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Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

1st Session, 36th Parliament,
Volume 137, Issue 79

Thursday, September 24, 1998

The Honourable Gildas L. Molgat, Speaker


THE SENATE

Thursday, September 24, 1998

The Senate met at 2:00 p.m., the Speaker in the Chair.

Prayers.

THE SENAT)

Nelson Mandela President of South Africa

Address to Members of the Senate and of the House of Commons Tabled and Printed as Appendix

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I ask that the address of His Excellency Nelson Mandela, President of the Republic of South Africa, delivered to members of both Houses of Parliament earlier this day, together with the introductory speech by the Right Honourable Prime Minister of Canada and the speeches delivered by the Speaker of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Commons, be printed as an appendix to the Debates of the Senate of this day.

(For text of speeches see appendix, p. 1946.)


SENATORS' STATEMENTS

National Finance

British Columbia Task Force Research Studies on Major Bank Mergers

Hon. Pat Carney: Honourable senators, this summer, the British Columbia Task Force on Bank Mergers held public consultations on the proposed mergers of the Royal Bank of Canada with the Bank of Montreal, and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce with the Toronto Dominion Bank. The task force also commissioned B.C.-specific research studies on the impact of the mergers.

Earlier this month the task force's chair, David Rosenberg, a Vancouver lawyer, and its two members Marjorie Griffen Cohen, a well-known economist, and Blair Lekstrom, Mayor of Dawson Creek, released their report. I have asked the minister responsible, Ian Waddell, to send a copy of the report to the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce, which will be reviewing this issue.

However, I want to summarize some of the findings for honourable senators. Public appearances before the task force showed that those who support the mergers believe they are crucial if Canada wants to maintain a competitive advantage in today's global financial markets. However, anti-merger sentiment was strong and is rooted in concerns about the negative impact of the mergers on people and communities.

The B.C. research studies revealed that the probable impact of the mergers would be the direct loss of 2,600 to 3,400 jobs in B.C., and an indirect loss of 5,200 to 6,800 jobs in the B.C. economy, using a relatively low multiplier. Some 75 per cent of B.C. communities could experience branch closures as a result of the mergers. Of these, 119 communities are now served by three or fewer financial institutions, and most are vulnerable to closures.

Honourable senators, for example, communities with no banking services now include Alert Bay, a coastal fishing centre with nearly 700 people; Hudson Hope, which has more than 1,000 people and no bank services; and Fort Nelson which has 4,400 people and one bank. Also with one bank are the communities of Nakusp, which has 1,700 people and Gold River, which has 2,000 people. I was in Gold River this summer and it is a beautiful community. As well, Lillooet has more than 2,000 people and only one bank. Armstrong has 4,000 people and only one bank. Hope, with a population of 6,200 people, has only two banks. Invermere, with a population of 2,600, has two banks, as does Castlegar with 7,000 people. Honourable senators can see why these people are worried about how vulnerable they would be if banks closed.

According to the B.C. research, the mergers would have a negative impact on small business financing in terms of less local decision-making on loan applications, difficulties in obtaining approval due to greater risk aversion by the merged banks, increased service charges, and increased turnover of account managers.

There is no evidence, as the proponents have argued, that bank mergers could increase bank efficiency. Instead, the research showed that they could result in a wave of cost cutting achieved by the closure of full-time service branches.

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This means job losses and increased time and travel for British Columbians to get bank services, because, as honourable senators know, the settlements are wide apart and separated by hours of travel.

The task force's primary recommendation is that the proposed mergers of Schedule I banks not occur, given that Canada's top five chartered banks already have the highest degree of concentration of banking assets among the OECD countries.

In the wake of its findings, the task force has called on the federal government to take a number of initiatives in order, first, to maintain Canadian ownership of our major banks and protect Canadian sovereignty by limiting foreign control over our chartered banks; second, to establish regulations regarding the social and ethical responsibility of banks in the domestic and international markets, including a commitment to rural and less affluent communities; and, third, to ensure guaranteed access to essential banking services.

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable Senator Carney, I regret to have to interrupt you, but your three-minute period is up.

Senator Carney: May I have leave to continue, honourable senators?

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Senator Carney: The fourth initiative is to require banks to invest in the communities they serve in order to build confidence that our financial system works, and the fifth is to ensure adequate disclosure of bank lending practices.

The provincial government has also been encouraged, first, to enhance the role of provincially regulated bodies, such as credit unions, insurance companies and securities firms; and, second, to implement a program of tax incentives and contract compliance measures to increase small business lending in British Columbia, which the task force found to be currently insufficient.

The task force has also recommended that, before a merger of Schedule I banks be permitted to proceed, Parliament convene public hearings throughout Canada, including consultations with the provincial governments, and that an act of Parliament be necessary for any merger.

The other recommendations of the task force I will make available to those honourable senators who have an interest in the subject.

Alzheimer's Coffee Break

Hon. Thérèse Lavoie-Roux: Honourable senators, today throughout Canada people are participating in Alzheimer's Coffee Break, la Pause-café pour l'Alzheimer, a nationwide fund-raising and public awareness event which pays tribute to World Alzheimer's Day, the international day of Alzheimer's disease.

I would like to take a moment to bring to your attention the seriousness of Alzheimer's disease and the need for more research and services.

[Translation]

The principal cause of dementia is Alzheimer's disease, which accounts for 64 per cent of all cases of dementia. As you are no doubt aware, this is a progressive and irreversible dementia, which damages the nerve cells in the brain and leads to loss of memory, judgment and reasoning ability, as well as mood and behavioural changes. As a result, patients lose the most precious of human qualities, their dignity.

[English]

Over one quarter of a million Canadians suffer from Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, and since diagnosis can only be confirmed upon autopsy, many more cases go unreported. Furthermore, demographic trends indicate that the expanding, aging population will result in an estimated three quarters of a million Canadians with Alzheimer's disease in the coming century.

Alzheimer's disease is associated with the elderly. Indeed, one in 13 Canadians over the age of 65 is affected by Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia, and the prevalence increases to one in nine among seniors aged 75 to 84. The most alarming prevalence rate is among Canadians over 85. One person in three is affected by the disease.

Although younger adults are not as likely to suffer from the disease, there have been cases of people in their 30s and 40s affected by Alzheimer's disease. Most commonly, younger adults are affected by the disease in an indirect way as caregivers. Because the disease is progressive and wears away at a person's mental and physical abilities, persons with Alzheimer's become increasingly dependent on family members for their care.

Alzheimer's disease is a family problem. It changes family patterns, roles and lifestyles, and can lead to significant stress and conflict, as evidenced in numerous Canadian studies. Statistics Canada found that almost 3 million Canadians are taking care of someone with long-term health problems, usually an elderly relative, and that it is affecting their health and demands on their time. The biggest proportion of the caregivers, almost 20 per cent, are men and women between 45 and 64, and almost 10 per cent are seniors themselves. Families need support by means of education on the disease, help in coping, and concrete services such as respite care.

Honourable senators, there are considerations relevant to public policies of which I will make mention.

[Translation]

First of all, home care for Alzheimer's patients is a financial burden to the family.

The Hon. the Speaker: Your three minutes are drawing to a close. Honourable senators, does the honourable senator have your permission to continue?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Senator Lavoie-Roux: Although there are tax credits to lighten that burden, a number of income replacement options are not available to the Alzheimer patients or their caregivers who need them. Since families are being counted on increasingly as caregivers, a review of the measures in place for patients and caregivers would, without a doubt, make it easier to keep people at home in acceptable conditions.

I would also like to touch on the question of federal funding, particularly via the New Horizons program, which provides financial assistance for innovative projects on Alzheimer's. It is essential for the funding of this program to be safeguarded, so that we may learn more about the causes of Alzheimer's disease and find yet more effective ways of providing the appropriate care.

The funding of the Canadian health care system is essential for the protection of those affected by Alzheimer's disease. It is absolutely essential to maintain the Health Canada criteria for assistance, in order to provide the services required by people with this disease.

[English]

As I speak today, there is no known cause or cure for Alzheimer's disease. There have, however, been breakthroughs in research, such as medications which treat some of the symptoms of the disease, and there is hope for the discovery of the cause and a cure for the disease. That we promote research by means of grants directed at research on Alzheimer's disease specifically is crucial to addressing this most important and ever-increasing problem; and that we support people affected by Alzheimer's disease and their family is paramount.

The Alzheimer's Society is a nationwide non-profit health organization dedicated to helping people affected by Alzheimer's disease. It funds biomedical research into the cause and cure of the disease, as well as social and psychological research directed at improving methods of care giving and the delivery of services. In terms of caregivers, the local chapters of the Alzheimer's Society provide a number of support and educational programs. Their efforts are supported in part by the Alzheimer's Coffee Break, which is being held throughout Canada today. Last year, this public education and awareness campaign raised over $600,000.

I could add much more on Alzheimer's disease, but instead I will just ask my colleagues on both sides of this chamber to remember that this is a serious health and social problem, and that we must not forget. We talk about the elderly, and studying the elderly, which is good, - I am all in favour of that - but I think more attention should be given to this disease that is creating more and more victims every day.

I thank honourable senators for permitting me to briefly address such an important health and social problem. As parliamentarians, we have a role to play in increasing awareness and promoting more research and services for people affected by Alzheimer's disease. In many respects, if we do that, it will be helpful to maintaining some equilibrium in the close social environment of families with members affected by this very difficult disease.


Visitors in the Gallery

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, before I call the next item on the Order Paper, I would draw your attention to a group of students in our gallery from the University of Vermont. They are here studying the Canadian parliamentary system.

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Honourable senators may recall that normally the Honourable Senator Prud'homme is the sponsor of this group, but he is, unfortunately, in hospital at the present time.

On behalf of all honourable senators, I would extend a warm welcome to the group from the University of Vermont.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!


ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

Competition Act

Bill to Amend-First Reading

The Hon. the Speaker informed the Senate that a message had been received from the House of Commons with Bill C-20, to amend the Competition Act and to make consequential and related amendments to other Acts.

Bill read first time.

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

On motion of Senator Carstairs, bill placed on the Orders of the Day for second reading on Tuesday next, September 29, 1998.

Health

Commission of Inquiry on the Blood System in Canada-Compliance with Recommendations-Notice of Motion

Hon. John Lynch-Staunton (Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, I give notice that on Tuesday, October 20, 1998, I will move:

That the Senate reaffirm its unanimous support of the following motion passed without dissent on June 18, 1998:

That the Senate endorses and supports recommendation 1 of the Commission of Inquiry on the Blood System in Canada which calls upon provinces and territories to respond to the needs of those who suffered due to the management of the blood supply system;

That the Senate recognizes the leadership role played by the Government of Canada in formulating a Federal-Provincial compensation package for those infected with Hepatitis C through the blood supply system between 1986 and 1990;

That, in view of the fact that Federal and Provincial Governments have agreed to revisit the original agreement to seek a greater consensus concerning our response to this national tragedy, the Senate urges the Government of Canada and the Governments of the Provinces and Territories to take positive action to address the needs of those who suffer ill-effects from Hepatitis C contracted through the blood system; and

That a copy of this motion be forwarded to each federal, provincial and territorial Minister of Health.


QUESTION PERIOD

Solicitor General

Treatment of Protestors at APEC Conference by RCMP-Jailing of Student Prior to Conference-Government Position.

Hon. Terry Stratton: Honourable senators, my question is addressed to the Leader of the Government in the Senate and refers to the APEC conference.

One issue rising to the fore is that of the jailing of a student protester. Mr. Jaggi Singh spent the 25th of November in jail because the RCMP feared he might rile demonstrators.

Honourable senators, please take note of the circumstances. Mr. Singh was arrested and jailed for being suspected of legally protesting. On this, the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a student was jailed for protesting. Singh stated, "You can't arrest someone for what they might do."

The circumstances are very ironic. Earlier today, we listened to a great human rights champion who was jailed for 27 years for the colour of his skin and his belief in equality. In Vancouver last year, the very same Prime Minister who applauded President Mandela had Jaggi Singh placed under arrest for his political beliefs. Take note, honourable senators: This demonstrator was arrested not for what he did, but for what the RCMP thought he might do.

My question to the leader is: If it is found, for example, that demonstrators such as Mr. Singh were improperly arrested and jailed, does Senator Graham believe that those responsible for those actions should be addressed to the full extent to the law? A simple "yes" or "no" will do.

Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I cannot answer with a simple "yes" or "no" because my honourable friend is making false statements. He does a disservice to himself, an honourable member of this chamber, when he says that the Prime Minister of this country was responsible for having this individual put in jail. He knows that is not a fact; that is false. Responsibility rests with the RCMP, and this matter will be addressed appropriately and properly before the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Complaints Commission.

Senator Stratton: Does the Leader of the Government in the Senate think it is appropriate that the man was thrown in jail for what he thought or what someone thought he might do?

Perhaps Senator Graham could tell us whether the government will launch a separate investigation of incidents and events which fall outside the parameters of the RCMP Public Complaints Commission. This has gone beyond the domain of the complaints commission.

Senator Graham: Honourable senators, as my honourable friend knows, the complaints commission has a very broad mandate. Hopefully, as it evolves, it will deal with the issues raised by my honourable friend and those raised by other concerned Canadians.

This matter has been the subject of some considerable deliberation in both chambers of Parliament over the last three or four days. It has caught the attention of Canadians. Of course there is concern. However, a body - the RCMP Public Complaints Commission - was established for the very purpose of investigating such actions. I say let the commission do its work. The commission was, quite properly, set up by the former government of which my honourable friend opposite was a part.

Senator Stratton: Could the leader give us a list of the people who serve on the RCMP Public Complaints Commission?

Senator Graham: I would be happy to provide that information, but I do not have it at the present time.

Senator Stratton: I understand that. Thank you.

The Environment

Settlement with Ethyl Corporation on MMT-Repeal of Legislation-Request for Particulars

Hon. Ron Ghitter: Honourable senators, could the Leader of the Government in the Senate explain, in broad terms, the details of the settlement the government made with Ethyl Corporation of the United States with respect to the legislatively banned substance MMT?

Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, my understanding is that the Government of Canada settled in the amount of $13 million US.

Senator Ghitter: Is that all, or did the government also undertake to repeal the legislation passed by Parliament with respect to MMT?

Senator Graham: The Government of Canada also undertook to repeal the legislation.

Senator Ghitter: Is it the intention of the government to bring forward legislation repealing Bill C-29, which was vigorously opposed by the opposition in the Senate on a number of grounds? I take it the government will bring forth legislation to repeal Bill C-29.

Senator Graham: Honourable senators, it is not necessary to repeal Bill C-29, just the section that applied to MMT at that particular time with respect to Ethyl Corporation.

Senator Ghitter: I take it that, by Order in Council, the Government of Canada intends to repeal legislation that was taken through the parliamentary process at great length and great expense, and that the parliamentary system will not then specifically seize this legislation. The government has just repealed it unilaterally. Is that what I am to believe?

Senator Graham: It is my understanding that the government has the authority to deal with that particular section.

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Senator Ghitter: Honourable senators, this is the same government that retreated from its defamation lawsuit with former prime minister Mulroney and paid some $12 million in legal fees; the same government that backed off on Pearson airport and paid probably $60 million plus; the same government that is now stealing about $20 billion from businesses and employees by misappropriation of employment insurance money; and the same government which is now spending $13 million to settle a dispute over a piece of legislation that was passed by Parliament, repealing it unilaterally.

May I ask the honourable minister why the government does not bring forward legislation to repeal Bill C-29 - for that is what is happening - so that the matter may be adequately debated and understood by Canadians, rather than hiding behind orders of council?

Senator Graham: Honourable senators, the government revoked the ban in July of 1998 because the measure had been found to be inconsistent with the AIT dispute settlement panel in June of 1998, and because there had been no substantiation of the automaker's claims.

Senator Ghitter: Is it not true that the government was warned by experts from throughout this land, and in hearings before both the Senate committee and the House of Commons committee, that this legislation would not withstand the test with respect to trade, let alone with respect to its constitutionality, and that government experts came forward in committee and said, "Do not worry about it. Everything is fine." The government which backed those opinions is now backtracking and saying that they made a mistake; is that the idea?

Senator Graham: Concerns were expressed at the time. Indeed, the Acting Deputy Leader of the Opposition brought forward amendments on the ground that the evidence presented at the time was not conclusive. A substantial representation was made on behalf of the automakers. The government has reviewed the situation and has acknowledged that the evidence was insufficient.

In announcing the decision to revoke the ban, the government pointed out that any new data on MMT would be examined in an open and independent, third party scientific review process. Furthermore, should the process indicate that MMT poses a danger to the environment or the health of Canadians, action will be taken under the appropriate legislation, namely the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.

Settlement with Ethyl Corporation on MMT-Repeal of Legislation-Referral of Scientific Data to Royal Society-Government Position

Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Acting Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, I rise in this house today to say to the Leader of the Government, "We told you so." However, it is not something that we rejoice in, because it is costing Canadian taxpayers in excess of $20 million Canadian.

Will the Government of Canada, today, accept our recommendation that the science which was in question be submitted as a question to the Royal Society of Canada in order for us to have some clear, objective answers?

Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, that is a recommendation that I would be happy to draw to the attention of my colleagues.

Finance

Dismissal of Independent Actuary Studying Canada Pension Plan-Government Position

Hon. Donald H. Oliver: Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. It concerns the dismissal of Chief Actuary Bernard Dussault and, as a direct consequence thereof, the termination of his work on the Canada Pension Plan.

In an attempt to deliver fair and unbiased counsel on government issues, actuaries are required to work independently. Mr. Dussault was about to deliver a report that would allegedly question the viability of the CPP. The probability of an unfavourable report stems from information on which his last report was based.

The government says the termination was based on "differences" between himself and his supervisor, John Palmer, Superintendent of Financial Institutions. Others may claim that this was merely an attempt to subdue the production of his report. Either way, the whole episode subverts our faith in the CPP system.

Will the Leader of the Government tell us whether or not the Auditor General will be called upon to investigate all the circumstances surrounding this sudden departure?

Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators I am not aware of any reference of this matter to the Auditor General. The Minister of Finance acknowledged yesterday that he was aware that there were problems between Mr. Dussault and the Superintendent of Financial Institutions. I wish to emphasize that the Superintendent of Financial Institutions acts at arm's length from the government.

I believe that the Minister of Finance acknowledged as well that he was told that the Superintendent intended to confront Mr. Dussault on whatever issues and differences there were, but the Minister of Finance did not know about Mr. Dussault's dismissal until the day after he had been fired.

Senator Oliver: Honourable senators, Mr. Dussault is not the only actuary who could potentially produce an embarrassing report to the government this fall. Within a few weeks the chief actuary of the employment insurance program will produce his annual report on the state of the Employment Insurance fund, already referred to by Senator Ghitter today, and will likely say that substantive cuts in EI premiums are in order.

Can the Leader of the Government assure the Senate that no attempt will be made to stifle the EI funds actuary by threatening to fire him for producing an honest report?

Senator Graham: Honourable senators, again, I wish to stress that it was not the government which dismissed Mr. Dussault; it was the Superintendent of Financial Institutions.

With respect to the Employment Insurance fund, we will wait to see how things evolve. However, I wish to assure my honourable friend that the government itself is not contemplating any action of the form that he suggested.

I have no indication that there is anything that is out of the ordinary. The Employment Insurance fund is under careful examination by those responsible, and it will be examined by the government in due course. An announcement will be made whenever a final decision is taken.

National Defence

Maritime Helicopter Project-Request for Particulars on Timeliness of Project

Hon. J. Michael Forrestall: Honourable senators, some of you will recall my references to the Leader of the Government in the Senate as the "acting chief petty officer." If he demonstrated that he was in a position to answer faithfully and truthfully the questions being put to him, I undertook to pay attention to the people who put together his briefing book.

On the basis of the replies that I received yesterday in the form of delayed answers, we now have five different responses from the answers that were given to us here on the floor of the chamber. Anyone with nerve enough to do that deserves to become a full-fledged chief petty officer of the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet corps movement of Canada. To that end, I will present the appropriate designation to the acting chief petty officer and, henceforth, will refer to the minister as "chief petty officer."

Honourable senators, much depends on the minister's answer to my next question. In 1994 - and this is now 1998 - the defence white paper stated that the government would replace new maritime helicopters before the end of the decade. Could the minister tell me how the government intends to do this in less than 16 months when it takes about four years to put such a fleet into operation?

Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I would agree with my honourable friend that it would be a difficult time-frame within which to operate and actually produce the helicopters. However, as I said yesterday, I am the eternal optimist and I hope an announcement will be made in a positive way long before the millennium.

Senator Forrestall: Honourable senators, that has little to do with my question. Physically, it cannot be done.

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Mr. Eggleton, when he has a few minutes, should withdraw that statement and give us an estimate of when these helicopters will be replaced. Then the Canadian naval personnel who must fly and maintain these venerable but aging pieces of equipment will know just how much longer they must risk their reputation and the lives of their men and women.

Could we have some indication of when this will happen? We do not want to "hope" that it will happen before the millennium. We want to know when it will happen.

Senator Graham: Honourable senators, if I could give a precise answer to that question, I would not be sitting at this desk. I would be in the office of the Minister of National Defence, the office of the Minister of Finance or even in the Prime Minister's Office. I can assure my honourable friend that I take his questions very seriously. As I said yesterday, on a weekly basis and sometimes on a daily basis, I bring these concerns to the attention of not only the Minister of Defence but also other ministers who have some responsibility on this very important project.

Senator Forrestall: Honourable senators, I am asking the page to take this badge over to the acting chief petty officer, on receipt of which he will become chief petty officer.

Senator Graham: It is a great day for me, but probably a sad day for all chief petty officers in the country.

Visit of South African President Nelson Mandela to Ottawa

Assurance that Remarks of Senate and House of Commons Speakers will be Appended-Government Position

Hon. Pat Carney: Honourable senators, I would ask the Deputy Leader of the Government to clarify her earlier report to us and determine whether or not the appended remarks regarding Nelson Mandela will also include the excellent remarks by our Speaker which were made on our behalf at the joint sitting of the Senate and House of Commons.

Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government): I can answer on behalf of the Deputy Leader. Since it is Question Period, I must respond to all questions. I quite clearly heard the Deputy Leader ask for unanimous consent to have appended to today's Debates of the Senate the remarks of President Mandela, Prime Minister Chrétien, Speaker Molgat and Speaker Parent.

Solicitor General

Commission of Inquiry into Treatment of Protestors at APEC Conference by RCMP-Provision of Funds for Defence of Students-Appropriateness of Forum-Government Position

Hon. Pat Carney: Honourable senators, I also have a question for the Leader of the Government relating to the role of the Prime Minister in the RCMP assault on the student demonstrators at the time of the APEC conference. Earlier he told honourable senators that we should delay our inquiries until the APEC public inquiry has been completed. Nonetheless, can he provide this chamber with information on what funding the government is supplying to the student protestors who are seeking this investigation into the violation of their constitutional rights?

Further, could the leader provide information on what government funding, either directly or indirectly through government-funded agencies, is being made available to those parties being investigated?

Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government): I am not aware that any funds are being provided to the students, the so-called "complainants" in this particular situation. However, I believe it is a fact that defence counsel is being provided to members of the RCMP who are being investigated in accordance with the provisions of the RCMP rules and orders and the public complaints commission of the RCMP.

Senator Carney: Honourable senators, would the Leader of the Government in the Senate determine what funds are being provided to the students involved? It does not seem to me that it is in the spirit of this chamber to have such a one-sided investigation set up as the answer to the Prime Minister's involvement in this affair.

Senator Graham: Honourable senators, I would have to look at the precedents for such matters. I do not know that there are any.

RCMP members have government-provided counsel because they, unlike the complainants, may be subject to disciplinary measures flowing from the proceedings.

Senator Carney: The complainants were subject to RCMP harassment.

Senator Graham: Senator Carney is asking whether the students, the complainants, will be provided with funds to carry forward their complaints. I do not know if funds are provided in such instances. However, I do know that the RCMP officers who would be subjected to this investigation will be provided with counsel because they could be subject to disciplinary action or disciplinary measures flowing from the proceedings.

Senator Carney: Does the Honourable Leader of the Government in the Senate consider that to be a balanced and fair response to the concerns raised on this side of the chamber?

Senator Graham: I would be happy to take the honourable senator's concerns forward to those most responsible.


ORDERS OF THE DAY

Excise Tax Act

Bill to Amend-Third Reading-Motions in Amendment-Bill Referred Back to Committee for Further Consideration

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Di Nino, seconded by the Honourable Senator DeWare, for the third reading of Bill S-10, to amend the Excise Tax Act,

And on the motion in amendment of the Honourable Senator Maheu, seconded by the Honourable Senator Ferretti Barth, that the Bill be not now read the third time, but that it be amended in clause 1, on page 1, by replacing line 8 with the following:

"ture or other reading material, including any pictorial representation or other expressive media approved for use by an educational institution in its programs, but not including any material that

(a) contains an age restriction imposed by law on its sale, purchase or viewing;

(b) is either obscene within the meaning of section 163 of the Criminal Code, or of a pornographic nature; or

(c) contains more than five percent advertising.".

And on the sub-amendment of the Honourable Senator Di Nino, seconded by the Honourable Senator Kinsella, that the motion in amendment be amended

(a) by adding the word "or" after paragraph (a);

(b) by deleting the word "or" after paragraph (b); and

(c) by deleting paragraph (c).-(Honourable Senator Fairbairn, P.C.).

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, today I should like to participate in the third reading debate of this important bill, because it is a bill which is not just about taxes; it is about principle. In a society that places such emphasis on education and higher learning as does Canada, the ability to read and to gain access to literature is, I would hope among all of us, a foremost priority.

In the debate on this bill and during our committee hearings it was stated that literacy and productivity in the workplace are clearly correlated. Therefore, our emphasis on literacy should be all the more important due to the growing needs of a knowledge-based economy. That having been said, there is at least some uncertainty in my mind as to whether this bill has to do with taxes or has to do with literacy.

[Translation]

I agree that our society attaches increasing importance to reading and that it facilitates access to books. I do not, however, think that this bill should be viewed as a panacea for promoting reading and literacy.

[English]

Access to reading material is not just a matter of cost, as I believe all senators will agree. I believe that a child's upbringing and attitude to reading are also considerations. If the priority of this bill is to stimulate these considerations, I should have liked to see more emphasis placed on exploring how families and young people in particular perceive literature. However, perhaps that could not be addressed in this bill.

I do agree with the honourable Senator Di Nino that reducing the cost of books for everyone can only facilitate access to reading material for those who otherwise would not have easy access and who may be at risk of underachieving in their literacy skills.

Therefore, I would emphasize that the provisions of the bill hold much merit on the grounds discussed in the committee.

However, since our committee studied this bill, amendments have been proposed, and those warrant some consideration. I am glad so see that Senator Di Nino, in his subamendment, agrees in principle with the first two sections of the amendment proposed by Senator Maheu. Clauses (a) and (b) of her amendment alleviate my concern that this bill may inadvertently increase people's access, and particularly young people's access, to material that I would hardly refer to as "literature." While I do not condone any form of censorship, this type of material is hardly essential to the ideals we wish to promote through this bill.

I have a further concern, however, with the deletion of clause (c) which I believe may also have some merit. It would be repulsive if passage of this bill were to alleviate the tax burden of certain fashion magazines and tabloids which are put together solely for the pursuit of profit and can hardly be deemed to be the type of literature to which this bill would want us to grant greater access.

(1450)

Honourable senators, advertising has created a society that values consumption above all else and in which the ideals for which this bill strives are hammered down under the pure weight of commercialism. We are only perhaps seeing the tip of the iceberg. Increasingly, our economy is placing pressure on firms to find new ways to improve profits or to gain market shares. Advertising is on the increase, and it is benefiting principally larger firms with bigger advertising budgets.

Furthermore, the idea it promotes is, in many circles, considered to be counter to much of what Senator Di Nino wishes to improve with this bill. Advertisements do not generally tend to focus on literacy skills; they focus on pictures, images, and feelings. All of these things, when added to our literature, do not help us to improve our skills and our knowledge but rather contribute to what has been dubbed the "dumbing of society." Therefore, I am very concerned about the content of advertising based on this argument. It is an important factor to consider in this amendment and deserves, in my view, a closer look.

However, there are other concerns that should also be considered. Honourable senators, Senator Di Nino has expressed his concern as to the effect of such an amendment on small publications. Although Senator Maheu pointed out that many are given away freely and thus do not come under the jurisdiction of this bill, it is nonetheless notable that some are not, and these papers would therefore be forced to make certain adjustments to compete in the new market for magazines and periodicals that this bill proposes to create by the addition of paragraph (c). What effect, therefore, would this clause have upon smaller publications, especially Canadian publications?

Senator Di Nino also points out, honourable senators, the complicated task of determining how 5 per cent is tabulated. How do we calculate 5 per cent advertising content? Will it be done by column, by inch, by page, or whatever? Will different formulas be required to assess different types of magazines or periodicals? What about info-articles? Are they articles or advertisements? Clearly, there are many questions to which we do not readily have the answers.

Furthermore, honourable senators, and this is quite important, Senator Di Nino points out several prominent Canadian magazines and periodicals which would possibly not qualify under the 5 per cent rule. How should they be taxed? Surely Maclean's is the type of magazine we would want Canadians to read for their weekly news commentary. What would the effect be on advertising for Canadian publishers?

Honourable senators, I should like to reiterate my support for the principle of this bill. However, from a practical standpoint, some of the issues raised in the amendment by Senator Maheu and the subamendment by Senator Di Nino warrant further study.

Motion to Refer Bill Back to Committee for Further Consideration

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Deputy Leader of the Government): Therefore, I move, seconded by the Honourable Senator Pépin:

That the bill be not now read the third time, but that it be referred back to the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, together with the proposed amendments, for further consideration.

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

Hon. Lowell Murray: Honourable senators, I rise simply to ask a few questions of the Deputy Leader of the Government. I am the chairman, as she knows, of the committee which gave quite a close study to the bill in its original form after it had received second reading in this chamber. We heard quite a number of witnesses from the government and from various organizations, for the most part in support of the bill.

Am I correct in assuming that the Deputy Leader of the Government supports the amendment proposed by Senator Maheu but has reservations about the subamendments proposed by Senator Di Nino?

Senator Carstairs: I must say that I have concerns about both the third amendment proposed by Senator Maheu and also the subamendment made to that third amendment by Senator Di Nino.

Senator Murray: Naturally the committee will accept any reference that is made to us by the Senate. Does the honourable senator have in mind witnesses from whom we should hear on these points? How would she propose that we proceed?

Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, to answer Senator Murray's question, I think we should hear from the advertising community on this particular piece of legislation to find out how, in fact, it would impact on them, and particularly from publishers of small publications, many of which Senator Stratton made reference to in this chamber.

[Translation]

Hon. Eymard G. Corbin: Honourable senators, I draw your attention to the fact that the French text is completely erroneous in several spots. I have pointed this out to the Clerk. I hope that senators relying on the French are aware of the fact that the French text differs completely from the English.

The Hon. the Speaker: You are right, Senator Corbin; there is a very clear error in the Order Paper.

[English]

Does any other honourable senator wish to speak? If not, it is moved by the Honourable Senator Carstairs, seconded by the Honourable Senator Pépin, that the bill be not now read the third time, but that it be referred back to the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, together with the proposed amendments, for further consideration.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Motion agreed to.

Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration

Twenty-Fourth Report of Committee Adopted

The Senate proceeded to consideration of the twenty-fourth report of the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration (Committee budgets), presented in the Senate on September 22, 1998.

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I move that this report be adopted.

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

Motion agreed to and report adopted.

[Translation]

Developing Countries

Status of Education and Health in Young Girls and Women-Inquiry-Debate Adjourned

Hon. Rose-Marie Losier-Cool rose pursuant to notice of Thursday, June 18, 1998:

That she will call the attention of the Senate to the population, education and health, particularly of young girls and women in many developing countries.

She said: Honourable senators, I agreed to co-chair the Canadian Parliamentary Association for Development and Population set up in October 1997 because I believe that parliamentarians have a responsibility to examine the numerous problems of population as it relates to education and development. That is also why I have chosen this topic for my first inquiry in the Senate.

It would be impossible for me to touch on all of the many facets of this subject because the problems are too wide-ranging. I will try to limit my remarks to one region, French-speaking Africa, and to two points in particular: the education of young girls and the reproductive health of women.

The United Nations Population Fund report entitled: "The State of World Population 1997" states the following, and I quote:

The Ugandan Constitution was recently amended so as to recognize the precedence of women's fundamental rights over traditional, local laws. Chile plans to pass a constitutional reform enshrining the equality of women and men in law. The Sri Lankan government recently approved a Charter of Women recognizing that women have the right to reproductive self-determination. In Colombia a new social welfare law recognizes the right of women to sexual and reproductive health.

Unfortunately, honourable senators, despite all this legislation, we are left with the fact that, on the eve of the 21st century, most societies still consider women to be of less value than men. They have less access to education than men do and therefore a more limited choice of profession, with the result that they earn less.

In the 1980s, the school enrolment rate for girls dropped considerably in many African countries. In 1994, the rate had climbed to 67 per cent, still far from the 93 per cent of industrialized nations. The enrolment rate of young girls in secondary schools rose marginally to 20 per cent, less than half the average in industrialized nations.

[English]

Honourable senators, as reported in the 1998 report for Population Action International entitled "Africa's Population Challenge: Accelerating Progress in Reproductive Health," girls in Africa encounter many of the same barriers to education as in other developing countries. Parents are often more reluctant to invest in educating a daughter than a son when most women have limited income earning opportunities, and in those cultures where a daughter's economic contribution to her family ends at marriage.

The quality of instruction is generally poor, and schools frequently teach skills irrelevant to real world employment needs. Teacher attitudes, gender stereotypes in textbooks and sexual harassment contribute to a poor climate for girls' educational achievement. In many countries, school policy and social pressures force most pregnant schoolgirls either to drop out or to resort to unsafe abortion. In Botswana, teenage pregnancy is the cause of 60 to 90 per cent of schoolgirl dropouts.

As all honourable senators know, the most effective long-term strategy to empower women is to encourage parents to send their daughters to school, while simultaneously expanding economic opportunities for women. In Africa, as elsewhere, a woman's education is one of the most important determinants of family size. Countries such as Botswana, Kenya and Zimbabwe, which have invested heavily in education, have been the first to experience falling fertility. An African woman with some secondary education has more than two fewer children on average than a woman with no schooling. Girls who stay in school are more likely to marry later, have greater options in the job market and a greater say in household and reproductive decisions.

As more girls move through secondary school, age at marriage is likely to increase and fertility to decrease. So far, however, few African women have gone beyond primary education. Indeed, in many countries, more than half of the women have never attended school. Illiteracy rates in Africa are decreasing but still remain among the highest in the world, with one-third of all men and half of all women not being able to read or write.

Furthermore, girls have a harder time than boys in gaining access to education. About 10 million more boys attend school than girls. The solid progress in girls' education since independence is at a standstill. Honourable senators, we must all remember that the most effective long-term strategy to empower women is to encourage parents to send their daughters to school.

In addition to meeting the growing need for family planning and reproductive health services, African countries must expand access to education for girls and economic opportunities for women. This will require significantly increased financial contributions from African governments and households, as well as from international donors. In sum, addressing poor reproductive health and rapid population growth is a daunting task requiring comprehensive action on many fronts.

[Translation]

Honourable senators, Africa is a special case. According to projections, the future rate of growth is far higher than for any other large developing area.

The population increase has slowed down in the past 20 years, thanks in part to better reproductive health care, and family planning.

Every year, however, there are 81 million more people on the planet, the equivalent of one more Germany every year, or one more China every 15.

According to United Nations projections, over the next half-century the world's population will increase by 3.6 billion, the equivalent of the present population of Asia.

According to a September 1997 OECD report by Carl Wahren, former chief of aid administration, Cooperation for Development Branch, the fastest population increase will be recorded in the cities of Africa. Between 1985 and 2025, it is forecast to increase by 440 per cent.

[English]

Compared to other developing regions, African countries have begun only recently to adopt population policies and initiate family planning and related reproductive health programs. The central event in population policy over the past five years was the September 1994 International Conference on Population and Development, which took place in Cairo, and in particular the program of action approved by the conference. The outcome states:

Governments...committed themselves to a programme of action which places reproductive health and rights at the centre of the population and development agenda.

Sub-Saharan Africa has faced sustained and high population growth on its path to development.

(1510)

Increasing at almost 3 per cent yearly since the mid-70s, the population of sub-Saharan Africa has doubled in just 25 years. In less than three decades, Africa's population is projected to double again from the current level of 620 million. Nowhere, however, is the reality of reproductive health further from the ideal than in Africa. Young women face heavy social pressure to marry and bear children very early. More than half of the women have given birth by the age of 20.

[Translation]

The first of women's freedoms is freedom in matters of procreation, and all others spring from it. Honourable senators, every day - yesterday, today, tomorrow - 1,600 women die from the consequences of pregnancy, because they have no access to reproductive health services, including family planning. As I speak, 800 million adolescents, the highest number ever reached in a generation, are reaching adulthood.

These young people are today making choices that will affect their lives and the future of the world we all share. The concerted efforts of developed and developing nations to provide access to family planning services over more than three decades have slowed world population growth.

Voluntary family planning programs have had resounding success. They have become for women and for families the world over the best way to protect the health of mothers and to ensure a future for their young children.

Since this sort of program began in the 1960s, the percentage of women in developing countries - including China - who practice contraception has increased from less than 10 per cent to over 50 per cent, and the number of births per woman has dropped from six to three.

Despite the success of these efforts, honourable senators, there has been a drop in interest in support for international family planning programs. Accordingly, the contribution to the cost of administering the Cairo program, promised at the 1994 conference by industrialized donor countries - North America, Japan, Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand - now represents not a third of its total cost, but a quarter of it. Wherever women do not have access to reproductive health services, children die.

Honourable senators, seven million children die each year because their mothers were not physiologically ready to bear a child or did not receive proper obstetrical care.

Generally speaking, healthy reproduction means looking after the mother's health, with family planning and perinatal care; following up on the baby with vaccination and nutrition as the child grows up; looking after the health of the little girl, and the teenager; and the man's health as well, with respect to andropause, genital cancer, AIDS and STDs.

It does cover a relatively wide range of elements, which are prioritized according to national specificities.

At the Cairo conference, industrialized nations agreed to increase their contribution as a group from $1.6 billion US today to $5.7 billion by the year 2000. This increased contribution would be equal to one third of the total estimated cost to carry out the program, while the remaining two thirds of the costs would be borne by the developing countries themselves. Unfortunately, the industrialized nations are not complying. In many instances, their citizens have a hard time figuring where the national interest lies and what role their country should play in a world undergoing rapid changes we are only starting to grasp.

Honourable senators, in a world with open borders, where everybody and everything - ideas, capital and disease - move freely from one country to another, we cannot afford to turn our back on the world.

In addition, decision makers and opinion leaders are not called upon enough, if at all, to act and speak in favour of taking appropriate legislative and regulatory action to promote healthy reproduction, which also entails improving the status of women.

During the 24th regular session of the Assemblée des parlementaires de la Francophonie, formerly known as the AIPLF, which met in Abidjan, in July 1998, the Assemblée, in an effort to take into consideration the various aspects of population issues, made a number of recommendations, including the following:

The governments of French-speaking countries must do their utmost to ensure that the commitments made at the 1994 international conference in Cairo are met;

At the summits attended by the heads of state and heads of government of French-speaking countries, these leaders must systematically take into consideration the size of the population in the designing of all development programs;

What an exciting topic to submit to the young people who will meet at the Sommet de la Francophonie, in Moncton, in 1999.

At the summits attended by the heads of state and heads of government of French-speaking countries, these leaders must develop and fund information and education programs for young people, on health and on the rights relating to procreation.

In order to achieve these objectives, the governments, the international community and civil society, including NGOs and the private sector, must increase their efforts to make sure that women and girls can fully exercise their rights to live in a world that promotes their fulfilment.

On motion of Senator Andreychuk, debate adjourned.

[English]

Banking, Trade and Commerce

Committee Authorized to Meet during Sittings of the Senate

Hon. Michael Kirby, pursuant to notice of September 23, 1998, moved:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce, have the power to meet while the Senate is sitting between September 29, 1998 and November 30, 1998 for the purpose of its study of the present state of the financial system in Canada and specifically on the report of the Task Force on the Future of the Canadian Financial Services Sector, and that rule 95(4) be suspended in relation thereto.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Motion agreed to.

[Translation]

Adjournment

Leave having been given to revert to Notices of Motions:

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 Tuesday next, September 29, 1998, at 2 p.m.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Motion agreed to.

The Senate adjourned until Tuesday, September 29, 1998, at 2 p.m.

 


APPENDIX )

Address of His Excellency Nelson Mandela, President of the Republic of South Africa to both Houses of Parliament in the House of Commons Chamber, Ottawa on Thursday, September 24, 1998

[English]

Mr. Nelson Mandela and Madame Graca Machel were welcomed by the Right Honourable Jean Chrétien, Prime Minister of Canada, by the Honourable Gildas L. Molgat, Speaker of the Senate and by the Honourable Gilbert Parent, Speaker of the House of Commons.

Hon. Gilbert Parent (Speaker of the House of Commons): Colleagues from the House, colleagues from the Senate, disgtinguished visitors, the Right Honourable Prime Minister of Canada, Mr. Jean Chrétien.

[Translation]

Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker of the House of Commons, Mr. Speaker of the Senate, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, mesdames et messieurs,

[English]

It is an honour to welcome the President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr. Nelson Mandela, and Madame Graca Machel to Canada and to this Parliament.

Mr. President, eight years ago when you first addressed this Parliament you had only recently been released from 27 years in prison. Apartheid was still the law of South Africa and your country was an outcast from the community of nations. Fresh from prison, you were in the midst of a heroic and still uncertain struggle to dismantle the apartheid state and end a shameful legacy of racial exclusion, minority domination and institutionalized injustice.

Today all that is changed. A new non-racial constitution with an entrenched bill of rights is in place. Public policy is vigorously debated in 11 official languages, not only in the national parliament in Cape Town, but in the nine provincial capitals as well. A united and democratic South Africa has rejoined the family of nations and under your leadership is playing a respected and vital role on the international stage.

We in Canada are proud to have been associated with the anti-apartheid struggle and to have assisted in your democratic transition. The fight against apartheid was a cause which crossed political lines and moved all my predecessors, from the stand of Prime Minister John Diefenbaker at the Commonwealth Conference in 1961, which resulted in South Africa's withdrawal from that body, through the governments of Prime Ministers Pearson, Trudeau and my predecessor Brian Mulroney.

In this our governments were reflecting the views of the people of Canada. Canadians of all walks supported the anti-apartheid movement individually and through their churches, their trades unions, professional associations and non-governmental organizations.

[Translation]

Your return to Canada after eight eventful years gives the people of Canada, who shared your vision of a free, non-racial and democratic society, the opportunity to celebrate the profound and irreversible changes that have taken place in your country. And, just as important, it is an opportunity to pay tribute to your own decisive role in engineering a remarkable, peaceful and harmonious transformation.

On behalf of all Canadians, I want to express our admiration for the profound and peaceful reshaping of your country, and for the spirit of tolerance and reconciliation which has guided that transformation.

[English]

In setting South Africa free you have also unleashed your country's immense potential to be a force for peace and stability on the world stage. In the few short years since you have become President, South Africa has resumed its rightful place at the UN, the OAU and the World Trade Organization.

(1045)

It has become a vital partner in fashioning a safer and more secure world. And it is fitting, very fitting, that the Commonwealth, which closed its doors to the old South Africa, will hold its next leaders' meeting in the new South Africa under your chairmanship.

In the same spirit in which we supported your historic struggle, today our two countries are working together to bring greater peace and justice to the world on establishing an international criminal court, on eliminating child labour, on extending the non-proliferation treaty and of course as partners from the very beginning in the Ottawa process and the international ban on land mines.

Just as Canadians worked to help end the apartheid system, we are also working to help build the new South Africa. We are providing assistance in areas such as improving the accessibility and quality of education, in helping to rebuild the justice system, in linking our SchoolNet with young South Africans using information technology to its fullest potential and in increasing the trade and commercial links between our countries which are so important to South Africa's economic development. The fact that you are accompanied by an impressive commercial delegation and the key business meetings you are holding here in Canada are proof of the importance of that area.

[Translation]

Mr. President, the fact is that we in Canada care about South Africa. Not just because of our attachment to the struggles of the past, but because of our hopes for the future - the future of humanity.

We believe that, at the end of a century of conflict and genocide, the only hope for the world is to learn to live together in understanding and tolerance. In South Africa, you are working to build such a society. You are rejecting separation based on race or language or religion. You are tearing down old walls of hate. And building new bridges of understanding. A new society for a new millennium. A multilingual society. A multi-ethnic society. A society that finds its strength in its diversity. And its soul and inspiration in a common sense of humanity.

In Canada, in our own modest way, we have tried to do the same. But we have not had the burden of history that has weighed so heavily on your country for so much of this century. While our goals and values are the same, our experiences have not been.

If, after decades of hate and oppression, you can succeed in building a new society, our hopes for this battered world as it enters a new millennium can be just a little bit brighter.

[English]

Certainly, Mr. President, this is the inspiration of South Africa to the world today. Just as important, it is the inspiration that you provided to the world.

It is often said that there are too few heroes in the world today. That may be. But today we are in the presence of a real hero. Few people in our time, or from any century, have so symbolized the spirit of freedom that lives within every human being as you have.

(1050)

Your struggle was an inspiration to freedom-loving men and women everywhere. But, in a sense, the courage, optimism and generosity of spirit you have shown since your struggle have been even more of an inspiration. Suffering does not only lead to bitterness and disillusion, it can lead to wisdom and compassion, and to a better world.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is a great honour for me to present to you the leader of his nation, the statesman of his continent and a hero for the world, President Nelson Mandela.

Mr. Nelson Mandela (President of the Republic of South Africa): Mr. Speaker, honourable Prime Minister, Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, yesterday I had the honour to address the Congress of the United States of America. Because of the warmth of the reception I received, I felt I should share a secret with members of the Congress.

I said that one of my fondest dreams was to become the heavyweight boxing champion of the world. As a result of the warm reception I received, I said that I was in a position to challenge the reigning world champion, Evander Holyfield. I am compelled today to repeat that statement because the warmth I have received here is no less than that I received yesterday.

I know that it is a rare privilege for anyone from another country to be invited to address this hallowed institution of Canadian democracy which includes in its roll of honour leaders of world renown.

That I should be granted that distinction twice in eight years is something that can only be understood as a tribute to the people of South Africa by the Canadian people, to whom we owe so much, and an expression of the partnership between us.

When I stood before you in 1990, it was as a freedom fighter still denied citizenship in my own country, seeking your support to ensure an irreversible transition to democracy.

(1055)

Today I stand before you as the elected representative of the South African people to thank you once again for helping us end our oppression, for assisting us through our transition and now for your partnership in the building of a better life for all South Africans. We will forever be indebted to you.

Although we still have a long way to go before we realize our vision of a better life for all, there has been a great transformation in South Africa since 1990 and solid foundations have been laid.

The experience of all peoples has taught that our democracy would remain secure and stable only if we could unite those who were once locked in conflict and if our new freedoms brought material improvement in the lives of our people.

On this day, 24 September, South Africa marks one of our most important national days. Heritage Day is dedicated to the celebration of the rich diversity of our people. As I speak, representatives of all the language, cultural and linguistic communities are gathered at a conference discussing how to give institutional form to the commitment in our constitution to the promotion and respect of the rights of communities.

In order that the memory of historical injustice and violations of human rights should not remain as a continuing obstacle to national unity, our Truth and Reconciliation Commission has helped us confront our terrible past. Painful and imperfect as the process has been, it has taken us further than anyone expected toward a common understanding of our history.

If we lay stress on uniting the different sections of our society, it is because unity and the partnership of all the structures of our society are critical to the reconstruction and development of our society in order to eradicate apartheid's legacy of poverty and inequality.

Though there are differences among us, as is natural in any democratic society, in particular one in transition from a past such as ours, they play themselves out within an allegiance to our new democracy and within a broad support for the government's policies.

We have therefore been able to make a good start in bringing basic amenities to millions of people for the first time in their lives: electricity, clean water, health care facilities, housing and schooling.

Our economic policies have turned years of stagnation into sustained growth since 1994, along with improved productivity and exports as we gear our economy for success in a competitive global environment.

We do face major challenges and problems. What is important is that we are confronting them and we are confident that we will overcome them.

For example, though our policies are creating new jobs, the number falls short of what we need. In response government, labour and business are therefore joining forces in preparation for a presidential jobs summit next month in order to work out together a strategy for sustained job creation.

(1100)

As we democratize our society, setting up new institutions or transforming old ones, we are also dealing with corruption. The institutions of the new democratic order are dealing with the corruption in our society. Among other things, we have appointed a powerful commission headed by a judge to expose and root out corruption in the public service and recover the proceeds.

Crime is still at an unacceptably high level but we have turned the tide through the adoption of a comprehensive national strategy that includes the reshaping of a police force whose former function was merely the protection of minority interests and the suppression of resistance.

And though we have made mistakes in government due to lack of experience, it is also true that we have achieved much more for our people than was ever done under the previous government.

We are all too aware of the great deal that remains to be done. What is important is that we are united as a nation as never before and determined to succeed, and that we have friends like Canada who are working with us as partners.

Canada is an important presence in much of what we have achieved and in what we are building.

Since our democratic elections, our relationship with Canada has entered a new and vibrant phase, one that is growing from strength to strength. In drawing up our new democratic constitution we drew deeply on Canadian experience.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Government of Canada for the technical assistance provided through the Canadian International Development Agency and the International Development Research Centre. Critical areas affecting transformation have benefited, including science and technology, places of learning, our labour laws and our courts. We look forward to the continuation of this assistance.

One of the critical measures of the growing relationship between our countries is the threefold increase since 1994 in trade to a level close to 1 billion Canadian dollars per year. We expect this expansion to continue. We have brought on this trip people from the private sector and government concerned with the economy. We look forward to a reciprocal Canadian team in South Africa soon.

Also with me are government representatives and officials concerned with safety and security who have come to seek support for the implementation of our crime prevention strategy, as well as others concerned with health care.

In all these ways we are benefiting from not only financial assistance and from your expertise and experience, but as well as the affinities and shared aspirations which join us.

(1105)

Mr. Speaker, on my way here today I had the honour of unveiling, at your human rights monument, a plaque dedicated to John Humphrey, author of the first draft of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I would like, if I may, to pay tribute to his contribution to the central philosophy of your country and his dedication to the cause of human rights worldwide.

This is an area in which your country and mine march hand in hand in practical action to make a living reality of the rights to which we subscribe.

In this regard we think of Canada's hard work together with other countries to bring to fruition the anti-land mine convention. We were very proud in December last year to be the third country, after Canada and Norway, to sign that convention here in Ottawa.

Canada and South Africa also together played a part in the recent establishment of the International Criminal Court.

South Africa is increasingly being called upon to play a role in peacekeeping, in southern Africa and in Africa as a whole. Our approach is that we will play whatever part we can within our limited means and within a multilateral framework, whether it be the United Nations, the Commonwealth, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Organization of African Unity, and the Southern African Development Community.

Essential to our vision of a new and more humane international order is the belief that inevitable as differences may be, they need not and should not be resolved by the force of arms. We look to peaceful resolution of differences because this is the only way in which humanity can prosper.

It is in this context that South Africa has in recent days found itself called upon to contribute its forces to a joint regional security initiative aimed at assisting, at its own request, the democratically elected government of a neighbour by securing a measure of peace and stability.

Here too we look to Canada as a partner. We recognize Lester Pearson as the founder of modern peacekeeping because of his innovative intervention in the Suez crisis.

By the same token, we salute Canada's distinguished service over many years in Cyprus, Bosnia, Somalia and more recently in the disarmament process in Northern Ireland.

Mr. Speaker, Canada's internationalist record gives us confidence to know that you understand and share our vision of an African Renaissance. If history has decreed that our continent at the end of the 20th century should be marginalized in world affairs, we know that our destiny lies in our own hands. Yet we also know that we cannot bring about our Renaissance solely by our own efforts, since the problems we face are rooted in conditions beyond the power of any one nation to determine.

(1110)

Indeed, the turmoil in far off economies that we have had to weather has, we know, affected Canada too. In the interdependent world in which we now live, rich and poor, strong and weak are bound in a common destiny that decrees that none shall enjoy lasting prosperity and stability unless others do too.

These harsh lessons of our global economy were the focus of attention at the summit at the Non-Aligned Movement held in Durban in our country earlier this month. They have forced themselves upon the attention of the world international community. A debate about the global trade and financial system that has been too long in the making has now been joined.

We urge you to join with us in seeking to redirect the system and its institutions so as to cater for the needs of development and the interests of the poor.

In so doing we would be affirming a fundamental principle of all human society, namely that the existence and the well-being of each of us is dependent on that of our fellows. In a globalized world, that is as true of nations as it is of individual men and women.

Mr. Speaker, ladies and gentlemen, this occasion marks something of a farewell. I am deeply grateful that it has been possible, before my retirement from public life, to make this second visit to a people that has made our aspirations their own. You insisted that the rights which the world declares to be universal should also be the rights of all South Africans.

But though it is a personal farewell and in some sense an ending, I do know that it is also a beginning, marking the start of a new and more profound relationship between our peoples.

Mr. Speaker, hon. Prime Minister, ladies and gentlemen, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Some Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Gildas Molgat (Speaker of the Senate): Mr. President and Mrs. Machel, Mr. Prime Minister and Madam Chrétien, Mr. Chief Justice and Madam, Mr. Speaker, my colleagues in parliament, and ladies and gentlemen.

Mr. President, no words of mine can ever convey the depth of feeling of Canadians toward you better than the applause that you heard here this morning.

On behalf of the members of the Senate of Canada I want to thank you, Your Excellency, for returning to Canada once again and addressing a joint assembly of our parliament.

Just over eight years ago, on June 18, 1990, you spoke to us as the Deputy President of the African National Congress. Just newly liberated from a South African jail, you came to seek our continued support in the final stages of that great struggle of your people and yourself against apartheid and all other forms of racism and discrimination. As you said at the time, the message you brought was indeed simple: South Africa should be transformed into a united, democratic and non-racial country.

[Translation]

Canada has some knowledge of how difficult it is to remain "a united, democratic and non-racial country". It is because of your skilful statesmanship and the wisdom and moderation of the inhabitants and chiefs of South Africa whom you represent that you have made such tremendous progress towards the goal you and your compatriots have set yourselves. Perhaps you would favour us with some advice?

[English]

A decade ago it seemed inevitable that the struggle against institutionalized racism would lead to a violent and bitter civil upheaval that would tear South Africa apart and leave the country bitterly divided, prostrate, and in the hands of anti-democratic regimes. This unfortunately has proven to be the fate of too many countries, and at a terrible cost they have freed themselves from the rule of one oppressive regime, only to fall victim of another often more radical tyranny.

Eight years ago your address to our parliament gave us hope that South Africa might avoid that fate. It indicated that your long 27 years in prison had not led to bitterness. Rather, it had led to wisdom and the determination to use your immense personal prestige in South Africa, in the African National Congress and throughout the world to bring about a united, democratic and non-racial South Africa through mediation and negotiation.

The theme of healing, of reconciliation and of building featured largely at your inauguration as President of South Africa. At that time you entered into a covenant to build, and, Mr. President, I quote your very words:

-a society in which all South Africans, both black and white, will be able to walk tall, without any fear in their hearts, assured of their inalienable right to human dignity-a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world.
Those were stirring words, Mr. President.

[Translation]

In the years that followed your election to office, the government you lead held fast to this noble ideal, although it was not always easy. The challenge was a formidable one.

[English]

It has not been easy; changing a racially based, repressive, democratically limited political structure in which the internal power is in the hands of a privileged few has been a major, major challenge.

Furthermore, revolutionary political change gives rise to exaggerated hopes of immediate, wide-ranging social and economic improvement. Such expectations are difficult to meet. Yet, with time, with deep personal commitment by yourself and like-minded colleagues, and with broad support from your people, you are bringing about long-lasting and deep-seated changes in living conditions and social structure.

You are doing more than making dramatic progress in domestic affairs. You are showing the world what can be done. You are exercising a moderating influence on the world stage.

Under your leadership South Africa has become a continental force of stability and peace. On behalf of the Senate of Canada I thank you for sharing with us your knowledge about the progress South Africa is making and your views of the world situation.

Canadians welcome the return of South Africa to active participation in the work of the Commonwealth, the United Nations and other international organizations, and we value very highly the increasingly close relations between our two countries symbolized this morning by your wonderful address.

[Translation]

Thank you for coming to Canada.

[English]

Mr. President, be assured that here you are among friends.

Some Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr. Speaker Parent: Mr. President, Madam Machel, Madam Chrétien, my colleagues of the House of Commons and our brothers and sisters of the Senate, distinguished guests.

[Translation]

On behalf of all members of the House of Commons and those they represent, I thank you for your speech and welcome you and your compatriots to the heart of Canadian democracy.

Whatever their age and occupation, Canadians have always had a great affinity with South Africa and its inhabitants.

[English]

Mr. President, you have said:

I cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if need be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.

Neither the hardships of decades of imprisonment nor the trappings of more recent power have caused you to lose sight of this ideal.

Young South Africans were the first to honour you with their idealism, their support and their willingness to sacrifice themselves in the cause. Soon however your reputation spread abroad and young people all over the world honoured you by electing you honorary president of their university and college students unions.

[Translation]

Many other honours were to follow, not the least of them the Nobel Peace Prize. But what has earned our greatest admiration, Your Excellency, is that you have never turned away from the ideal you espoused.

[English]

Mr. President, you could have preached and practised the politics of vengeance and retribution, but instead you, sir, have devoted your energies and influence to the process of healing and reconciliation.

You, sir, have chosen the path that uses political change as a means of bringing about peaceful change in the hearts and minds of individuals, as well as in society. That was the message that you brought to the Canadian Parliament eight years ago, and that was the commitment you made when you became the President of South Africa. Sir, you have kept your word.

I choose my words carefully. You honour us who are here today. You honour the Canadian people. You honour this place, this House of Commons.

When historians write of the 20th century, beside the names of giants who have advanced the causes of peace and democracy, giants such as Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr., the name of Nelson Mandela will be inscribed.

All of us thank God for you having been with us in this world. You have made it, sir, a better ploace and we thank you.

Some Hon. Members: Hear, hear!