International Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of Racial Discrimination
Hon. Donald H. Oliver: Honourable senators, this is the
fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights. The celebration we are participating in, however, is
coloured by Canada's appalling progress in eliminating racial
discrimination. The 1997 Canadian Human Rights Report bears
testament to this embarrassing reality. In her annual report,
Commissioner Michelle Falardeau-Ramsay states:
In contrast to the private sector, the share of recruitment of
visible minorities by the government...
- That is, the federal government -
...remained consistently below availability.
In more blunt terms, the report also notes that "visible
minorities have not fared well in the public service," and that
human rights tribunals have found that Health Canada "had
discriminated against visible minorities in the appointment of
On November 30, 1963, the General Assembly of the United
Nations proclaimed a resolution to eliminate racial
discrimination. In 1969, the International Convention on the
Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination came into
force. This was a landmark convention. It employed language
which was forceful, recriminating and aggressive in its
opposition to racial discrimination. One clause in particular states
that parties to this convention are:
Convinced that any doctrine of superiority based on racial
differentiation is scientifically false, morally condemnable,
socially unjust and dangerous, and that there is no
justification for racial discrimination, in theory or in
Traditionally, the Progressive Conservative Party has always
worked hard to eliminate all forms of racism in Canada. In 1988,
Parliament enacted the Canadian Multiculturalism Act, which
made Canada the first country in the world to pass national
multiculturalism legislation. This act made the government
responsible for promoting and furthering the understanding that
Canadian society is culturally and racially diverse.
In 1988, the Progressive Conservative government also
reached an agreement with Japanese Canadians on terms of
redress for their treatment during the Second World War. This
redress marked a very important development in Canadian
politics and history.
Honourable senators, the need to fight racial discrimination is
as important as ever. Declining levels of overt forms of
discrimination are being replaced with subtler forms of
discrimination, such as the dismal rate of appointments and
advancement of visible minorities to middle and senior levels of
our public service.
We must be vigilant to ensure that Canadian society keeps
advancing in this area so that our public and private business
institutions reflect the cultural diversity of Canada and of their
Through better education and social awareness, we must
ensure that the next generation of our children and grandchildren
never live through the scourge of discrimination as we have.
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination Against Women
Hon. Ron Ghitter: Honourable senators, the preamble to the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that "...the peoples
of the United Nations reaffirmed their faith in fundamental
human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and
in the equal rights of men and women."
Following that declaration some 50 years ago, the Convention
on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination again Women
was drafted between 1973 and 1979, adopted in December of
1979, and entered into force in 1981 following ratification by
20 countries. Today it has been ratified by 161 state parties.
The convention defines discrimination against women and
then outlines measures by which it can be counteracted. You
would think that such declarations would be unnecessary for a
segment of the world population that comprises over one half of
the world's number, namely women. You would think that
legislation would not be required in order to counteract
discrimination, subjugation and violence against such a large
number of citizens on this planet. You would think that women,
by their very numbers, would have an equal voice in the affairs
of their communities and families.
However, an objective examination of the issue discloses
enormous inequities in the areas of violence against women, of
poverty, of refugees, of participation in the workforce, and of
political participation. An examination of any one of those areas
quickly brings one to the conclusion that women are not treated
equally, and that women face tremendous discrimination, not
only in Canada but even more so throughout the rest of
In terms of the workforce in Canada, and the participation of
women in that workforce, there is no doubt that there are now
more women in the workforce in Canada than ever before.
However, they earn around 25 per cent less than do their male
counterparts holding similar jobs.
In the area of political participation, it is encouraging to see
the advancement of women reflected in the numbers now
participating in political life, particularly in municipal politics.
However, there is still a gross under-representation of women
conducting affairs of state.
In the area of education, there are encouraging signs in
Canada, as seen by the number of women in postgraduate
courses at our universities. Clearly, over 50 per cent of the
faculties have women in them, rather than men.
More political involvement means more focus and attention on
issues involving women that hitherto have been of low priority in
a male-dominated business and political environment.
Approximately two weeks ago, in Edmonton, a panel talked in
terms of the rights of women in the world. The title of the
discussion was, "Recognising the Inherent Dignity and Rights of
Women: A Mirage in the Distance?" The challenge for us all is to
turn the rhetoric relating to women into reality. That is the
challenge that we face in this country, namely, to advance these
causes internally and to use our influence to encourage the
advancement of human rights everywhere in the world.
As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the
declaration this week, we are not content - nor must we be
content. We must not be satisfied. We are not naive to think that
the battle has been won and that women have achieved equal
rights, for they have not. We are only reminded this week of the
tremendous effort that is required to turn the rhetoric into reality.
Incidence of Canadian Patrol Frigates
Putting to Sea
without Sea King Helicopter
Hon. J. Michael Forrestall: Honourable senators, yesterday
we were told about the government's rationale in having to
deliver an injured sailor to St. John's. A Labrador headed out to
do the "medivac," but could not go all the way due to icing.
Regardless of the fact that the Gander-based Labrador had
performed a rescue out to sea earlier that day, a report in the
press said that the Labrador could not get to the medivac area to
evacuate the sailor due to high seas. What that has to do with
Labradors, I do not know. These helicopters fly, they do not float.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, order, please!
May we have some order so that we can hear the honourable
Senator Forrestall: It is, in essence, an excuse. Any excuse is
The fact remains that a Canadian patrol frigate had to go to sea
on patrol without a Sea King helicopter, and then was called
upon to carry out a crucial mission.
The Sea King is an extension of the ship's sensors and
performs as a force multiplier. Contrary to my colleague's
briefing book, I can tell you that these ships have flight decks
and hangars, not for aesthetics but for use. It is not coincidence
that those ships have flight decks. Let us not be misled:
High-readiness ships are supposed to have helicopters, and I
suspect that a ship on patrol is a "high readiness" ship.
In the end, the fact is this: A military vessel performing a
critical fisheries patrol went to sea without a helicopter, plain and
simple. That is the problem - not icing or high seas. The fact of
the matter is that the Sea King community has been stretched to
the limit, due to the fact that the Labrador fleet has outlived its
usefulness. It should be grounded.
I agree with the Leader of the Government in the Senate when
he says that "grounding" has a legal definition, and it is imposed
by the Chief of the Air Staff. "Grounding" means that, after
October 2, the Labrador fleet should have been grounded and
inspected for a known fault throughout the fleet. Maintenance
should have been provided, and the Labrador would then have
been made ready for operations.
The problem is that there was no grounding of the Labrador
fleet. We were told that they would go up "only in life and death
situations." When, might I ask, is search and rescue not a matter
of life and death? It was a flight restriction only in the minds of
the press, and a convenient smokescreen. It was not a grounding;
it was a half-measure flight restriction to avoid political
Let us have no more half measures. Let us ground the
Labrador fleet, and officially pass primary search and rescue
responsibility to the Sea King fleet. At the very least, the Sea
King crews and their leadership could do some long-term
planning to get around some of the current training problems that
Hon. Francis William Mahovlich: Honourable senators, this
being the festive season, I thought it would be appropriate to
tell you a Christmas story that I experienced in my childhood,
and how fortunate I was to be born in Canada, and in Northern
Ontario in particular.
In 1945, my father thought it was time to get off the farm so
we moved to a little town called Schumacher. The
"Mr. Schumacher" that the town was named after was our very
own Santa Claus.
He came from Holland and the family settled in Waco, Texas.
Eventually, they moved up to Columbus, Ohio. Mr. Schumacher
then went to the University of Columbus. It was during
Prohibition that he entered the business world. His business was
selling cough syrup. However, that cough syrup happened to be
45 per cent alcohol. He amassed a fortune. He sold it not only by
the truckload but also by the trainload.
Well, Prohibition ended. Mr. Schumacher's business closed
and he had to look for another business. He picked up a
newspaper and saw that there was a gold strike in Northern
Ontario, so off he went. He bought a mine, and subdivided the
area into a town called Schumacher, which was named after
himself, F.W. Schumacher, as was the public and high school that
was located in the town.
During his time there, he did very well. He was very fortunate.
He went to Europe and began to purchase great art. If you visit
the art museum located in Columbus, Ohio, you will be able to
see his art collection.
All the students and all the children in the area, which had a
population of about 3,500, would receive a gift at Christmas from
Mr. Schumacher- whether it be a sleigh, a pair of skates, a
hockey stick or a hockey sweater. One year, I received a hockey
sweater - a Detroit Red Wings hockey sweater - and a pair of
socks. I immediately changed my allegiance from the Toronto
Maple Leafs over to the Detroit Red Wings because of
My point is that this man was extremely generous. He passed
away in 1957. About three or four years ago, I had a chance to
visit with some of the friends with whom I went to school. Some
of them are now principals and teachers there. They told me
another story involving the Schumacher family's generosity. The
town ran out of funds for their Christmas gift-giving tradition
because of inflation, so they approached the Schumacher family,
who now live in Los Angeles. They were presented with
another $3 million so that the Christmas tradition that was
initiated by Mr. Schumacher could continue.
Even today, a young boy in the little town of Schumacher
receives a gift from the late F.W. Schumacher. Indeed, the spirit
of Christmas is alive and well in the Town of Schumacher!
Hon. Lowell Murray, Chairman of the Standing Senate
Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, presented
the following report:
Wednesday, December 9, 1998
The Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs,
Science and Technology has the honour to present its
Your committee, to which was referred Bill S-10, An Act
to amend the Excise Tax Act, together with the amendments
proposed by the Honourable Consiglio Di Nino and the
Honourable Shirley Maheu has, in obedience to the Order of
Reference of September 24, 1998, examined the said bill
and now reports the same with the following amendment:
Clause 1, page 1: Replace 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; or
(b) is either obscene within the meaning of
section 163 of the Criminal Code, or of a
LOWELL MURRAY, P.C. Chairman
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, when shall this
report be taken into consideration?
On motion of Senator Murray, report placed on the Orders of
the Day for consideration at the next sitting of the Senate.
Hon. Shirley Maheu, Chair of the Standing Committee on
Privileges, Standing Rules and Orders, presented the following
Wednesday, December 9, 1998
The Standing Committee on Privileges, Standing Rules
and Orders has the honour to present its
Your committee recommends that the following rule be
added to the Rules of the Senate:
"1. (3) In the French version, the masculine gender is
used throughout, without any intent to discriminate but
solely to make the text easier to read. The distinction in
French should not be between "masculine" and
"feminine" genders but between "marked" and
"unmarked" genders; the so-called masculine gender is
an unmarked gender and can therefore represent, by
itself, elements of both genders. The feminine gender is
marked and therefore cannot be used to refer to
elements of both genders."
SHIRLEY MAHEU Chair
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, when shall this
report be taken into consideration?
On motion of Senator Maheu, report placed on the Orders of
the Day for consideration on Friday, December 11, 1998.
Notice of Motion to Authorize Banking, Trade and
Commerce Committee to Extend Date of Final Report on
Hon. Michael Kirby: I give notice that on Thursday next,
December 10, 1998, I will move:
That notwithstanding the order of reference adopted by
the Senate on Wednesday, October 22, 1997, the Standing
Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce be
authorized to extend the date for the presentation of its final
report on the state of the financial system in Canada from
December 10, 1998 to December 10, 1999; and
That notwithstanding usual practices, if the Senate is not
sitting when the report is completed the committee be
authorized to deposit it with the Clerk of the Senate and that
the said report shall thereupon be deemed to have been
tabled in the chamber.
Search and Rescue Capability-Projected Delivery Date
of First Vehicle Under Cancelled Contract for EH-101
Hon. John Lynch-Staunton (Leader of the Opposition):
Honourable senators, the Leader of the Government in the Senate
yesterday said again in so many words that even had the EH-101
contract not been cancelled, certain tragic events over the past
few months could not have been avoided. He stated:
My information is that those helicopters...
- meaning the EH-101s -
...would not be available until late next year.
Senator Graham's information is incorrect. In the Estimates of
the Department of National Defence, Part III 1993-94
(Supplementary Information), page 157, there is a full summary
of what was then known as the New Shipborne Aircraft/New
Search and Rescue Helicopter Project.
In July 1992, the government announced its intention to
proceed with the acquisition of 50 EH-101 helicopters for the
combined NSA/NSH requirement.
Thirty-five EH-101s were to be shipborne helicopters to be
used for various military purposes as well as for, and I quote
from the information in the National Defence estimates:
...fisheries patrols, drug interdiction, pollution monitoring
and maritime search and rescue.
The fifteen other EH-101s were to:
...support a national search and rescue capability.
The contract was awarded to European Helicopter Industries
Ltd. and to Paramax. EHIL was to build the helicopter and
Paramax was to:
...design, integrate and install the applicable mission
equipment suite to produce the final NSA and NSH prime
The first basic vehicle was to be delivered in September 1997.
The first prime mission vehicle was to be delivered in September
Senator Forrestall was quite correct yesterday in claiming that
had this delivery schedule been respected, there could be up to
12 EH-101 helicopters available today, all of which could easily
have been equipped with basic search and rescue systems, as
opposed to the more complicated anti-submarine warfare system
which takes much longer to install and to test.
Based on this information, does the Leader of the Government
in the Senate still maintain that the EH-101 helicopter contract
cancellation - a cancellation, by the way, made strictly for
political purposes as part of the Liberal Party's spiteful
anti-Mulroney tirade during and following the 1993 election -
has not jeopardized the effectiveness of the search and rescue
squadron or put lives in danger by forcing crews to use
Labradors which, to all intents and purposes, are obsolete and
should be scrapped once and for all?
Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government):
Honourable senators, the Leader of the Opposition brings
forward a very interesting point of view and some information
which I certainly would want to examine. I am sure that he
understands that I was basing my answers on information that
had been provided to me. I relied on that information to be
accurate. If indeed there is further information which can shed
more light and which proves my statement to be inaccurate, I
shall be happy to clarify.
With respect to the decision to cancel the contract that was
undertaken by the previous government, that was a government
decision. I am saddened to think that we would connect that with
any loss of life because it was judged that the Labrador
helicopters were safe to fly at that particular time.
Discussions and examinations conducted by officials in the
Department of National Defence resulted in the decision to
cancel the previous government's contract.
I understand that there are two basic and very practical reasons
for the cancellation. First, the requirements for that particular
type of helicopter changed in a changing world. Second, the
savings to the taxpayers amounted to at least $30 million
Senator Lynch-Staunton: Thirty million dollars per unit, not
including the $750 million cancellation costs.
Senator Graham: Including the cancellation costs.
Senator Lynch-Staunton: No, sir. You should check your
information again, Senator Graham.
Hon. J. Michael Forrestall: Honourable senators, I rise on a
supplementary question to the Leader of the Government in
I trust I am not going too far when I muse out loud and ask the
Leader of the Government in the Senate whether there has not
been some kind of a cover-up. Everybody knew at the time of the
order what the situation was with respect to that airplane and the
three engines, its lift capacity, its large doors - in other words,
its basic configuration, not something all dressed up. There is no
question we could have had it much cheaper, and I am surprised
that the minister would raise the issue of $30 million in cost
savings per unit and then suggest it included the $1-billion
cancellation fee and the public bashing we took over this
decision, all of which is not important.
My question is very basic. When will you put helicopters on
the decks of those frigates? When? If you do not intend to do it,
Senator Graham: As I said yesterday, honourable senators,
the Canadian Forces make judgments with respect to the
operations of our vessels at sea. In reference to the
HMCSHalifax, it was not considered essential that a Sea King
helicopter be on the ship at that particular time for that kind of an
Senator Forrestall: Honourable senators, the leader told us
yesterday that the Labrador could not fly because of icing
problems. That Labrador made flights earlier in the day and did
not have any icing problem. One flight was 300 kilometres, and
another 200 kilometres. It did not make that much of
A latter reason was high seas. I do not know how high seas
affect the operation of a helicopter.
Which is it? The leader cannot have it three ways from
Does the government have a policy that it will send these
high-readiness ships on active sea patrol and not give them their
eyes and extension?
Senator Graham: Honourable senators, I do not know that I
specifically mentioned high seas in reference to helicopters.
However, I certainly did mention icing conditions. The
honourable senator said that the helicopter flew in the morning.
Obviously conditions can change in a matter of half an hour with
respect to icing.
Senator Forrestall: Why was it not sent out when conditions
Senator Graham: Is the honourable senator talking about the
situation that occurred in Quebec?
Senator Forrestall: I am talking about the HMCSHalifax
sitting 300 miles off the East Coast without a helicopter on it and
having to go for 15 or 20 hours to bring a seriously injured
seaman to hospital in St. John's.
If the sea conditions and the weather conditions had changed
in an hour, why did they not dispatch the Labrador?
Senator Graham: I said that there were dangerous icing
conditions that prevented the Labrador at Gander from reaching
the ship. Obviously, conditions changed during the day.
Meeting of Privileges, Standing Rules and Orders
Committee Conflicting with Caucus Meetings-Position
of Chairman of Committee
Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Acting Deputy Leader of the
Opposition): Honourable senators, my question is directed to the
Chair of the Standing Committee on Privileges, Standing Rules
Did the chair convene a meeting of that standing committee
this morning at eleven o'clock?
Hon. Shirley Maheu: Yes, I did, honourable senators. We had
called a meeting for yesterday afternoon, which was not
appropriate for many members on both sides of the house, I
might add. This morning was the only time that we had left. Our
clerk felt that it was imperative that we meet because we had a
French correction to make. You, senator, are one of the ones who
continuously talks about gender and sexist language. That was
the reason for clarifying the text.
The meeting was to last 15 minutes at the outside.
Unfortunately, some of the senators wanted to raise other
matters. Two caucuses were meeting, but that was the only time
we had. It was not a decisive meeting with votes.
Senator Kinsella: Honourable senators, it is a long tradition in
this place that caucuses and caucus meetings are central to our
Westminster parliamentary system. Wednesday mornings, the
respective caucuses of this place have meetings. It has been our
tradition or custom never to hold committee meetings when our
caucuses are meeting on Wednesday morning.
My question to the chair of the committee is this: Will that
custom now be understood to be broken, or is it the intention to
respect that custom in the future?
Senator Lynch-Staunton: Liberal arrogance!
Senator Maheu: Honourable senators, it was not Liberal
arrogance. It had nothing to do with being a Liberal or a Tory.
We actually started the meeting with a majority of Tories. That is
unheard of, I suppose.
For the information of Senator Kinsella, I realize now how
important it was. My committee will not meet again on a
Wednesday morning when his party is holding caucus. We had
caucus as well, I might add.
Hon. Norman K. Atkins: Might I ask whether attendance was
taken at that meeting?
Senator Maheu: Yes, the clerk has the attendance at the
meeting. Would you like me to obtain the list and tell you what
time they arrived?
Senator Lynch-Staunton: No, what time they left.
Senator Atkins: Was anyone who is a member of that
committee and did not attend marked absent when they were in
fact sitting in national caucus?
Senator Maheu: If the committee was sitting during national
caucus, the Senate was not sitting. Absences are marked when
the Senate is sitting, not when caucuses are meeting.
Senator Lynch-Staunton: That is Liberal arrogance.
Attacks on Protestors in Vancouver by Security
Forces-Remarks of Prime Minister on
Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Acting Deputy Leader of the
Opposition): The Toronto Star says that democracy is noisy and
that it is messy sometimes. The Globe and Mail today says
sometimes democracy is noisy. The National Post says
democracy is sometimes messy and noisy, and on the Internet I
read that democracy is noisy and messy sometimes.
Last evening, honourable senators, the Prime Minister
articulated a new philosophy of parliamentary democracy where
he announced that while coming to the meeting he saw some
protesters who were noisy; that democracy is noisy and messy
The question to the Leader of the Government in the Senate is:
When the Prime Minister observed that democracy is messy, to
what was he referring? How exactly is democracy messy?
Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government):
Honourable senators, I believe it was Winston Churchill who
once said that democracy is the worst form of government,
except for all the rest.
Senator Lynch-Staunton: What did the Prince of
Senator Graham: Senator Lynch-Staunton again raises the
question of the "forces of darkness." I refer to my response to
Senator Andreychuk's question about keeping the Christmas
lights lit on Parliament Hill until after certain feast days, and
certainly a week after January 3, when the lights are normally
turned off. May I use this moment to say that I brought her
representations, and indeed the endorsement of all members of
the chamber, directly to the attention of the chairman of the
National Capital Commission. While I cannot now make any
kind of announcement, he responded favourably to
While I am at it, may I congratulate the National Capital
Commission for the wonderful display that they have on the Hill
and elsewhere in the nation's capital? It may be that you will not
be referring to the "forces of darkness" in the future when you
put questions, but you may be calling me the "angel of light." I
acknowledge that that is really reaching.
The choice of words, of course, would be the Prime Minister's,
but certainly democracy can be difficult, and I am glad that he
made the statement that he did.
I happened to be in Cape Breton recently, and I was invited to
be the guest speaker at a dinner in the premier's home riding, in
Sydney Mines. I arrived on schedule, and the premier had been
there a few minutes ahead of me. We were greeted by protesters
and picketers, and the police. It was suggested that perhaps we
I drove back to Sydney, and got through by telephone to the
people who were holed up in the Knights of Columbus hall in
Sydney Mines. Senator Buchanan has spoken at many rallies
there, and I am sure Senator Comeau, Senator Forrestall and
Senator Murray have done the same. At any rate, I was told that
the picketers and the police had left, and that there were a few
people coming through the fields who had already bought their
tickets for the event. I was asked to come back. I went back and
spoke to them about democracy, people's right to demonstrate,
people's right to picket and people's right to express their
concern. I have been all over the world observing the forces of
democracy in action.
Furthermore, I made reference to democracy on the day that
Senator Lynch-Staunton welcomed the Right Honourable Joe
Clark back to the Parliament Hill precincts. I also made reference
to the work that Mr. Clark has done around the world in
promoting democracy in all of the countries that he has visited.
Senator Berntson: Do you remember what the question was?
Hon. Ron Ghitter: Honourable senators, I have listened to the
answer just given, if indeed it was an answer. As one who turned
on the TV last night and saw young Canadians being bludgeoned
with clubs for coming to demonstrate on an issue that this
government had side-stepped, blockaded and stonewalled
through the last month, I find the answer that has been given by
the Leader of the Government unacceptable.
Is this the government policy, that when someone protests you
bring out the police with clubs? Is that what Canada has come
to? Is the "messiness" referring to the blood on the faces of those
bludgeoned last night with clubs?
Senator Graham: Honourable senators, let me say first that
the Prime Minister has a right to go wherever he is invited in this
country. He was a guest of the people of British Columbia, and
most particularly in the City of Vancouver.
Let me review for Senator Ghitter the responsibilities with
respect to the protective services that were provided. The Hyatt
Hotel, where the event was held, would have been responsible
for security within the hotel. Meanwhile, the RCMP protective
detail always has responsibility for the personal security of the
Prime Minister, a time-honoured tradition in this country.
However, Vancouver City Police had the lead responsibility for
security around the building and in the streets. They were
prepared for a large event because of the publicity leading up to
the night's event.
The role of the RCMP was to assist the Vancouver City Police.
They were there primarily in their role as contracted provincial
police services, but would also have provided support if the
Prime Minister required additional security.
I feel it is important for us to have that information. The
unfortunate events that took place were not prompted by the
Prime Minister, nor by the people whom he might direct in terms
of his own protection. The responsibility for his personal
protection lies with the RCMP.
As I have outlined, there were other forces which took part in
those security arrangements.
Senator Ghitter: Honourable senators, with respect, that is
hardly an answer to my question.
Let me put the question this way: If the government,
recognizing the problem and the concerns of the students, were
responding in a satisfactory way so that the grievances of the
students could be appropriately heard by an inquiry that made
sense, rather than what we have put up with up to this point,
would you not agree that there would be no need for the students
to be going wherever the Prime Minister is in order to cause
embarrassment and to bring police forces out with their clubs?
Why does the leader not acknowledge the fact that his
government has bungled the situation and, as a result, that is why
these students are coming forward and demonstrating, and that it
will continue? Why not just admit it and get on with it?
Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!
Senator Graham: Honourable senators, I do not know how
many times I must repeat, for the edification and enlightenment
of Senator Ghitter and other senators opposite, that there is a
process in place. We wish to follow that due process.
Senator Ghitter: It is not working.
Senator Graham: Senator Ghitter alleges, while sitting in his
place, that the process is not working. We believe it can work,
and we wish to give it a chance. There are matters that are now
being considered by the Federal Court, for which institution I am
sure the Honourable Senator Ghitter has the greatest respect.
It is to be hoped that the Public Complaints Commission will
be able to resume its work in the near future. I say, let the Public
Complaints Commission do its work, and allow it to live up to its
Hon. David Tkachuk: Honourable senators, on the process in
place, to which the minister has alluded in the last number of
months on the APEC question, our side has always maintained
that the responsibility of the commission is to investigate the
actions of the RCMP during that affair.
However, the process is clear as far as the actions of the
Solicitor General, the Commissioner of the RCMP, the Minister
of Justice, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Prime Minister
are concerned. They answer to the Parliament of Canada. That is
a process that neither the Leader of the Government in the Senate
nor his government respects.
Therefore, when the minister speaks about the process, would
he tell us how he expects the inquiry to deal with the questions of
all the ministers in the government and the Prime Minister's
Senator Graham: Honourable senators, I would again quote
for Senator Tkachuk the notice of decision to institute a hearing
and assignments of hearing members under section 45.43(1) of
the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act.
I will not read the entire document. However, Ms Shirley
Heafey specifies in the mandate:
Take notice that in respect of these complaints, I have
decided, in the public interest, to institute a hearing pursuant
to subsection 45.43(1) of the Act, commencing April 14,
1998, to inquire into all matters touching upon these
complaints, to hear all evidence relevant thereto, to ensure a
full and fair hearing in respect of these complaints and to
report at the conclusion of the hearings such findings of fact
and recommendations as are warranted...
Honourable senators, I have said repeatedly that the Chief of
Staff to the Prime Minister and his former director of operations
have voluntarily come forward and offered to testify.
Senator Kinsella: What about the Clerk of the Privy Council?
Senator Graham: I am sure they will be prepared to testify in
a very transparent way and answer all the questions that may be
put to them by the commission and by the counsel for the
I have heard suggestions that certain other people should be
asked to testify. Honourable senators, it is up to the commission
itself to ask individual witnesses to come forward. I understand
that presently they have a list of 120 witnesses.
I urge all honourable senators to allow the commission to
proceed with its work as soon as it has a decision from the
Report of Auditor General on Distribution of
Discretionary Funding-Government Position
Hon. Donald H. Oliver: Honourable senators, my question is
for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. It is a follow-up
to a question that I asked the honourable leader two weeks ago in
light of the report of the Auditor General.
At that time I asked questions about the sections of the Auditor
General's report that dealt with the way in which multicultural
projects were being managed. In his response to me at that time
the leader said:
I am certain that the matters which he has noted and which
have been referred to by Senator Oliver will be taken into
consideration. Should there be things which must be
corrected, indeed, they will be corrected as quickly as
Would the Leader of the Government tell us exactly what
immediate short-term course of action will be taken to ensure
that the discretionary funding is distributed in an appropriate
manner from now on?
Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government):
Honourable senators, I thank the honourable senator for his
The very same day on which he raised the question, I brought
the matter to the attention of my colleague the President of the
Treasury Board. The government has not yet determined how it
As the honourable senator knows, the bill is at second reading
in the House of Commons. The government is still examining its
options with respect to what amendments, if any, may be
considered. I do not believe the matter has yet been referred to
committee. When it is referred to committee, the government
will entertain amendments to the bill. When the bill arrives in
this place, we will have our own opportunities to deal with the
matter in whatever way the Senate determines.
Senator Oliver: Honourable senators, the honourable leader is
referring to Bill C-44 which was not the subject of my question.
However, in relation to Bill C-44, is the honourable leader
stating that, to the best of his knowledge, the government's
intention is to effect amendments to Bill C-44 to ensure that the
Race Relations Directorate is not gutted?
Senator Graham: My understanding is that there may indeed
be a reduction in the number of members on the board. I would
be subject to clarification on this, Senator Oliver, but I
understand that the present board membership is in the order
of 20. It may be reduced to 15.
However, I do not anticipate that its authority or its powers
will be restricted or changed in any way.
Hon. A. Raynell Andreychuk: Honourable senators, my
question is directed to the Leader of the Government in the
Senate and pertains to NATO. When the comprehensive test-ban
treaty discussions took place in this chamber, I supported
Minister Axworthy's view that discussions should take place
within NATO about NATO's nuclear strategy.
However, I am concerned that a report in the newspaper, dated
December 9, indicates that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lloyd
Axworthy, issued a strong call for nuclear disarmament, telling
the United States, Britain and France that their warheads are far
less important to alliance security now than during the Cold War.
Does this mean that Minister Axworthy does not believe there
is any merit in discussions and that his mind is already made up?
Does this not drive against the spirit of the usual practice within
multilateral and regional associations that we put items on for
discussion and not decide what we want to raise as we approach
Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government):
Honourable senators, there is no question that the minister is
examining this particular issue. He is examining the role of
Canada, the mandate of NATO and our NATO allies with respect
to nuclear weapons. Canada remains committed to NATO.
Canada recognizes that nuclear weapons continue to play a role
in the NATO strategic concept.
As an active member of the alliance, however, Canada is
currently participating in a review of the strategy concept. The
review will address a wide range of issues, including the changed
environment of European and Atlantic security. It will include
NATO's role in peacekeeping operations. It will respond to the
spread of weapons of mass destruction. We expect and anticipate
that the revised strategic concept will be ready to be issued at the
NATO summit to be held in April. Minister Axworthy has very
strong views on these particular matters.
I would assure the Honourable Senator Andreychuk that due
consultations, as always, will be held. Canada will be well
represented by Minister Axworthy and his officials.
Hon. Roch Bolduc: Honourable senators, my question to the
Leader of the Government also concerns NATO. Does the
Government of Canada intend to take decisions that will have the
effect of defining a new strategic concept for Canada - for
example with Germany and other countries - and ignore our
alliances with the Americans, the French and the British?
Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government):
Honourable senator, that matter would be under consideration
and would certainly not be addressed before consultations with
Notice of Motion to Authorize Committee to Meet
During Sittings of the Senate
Leave having been given to revert to Notice of Motions:
Hon. Charlie Watt: Honourable senators, I give notice that on
Thursday next, December 10, 1998, I will move:
That the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal
Peoples have power to sit at four o'clock in the afternoon on
Tuesday, for the balance of the present session, even though
the Senate may then be sitting, and that rule 95(4) be
suspended in relation thereto.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, before we
proceed to Orders of the Day, I would draw your attention to the
presence of some visitors in our gallery.
They are a group of grandparents, fathers and mothers who are
here to observe the tabling of the report of the Special Joint
Committee of the Senate and the House of Commons on Child
Custody and Access.
On behalf of all senators, I bid you welcome. We are pleased
to see Canadians here observing the work of the Senate.
Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Deputy Leader of the
Government): Honourable senators, I should like the table to
call the bills in the order in which they are listed, with the
exception of Order No. 5, which I would like to have called last.
Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Acting Deputy Leader of the
Opposition): Honourable senators, in light of the important
tabling simultaneously in both Houses of the report of the Special
Joint Committee on Custody and Access, perhaps we should
advise the chamber that both sides have agreed that regardless of
what order of business we are on at three o'clock, we will revert
to Presentation of Reports of Standing and Special Committees
for the purpose of that tabling.
Senator Carstairs: If a senator is speaking at that time, we
would like the senator to finish his or her speech, and then we
will ask for permission to do that.
Hon. Lowell Murray: Since we are discussing business of the
chamber, does the Deputy Leader expect the Senate to adjourn by
3:30 today so that committees can proceed with their work?
Senator Carstairs: Senator Murray, we are doing our best to
ensure that that happens.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, for my
guidance, am I to interrupt the proceedings at three o'clock?
Senator Carstairs: No, Your Honour. Senator Pearson will
rise as soon as the person who happens to have the floor at
three o'clock finishes, at which time she will ask permission to
table her report.
The Hon. the Speaker: Is it agreed that as soon as the person
who is speaking at three o'clock finishes, we will revert?
Bill to Amend-Third Reading-Motion in
On the Order:
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable
Senator Carstairs, seconded by the Honourable Senator
Callbeck, for the third reading of Bill C-20, to amend the
Competition Act and to make consequential and related
amendments to other Acts.
Hon. Donald H. Oliver: Honourable senators, at second
reading debate on this bill, I spoke on the events leading up to its
tabling and its purpose, that being to address the proliferation of
deceptive telemarketing practices that prey upon consumers and
cast a shadow over Canada's legitimate telemarketing industry. I
also highlighted a number of other concerns, many of which
were shared by interested parties such as the Canadian Bar
Association, the Retail Council of Canada, and the Canadian
Chamber of Commerce. Our committee heard the evidence of
many witnesses. On third reading, these concerns remain
outstanding and unresolved.
The concerns can be categorized under two headings: the need
for clarification and the need for consultation. The Canadian Bar
Association stated in its testimony that three sections should be
removed from the bill. Under the heading "need for clarification"
the following concerns remain to be addressed: The need to add
the words "live voice" to the definition of deceptive
telemarketing so as to provide clarity; the need to address
inconsistencies between section 206 of the Criminal Code and
the proposed telemarketing provisions of Bill C-20, particularly
section 52.1(3)(b) which may impose certain obligations on
people or groups conducting legitimate lottery contests by means
of telemarketing and, more important, create offences for those
legitimate charitable organizations failing to comply with
statutory requirements; and the need to address inconsistencies
between Bill C-20, which converts some criminal matters to civil
reviewable ones, and other laws which do not permit the
decriminalization of false or misleading representations.
Under the heading "need for consultation" the following
concerns remain to be addressed to ensure the creation of fair and
balanced legislation: The need for consultation on the highly
intrusive wiretapping provisions of Bill C-20 which had not been
subjected to the consultation process and, without consent, were
introduced into the bill as an investigative tool for deceptive
telemarketing as well as conspiracy and bid rigging; the need for
consultation on the whistle-blowing provisions of Bill C-20
which had not been subject to the consultation process and was
indeed introduced in committee by a member of the other place,
not to deal with deceptive telemarketing but rather concerns
about gasoline pricing.
To begin with, the need to add the words "live voice" to the
provision centres on the fact that:
...with a relatively new piece of legislation like this
legislation, it should be limited to cases where there is an
actual live person on the phone making that outbound
telemarketing call....the manipulation of the consumer that
occurs is usually done by using human intelligence....it is
the person on the phone calling the consumer and trying to
work them, trying to misrepresent information. Our sense is
that technology has not got to the point where it can work
sufficiently interactively with a human being in order to be
used to misrepresent or defraud people...we thought that
more clarity in the legislation would be desirable.
These, honourable senators, are not my words but the words of
the Retail Council of Canada which appeared before our
committee on the first day of hearings on Bill C-20.
Another witness, Mr. Kennish of the Canadian Bar
Association, Competition Law Section, also raised concerns
before the committee. He said:
It is a concern that the Competition Bureau recognizes to
a certain degree its power to affect harm and proceed in
private, mostly, and responsibility but in this area, part of -
- the Canadian Bar Association -
- comment here is -
- the CBA-
would rather like to see the safeguards in the legislation as
opposed to guidelines that are non-binding and cannot be
revised and subject to change....the definition should be
amended to state, "live voice" interactive telephone
In relation to inconsistencies that I see between section 206 of
the Criminal Code and the proposed telemarketing provisions of
Bill C-20, departmental officials stated before our committee the
Legitimate marketing campaigns and lotteries with a
telemarketing component will be subject to these new
provisions, but will have no difficulty...in complying with
the minimal disclosure obligations in section 52.1.
Honourable senators, let me read you a section of the so-called
minimal disclosure obligations referred to by the department
officials. I ask you to consider them in relation to a charitable
organization in your community such as a church or firefighters'
organization using telemarketing as a fundraising technique.
No person who engages in telemarketing shall conduct or
purport to conduct a contest, lottery or game of chance, skill
or mixed chance and skill, where...adequate and fair
disclosure is not made of the number and approximate value
of the prizes, of the area or areas to which they relate and of
any fact within the person's knowledge, that affects
materially the chances of winning.
Honourable senators, this is not a simple test. On the issue of
whether or not an amendment is necessary to ensure legitimate
charitable organizations are not unnecessarily subjected to new
criminal offences, I further quote the department's response on
the issue: There is
...no need for an amendment to protect legitimate state
authorized lotteries as disclosure requirements are
I am not alone in feeling the need to address the possibility of
inconsistencies between Bill C-20, which converts some criminal
matters to civil reviewable ones, and other laws which do not
permit the decriminalization of false or misleading
representations. The testimony before our committee
demonstrated the problems of this provision in Bill C-20. I quote
Mr. Ziegel, professor emeritus at the University of Toronto:
...this is an important departure of policy and substance in
the administration of the act. If it is going to be done, it
ought to be done consistently across the many hundreds of
welfare laws that we have at the federal level, not to
mention in larger numbers at the provincial levels. But this
act does not do it. In fact, there is a striking contradiction
within Bill C-20 because while it signals the conversion of
these misleading advertising offences to mens rea offences
so far as misleading advertising is concerned, it reinstates
and introduces for the first time the telemarketing offences
which is subject to the old regime of strict liability. That
makes no sense to me at all. It seems to me as if the drafters
of the act were given two conflicting sets of instructions.
That alone would, I think, require explanation and
justification. I have heard none, nor do I know of any reason
why we should have one set of standards in the Competition
Act so far as criminal prosecutions are concerned and a
different set so far as other acts such as the Food and Drugs
Act, Coinage Act, Safety Standards Act and so forth.
...I also note that so far as the new section 52 is concerned,
it has a number of other objectionable features. It is going to
make it difficult to prosecute successfully under the new
provisions because it does not contain sufficient detail ... it
is going to make it much more difficult to prove the
appropriate ingredients of a guilty mind or recklessness.
Honourable senators, clearly this liability regime is a hybrid
one, and requires further consultation and study before we move
away from strict liability and inadvertently find ourselves in a
position of not being able to prosecute those individuals whom
this bill targets.
I now want to deal with the two other major concerns, one
relating to wiretapping and one to whistle-blowing.
I wish to bring to your attention the provisions relating to
wiretapping and a letter dated November 18, 1998, sent to the
chairman of our committee by the National Competition Law
Section of the Canadian Bar Association, and I quote:
A wiretap is one of the most invasive tools available to the
state to investigate the activities of its citizens. The Section
opposes the introduction of such an intrusive investigative
tool without adequate public debate on whether it is
necessary ... We urge the Senate Banking Committee to
recommend deleting clause 47 from Bill C-20.
Honourable senators, the wiretap provision of Bill C-20 was
not included in Bill C-67, which died on the Order Paper, and it
was not subjected to the same level of consultation as other
amendments in this bill. As the Canadian Bar Association stated
in its accompanying brief:
Section 45 of the Act, which creates the offence of
conspiracy, uses broad language that potentially covers a
variety of legitimate arrangements among competitors such
as joint ventures or strategic alliances. As such, the potential
scope for wiretap authorizations is great ... expanding its
availability should not be done without extensive public
Honourable senators, the public consultations leading up to the
other provisions contained in Bill C-20 were indeed extensive,
beginning with a June 1995 discussion paper and ending in
April 1996 with a consultative panel report. This was not the case
with the proposed amendment to allow wiretapping: judicially
authorized interception, without consent, of private
In response to concerns on this issue, departmental officials
stated the following:
There was a more traditional consultation done with a range
Let me explain to this chamber what is meant by a "more
traditional consultation," and again I quote from the Canadian
... in the recent discussions on this topic,
the stakeholders were asked to keep the contents
only a few stakeholders were consulted, and it cannot be
said it was representative of all stakeholders and
the stakeholders were given very little time to reflect on
the implications of the wiretap proposal...the process in
this instance fell short of the government's policy of open
and public discussion.
Not only does the Canadian Bar Association take issue with
this provision but so does the Canadian Chamber of Commerce,
from whom the committee did not hear, but whose views were
published, and I quote:
The Canadian Chamber is adamantly against a proposed
amendment to the Competition Act...that would extend
Criminal Code wiretapping authority to certain
investigations conducted by the Competition Bureau. The
amendment was added at the last minute without significant
consultation and is so broadly worded...that you could drive
a truck through it. The amendment, as drafted, creates a
scenario in which business people engaged in legitimate
talks on strategic alliances and mergers could find
themselves targets of wiretaps.
Terence Corcoran also raised a number of arguments against
this particular provision in various columns published in
The Globe and Mail, and I extract for the consideration of the
chamber just one, and I quote:
...the wiretap provisions...would take the government far
beyond telemarketing and into bid-rigging and various
forms of conspiracy to fix prices or share markets. The
telemarketing angle is really just a front for an expansion of
the Competition Bureau's powers....in the end, no sector of
the economy would be immune...given the general nature of
competition law infractions, allowing the government to
launch a wiretap search for evidence opens the door to
abuse. This is more likely to increase the number of
legitimate business people turned into suspected criminals.
Like many members of the Senate, I do not take much comfort
in the words of departmental officials responding to the extensive
powers granted by the government unto itself: "The cost of
wiretap is a practical limit."
The Canadian Bar Association believes:
... that these provisions go beyond the scope of criminal
liability and are thus unfair to employers ... the Section
recommends that they be deleted from this legislation and
forwarded to the Competition Bureau for consideration and
public consultation in the next round of amendments to the
Honourable senators, clearly it is incumbent on all members of
the Senate to ensure that this provision is not proclaimed until the
government has undertaken to consult Canadians in a manner
that is both transparent and open. Following such consultation, it
may be painfully obvious that the legislation must be amended to
protect the rights of Canadians.
Last, I wish to address perhaps the most abhorrent provisions
of the bill, the whistle-blowing provisions, not because the intent
is wrong but, as pointed out before our committee, it is
misguided and provides a prospect for criminal sanctions being
imposed on an employer in respect to otherwise completely
The whistle-blowing provisions were introduced during the
Industry Committee hearings, and accordingly were not part of
the same public consultation process as the other provisions of
the bill. The Canadian Bar Associated states:
Section 66.1 would require the Commissioner of
Competition to keep confidential the identities of persons
who notify the Commissioner that they have reasonable
grounds to believe that another person has committed or
intends to commit an offence....
Section 66.2 imposes criminal liability on employers who
"dismiss, suspend, demote, discipline, harass, or otherwise
disadvantage an employee or deny an employee a benefit of
employment for whistle-blowing activity.... Employers are
also prohibited from the above employment actions if they
believe an employee will undertake the above
I should like to read one paragraph from the letter from the
Canadian Bar Association that was sent to the Chairman of the
Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce.
Page 4, paragraph 6 reads as follows:
Employers should not be required to continue to deal with
employees or contractors in whom they have lost
confidence. An employee's complaint to the Commissioner
will generally sour the work environment. An employer
acting in good faith should be entitled to terminate an
employee either with notice or damages in lieu of notice.
This legitimate action by an employer would no longer be
available because section 66.2 would create a criminal
offence for this conduct.
Further, the Canadian Bar Association said:
The proposed whistle-blowing provisions conflict with the
1997 report of the Hon. Charles Dubin, whom the
Competition Bureau had retained to study the issue. The
Dubin report concluded that there was no need to amend the
Competition Act to protect employee whistleblowers
because protection is available through existing processes.
The Dubin report also found that whistleblower legislation
in other jurisdictions has had little impact.
There are significant problems in both the concepts and the
drafting of section 66.2. These problems will create
unnecessary and difficult situations for employers. In
addition there are issues respecting section 66.1 that
should be of concern to the Commissioner and the
In questioning witnesses in committee, Senator Angus asked the
Director of the Competition Bureau, Mr. Von Finckenstein, to give
the bureau's position. Mr. Von Finckenstein answered:
... the amendments were put forward not by me and not on
our suggestion but by -
A member of the House -
... I am neutral on it ... I see the deterrent value ... on the
other hand, I do not want to create something that is going
to cause employers a lot of harm or interfere with normal
employee relations or is going to cause me a lot of
Honourable senators, I think this statement is revealing in that
this provision does not represent government policy but, rather,
the initiative of a member of the other place without proper
consultation or study.
As stated earlier, when asked to express his views on the
desirability of such legislation, Justice Dubin produced what is
known as the Dubin report and concludes that the
whistle-blowing provisions are not necessary because an
employee would have rights under common law and employment
status. Honourable senators, this was recently confirmed by the
Supreme Court of Canada in the case of Wallace v. United Grain
Therefore, today the Senate has a golden opportunity to show
its true colours. It can act as a body of sober second thought. It
can deliberate on a major piece of legislation and ensure that the
rights to privacy of our citizens are protected. Where draft
legislation is intrusive and dangerous or eroding our basic
fundamental rights, we can act by amending or defeating the
We have done it before. Indeed, sometimes the Governor in
Council has strongly encouraged us to so act - in part at least
because the other place often misses vital mistakes and
inconsistencies. This time we must do it on our own. We must
modify the failure of Bill C-20 - a most intrusive piece of
Honourable senators, I will now move a motion to remove the
wiretap provisions and the whistle-blowing provisions of
Bill C-20, respectively.
Hon. Donald H. Oliver: Honourable senators, I move:
That Bill C-20 be not now read a third time but that it be
(a) in clause 19
(i) on page 14, by deleting lines 31 to 46;
(ii) on page 15, by deleting lines 1 to 42.
(b) in clause 47, on page 39, by
(i) deleting the heading before clause 47 and
(ii) renumbering clauses 48 to 55 as clauses 47 to 54
and any cross-references thereto accordingly.
The Hon. the Speaker: Is it your pleasure, honourable
senators, to adopt the motion in amendment?
Hon. Catherine S. Callbeck: Honourable senators, I rise to
speak on Bill C-20 and address the concerns of the Honourable
The first area that the honourable senator talked about was
"live voice," and that it should be added to the
definition of "telecommunications." This definition of
"telecommunications" is deliberately broad so as not to leave
loopholes for deceptive telemarketers to exploit. It is clear that
deceptive telemarketers are notoriously creative. It is common
knowledge that communications technology is developing at a
fast peace. Adding the words "live voice" directly to the statute
would remove the flexibility that is required to deal with these
The committee recommended that this issue be kept under
review with a view to further amendments if and when necessary.
As the honourable senator knows - and as the officials from the
bureau told us - this is being dealt with in the guidelines.
The second issue that my friend raised was the inconsistencies
between section 206 of the Criminal Code and Bill C-20. I am
sure that all senators have, at one time or another, worked with
charitable religious organizations. The committee - and
certainly myself - has looked closely at the issues that
adversely affect them.
We heard testimony from the former senior federal criminal
prosecutor from Montreal, who is now counsel to the
Competition Bureau. He indicated that there is no conflict
between Bill C-20 and the Criminal Code. This bill has been
reviewed by some of the brightest minds in Canada at the
Department of Justice, who are experts in both criminal law and
the conflict of laws.
We heard testimony from members of the bar with expertise in
telemarketing, who indicated that this option of the bar is far
from unanimous. We also heard testimony from the Canadian
Direct Marketing Association. As the honourable senators on the
committee know, this association represents some of the largest
corporations in this country, including Air Canada, the Bay, Bell
Canada, and several banks. It also represents many major
charities such as the United Way of Greater Toronto, Easter Seals
Society and World Vision Canada. In testimony before the
Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce,
in response to direct questions by Senator Oliver, the president
and CEO, who happens to be a member of the Canadian Bar
Association, indicated that he was, "satisfied with the directors'
explanation." I do not believe that there is a conflict. I have
listened to the assurance of the director and I believe that he
understands it well. I do not think there will be a problem going
forward with that.
I suppose that we could get 50 lawyers in here to say that there
is a conflict and another 50 to say that there is not. I am not a
lawyer, but I know that certainly the majority of the charities and
corporations - many of them represented by the Canadian
Direct Marketing Association - agree with this legislation. I
think it is time to give them what they want.
The third issue is wiretapping. Senator Taylor asked about this
aspect yesterday. It is the most controversial aspect of the bill. It
is safe to say that we all agree that it is a highly intrusive
mechanism. That was pointed out by the Canadian Bar
Association in the letter that we all received yesterday, copies of
which we have on our desks. Besides the Canadian Bar
Association, other organizations that represent business,
communities and senior citizens have insisted that such a
technique is required.
Wiretap without consent has been available under the Criminal
Code for years. There are many checks and balances against this
intrusive mechanism. One of those safeguards is that
authorization must be granted by a judge, who must be satisfied
that it would be in the best interests of the administration of
justice to do so, that other investigative procedures have been
tried and failed or are unlikely to succeed; or that the matter is so
urgent that other investigative procedures would be impractical.
Honourable senators, some of the most compelling evidence
we heard in the committee hearings was from senior citizens. A
lot of our senior citizens have had their lives ruined by these
telemarketing con artists. To give you one example, we heard
from the Congress of Union Retirees of Canada. That
organization was founded in 1993 in Toronto. Its purpose is to
knit the various organizations that have been formed among
retired persons - that is, union members from across Canada
whose unions were affiliates of the Canadian Labour Congress.
Since its founding, its membership has grown to
500,000 affiliated members and it is expected to reach 1 million
members in the next two years.
Most of the members here have spent a great deal of their lives
fighting for the civil and human rights that we enjoy today. They
admit that they agonized over this issue of wiretapping.
However, the vice-president of the Congress of the Union
Retirees of Canada came before the committee and stated:
We would like to commend the section of the bill that
permits judicial authorization for interceptions of private
communication in relation to conspiracy, bid-rigging and
deceptive telemarketing. Being the type of organization we
are, we had to struggle with that because there is civil
liberties on one side, but the common good, in our opinion,
That, in a nutshell, is why we should accept this clause of
The fourth question mentioned by the honourable senator
related to whistle-blowing. Certainly the Canadian Bar
Association has had some problems with this proposed new set
of provisions which provide protection for whistle-blowers. It
will be a criminal offence for an employer to take retaliatory
measures against an employee who has, in good faith and on
reasonable grounds, either reported suspect conduct to the
Competition Bureau or refused to participate in what could
constitute illegal conduct.
Employers face no impediments to disciplining or firing an
employee for legitimate reasons. In the event of a criminal
prosecution, the burden of proof remains in the Crown to prove
all the elements of the offence beyond a reasonable doubt. This is
a group who, if anyone, should be concerned with this particular
clause regarding whistle-blowing. They struggled with the issue
but they decided to support the approach of the government in
order to restore trust to the average Canadian.
This can be seen in the testimony of Mr. John Davidson who is
the president and CEO of the Canadian Direct Marketing
Association. This organization represents many of the major
organizations that are engaged in legitimate telemarketing, as
well as other forms of information-based marketing which
includes electronic commerce on the Internet. The association is
the largest marketing association in the country, with some
750 corporate members and some 3,000 individual members.
They include our major financial institutions, cataloguers,
publishers, charitable fundraisers and anyone engaged in
customer relationship marketing.
When the president and the CEO of the Canada Direct
Marketing Association came before the committee, the following
is what he had to say regarding the part of the legislation that
deals with whistle-blowing:
For internal purposes, although there is always some
nervousness on a legislative provision that allow employees
to potentially break commercial confidentiality, it is the
view of our association that, on balance, this problem is
serious enough to outweigh those concerns. Therefore, we
believe that the whistle-blowing provisions are extremely
important. Scam artists threaten and intimidate their own
employees, not just their victims. We believe that this
protection will encourage people to come forward and help
the Competition Bureau uncover a lot of what we know is
happening but cannot get a handle on.
This is the very group that is most likely to be regulated by
this legislation, and they are certainly very supportive of it.
The committee heard from many groups who supported
Bill C-20. particularly the deceptive telemarketing provisions. We
had endorsements, for example, from consumer groups, the
Canadian Consumer Association of Canada, the Public Interest
Advocacy Centre, seniors' groups such as the National Pensioners
and Senior Citizens Federation, the Congress of Union Retirees of
Canada, and the Canadian Association of Retired Persons. We also
heard from government representatives such as the Alberta
Minister of Justice and Attorney General, and the Ontario Minister
of Consumer and Commercial Relations. We heard from
non-governmental organizations such as the Royal Canadian
Legion, as well as small and large businesses, including the
Canadian Federation of Independent Business, the Association of
Manufacturers and Exporters of Canada, the Canadian Council of
Better Business Bureaus, the Food and Consumer Products
Manufacturers of Canada, MasterCard Canada, and the Visa
All of those groups are backing Bill C-20. The fact is that most
business interests in legitimate telemarketing, including some of
those who are members of the Canadian Bar Association, most
certainly welcome the change. They support the government's
overall aim in respect of the deceptive telemarketing provisions of
Bill C-20 to attack and prevent criminal activity, while allowing
the legitimate telemarketing industry to thrive.
This industry, as we know, creates many jobs in our country. It
is important that we foster and protect it. It is extremely
important that we give better protection to those who are the
victims of unscrupulous telephone scammers.
Canadian consumers and Canadian businesses need these
measures which will promote a healthier marketplace and
provide more effective tools for competition law enforcement. If
we delay passage of this bill, we will delay making some very
important, very necessary improvements to our laws; changes
that are widely desired.
The matter of consultation was raised. This bill has certainly
been extensively discussed and debated. It was analyzed in detail
by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, by
stakeholders, and by the Standing Senate Committee on Banking,
Trade and Commerce. It has been improved with amendments. It
enjoys widespread support.
It is important that the Senate pass Bill C-20 as swiftly as
possible so that Canadians and their economy may enjoy its
The Senate proceeded to consideration of the report of the
Special Joint Committee on Child Custody and Access entitled,
"For the Sake of the Children," tabled in the Senate on
December 9, 1998.
Hon. Landon Pearson: Honourable senators, it is with some
relief, considerable satisfaction and real hope that I table the
report entitled: "For the Sake of the Children"in the chamber
today. I intend to speak to the content of the report tomorrow, and
today I have only two messages about it. The first is to assure
you that we have taken our mandate seriously, that this report is
truly child-centred. The second is to tell you that all of our
recommendations are aimed at the reduction of conflict in
situations of divorce and at improving outcomes for children. No
other interpretation is valid. Tomorrow I will elaborate on these
messages, and for the remaining few minutes today I would like
to take the opportunity to express my heartfelt appreciation to all
those who journeyed with me on this long and arduous voyage.
Honourable senators, just over a year ago, you gave us, the
Special Joint Committee on Child Custody and Access, the terms
of reference that launched us on the journey that led to the
creation of the document that you have before you today; a
journey that took committee members deep into the heart of the
human condition where relationships form and dissolve, and
children weep. Long days of listening to personal tragedies,
stories of pain and grief and loss were balanced by expert
testimony about possibilities for change. We brought our own
perspective to the task at hand, and we each had a great deal
The Senate members of the committee were extraordinary.
Senator Jessiman made a great contribution to the hearings last
spring with his astute and knowledgeable questioning. We missed
him greatly when he had to leave us. Senators DeWare and
Cohen continued throughout, and were constant in their
intelligent and compassionate participation. On our side, Senator
Cools, who, with Senators Jessiman and DeWare, was one of the
original catalysts for our study, brought her special knowledge of
the issues and her unique style to the proceedings. Senators Cook
and Maloney came on later, but both brought a wealth of
experience to the subject and were strongly supportive. I do not
know how we could have managed without them. Our Senate
clerk, Cathy Piccinin, was quite simply splendid.
Members of the House of Commons also made a great
contribution. My co-chair, Roger Gallaway, rarely missed a
meeting, and often restored our sagging spirits with his special
brand of humour.
In the early months of the study, some of the other members
had difficulty extracting themselves from conflicting committee
responsibilities; however, after we resumed our deliberations in
September, a core group devoted hours and hours to
working together to forge the recommendations that represent
our collective best efforts to come to grips with this
While there are a number of disputes, as one would expect
from such a wide-ranging group of individuals representing five
political parties and two houses of Parliament, there was always
consensus about our mandate and about the primary importance
of children. The dissenting opinions are over the ways in which
we can most effectively respond to the best interests of children,
not over whether there is a need to do so. Of that, there is
I would also like to acknowledge the work of the
parliamentary staff. Our Senate clerk and Richard Rumas, the
clerk of the other place, managed and organized the planning and
logistics of our complex and emotional study with high
competence and consistent good humour, often under trying
circumstances. To support the work of a parliamentary
committee requires a host of individuals with a wide variety of
skills, including translating at high speeds. On behalf of my
colleagues and myself, I would express our profound
appreciation to all of them.
As for our researchers, Kristen Douglas from the Library of
Parliament and her associate Ron Stewart are beyond praise.
Together they transformed mountains of testimony into readable
summaries and sought out all the evidence they could find for us.
It was an enormous task, and we cannot thank them enough.
Finally, I should like to say "thanks" to our Deputy Leader,
Senator Carstairs, for her unfailing support of my work, and for
her suggestion on the title for our report.
Honourable senators, it was you who sent the special joint
committee on its way, you who asked us to look out for the
children of divorce, and it is you to whom we now return with
our report. It is our profound hope that our recommendations,
designed to reduce conflict and promote better outcomes for the
children of divorce, will be accepted, understood and acted upon
to create positive change for children's well-being.
I would like now to ask that this item remain adjourned in my
name so that I may complete my remarks tomorrow.
Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Deputy Leader of the Government)
moved third reading of Bill C-3, respecting DNA identification
and to make consequential amendments to the Criminal Code
and other Acts.
Hon. Lorna Milne: Honourable senators, I rise today to
explain the excellent work that the members of the Standing
Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs did on
Bill C-3, respecting DNA identification and to make
consequential amendments to the Criminal Code and other acts,
and to thank the Solicitor General and the RCMP Commissioner
for responding positively to our concerns.
Honourable senators, this bill represents new and
groundbreaking legislation. During our nine meetings on this bill,
it became apparent that many issues concerned your committee.
While we recognize that this technology will enable law
enforcement agencies to solve crimes and better protect
Canadians, your committee also has many legitimate fears about
how the privacy of individual Canadians could be intruded upon
in unprecedented, and perhaps unintentional, ways.
Furthermore, the committee felt that strict monitoring must
occur of any information that is released to governments or
agencies outside Canada. In order to help us overcome our
concerns, the Solicitor General and his officials, including the
Commissioner of the RCMP, agreed in writing or in testimony to
the following undertakings:
The first is that the Solicitor General will, during the
anticipated 18-month time period between Royal Assent and the
coming into force of Bill C-3, introduce a new bill. This new bill
will allow those offenders convicted under the military justice
system to be part of the DNA data bank.
Second, the new bill will also give the Senate equal authority
with the House of Commons to conduct the five-year review
required under this present version of Bill C-3.
Third, the Commissioner of the RCMP offered in testimony,
which was later supported by the Solicitor General, to create an
independent advisory committee. Various stakeholders will be
represented on this committee, including the Office of the
Privacy Commissioner. The committee's responsibility will be to
oversee the implementation of the act and the day-to-day
administration of the data bank. We urge the Solicitor General to
go further and include the formation of this committee in his
Fourth, the Solicitor General agreed to have the regulations
prepublished and available to both the Senate and the other place
for comment and evaluation.
Fifth, the Commissioner of the RCMP will present an annual
report on the operation of the DNA data bank to the Solicitor
General which will then be tabled in Parliament by the Solicitor
Sixth, the new regulations will clarify the meaning of "DNA
profile" contained in the bill to help address the concerns of your
committee with the possibility of profiles being expanded and
used for purposes other than law enforcement.
Seventh, your committee was very concerned by the highly
sensitive nature of the information contained within the data
bank and the certainty of rapid technological changes and
advancement. In response, the Solicitor General agreed to
consider including in the new bill a provision for parliamentary
review of the act every five years.
Honourable senators, as I mentioned, your committee has
serious concerns about this bill because of the many potential
implications of this new technology. However, I must
congratulate the Solicitor General and his officials for they
acknowledged our apprehensions and responded by agreeing to
many measures which helped to assuage our fears. For this,
Minister MacAulay should be thanked. Your committee looks
forward to seeing his promises implemented.
I should add that it was only because of these solid
commitments that your committee agreed to pass the bill without
My friends, we in the Senate also deserve a thank you on the
solid work that was done here. The agreements reached between
your committee and the minister will serve to protect the privacy
rights of Canadians while giving law enforcement agencies an
additional, powerful crime-fighting tool without any undue delay.
Yet again, the Senate has acted with sober second thought in
the best interests of Canadians.
Hon. Jerahmiel S. Grafstein: Honourable senators, I wish to
take a few minutes to provide a different gloss on the formulation
of this report because I think it is significantly different from
others that we have had before us.
As the chairman of the committee has just suggested, this bill
sets out rules for taking samples to support identification issues
on charges based on designated offences set out in the bill. These
provisions are quite wide. It also creates a national data bank
which will be under the purview of the Commissioner of
After I first read this bill - and I am sure this same process
occurred to other senators on both sides - I reviewed the
evidence taken in the other place and became rather concerned
that the issues of privacy had not been taken into account. We
were given the argument that DNA, like fingerprints, is just
another method of identification. However, as we looked into the
testimony and as we dug into the issue of DNA, we found that
the scope of DNA samples was more far reaching. As Senator
Milne pointed out, in the future, it has wider scope than we even
know today, and technology is moving ever faster.
Thus, we had to strike a balance between proceeding with the
criminal justice system that would provide more efficient and
scientific data to support charges on the one hand, and the
pervasive and invasive threat to privacy that this bill, if left
unattended, could open up, on the other hand.
I, along with the committee, turned to the Supreme Court of
Canada to take a look at recent decisions. I refer in particular to
Regina v. Arp. I was surprised by the absence of concern shown
by the Supreme Court on the reach and utilization of DNA.
We then turned to several impressive opinions by Justices
Dubin, Bisson and Taylor of Ontario, Quebec and British
Columbia respectively, all of whom are eminent jurists. They
have taken positions different from those that appeared to be
articulated by the Supreme Court. We were confronted with a
very serious dilemma.
As we got into the evidence, and as our chairman pointed out
earlier, we reviewed it with the department, with officials from
the RCMP, geneticists, the Privacy Commissioner and,
ultimately, with the Commissioner of the RCMP, as well as the
minister. We were delighted that our concerns, which we tried to
articulate through the course of the hearings, were identified,
agreed to, and assented to.
I think we have ended up with a very important improvement,
although not in the bill itself. We are approving this bill
unamended. However, our support for this bill is conditional
upon the various undertakings to improve the bill in the next
18 months and beyond.
We asked that an advisory committee be set up, and our
request was agreed to by the Commissioner of the RCMP. He
agreed that this is a sea change in terms of scientific material in
aid of the criminal justice system and that it should be dealt with
in a delicate and careful fashion. We were delighted with the
acceptance of that principle.
I wish to commend senators on both sides of the chamber for
the work they did in committee. They include Senators Moore,
Joyal, Nolin, Andreychuk, Beaudoin and, of course, our
chairman, Senator Milne, who had to ride herd on a rather
idiosyncratic and opinionated group of senators to come to this
In my opinion, honourable senators, for your committee, on
which I serve for the moment at least, this might not have been
the finest hour. However, it certainly was one of our
Hon. John G. Bryden: Honourable senators, the chair asked
me not to speak because it probably would not be necessary. I
was not going to speak except that Senator Grafstein left me off
Senator Grafstein: I am sorry. I thank Senators Bryden,
Fraser, Pépin, and any others whom I may have forgotten.
Senator Bryden: Honourable senators, as the sponsor of the
bill I wish to make a couple of points.
First, I should like to make a brief comment not on the
substance of the bill but on what I believe was outstanding
cooperation and organization by the chair, the deputy chair and
the steering committee in moving this bill very carefully and
thoroughly through the committee. I will not go through all of
the concerns and all of the thank yous that really should be put
Our major concern was not letting this genie of our personal
DNA - this huge amount of information about the human
person - out into the public without sufficient restrictions from
a privacy point of view.
I did not know this before or I would have shared it with the
committee. I was somewhat reassured today to learn that our
concern relates to only 2 per cent of the DNA peculiar to human
beings. It is a tiny percentage of that 2 per cent that contains the
identifying factors. It is like a tiny bar code. The description is
not particularly flattering, but perhaps it is comforting to realize
that we share the other 98 per cent with baboons.
Hon. Serge Joyal: Honourable senators, I would like to
second my colleague's remarks about the exceptional work done
in committee. I would also like to mention a vital aspect of our
discussions, given that we will have the opportunity in the
coming 18 months to deal with another bill. I would like to
express the concern that remains in the minds of the majority of
the members of the committee on the constitutionality of the
permanent nature of the data bank.
In its June 18, 1998 decision, the Supreme Court of Canada
spoke of the constitutionality of the voluntary provision of a
DNA sample, and specifically on whether it was constitutional
for law enforcement services, once they had taken a DNA
sample, to use it for an investigation other than the one that
applied to the accused directly. The court concluded that it was
constitutional for law enforcement agencies to use the DNA
samples voluntarily provided by the accused for other purposes.
However, Bill C-3 is silent on the voluntary transfer of DNA
samples, but requires those found guilty of the series of offences
listed in the bill to provide a sample. As Senator Grafstein
pointed out, a doubt remains as to the constitutionality of
The former chief justice of the Court of Appeal released an
opinion in February of this year, in which he stated:
The evidentiary purpose is already met through existing
legislation that allows police to obtain a warrant for the
seizure of bodily substances from an individual believed to
be a party to an offence.
I would draw honourable senators' attention to the
As for the banking purpose of the proposal, society's
interest in solving crimes by extending the pool of
contributors to the DNA bank to include all persons arrested
or charged with a designated offence, does not sufficiently
outweigh "the intrusive nature of bodily sample seizures."
In other words, several of us still have legitimate concerns that
this bill - in spite of its quite praiseworthy purpose, that is,
protecting society against so-called hardened criminals - is
completely unconstitutional, since it compels them to provide a
DNA sample to police when they have been found guilty of
I point this out because our neighbours to the south now have
court rulings stating that this requirement is contrary to the
Fourth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States,
which is similar to Section 8 of the Canadian Charter of Rights
and Liberties. In this regard, I would like to quote a ruling
handed down by the Superior Court of Massachusetts on
August 12, 1998:
After extensive review of Fourth and Fourteenth
Amendment jurisprudence and art. 14 of the Massachusetts
Declaration of Rights, I find that the Act and its regulations
do not withstand constitutional muster. Compelling persons
to submit to invasive searches without particularized
suspicion violates both the state and federal constitutions.
I do not claim that American law applies in the same way as
ours; far from it, as we all know. However, having read the
opinions of Mr. Justices Dubin, Bisson and Taylor, having heard
the representatives of the Department of Justice and the Solicitor
General, we concluded that it was necessary to create a DNA
bank. There is no doubt in my mind, however, and several
witnesses have admitted as much, that we could find ourselves
discussing the constitutional nature of this bill again in the coming
months and years.
I therefore urge honourable senators to support the bill at
Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Acting Deputy Leader of the
Opposition): Honourable senators, at second reading I was
pleased to rise in this place and support the principle of the bill.
My principal reason for doing so was that I thought the minister
had been able to strike the right balance in the bill.
However, during the hearings conducted by the Standing
Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs that
delved into the specifics of the bill, I was impressed that our
colleagues were able to flesh out a number of problem areas in
the details. The recommendations attached to this report from the
committee are terribly important. I am glad we have it on the
record and that we in this chamber are underscoring those
We expect that the commitments that we received from the
minister at the hearings will be fully met as the next phase in
providing the legislative framework for dealing with modern
technology. We also hope that this will be done in a manner that
is respectful of the rights and freedoms of Canadians.
As a parliamentary footnote, I hope that our identification of
the provision that a report is to be made to only one house of
Parliament will assist the drafters in the Department of Justice to
smarten up and recognize that legislation which is important to
the good governance of our country may be held up. This
chamber will no longer tolerate the failure to recognize that we
are a bicameral system. Accountability to Parliament means
accountability to both Houses.
As I indicated at second reading, I support the bill in principle.
I am that much more in support given these recommendations
that have come from the detailed study of the bill.
The Hon. the Speaker: Is it your pleasure, honourable
senators, to adopt the motion?
Motion agreed to and bill read third time and passed.
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable
Senator Fraser, seconded by the Honourable Senator Ruck,
for the second reading of Bill C-40, respecting extradition,
to amend the Canada Evidence Act, the Criminal Code, the
Immigration Act and the Mutual Legal Assistance in
Criminal Matters Act and to amend and repeal other Acts in
Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Acting Deputy Leader of the
Opposition): Honourable senators, I will adjourn the matter, if
that is appropriate, in the name of Senator Beaudoin.
On motion of Senator Kinsella, for Senator Beaudoin, debate
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable
Senator Ferretti Barth, seconded by the Honourable Senator
Lucier, for the second reading of Bill C-41, to amend the
Royal Canadian Mint Act and the Currency Act.
Hon. Terry Stratton: Honourable senators, I rise to speak at
second reading stage of Bill C-41. The bill makes several
changes to the laws governing the mint and Canadian currency.
Most of these changes are not controversial, such as the technical
change in the definition of a "circulating coin," abolition of the
mill as a unit of measurement, and the conversion of coin
dimensions from imperial to metric. The bill, as originally
introduced, did, however, contain two quite controversial
measures. First, it would have taken away from Parliament the
right to approve the issue or withdrawal of circulating coins.
There may be arguments for and against keeping the penny, but
surely this is a decision that, in the end, ought to be ratified by
Parliament after hearing from the people of Canada.
Similarly, the final say on whether to replace the $5 bill with a
coin - should that day ever come - ought to rest with
Parliament. If the Royal Canadian Mint, which specializes in
coins, were allowed to decide whether we ought to have
$5 coins, $10 coins or $20 coins, we would all become lopsided
from the amount of coins we would have to carry. That would be
a disservice to Canadians.
We were pleased with the government's acceptance of my
party's amendment to strike those clauses from the bill.
The second contentious area concerns those provisions which
will expand the borrowing authority of the mint from $50 million
to $75 million. The problem is not the amount. The problem is
that this new borrowing authority has focused attention on what
the mint did with its existing authority. The mint is building a
new $30-million facility in Winnipeg that will put it into the coin
plating business in direct competition with Westaim, a private
sector company in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta. Work on that
plant is nearing completion. The mint had enough borrowing
authority to build this plant but, having used its borrowing
authority, does not have enough to handle future needs with
If this new venture is a flop, future borrowing needs could
very well arise from the resultant start-up, inventory and
marketing costs. Had this facility not been built, there would be
no need for additional borrowing powers for some time.
Honourable senators, this expansion does not make sense.
Although this facility is in my city of Winnipeg, it makes no
sense to create government jobs in one city at the cost of private
sector jobs in another.
The mint currently buys its plated coins from Westaim, a
privately owned corporation that employs 110 Canadians in Fort
Saskatchewan, Alberta. It is not usual for me to defend
Albertans, but in this case I think it is necessary, for the sake of
free enterprise if nothing else. The mint did not need to build this
plant. It could have continued to get its blanks from Westaim.
Not only will Westaim lose the mint as a customer; it will have to
compete with the mint for foreign contracts.
Government ought not try to run private business out of the
marketplace for something that may or may not benefit its own
bottom line. The mint's role is to produce coins, not to force
private firms to compete with the bottomless resources of
government. This is unnecessary empire building.
Any assertion on the part of the government that this will cost
taxpayers nothing is pure nonsense. Even if this venture
succeeds, the jobs created in Winnipeg will be at the expense of
jobs in Fort Saskatchewan. The dividends that the mint may be
able to pay to the government will be at the expense of the tax
revenues from Westaim.
If the mint were a private company, it may have been refused
a loan for this project because the business case was very weak.
The mint has chosen to get into this line of business at a time
when there is a 30 per cent to 40 per cent worldwide
overcapacity in blank coin production. Beyond a temporary boost
from the euro, this overcapacity is not likely to be met with
growing demand as electronic commerce erodes the need for new
Second, beyond the overcapacity issue, the mint is being sued
by Westaim for patent infringement. Honourable senators, try
getting a bank loan to enter a new line of business if a court
jeopardizes your ability to profitably produce a product for which
there is an oversupply. Then again, you and I would not be going
to the bank with the guarantee of the Government of Canada
Because of a strange quirk in our patent laws, the government
does not need anyone's permission to use any patent it wishes, as
long as it agrees to pay licence fees. In this case, the mint is
refusing to pay a licence fee, hence the lawsuit. Since it is owned
by the government, the mint feels that it can tread upon someone
else's intellectual property rights. If the government wanted to
get into this business, why did it not attempt to buy a patent
licence from Westaim?
In closing, I should like to remind honourable senators
opposite of their "getting government right" policy. Under "Role
of Government" there is a test that asks whether there is a
legitimate and necessary role for government in this program
area or activity. Government witnesses who appear before the
National Finance Committee should come prepared to explain
how the expansion of the mint into a business line already being
carried out by the private sector meets this test.
The Hon. the Speaker: Is it your pleasure, honourable
senators, to adopt the motion?
Hon. Lucie Pépin moved second reading of Bill C-57, to
amend the Nunavut Act with respect to the Nunavut Court of
Justice and to amend other Acts in consequence.
She said: Honourable senators, I am happy to launch the
debate at second reading of Bill C-57, to amend the Nunavut Act
with respect to the Nunavut Court of Justice and to amend other
Acts in consequence.
Honourable senators, the creation of the Territory of Nunavut
in less than four months will mark a very important milestone in
Canada's history. The creation of Nunavut fulfils the aspirations
of the Inuit people in the Eastern Arctic, who, for 25 years, have
yearned to shape and determine their own future.
Honourable senators, before outlining the main elements of
Bill C-57, I would like to explain the context in which the bill was
The 1993 Nunavut Act provides for the creation of two
separate trial courts in Nunavut: a territorial court and a
Honourable senators, last spring, Bill C-39, to amend the
Nunavut Act and the Constitution Act, 1867, proposed a number
of amendments specifying how the two-level trial court system in
Nunavut should work. In introducing Bill C-39, the Minister of
Indian Affairs and Northern Development announced that
another bill, dealing with the judicial system, would be
introduced later in the year.
Honourable senators, Bill C-57 is the bill in question. It is the
last major piece of legislative structuring the federal government
has undertaken with regard to Nunavut. Bill C-57 proposes the
implementation of a single-level trial court for Nunavut.
It is important for honourable senators to know that Bill C-57
is not an Ottawa-based initiative but is, in fact, a response to a
request from the leaders of the North to implement a single-level
trial court for Nunavut. Interest in the single-level trial court has
existed for some time in the Eastern and Western Arctic.
Following a conference in Iqaluit in November 1997, which was
organized by the interim commissioner for Nunavut and attended
by northern officials and members of the northern legal
community, including a large number of northern justices of the
peace and court workers, the Minister of Justice was asked by the
interim commissioner, the Government of Northwest Territories
and Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. - the corporate representative of
the Inuit of the Eastern Arctic - to introduce legislation in the
House of Commons to implement a single-level trial court for
Nunavut. Bill C-57 is the government's response to that request.
Honourable senators, I would now like to outline the main
features of Bill C-57. In Canada's other administrations, there are
two levels of trial court: the provincial or territorial court, often
referred to as the lower court, and the superior court of the
province or territory. Neither of these courts has legislative
jurisdiction to hear all the cases from a given community. In the
case of Nunavut, Bill C-57 proposes combining these two levels
of court into a single-level trial court, to be known as the
Nunavut Court of Justice.
The reason for this change is as follows: Legal services in the
Western Arctic are provided by an itinerant court; the judges,
lawyers and clerks travel from one distant community to another.
On average, each trial court visits a community only three or four
times a year. There may therefore be significant delays between
the time a charge is laid and the time a final decision is handed
down with respect to guilt or innocence or, in family law cases,
with respect to custody. These delays can have a devastating
effect on the parties and can lead to discord within a community
until the matter is resolved.
Honourable senators, Bill C-57 proposes to implement for
Nunavut a single-level trial court that will be able to deal with all
matters on the court docket, whether serious or minor, whether
civil, family or criminal in nature. By implementing this change,
the people of Nunavut hope to obtain a court system for their
territory which will be more efficient, will reduce the number of
court circuits and will also have a positive impact upon reducing
delay for parties before the court.
Honourable senators, I must emphasize the importance of
timing for the adoption of Bill C-57. The new court it proposes
can become a reality for the people of Nunavut only if the bill is
passed well before April 1, 1999. The population of Nunavut
must be given sufficient time to put into place the infrastructure a
new court system requires.
Honourable senators, it is important to point out that,
throughout development of the legislation creating this new court
for Nunavut, a high degree of consultation and cooperation was
established between the federal government, the Government of
the Northwest Territories and the representatives of Nunavut.
A task force was mandated to coordinate the drafting of the
federal and territorial legislation, and to ensure ongoing feedback
on policy choices in the bill. The task force was composed of
employees of the interim commissioner's office, particularly
from the new Nunavut Department of Justice, representatives of
Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, and employees of the
Government of the Northwest Territories, the Department of
Indian Affairs and Northern Development, and the federal
Department of Justice.
The officials of the Department of Justice also consulted the
judiciary and members of lawyers' associations in the North,
along with the legal and academic communities in the South, to
make sure that the new court was geared to the needs, traditions,
culture and circumstances of the people of Nunavut.
Honourable senators, I would like to highlight some of the
main themes of Bill C-57, because they bring out the unique
aspects of the Nunavut Court of Justice. As I mentioned earlier,
one of its most important characteristics requires, unlike in other
jurisdictions in Canada, that its judges have jurisdiction to hear
all cases. An amendment to the Nunavut Act provides that a
judge of the Nunavut Court of Justice may exercise all the
powers and functions of a representative of the judiciary under
all laws in effect in Nunavut.
Moreover, amendments to a separate part of the Criminal Code
provide that a judge of the Nunavut Court of Justice will have all
powers and functions of all the representatives of the judicial
authority provided in the Criminal Code.
Consequently, a judge of the Nunavut Court of Justice flying
to a remote community may hear all cases, regardless of their
seriousness, in a single circuit court. The complementary
territorial legislation will also permit a judge to try all kinds of
cases, in both family and civil law. This feature of the Nunavut
Court of Justice should speed up the trial process and make the
court more efficient.
In this regard, I should point out that the accent on speed and
the increased potential for resolving disputes within the
community will contribute largely to reducing the negative
consequences of a crime on the victims and the witnesses. Faster
resolution of pending charges will also help small communities
heal the wounds left by crime and prevent the accused from
suffering undue prejudice due to delays.
Another important aspect of the new court arises from the fact
that the Nunavut Court of Justice will have the jurisdiction of a
superior court. Because of the requirements of dispensing justice
in the north, the judges of the Nunavut court will necessarily
perform most of the duties normally assigned to other
representatives of the judicial system.
These judges will, moreover, be superior court judges with all
the powers of that position.
Since these judges will be living in Nunavut, with frequent
contacts with the various Nunavut communities, the new
structure will provide the court with the opportunity to have
closer ties to the community and will afford the judges a better
opportunity to become familiar with the communities, and
I expect the people of Nunavut will have a better perception
and understanding of the justice system, since they will have the
feeling that their cases are being heard by judges who are very
familiar with their culture, their values and their needs.
Honourable senators, it pleases me that the amendments to the
Criminal Code to enable the creation of a single-level trial court
do not in any way restrict the rights of those who will appear
before that court. This commitment to equity is, for instance,
reflected in the provisions relating to appeals, as well as in the
new arrangements the bill creates.
Bill C-57, honourable senators, will preserve the present scope
of the right to appeal both summary conviction charges and
indictments, in all criminal proceedings in Nunavut.
There are also provisions in the bill to create a new method for
the review of major decisions in criminal law. The principal
purpose of this is to preserve the substantive and procedural
rights of parties appearing before the courts in a structure with
provision for a single-level trial court. The government has made
a commitment to ensuring that the people of Nunavut have no
fewer rights than those in other parts of the country simply
because they have called for a single-level court system.
Finally, Bill C-57 will implement the necessary amendments
to the Judges Act so that Nunavut will have a single-level trial
court at the superior court level. The proposed amendments
provide for three superior court judges on the Nunavut Court of
Justice. As I mentioned, all three will reside in the territory.
With respect to the appointment of judges to this court, the
Minister of Justice has already promised to find competent,
experienced candidates truly committed to northern issues. We
all know that the honourable minister has promised to consult the
people of Northern Canada in order to ensure that the
appointments reflect the unique needs, culture and conditions
Honourable senators, the establishment of a single-level trial
court in Nunavut represents a starting point in developing a
justice system which meets the needs of the people it serves. The
Department of Justice is committed to working closely with the
Interim Commissioner of Nunavut, Nunavut organizations, and
the new Nunavut government, when it is established, to help
further adapt the justice system to the needs of Nunavut.
The people of the North therefore expect that, with appropriate
training, justices of the peace will gradually assume more
responsibility for less serious matters in the communities they
serve. The training of justices of the peace is, of course, a
territorial responsibility, but the Minister of Justice has promised
to do everything possible to help the new territory carry out this
It will be up to the new Government of Nunavut to appoint
justices of the peace. I am confident that the individuals
appointed will reflect the diversity of interests and experience in
Inuit society. It will be particularly important that these
appointments ensure that the people of the Eastern Arctic, who
have always been underrepresented in criminal justice
institutions, have an opportunity to participate fully in the life of
The appointment of Justices of the Peace will be within the
jurisdiction of the new Government of Nunavut. I am confident
that all efforts will be made to ensure that the Justices of the
Peace who will be appointed will reflect the diversity of interest
and experience in Inuit society. In particular, it will be important
for these appointments to give a voice to those who have
traditionally been under-represented in criminal justice
institutions in the Eastern Arctic.
Honourable senators, the creation of a single-level trial court
brings with it high hope for a court structure that is more
responsive to the needs of the people of Nunavut. The new
system proposed in Bill C-57 is unprecedented and there will be
a need, therefore, to monitor and evaluate the system in the years
ahead to ensure that it has achieved the objective of providing an
efficient, effective and accessible justice system. The Department
of Justice is working with the Interim Commissioner's office to
design a monitoring and evaluation system to identify problems
and possible changes to the court system which might be needed.
We are at the dawn of a new era in Canada's history. We are all
looking forward with enthusiasm to the creation of a new
territory and we all want to play a role in the creation of a new
tribunal that the people of Nunavut hope will be the best means
of meeting their needs.
I remind honourable senators, however, that the new
court structure for Nunavut proposed in Bill C-57 will not come
into existence unless Bill C-57 is passed well in advance of
April 4, 1999.
In closing, I urge honourable senators to support the speedy
passage of Bill C-57.
On motion of Senator Kinsella, for Senator Andreychuk,
Bill to Amend-Third Reading-Motion in
On the Order:
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable
Senator Butts, seconded by the Honourable Senator Milne,
for the third reading of Bill C-38, to amend the National
Parks Act (creation of Tuktut Nogait National Park),
And on the motion in amendment of the Honourable
Senator Adams, seconded by the Honourable Senator
Corbin, that the Bill be not now read a third time, but that it
be referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal
Peoples for further consideration.
Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Deputy Leader of the
Government): Honourable senators, I am pleased today to rise
to join in the debate on the motion by Senator Adams to refer
Bill C-38 to the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal
Peoples for further study.
It is clear that every senator, including Senator Adams, is in
favour of establishing a park in the North called "Tuktut Nogait
National Park." Senator Adams is clearly in favour of developing
a park in the region of the Inuvialuit people.
The establishment of this national park has involved a long
and very extensive and public process. The original idea for the
park actually came about in 1989, when the community of
Paulatuk came to the federal government and requested the
establishment of a national park as the best means of protecting
the caribou calving grounds.
I give a great deal of credit to the Standing Senate Committee
on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources under the
leadership of Senator Ghitter, which spent 14.1 hours and heard
from 18 witnesses in the study of this bill. The committee heard
from a large variety of groups and individuals who requested an
appearance.They heard from the stakeholders, including the
Secretary of State for Parks, the Honourable Andy Mitchell, as
well as aboriginal organizations, environmental groups,
geologists and the mining company involved. Following this
extensive study by the committee, the bill was reported back to
this chamber without amendment.
Honourable senators, it is clear that there remain some issues
of grave concern regarding the creation of this national park. We
are sensitive to the issues raised by Senator Adams respecting the
creation of this park and the impact that might have on members
of his community and the community of the Inuvialuit people.
This afternoon, honourable senators, the Honourable Alasdair
Graham, Leader of the Government in the Senate, received the
following letter from the minister responsible for the parks, the
Honourable Andy Mitchell. I will table it as soon as I receive a
French translation, which I understand is on its way. It will then
be tabled for all members of the chamber to read.
Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Acting Deputy Leader of the
Opposition): What is the date of the letter?
Senator Carstairs: The date is December 9, 1998. It reads:
Dear Senator Graham:
The review of the Tuktut Nogait legislation (Bill C-38) has
underlined the need to ensure in our Arctic national parks
that mechanisms and processes are in place to foster and
build on the relationships and benefits of these special
We are appreciative of the work undertaken by the Senate
Standing Committee on Energy, Environment and Natural
Resources. Parks Canada is proposing the following actions
to respond to some of the broader issues that came forward
during the committee's review.
Firstly, it is our intention to put in place in Parks Canada an
Aboriginal Secretariat that will provide a focus and a single
point to work with aboriginal people across Canada. The
secretariat will be headed by a senior official in Parks
Canada and will report directly to the Assistant
Secondly, working with the existing management board for
the Tuktut Nogait National Park, we intend to create a
process to address the issues of how the park can best
contribute to the economic development of the community.
As part of this process, we intend to accelerate our rate of
investment in the park, by making available $2 million in
the next fiscal year.
Thirdly, we would propose that the Standing Senate
Committee on Aboriginal Peoples conduct a study
addressing ways to improve co-management practices in
existing Arctic parks and to examine ways to expand the
economic opportunities associated with these parks within
the parameters of existing agreements, and adhering to the
principles of the National Parks Act.
The Senate has played an important role in the
establishment of Tuktut Nogait National Park, and I wish to
thank you and your colleagues for your efforts.
The Honourable Andy Mitchell,
Secretary of State (Parks).
Honourable senators, I would be the first to indicate that this
will not meet all the concerns raised by senators on both sides of
this chamber. Through the efforts of the last couple of days,
though, many of the aspirations of the people of the North have
been addressed in this particular letter. It is my recommendation
that we do not refer Bill C-38 to the Standing Senate Committee
on Aboriginal Peoples for further study but that we proceed with
the vote, first, of course, on Senator Adams' motion, unless it is
withdrawn, and then on the bill itself.
Senator Kinsella: Honourable senators, may I ask a question
to the honourable deputy leader?
First, would you just repeat the part of that letter that speaks to
the mechanism of a committee and the line of reporting? If I
heard correctly, the committee was to report to an assistant
deputy minister. In the machinery of government, an ADM is a
fairly low-level manager. He is not at the level of an associate
deputy minister, nor is he at the level of a deputy minister. Would
the deputy leader clarify the level of the official mentioned in
Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, clearly it would be
much easier if this letter was in front of you, and I regret that. I
have been waiting for the last hour and a half for the
Senator Kinsella: That is from a minister of the Crown.
Senator Carstairs: It seems you have confused two
paragraphs. For purposes of clarification, let me repeat them:
Firstly, it is our intention to put in place in Parks Canada an
aboriginal secretariat that will provide a focus and a single
point to work with Aboriginal people across Canada. This
secretariat will be headed by a senior official in Parks
Canada and will report directly to the Assistant Deputy
With respect to the work of the Senate committee:
Thirdly, we would propose that the Standing Senate
Committee on Aboriginal Peoples conduct a study
addressing ways to improve co-management practices in
existing parks and to examine ways to expand the economic
opportunities associated with these parks within the
parameters of existing agreements and adhering to the
principles of the National Parks Act.
It would be my understanding that that report would go
directly to the minister.
Senator Kinsella: This letter is signed by whom?
Senator Carstairs: It is signed by the Honourable Andy
Mitchell, Secretary of State (Parks).
Senator Kinsella: Honourable senators, we do not have a
letter from the Minister of Canadian Heritage, who is the
minister responsible, and who speaks on behalf of the
To what extent can the letter be seen to be speaking for the
Government of Canada in stating that there would be some
continuance of this policy beyond the tenure of a junior minister?
Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, the answer to that
question is somewhat muddy. Obviously, ministers can be
changed at any time. We are all aware of that. However, the
responsibility for the parks falls directly under the Secretary of
State for Parks, but he, in turn, responds to the Minister of
Heritage. It is my understanding that the Minister of Heritage is
aware of this letter and supportive of it.
Hon. Ron Ghitter: Honourable senators, it is my recollection
of the testimony that the government was committed to
$10 million by way of payment for this park.
Senator Carstairs: Yes.
Senator Ghitter: Do I take it then that the $2 million is
coming out of the $10 million? Would that be a
Senator Carstairs: That is a correct assumption. The funds
were not supposed to be advanced for some time but the
advancement has been pushed up. That advancement will take
place in the fiscal year beginning on April 1.
Senator Ghitter: Honourable senators, aside from shifting the
money around a little quicker, the deputy leader has not really
dealt with the main issue. Perhaps I misunderstand the letter. The
main issue for the neighbouring local groups is the opportunity
which the mine might provide. You have not addressed that at all.
You have basically said to the people in the north country, "Here
is $2 million. Please go away and forget about your mine, which
may be another Voisey's Bay, and forget about the economic
benefits of that mine. Here is $2 million. We will buy you off.
Forget about the mine and the 75 jobs that could come from that
mine. Forget the fact that you may have a mining discovery,
sitting within that little 2.5 per cent, which may amount to
another Voisey's Bay, which may be bigger than Sudbury."
Is that what the government is saying in this letter? Do you
expect the people of the North to buy into that? Is that what we
are being led to believe?
Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, I do not think the
letter purports to do anything except what the letter says. Let me
be very clear here. No one has indicated that the people of the
North should go away. That is their land. They live on it and it is
hoped they will get working opportunities.
That has been clear through the testimony which I have read,
and I have not read it all. I was not at every single meeting of the
committee but I became latterly very interested in this piece
We have here a situation of probability. This could be a very
successful mine. We tend to go to extremes sometimes and say
that perhaps it could be another Voisey's Bay. There is no
indication at this point in time that it will be a Voisey's Bay. The
indication is that 80 per cent of the available mining area is
already outside of the park. We are talking at the very most of a
20 per cent region within the park.
I understand there is also a possibility that a tunnel could go
beneath the park, if necessary, to extract the minerals.
This letter does say, I think very clearly, that the jobs which
would be associated with the development of the park will begin
to take place much more rapidly than they would have in the
earlier transition of the $10 million for the development of the
park. That money will start flowing at the beginning of the next
fiscal year. That, in and of itself, should provide jobs for
Hon. Consiglio Di Nino: Honourable senators, I have a
follow-up question. Was the minister made aware that the native
communities involved in this project requested that of the
28,000 square kilometres - that is bigger than many
countries - 2.5 per cent of it be put aside for the purposes of
potential commercial benefit? I agree that we do not yet know
the outcome but this measure may be of great economic benefit
to those communities, helping them regain some of their dignity
and self-respect. Was the minister made aware of that?
Senator Carstairs: I can assure Honourable Senator Di Nino
that the minister is very much aware of it.
The development of this park has taken seven years in the
negotiating phase. The park boundaries, as they exist, were the
result of a compromise, as are all boundaries with all parks that
are established. I know, for example, that Parks Canada was very
desirous of having some land along the shoreline. Nevertheless,
the Inuvialuit people, quite frankly, were not willing to give
Parks Canada land along the shoreline.
The knowledge of what was available, including the potential
of this mining area, led to the comprise. Perhaps it was not
known to the extent of knowledge available in 1997, because of
technology improvements, but certainly they had knowledge that
there was potential mineral wealth in the region. That is why
Darnley Bay, which was developing this mine, actually signed
off its rights in this park area; they signed them off as part of the
negotiations and settlement.
Senator Di Nino: So that I understand this fully: The minister,
then, being aware of the request, has said "no"; is that correct?
Senator Carstairs: The boundaries were agreed to not just by
Parks Canada but by all of the participants.
Senator Di Nino: That still did not answer my question. If the
minister was made aware of the request, did the minister say
"no" to the request?
Senator Carstairs: The answer to that is, "Yes, he did say
`no' to that request in order to preserve the integrity of the parks
boundaries which had been negotiated, and that negotiated
settlement was signed by all parties."
Honourable senators, I have now received the French copy of
the letter I quoted from earlier. Could I have leave of the Senate
to table the document?
The Hon. the Speaker: Is leave granted to table the letter,
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
Hon. Willie Adams: Honourable senators, the minister's letter
does not say anything about my motion on Bill C-38. I am in
your hands, honourable senators. I will not withdraw my motion,
even if an extra $2 million is offered. I heard from the deputy
leader that that is part of the $10 million.
I am still concerned about the Inuvialuit. That little piece of
property that Senator Di Nino asked about covers 28,000 square
kilometres. That is a big property. There is a future for the people
there in mining.
I am in your hands, honourable senators. I am not withdrawing
Hon. John Buchanan: Honourable senators, I have nothing
against the creation of national parks. National parks are historic
in this country; they have served this country well. New national
parks are very important, not only for the environment but also
for the people in those areas. I speak, of course, about the
Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Kejimkujik National Park,
and areas like Louisburg and Gros Morne in Newfoundland.
However, we have a much different situation here. I, for one,
would be very upset if there were a move afoot to change the
boundaries of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. I
would also be very upset if there were a move to change the
boundaries of Kejimkujik. I am not upset by a movement by the
people in this area to exclude 2.5 per cent of a 28,000 square
Why would I be upset if the boundaries of Kejimkujik
National Park were to be changed? The answer is that
Kejimkujik is located in an area where all the trees could be cut
down, and homes, and perhaps even office towers, could be built.
Many activities of that sort could take place in Kekimkujik
National Park or in Cape Breton National Park.
Will there be homes built where this park is located in the
Northwest Territories? The answer is "no." Will someone build
skyscrapers? The answer is "no." Will someone build apartment
buildings? The answer is "no." Will someone build factories on
the tundra and the ice? The answer is "no." Therefore, I have no
difficulty whatsoever in agreeing that 2.5 per cent of a
28,000 square kilometre park be excluded.
Let us look at the facts here. By far, the majority of the
witnesses who appeared before the committee, and I heard every
one of them, want the 2.5 per cent excluded. The Deputy Leader
of the Government has just said that it is "their" land. I agree that
it is their land. I do not agree with the deputy leader when she
says that the boundaries have been determined, so we must
proceed on that basis.
The government says that the agreement was signed in 1996.
Yes, that is true, but 99 per cent of the people now say that they
want 2.5 per cent excluded because as many as 70 to 100 jobs
may be created, in an area which has high unemployment. We
have high unemployment in areas like Cape Breton, but nothing
like the high unemployment in the area where this park is to be
located. They have much higher unemployment there.
Who is opposed to the 2.5 per cent exclusion? Parks Canada,
which is located here in Ottawa, is opposed. Who is in favour of
the 2.5 per cent being excluded? The Government of the
Northwest Territories, as is the local government.
The Government of the Northwest Territories definitely signed
the agreement. Contrary to what the Deputy Leader of the
Government said, in 1996 they were aware of the potential of
minerals in the area. However, a year later, using up-to-date
technology, aerials surveys determined that indeed there was not
a potential but a probability that the area in question contains a
lot of nickel and other resources, and thus the potential for the
creation of up to 100 new jobs, in an area where they are
The minister points out, of course, that they still have what
remains outside the park boundaries. Although that is true, the
greatest potential exists within that 2.5 per cent which is at the
western boundary of the park.
Who is opposed to this? Parks Canada. Who is in favour of it?
The Government of the Northwest Territories and those
responsible for wildlife management. The biologists who
appeared said that calving of Bluenose caribou may or may not
take place in that area. In answer to a question which I posed,
they replied that, if there is development in that 2.5 per cent, the
law as it stands now will protect those calving grounds from
I, for one, certainly would not want to do anything that would
harm the Bluenose caribou. After all, they probably come from
Bluenose, Nova Scotia.
Honourable senators, I ask you to remember this. The wildlife
management people and the biologists say that the caribou will
be protected anyway, whether they are in the park or outside the
park. The Inuvialuit, who were involved in the original
agreement in this matter, and who signed on to it, now tell us that
they want the park to remain, but they want the 2.5 per cent
excluded because it will create badly needed jobs. They say that
when they signed the agreement in 1996, the aerial survey had
not yet been conducted. That was only done in 1997. They are
now asking Parks Canada to review this matter as provided in the
1996 agreement. The response from Parks Canada and Ottawa is
that it is a done deal.
The people of the area have said that they want the
2.5 per cent excluded. Jose Kusugak who represents Nunavut
Tunngavik Inc. appeared before the committee. He also
represents the people of the area. He pleaded with the committee.
He told us that they need the jobs, and he asked us to exclude the
2.5 per cent of the 28,000 square kilometres. He represents a
large group of people.
Nellie Cournoyea, whom I have known for many years from
the premiers' conferences, also pleaded: "Please do the right
thing by the people."
I always remember this adage, honourable senators: The
people may be wrong some of the time, but the people are right
most of the time, not the bureaucrats in Ottawa. I used to say that
some ministers of fisheries were excellent ministers of fisheries.
When I sat in my provincial legislature, whether it was the Tories
or the Liberals who were in government, I would say that most of
the bureaucrats in Ottawa in the Department of Fisheries and
Oceans were armchair fishermen telling the people of
Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, New Brunswick and P.E.I. what
must happen. Many of them had never seen the Atlantic Ocean.
We have a situation here in which the people have spoken. Yet,
the bureaucrats in Ottawa, Ontario, say, "It does not matter to us.
We have set this agreement up. We have delineated the boundary
lines. We will not change them." Everyone knows that when the
bureaucrats in Ottawa determine what will happen in the
Northwest Territories in opposition to the people of the area,
democracy is going down the drain. We do not want that
Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!
Senator Buchanan: The Deputy Leader of the Government in
the Senate read a letter in which there was not one mention of the
major objection to this bill. All Minister Mitchell said was,
"Let's vote on it and pass it. Forget the people of the area." That
is what is happening here.
I am told that there is 80 per cent unemployment in the area
under discussion. Yet, here in Ottawa, Ontario, thousands of
miles from the area, people are saying, "We will deny you the
probability of creating up to 100 new jobs because we have made
up our minds. We have set the boundary lines, and we will not
change them. "
Will we in the Senate allow that to happen? No, we will not.
Some Hon. Senators: No!
Senator Buchanan: I wish my dear friend Sister Butts from
Cape Breton were here. She knows all about unemployment.
Senator Carstairs: She is a strong supporter of this bill.
Senator Buchanan: Why has she decided to support this bill
which will continue the high unemployment in the area? Why
would people like Sister Peggy say, "Oh, the agreement was
signed." I have heard her say that when you sign an agreement,
you must adhere to it.
In that regard, I would refer to section 22.1 of the Tuktut
Nogait Agreement which provides for a review. That
Any Party may request a review by the Parties of part or
all of this Agreement. If all the Parties agree, they shall
initiate the review within ninety (90) days of the request.
What is happening here? All the parties have not agreed. That
is what has happened here. Parks Canada has not agreed because
they made the decision, and they will not back off from their
decision. However, 99 per cent of the people in that area want the
exclusion. They deserve the jobs. They deserve to be heard. I say
again, the people represent the power in this country.
Our job as politicians is not to look after the wants of people
but to look after, to the best of our ability, the needs of the
people, and in this instance it will not cost the government one
red cent to agree to the 2.5 per cent. A surveyor may have to be
paid to change the boundaries, but that is all. Ten million dollars
has been spent and two jobs will be created. If the 2.5 per cent is
excluded, will the two jobs still exist? Yes, they will. No jobs
will be lost for the 2.5 per cent.
We support the creation of the park, and certainly support the
request of Senator Adams that the matter be referred to the
Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples. What a
simple concession for the Senate to make to Senator Adams and
Senator Watt. The people must be heard.
The Hon. the Speaker: I regret to have to interrupt the
Honourable Senator Buchanan, but his 15-minute time period
Senator Buchanan: Honourable senators, may I have leave
The Hon. the Speaker: Is leave granted?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
Senator Buchanan: Thank you, honourable senators.
The Senate will stand 10 feet tall in the eyes of the public if we
do the right thing by the people. I have gained much respect for
the Senate in recent years. We are here to represent the regions of
Canada, particularly the poorer regions and the minorities, and that
is what we are talking about here. We are here to protect them
from the bureaucracy; in this instance Parks Canada. It is our job
to represent the minorities of this region and to help create jobs for
this region. We are the chamber of sober second thought. We are
giving this matter second thought and we are protecting the people
of the area.
Honourable senators, we support the needs of the people of the
area. What do we have to lose by doing this? There will be a
delay of a few months, but that is about all. It is the right thing to
do. We cannot go wrong if we support the people in a region that
needs the support of the Senate. Please vote in favour of the
amendment of Senator Adams, as I certainly shall.
Hon. Eymard G. Corbin: I should like to make a comment
and then ask a question of Senator Buchanan. Throughout his
speech he said that the Tuktut Nogait Park would be comprised
of 28,000 square kilometres. I think that is a mistake. The park
discussed in this bill is comprised of 16,340 square kilometres.
As to the percentage that the Inuvialuit want withdrawn, he is
right. They are talking about approximately 2.5 per cent, but
2.5 per cent of 16,000 square kilometres.
Since the addition of the Nunavut and Sahtu lands to the core
of Tuktut Nogait is still under negotiation, is it the senator's
considered opinion that if we do not accept Senator Adams'
request to send this bill to the Aboriginal Peoples Committee for
further examination, and if Parks Canada will not sit down with
the other five cosignatories of the agreement, current
negotiations with regard to the addition of those lands will be
Senator Buchanan: Honourable senators, the figure I used
was the one I received from Senator Adams. In his speech
Tuktut Nogait Park covers an area of 16,340 square
kilometres. Another 11,660 square kilometres were given to
the park by the Sahtu and Nunavut. The park would then
cover an area of 28,000 square kilometres.
That is the figure I was using.
The boundary adjustment as proposed by Bill C-38 is only
2.5 per cent of the park.
Senator Corbin: There is a misunderstanding. That is not the
way I read the maps.
Senator Buchanan: Perhaps Senator Adams could answer the
question. I used the figures I found in his comments.
The Hon. the Speaker: I am sorry. There can be no questions
of other honourable senators, unless leave is granted.
Senator Kinsella: Leave is granted.
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
Senator Buchanan: I may be wrong. I read that the area of
the park would be 28,000 square kilometres.
Senator Kinsella: The committee can find the facts.
Senator Corbin: That is the ultimate proposal for the park.
However, Bill C-38 talks about in excess of 16,000 square
kilometres, and that is what we are considering today. By the
way, I read every word of the testimony heard by the committee.
I am well informed.
Senator Buchanan: I am only saying that I used the figures
given by Senator Adams the other day. The honourable senator
may be right. However, 2.5 per cent amounts to a very small
parcel of land in a 16,000 square kilometre park.
Senator Corbin: The 28,000 square kilometres to which the
honourable senator is referring would be the final dimensions of
the enlarged park. Tuktut Nogait is the core area we are dealing
with here now. The addition of Nunavut lands and Sahtu lands
would enlarge the park to a total of 28,000 square kilometres.
Those negotiations are still ongoing. As far as I know today,
there is no agreement on the addition of those lands.
Is it the honourable senator`s considered opinion that if we are
not sympathetic to the request before us to have 2.5 per cent of
the current proposed park removed, negotiations for the addition
of more lands will be much more difficult?
Senator Buchanan: Honourable senators, that is absolutely
my opinion. If the figure of 28,000 square kilometres is wrong, I
accept that. I see now that Senator Adams' figure of
28,000 included the 16,340. The line that got me was that the
boundary adjustment as proposed by Bill C-38 is only
2.5 per cent of the park. What the honourable senator just said is
Hon. Herbert O. Sparrow: Honourable senators, was it
intended to distribute to members of the house the letter from
The Hon. the Speaker: The letter has been tabled. If there is
a request for distribution, we will have copies made.
Senator Sparrow: How would I request that the letter
The Hon. the Speaker: I shall ask the Table to make copies.
If no other honourable senator wishes to speak, is it your
pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion
Some Hon. Senators: Yes.
Some Hon. Senators: No.
The Hon. the Speaker: Will those honourable senators in
favour of the motion in amendment will please say "yea"?
Some Hon. Senators: Yea.
The Hon. the Speaker: Will those honourable senators
opposed to the motion in amendment please say "nay"?
Some Hon. Senators: Nay.
The Hon. the Speaker: In my opinion, the "nays" have it.
And two honourable senators having risen.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, the whip on the
government side has stated that he wishes the vote deferred until
tomorrow. Hence, the vote will be deferred to tomorrow at
5:30 p.m. in accordance with the Rules of the Senate.
A Bill to Change the Name of the Electoral
District of Stormont-Dundas
Hon. Bill Rompkey moved second reading of Bill C-445, to
change the name of the electoral district of Stormont-Dundas.
He said: Honourable senators, this bill is fairly
straightforward. It simply requests a change in the
name of the electoral district of Stormont-Dundas to
Stormont-Dundas-Charlottenburgh. Demographics change
over time. We have all gone through changes in the names of
ridings over the years. I gather that others are suggested as well.
It is an honour and a privilege for me to act in this chamber on
behalf of the member of Parliament for Stormont-Dundas who
is putting this change forward. I ask honourable senators to
support this bill.
The Hon. the Speaker: If no other honourable senator wishes
to speak, is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt
Hon. Gerald J. Comeau moved second reading of Bill C-464,
to change the name of the electoral district of Sackville-Eastern
He said: Honourable senators, I could repeat word for word
exactly what Senator Rompkey said a few moments ago. This
bill changes the name of the riding proposed by the member of
Parliament for that area to recognize the historical part of the
riding that is not a part of the name at this point. It would include
the historical Musquodoboit Valley of Nova Scotia. Therefore, I
believe we should support this bill.
The Hon. the Speaker: If no other senator wishes to speak, is
it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?
Hon. Shirley Maheu moved second reading of Bill C-465, to
change the name of the electoral district of
She said: Honourable senators, for the same reasons as my
colleagues and following a review of the boundaries of the
electoral district as requested by the sitting member, I ask my
colleagues to support the passage of this bill.
Hon. Marcel Prud'homme: Honourable senators, very
briefly, my remarks do not apply specifically to Bill C-465. In
the future, a little more caution will be required. We accept these
proposals with pleasure. It is difficult to refuse them. I sat
30 years in the House of Commons on bills under the Elections
Act. It complicates the life of the Chief Electoral Officer every
time a name is changed. It is a little like changing the name of a
street. People are always ready to change the name of, say,
Dorchester Boulevard to René-Lévesque Boulevard, without
really knowing how much this change would cost. I am not
criticizing these two bills.
Honourable senators, I am not opposed to these three bills to
which we will give second and third reading, but there is an
abuse when we arrive at three, four or five names. I had the
occasion in the House of Commons to sit on the committee on
the Constitution, the committee on the referendum and the
committee on electoral boundaries and names. Eventually, there
will have to be a debate. I am talking about a principle for the
future. We will soon have requests from people who will want to
add two names to the list they already have. I said I would not
put it to the Senate to find another sponsor because we will end
up having electoral districts with five names. I know that it is
good politically because we can please the electorate of one
section and the electorate of another section. However, stand by
for the next debate.
Since these bills are being sent to committee, I will put my
views on the record at that time.
Senator Maheu: I have an answer for my colleague.
Senator Prud'homme: No, that will not be necessary.
Senator Maheu: It is because Mirabel simply was not
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, it is moved by
the Honourable Senator Maheu, seconded by the Honourable
Senator Losier-Cool, that this bill be read the second time. Is it
your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?
The Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of
Mackenzie-Bill to Amend-Third Reading
Hon. Nicholas W. Taylor moved third reading of Bill S-20, to
amend the Act of incorporation of the Roman Catholic Episcopal
Corporation of Mackenzie
He said: Honourable senators, I defer to the Honourable
Senator Atkins, who wishes to speak at this time.
Hon. Norman K. Atkins: Honourable senators, I rise today to
take part in this third reading debate on Bill S-20 for two reasons.
First, I wish to add my support to this bill. This is a bill to amend
a corporate sole statute passed by Parliament in 1913, which
established the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation
By this bill, greater flexibility is given to the diocese when
dealing with real estate and investments than was given in the
original act. It is my belief that this is deemed desirable
and necessary by the diocese. We should amend the
That brings me to my second reason for rising to speak today.
The concept of the corporation sole as it is presently established
is an anachronism and should be changed.
Senator Kinsella: Order, order!
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, cell phones are
not permitted in the Senate chamber. I ask the honourable senator
who has a cell phone in this chamber to remove it immediately.
Senator Atkins: It is in someone's desk, Your Honour.
The Hon. the Speaker: Confiscate it, then.
(Cell phone was then removed from the Senate chamber.)
The Hon. the Speaker: You may now continue,
Senator Atkins: Thank you, Your Honour.
I believe that either through an addition to the Canada
Corporations Act or through a separate and distinct statute
dealing with corporations sole, a way should be found by which
they can be incorporated or change their acts of incorporation
through an administrative procedure. The need or the reasons for
Parliament being involved in this have long since passed. I liken
this evolution to the way we used to deal with divorce in the
Senate. Eventually, parliamentary involvement is no
Historically, the corporation sole was a device designed to
solve the legal problems associated with the holy and
ecclesiastical office and that office actually owning land and
fixed assets. As a result of corporation sole, the church official,
rector, bishop, et cetera, was considered to be a corporate entity
and all property associated with the church was deemed to be
owned by the corporation, not by the individual church leader
personally. This facilitated the transfer of property as it was the
corporation that owned it, not the individual clergy person.
For example, on the death of the clergy person, the property
would not go to his successors but would remain in the name of
the diocese. Unfortunately, at the present time, the Canada
Corporations Act does not allow for the incorporation of this type
of vehicle through administrative action. Therefore, Parliament
must deal with each specific amendment to existing corporate
sole statutes and is the only vehicle for the incorporation of new
corporations sole. I believe it is time we changed this method
Honourable senators, a number of states in the United States
have enacted statutes which allowed corporations sole to deal
with administration in an administrative fashion. The state of
California has a corporation sole statute. It grandfathers all
existing corporations sole. It also provides an administrative
mechanism whereby new ones can be created and existing ones
can be changed. It provides for their continued existence, powers,
dissolution if necessary, and disposition of assets
It is time that we streamlined this procedure and adopted a
similar statute in Canada. I propose to table a Private Member's
Bill when we return after the Christmas break in order to
establish a method by which these corporations can change or
come into existence without constantly involving bills being
introduced in the Senate.
In the meantime, let me conclude by saying that I support
Senator Taylor's Bill S-20.
Senator Taylor: Honourable senators, in closing the debate, I
wish to thank the house and Senator Murray's committee for the
diligence in which they carried out their duties. Although it is a
housekeeping chore that I took over from a deceased senator, it is
finally out of the way. This has been tried a number of times.
I also wish to thank senators for giving us some reasons why
we should be overhauling the process. However, that will have to
begin in the House of Commons. There is nothing else that I
wish to add at this point in time.
Thank you for your consideration. We are now ready for
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I rise not to
correct the Honourable Senator Taylor but to ensure that people
understand the procedure because there is a misconception here.
Closing a debate applies only to the second reading of a bill or
the closing of debate on a substantive motion or inquiry.
On third reading, there is no formal closing of debate. I merely
say it at times because people expect it, but it does not exist.
Motion agreed to and bill read third time and passed.
The Senate proceeded to consideration of the third report of
the Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries, entitled:
"Privatization and Quota Licensing in Canada's Fisheries,"
tabled in the Senate on December 8, 1998.
Hon. Gerald J. Comeau: Honourable senators, I should like
to open by reading the first quote in our report by the Minister of
Fisheries and Oceans, the Honourable David Anderson, where
In the examination that your Committee is making, the
Senate is very much fulfilling its traditional and extremely
Over the past several months -
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, could we have
some order, please, so we may hear the honourable senator give
Senator Comeau: Thank you, Your Honour.
Over the past several months, the Fisheries Committee studied
privatization and quota licensing in Canada's commercial
fisheries. We sampled a wide spectrum of opinion from
Canadians on both coasts of Canada. We also heard experts
through video conferencing from Iceland and New Zealand -
countries said to be world leaders in privatizing their fisheries.
The debate in Canada centres largely on giving fisheries
operations some form of private ownership of fish stocks in the
form of private quota fishing licences.
These private quotas provide individual fishers or fishing
companies with a right to harvest a certain quantity of fish
annually. It is somewhat like a swimming inventory which they
can dip into with their nets on an occasional basis.
Private quotas are a significant departure from the traditional
competitive fisheries management approach, and the question of
extending them stirs up strong emotions on both sides of the
issues. Fishers and fishing communities are divided on this issue.
The privatization model is one that is enthusiastically
embraced by classical economists, by neo-conservative theorists
and think-tanks, and by certain newspaper columnists and
editorial writers in the central region of Canada.
The private-quotas approach is heavily promoted by the
corporate sector of the fishing industry and has long-committed
supporters within the federal fisheries bureaucracy. The
privatization of fishing rights in Canada began in earnest in the
early 1980s. I should add that the process has been gradual, has
taken place over several fisheries ministers, and has involved
successive governments. For this reason, it is not necessarily a
Minister Anderson does not have an easy portfolio. These are
difficult times in the fishery. Canada's commercial fisheries are
undergoing extremely severe changes. On the East Coast, the
recovery of groundfish is proving to be uncertain. On the West
Coast, certain stocks of salmon are said to be seriously depleted.
The mandate, programs and services of the Department of
Fisheries and Oceans directly affect the lives and livelihoods of
tens of thousands of people in freshwater and ocean fisheries.
They also indirectly affect the lives of other people in many
communities who depend on the fisheries. We should not always
say that it involves only the fishers because it also involves those
who provide services to the fishing industry, and we often seem
to forget them.
The federal government is now promoting what they call
"comanagement" in the fishery. New powers are being envisaged
in the proposed new Fisheries Act which will allow the Minister
of Fisheries and Oceans to enter into what are called "long-term
partnership agreements" on which we have very little
information and for which we have very little definition.
Our committee does not wish to attach blame. In our report, we
do not attribute ill intentions at all. A major concern is that the
department is implementing public policy without a public
mandate to do so. It is being done behind closed doors. That is
misguided in this day and age when we want transparency and
The public has a right to be consulted, and the department
has a responsibility to be open with what it calls its "game plan"
- language that comes directly from working papers of
Instead of being up front, the department is resorting to
simplistic jingles and buzzwords like "too many fishermen
chasing too few fish," "a race for the fish," and "free-for-all" and
to using very fuzzy words like "efficiency."
Our committee approached this issue with an open mind. We
had no axe to grind. It was not our intention to propose solutions
or even to choose sides in the debate. Our intent was to ask
questions. The positions on the issue seemed very polarized and
there seemed to be no objective approach to the debate.
We felt that our study would add a positive note to the debate.
We wanted to provide a forum to discuss the issues, and we hope
we have accomplished this. Once honourable senators read the
report, I am quite sure you will agree that we have done this. The
report speaks for itself.
The bottom line is that private quotas should be regarded as
only one management tool to be used in conjunction with others,
and not applied indiscriminately.
In October, 1995, Canada signed the United Nations Code of
Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, section 6.18 of which states:
Recognizing the important contributions of artisanal and
small-scale fisheries to employment, income and food
security, States should appropriately protect the rights of
fishers and fishworkers, particularly those engaged in
subsistence, small-scale and artisanal fisheries, to a secure
and just livelihood, as well as preferential access, where
appropriate, to traditional fishing grounds and resources in
the waters under the national jurisdiction.
As a signatory to this convention and other UN agreements,
the federal government has a duty to safeguard the interests of its
small-boat fishing fleets.
I would like to say a special thank you to witnesses for their
valuable contribution. We had witnesses from Canada's East
Coast and West Coast, as well as witnesses from New Zealand
and Iceland who donated their time to help us.
We were very impressed with the calibre of their presentations
and their great credibility. Their generosity of time, their candid
testimony and their great knowledge and experience should give
this report a long-lasting and useful shelf life.
In closing, I would offer a special thanks to the committee
members who devoted so much time and energy to this study. It
was long and sometimes complex with technical testimony that
sometimes boggled our minds. It was a privilege for me to serve
with such devoted parliamentarians. All Canadians should be
proud of their parliamentarians and what they accomplished by
writing this report. Thank you to you all.
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!
Hon. John B. Stewart: Honourable senators, I have three or
four points - perhaps more - to make, but I shall try to make
them briefly. I agree entirely with Senator Comeau that the
governance of fisheries is an extraordinarily difficult task. That is
true domestically and, as we see, it is increasingly difficult
internationally. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has
Senator Comeau explained to the house what individual quotas
are. On the one hand, they are a technique designed to prevent a
race to catch the fish that are out there in the sea, a race which
can often be destructive and costly.
On the other hand, quotas for a specific species can lead to
highgrading. To allocate or privatize a certain quantity of fish is
not like enclosing land. It is not comparable to the enclosure
movement of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries in the United
Kingdom because, first, fish move, and, second, they do not
occupy distinct locales. Therefore, if one is going out to catch
one's quota of a particular species, one may very well catch fish
of other species, and since one does not have a quota, one dumps
the dead fish back into the ocean. That is bad.
Quotas, in a curious way, lead to excessive effort. If one
assumes some form of quota system is going to be introduced,
the people who want to ensure that they get a big quota go out
and catch fish, even when the species is scarce, contrary to the
stated aims of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Then,
when the quota system is brought in, they are rewarded for
ignoring the minister's own conservation policy.
So much for individual quotas. Let me say a word or two
about individual transferable quotas.
Individual transferable quotas are feared. Why are they feared?
One fear is that the quotas will come under the control of foreign
corporations. This is why, in the fishing communities, we have so
much unease when we hear about the proposed Multilateral
Agreement on Investment. To take a specific example, suppose
some adventurous American corporation wanted to buy out
National Sea Products. If the law allowed it, then that
corporation, and all those who depended on it, would come under
The second fear among fishers is that gradually they will be
proletarianized. That is to say, they will become deckhands on
ships owned by major companies.
However, it is worse than that. When I put that point to some
fishermen to see if I was right, they said that it could get worse
than that: "Those companies might find some way of employing
people who are not Canadians as their deckhands, and we would
not even be proletarians." That may be a fear which is unfounded
but it is present.
As Senator Comeau said, the committee had the advantage of
hearing testimony from both Iceland and New Zealand. Why was
it important to have testimony from these two countries? Their
experience with individual transferable quota has been held up to
Canadians as models of how well individual transferable quotas
work. However, we learned that the New Zealand experience has
not been all favourable. The evidence is not all in favour of
individual transferable quotas. The same is true in the case
Another thing that makes reference to these two countries as
examples misleading is that their fisheries are very different from
ours. They play a different part in the socio-economic structure.
The fisheries produce for Iceland about 60 per cent of its income
from exports. The fisheries are fundamental throughout the entire
Iceland economy. That is not true in Canada. We cannot take
Iceland as the glorious model to be followed by Canada.
I had hoped to ask the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans when
he was with the committee to read the critical testimony that we
have heard from Iceland, and from New Zealand, as to how ITOs
operate in these so-called model countries.
I have tried to analyse why there is so much suspicion of the
Department of Fisheries and Oceans. I still do not know that I
have the correct answer, but I have an hypothesis. In any case, let
me put it before you.
When we heard the minister a few days ago, he kept talking
about "the industry." When someone talks about "the industry"
these days, one tends to think about that great buzzword
"rationalization" and the even greater buzzword "mergers."
Concentration is now the trend.
Every time a minister refers to the fisheries as an industry, that
minister causes uneasiness in the fishing communities. Ministers
go ahead with their policies on the assumption that they are
managing an industry. However, the fisheries are much more
than that. There is the question of the unemployment that may be
created by rationalization, but that is not within the mandate of
the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. That belongs to
someone else in the government. Perhaps it belongs to the
Department of Human Resources. Perhaps it is a matter of
concern in regional economic development. I believe that the
breaking up of the fishing way of life into an industry on the one
hand and then into regional economic development or human
resources on the other does not serve well the people involved in
the fisheries nor of Canadians generally.
The government should look at this division of responsibility
and see if the problem could not be dealt with better by putting
all aspects of the fisheries on the same table at the same time.
Finally, honourable senators, I am glad to see that the report
suggests that the Estimates of the Department of Fisheries and
Oceans go to the appropriate committee of the Senate, the
Standing Committee on Fisheries.
I do not know what now happens in the other place with regard
to the Estimates. Historically, in the House of Commons, the
review of departmental estimates was a great opportunity for
members of that House and for the minister and his supporters to
open up, to make transparent what was going on within
Perhaps that still goes on, but I think there is a role to be
performed by our own fisheries committee, that is, to set up a
meaningful dialogue so that we are sure that the minister of
the day understands the suspicions and uneasiness that underlie
the attitudes of people in the fishing communities. That would be
a great help. I am happy that the committee made
Before I sit down, I must say that I enjoyed my work on the
committee. I thought that Senator Comeau did a splendid job as
our chair. Several other members also contributed greatly to the
work of the committee. I was hoping that Senator Butts would be
here so I could embarrass her by complimenting her on her
dedication and contribution. She is, however, away at another
committee so I must forego that pleasure.
On motion of Senator Carstairs, for Senator Perrault,
Report of Foreign Affairs Committee on
On the Order:
Resuming debate on the inquiry of the Honourable
Senator Stewart calling the attention of the Senate to the
Eighth Report of the Standing Senate Committee on
Foreign Affairs entitled: "Crisis in Asia: Implications for the
Region, Canada and the World."-(Honourable Senator
Hon. Jerahmiel S. Grafstein: Honourable senators, this
matter stands in the name of Senator Andreychuk. I understand
that she does not intend to speak to it until after the adjournment.
I request consent to proceed today. I would then adjourn this
inquiry in her name.
Hon. John B. Stewart: Honourable senators, there may be
another senator who wishes to speak before the Christmas
adjournment. If we adjourn it in Senator Andreychuk's name
with the view that she plans to speak in February, we may be
blocking other senators.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, under our rules,
even though an honourable senator has adjourned a debate in his
or her name, any other honourable senator may speak.
Therefore, the Honourable Senator Grafstein is free to speak.
Senator Grafstein: Honourable senators, traditionally, foreign
policy's mission was to project our national interests abroad.
Traditionally, the preoccupation of foreign policy was to advance
our security and economic interests beyond our borders.
In democracies, "human rights" has become a hot button, an
easy launch pad for any observer to critique foreign policy.
Foreign policy is a rippling reflection of domestic values and
domestic preoccupations. Certainly, human rights concern
Canadians. We have become a "rights" drenched society. Are we
faced with so complex an intellectual challenge that to articulate
and develop a coherent and consistent foreign policy that
encapsulates human rights remains beyond our reach?
Given the limits of Canada's reach, what can be achieved? To
what extent do Canadians have, or should have, the capacity to
interfere with the sovereignty of other states? Other than to
tranquillize periodic domestic eruptions or cries of conscience,
what else can we do? To what extent can we, or should we, bring
about change? Why make other than a synthetic effort? Is there a
danger? Does the danger lie in the facility with which we can
raise "moral" expectations about human rights without the
capacity to fulfil those moral expectations? Can our words match
Where do we start? The strands of Canada's independent
foreign policy for the modern era began to coagulate and solidify
following the first Great War. Which students attended
Canada's school of "morality" in foreign policy? Indeed, did one
I am indebted to Senator Stewart who reminded me that the
formation of Canada's mind set on foreign policy of
disengagement and appeasement between the world wars was
tempered by Canada's horrific experiences in World War I.
Thousands of young Canadians were slaughtered under the
arrogant direction of old school British and French commanders.
This set off a major chord of revulsion in Canadians toward
engagement, especially in Europe.
Between the world wars, the Canadian government's first
priority was a struggle to attain an autonomous foreign policy
that was separate from the centralizing influences and hegemony
of the British Empire run out of the British Foreign Office. For
Mr. King, and others, Wilsonian "morality" in foreign policy
always took a back seat to questions of Canadian unity,
particularly because the extreme western isolationist tendencies
were accentuated by powerful isolationist Quebec voices.
We noted a strange coupling between isolationist extremists in
the West and Quebec for the same cause but for different reasons.
To be fair, the Province of Quebec's different motive for turning
inward was entwined with survival. Senator Joyal reminded me
that between 1890 and 1920, over 1 million francophones had
left Quebec for New England and the West. This massive loss in
population - almost one-fifth of the total - had to be staunched
to preserve continuity in Quebec. The response of the
Government of Quebec, influenced by the church's reaction and
preoccupation was to turn inward, to direct migration to the north
and west of the province while ostracizing immigration from
outside the province, from outside Canada. Protecting the "pure
laine" became an obsession of the governments of the Province
Professor James Eayers of the University of Toronto in a
written series of volumes entitled, In Defence of Canada
provides an excellent resource for students of foreign policy. His
introduction in his first volume entitled, From the Great War To
The Great Depression, he titled "The Views From a Fire Proof
House," in which he wrote that Canada was separated by oceans
and ideology. Eayers differentiated between the values of the
new and the old world.
Let me quote:
In 1918, Canadians turned away from Europe, leaving
behind their dead. However misguided isolationism might
appear to a later generation, drawn as their fathers had been
into the vortex of militarism, it was a natural response to the
brutal years at the Western Front.
He went on to state:
The world was still wide. The protection of the ocean -
Atlantic and Pacific - might be added to that of the
Munroe Doctrine. What more was required? Who indeed
was the enemy. In 1920, the Leader of the Opposition
declared on military estimates, "There is no world menace."
As late as 1938, 18 years later, Prime Minister Mackenzie
King, still resonating with this conviction, declared "At present,
the danger of attack upon Canada is minor in degree and second
hand in origin." To a large measure Canada could still lock the
bolts of our own doors, secured by the safety of our geography.
When we review the events from the First World War to the
onslaught of the Second World War we find successive
governments constantly reducing and squeezing their military
and naval budgets. We find a Quebec leader in Ottawa,
Mr. Lapointe, declaring that Canadians have no interest "in
losing a single life in Europe." "Canadians care more about
Alberta than Abyssinia," he declared. Canada initially supported,
in a burst of Wilsonian enthusiasm, the Briand/Kellogg Pact and
the League of Nations, even an ill-fated expeditionary force to
At the same time, Canada worked to separate itself from the
British umbrella by disengagement and by exemptions from the
Locarno Treaty in 1923. During the Abyssinian crisis in 1935,
Canada had a change of heart. There was a clash between its
representatives, especially Mr. Riddell in Geneva and Mr. King's
government at home, who played a minor, yet significant, role in
neutering the cohesion of the League of Nations covenants
Meanwhile, the constant was the Canadian government's
preoccupation to disengage from the directives and control of the
British Foreign Office. "Ready, aye ready," declared by
Mr. Meighen was replaced by King's implicitly more evasive
stance, "Not right now, perhaps never" when it came to
involvement in international agreements, or the League of
Nations sanctions against Italy or rearmament.
Indeed, Mr. King harboured a certain grudging admiration for
the economic and corporate state policies of both Hitler and
Mussolini. Added to the strain of budgetary concerns that
intensified during the Depression, consensus for withdrawal and
disengagement from Europe that poured from the right and the
centre of Canadian political life also flowed from that other
"noble" impulse emanating from the CCF pacifists called
Senators who are interested in history may equally recall that
from a careful reading of the biographies and autobiographies of
the leadership of the CCF, later the NDP, leaders of the unilateral
disarmament pacifist movement in Canada, including
Mr. Woodsworth, the sole member of Parliament, refused
unanimous consent to Canada's Declaration of War in 1939,
never recanted. Even after World War II, those same leaders
never recanted, with the noted exception of Frank Underhill who,
in the introduction to his book, In Search of Liberalism, noted his
change in ideas. Only he, to my limited examination, recanted
about the error and the cost of those misguided pacifist policy
impulses. Rather, these political leaders on the left glided and
glossed over their revised views, unrepentant and unbound.
There was always one other muted contrapuntal chord in
Canada's foreign policy that could be heard across the land.
Here, we uncover the roots of the NGOs and their developmental
impulse which echoed and replicated the earlier social gospel of
Canada's missionary movements, particularly to China. From
before the turn of this century, Protestant and Catholic
missionary streams flowed to China, towards western China,
mostly from `Toronto the Good.' They preached that food and
clothing for the body and schooling for the mind would
"civilize" and deliver these untutored souls to the Church. These
missionaries were singular, selfless and courageous. They
established schools, organized "barefoot" doctors, and even a
university in western China.
Many missionary offspring or offspring of clergy formed the
basis of Canada's first foreign service. Hence the social gospel
permeated the thinking of those young diplomats in the making
from the very beginning of our foreign service. It is equally clear
that this slender impulse was stifled or overridden by the
disengagers like O.D. Skelton and his political mentor, Mr. King.
It is equally fair to note that during those intervening war
years, only 11 Chinese immigrants were allowed entry into
Canada. We practised a racist, closed door domestic policy that
continued well beyond the cusp of World War II. Yet, one noble,
if futile, effort propelled by the far left to fight fascism in Spain
was a modest counterweight to the Canadian consensus of
disengagement. Canada was coated with a heavy brush of racism
that blended well with its isolationist tendencies.
Honourable senators, the question of morality and Canadian
politics was filtered through the prisms of unilateral disarmament
on the left, the closed door immigration policies on the right, and
a general consensus of disenchantment and disengagement from
the antique disputes within Europe. The missionary theme itself
was different, yet only differed in background music to the
louder strains of isolationism on the main Canadian stage. Such
was the case until September 1939.
World War II changed everything, starting from our economic
infrastructure and centralizing policies of rearmament.
The war years rocketed Canada economically and politically
into the modern era, from the disengagement and isolationist
policies of O.D. Skelton and King to the activism of Pearson,
Reid and others, and even reluctantly Louis St. Laurent, who
came slowly to policies of constructive engagement abroad,
breaking the wall built by Lapointe, Lapalme and Duplessis in
Quebec that had married nicely with economic separation and
disengagement and racism of the Social Credit and others in
Following World War II, now free of the shackles of the
British Foreign Office and the malingering isolationism of King,
Canada evolved into an active multilateralism energized by
Pearson at the United Nations and the Atlantic Charter of NATO.
Multilateral engagement replaced isolationism and
disengagement on security issues and political issues as a
mainspring of Canadian foreign policy.
With Churchill warning of an Iron Curtain in 1947, Canada
joined the U.S. in confronting and containing the rising
expansionist policies in Europe and beyond, although diffidently
and without the coarseness of the McCarthy era. We tended to
examine the other side more generously in the Cold War, even as
we shared limited containment. We flirted with coexistence more
than our U.S. ally. We even romanced the so-called
"non-alignment" movement. Yet the consensus moved
inexorably toward greater activism. With rare exception, Canada
almost never took leadership on "human rights" or "democratic
rights" on the bilateral front. Instead, we modulated America's
louder trumpets and moved in the same direction to a more
cautious beat and at a more cautious pace. Yes, we took
leadership on peacekeeping. Yes, we were active in the creation
of the NATO Charter and the UN Declaration of Rights, yet we
did not aspire to take a leading role in the disparaging suffocation
of human rights behind the Iron Curtain, with one notable
exception. Canada came to support the dissident movements
reluctantly and hesitantly. Proactive individuals and private
groups took leadership roles.
Between the war years, Canada never embraced the Wilsonian
organizing principles of the international "rule of law" and
"self-determination" policies, or "freeing minorities" or "open
treaties" of the Wilson and post-Wilson period. It was only in the
1960s, awakened by the clarion call of Kennedy, that Canada
began to imitate the American preoccupation in an asymmetrical
way, and timidly lift the torch of "human rights" - "freedom"
- but only selected freedom, for those who could not trade or
bite back too boldly.
The notable exception was John Diefenbaker. He was the first
prime minister to loudly trumpet the rights and freedoms of those
countries in Eastern Europe locked behind the Iron Curtain. It
was Diefenbaker who led on easing South Africa out of the
Commonwealth, despite criticism from the centre and the left. It
was John Diefenbaker who alone raised the issue of a statutory
Charter of Rights and laid the groundwork for the Charter of
Rights later to be incorporated into the Constitution by
Pierre Trudeau. The 1982 Charter gave new legitimacy to this
activist human rights impulse across Canada. It was a turning
point in Canada's history. It was the turning point in
Honourable senators, one of the most puzzling choices in
foreign policy remains the nature of our relations with countries,
large and small, that sustain an undemocratic structure and fall
below standards of conduct respecting human rights.Shall we
trade or tango? Canada is a middle power whose liveliness
depends on economic growth in an undulating global economy.
Canada's greater dependence on trade makes our domestic
economy more vulnerable.
One school of thought believes that, armed with sanctions and
containment, aberrant national will will melt and meld in human
rights norms. That was the South African experience. Yet, we
should recall that, during our sanction policies, trade with South
Africa significantly increased. While the "sanctions" school is
still encountering difficulty in this multi-polar world,
constructive engagement is another alternative. Canada has
chosen the latter course.Hence, we led in recognizing China
before the United States. We maintained relations with Cuba.
Constructive engagement, we believe, allows states that are
falling below our standards respecting human rights to build
ladders if they choose. Engagement was better than isolation. Is
there a way of evolving into a world order that has, as its base,
constructive engagement and trade while satisfying our need for
greater movement toward our targets of deeper democracy and
respect for human rights under the rule of law?
With that rather lengthy introduction, let me turn to the object
of our current inquiry, the report of the Senate Foreign Affairs
Committee on Asia. This report carefully surveys the current
turbulence in Asia. The report describes important failures within
the collective foreign policies of the West on both the economic
and human rights fronts. Every state and international institution
failed to recognize, or at least failed to prevent, what, in retrospect,
was failure or at least inaction, on almost every foreign policy
front. Read the report. Why is this so?
Herein lies the dual essence of this report. What failure, in
what institutions, where and when? Can Canada learn from these
mistakes and prevent recurrences in the future?
Turning to the facet of "human rights" in Asia, one should turn
to Appendix 5 to find an exhaustive compendium of human
rights violations, country by country. We are indebted to Senate
testimony, the U.S. State Department Annual Human Rights
Reports, and Human Rights Watch World as the sources of
Our final recommendation, number 17, proposes that an
activist agenda of human rights principles be incorporated into
the day-to-day exercise of Canada's foreign policy.
In a recent statement by our Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lloyd
Axworthy, in Edmonton on November 27, he outlined Canada's
ever-expanding list of preoccupations on the human rights front.
He described the recent change in his department's priorities. He
noted, for example , recent meetings of a Bilateral Committee on
Human Rights with China. He said, and I quote:
We have reached out at a bilateral level too, retooling our
approach with a number of countries to develop civil society
initiatives, construct democratic institutions and engage in
serious human rights dialogue. This is the objective behind
the establishment of bilateral human rights mechanisms
with countries such as China, Cuba and Indonesia.
He goes on to say:
Such agreements have led to substantive engagement on
human rights issues and the opportunity to invest in building
up human rights groups and institutions in these countries.
For instance, with China, we have created a Joint Committee
on Human Rights. It recently met in Winnipeg and
Whitehorse to exchange views on a range of human rights
issues. We held a pluralateral symposium on human rights,
which included independent human rights institutions from
the region. We are currently working on projects relating to
legal reform and economic, social and cultural rights.
Minister Axworthy goes on to give a complete list of his
activities on human rights fronts. It seems that Canada is finally
moving along on the human rights front.
This Senate report, as a compendium of abuses, serves as only
a cursory comment on human rights problems as perceived by
your committee. It is a necessary primer, but only a primer. We
concluded, after our survey, that a different approach, a human
rights vector, should be injected formally into our foreign policy
formulation. This is only a tentative step. We did not describe or
explore implementation. We recognized that the promotion of
human rights policies has been episodic, even from the most
interested observers - NGOs, labour unions, think tanks, private
groups, parliamentarians and government alike.
Why this enhanced sensitivity now? I have detected in the
Senate chamber a growing intensity of interest in the Senate in
the last decade on the human rights agenda. Why? Perhaps the
shift in our demographic template has put pressure on our
traditional policy. Canada's demographic has shifted dramatically
in the last two decades. TV and demography have changed the
rules of the game in Canada. Cohorts of recent immigrants and
refugees have joined our civic discourse. In Toronto, there is a
strong majority, and a strong plurality in other cities across
Canada, that now represent visible minorities. Individuals from
these groups share a much higher sensitivity and a much closer
knowledge of abuses in each region of the globe. This report thus
represents the Senate's first serious look at human rights in
Hon. Shirley Maheu (The Hon. The Acting Speaker): I
regret to interrupt the honourable senator, but his time has
Is leave granted, honourable senators, to allow Senator
Grafstein to continue?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
Senator Grafstein: Thank you, honourable senators.
As a benchmark, the report dispels a commonly held myth that
human rights is only a western preoccupation, that human rights
in Asia differ because of Asia's different cultures.
Let me point out three examples that dispel the myth - Japan,
Singapore and China. Japan, a hermetic society, has become, in
less than half a century, a relentless democracy. Singapore,
criticized as an oligarchic democracy, but a democracy
nonetheless, has stringent codes of civil rights. China, groping
tentatively, even fearfully, toward democratic practices, can be
observed at the grassroots, in the villages across China,
experiencing an activist democratic thrust in local decision
making. We did not have the time to more than scratch the
surface on the Chinese experience.
I am indebted to U.S. Senator Moynihan, as in his book
entitled Pandemonium Ethnicity In International Politics he
reminded us that China is not monolithic, that that is recent
history. The Chinese flag's five stars represent five languages:
Han, Tibetan, Uighur, Mongol and Manchu.
He reminds us that only recently China's territory doubled
with the annexation of Eastern Turkistan, now Xinjian Uighur
Autonomous Region, in 1949 and Tibet in 1950. China now
contains 56 national minorities, including over 90 million people
inhabiting more than 50 per cent of Chinese territories.
I recall, during a visit to the Xinjian Autonomous Region over
a decade ago, I chided our Uighur hosts for not speaking their
own first language, even though that was first of the two official
languages in that autonomous region.
Yesterday, in TheNew York Times, there was a report which
begins with the headline "China Appears Ready for Trial of a
Leader of Outlawed Party," and states in part:
Mr. Wang announced the formation of the Democracy
Party when President Clinton visited in the spring. He and
other dissidents hoped that China's new friendship with the
United States and its decision to sign a global covenant on
political and civil rights would give them room to promote
Mr. Wang was a student leader in the pro-democracy
demonstrations in Tiananmen Square in 1989, was arrested and
served two years in prison. Yes, he is on trial again. He is on trial
for having established a political party. What are we to do? Are
we to refer this matter to the recently established bilateral joint
committee on human rights established by Minister Axworthy?
Your committee, regretfully, did not have the time to probe
deeply into these models, nor to derive, if we could, appropriate
lessons. Such lessons could be instructive.
In the Senate we recognize Canada's limited resources and
high expectations on the "human rights" frontier. A deeper study
of human rights would allow us to make more informed
choices.Where should Canada's efforts be deployed on the
human rights front, and in a cost-effective way? Regretfully, we
did not have the time to make this assay.
What, honourable senators, can we conclude? What questions
must be answered? As activists on the multilateral front, is there
hidden leverage we have yet to uncover? Are there better ways to
deploy and leverage the assets of international organizations with
egregious states wishing to join or collaborate with international
organizations; APEC, World Bank, IMF, WTO, to name a few?
Are we able to move, via the international "rule of law," to better
marginalize governments and leaders who habitually abuse
Recall, honourable senators, this partial catalogue of human
rights conventions and declarations: the UN Charter in 1945; the
Declaration of Human Rights in 1948; the Human Convention on
the Prevention of Genocide in 1951; the UN Accord on the
Protection of Minorities in 1967; the UN Convention on the
Elimination of Racial Discrimination in 1969; the Helsinki
Accord in 1975; UN Declaration on Religious Discrimination in
1981; and the Convention Against Torture in 1984. The list
The majority of states who perpetrate the greatest breaches of
"human rights" are happy members of international organizations
and have paid lip service to and, indeed, ratified many of these
conventions. There is little or no mechanism, however, to
provide enforcement. This question of enforcement has neither
been systematically nor systemically addressed or monitored.
Canada, now a leader in the establishment of the Court of
International Justice and a member of the Security Council,
could begin a systematic review with member states of the UN to
test the theory. If you wish to belong to a club you should comply
with the rules. What more could be considered by Canada in this
mostly unploughed field? I submit the following steps:
An annual Canada report on human rights conventions and the
status of each state's ratification; the study of the role and
effectiveness of sanctions; the organizational role of the
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, the
foreign service and the PMO in implementing "Human Rights"
foreign policy; the work of Transparency International as it
reflects not just business practices but also ethical sourcing for
imports; the compliance powers of the international
organizations themselves to enforce their own conventions and
treaties with respect to "human rights"; the role of the media,
television, radio and the power of the worldwide net to bring
human rights issues and concerns to a wider and more immediate
These are just a few of the avenues that the government
The enforcement of international law is an essential area of
exploration. The Latin expression is Ubi jus, ibi remedium:
where there is a law, there is a remedy. Regretably, honourable
senators, mechanisms for breaches of international law have
never exactly been a democratic preoccupation. Historically,
concrete initiatives for human rights came not from governments
but from parliamentarians or from the grassroots. The
Helsinki Accord was not started by governments, it came from
For example, in 1975 the United States Congress insisted, not
the government, that the Department of State compile an annual
report of "human rights" violations. I have heard from Senator
Prud'homme about the deficiencies in that report: nevertheless, it
is an excellent report. This was followed by the Jackson/Vanek
Amendment on Russian Immigration in return for
most-favoured-nation status. Criticized at the time, these small
steps energized human rights debates and made a difference.
"Linkage" is abhorred by the diplomats. Diplomats prefer
multilateralism, which does have its place, but so does
Honourable senators, let me conclude with these two thoughts:
The 20th century set a record, a record for creating more states,
more democracy and more state inspired bloodshed. What a sorry
legacy we will have left behind this century. The work of "human
rights" gives us small hope, a slender hope, that there might be a
better way. The "rule of law" is there. All we need is to
design methods to instil and enforce it. The Senate report takes
us another incremental step along this winding path to
In conclusion, we might recall the words of Reinhold Niebuhr:
Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but
man's inclination to injustice, makes democracy necessary.
Some Hon. Senators: Hear hear!
Hon. Peter A. Stollery: Honourable senators, I rise to speak
on the tabling last week of the report of the Foreign Affairs
Committee, entitled "Crisis in Asia, Implications for the Region,
Canada and the World," which deals with some of the problems
facing countries of the Far East. I would start by thanking our
research staff. Without Mr. Peter Berg and Ms Colleen Hoey, our
committee could not have completed this report.
We began this inquiry nearly two years ago when the Asian
miracle was all the fashion. Our time frame allowed us to reflect
on the collapse of the miracle and the confusion of so many
experts. In this environment, our research team was of
The stunning folly, particularly of bankers, but also of neo
laissez-faire economists and political philosophers, has troubled
me for some years. Here in the Senate, on April 10 last year, I
opposed the Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement, not because I
had anything against Chile but because of the lack of balanced
I do not make fun of Dr. William Saywell, President and CEO
of the Asia-Pacific Foundation of Canada, who said to the
committee on the Far East:
...most economists and crystal ball gazers believe that over
the course of the next decade or two, at least half of world
economic growth will be in that region. Whatever set of
numbers one looks at, the growth will be dramatic...the
world is moving towards the Asian century.
Dr. Charles A. Barrett, Ph.D., Vice-President, Business
Research, the Conference Board of Canada talked about "...the
dynamic emerging economies of the Asia-Pacific region."
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable Senator Stollery, I am
sorry to have to interrupt you but it is six o'clock. Unless I have
an agreement from the Senate not to see the clock, I must leave
Hon. Marcel Prud'homme: Honourable senators, there are
many major events tonight - one that is very important to the
people who hold the majority here.
Could we have an idea of the length of the speech of the
Honourable Senator Stollery? He has a great knowledge of these
matters and he will provoke more discussion. I should like to
know how lengthy the debate will be because I am interested in
this issue also. However, I will not speak today so that those
honourable senators who are in the majority in this chamber may
attend their event. It is their evening and I do not want to hurt
them. However, I should like to hear all the honourable senator's
speech in one shot and not half today and half at some
Senator Stollery: Honourable senators, I recognize the
problem. I will speed it up. I will not stand here and be dramatic.
I shall go right through it, and you can read the drama in
Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Deputy Leader of the
Government): Honourable senators, we have agreement not to
see the clock.
The Hon. the Speaker: There is agreement not to see
Senator Prud'homme: Yes.
Senator Stollery: Honourable senators, Dr. Barrett talked
about "...the dynamic emerging economies of the Asia-Pacific
region," and that the conference board had undertaken, "an
extensive body of research on various aspects of Canada's
economic relations with the Asia-Pacific." Dr. Barrett spoke to us
on November 27, 1996. The latest economic figures that he
would have had show that Japan's GDP growth that averaged
4 per cent between 1981 and 1990 had dropped to 1.4 per cent
between 1991-95. The Japanese stock market had dropped from a
high of 29,437 in 1990 to 17,329 in 1995.
I do not doubt that the conference board does research on Far
East economies, but how could they have missed the most basic
statistics showing serious decline in the country that, according
to Joseph Stiglitz, Chief Economist of the World Bank, accounts
for 90 per cent of the region's gross domestic product?
There is a reason why facts are ignored. It is very serious, and
I will get to it in a minute. First, I should like to talk about the
financial and economic failures that are so clearly described in
chapter 2 of our report.
I think that any reasonable person might ask why, only four
years after the $60 billion emergency assistance by the
United States to Mexico to avoid massive default,
$117.7 billion U.S. had to be assembled to support Indonesia,
Thailand and South Korea. I will not bring up the Russian
collapse or this week's Brazilian package of $41.5 billion U.S. It
would certainly be unfair to mix in Long Term Capital
Management, the U.S. hedge fund whose promoters leveraged
$2 billion U.S. to $200 billion U.S, which nearly collapsed
because markets moved against their positions. The prospect of
that so frightened the U.S. Federal Reserve that they forced
shareholders in other private companies to bail out Long Term
I might add that the management of Long Term Capital
Management had put their personal assets in their wives' names
only two weeks before the fund was about to collapse. However,
they were not penalized and actually kept their interest in the
hedge fund, unlike the chairman of the Union des Banques
Suisses, who at least had the decency to resign, along with the
head of Barclay's Bank, who also resigned.
Make no mistake: These sorry tales are all connected. What is
going on? How could anyone defend the current global financial
system that leads to these results?
I am not a financial wheeler-dealer, but I have friends who are.
When we talk about "massive capital flows" in our report, I
understand something about shares and bonds but I have to
consult when it gets to "short-term instruments." Remember that
the kind of money that crashes countries' financial systems must
be liquid in a few seconds by computer. You cannot easily
liquidate a factory or a legitimate business.
All I know about the complexities of hedge funds,
short-selling debt and leveraging bets is that they are all being
done without international controls. It can be done in a flash.
These capital flows can be enormous - far beyond the capacity
of any central bank to prop up their currencies, including the
Canadian central bank.
Mr. Thiessen told the Banking, Trade and Commerce
Committee only a week or two ago that in an emergency they
could call on the U.S. central bank. All of this contributes to
unstable exchange rates, and not just in the Far East.
Honourable senators, in June, I attended the Council of Europe
Parliamentary Assembly in Strasbourg. It was a very useful visit.
The Senate Foreign Affairs Committee has followed
international trade policy for many years. This was the first time
I had the opportunity to hear Monsieur Camdessus, Managing
Director of the IMF, and I was very impressed. Members of our
committee know that I have been critical of "globalization" for a
long time. I think it is fair to call myself the committee sceptic.
Naturally, Monsieur Camdessus defends global markets because
his employers, mostly the Americans, insist that he does.
In that context, his speech was interesting, but not as
interesting as his answer to a question by Monsieur Beaufays, a
member of Parliament from Belgium. He said:
Do you not feel it ought to make it possible to engage in a
process of reflection and discussions on potential
improvements to the present floating-rate system, the
limitations of which were clearly shown by the Asian crisis,
and the resulting huge currency fluctuations?
It is probably unrealistic to think of creating a new
international system based on fixed exchange rates. Might it
not be worthwhile, however, to create "target zones"?
Markets would thus be informed of the exchange rates for
key currencies. Would this information not enhance the
stability of a system the authorities of the countries in
question all see as desirable?
Mr. Beaufays asked my question and Mr. Camdessus' answer
was as follows:
For 20 years in my lengthy career as an international civil
servant, I have been a voice crying in the wilderness for
stabilization of the exchange rate, and the creation of "target
zones" or "plausibility zones" to be taken seriously by the
major powers. Some progress has been made on this,
particularly in the Louvre Accord and the Plaza Agreement.
Yet we are still far from having a satisfactory system.
Honourable senators, international trade is disrupted by erratic
movements in exchange rates. Would U.S. Steel or British Steel
or Algoma Steel build a plant if they thought massive
devaluations would impact on their business?
Think of the impact on Canadian jobs. Mr. Thiessen, Governor
of the Bank of Canada, puts much of the blame for Canada's
weak dollar on weak commodity prices. He told the Standing
Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce on
The worldwide capital flight to the safe haven of U.S. assets
and the 15 per cent decline over the past year in the prices
of primary commodities that we export have been the main
factors behind the marked depreciation of our currency
against the U.S. dollar.
He did not respond to Senator Tkachuk's observation that the
Canadian dollar has been declining for years against the
U.S. dollar, and he overlooked the fact that the Canadian dollar
has declined steeply against the French franc and the deutschmark
and the yen over just the past three or four months. I have
followed the French franc for 40 years, and I have never seen it so
high against the Canadian dollar.
An observer might say - and I will not impose too much on
your patience - that I have travelled far from the Far East to the
Council of Europe to the Canadian dollar. Yes, I have. I believe
there will be no recovery in world trade unless three
First, there must be recovery in Japan. Japan's economy
accounts for about 18 per cent of world GDP. In April, Moody's,
the credit rating service, placed Japanese sovereign debt under
scrutiny as a result of the concern over the long-term outlook for
the economy. That was in April.
The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Japan's GDP
contracted in four consecutive quarters for the first time in
history. I will not bore you with the statistics, but imagine, if you
take 18 per cent of the world economy and put it in a negative
position, what that will do to our exports from British Columbia,
for example, or the blue fin tuna from the coast of Nova Scotia.
Honourable senators know that these statistics are bad - this,
in a country with 90 per cent of the GDP of the Far East region.
How can the rest of the region recover until Japan recovers?
Let me read you an excerpt from a speech I made
...We speak about the structural factors in the Japanese
economy. Anyone who has been to Japan has noticed the
tremendous contradiction between the absolute efficiency of
export-oriented industry and the massive inefficiency in
Japanese society as a whole.
When I visited Japan, I travelled about 600 kilometres on a
bicycle because I was curious about Japanese society and
wanted to know what was going on. There cannot be
structural changes without the support of the people. I got
lost cycling one day, went down a road and found myself on
a massive construction site with 43 huge cranes, where a
factory was being built. Farther down the road, I saw
hundreds if not thousands of people transplanting rice from
small boxes - the sort that all of us use when we work in
our gardens - into rice paddies not much bigger than my
garden. They were squatting in the water, doing the sorts of
things that we saw in the Far East 40 years ago, except that
these people were earning $35,000 U.S. a year to do that.
That cannot work and it is not a simple thing to change. It is
all very well for us to sit here and talk about financial
restructuring, but financial restructuring must have the
support of those people who are the political backbone of
the governing party of Japan.
...We can talk for a long time about how Japan must
restructure. We should give full support to Japan...but I do
not believe that Japan will be able to restructure without the
support of the Japanese people and I do not know how
forthcoming that will be.
I said that in June, and that is what I think today.
Second, there must be a serious attempt to restructure the
world monetary system because the present situation of massive,
unrecorded and unimpeded capital flows cannot be allowed to
continue. I strongly believe that the resistance of central bankers,
beginning with Mr. Greenspan in Washington, is partly because
their friends, the private bankers, make lots of money on the
multitude of transactions and damn the consequences. Central
bankers, in my opinion, are in a conflict of interest situation
which, in any other business, would not be tolerated.
In a famous passage from The General Theory of Employment
Interests and Money, John Maynard Keynes wrote, and I quote:
The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both
when they are right and when they are wrong, are more
powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed, the world is
ruled by little else.
The reason that Dr. Saywell and Dr. Barrett and many others
made statements that they would probably not like to be
reminded of is the current atmosphere of unbalanced but
fashionable ideas. I do not recall any period in my lifetime when
correctness, in so many ways, has been so important, even to
hold a job. It is a dangerous atmosphere in which to experiment
with people's money.
Pishtaco - the word is Quechua. The Pishtaco is a feared and
hated pale-skinned demon with an insatiable appetite for fat.
They boil people in huge cooking pots or scrape them as empty
as water skins. It can be dangerous, to this day, for pale-skinned
whites to venture into certain regions of the Amazonian forest
because there is no way to distinguish them from Pishtacos.
The global financial market is our Pishtaco. It sucks money,
but no one knows where. It is overseen by men who do not
understand it, and the question is: Where will the Pishtaco strike
On motion of Senator Kinsella, for Senator Andreychuk,
Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Deputy Leader of the
Government): Honourable senators, I understand there is a
willingness to let all other items on the Order Paper stand, with
the exception of Motion No. 105, which I ask to be called now.
Agriculture and Forestry Committee Authorized to
Extend Date of Final Report
Hon. Leonard J. Gustafson, pursuant to notice of
December 3, 1998, moved:
That with respect to the Order of the Senate adopted on
May 14, 1998, to examine the Recombinant Bovine Growth
Hormone (rBST) and its effect on the human and animal
health safety, the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture
and Forestry be permitted, notwithstanding usual practices,
to deposit its report with the Clerk of the Senate, if the
Senate is not then sitting; and that the report be deemed to
have been tabled in the Chamber.
He said: Honourable senators, the approval of rBST has been a
subject of much controversy in Canada and other countries for a
number of years now. This non-therapeutic veterinary hormone
has increased milk production by 10 per cent to 15 per cent when
administered to cows. If I may, I wish to outline the committee's
experience to date.
Much of the controversy surrounding the hormone is related to
the potential long-term effect on animals and on humans who
have consumed milk from rBST-treated animals.
The Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry
has held a number of hearings, beginning in June 1998 and
continuing through to a full day on Tuesday.
The committee has heard from scientists from Canada, Great
Britain, the U.S.A. and Australia, consumers and health groups,
dairy producers, processors, Health Canada officials, and
representatives of Monsanto, the company that is seeking to
license rBST for use in Canada. The committee has also received
hundreds of letters and e-mails from concerned Canadians.
Some of the testimony received by the committee to date has
focused exclusively on rBST, while other presentations have
highlighted more general concerns relating to the drug approval
process in Canada and the United States. In addition, questions
have been raised regarding the effectiveness of various
international organizations, primarily the Joint Expert Committee
on Food Additives.
While the process to be followed for the approval of
therapeutic and non-therapeutic drugs for human and animal use
is outlined in the Food and Drug Act and its regulations, many
witnesses have suggested to the committee that the proper
procedures are not being followed with respect to the approval of
rBST. It has also been suggested that proper procedures may not
have been followed in other areas that affect human health, with
particular mention of tainted blood and breast implants.
Canada has a worldwide reputation for the high quality of its
food products. That reputation must not suffer.
This is not to conclude that rBST is necessarily unsafe, but
rather to indicate that all Canadians, indeed all consumers
worldwide, must be assured of the safety of a product before it is
used. That is the main focus of the committee's attention:
Determining whether proper procedures have been followed and
whether enough testing has been done to ensure the long-term
safety of the product for human and animal use. Public
confidence in our food production as well as in the drug approval
process must be assured.
The committee has heard testimony about some of the
economic benefits of rBST use in terms of enhanced profitability
and competitiveness, particularly for small operations and the
environment. However, the committee has also heard
presentations indicating that milk production can be increased
without the use of rBST and that, given this fact, rBST should
not be approved.
Certain problems that might be characterized as management
problems within the Health Protection Branch of Health Canada
have been brought to the committee's attention. There have been
allegations of coercion, gagging, pressure, and even stolen files.
It would appear that the department perhaps lacks the proper
mechanism to resolve differences among its scientists. The
committee was told by senior departmental officials that these
allegations are seen as extremely serious, and mention was made
of the Health Protection Branch's transition initiative which may
help to resolve some of the concerns in the branch.
Where does all this leave the committee? Because of its
concurrent study of the farm income crisis, time constraints force
the committee to request permission to table the report with the
Clerk of the Senate in January of 1999. That report will
summarize the testimony received by the committee on these
very important issues and will contain recommendations in key
areas. As with the hearings that have been undertaken to date, the
committee believes that this report will make a useful
contribution to the debate about rBST use in Canada and will
also inform the public.
I ask honourable senators to support this motion, and I thank
you for your patience.
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!
The Hon. the Speaker: If no other senator wishes to speak, is
it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?
Social Affairs, Science and Technology Committee
Authorized to Extend Date of Final Report
Hon. Orville Phillips, pursuant to notice of December 8,
That, notwithstanding the Order of the Senate adopted on
November 5, 1997, the Standing Senate Committee on
Social Affairs, Science and Technology which was
authorized to examine and report on the state of health care
in Canada concerning veterans of war and Canadian Service
persons, be empowered to submit its final report no later
than February 26, 1999; and
That the Committee be permitted, notwithstanding usual
practices, to deposit its report with the Clerk of the Senate,
if the Senate is not then sitting; and that the report be
deemed to have been tabled in the Chamber.
Fisheries Committee Authorized to Table Report with
Clerk of the Senate
Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Acting Deputy Leader of the
Opposition) for Senator Comeau, pursuant to notice of
December 8, 1998, moved:
That the Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries, having
been authorized by the Senate on December 1, 1998 to
examine and report upon the Estimates of the Department of
Fisheries and Oceans for the fiscal year ending March 31,
1998 (Parts I and II, tabled in the Senate on March 17, 1998;
Report on Priorities and Planning and Departmental
Performance Report, tabled in the Senate on November 3,
1998), and other matters relating to the fishing industry, be
empowered to present its final report no later than
December 10, 1999; and
That the Committee be permitted, notwithstanding usual
practices, to deposit its report with the Clerk of the Senate,
if the Senate is not then sitting; and that the report be
deemed to have been tabled in the Chamber.