after they come of age. However, if you separate and one parent has the custodial care of the children and the other is the non-custodial parent, the courts have interpreted the term "child of the marriage" to include children who are over the age of majority who are disabled or sick. The words "or other cause" are also found in the definition. The courts have interpreted "or other cause" to mean higher education.

There is no one who would complain that once the parents separate they are still responsible financially for a sick or disabled child. We see situations now of children who are as old as 30 years of age and who are attending university not in the city in which their parents live but in another city. Still, in some cases, the non-custodial parent has to continue to pay. That is wrong. That was never intended to be the case and it should be changed.

There is one other thing I would like to suggest as far as grandparents are concerned. Although grandparents do have the right to apply for access to their grandchildren, they have to make two applications to the court. In Quebec, they have it right. They have a section in their act which actually recognizes the rights of grandparents. I suggest that honourable senators, at some point, get the government to change the Divorce Act on those two counts.

As I said, I was a member of the Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs, first under Jack Marshall, who was a wonderful gentleman. He got me involved. When I first arrived here, even though I am a veteran and proud of it, I really did not appreciate as much about veterans as I do now. I think they are a wonderful lot of people. They deserve all the help they can get. The subcommittee was chaired by Jack Marshall, Lorne Bonnell and, of course, Senator Phillips. It was a great experience for me. I enjoyed working with all the members of the committee, in particular when we studied the issue of the Canadian War Museum. Senators Prud'homme, Chalifoux, Cools, Kelly and Forest were also members of the committee. We had some success there. We were fortunate and we have to give credit to Senator Phillips. When we started, I did not think we would get very far. However, we turned that situation around in a week, and it was work well worth doing.

As honourable senators know, I was also a member of the Special Senate Committee on the Pearson Airport Agreements, chaired by Finlay MacDonald, who I found difficult at times. He was our chair and on many occasions he would not allow me to ask questions. The deputy chairman was Senator Kirby. The other members of the committee included Senators LeBreton, Tkachuk and Lynch-Staunton.

I also worked on the Special Joint Committee of the House of Commons and the Senate on Child Custody and Access, co-chaired by Senator Pearson. I had an enjoyable trip from Toronto to Montreal on the train. I had not been on a train for about 35 years. It was the senator's idea that we take the train to save money, and it was well worthwhile. I wish that committee very much success.

I wish to thank the staff here in the Senate, including the Clerk of the Senate, Paul Bélisle; the Assistant Clerk, Richard Greene; Dr. Gary O'Brien, Director of Committees and Private Legislation Branch; the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel, Mark Audcent, and his assistant, Deborah Palumbo.

I have one final suggestion regarding whether the Senate should be reformed and, if it should be reformed, how it should be reformed. I have given honourable senators a paper on the subject. I am still of the view that senators should be appointed. However, if members of the Senate have to be elected, it is my view that those who run for election must have certain qualifications. One needs certain qualifications to become a judge. They are appointed and they become independent. It appears as if the public will insist on the same thing for the Senate. If that is the case, I say we must have a quadruple-E Senate. Senators must be entitled. It can be equal, either by province or by region. It can be elected, if it has to be. Then it will be effective. To be effective, it should not have the right to defeat a bill of the House of Commons. However, it should have the right to suspend it for at least 13 months.

I thank each and every one of you. It has been wonderful. I will miss you all and I love you.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!



The Senate

Perception of Senators as Projected by Media

Hon. Lucie Pépin: Honourable senators, the end of the school year is not even here and already last week Le Soleil was handing out report cards to unruly Senate pupils.

As always happens at report card time, some students are happy, and some less so. As always, the teacher seems to favour some students over others.

Teacher Bellavance, who does not appear to be gifted in mathematics, judges his Senate pupils strictly on their attendance at regular meetings of the Senate.

The quality of the work done by a senator matters not. There is not even any mention of his or her contribution to Canadian political life. The time spent by a senator in committee in Ottawa or in various regions of the country is not taken into consideration. Meetings with constituents in their districts should simply not be held, because they unfold away from the camera's lens and the journalist's penetrating gaze.

If we are to believe the article that appeared in Le Soleil, the unruly senators do not exist, do not work and do not produce except when a hurried and myopic eye is able to detect their names on the Senate's official attendance lists.

Honourable senators, it seems to me that a journalist who clumsily dons the garb of critic in order to justify his attacks on an institution in which he does not believe should first take another look at his own performance.

Several of the attendance figures he gives are inaccurate.

Second, the journalist turned school commissioner shows us how easy it is to arrive at the conclusions one wants when one does not take the time to do thorough and decent research.

In conclusion, honourable senators, the journalist who, through negligence and ignorance, makes no reference to whole areas of duties and responsibilities that fall to senators simply does not make the grade.

Mother Superior concludes that, like those who did not work hard when we were in grade school, young Bellavance will have to repeat the year and as punishment he will have to put up with us again next year!

The Late Jean Hamelin


Hon. Roch Bolduc: A few weeks ago, honourable senators, Laval University lost one of its most eminent professors, the historian Jean Hamelin. As Jean Létourneau of Princeton wrote, and I quote:

More reserved than Léon Dion and Fernand Dumont, as a civic-minded intellectual, Jean Hamelin nevertheless played a role just as important as those of his colleagues in science and academia.

During his 34 years as a university professor, he educated dozens of historians. He helped 42 students obtain their master's degree, 34 of whom went on to become PhDs. He spent many nights reading and correcting theses and many days guiding students.

He was intimately involved in the development of Laval University during that period of great upheaval. He even wrote its history.

He was a member of the Royal Society of Canada and the recipient of the Governor General's award, the Order of Canada and the Ordre du Québec. The honours did not change my friend Jean, who remained a simple man.

He published a number of works on Canada's and Quebec's history, which were all well received by the academic community. He headed a number of organizations with very specific missions in the vast field of Quebec history and culture. He was the author of some 40 articles in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, of which he was co-director for 25 years. I think he shared the job with Professor Creighton of the University of Toronto.

I say co-director, because it was a vast undertaking shared by Laval and the University of Toronto. The 14th volume came out last week, I believe, and it describes the lives of the most important people in Canada's history from 1534 to 1910. The 14th volume goes up to the year 1910. A volume appears every decade or so.

This man built bridges between the provinces of Canada. Jean was a good, simple and generous man, who survived great personal trials during his period of intensive academic production thanks to his courage, his optimism and his faith.

To his wife, Huguette, and to his children, I pay my respects.



Triumph of Tobacco Lobby-Continuation of Advertising and Sponsorship for Sports Events

Hon. Donald H. Oliver: Honourable senators, I do not smoke, and I am opposed to anything that encourages our young children to smoke. It was, therefore, a disappointment to learn that Health Minister Allan Rock has caved in to the tobacco companies. They will now have an additional five-year opportunity to hook young Canadians on smoking.

Instead of implementing on October 1 the tight restrictions on sponsorship plans in last year's Tobacco Act, our health minister will allow unrestricted tobacco sponsorship of events for a full two-year period. Only then will he begin to phase in partial restrictions over an additional three-year period. The full ban will not be imposed for five years.

As Dr. Victor Dirnfeld, President of CMA, noted:

Tobacco is a poison. There is no rationale except for political considerations for a five-year grace period. During this period, 500,000 Canadian children will start to smoke.

While some will claim that this is a victory for organizations that receive tobacco funding, the real winner is the tobacco lobby.

The Canadian Tobacco Manufacturers' Council has already indicated that they view the Tobacco Act as unconstitutional, and that the proposed ban will be targeted in a court challenge. Allan Rock has handed them a five-year opportunity to fight his proposed full ban on tobacco advertising. Both health activists and the tobacco lobby agree on one point: The sponsorship ban scheduled for 2004 is unlikely to stand up to industry pressure over the intervening years.

The health minister's decision to phase in a full tobacco ban puts the concerns of the tobacco lobby ahead of the health of Canadians.

Tobacco companies have known for years about the damage their products have inflicted, and they have hidden the evidence of that damage. Today, we know that 90 per cent of life-long smokers are addicted before they turn 18 years of age, and that tobacco use kills about 40,000 Canadians every year. Tobacco-related disease costs our health system about $3.5 billion per year. The health minister was wrong to give in to the tobacco companies.

Allan Rock is quoted in The Ottawa Citizen today as saying:

I can tell you with 100 per cent certainty what the policy of this government is today.

Honourable senators, the problem is not what he knows today, but what he will do tomorrow.


Ninth Anniversary of Tiananmen Square Massacre

Hon. Consiglio Di Nino: Honourable senators, I rise today to remind us of one of modern history's darkest days, the June 4, 1989, massacre in Tiananmen Square. Today marks the ninth anniversary of that massacre. Still vivid in our minds are the scenes of blood and scenes of fires as thousands of Chinese students were killed, or arrested and imprisoned preparing to ask for greater democratic freedom. Their peaceful demonstration was snuffed out by troops with bullets and tanks. Their words and speeches were swept away by the bitter winds of repression.

Thanks to modern technology, the actions of those brave men and women did not go unnoticed. Around the world, millions of people watched and marvelled as a courageous young man stood fast before an advancing line of government tanks. It was a heart-stopping moment, one which represented the triumph of the spirit of democracy over repressive, brute force. You would think after nine years that the Chinese authorities would at least start to understand.

Let me read to you from two recent articles. The first is from the South China Morning Post of Wednesday, June 3, 1998. It reads as follows:

"On the political disturbances in 1989, China's Communist Party and Government have made a correct conclusion," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao.

"There's no necessity to make a reassessment of this issue."

In The Ottawa Citizen of this morning, we read:

Chinese police have detained nearly two dozen dissidents in recent weeks in a campaign to prevent commemorations of the bloody crackdown on Tiananmen Square.

In spite of the tragedy that was Tiananmen, Canada continued to support China without any real criticism of that country's unending human rights abuses. The thirst for trade has overcome our professed repugnance for the lack of democratic freedoms and democracy. This is deeply regrettable.

For all of us who believe in freedom of speech, for all of us who believe in human rights, today is a day of reflection - reflection on forgotten commitments to speak out, reflection on lost opportunities to push for change.


Honourable senators, today is also a day to honour those who were shot and those who were trampled by the tanks, so that others might one day live with dignity and safe from tyranny.


Sixty-fifth Anniversary of Famine

Hon. A. Raynell Andreychuk: Honourable senators, the Ukrainian Canadian community is commemorating the sixty-fifth anniversary of the 1932-33 man-made famine-genocide in the Ukraine engineered by then Soviet leader Joseph Stalin in which some 7 million Ukrainians perished. Soviet party leaders, with the aid of military troops and secret police units, were used to seize every last scrap of food. Whole villages became a mass of corpses. Large parts of the Ukraine were blockaded. No food was allowed in; no people were allowed out.

While guarded warehouses were filled with grain, Ukrainian peasants were beaten, arrested and even shot for trying to take a few remaining kernels lying in the fields of the collective farms. Their extermination was a matter of state policy.

Honourable senators, food is still a favourite weapon with many authoritarian regimes in the world today. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Therefore, let us join members of the Ukrainian community and other Canadians in ceremonies across Canada this month by remembering the atrocities of this crime against humanity.



Canadian Human Rights Act

Bill to Amend-Report of Committee

Hon. Pierre Claude Nolin: Honourable senators, I have the honour to present the eighth report of the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs on Bill S-11.

Thursday, June 4, 1998

The Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs has the honour to present its


Your committee, to which was referred Bill S-11, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act in order to add social condition as a prohibited ground of discrimination, has, in obedience to the Order of Reference of Tuesday, March 17, 1998, examined the said Bill and now reports the same with the following amendment:

1. Page 2: Delete clause 3.

Respectfully submitted,

Acting Chairman

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

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


Income Tax Amendments Bill, 1997

Report of Committee

Hon. David Tkachuk, Deputy Chairman of the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce, presented the following report:

Thursday, June 4, 1998

The Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce has the honour to present its


Your Committee, to which was referred the Bill C-28, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act, the Income Tax Application Rules, the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, the Canada Pension Plan, the Children's Special Allowances Act, the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act, the Cultural Property Export and Import Act, the Customs Act, the Customs Tariff, the Employment Insurance Act, the Excise Tax Act, the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act, the Income Tax Conventions Interpretation Act, the Old Age Security Act, the Tax Court of Canada Act, the Tax Rebate Discounting Act, the Unemployment Insurance Act, the Western Grain Transition Payments Act and certain Acts related to the Income Tax Act, has examined the said Bill in obedience to its Order of Reference dated Tuesday, May 12, 1998, and now reports the same without amendment, but with observations which are appended to this report.

Respectfully submitted,


(For text of observations, see today's Journals of the Senate, p. 770.)

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

On motion of Senator Carstairs, bill placed on the Orders of the Day for third reading at the next sitting of the Senate.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Superannuation Act

Bill to Amend-Report of Committee

Hon. Lowell Murray: Honourable senators, I have the honour to present the ninth report of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, which deals with Bill C-12, to amend the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Superannuation Act.

Thursday, June 4, 1998

The Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology has the honour to present its


Your Committee, to which was referred Bill C-12, An Act to amend the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Superannuation Act, has, in obedience to the Order of Reference of Thursday, April 30, 1998, examined the said Bill and now reports the same without amendment.

Respectfully submitted,


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

On motion of Senator Carstairs, bill placed on the Orders of the Day for third reading at the next sitting of the Senate.

Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration

Twentieth Report of Committee Presented

Hon. Bill Rompkey: Honourable senators, I have the honour to present the twentieth report of the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration regarding a committee's budget for the fiscal year 1998-99.

Thursday, June 4, 1998

The Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration has the honour to present its


Your Committee has examined and approved the budget presented to it by the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs for the proposed expenditure of the said Committee for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1999 for its Special Study on Canada's Relations with the Asia-Pacific Region.


Professional and Other Services     $ 9,400
Transportation and Communication     7,300
All Other Expenditures     500
TOTAL     $17,200
Respectfully submitted,


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

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


International Assembly of French-Speaking Parliamentarians

Report of Canadian Section and Financial Report of Meeting Held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Hon. Pierre De Bané: Honourable senators, pursuant to rule 23(6), I have the honour to present to the house, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian section of the International Assembly of French-Speaking Parliamentarians, and the financial report of the meeting of the IAFSP political and general administration committee, held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, on April 16 and 17, 1998.


Foreign Affairs

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

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, on behalf of Senator Stewart, I give notice that on Monday, June 8, 1998, he will move:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs have power to sit at 4 p.m. Tuesday, June 9, 1998, even though the Senate may then be sitting and that rule 95(4) be suspended in relation thereto.


Citizenship and Immigration

Percentage of Minister's Permits Issued to Convicted Criminals-Government Position

Hon. Donald H. Oliver: Honourable senators, I have a question for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. On April 30, 1998, the Minister of Immigration released a report on the number of minister's permits permitted in 1997. Of 4,059 permits issued, 37 per cent were for individuals who were criminally inadmissible to Canada. Can the minister explain why this government is assisting criminals to enter Canada and should we not be taking steps to keep them out?

Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, this is a matter of serious concern. I shall be glad to ask the minister responsible for an explanation.


Senator Oliver: As a supplementary question: In response to a written question which I submitted and to which I received a response, the department indicated that permits were issued to 36 people convicted within the last 10 years of an offence that appeared to be equivalent to the various forms of assault described in the Criminal Code, and that were punishable by more than 10 years imprisonment. Two permits were issued to people convicted within the last 10 years of an offence that fits the description of sexual assault. In both cases, the individuals had received suspended sentences and terms of probation. They also submitted evidence of having completed probation.

Can the minister indicate whether this is the type of person we should be welcoming to Canada? Is this how we make Canadian streets safe for our children and our grandchildren?

Senator Graham: Again, I appreciate the concerns of Senator Oliver. I must seek more information from the minister responsible.

Loss of Jobs for Canadian Sailors Aboard Offshore Foreign Seismic Vessels-Effect of Recent Legislation-Government Position

Hon. J. Michael Forrestall: Honourable senators, I direct my question to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. There is a major story in today's Halifax Chronicle-Herald:

Hundreds of Nova Scotians and Canadians have been shut out of lucrative offshore jobs after the federal government suddenly changed employment and immigration rules Tuesday.

The new ruling allows foreign seismic vessels, which collect oil and gas data from the ocean floor, to leave Canadians out of the running for jobs....

Government officials involved with enforcing the regulations were also caught off-guard...

"It came as a surprise," Glen Knapp, a spokesman for the federal Department of Human Resources foreign workers section, said Wednesday.

Mr. Knapp said that he can no longer go to the large seismic contractors and insist or urge that Canadians have jobs on these vessels.

Mr. Mathers, who is an industry spokesman, said that it is unbelievable.

"...It is going to have a devastating effect on offshore workers," said Harry Mathers, secretary of Reliance Offshore Canada Inc. of Halifax. "That's the offshore blown." ...

This summer is expected to be the busiest in years for seismic activity off the coast, with five companies applying for work....

Reliance Offshore has a data bank of some 2,000 experienced Canadian sailors who should have those jobs.

May I ask the minister if he would make some kind of inquiry? If this move comes as a result of a section of the bill we just passed with respect to maritime laws - and I am not sure which it is, as I have not had time to go back and research this - we had asked specifically whether the clauses of that act, which allow the minister to exempt from these very provisions, would have a detrimental effect. We were assured that it would not. Now it apparently has, and it has happened behind the backs of the very public servants charged with administering that part of our offshore laws.

Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I, too, was caught off guard when I saw the article in question in today's edition of the Halifax Chronicle-Herald. As a matter of fact, I went directly to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to express my concerns.

I should like to make it very clear to Senator Forrestall, and to all honourable senators, that the legislation and the regulations have not changed. Questions obviously have arisen regarding the interpretation of existing policy. As you can appreciate, matters such as these that arise from time to time are very complex. They have far-reaching implications.

I assure Senator Forrestall and all honourable senators that this is something that the minister has instructed her officials to review on a most urgent basis.

Senator Forrestall: Permit me to express my warmest appreciation, not just for myself but for the men and women who are affected by this situation.

I would ask the leader to have the minister indicate, either directly through him or by a statement from herself, why it was possible for someone to say:

The change was made in Ottawa and took effect 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.

That sounds very definitive, as if someone got an order, time-stamped 2:30 p.m., saying, "Sorry, boys, no jobs in the oil and gas offshore for you this year, or into the foreseeable future."

This situation has caused enormous anxiety, as the minister obviously suspects. Because of that, I appreciate all the more his alertness and his immediate action.

Senator Graham: I am just as concerned as Senator Forestall and other honourable senators from that particular area, and I assure you that I will pursue the matter further later this day, as soon as I have the opportunity. It is to be hoped that we can bring forth a favourable decision.

Senator Forrestall: I would say to the honourable minister: Look particularly at Bill C-19.

National Defence

Awarding of Further Contract without Tender-Explanation for Sole-Sourcing-Government Position

Hon. Terry Stratton: Honourable senators, here comes Bombardier again. The minister has the answer for this one, I am sure, because it was on the front page of The Globe and Mail this morning: Bombardier consortium member, Frontec Corp., is about to be awarded an untendered contract worth $550 million to look after NORAD radar stations across Canada's Arctic.

I thought we were beyond the day when we did that kind of stuff. Even in my previous business we now must tender, believe it or not. I suspect there must be some kind of explanation as to why this contract was not tendered. We are talking here of a second contract, again not tendered, going again to Bombardier or a member of the same consortium.

Senator Lynch-Staunton: And again the same answer.

Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, the contract in question is a maintenance contract for the NORAD warning system. That contract is set to expire on March 31, 2000. Let me say that I am not as up to date as Senator Stratton on some of these things, and was unaware that a final decision had been made on the contract.

My understanding is that the Department of Defence officials are considering extending the contract to the firm which currently holds it. It is a joint venture between an Alberta-based firm, Frontec Corp., and a coalition of Inuit development companies.

Hon. Bill Rompkey: I have a supplementary question. Is it the leader's understanding that, in fact, this contract is already in place; that what is being contemplated is a renewal of that contract, and that, in fact, the contract exists between Frontec Corp. and a consortium of all Inuit organizations in the Arctic? This is a joint venture. It is not Frontec per se; it is a joint venture between that company and Inuit organizations in the Arctic.

Senator Lynch-Staunton: Is this Jeopardy?

Senator Rompkey: I would say that this arrangement has provided a great deal of training and employment to Inuit in my own area of Labrador and to other Inuit areas of the Arctic. There is very little room for competitive bidding in this situation.

Some Hon. Senators: Question!

Senator Rompkey: I would hope that the leader could take this message to the government on behalf of the Inuit in the Arctic.

Senator Lynch-Staunton: This is like Jeopardy. Now you give us a question, Senator Graham.


Senator Graham: I would assure honourable senators that this is not a repetition of the questions asked on Bill C-19 yesterday, nor would I presume that I could stage things as well as Senator DeWare did yesterday.

I was taken totally by surprise by Senator Rompkey's intervention, but it is quite accurate to describe this as an extension of a contract. If it is extended it would be the extension of an existing contract, because Frontec has competed for and won north-warning-system maintenance contracts before. DND has been satisfied with the performance of the Frontec-PAIL joint venture, and has extended their contract on a sole-source basis several times.

Part of the reason for this has been that, given that some of the north-warning-system sites are subject to the ongoing aboriginal land claims process, it make sense to award this contract to a firm which has chosen to partner with Inuit companies, as Frontec has done.

Hon. Senators: Bravo!

Awarding of Further Contract without Tender-Possibility of Profit-Sharing with Contractor-Government Policy

Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Acting Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, my question is to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Is it the government's policy that, when a sole-sourcing project is being examined, the government does not consider the profitability of that project? For example, there was an examination of the profitability of the sole-sourcing project with Bombardier which was in the amount of $2.8 billion. I am advised that, in industries such as that one, the margin of profitability in normal business plans runs between 10 per cent and 17 per cent.

Is it the government's policy, when awarding a sole-source contract of whatever magnitude, to include in that contract a provision that there shall be some profit sharing between the corporation and the people of Canada?

Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I am not aware of any such policy.

Senator Kinsella: Would the minister care to comment on whether or not such a policy might be in the public interest?

Senator Graham: It would certainly be a matter of public interest, and I would be pleased to take the suggestion of Senator Kinsella to those who deal with such matters.

Hon. J. Michael Forrestall: Honourable senators, I also have a question for the minister about sole-sourcing. Has he recently undertaken, on more than one occasion, to revisit the Aurora Life Extension Project? I know that the Nova Scotian team, who would eagerly go after that contract, would be the logical group to be awarded it, and I also know that they would be open to discussions about returning some of the profits. At the least, they would make their business plan available.

Senator Graham: Honourable senators, I certainly would not wish to admit a regional prejudice to such an award, but this is something that I have discussed on numerous occasions, the last occasion being as recently as this morning. I have asked for further information; I have pressed for quick action; and I hope that we shall have some positive results, again, in the not too distant future.

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 26, 1998, by the Honourable Senator James Kelleher regarding the Agreement on Internal Trade. I also have a response to a question raised in the Senate on May 12, 1998, by the Honourable Senator Marjorie LeBreton regarding the solicitation of political donations.


Agreement on International Trade-Failure to Hold Obligatory Annual Meeting of Committee on International Trade-Government Position

(Response to question raised by Hon. James F. Kelleher on May 26, 1998)

Will the leader explain why his government has failed to ensure there was an annual meeting in 1997, and can he advise us of the date of the committee's next meeting?

While the original intent was to hold a meeting of the Committee on Internal Trade once a year, the Ministers responsible for Internal Trade felt it was more appropriate to convene these meetings as required - in other words, as significant proposals were put forward and agreement was reached amongst the parties.

Will he (Senator Graham) advise when we (the Senate) will receive an annual report that covers the rest of 1996 and 1997? Will his government undertake that, henceforth, these annual reports will be issued each and every year and tabled on a timely basis in the Senate?

  • The annual report on the Agreement on Internal Trade covering 1996-97 has been prepared and will be issued once it has been approved by Ministers responsible for Internal Trade, which will likely be in the fall.
  • The intent of the Committee on Internal Trade is to produce an annual report and to make it available to the public in the fall following the fiscal year-end.
  • The 1997-98 annual report will also be available by the fall of this year.

Treasury Board

Solicitation of Political Donations from List of Government Grant Applicants-Status of Employee Involved-Sensitivity of Ministerial Staff on Issues-Government Position

(Response to question raised by Hon. Marjory LeBreton on May 12, 1998)

Mr. Jacques Roy is still employed with Treasury Board.

Answer to Order Paper Question Tabled

Energy-Atomic Energy of Canada Limited-Conformity with Alternative Fuels Act

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Deputy Leader of the Government) tabled the answer to Question No. 87 on the Order Paper-by Senator Kenny.

The Senate

Outstanding Answers to Order Paper Questions-Provision of Answer to Same Question by Another Senator-Government Position

Hon. John Lynch-Staunton (Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, I again wish to address to the Leader of the Government in the Senate a question about delayed answers. I wish to introduce a new element which increases my frustration and annoyance that questions which have been on the Order Paper now for over six months remain unanswered.

I will address Question Number 82, which stands on the Order Paper in my name, dated November 19, 1997. Part of the question asks how much certain law firms were paid by the government for work related to the Airbus file. That question remains unanswered. The same question was asked on March 18 of this year to Treasury Board Secretariat officials during a National Finance Committee meeting on the Supplementary Estimates (B) 1997-98. Yesterday, the answer, dated June 2, was distributed during the meeting of the committee. The same question which remains unanswered here for six and a half months was answered within two and a half months by Treasury Board Secretariat officials following a request by a member of the National Finance Committee.

The question is obvious: Can the Leader of the Government in the Senate explain why information sought by a senator in this chamber has yet to be provided six and a half months later, while the same information sought by a senator at a committee hearing was provided less than two and a half months later?

Senator Kinsella: Good question.

Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, that is an excellent question, and I am embarrassed to say that I cannot provide an answer. I am glad that the honourable senator has raised the point and that he has brought forth evidence that will provide further ammunition to my arsenal which I will use even more forcefully on those who are responsible for providing the answers to those questions.

Hon. Lowell Murray: Honourable senators, may I be permitted to provide a further amount of gunpowder, if you like?

If Senator Lynch-Staunton had put that question forward as a private citizen under Access to Information, and assuming there had been no exemptions invoked by the government, that information would either have been forthcoming or the commissioner under Access to Information would have been pressing very hard on the government and the responsible minister to provide the information. Believe me, the government and the responsible minister would have provided the information.

My point is that, surely, parliamentarians, members of the Senate or, for that matter, the House of Commons, should not be inferior to or back further in the queue than anybody else in the country who puts forward an Access to Information Request. Are we to be obliged to go through the Access to Information route when we have a right, as parliamentarians, to put these questions on the Order Paper and expect timely answers?

Senator Graham: I could not agree more with Senator Murray. Perhaps it is a route that I, as Leader of the Government in the Senate, should try myself. Out of frustration I should try the office of the Commissioner for Access to Information.


The Senate

Non-Enforcement of Certain Rules-Point of Order

Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Acting Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, I rise on a point of order to draw to the attention of members of this chamber that, recently, in my opinion, there has been some slippage of the enforcement of three of the Rules of the Senate.


The first rule I will address is rule 18(5), which states:

When the Speaker rises, all other Senators shall remain seated or shall resume their seats.

When the Speaker rises, if we are on our feet, we must sit down.

I would ask honourable senators to keep that in mind as I refer to rule 16 which describes how we are to adjourn this chamber. The Deputy Leader of the Government proposes the adjournment motion and the Speaker then rises. When the Speaker rises, according to the rule I just read, all senators should be in their seats. Yesterday, in the midst of all the commotion, the Speaker was unable to put the question on the adjournment motion. There has been some slippage in respecting those particular rules.

The other rule I should like to mention is rule 19(1), which speaks to the matter of the comportment of senators when a senator has the floor. The rule is explicit: No senator shall pass between the chair and the senator who is speaking. Yesterday, during our debate on Bill C-19, there was, in my view, not only the lack of minimum respect for those engaged in the debate, but a great conversation taking place with a senator standing not only between the chair and the senator who was speaking, but with that senator standing squarely in front of the Speaker.

I call upon the Speaker to enforce that rule in particular, pursuant to his responsibilities to enforce the Rules of the Senate of Canada.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I thank Honourable Senator Kinsella for raising this issue. I can assure honourable senators that it was not at my request that he do so, I would acknowledge that adherence to the rules would add to the decorum of the Senate. Frequently, even when we have guests in the galleries, we do not demonstrate proper decorum.

I presume it is the request of honourable senators that, henceforth, I remind the chamber of that rule if necessary.

Hon. Senators: Agreed.


Budget Implementation Bill, 1998

Second Reading

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Bryden, seconded by the Honourable Senator Pearson, for the second reading of Bill C-36, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 24, 1998.

Hon. Jean-Claude Rivest: Honourable senators, while Canada is a beautiful country in many respects, sometimes the governance of our federal system results in unseemly actions for which all Canadians unfortunately pay the price.

That is my first reaction as well as that of many Canadians to a bill that comes out of nowhere to establish the Canadian Millennium Scholarship Foundation.

All Canadians across the country, and in Quebec in particular, fully appreciate the enormous difficulties facing our education system. We know that, at every level, there are problems to be addressed, which are amplified to some extent by the scarcity of financial resources available to governments to meet all educational needs.

These needs are well known. We all know that students in elementary and secondary schools lack supervision. Of course, all Canadians are concerned about dropouts. The bill seems to be addressing one major problem, namely chronic debt, which students face when they want to pursue post-secondary education.

We know that, mostly as a result of budget cuts, colleges and universities find it difficult to fund research, to fund excellence, in other words. All Canadian educational institutions are underfunded. Universities are understaffed and poorly equipped, and research has been cut.

These then are the problems being experienced in education, right from the primary school level up to the research level. All provinces and all Canadians are experiencing these problems.

Financial resources are scarce. There have been problems, for reasons that are understandable to us, created by the urgent necessity of making budget cuts, which governments have had to impose. The Canadian government has had to limit its transfer payments to the provinces. This has placed all of the provincial governments in an extremely difficult situation and has forced them to cut services, not only in education but also in health. As we know, all stakeholders in the education sector are calling on their provincial governments, which have exclusive jurisdiction in this area under the Constitution of Canada, to free up more money at every level of government just to meet the minimal needs of the educational system. The situation is the same in the health sector.

Thanks to a welcome economic upturn in every part of the country and to the reforms made by the federal government - particularly in job security and employment insurance - additional amounts have been freed up.

The federal government has announced that just over $2 billion will be spent on scholarships that will be awarded according to very specific criteria. It did not take into account all the problems in the education sector. The logical thing to do would have been to give back to all provincial governments some room to manoeuvre so that they could meet their constitutional obligations for education at all levels, in keeping with the specific needs of each educational system.

The scholarships just pop out of the woodwork and, which is even worse given the constitutional framework in which we operate, with no consultation of any kind with anyone in the field. No one anywhere in Canada - no teachers, students, college or university administrators - has been consulted.

They found $2.5 billion for a student assistance project. In theory, no one should have anything against student assistance, but this project is totally artificial given the real problems we are facing today in education. All Canadians, here in Ottawa and in the provinces, are wondering what is the idea behind this project.

I am not opposed to someone wanting to build a kind of monument to himself by putting his name on a project. President Mitterrand built his library in Paris. Every politician is entitled to this. They say this is the Prime Minister's personal project. He has been in politics for 35 years and I think that, if he is planning to retire, all Canadians will be grateful to him for 35 years of competent and extremely useful service. He does not need such an artificial monument.

It seems to me that if the Honourable Prime Minister wanted to do something significant in the education field, common sense would have him give to the provinces the money he has earmarked and let them decide how to distribute it in keeping with their responsibilities and knowledge of the milieu.

Problems in the educational system can be found at the primary and college levels, in research and with equipment. The federal government just steps in dictating where the money is going to go.

Honourable senators, I have to say the federal government's approach is all wrong.

With regard to political fallout, the entire education sector, the PQ government and the Quebec Liberal Party led by Jean Charest, the former leader of the Conservative Party, all denounced this program.

The reality in Quebec is quite different. The province already has a program created in 1965 thanks to the Right Honourable Lester B. Pearson and the Honourable Jean Lesage.

Before embarking on this project, did it ever occur to the Right Honourable Prime Minister of Canada to inform Quebec of his intentions and ask for its support? No, there was no consultation of any kind.

Watch what you are doing. You talk a lot about Lucien Bouchard these days. You shed very moving crocodile tears urging Jean Charest to save Canada. You gave him your support. In fact, with this bill you are needlessly embarrassing Jean Charest, a champion of the Canadian option, and giving Lucien Bouchard the opportunity to indulge in demagoguery concerning the way the federal system is working. This is totally irresponsible.

The bill is supposed to meet the needs of students, but it is aimed solely at undergraduates to the exclusion of graduate and doctoral students. We do not know what will happen to the latter; they are simply not eligible.

The Prime Minister tells us that the goal is to reduce student debt. First of all, the average student debt is lower in Quebec than in the rest of Canada. That is one difference.

If they want to reduce the debt of Quebec students, why not consider other options? They could, for instance, turn the loans taken out by students into scholarships, or perhaps forgive the present debts.

I have nothing against the federal government spending money on education. I believe that, in this area, the responsibility of the Canadian government is to help decision makers give students across the country a chance to have access to knowledge, taking into account the fact that resources vary across the country. I support this measure as long as things are done in accordance with the Constitution. This must make sense.

Looking beyond the constitutional issue, I believe that people in education should be consulted. There is not one single official in Ottawa dealing daily with education. The experts are in the provinces. They have the schools; they have the universities; and they have the departments of education.

With this foundation we will be artificially creating a whole new federal bureaucracy. What will it do, for instance, when a student gets a scholarship? Let us take, for example, a scholarship recipient who is studying abroad. The federal public servant, for whom we will have created a job, will call the provincial department to find out the value of the diploma the student is getting from a foreign institution: "Can you give us an assessment?"

The provinces are the ones with the expertise in the field of education. What does the federal government think it can do in this area? It is also quite ludicrous, since business will have a say in how the scholarships will be awarded. It does not make any sense to proceed this way.

All students and teachers agree. Just to give you an idea, there are all kinds of people in Quebec who agree. There is your good friend, Lucien Bouchard, but also the student federation. There are also the university administrators, the teachers and administrators of the cegeps and colleges in Quebec, the unions, the chambers of commerce and the Liberal Party of Quebec. All of these people are opposed to this initiative, but the government is still going ahead with it anyway. It knows what is good for the education community as a whole.

There is a serious question of irresponsibility with this project that has nothing to do with the real problems the education community is facing.

Hon. Fernand Robichaud: The federal government should make sums available to students who need financial assistance.

Senator Rivest: Did you go back to school recently, honourable senator? All students in Quebec are opposed to this bill. They must know what their needs are!

Senator Robichaud: They will refuse the scholarships.

Senator Rivest: Individually? Come on! It does not matter anyway.

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I do not mean to interrupt Senator Rivest's speech. I think it would be better if senators who want to make an intervention would stand up in their place. Otherwise, it is very difficult to have a debate.

Senator Rivest: I had an unruly student in front of me. One thing is for sure, if there are criteria to be applied, he will certainly not get a scholarship.

We must act responsibly. I am really concerned not only about the administrative or bureaucratic consequences that such a bill can have on students, but also about the political consequences. Once again, a political problem has been created in Quebec and, of course, Lucien Bouchard and the PQ have seized this opportunity to discredit the federal system.

Those who fight here in Ottawa and in every other region in Canada to try to convince Quebecers that the federal system makes sense and is good for Quebec can only be successful if the federal system is respected.

The fact that Quebec society is strongly attached to its exclusive jurisdiction over education is not an invention of Lucien Bouchard or of nationalists or separatists. It goes back to the birth of our country.

Read again what the Fathers of Confederation said on the reason why the French-Canadians of the day accepted the federal system. The Constitution gave them full control over education. Is this still the case? Is this still necessary? Honourable senators, as a Quebecer and a Canadian, I say it is.

As a federalist from Quebec, I would like to be able to say to all Quebecers that this reality is understood and respected by all Canadians and by the government of this country. I would like to say that the Canadian government respects the ability of Quebec, of each province, of the Department of Education in each province, to understand the needs of the education sector and to decide for itself what to do with federal funds in order to improve its education system. This is the Canada we support, the Canada we are talking about. Unfortunately, the proposed millennium scholarships would destabilize and discredit the federal system we all believe in and want to continue to support with arguments and evidence that Ottawa sometimes understands.

Hon. Gérald-A. Beaudoin: Honourable senators, Bill C-36, which establishes the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation, highlights the famous federal spending power. I have chosen to say a few words on this power because I think that it is not always well understood.


In 1937, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council recognized the federal spending power. It is possible for the federal authority to spend money in fields that are not necessarily federal. Parliament, however, should be careful: to spend money is one thing - no one objects to that; to legislate is another. That spending power has been used frequently in the last 50 years.

A possible problem with the federal spending power is that it may conflict with provincial priorities in the provincial fields of legislation. It is a power recognized by jurisprudence which is not very precise but has never been challenged by the provinces.

I remember the writings of Pierre Trudeau on spending power when he was at the University of Montreal, and of Jean Beetz, a very important judge of the Supreme Court of Canada.

The provinces also have a spending power, and they use it. They may use it to send delegations abroad. It is part of our modern federalism.


In Quebec, the federal spending power has fuelled many debates. Especially since 1950. It all started with Prime Minister St. Laurent and his successors, John Diefenbaker and Lester B. Pearson, who provided federal assistance to universities. Some of us will remember that, at first, universities refused federal assistance, but since they needed help, they subsequently made an arrangement with the federal government under Mr. St. Laurent, Mr. Diefenbaker and Mr. Pearson.

Then followed the joint program era and the Jean Lesage era. The opting-out formula that is much talked about dates back to that period. What is this opting-out formula? It is a formula designed under Jean Lesage which allows a province to withdraw from a joint program and to receive the money and use it as it sees fit.

In the present case, it is not a program as such but a foundation. Notwithstanding the spending power, and I am in favour of that because I think it is good in a federation, it seems to me that an administrative arrangement must be reached.


If we have been able to succeed in this country with federal grants to universities and with the joint programs, there is no reason in the world that we should not succeed in the present case.

I think that federal states must sometimes show creative imagination. Education, after all, is a very important field for each province, obviously, because it is part of the pact of Confederation, but it is also important for the entire country.


I think that there may be some tentative solutions in clauses 28 and 29 of Bill C-36. Clause 29 of the English version reads as follows:


29. (1) If the Foundation is satisfied that it is consistent with its object and purposes to do so, the Foundation may enter into an agreement with a provincial minister respecting

(a) criteria for the determination of financial need and merit; and

(b) the provision to the Foundation of names of residents of the province who are determined under those criteria to be qualified to receive a scholarship from the Foundation and any supporting information that the Foundation considers appropriate.

If there is one person who believes in federalism, I am that person, and I believe that the division of powers must be respected. However, we are no longer living in watertight compartments of the Constitution, as was the case before World War II. We are in the era of cooperative federalism. The solution to the problem in this case is, of course, to respect the division of powers, but it is certain that an administrative arrangement would settle the question.

Perhaps some people will say, "We have tried but we did not succeed." We must try again.


We must go back to the negotiation table. It is a major problem. If we succeed, we could score important points for federalism in Quebec. I think that we must show creativity.

Federalism will be judged by its fruits. We know how true that is in Quebec. It could make the difference between independence and federalism. An election is not too far away in that province. I hope that the bill that will be sent to committee will be studied in this perspective and that we will be able to reach a compromise. I do not know what the committee will decide, but there are potential solutions and we must do all we can to succeed.


Hon. Lowell Murray: Honourable senators, our friend Senator Phillips is the last of the Diefenbaker appointees to this chamber. I want to add a small historical footnote to the speech that Senator Beaudoin has just given.

Federal grants to universities were indeed, in the case of Quebec, blocked because of the constitutional objections of Premier Duplessis. It was Prime Minister Diefenbaker who found a way to unblock the system, I think by way of tax points, if I am not mistaken. To that footnote, I simply want to add that our old friend Senator Jacques Flynn, who was then a member of the other place, played a key role in that process, which ended in an agreement between the Diefenbaker government and that of Premier Paul Sauvé of Quebec.

On motion of Senator Oliver, debate adjourned.

Tobacco Industry Responsibility Bill

Third Reading-Order Stands

On the Order:

Third reading of Bill S-13, An Act to incorporate and to establish an industry levy to provide for the Canadian Tobacco Industry Community Responsibility Foundation. - (Honourable Senator Murray, P.C.).

Hon. Lowell Murray: Honourable senators, this order is awaiting a motion for third reading of Bill S-13. The order is standing in my name because I presented the report as chairman of the standing committee. Perhaps the order could be put in the name of Senator Kenny, the sponsor of the bill.

The Hon. the Speaker: Is it agreed, honourable senators, that the order stand in the name of the Honourable Senator Kenny?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Order stands.


Bill to Change the Name Of Certain Electoral Districts

Second Reading

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Gigantès, seconded by the Honourable Senator Hébert, for the second reading of Bill C-410, An Act to change the name of certain electoral districts.

Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Acting Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, I would like to say a few words on Bill C-410. This bill is quite simple in that it merely changes the name of several electoral districts. This kind of change is often initiated by a member of Parliament.

Many members want the name to describe their riding accurately. In my area, for example, the riding of Charlotte includes York and Sunbury Counties, and a change in name is desired to better reflect this geographical reality.

We will support this bill. I hope it will pass second reading and be referred to committee for further examination.

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I wish to inform the Senate that if Senator Gigantès speaks now, his speech will have the effect of closing debate on second reading of this bill.

Hon. Philippe Deane Gigantès: I have nothing to add.

The Hon. the Speaker: You do not wish to speak? It is moved by Senator Gigantès that this bill be read the second time. Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Motion agreed to and bill read second time

Referral to Committee

The Hon. the Speaker: When shall this bill be read the third time?

On motion of Senator Gigantès, bill referred to Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs.

Canada Elections Act

Bill to Amend-Second Reading

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Robichaud P.C. (St-Louis-de-Kent), seconded by the Honourable Senator Hervieux-Payette, for the second reading of Bill C-411, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act.

Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Acting Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, this bill will amend the Canada Elections Act. I wonder whether we could look at it from a certain interesting point of view.


Honourable senators, Bill C-411 is a Commons bill. It will affect the present procedure under which a number of people failed to get their documents in on time under the present act.

It is important from time to time for us to ensure that parliamentarians in the other place recognize that Parliament is composed of three elements: the House of Commons, the Senate and the Crown. When private bills come forward, the tradition has been that this house will give those bills expeditious consideration.

Honourable senators, after Senate bills are adopted by the Senate of Canada and received in the other place, I am sure that an examination of the track record on Senate bills introduced by individual senators will show that they receive not a great deal more attention than a private member's bill commenced by a member of the House of Commons. The only special consideration given a bill introduced in the Senate by an honourable senator after its adoption by the Senate is a guarantee that it will receive first reading in the other place. It does not need to be put into the draw to receive first reading. However, that is the only special consideration it receives.

Before us is a bill from the other place. With it is the expectation that we will give it expeditious treatment. I am wondering whether we are on a level playing field here. Obviously, this bill is of great interest to many members in the other place. Perhaps we might capture their attention if we were to give this private member's bill the kind of study that many Senate bills, which have been passed by this place, receive in the other place.


As for the substance of the bill, amendments to the Canada Elections Act must always be studied carefully. Electoral reform plays a critical role in any democracy.

This bill deals with the time allowed for authorizing payment of certain claims by candidates and official agents. It amends the procedure in the event of failure to file an elections return.

At first glance, the bill appears to be a technical one and must be read in conjunction with the Canada Elections Act in order to clearly comprehend the significance of the proposed amendments.

We have always gone over proposed amendments to the Canada Elections Act with a fine-tooth comb and I am sure that my colleagues will evaluate the soundness of the bill and tell us whether these amendments are necessary for the proper operation of our electoral system. I am sure that our colleagues in committee will be able to carry out such an in-depth study.

The Hon. the Speaker: I must advise the Senate that, if Senator Robichaud now takes the floor, his speech will have the effect of ending debate at second reading. Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Motion agreed to and bill read second time.

Referral to Committee

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

On motion of Senator Carstairs, bill referred to Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs.



Privileges, Standing Rules and Orders

Consideration of Fifth Report of Committee-Debate Adjourned

The Senate proceeded to consideration of the fifth report of the Standing Committee on Privileges, Standing Rules and Orders (attendance in the Senate), presented in the Senate on June 3, 1998.

Hon. Shirley Maheu: Honourable senators, I move the adoption of the report.

Hon. John Lynch-Staunton (Leader of the Opposition): May we have an explanation?


Senator Maheu: Honourable senators, I present to you the fifth report of the Standing Committee on Privileges, Standing Rules and Orders concerning attendance in the Senate.


Honourable senators, the Rules Committee has been given the mandate under rule 86(1)(f) to revise the existing rules which govern the Senate and its attendance regime. It has been an arduous task which has only just begun. The issue of attendance is much more complex than many critics realize.


Attendance comprises many different aspects: legislative and constitutional provisions are not the only points that have to be addressed by the committee. There are also past decisions and past Senate policies.

Before I speak about the report itself, it is important to share some information on the upper house with Canadians. Were you aware that, regardless of media reports, the Senate has more detailed attendance records than almost any other legislative assembly in Canada? It is also important for Canadians to know that the Senate sits more often than the Alberta legislative assembly, which sat 38 days in 1997, and the New Brunswick legislature, which sat only 32. The Senate had 65 sittings in 1997 because Parliament was dissolved after a general election was called.


Senators will see changes to the definition of "attendance." The recording of attendance, the administration of leave due to illness, the acknowledgement of committee service, and the increase in penalties for non-compliance with senatorial requirements are new enforcement measures to be undertaken by the Clerk's office.

In its fifth report, the committee has examined senatorial attendance. The remuneration of members of Parliament and senators is set out in the Parliament of Canada Act. A deduction from the sessional allowance and the expense allowance of parliamentarians is included in the act for every day beyond the 21 days which they do not attend the Senate or the House of Commons. It has been recommended that the penalty be doubled from $120 to $250; $60 from the senator's expense account and $190 in sessional indemnity, payable to senators.


As you know, in 1990 the Standing Committee on Privileges, Standing Rules and Orders recommended the introduction of an attendance register for senators to which the public would have access. This attendance register contains information on senators' attendance.


The committee has made changes to the attendance record so as to more accurately depict the workload we all share as senators. The register will contain five columns depicting attendance on a given day. The first column will depict whether it was a day on which the Senate sat. The purpose of the second column is to record attendance to business, which includes: attendance at a sitting of the Senate; attendance at a meeting of a Senate committee authorized by the Senate to sit within the National Capital Region during a regularly scheduled sitting of the Senate; participation in a delegation of a recognized parliamentary association conducting its business outside the National Capital Region, again on a sitting day of the Senate; and, finally, attendance to official business.


"Attendance to official business" refers to participation by a senator in activities that cannot be held at any other time than on a sitting day, require the senator to absent himself or herself from the sitting, and, first, have been authorized by the Senate or a Senate committee; or, second, are in response to a request in writing from a federal minister of the Crown to represent the government.


The third column in the register will be reserved for the recording of public business.


The fourth column is for justified absences for illness. In the present system, a medical certificate is optional. The proposed amendments will call for a mandatory certificate after six days of absence, and a second certificate after 90 days.


One additional change that has been made in this report is that upon written request from the Chair of either the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration or the Chair of the Standing Committee on Privileges, Standing Rules and Orders, a copy of a medical certificate shall be submitted.


The last column is reserved for committee attendance. If the Senate is not sitting one day, and you have committee meetings, your attendance will be recorded. On days when there are three committees, attendance will also be noted.


Under the new system, even non-committee members will be accredited for attending committee meetings.


For example, if an independent senator attends a committee meeting, his or her attendance will also be recorded.


One further guideline that has been added in this report governing senatorial attendance is a list of three categories of leave days. These are also known as non-accountable days. Leave days are provided mainly for bereavement leave, leave for family-related matters, including illness, or leave for religious holidays.

We as a committee recommend that this register be implemented on July 1, 1998. I strongly feel, as do my honourable colleagues who have worked very hard throughout the process, that this register is fairer, more transparent and comprehensive. Also, in this report we are recommending new guidelines to provide as accurate a picture of senators' attendance as possible, while minimizing the margin of error.

One of these changes requires that a direct copy of a statement on individual senators' attendance be issued monthly to senators. Corrections must be returned to the Clerk's office within two weeks of the issuing of the reports.

Senators are now obligated to provide the administration with a signed copy of their monthly attendance statement no later than two weeks after receiving it. The signed statement is added to the senator's individual monthly attendance register and becomes a public record.


If a senator does not file a signed monthly attendance statement within the required time limit, the Clerk will notify the Subcommittee on Agenda and Procedure of the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration.



I want to thank all members of the Standing Committee on Privileges, Standing Rules and Orders, as well as both party caucuses for their comments and suggestions concerning this complex issue of amending the policy establishing the senators' attendance register. We have now issued a report on which there was a general consensus as to the recommendations we have put forward.

I should note that we intend to continue our studies on issues relating to the attendance of senators.

Honourable senators, the image of the Senate portrayed to Canadians must be improved. Most senators are hard-working individuals. Many have developed areas of specialization in social, economic and cultural matters and actively promote awareness of the issues they care about. Our committees have played creative and influential roles on a wide variety of topics and may have acted very much like royal commissions, except that they have cost less and acted faster.


I would like to thank those who took part in the discussions and in the preparation of this report.


I believe the adoption of this report will help to improve the image of our chamber and our ability to serve the Canadian public.

Hon. Lowell Murray: May I ask the chairman of the committee a couple of questions?

Senator Maheu: Certainly.


Senator Murray: If I understand correctly, you said that the sum to be deducted for an absence of over 21 days will be $250 per day. Where is that in your report? I note in Appendix II that $600 is to be deducted from the sessional allowance. I suppose that will come from expenses? How do you plan to do that?


Senator Maheu: The $60 that is missing will be deducted from the expense allowance, which is part of the Parliament of Canada Act. We cannot change that without going into the act and introducing an amendment. The other $190 is up to $250.

Senator Murray: You are proposing that we amend the Parliament of Canada Act in that respect. Where are you getting the other $600?

Senator Maheu: It was not $600, it was $60.

Senator Murray: Senator, you said $250 and you are increasing it here to $190. Am I missing something?

Senator Maheu: The total is $250, $190 plus $60. There is no $600. The $60 is from the sessional expense allowance.

Senator Murray: You could remove that without having to -

Senator Maheu: We can tighten up those figures, but we cannot decrease them. It would take a change.

Senator Murray: Is it $250 or is it $190?

Senator Maheu: It is $190, plus $60.

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Deputy Leader of the Government): Perhaps I can clarify this issue. The total amount will be $250. The present Parliament of Canada Act provides for a $120 penalty, $60 of which comes from the pay and $60 of which comes from the tax-free allowance.

We can make this change without an amendment to the Parliament of Canada Act and we can do it by regulation, increase the amount taken from pay. We cannot do it through the section in the Parliament of Canada Act with respect to the tax-free portion. The tax-free portion will remain at $60. However, the increase will go from $60 to $190 by way of regulation and that will lead to a total of $250.

Senator Murray: I thank the deputy leader for her explanation.

I have two other areas of concern. The committee has added a category which I would refer to as "permissible absences from the chamber." There is a category called "attendance to business." The committee has, in my quick reading, defined attendance to business fairly precisely. The committee has also attempted to deal with the problem of absences due to illness and has codified the situation in that regard somewhat more precisely than it had been.

There remains, however, another category, and it is called "public business." I have discussed this in debate in this chamber before and I will not go into it now. However, it seems to me that public business is pretty much what any honourable senator says it is. I wonder why the committee did not address the question of "public business," either to try to define it, if that is possible, or, if not to define it, then to put a cap on the number of times in a year or a session that an honourable senator can invoke that reason for being absent from his or her duties in Ottawa.

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, the time period for Senator Maheu's speech and questions has expired. Is leave granted to the extend the period?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Senator Maheu: The committee did not come to any total agreement on "public business" days. We took the issue of leave and absence as far as we could. We are looking at the authorized days under the title of "business of the government." We have defined the "public business" days as much as we can. It is official business, in other words.

Senator Murray: Excuse me, senator. The report indicates that the column in the register entitled "public business" shall reflect attendance by senators to all public or official business not reflected in the "attendance to business" column. Therefore, public business will remain what it has been, subject to interpretation on the part of honourable senators; is that not the case?

Senator Maheu: Perhaps it is. There is no change. Senators have a code of honour that they pretty much live by. I do not think we can put rules and guidelines on every single item of public business that we may or may not choose to use as a "public business" day.

Senator Murray: Was any thought given to proposing an amendment to the constitutional provisions respecting attendance in the Senate? As I have remarked on a previous occasion, my layman's view is that such an amendment could be passed unilaterally by ourselves and the House of Commons. It would not require provincial consent.

Senator Maheu: We do not have a consensus on that approach and the issue was not carried any further than a cursory look.


Hon. Eymard G. Corbin: You said that the Senate, of all the legislative assemblies in Canada, advocates the harshest penalties for absent members. Are you including the House of Commons?

Senator Maheu: I said the Senate records the presence and the absence of senators. It alone does so in this Parliament. I think the House of Commons records members' presence when a vote is held. Members sign an attendance form monthly. That register is not so assiduously kept as ours.

Senator Corbin: The question that follows, perhaps not logically but naturally, is: Is there any monitoring of the attendance of members in the House of Commons?

Senator Maheu: I could not tell you whether it is monitored or not. I am not sure I get your point. The members of the other place sign an attendance register every month. I imagine the honour code applies there as it does here.

Senator Corbin: But our behaviour, here, in the Senate, is based on honour if not honesty. We go much further, do we not, than they do in the House of Commons? The senators' records of attendance and participation in the proceedings of this house, its committees and interparliamentary activities have been available to the public for many years. This register is available for consultation in the office of the Clerk of the Senate.

There is no such thing at the other place. Every member - as I did when I served in the House of Commons - receives with his pay cheque a form used to certify that he or she was in attendance on every sitting day, except for X number of days. As I recall, we were required to state the reason for our absence, but I am not too sure about that. That sheet was then returned to the person in charge. Journalists never ask any questions about this. In my 30 years on the Hill, journalists have never asked MPs about this, except when a vote might be close. In general, the party would explain why a member was excused. There is no public monitoring of the MPs' attendance record. Everything is based on an honour system, on a record of attendance that ends up gathering dust on a shelf in a storage room somewhere. I am not even sure that these records make it to the Public Archives of Canada. There is no control over these documents.

I am not opposed to greater transparency. However, as I said before, someone must pay the costs of increased transparency. It costs the Senate money to keep these records. I do not hear the media complain about the fact that it costs money to keep attendance records for senators. The fact is that this is not done in the other place, and I believe the provincial legislatures use a different system to monitor absenteeism.

If Senator Murray had not risen to propose the adjournment of the debate, I would have done so, because there are elements in your presentation that deserve a more detailed examination.

Before we vote, I want to know what I am committing to. You are proposing to increase the fine imposed on senators for being absent. What is the effect of a fine, or of a series of fines that could amount to several thousands of dollars in a given year, on a senator's income tax? Will such fine be tax deductible? Will the senator be required to send a cheque, or will the fine be deducted at source? Have you thought about this?

Senator Maheu: Perhaps I should start with the other place. We, through the Access to Information Act, could obtain the House of Commons attendance records. These records are kept from one session to the next, from one Parliament to the next. They are available, but I do not know where they are stored.

As for the $250 fine to which you referred, I do not know what would happen from a tax point of view. Usually, one does not get a tax credit on a fine. For example, I do not think one can get a tax deduction on a fine for running a red light. I presume this is the case, because we are talking about a fine. I cannot give you a precise answer.

On motion of Senator Murray, debate adjourned.



Motion to Establish National Reproductive Technologies Commission Adopted

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Lavoie-Roux, seconded by the Honourable Senator Keon:

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:

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

That the National Reproductive Technologies Commission establish committees which would be responsible for regulating how services related to reproductive technologies are provided.- (Honourable Senator LeBreton).

Hon. Marjory LeBreton: Honourable senators, as we approach the 21st century, society faces many complex issues that only a few years ago would have been considered to be in the realm of science fiction. Hardly a day goes by when we are not forced to come to terms with the complexities of reproductive technology, genetic altering, cloning, sex selection, sperm banks, young women selling their eggs for financial gain, surrogate mothers, and all of the obvious moral, legal, and ethical considerations attached.


In my previous position in the office of the Prime Minister, I was involved in the setting up of the Royal Commission on New Reproductive Technologies in October of 1989. The commission reported in December 1993. In the four intervening years, thousands of Canadians were consulted in hearings held across the country in 17 different centres. Inquiries, reports and research papers numbered in the hundreds of thousands.

In its final report, "Proceed With Care," it was stated that having children and healthy families are centrally important life goals for most Canadians and that a caring society should help people attain these goals, but always in the context of guarding against larger harms, whether to individuals or to society. As guardians of the public interest and on behalf of individual citizens, the federal government has a responsibility to prevent harms. This means that clear limits and boundaries must be placed around the use of reproductive technologies, and only ethical and accountable use of permissible technologies can be allowed within these boundaries.

A blueprint was set out as to how Canada, with its unique institutions and social make-up, could deal with new reproductive technologies, regulate their use and ensure that future developments or use are in the public interest. The commission called on the federal government to include the participation and commitment of provincial governments and many sectors of our society.

The reasons for such actions are compelling. The potential for harm to individuals and the need to protect the vulnerable interest of individuals in society are more pressing with each day. Implementing the blueprint will demonstrate that we care about each other's well-being and recognize collective values with respect to the importance that people attach to having children. At the same time, it will ensure that only ethical and accountable use of technology is made, and will demonstrate that Canadians have wisdom, humanity and compassion in the way they choose to use technology.

As was stated by other speakers on this motion, this is not a partisan issue. This is an issue of concern to all Canadians, and I support and applaud the government for any action they take in moving this issue forward. We should be and could be, as Canadians and as a Canadian government, world leaders on this issue. It becomes more pressing with each passing day.

The Hon. the Speaker: If no other honourable senator wishes to speak or to adjourn the debate, I shall proceed with calling the motion.

It was moved by the Honourable Senator Lavoie-Roux, seconded by the Honourable Senator Keon, 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 of 1993.

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Dispense.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Motion agreed to.



Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, with leave of the Senate and notwithstanding rule 58(1)(h), I move:

That when the Senate adjourns today, it do stand adjourned until Monday next, June 8, 1998, at eight o'clock in the evening.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Motion agreed to.

The Senate adjourned until Monday, June 8, 1998, at 8 p.m.