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Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

1st Session, 36th Parliament,
Volume 137, Issue 114

Tuesday, March 2, 1999

The Honourable Fernand Robichaud
Acting Speaker


Table of Contents

THE SENATE

Tuesday, March 2, 1999

The Senate met at 2:00 p.m., the Acting Speaker, the Honourable Fernand Robichaud, in the Chair.

Prayers.

SENATORS' STATEMENTS

The Senate

Opening of Home Page on Internet

Hon. Douglas Roche: Honourable senators, what is happening in the Parliament of Canada affects the lives of all Canadians. Is it not true that the work of the Senate, an integral part of Canada's constitutional system of government, receives little attention in the Canadian media? How can senators directly inform the Canadian people of what we are doing here to advance the economic, social and peace agenda of our time?

Honourable senators, a new technological instrument is at hand: a senator's own home page on the Internet. This instrument allows a senator to communicate directly to an Internet user the issues of concern to that senator and what he or she is doing about them. A senator's home page is a powerful means of providing facts, opinions and documentation on an instant basis that would otherwise go unnoticed. A senator's home page allows us to do our job more effectively, serves Canadians who want readily available knowledge of our activities, and contributes to the elevation of political dialogue in our country.

Today I am announcing the opening of my Senate home page at http://sen.parl.gc.ca/droche/.

In this endeavour, I have received splendid cooperation and guidance from the Senate Web site Co-ordinator, Stéphane Michaud. My home page was created by Khalid Yaqub, and I was greatly aided in the gathering and presentation of relevant material by my assistants, Pam Miles-Séguin, Chris Hynes, and Bonnie Payne.

I commend this modern means of direct communication to all senators.

(1410)

The Estimates, 1998-99

Retention and Compensation Issues in the Public Service-Motion to Consider Report of National Finance Committee Adopted

Hon. Terry Stratton: Honourable senators, at the last sitting of the Senate I neglected to ask that the ninth report of the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance, concerning retention and compensation issues in the public service, be placed on the Orders of the Day for consideration at the next sitting of the Senate.

Consequently, with leave of the Senate, I move that the report be placed on the Orders of the Day for consideration later today.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Motion agreed to and report placed on the Orders of the Day for consideration later this day.

Veterans Health Care Services

Motion to Consider Report of Social Affairs, Science and Technology Committee on Study Adopted

Hon. Orville H. Phillips: Honourable senators, I wish to inform the Senate that, pursuant to an order adopted by the Senate on November 5, 1997, I deposited with the Clerk of the Senate on February 25, 1999, the sixteenth report of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, dealing with its Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs report entitled "Raising the Bar: Creating a New Standard in Veterans Health Care."

Honourable senators, I move that the report be placed on the Orders of the Day for consideration on Thursday next, March 4, 1999.

Motion agreed to.

[Later]

The Estimates, 1999-2000

Tabled

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Deputy Leader of the Government) tabled the Main Estimates for the fiscal year 1999-2000.

Notice of Motion to Authorize National Finance Committee to Study Main Estimates

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I give notice that tomorrow, Wednesday, March 3, 1999, I will move:

That the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance be authorized to examine and report upon the expenditures set out in the Estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, with the exception of Parliament Vote 10 and Privy Council Vote 25.

[Translation]

Notice of Motion to Refer Vote 25 to the Standing Joint Committee on Official Languages

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I give notice that tomorrow, Wednesday, March 3, 1999, I will move:

That the Standing Joint Committee on Official Languages be authorized to examine the expenditures set out in Privy Council Vote 25 of the Estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000; and

That a message be sent to the House of Commons to acquaint that House accordingly.

[English]

Notice of Motion to Refer Vote 10 to the Standing Joint Committee on the Library of Parliament

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I give notice that tomorrow, Wednesday, March 3, 1999, I will move:

That the Standing Joint Committee on the Library of Parliament be authorized to examine the expenditures set out in Parliament Vote 10 of the Estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000; and

That a Message be sent to the House of Commons to acquaint that House accordingly.

[Translation]

Adjournment

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

That when the Senate adjourns today, it do stand adjourned until tomorrow, Wednesday, March 3, 1999 at 1:30 p.m.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Motion agreed to.

[English]

Enlistment into Royal Canadian Navy

The Black Experience-Notice of Inquiry

Hon. Joan Fraser: Honourable senators, on behalf of Senator Ruck, I give notice that on Tuesday next, March 9, 1999, he will call the attention of the Senate to the black experience with respect to the enlistment into the Royal Canadian Navy.

Sexual Assault

Recent Decision of Supreme Court of Canada- Notice of Inquiry

Hon. Anne C. Cools: Honourable senators, pursuant to rule 56(1),(2) and 57(2) of the Rules of the Senate, I give notice that on Thursday next I will call the attention of the Senate:

(a) to the judgment of the Supreme Court of Canada in the sexual assault case Her Majesty the Queen v. Steve Brian Ewanchuk, delivered February 25, 1999, which judgment reversed the Alberta Court of Appeals judgment upholding the trial court's acquittal;

(b) to the intervenors in this case, being the Attorney General of Canada, the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund, Disabled Women's Network Canada and Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton;

(c) to the Supreme Court of Canada's substitution of a conviction for the acquittals of the two Alberta courts;

(d) to the lengthy concurring reasons for judgment by Supreme Court of Canada Madam Justice Claire L'Heureux-Dubé, which reasons condemn the decision-making of Mr. Justice John Wesley McClung of the Alberta Court of Appeal and the decision of the majority of the Alberta Court of Appeal;

(e) to Mr. Justice John Wesley McClung's letter published in the National Post on February 26, 1999, reacting to Madam Justice L'Heureux-Dubé's statements about him contained in her concurring reasons for judgment;

(f) to the nationwide, extensive commentary and public discussion on the matter; and

(g) to the issues of judicial activism and judicial independence in Canada today.

Private Bill

Certified General Accountants' Association of Canada- Presentation of Petition

Hon. Michael Kirby: Honourable senators, I have the honour to present a petition from the Certified General Accountants' Association of Canada, of the City of Montreal, in the province of Quebec praying for passage of an act respecting the Certified General Accountants' Association of Canada.


QUESTION PERIOD

International Trade

Recent Statements of Minister on Various International Free Trade Treaties-Government Position

Hon. John Lynch-Staunton (Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, my question arises from a February 19 press release headed, "Canada's 1998 Exports at Record Levels." In this press release, the Minister of International Trade is quoted as saying:

All-time high trade figures during a period when many world economies have taken tough hits should tell us that we are on the right track, with the right trade policies, at the right time.

In another speech that the minister gave in Tel Aviv on February 28, he said, in part, that freer trade is the way of the future:

Canada has signed free trade agreements with the United States, Mexico and Chile, and we are deeply involved in negotiating a Free Trade Area of the Americas, as well as pursuing a free trade agreement with the European Free Trade Association.

While in opposition, the Liberal Party fought obstinately and relentlessly against free trade which is a policy developed by the Mulroney government. Now it embraces free trade with a fervour even the Mulroney government would find hard to match.

I was wondering if the Leader of the Government could explain how this extraordinary change in position came about and, while he is at it, congratulate the Mulroney government for having had the courage to introduce the right trade policies at the right time.

Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I recall very well the debate that took place in this chamber and the participation of the Honourable Leader of the Opposition, as well as many other honourable senators in this chamber. Some of the reservations put forward by the opposition of the day dealt with having complete access to the American market and the lack of a binding dispute settlement mechanism.

Having said that, we have made progress in the area of free trade, and my honourable friend has enunciated several of the nations with which we have free trade agreements. I, myself, recall very well being in Chile prior to the signing of the Free Trade Agreement by President Eduardo Frei and the Prime Minister of Canada. That, among other free trade events, was a landmark for Canada and for other countries.

At the time the free trade debate was going on, the government was heavily in debt. The deficit was rising from $16 billion to $30 billion to $42 billion. There were concerns as to whether the country could afford to engage in free trade agreements.

Some Hon. Senators: Oh, Oh!

Senator Graham: However, having brought the finances of the country into order, and having brought forward two successive balanced budgets and being on track to bring forward two more balanced budgets, I think we can compete fairly in the world and take our chances on the free trade scale.

Value of International Trade Missions- Government Position

Hon. John Lynch-Staunton (Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, I must say that I am not the only one to be startled by the statement that if we have a high deficit, we should stop trying to increase our exports.

Two areas where Canada has not done well in exports, according to the February 19 news release, are Asia and Latin America. The press release states:

Canada's merchandise trade statistics indicate that overall Canadian exports declined by 27.7 per cent to most of Canada's Asian trading partners, and by 10.2 per cent to Latin America.

It just so happens that those two areas were visited in recent years by the Prime Minister leading well-publicized trade missions. While they were there, we were inundated with many press releases. If one were to add up the value of all the deals, we apparently signed billions of dollars' worth of contracts which were to have immediate effect. That is according to those press releases.

On the other hand, our exports to the United States, where the Prime Minister only goes to play golf, increase constantly. Is there not a message there that trade missions are overblown, costly and unproductive? Should we not let trade between countries take its natural course and refrain from artificially inflating trade with promises which cannot be kept, as is demonstrated in these figures?

Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I never suggested at any time that we should not attempt to increase our exports to other countries.

Senator Lynch-Staunton: You said we could not afford it.

Senator Graham: No, I was talking about free trade agreements where we had no binding dispute settlement mechanisms.

Team Canada, however, should be regarded as a benchmark in Canadian history. Our Prime Minister had every provincial premier signing on, and there was a waiting list of others who wanted to accompany him to these countries. Such excursions are good not only for Canada but for the individual businesses and business people who accompany the Prime Minister. These missions have been so successful that it is estimated that between $22 billion and $23 billion worth of agreements have been signed with businesses and governments in other countries.

Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Increase in Trade with Countries Visited by Team Canada including China-Request for Particulars

Hon. Consiglio Di Nino: Honourable senators, this is an interesting debate but it is not for Question Period. I would like to continue, if I may, by asking the Leader of the Government in the Senate if he has any figures on the imports from and exports to the countries that the Prime Minister has visited with the Team Canada groups these last five or six years? Are there any facts or figures available on how much trade, in actual dollars and percentages, has increased between Canada and these countries?

Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I obviously do not have the numbers here, nor are they readily available.

Senator Lynch-Staunton: You said $22 billion.

Senator Graham: I stand by the $22 billion figure but I do not have the figures for the individual countries. Senator Di Nino mentioned "imports from" and I presume he includes exports to the individual countries.

Senator Di Nino: Yes, I refer to both.

Senator Graham: Insofar as it is possible, I will attempt to bring forward an appropriate answer to that very interesting question.

Senator Di Nino: The information should be available, although I do not have it. I would like specifically the export-import numbers for China since 1993.

Senator Graham: I would be very pleased to do so.

(1430)

National Defence

Availability of Long-Term Funds for Maintenance of Sea King Helicopters-Government Position

Hon. J. Michael Forrestall: Honourable senators, many of you will know that we had yet another incident yesterday involving a Sea King helicopter, bringing the total to nine incidents in the past month. In addition, a couple of days before that we had an indication through the press that much needed and absolutely prerequisite funds for long-term maintenance of these 35 or 40-year-old aircraft had been removed from the maintenance budget without any indication of whether or not those funds will be restored.

The enormity of having nine incidents in one month is enough to make me want to suggest very seriously to this chamber, to the House of Commons, to the minister, and to anyone else who will listen, that it is time that the decision as to whether or not these aircraft should be flying be taken away from the Minister of National Defence, the Government of Canada, and whoever else wants to get involved, and placed in the hands of the National Transportation Safety Board so that reasonable and credible decisions may be made with respect to those aircraft. That is another question, but it is not one that is far from being asked.

Can the Leader of the Government in the Senate give us some indication as to what will happen to these maintenance funds, which have been budgeted for and which are absolutely critical to the maintenance of these 35-year-old pieces of equipment?

Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I agree with Senator Forrestall that these funds are absolutely crucial. However, the statement that these funds have been removed is absolutely false.

You mentioned the difficulty that was experienced, unfortunately, with the Sea King helicopter yesterday. That landing was a precautionary measure that was taken after a gearbox started to overheat. The pilot was in control of the situation, and he landed the helicopter without incident. This incident is not related to the engine problems experienced by the fleet last month. Yesterday's incident was regarded by the military as minor, and not significant enough to warrant grounding or flight restrictions.

Senator Forrestall: Surely that, by itself, should be sufficient to alert you to the fact that there are all kinds of things that can go wrong with 35-year-old helicopters. Simply because it is not the same thing that happened yesterday indicates to me that a wide variety of problems are beginning to crop up, any one of which, if it had happened in the private sector, would have grounded the machine until the matter was corrected.

I now wish to ask about long-term maintenance. I am pleased to hear the minister correct what was obviously, according to him, an erroneous piece of information. Do I gather, then, that that money is still in the budget? Is it still there so that work can be carried out at Shearwater and at other locations where this kind of long-term maintenance is conducted?

Senator Graham: Honourable senators, the short answer to that is yes, that is my understanding.

Search and Rescue Helicopters- Consideration of Leasing Option-Request for Update

Hon. Gerry St. Germain: Honourable senators, my question is to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. I ask again a question that I have asked on many previous occasions.

The military still seems to be fighting the fight of trying to survive with antiquated equipment, very low budgets, and having their people go to food banks.

Has there been any progress at all on the leasing of helicopters, in view of the fact that the equipment that our armed services are expected to use are not only antiquated but also dangerous for flight?

Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I understand that leasing is still an option. I wish to assure the Honourable Senator St. Germain - since he has a particular interest with respect to the West Coast - that the fleet of Sea King helicopters in that part of the country is not affected, nor are flights originating from Shearwater.

The Minister of National Defence has said on many occasions that he wants to move forward with replacing the Sea King helicopter as quickly as he can. I hope that he can make an announcement to that effect this year. The Maritime Helicopter Project is a core project within the Department of National Defence. It is my understanding that the department is currently in the final stages of the development of a procurement strategy.

Senator St. Germain: Honourable senators, knowing the lead time that is required on orders relating to military hardware, as a supplementary question I would ask if a lease program is included as part of that procurement program. If we wait for production, we may have several serious accidents on our hands, and possibly the loss of more lives if there is not some immediate remedy to this horrific situation with which our military are faced.

Possibly it is time, honourable senators, for someone of the Leader of the Government's stature to take over the Department of National Defence. I hate to be critical of your colleague in cabinet, but this is a matter of some urgency.

Senator Graham: The Minister of National Defence has the confidence not only of his colleagues and of the military, but also of the people of Canada. He is an outstanding Minister of National Defence.

Senator St. Germain: Remember that you were elected with 38 per cent!

Senator Graham: Let us go back to that. What was your comment?

Senator St. Germain: I said, "Remember that your government was elected with 38 per cent." You have the confidence of all Canadians. I am not talking about any other policies, honourable senators, I am only talking about the military, their equipment, and the way in which the military has been treated.

The honourable senator knows that explicit studies have been done on the poverty that exists among our military, and the absolutely disgusting state of the equipment that these people are expected to use. It is obsolete and unsafe.

When you say that "the majority of Canadians support the minister," I would question that statement, and I would hesitate to put that forward as a factual statement.

Senator Graham: You may be absolutely right when you reflect back to the last election and say that the government was elected with 38 per cent of the popular vote. I can only say that if I were to look at the latest Gallup poll - and I know that polls can be a mile wide and an inch deep - the Liberal Government of Canada, of which I happen to be a member - would be at 56 per cent across the country, and well ahead in your home province, Senator St. Germain. I agree that it would be foolhardy to live and die by the polls, but they do serve - on occasion, as they do today - as a barometer of where we stand and the confidence that Canadians have in this government.

With regard to the particular point that my honourable friend has made with respect to the Minister of National Defence, I assure honourable senators that the minister is cognizant of the problem, both with respect to the personnel and with respect to the equipment. He is undertaking, on a daily basis, negotiations with his colleagues and with those most responsible for bringing forward better equipment and better standards of living for our Armed Forces personnel. They deserve nothing but the best, and they have a great champion in the Minister of National Defence.

Transport

Flightworthiness of Specific Civilian Aircraft- Opinion of National Transportation Safety Board

Hon. David Tkachuk: Honourable senators, as a supplementary question on the issue of the Sea King helicopters, if the National Transportation Safety Board had as many complaints and as many incidents of grounded DC9s as the Department of National Defence have had with the Sea King helicopters, could the Leader of the Government in the Senate tell us if the government would allow DC9s to fly?

(1440)

Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government): Honourable Senator Tkachuk would know that I cannot presume to know what the National Transportation Safety Board would decide on any particular matter. I am not aware whether the National Transportation Safety Board has been consulted or whether it has asked to be involved in this matter.

Senator Tkachuk: Could the Leader of the Government ask whether there is one set of rules for our military fliers and rescue workers and another set of rules for civilians with regard to the kind of planes they fly?

Senator Graham: Honourable senators, I do not have to ask the National Transportation Safety Board for the answer to that question because that certainly would not be the case.

[Translation]

National Finance

Tax Relief for Canadian Professional Hockey and Baseball Teams-Government Position

Hon. Fernand Roberge: Honourable senators, yesterday during a visit to the Canadian Space Agency in Saint-Hubert, the Prime Minister said that he had little interest in funding the Montreal Expos baseball club. He said, and I quote:

We are not in the business of helping sports teams at this time. This is a commercial venture.

Some people would like the government to get involved, but we had already decided not to in other circumstances. So I do not know whether the situation has changed for us to change our policy.

However, while in Calgary yesterday, the Minister of Finance announced that the federal government was prepared to modify the taxation system for National Hockey League teams in Canada. Moreover, the Minister of Finance also announced that the Minister of Industry was to introduce in cabinet next April a series of measures aimed at helping out the six Canadian professional hockey teams hit by the effects of the low Canadian dollar, skyrocketing salaries in professional sports, and a higher tax burden than U.S. teams.

It appears, however, that there is no provision for any assistance to the Montreal Expos, although they are also included in the Mills report as part of professional sports.

Can the Leader of the Government tell us why the federal government would want to focus its intervention in the coming months on professional hockey teams only, and not on Canada's two baseball teams?

[English]

Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I do not know that that is the case. I am sure that all honourable senators who have an interest in national pride are quite aware of and concerned about the future of both professional hockey and baseball teams. I have heard arguments on both sides of this issue.

We say that hockey is our national sport. Indeed, we spoke about that a few years ago in this chamber. It is with great pride that we watch the growth of hockey in our country, particularly since Canada is considered to be the best "breeding ground" in the world for young hockey players.

It is extremely important that we be cognizant of what is happening at this time. Not wishing to use sports jargon, we all want to ensure that the playing field is level, whether it applies to baseball or to hockey.

I have not spoken to the Minister of Finance as to what he said in Calgary, nor to the Prime Minister with regard to his comments about the future of the Expos. However, I am sure that the government will treat all of these important businesses with fairness now and in the future.

[Translation]

Senator Roberge: Can Senator Graham confirm that the statements made by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance appear to indicate that the federal government does not want to get involved in saving the Montreal Expos, despite all of the efforts currently being deployed by the group directed by Jacques Ménard, by the Mayor of Montreal, and by a number of Montreal business figures?

[English]

Senator Graham: Others have spoken out in support of the future of the Expos, including Denis Coderre, the outstanding young member of Parliament from Quebec, who has constantly spoken out not only to his parliamentary colleagues but also on Montreal radio and television. As I said earlier, I am not currently aware of what exactly was said by the Prime Minister and Mr. Martin. However, I shall attempt to find out, and bring forward any new information that may be available.

Delayed Answers to Oral Questions

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I have a response to a question raised in the Senate on February 11, 1999, by the Honourable Senator Noël A. Kinsella regarding the failure of the Prime Minister to attend the funeral of the late King Hussein, scheduling in PMO; a response to a question raised in the Senate on February 2, 1999, by the Honourable Senator Donald H. Oliver regarding the confirmation of the size of the mounting surplus in the Employment Insurance Fund; and a response to a question raised in the Senate on February 16, 1999, by the Honourable Senator J. Michael Forrestall regarding the search and rescue helicopter replacement program, problems in incident reports on Sea King helicopters.

Foreign Affairs

Failure of Prime Minister to Attend Funeral of the Late King Hussein-Scheduling in PMO- Involvement of Chief of Defence Staff

(Response to question raised by Hon. Noël A. Kinsella on February 11, 1999)

The Director of Operations and his staff work collaboratively with the Department of National Defence when an aircraft is required.

Human Resources Development

Confirmation of Size of Mounting Surplus in Employment Insurance Fund-Government Position

(Response to question raised by Hon. Donald H. Oliver on February 2, 1999)

The Chief Actuary's Report on Employment Insurance (EI) Premium Rates for 1999, released on December 1, 1998 contains a range of forecasts for the EI Account out to 2004. A summary table extends the projections out to 2010.

The important factors in arriving at these projections are the unemployment rate, which influences both premium contribution and benefit payout estimates, and the premium rate. None of these departmental forecasts, even one assuming no recession for the next five years, projects a cumulative balance in the Account close to $70 billion by 2003. The forecasting firm, Informetrica has been informed that their projections seem improbable. The department would be quite willing to discuss the assumptions which went into their projections with them.

Subsection 3(1) of the EI Act (1996) requires that:

The Commission shall monitor and assess:

a. How individuals, communities and the economy are adjusting to the changes made by this Act to the insurance and employment assistance programs under the Unemployment Insurance Act.

b. Whether the savings expected as a result of the changes made by this Act are being realized; and

c. The effectiveness of the benefits and other assistance provided under this Act, including:

i. how the benefits and assistance are utilized by employees and employers, and

ii. the effect of the benefits and assistance on the obligation of claimants to be available for and to seek employment and on the efforts of employers to maintain a stable workforce.

The 1998 Report, the second in a series of five annual reports, was sent to the Minister of Human Resources by the EI Commission. The Report is to be tabled in the House of Commons within 30 sitting days of the House resuming, as required by the EI Act.

National Defence

Search and Rescue Helicopter Replacement Program- problems in Incident Reports on Sea King Helicopters- Announcement of Decision-Government Position

(Response to question raised by Hon. J. Michael Forrestall on February 16, 1999)

There is a plan to reengine the Sea King. Priority for engine replacement was given to the Labrador fleet. The Labrador engine upgrade is expected to be completed in March 1999. The Sea King fleet will go through an engine upgrade that is expected to start in April 1999 and to be completed in March 2001.

Answers to Order Paper Questions Tabled

Official trip to Havana, Cuba by Prime Minister and Madame Chrétien

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Deputy Leader of the Government) tabled the answer to Question No. 117 on the Order Paper-by Senator LeBreton.

Retirement from RCMP of Staff Sergeant Fraser Fiegenwald

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Deputy Leader of the Government) tabled the answer to Question No. 136 on the Order Paper-by Senator LeBreton.

The Senate

Delay in Providing Answers to Questions on Order Paper-Government Position

Hon. John Lynch-Staunton (Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, I notice that there are three unanswered questions on the Order Paper dating back to October 21, 1997. Two of them are in the name of Senator Phillips, who unfortunately will be leaving us before the end of this month. Could the Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate offer Senator Phillips some assurance that he will have the answers to his two questions before he leaves?

Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, on behalf of the government I will assure the Honourable Senator Lynch-Staunton and the Honourable Senator Phillips that every effort will be made to bring forward those answers as soon as possible.


[Translation]

ORDERS OF THE DAY

Nunavut Act

Bill to Amend-Third reading

Hon. Lucie Pépin moved the third 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 very pleased to initiate debate on the motion for third 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.

This bill is the tangible manifestation of the federal government's commitment to the people of Nunavut to table in timely fashion a bill to establish a single level court structure for Nunavut.

Creation of a trial court specifically tailored to the needs of northerners is in part a culmination of the dreams of the Inuit of the Eastern Arctic to shape their own future.

I am very proud to take part in this process, which will help the inhabitants of Nunavut to realize their dream.

The Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, vice-chaired by Senator Milne, examined this bill closely and reported it without amendment on February 18, 1999.

I do not propose to examine in detail the bill as it now stands. We examined the bill in detail at second reading. However, it would be remiss of me not to mention some of the testimony heard by the committee.

[English]

(1450)

Ms Rebecca Williams, Assistant Deputy Minister in the Nunavut Department of Justice, testified about the trust that was established as a result of the process through which Bill C-57 was developed. Ms Williams told us:

For many years, the justice system in our territory has been operating and impacting on us but not listening to us. There has been no way for the justice system to receive input from the Inuit.

However, according to Ms Williams:

The process we used to develop the Nunavut Court of Justice was revolutionary in our history because it involved Inuit. Inuit were able to express what kinds of system they needed to handle conflicts and to work for peace and safe communities in the future. The process itself has given me hope about the future of our public government in Nunavut. I learned from this process ways of bringing our time of silence to an end.

[Translation]

When the Minister of Justice and Attorney General for Canada appeared before the committee, she told us:

Justice services are delivered in the Eastern Arctic by flying court parties, including judges, lawyers, clerks, et cetera, in and out of the remote communities of the region. It makes little sense to fly two separate court parties, neither of which can hear all matters, in and out of these communities. Instead, 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, we hope to introduce a court system for Nunavut that will be simpler and more efficient; that will reduce the number and, hence, the cost of court circuits; and, hopefully, reduce the delay for parties awaiting court appearances.

[English]

The minister assured us that:

...in developing Bill C-57, the Government made a clear choice to preserve the substantive and procedural rights of parties before the courts to the fullest extent possible in a single-level trial court system.

The committee also heard from the three aboriginal groups that claim that the creation of Nunavut will adversely affect rights they claim over land and resources north of the 60th parallel within the territory of Nunavut. Essentially, these groups are asking that we suspend the creation of Nunavut until their claims have been resolved.

[Translation]

The purpose of Bill C-57 is not to create Nunavut, and it is not the proper instrument to settle these claims. In 1993, when the Nunavut Act was passed, the Government of Canada decided that the new Nunavut territory would be established on April 1, 1999. That decision was confirmed last year, when Parliament adopted amendments to the Nunavut Act, in Bill C-39.

Even if we were sympathetic to the claims made by these aboriginal groups, this chamber does not have the power to go back in time and to block the establishment of the new Nunavut territory.

The witnesses representing these three aboriginal groups told the committee that their claims had been brought before the Federal Court of Canada. According to their own testimony, there is a legal process to hear and to settle their claims.

Moreover, the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, and also the Minister of Justice, unequivocally told these people that should the court conclude that they do have rights, as claimed, north of the 60th parallel, Part 40.4 of the final agreement on Nunavut specifically protects the treaty and aboriginal rights of other aboriginal groups in the Nunavut region.

Bill C-57 has to do with the legal structure of the new Nunavut territory. It has nothing to do with territorial boundaries, land claims or the affirmation of aboriginal and treaty rights. It has no relation at all with the claims made by these groups.

[English]

Let me return now to the substance of the bill before us. I should like to outline some of the main themes of Bill C-57, as they highlight some of the unique aspects of the Nunavut Court of Justice.

Honourable senators, one of the very important features of the Nunavut Court of Justice is the fact that the judges of this court will be able to deal with all matters. An amendment to the Nunavut Act provides that a judge of the Nunavut Court of Justice may exercise or perform any power, duty, or function that can be exercised or performed by a judicial official pursuant to any law in force in Nunavut. Amendments contained in a separate part of the Criminal Code establish that a judge of the Nunavut Court of Justice will have all the power, duty, and function of all courts and judicial officials set out in the Criminal Code. As a consequence, a judge of the Nunavut Court of Justice who flies into a remote community on a circuit will be able to hear all matters of the court, from the most minor to the most serious. Complementary legislation will enable the judge to hear all types of matters, from family to criminal and civil matters.

I am confident that this feature will have a positive impact on reducing delays in the hearing of cases and on increasing access to justice for the parties before the court.

[Translation]

Another important aspect of the judiciary structure is that the Nunavut Court of Justice has the status of a superior court. By virtue of the establishment of a one-level trial court, justices of the Nunavut Court will perform their duties as judges of the superior court and will enjoy all powers inherent to judges of the superior court. Of equal importance, like superior court judges anywhere in the country, they will enjoy all the external signs and all the necessary protection to guarantee an independent and impartial justice system.

Since the justices will be residents of Nunavut and will have frequent contacts with the various Nunavut communities, I believe the people of Nunavut will have the impression that their access to justice has improved. They will feel their cases are being examined by judges with a great familiarity with their culture, their values and their needs.

[English]

The Minister of Justice is committed to finding candidates who are qualified, experienced, and committed to the North to be appointed to the Nunavut bench. The honourable minister is on record with her commitment to consult the people of the North to ensure that appointments reflect and respond to the unique demands, culture, and conditions in Nunavut. This commitment can be seen in the newly appointed Judicial Appointment Advisory Committee for Nunavut.

[Translation]

Honourable senators are no doubt aware that the first judge of the Nunavut Court of Justice has been appointed. Madame Justice Beverley Browne was appointed to the Supreme Court of Nunavut on January 11, 1999, and her appointment will take effect on April 1, 1999. Madam Justice Browne has been a judge of the Northwest Territories territorial court at Iqaluit since 1990. Her devotion and commitment to the North is beyond question.

Creation of a one-level court for Nunavut is the point of departure for a justice system to meet the needs of the population served. The Department of Justice of Canada has committed to close collaboration with the new Nunavut Department of Justice in order to best tailor the justice system to the needs and realities of the new territory.

For example, one important issue concerns the training of justices of the peace in order to ensure their competency, independence and impartiality. It is very important for the smooth operation of the Nunavut justice system that, over time, the justices of the peace can complement the work of the Nunavut Court of Justice by settling more minor matters at the community level.

While the training of justices of the peace is a territorial responsibility, the federal Department of Justice will help the Nunavut Department of Justice by providing funding for this training. The Nunavut Department of Justice has launched a competition to find someone willing to work full time on training, supporting and coordinating justices of the peace. The federal Department of Justice will continue to do everything possible to help the new territory accomplish this important task.

[English]

Honourable senators, the new system proposed in Bill C-57 is unprecedented in Canada. There will be a need, therefore, to monitor and evaluate the system in the year ahead to ensure that it achieves the objective of providing an efficient, effective, and accessible justice system. The federal Department of Justice is working with the Nunavut Department of Justice to design a monitoring and evaluation system to identify problems and any possible changes which might be needed.

[Translation]

The creation of Nunavut, in less than four weeks' time, will be a very important point in Canada's history. It is the realization of the dream of the Inuit of the Eastern Arctic. It means the establishment of the first single level trial court in Canada, which will deal with criminal, civil and family matters. It will open a whole new chapter on partnership between the people of Nunavut and the federal government. I ask honourable senators to support the passage of this bill.

Hon. Gérald-A. Beaudoin: Honourable senators, I am pleased to say a few words of support for Bill C-57 to amend the Nunavut Act.

In the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee, we heard from the Minister of Justice and the experts. We examined this bill in detail.

Bill C-57 concerns the creation of a court of justice in a territory. We will soon have a third great territory in Canada, Nunavut, which covers one fifth of Canada. Parliament has total legislative jurisdiction over the territories. The Nunavut judicial system differs from that of the provinces, which is fine, since it is not a province but a territory. The famous section 96 of the Constitution does not come into play.

Moreover, many experts spoke clearly on the issue of protecting the rights of Native peoples: section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, remains intact and applies. This for me is of the highest importance.

[English]

(1500)

Another observation is necessary here. The powers of the provinces originate from the Constitution Act of 1867 and from their constitutive statutes or from Orders in Council. However, the powers of federal territories come from federal legislation. Territories are created by federal legislation. Their powers are delegated. Their delegated powers come from the Parliament of Canada, and not from the Constitution itself. In the present debate, this is most important. We must distinguish between a province and a territory. They are substantially very different. This is stated clearly in our constitution acts.

[Translation]

One word about the language issue. French and English remain official languages, as is the case in all federal institutions. This is what the Constitution of Canada provides, more specifically section 16(1) of the 1982 Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which reads:

English and French are the official languages of Canada and have equality of status and equal rights and privileges as to their use in all institutions of the Parliament and government of Canada.

Bill C-57 on Nunavut is a federal act of a constitutive or organic nature, to use legal jargon. This federal act must comply with our country's official bilingualism policy. I am pleased to note that the provisions of Bill C-57 comply with that principle.

I have nothing else to add at third reading of a bill, which that we already approved in principle at second reading and which the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs thoroughly reviewed. This is, however, a historic moment. At the international level, the Canadian Parliament, through this new structure, is affirming with even greater visibility its supremacy over that huge part of our country in Northern Canada.

[English]

Hon. Jerahmiel S. Grafstein: Honourable senators, I should like to say at the outset that I support the principle of Bill C-57: to establish a new, innovative, single level court system for the newly created territory of Nunavut. I also commend all senators for their work on the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs in reviewing this bill, and all responsible officials who worked so assiduously, arduously and creatively to draft this legislation, especially, as Senator Pépin points out, with the input and the wholesale support of the Inuit who form 85 per cent of the population of Nunavut. This is an essential step in creating a different system of justice for this far-flung, sparsely populated part of Canada. I say this as a one-time member, long ago, of the bar of the Northwest Territories.

While the proposed system is new, different and innovative, it is untested. Hence, my abstention from supporting the report of the committee. Let me explain. I considered proposing an amendment to require an independent review of this legislation by the Minister of Justice within five years of the anniversary of its proclamation, to be tabled in both Houses of Parliament. As we all know, our tendency is to legislate a problem and then assume that it will go away. It does not work, as we have found to our regret.

Problems facing the new territory of Nunavut are beyond critical. Nunavut inherits the highest rates of incarceration and recidivism in Canada by several orders of magnitude, as well as the highest suicide rates and rates of family abuse. All the while, we continue to invest higher and higher per capita amounts by Canadian taxpayers in that far-flung region. Obviously, the underlying social problems remain intense and unresolved.

For far too long this large land mass of Canada - larger in size than Ontario, and one-fifth of Canada's geography - and its residents have been neglected. My hope was that my proposed amendment would have galvanized the newly elected authorities in Nunavut and the authorities in Ottawa to address these deeper-seated concerns and arrest them, rather than its citizens. My hope was that such an amendment would have ensured that Parliament no longer pushed the scorching issues confronting the citizens of Nunavut off the public agenda, as we have done so often in the past. Too often, the newsworthy crowds out the necessary. As in life and business, regularity in accountability provokes action.

However, I was convinced by my colleagues Senators Adams, Chalifoux and Watt that April 1, 1999 is an essential and historic date, and that time is of the essence. This, coupled with the undertaking given by the department, as outlined by Senator Pépin, that there will be a constant monitoring of the new justice system, may be a sufficient safeguard to ensure that it is sensitive to the special needs of all of the citizens of Nunavut.

Unresolved is the power in the role of the Nunavut trust. Senator Pearson advised me that this issue would be pursued by the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples. However, I intend to abstain on this measure, rather than propose my amendment. I remain unconvinced. I believe that we are witnessing a flawed vision in the North and that we have failed to come to grips with the fundamental problems there as yet. We will wait and we will see.

(1510)

Hon. A. Raynell Andreychuk: Honourable senators, I, too, wish to add a few comments with respect to this bill. I am in support of Bill C-57 and the direction it is taking. It is not so innovative for those people who have lived in the North. The process of the varying levels of courts was always difficult by virtue of transportation, the distances to be travelled, and the time limits and the time delays that took place. Therefore, in many cases justice delayed has been justice denied.

The concept of flattening the courts to a single level has been with us for many years. It was being discussed in the Northwest Territories before the discussion on separating Nunavut from the Northwest Territories. I do not believe, however, that this single piece of legislation will change the face of justice and make a better system for the people of the North, although it will allow the courts to be more efficient and more responsive, taking into account the distances and the need to travel.

Honourable senators, I believe the question of justice is a much broader issue. The problem in Nunavut was taken up when the question of creating a new territory was discussed. Most of the people living in the North and many of those who have travelled to the North thought that a new territory in the Eastern Arctic was a way for the people of the North to gain control over their own destiny.

Eighty-five per cent of Nunavut will be composed of the Inuit. Under this bill, there will be approximately 82 justices of the peace and perhaps three to five judges in the future. Therefore, the backbone of the justice system in the North will be the JP system. It will be in the settlements; and it will be on a day-to-day basis. I refer to the usual issues that confront citizens.

The test of the Nunavut court system will be whether it is impartial and whether it is perceived to be by the people in Nunavut, as well as in the rest of Canada. Therefore, I do not believe that parliamentary scrutiny is the best means to determine the concept of justice, as Senator Grafstein has suggested.

There is nothing unique and difficult to comprehend in the process. The question is whether this court system will bring a measure of justice to the people, or at least that they will deem it to be a better system than they have today. When the system commences operation, the test will be whether people are comfortable with the court, whether they accept the process and, more particularly, whether they accept the judgments and the decisions handed down by the courts.

The appointment process of the JPs will be extremely important because with 85 per cent of Nunavut being Inuit, it will be their responsibility to ensure that the minority in the North is treated as fairly as the majority. The test will lie not with Parliament, but with the people of the Inuit communities to ensure that this public system of justice is indigenized to take into account the needs of the Inuit, and at the same time, the needs of the other 15 per cent of the population.

As Senator Pépin pointed out, a number of the Dene groups indicated that they have some fear of the new process because their land claims have not been settled. In some cases, their land claims overlap those that have already been settled with the Inuit. This places a heavy onus on those people who will be sitting on the bench to ensure that they are impartial when they deal with the minority groups, as well as with their own majority Inuit population. When pressed, the Dene felt they had no reason to distrust the Inuit population, and if they do not, I do not feel I can. What I do ask is that the Canadian government take into account the needs of the Dene and not force them into courts to resolve their issues. Surely a process of negotiation with the Dene to solve the problems in the overlapping jurisdictions would go a long way to solving the issues in the North.

The justice system is not only composed of the court system. The justice system will be made up of all of the support systems; the policing mechanisms, the correctional services, the parole services and the family support services. Many of those services offered in the South have disrupted families and destroyed children's access to their parents. I believe that to have a system that responds to the needs of the people in Nunavut will require more resources. I do not believe that the North has received enough money. It takes an incredible amount of money to fly around court parties.

As I said in committee, I hope the government will not take this as an opportunity to reduce funds, but that it will maintain and even increase funding levels, not to the court system particularly, but to the entire justice system. What leads to the courts is more important than what happens in the courts. If more attention is paid by all of us, particularly those in the Nunavut territory, to the root causes of the difficulties - the violence and disruption in families and communities - I believe that there will be a greater measure of justice and a greater and brighter future for the Inuit. I believe that the first step is the new Nunavut territory. The next step will be the administration of this territory, which I trust all senators will support.

Bill C-57 is but one small piece of legislation that is necessary for that emerging new territory. The statute arising from Bill C-57 will no doubt need amendments and changes as practice is put into place. However, I do not believe it would be of benefit for us to peer over the shoulders of the Inuit in a way that we do not in the rest of Canada.

Honourable senators, as we talk about the indigenization of the courts in the North, we must remember that it is a public court system and not an Inuit court system. It is a system of justice for all citizens. Therefore, I believe that it will have an inordinate responsibility to ensure minority rights and minority opinions. A system that does not take into account minorities, be they Dene, non-aboriginal or other factions within the Inuit, cannot call itself a just and fair system. I believe that all people are aware of these issues, and if they receive the proper education, training and support, their system will be equal to, if not better, than the courts we see in the South.

I wish the new court process, Madam Justice Browne, and all other newly appointed JPs well in their new venture. All of us who have followed events in the North will continue to follow its progress. We believe that the steps taken to this point in Bill C-57 will be of assistance to them. I commend, therefore, the government in bringing this bill forward in line with what has been a 10-year project in Nunavut, started many years ago, and contemplated by the justice system some time ago.

(1520)

Hon. Bill Rompkey: Honourable senators, I rise to speak to Bill C-57. It may be one of the last opportunities I get before Nunavut comes into operation. As someone who represents the territory that is the southern neighbour of Nunavut, I should like to say a few words, even though I have not participated in the debate on this particular piece of legislation.

Labrador, as we all know, is the southern neighbour of Nunavut. We welcome them as a territory, and we hope there will be synergies between the two economies, the two peoples and the two areas. We are very optimistic about the possibilities for increased trade and commerce. There has already been much discussion, particularly between the Inuit in Labrador and the Inuit in Nunavut.

On this particular piece of legislation, I wish to echo what Senator Andreychuk has said. One of the points she made was regarding the startling social indicators in Nunavut in terms of alcoholism, family dislocation, and incarceration. These are all indicators, perhaps, of a society that has a significant number of problems to deal with. One of the root causes of those indicators, as Senator Andreychuk said, is the fact that people have not had control over their own lives. The fundamental thing that will happen with the coming into being of Nunavut is that it will give people, for the first time, control over their own lives; a sense of independence, a sense of charting their own destiny. All of us, no matter who we are or where we live, want that sense of self-control and independence of operation. When this happens, whether it is in respect of the court system or the governmental system, I believe it will go a long way to rectifying not just the symptoms of what is happening but the reality of what is happening in Nunavut.

I look forward to this. I welcome it. There is some experimentation here, but I think it is a chance we must take. I believe that if we do take this step, both in the court system and in the system of government, it will produce nothing but positive results in Nunavut.

I hope that all honourable senators will support this legislation.

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

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Senator Grafstein: Honourable senators, I just want to note my abstention on the bill. I do not want to put the chamber to any other dislocation.

Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Acting Deputy Leader of the Opposition) : That would be out of order. There is another means available, however.

Senator Grafstein: Sorry?

Senator Kinsella: An abstention would be out of order. There is another means available.

Motion agreed to and bill read third time and passed.

[Translation]

Royal Canadian Mint Act Currency Act

Bill to Amend-Third reading

Hon. Marisa Ferretti Barth moved the third reading of Bill C-41, to amend the Royal Canadian Mint Act and the Currency Act.

She said: Honourable senators, I am pleased to speak to Bill C-41, to amend the Royal Canadian Mint Act and the Currency Act.

[Translation]

The Royal Canadian Mint is a Canadian institution that has preserved and promoted the symbols of our nation and of our identity. The coins it mints for Canada and other countries are recognized for their quality and exceptional artistic design. These coins are sold, bought and exchanged throughout the world.

In 1987, the legislation governing the Mint was amended so as to allow this Crown corporation to become a fully commercial operation. The purpose of Bill C-47 is to allow the Royal Canadian Mint to improve its effectiveness and to expand its opportunities in markets, which have evolved considerably in the last ten years.

I would remind senators of the bill's primary purpose, which is to simplify the coin circulation and design approval process, streamline the Mint's operating structure, and give the Mint greater powers so that it can carry out its mandate of global leadership in minting.

Passage of this bill is vital to the future of the Mint. During debate and subsequent consideration in committee, I was impressed by the fierce competition that exists on the international coin minting market for foreign countries. This international market represents 80 per cent of the Mint's revenue. Last year alone, the Mint produced over 2 billion coins for 17 different countries.

Under Bill C-41, the Mint would be given the capacity of a natural person. This will give it the necessary flexibility to carry out its long-term goals and become a world leader in its field.

These powers will enable it to modify its business structure, by forming partnerships or creating subsidiaries, for instance. The monetary institutions of other governments, such as Great Britain, Austria and Germany, already have this flexibility. They are Canada's main competitors. These new powers will put Canada in a more advantageous position on the highly competitive international market.

Another key provision in this bill relates to enhancing the borrowing power of the Mint. This would enable it to meet any future financial needs and to take prompt advantage of any attractive and profitable business opportunity that might arise. At the request of the Mint, independent financial experts analyzed this adjustment to its borrowing power. Their conclusion was that this was prudent and in line with the present economic situation. Even with enhanced borrowing power, rest assured that the Mint will continue to be subject to the same stringent accountability structure as at present.

Honourable senators, I was agreeably surprised, as were many other senators, by the rigorous professionalism exhibited by the Mint executives who appeared before the committee. The Mint is directed by a top-notch team. It plays a lead role in its field, and it is also profitable. Breaking into the international coinage market requires not only a great deal of experience, but also the ability to anticipate events so as to take advantage of opportunities that present themselves for gaining a market share. This requires certain tools.

[English]

In recognition of this, I would submit that passage of this bill can be our way of providing the Mint with the best means of achieving its goal. Canadians would expect nothing less.

[Translation]

If our flag represents the grandeur of our beautiful country, the Royal Canadian Mint represents its wealth.

[English]

(1530)

Hon. Terry Stratton: Honourable senators, I have a few comments regarding this bill. I do not have any objections to the bill itself because the questions were answered quite well during committee hearings. I do commend the President of the Mint, Ms Wetherup, for her presentation. In that presentation, as stated by Senator Ferretti Barth, the main issues regarding increased borrowing authority from $50 million to $75 million were essentially answered. Although there was some reservation on our side, we were satisfied with the response.

In Winnipeg, an addition to the Mint has been completed for the production of coin blanks and plating. It appeared at first blush that this production of coin blanks at the Mint in Winnipeg would put it in direct competition with a company in Edmonton called Westaim which produces coin blanks. Our concern was that the Mint in Winnipeg would compete directly with the private company, and that facing a kind of bottomless pit in the Canadian government could put it out of business. We received assurances from the master of the Mint on that score - and I must say "master" because it is a wonderful word, particularly when it applies to a woman such as Ms Wetherup. "Master" is the traditional terminology which the present master is quite proud to use. I am pleased that they carry on the tradition.

We did, though, have concerns with the competition aspects of the new addition. Ms Wetherup assured us, as did the minister, that indeed this would not be a problem because when the Royal Canadian Mint was competing for work overseas, they had trouble obtaining blanks. They could not obtain a sufficient supply from Westaim. They had to go overseas to obtain that supply and at times be looking to their current competitors, such as the British Mint, to supply the blanks. Because the competitors were going after the same projects, our Mint would be given a much higher quote for the supply of blanks.

This is the assurance that we received from Master Wetherup: Westaim is satisfied with that response. There will be no fear of being put out of business by the Royal Canadian Mint on the production of coin blanks, and that there will indeed be room in the market for both the Mint's addition in Winnipeg and for Westaim. To that end, I am satisfied by the responses of Minister Gagliano and Master Wetherup.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Motion agreed to and bill read third time and passed.

Security and Intelligence

Consideration of Report of Special Committee- Motion in Amendment-Debate Adjourned

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Kelly, seconded by the Honourable Senator Beaudoin, for the adoption of the Report of the Special Senate Committee on Security and Intelligence, deposited with the Clerk of the Senate on January 14, 1999.-(Honourable Senator Bryden).

Hon. John G. Bryden: Honourable senators, I wish to comment on the report of the Special Senate Committee on Security and Intelligence, but first I wish to reply, I hope with good humour, to Senator Kelly's expressed frustration with me during the proceedings. I had hoped that Senator Kelly would be here today.

Senator Kelly will retire soon and, therefore, many of you will miss the experience of serving on a committee of which he is the chair. That will be your loss. I have never been in the army, but from reading and watching old war movies, Senator Kelly reminds me of a sergeant-major who has an objective to obtain. In the process, there will be casualties. Indeed, he may stand alone on that hill but, by golly, he will get there.

In war, the first casualty is truth. I took it upon myself to see that the facts would not become casualties in meeting our committee's objectives. As you can tell from Senator Kelly's speech on the report, he has very strong opinions about many matters relating to security, intelligence, to refugees and to terrorist threats. In my opinion, he approached the committee as being a vehicle which would give those opinions a platform and perhaps a credibility that they might not otherwise have had.

On the other hand, perhaps because of my previous career, I was adamant that the opinions expressed and the conclusions drawn in the report of the committee would be based on evidence presented, tested and weighed by the committee itself.

I, at least, was somewhat frustrated initially by the process to be followed. It was a little unusual, to say the least. To give a couple of examples, the notice of the first meeting of the committee indicated that there would be witnesses. When I inquired who those witnesses would be, I was told that that information would remain confidential until the meeting. Initially, there were no transcripts of the proceedings, even for committee members. Needless to say, the chair's and the deputy chair's approach to these and many other issues were poles apart. Such matters should have been resolved by the steering committee. There was a steering committee, but it never met.

Inevitably, the procedural issues ended up being debated at the committee meetings themselves. No wonder our first clerk gave us up part way into the hearings. The replacement, who with fortitude and tenacity managed this project through to the end, immediately left to join the staff of the Human Rights Commission. On behalf of the committee, I wish to thank both Barbara Reynolds and Nadine Huggins for their professionalism, patience and good humour.

(1540)

The final report and recommendations are the result of discussion and considerable compromises among the committee members. I believe the fact that this report is unanimous and without dissenting opinions is largely due to the experience, common sense and diplomacy of Senators Corbin, LeBreton, Andreychuk and Pépin. I should like to personally thank them.

As sometimes happens in these inquiries, two senators, Senator Kelly and myself, took many of the initiatives and did considerable independent investigation and research, both personally and through our researchers. However, the other members of the committee, whom I have just mentioned, subjected that evidence to their scrutiny, the drafts of the report to their wisdom, and the chair and the deputy chair to their experience and common sense. Largely as a result of their efforts, the inquiry was enhanced and the final report is balanced and unanimous and I support it.

Honourable senators, the overall message that I wish to convey to you today, as a result of our inquiry, is that Canadians are well served by the security and intelligence agencies and professionals within the Government of Canada. Any individual or organization that might assume that because we are an open and democratic society which puts a high value on individual rights and freedoms and makes Canada a soft target for terrorist activity would do so at their peril. This field, like so many, must constantly adjust to and anticipate challenge from a changing world of politics and technology. After six months of inquiry, research and expert testimony, I - and I believe the majority of senators on the committee - was reassured that Canada is well aware of the risks and has taken or is taking the necessary steps to address them. That is why I would have preferred that much of our proceedings had been public and that only the very sensitive evidence and information had been taken in camera. I believe many Canadians like me would have been reassured and much light could have been shed on an area that for too long has been cloaked in unnecessary secrecy.

I know, honourable senators, that by now each of you will have read the report from cover to cover. Let me briefly outline some of the structures and processes currently in place, which contribute to this sense of confidence. The policies and priorities of Canada relating to security and intelligence are provided by the ministers who meet on security and intelligence. This meeting normally includes the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, National Defence, Solicitor General and Justice, and is chaired by the Prime Minister. The committee is supported by a secretariat in the Privy Council Office that coordinates the activity of the community on a day-to-day basis. In addition, the Clerk of the Privy Council chairs the Interdepartmental Committee on Security and Intelligence, called ICSI, which reviews major policy, resource and operational proposals being made to cabinet, advises the ministers meeting on priorities and considers major intelligence issues. There are other analytic and coordinating functions in more detail in the report.

At the operations level of security intelligence, there are two principal intelligence gathering agencies. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service gathers, analyzes and communicates intelligence information relating to the domestic security of Canada and Canadians and takes preventative measures such as the deportation of known terrorists. The communications security establishment, on the other hand, monitors and analyzes foreign communications of all kinds. It should be noted that this agency is prohibited from monitoring domestic or Canadian communications of any type.

The RCMP and the appropriate local police forces are responsible for the protection and enforcement in cases of anticipated or actual illegal acts and the RCMP is the lead agency on the ground in the event of a terrorist incident. The evidence showed full cooperation between CSIS and the RCMP at all levels, and the same was true between local forces, for example, the Ontario Provincial Police and the Peel Regional Police and the two federal agencies.

There is a National Counter-Terrorism Plan that sets out the mechanism and protocols for responding in the event of a terrorist incident. It establishes the relationship between the police officer in charge at the scene with other responders as well as up the line to the responsible minister, normally the Solicitor General. In any major incident, the Canadian Forces Joint Task Force Two, JTF2, a highly trained, specially equipped mobile unit, stands ready to respond to the call of the civilian authority.

Honourable senators, the members of the committee had the opportunity and privilege of observing some of the facilities and capabilities of our security and intelligence community. We received detailed explanations and candid answers to our questions. Believe me, Canada is no soft target. However, there are a number of areas that will demand increased attention and resources going forward.

Canada is one of the most advanced nations of the world in terms of power generation and transmission, telecommunications and information technology. These advanced technologies and infrastructures have greatly assisted Canada in bridging our vast geography and enhancing our global interconnections, but they have also increased our vulnerability to potential terrorist disruption. The ice storm of last year is a small example of the impact of disruptions to our essential infrastructures.

What a wonderful opportunity the turn of the century provides for a cyber-terrorist to disrupt national and international systems under the cover of the expected Y2K confusion. Canada needs the capability to assess and reduce our vulnerabilities to prevent and respond not only to physical but also cyber attacks on both private and public infrastructures.

Second, cryptography allows messages passed over the Internet to be coded in such a way as to be readable only by a receiver who has a key to unlock the code. This has wonderful privacy advantages for legitimate global transactions. However, it means that intelligence agencies, even with judicial authorization to audit messages, cannot decipher what they hear or what they read. Research, resources and international cooperation will be required to level the playing field for our security and police to do their work.

Third, changing global politics over the past number of years has seen the breakup of the Soviet Union, divisions within various nations, and a proliferation of groups with agendas driven by nationalism, tribalism and various ideologies. At the same time, access to materials and information worldwide has increased the possibility of terrorist use of weapons of high casualty potential; nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. Every expert witness before our committee who was asked indicated that the likelihood of the use of such weapons in Canada is very low in their opinion. However, the potential destruction and loss of life involved in a single successful attack requires that Canada be prepared to respond.

The U.S. is expending billions of dollars in preparation for such an incident, as well as to counter cyber-terrorism. Canada and the U.S. have excellent relations on matters of security and cooperate closely and broadly in these and other areas.

(1550)

As in all areas of international terrorism our best defence is international cooperation and a commitment to deal with these threats. The committee recommends that Canada at all levels of government must be prepared to encounter the impact of such weapons. The people who respond to the initial report of an incident are the local police, firefighters and emergency medical personnel. They are referred to as first responders.

We need trained first responders across Canada to identify and respond to a nuclear, biological or chemical incident or attack. They need to have appropriate protective and diagnostic equipment. Joint training exercises should occur among the DND, the RCMP and the first responders throughout the country. The training and equipping of first responders on a national capital region model, or an enhanced version would be a good place to start.

The final area upon which I wish to make a comment is that of immigration refugees and the smuggling of aliens across the Canada-U.S. border. Senator Kelly pointed out the problems and risks, and there is a detailed recitation of these issues in our report.

I also wish to utter some words of caution. The evidence before our committee was that the smuggling of illegal immigrants into Canada and illegal aliens into the United States from Canada, is a greed-driven, for-profit criminal activity, not a terrorist activity. Indeed, in many cases, the same avenues, methods and people who are now smuggling people for profit are used for smuggling cigarettes. I can recall no evidence that terrorists had used this traffic to move back and forth across the border. This is a matter of criminal activity, not national security.

The issue of refugees arriving at ports of entry in increasing numbers and the ability to manage that influx appropriately must be addressed. Knee-jerk and simplistic responses should be avoided. For example, a provincial attorney general recently mused that perhaps all refugees should be detained for a specific period of time. Years ago, refugees and immigrants used to be quarantined for potential diseases, and immigrants and citizens with yellow skin were once interned for security reasons. In my opinion, these are not examples to follow.

As long as we live in the best country in the world and as long as the number of people in desperate circumstances continues to increase, Canada and the U.S. will be seen as a haven if not a heaven to these people. Canada must develop an enlightened and modern approach to this issue.

Finally, on the matter of the review of the activities of the security intelligence community, the report provides informative and detailed information. There are two review levels for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the inspector general who acts basically as an internal auditor, and the Security Intelligence Review Committee which conducts an external review. Every witness appearing before us indicated that these mechanisms are working well.

A commissioner who was appointed in 1996 under the Inquiries Act reviews the communications security establishment. This is also functioning well, but the committee recommends that this agency should be set up by an Act of Parliament and that act would include permanent review mechanisms separate from but modeled on the Security Intelligence Review Committee.

I am not as concerned as some others on the committee with a parliamentary review. Evidence was led that some other parliamentary democracies see our present system in this area as superior. Other systems in other countries are being disbanded.

I have a practical concern that members of the committee need to spend most of their time and effort carrying out their mandates, not preparing for reviews. Parliament must always have the authority to review the activities if and when required.

In retrospect, honourable senators, this has been an interesting learning experience for me. I appreciated working with the members of the committee, including Senator Kelly, although someone suggested that one of us was rather stubborn.

In any event, I recommend the report to you.

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, although there seems to be some doubt in the mind of Senator Bryden that some senators would read this report, let me assure him that I did read the report from cover to cover. In my analysis of the report, I became aware of what I considered to be a conflict with respect to the business of the Senate at the present time.

One of the recommendations of this report relates to the establishment of a standing committee on security. That matter is under debate in the Standing Committee on Privileges, Standing Rules and Orders at the present time and they have not yet reported. This matter is under active consideration.

In particular, I examined the way in which this report was placed before the Senate. This is a motion to approve the committee's report. If we approve the committee's report, we are, in essence, subverting the work of the Rules Committee. Therefore, I would like to make an amendment to the report of Senator Kelly.

I have Senator Kelly's approval for this amendment

Motion in Amendment

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I move:

That the report be not now adopted, but that it be amended by deleting recommendation number 33 and that recommendation number 33 be referred to the Standing Committee on Privileges, Standing Rules and Orders for consideration and report.

The Hon. the Acting Speaker: Honourable senators, is it your pleasure to adopt the motion in amendment?

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Hon. A. Raynell Andreychuk: Honourable senators, I intended to move the adjournment of the debate.

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Hon. Noël Kinsella (Acting Deputy Leader of the Opposition) : I rise on a point of order. We wish the motion on the amendment to be subject to debate. I thought Senator Andreychuk was rising to adjourn the debate on the amendment. The amendment which you read is not passed.

The Hon. the Acting Speaker: Are honourable senators clear that we are voting on the adjournment of the debate on the amendment proposed by Senator Carstairs?

Senator Kinsella: Honourable senators, we are calling for debate on the amendment, and the debate will be adjourned by Senator Andreychuk. Therefore, we are not voting on anything.

On motion of Senator Andreychuk, debate adjourned.

The Estimates 1998-99

Retention and Compensation Issues in the Public Service-Report of National Finance Committee- Debate Adjourned

The Senate proceeded to consideration of the ninth report of the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance, presented in the Senate on February 18, 1999.

Hon. Terry Stratton moved the adoption of the report.

He said: Honourable senators, we first heard of the problem regarding the civil service in media reports in the fall of 1997. There was one broadcast by the CBC on Jason Moscovitz's Saturday morning parliamentary show, and then further written reports in various newspapers. The reports expressed concern about the number of senior level employees leaving the civil service.

The government shared the concern at that time and the Public Management Research Centre carried out focus groups. The concerns of civil servants were both monetary and non-monetary. They were concerned about the public perception of the value of their work, and they were dissatisfied with the responsibilities and authority they had.

The government then established an advisory committee on senior level retention and compensation, chaired by Lawrence Strong. Jocelyn Bourgon, then Clerk of the Privy Council, stated in her fourth report:

There is a "quiet crisis" underway in the public service today. It is quiet because few people are aware of the crisis, and even fewer people have started to do something about it.

The government then began a program called La Relève to build a modern and vibrant public service. I suggest that this will take time. However, we are still faced with the crisis.

The Committee on National Finance heard from various witnesses, including Marcel Massé, the President of the Treasury Board; Lawrence Strong; representatives of the various unions, the Auditor General, the Department of National Defence and the Department of Justice. We heard from those departments on how they were progressing with the rebuilding of the civil service.

Over the course of the committee's inquiry into conditions in the public service it was possible to identify a number of factors that affect recruitment and retention of employees in the public service:

First, there was a serious demographic problem that threatened the quality of service that Canadians have come to expect from their government. In simple terms, the public service is ageing rapidly, and there is a concern that not enough has been done to ensure that experienced employees will replace those who are retiring.

Second, there is a morale problem that stems from the general criticism aimed at the public service by the media and politicians during the 1990s. After this public onslaught on the value of public employees, the government, as part of its fiscal policy, began systematically to dismantle a large part of its infrastructure and to lay off workers through buy-outs and early retirement packages. While the government was successful in achieving some degree of fiscal stability, the program review exercise had a devastating effect on the self-esteem of employees in the public service.

Finally, there is a monetary concern related to the six-year pay freeze and the relatively low pay offers - 2.5 per cent to civil servants versus 3.8 per cent last year across the board in the private sector - made by the government now that negotiations with employees have resumed. That is quite a substantial difference, although it may not sound like a lot.

The government's compensation policy may be undermined by the apparent uneven treatment of different levels of employees. That factor, as well as others, bears on the ability of the government to attract new recruits and to retain experienced employees.

Since 1992, cuts in recruitment levels and retirement incentive packages have combined to create a public service that is under-represented among young people and among persons above 50 years of age. This government must find a way to recruit more young people and to encourage older workers with experience to remain with the public service beyond the normal retirement age.

Canada's public service is getting old and is about to retire. Demographic evidence shows that about 90 per cent of senior level executives in the public service will be eligible for retirement benefits by the year 2005. The portion of executives that could retire from the public service in a 10-year period without penalty stood at 51 per cent in 1992. The same group accounted for 70 per cent of employees in 1997. While they may not retire, the possibility exists that the public service could suffer a major loss of senior employees.

Among junior levels, 70 per cent of employees are approaching retirement. This presents Canadians with a startling proportion of employees who are eligible to retire early in the new millennium and who are currently predisposed to doing so. The current public service pension provides no financial incentive for employees to remain after the age of 55.

Exacerbating the problem are the recent practices of program review which did not take this eventuality into account when the public service workforce was cut back. Older employees are under-represented at this time because the massive downsizing created incentives to make it easier for workers in their fifties to leave without pension penalties.

Furthermore, since the selection of eligible employees was achieved on a voluntary basis, many who left were among the best employees. There may not have been adequate consideration given to retaining the most effective and experienced employees.

Loss of so many experienced employees in so short a period of time is a matter of grave concern. Already the office of the Auditor General has noted that the government is currently experiencing significant problems with some programs because of staff shortages. In particular, it is not always able to hire experienced workers to replace those who are leaving. With an increasing number of persons having less experience filling these vacancies, the Auditor General is fearful that the quality of service could suffer. He is concerned that the new recruits into the upper levels of management will not have been given sufficient opportunity to develop the kind of vision, versatility, experience, and expertise required at the uppermost levels.

Another worrisome aspect of the demographic profile to the public service is that there are not enough young employees. The entire service is getting older, and that is a concern. Younger employees are absent because the public sector has not recruited to any large degree for almost 10 years. Some witnesses expressed concern that the government would not be able to attract young persons because of a negative connotation associated with public service employment. According to this view, the best and the brightest of our college and university graduates no longer wish to consider a career in the public service. Young people do indeed apply to the public service, but we do not hire many. Those that we hire tend to leave for the private sector after gaining a few years of experience because there is more pay and respect within the community when you work in the private sector.

If action is not taken soon, the public service will be increasingly at risk of not only losing the talent that it has developed for future needs but also losing existing talent to early departure to the private sector. Years of wage and recruitment freezes, downsizing, voluntary departures and the ageing of the public service are causing a serious demographic imbalance within the public service.

The committee believes that the federal government should be concerned both about the lack of youthful employees and the accelerated loss of experienced workers. The crisis will not be something like a strike or anything of that nature; it is that experienced workers achieving 55 years of age can walk out the door with pensions and just say goodbye. They will quietly disappear, and nothing will be heard about it until there is another crescendo reached by these people leaving. This must be dealt with soon.

I appreciate there are efforts underway to deal with this situation, but there is a huge morale problem because you are giving large wage settlements to some of the upper management levels, out of necessity. Otherwise, they would leave for the private sector, and that is exemplified by pilots in the Armed Forces leaving to go and fly in the private sector despite the fact they received increases and bonuses. However, the size of increases at that level has a negative impact on the middle and ordinary folks in the civil service who get 2.5 per cent. There is then a clawback through Canada Pension and a further clawback through their government pension increases. The government will increase the contributions from 30 to 40 per cent on their pensions, so the net effect of a 2.5 per cent increase is virtually 1 per cent.

It is a serious problem, and I do not have a magic button here that can solve it. It will take time, and it is a critical issue.

I commend the report to the Senate.

On motion of Senator Carstairs, for Senator Cools, debate adjourned.

Family Violence

Inquiry-Debate Continued

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the inquiry of the Honourable Senator Carstairs calling the attention of the Senate to the magnitude of family violence in our society and, in particular, the need for collaborative efforts to seek solutions to the various aspects of this form of violence.-(Honourable Senator Cools).

Hon. Erminie J. Cohen: Honourable senators, it is far more widespread than AIDS and destroys more lives than heart disease, cancer, or automobile accidents. What is it? You may be surprised to learn that I am speaking of family violence.

Over the past several decades, Canadian society has been shocked by the disclosure of family violence in its many forms and astounded that family violence in our communities has reached such alarming proportions. This issue needs our constant attention, and I thank Senator Carstairs for this inquiry and for initiating the debate with such eloquence and heartfelt conviction.

In the 1960s, we were alerted to the shocking incidence of child abuse, and we focused our attention on the child's right to live free from abuse. In the 1970s, we rallied against the abuse of women, with wide-scale focus on wife battering, sexual assault, and harassment. It was in the 1980s that elder abuse reared its ugly head.

Mistreatment of seniors was given primacy by the press because of the gravity of the issue and the phenomenal growth of the senior population in Canada. It is now acknowledged that elder abuse is a complex problem that touches a significant number of Canadians.

As 1999 is designated the International Year of the Older Person, I will address the problem of elder abuse as a form of family violence which is, unfortunately, becoming more and more prevalent.

The Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence in Fredericton, New Brunswick, describes elder abuse as "quiet suffering." The foundation claims that a significant number of Canada's elderly people are neither happy nor safe and are being victimized in their own homes by family members or caregivers.

According to Statistics Canada, most researchers agree that senior abuse involves abuse by persons with some degree of intimacy or emotional closeness to the elderly victim, including family members and non-family caregivers. Like child abuse, senior abuse can take many forms, including violence, neglect, and mistreatment.

However, four types of abuse are most common, and the Family Violence Division of Health Canada defines them as follows: Physical abuse is assault, rough handling, sexual abuse, or the withholding of physical necessities such as food, personal care, hygienic care, or medical care. Psychological abuse is verbal assault, social isolation, lack of affection, or denying seniors the chance to participate in decisions with respect to their own lives. Financial abuse is the misuse of money or property, and this can include fraud or using the funds of elders for purposes contrary to their needs and interests.

Honourable senators, financial abuse is the single most prevalent category. Conscious neglect is described as a deliberate decision of a caregiver not to meet the needs of the elderly person. In passive neglect, the caregiver does not intend to injure the dependent elder.

Currently, there are still no national statistics on the prevalence or incidence of senior abuse in Canada; however, there are two sources which can provide some information. They are the National Survey on the Occurrence of Elder Abuse conducted in 1989 and the police records gathered by the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics. The national survey was based on 2,000 telephone interviews with older people in private dwellings and highlighted many problems older persons in Canada face in regard to abuse.

Approximately 19,000 elderly persons are victims of more than one form of abuse, and we already know it is probably only the tip of the iceberg. Chronic verbal aggression, a component of psycho-social abuse, affects approximately 34,000 elderly Canadians, while 12,000 seniors in Canada experience physical abuse and 10,000 are neglected by their caregivers, an appalling situation.

It is recognized that victims of physical abuse are more likely to be married, and female victims of abuse outnumber male victims by approximately five to three.

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For a variety of reasons, victims do not seek the assistance of social service or law enforcement agencies. However, there is some data available from police records which is collected by the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics. This centre produces an annual report on family violence which deals with abuse of spouses, children and older adults.

The 1998 report finds that older adults made up 12 per cent of the Canadian population in 1996, the equivalent of 3.6 million people aged 65 and over. They were the victims in 2 per cent of violent crimes reported to the police. Some one-fifth of these crimes were committed by a family member. Older women continue to be abused by their partners as they age; and 42 per cent are most often victimized by a spouse. Some 59 per cent of older men are most often victimized by an adult child.

The proportion of older adults in Canada is projected to increase to 17 per cent by 2016, and to 23 per cent by 2041. Therefore, with the ageing of the Canadian population, the study of elder abuse must become a priority to help service providers, the justice community and society in general.

Improving the quality of life of older persons in Canada by ensuring their physical, material and psychological security has been the concern of many groups, governmental and otherwise. They find it difficult to determine the extent to which seniors are being abused, whether psychologically, physically or financially, because like those for spousal abuse and child abuse, statistics on elder abuse are incomplete because a large number of incidents are concealed and/or unreported. In fact, seniors are often reluctant to report abuse for a number of reasons. They may feel ashamed, guilty or fearful, or they may want to protect the abuser because of emotional, physical or financial dependency - a pathetic position to be in.

Dorothy Dacey, an expert in the field of domestic violence, believes that all forms of this type of violence are related. She states:

...it's very sad to say that often the abuse relates to the perceived vulnerability of the person. When it's a family member, it's a matter of lashing out at the one person who they can lash out at.

Research findings further indicate that seniors are vulnerable to abuse most often by those on whom they are dependent for food, shelter, care or companionship. The more the older person is dependent, the more vulnerable they are to abuse, for example, those suffering from mental or physical disabilities.

Most senior abuse is committed by a family member who was often dependent on the older adult for money or shelter. In institutions, this abuse often takes the form of neglect and lack of respect. Victims of abuse, as well as abusers, come from all economic, social and cultural backgrounds.

There are also some situational risk factors associated with elder abuse, such as isolation, lack of money and unsatisfactory living arrangements. The problem of abuse is obviously not new. However, the revelation of it, coupled with the knowledge that abuse is widespread, is only now starting to register. The most disheartening problem of family violence is that there are new victims every day.

Elder abuse can no longer be our country's ugly secret. The violence and abuse no one wanted to acknowledge for generations has leaked out of the closet. This knowledge has invaded our lives and our communities. It is now something which we can no longer ignore.

On a federal level, the government has done much to encourage and support research and concrete action dealing with elder abuse in Canada through the Family Violence Prevention Division within Health Canada and the Family Violence Initiative introduced in 1988 which involved seven federal departments and agencies.

Funding of research and programs has helped to improve our understanding of elder abuse. The ultimate solution to any type of violence is primary prevention. Our society is creating violent children and youth who become violent adults. However, no single intervention strategy will solve the problem of violence. We need a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary approach which will transform our culture - not an easy task.

We need to understand that we do not evolve as individuals, we evolve as communities. We are all interdependent, both socially and emotionally. We need a vital, invested community that recognizes family violence as a serious social problem with short and long-term implications for survivors, their families and society as a whole.

The solution to the problem of domestic and family violence lies in a drastic change in our institutions and our economy, a restructuring of our society to eliminate inequality and dependency. However, honourable senators, we can feel hopeful when we consider that victims are talking about violence and Canadians are listening. We are working together for solutions.

To quote Jennifer Baker Flemming, a pioneer in the field of domestic violence:

Abuse will cease when it is no longer a socially acceptable institution.

On motion of Senator Callbeck, debate adjourned.

National Defence

Motion to Establish Special Committee to Examine Activities of Canadian Airborne Regiment in Somalia- Motion in Amendment-Debate Continued

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Lynch-Staunton, seconded by the Honourable Senator Berntson:

That a Special Committee of the Senate be appointed to examine and report on the manner in which the chain of command of the Canadian Forces both in-theatre and at National Defence Headquarters, responded to the operational, disciplinary, decision-making and administrative problems encountered during the Somalia deployment to the extent that these matters have not been examined by the Commission of Inquiry into the Deployment of Canadian Forces to Somalia;

That the Committee in examining these issues may call witnesses from whom it believes it may obtain evidence relevant to these matters including but not limited to:

1. former Ministers of National Defence;

2. the then Deputy Minister of National Defence;

3. the then Acting Chief of Staff of the Minister of National Defence;

4. the then special advisor to the Minister of National Defence (M. Campbell);

5. the then special advisor to the Minister of National Defence (J. Dixon);

6. the persons occupying the position of Judge Advocate General during the relevant period;

7. the then Deputy Judge Advocate General (litigation); and

8. the then Chief of Defence Staff and Deputy Chief of Defence Staff.

That seven Senators, nominated by the Committee of Selection act as members of the Special Committee, and that three members constitute a quorum;

That the Committee have power to send for persons, papers and records, to examine witnesses under oath, to report from time to time and to print such papers and evidence from day to day as may be ordered by the Committee;

That the Committee have power to authorize television and radio broadcasting, as it deems appropriate, of any or all of its proceedings;

That the Committee have the power to engage the services of such counsel and other professional, technical, clerical and other personnel as may be necessary for the purposes of its examination;

That the political parties represented on the Special Committee be granted allocations for expert assistance with the work of the Committee;

That it be empowered to adjourn from place to place within and outside Canada;

That the Committee have the power to sit during sittings and adjournments of the Senate;

That the Committee submit its report not later than one year from the date of it being constituted, provided that if the Senate is not sitting, the report will be deemed submitted on the day such report is deposited with the Clerk of the Senate; and

That the Special Committee include in its report, its findings and recommendations regarding the structure, functioning and operational effectiveness of National Defence Headquarters, the relationship between the military and civilian components of NDHQ, and the relationship among the Deputy Minister of Defence, the Chief of Defence Staff and the Minister of National Defence,

And on the motion in amendment of the Honourable Senator Forrestall, seconded by the Honourable Senator Beaudoin, that the motion be amended by adding in paragraph 2 the following:

"9. the present Minister of National Defence.".-(Honourable Senator Carstairs)

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, the past few years have been turbulent ones for the Canadian Armed Forces. The Canadian Forces and the Department of National Defence have been challenged to respond to successive budget cuts, personnel reductions and a very active slate of operations both at home and abroad.

Nevertheless, the events surrounding the deployment of the Canadian Forces to Somalia have been at the heart of four years of turmoil for the Canadian Forces. The tragic events that tarred the Somalia deployment were not and are not reflective of the Canadian Forces as a whole - far from it. Nevertheless, the deployment did reveal some weaknesses in the forces that needed to be addressed. These weaknesses have been assessed extensively, not just by the Somalia commission but by a number of other internal and external bodies as well.

In response, the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces have set in motion a comprehensive program of reforms. Pressing on with these changes will better serve to strengthen the forces as a vital national institution than continuing to revisit past events.

The issues surrounding the Somalia deployment have been extensively reviewed. No less than four separate reviews address these issues. The first was the report of the Department of National Defence Board of Inquiry. Although only the first phase of this board was completed before the Somalia commission of inquiry was convened, it made 33 major recommendations. As a result of these recommendations, the Canadian Forces developed, among other things, a harassment and racism awareness program and a zero tolerance approach to racism.

A second review took the form of the post-operations report produced by the Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff. This report contained 18 major recommendations and 140 subordinate recommendations on subjects ranging from training, operations, personnel, equipment and command and control.

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The product of this lessons-learned exercise was publication of the "Joint Doctrine for Canadian Forces Joint and Combined Operations." In addition, the Canadian Forces reviewed the way in which they prepare for missions. This review covered rules of engagement which arose as a key issue during the Somalia mission. The force's new approach to developing rules of engagement was used in negotiating the rules of engagement for NATO's peace implementation force in Bosnia and has won considerable praise from our allies. Indeed, as a reflection of the improvements the forces have made of this area, Canada played a major role in adopting rules of engagement for the UN's mission in Haiti.

The third assessment of the events in Somalia was undertaken by the Commission of Inquiry into the Deployment of the Canadian Forces to Somalia, chaired by Justice Létourneau. The commission's review was extensive. In a process that spanned over two years, the commission heard some 116 witnesses over 183 days, amounting to over 38,000 pages of hearing transcript. It reviewed over 150,000 documents and released 419 document books. All of this resulted in a final report that totalled nearly 1,700 pages, containing some 160 recommendations.

The fourth review to examine the events in Somalia was the report of the Minister of National Defence to the Prime Minister on the leadership and management of the Canadian Forces. This report, which addresses many of the same concerns raised by the Somalia commission, sets out a comprehensive plan to reform aspects of the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces. The report reflects the views of many Canadians, including some of Canada's most distinguished military experts. The report included a review of the military justice system, lead by the Right Honourable Brian Dickson, former chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. Chief Justice Dickson made 35 proposals for changes to the military justice system, all of which were recommended to the Prime Minister. In total, the Prime Minister received 100 recommendations for change in the Canadian Forces.

New officers will require a university degree, the only exception to this rule being those officers commissioned from the ranks. This level of education we hope will enhance the ability of officers to deal capably and professionally with the wide variety of complex challenges they face on a daily basis, especially in operations.

To ensure that they retain and develop their leadership skills, officers will receive professional development in areas like leadership, ethics and management as their careers progress. Action will also be taken to improve the training and development of Canadian Forces non-commissioned members.

The way in which Canadian Forces assess and promote personnel will also be improved. This effort will include the establishment of a systemic and rigorous review of the performance of all personnel at the end of their initial period of service to determine their fitness for reappointment.

Honourable senators, a sound military justice system is essential to a sound armed forces. How well it functions will have a direct effect on both morale and discipline.

The special advisory group headed by Chief Justice Dickson made far-reaching recommendations that would amount to a significant reform of the Canadian military justice system. It is proposed that the investigative, prosecutorial and judicial functions within the military system be separated to avoid real and perceived conflict of interest; the rights of individuals be afforded greater protection; the military policing capability of the Canadian Forces be significantly improved; and the oversight and review of the military justice system as a whole be strengthened.

Steps are also proposed to make the military grievance system fairer and more responsive. An ombudsman will be established to assist any member of the department or the forces, military or civilian, who feels that they have been treated improperly in any matter. These proposed measures will ensure a rigorous, transparent and fair military justice system that treats all members of the forces, from the newest recruit to the most senior general, in the same manner.

Honourable senators, the government has also responded to questions that have been raised about the organization and accountability of National Defence Headquarters. Critics have suggested that the headquarters should be reorganized to separate its military and civilian functions. The report to the Prime Minister concluded that civilian military integration at the national headquarters remains a desirable feature - one that we share with our major allies - and that the respective roles of the military and civilian parts of the headquarters were warranted. While the essential structure of the headquarters was found to be sound, some specific measures to improve its functioning were identified. In this regard, the following specific steps have been taken.

Military advice conveyed to the minister and cabinet is now clearly identified as such in all appropriate documents; accountability to the Deputy Minister and the Chief of the Defence Staff, among the senior staff, has been clarified.

The practice of having both the Deputy Minister and the Chief of the Defence Staff sign memoranda has been ended, except for the documents for which they have clearly equal responsibility.

The nature and functioning of an integrated national headquarters will be taught in all management courses and fully explained through internal communications. Courses for senior military officers will include a component specifically designed to teach them how to operate effectively in an integrated civil-military headquarters. Officers with the potential for promotion to senior ranks will be provided with appropriate exposures to the integrated national headquarters earlier in their career.

The report to the Prime Minister and the report to the Somalia commission both underscored that in today's society government institutions must be open and transparent. In this regard, DND has taken a number of measures to improve public access to information. These measures include increased training for military and civilian personnel to meet the increased priority that has been given to access and privacy issues. In addition, the department has increased the staff assigned to manage access matters, improved procedures and employed new technologies to quicken the response to access to information requests. These measures reflect a commitment to transparency at a time when openness is essential.

Honourable senators, the events of Somalia have resulted in a great deal of controversy and public scrutiny of the Canadian Forces, but they have also been the impetus for far-reaching reforms. Revisiting the history of the mission itself would not, in my view, be constructive. Instead, we must press on with reforms that reflect what we have learned from the events in Somalia. It is only by doing this that we will be able to put the events of Somalia behind us and strengthen the Canadian Forces as a vital national institution that can serve Canadians effectively at home and abroad.

Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Acting Deputy Leader of the Opposition) : Honourable senators, would the deputy leader respond to some questions of clarification?

Senator Carstairs: Yes.

Senator Kinsella: The honourable deputy leader made reference to the recommendation which I believe she said was in the report of the Minister of National Defence to the Prime Minister concerning the establishment of an ombudsman. Could the honourable senator advise us whether the position of ombudsman has been established?

Senator Carstairs: It is my understanding that the position has indeed been established.

Senator Kinsella: The Honourable Senator Carstairs has drawn our attention to four different inquiries or investigations into DND and its relationship to Somalia. The first was a board of inquiry that only got as far as Phase 1. Is that correct?

Senator Carstairs: Yes, my understanding is that it only got to Phase 1, because it was replaced by another.

Senator Kinsella: Honourable senators, we have a first study that was not completed. They only completed Phase 1. Then the Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff did a study, not the Chief of the Defence Staff. Does the honourable senator know why a study was done at the deputy level rather than at the level of the Chief of the Defence Staff considering that the U.S. State Department's report on Canada for the year under review dealt with extraterritorial killing by Canada? That was the issue of focus in the State Department's examination of Canada that year. Is it the honourable senator's view that a study done at the Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff level rather than the Chief of the Defence Staff level was appropriate?

Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, given the responsibilities of the Chief of the Defence Staff, it would be prudent, on his part, to ensure that whomever was assigned this duty had adequate time and resources to conduct a thorough study.

Senator Kinsella: The third study, of course, was by the Létourneau commission. As all honourable senators know, that commission was cut short. The record shows that the commissioner himself, Mr. Justice Létourneau, lamented the fact that the then minister, Doug Young, had cut off that inquiry.

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The fourth investigation that the honourable senator referenced was a study done by the Minister of National Defence who made a report to the Prime Minister.

These four studies seem to be the essence of the honourable senator's argument and the core of her presentation today. None of these studies speak to the motion. The motion before us, honourable senators, as brought before this chamber by Senator Lynch-Staunton, is that a parliamentary committee be established to investigate the matter.

My question is simply this: Does the honourable senator not see a difference between a parliamentary inquiry and these administrative inquiries, save and except the commission of inquiry of Mr. Létourneau which was cut short by the minister?

Senator Carstairs: Clearly there is a difference between a parliamentary committee of any kind and an investigation so conducted. The question is whether this issue has been investigated thoroughly enough, and my contention is, yes, it has. It is time to put it to bed. It is time to let the military get on with what they are supposed to be doing.

Senator Kinsella: Does the honourable senator or does she not believe in accountability to Parliament by members of the ministry, including the minister responsible for National Defence?

Senator Carstairs:Honourable senators, I certainly believe in accountability, and I believe there has been accountability in this matter. It is more important that the Canadian Armed Forces be allowed to put this very sad incident behind them, as they need to get on with the absolute function of the Canadian forces in this country.

Senator Kinsella: If the honourable senator believes in parliamentary accountability, it must be noted that of the four studies she cited, none speak to parliamentary accountability. They all speak to internal administrative reports.

On motion of Senator Kinsella, debate adjourned.

The Senate adjourned until Wednesday, March 3, 1999, at 1:30 p.m.