Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition)
: Honourable senators, the history of film-making in Canada is a story of
interesting achievements, accomplished in isolation against great odds. It has,
in many ways, been a concurrent history of a struggle against an entertainment
monopoly anchored in Hollywood. Today, voices are being raised concerning the
virtual plague of Hollywood movies and TV shows in which murder and violence is
the common diet.
It is very difficult to watch a film or program on television in which the
value and dignity of human life is totally ignored but, rather, several
killings is the scene which primes the pump or gets the show started.
It is postulated, honourable senators, that movie and TV violence begets
violence in the real world. What is certain is that few accept the Cartesian
view that we are born with innate ideas. Rather, the young learn, and
television, together with films, are powerful instruments of learning.
At times of tragedy, such as those in Littleton, Colorado or Taber, Alberta,
voices are heard that are searching for solutions. Some have suggested recently
a tax on movies, games or TV programs which display violence.
I wish to propose that the Canadian film industry recognize that there now
exists a niche in the film market for violence-free films. It should be the
policy of the Government of Canada that film assistance is restricted to
violence-free films and that the Canadian film industry be encouraged by the
government to seize the opportunity and fill this niche for violence-free
Hon. Richard H. Kroft: Honourable senators, today I wish to
draw your attention to one of the most exciting yet challenging items on the
human agenda for the next millennium. It may indeed be what defines coming
decades, just as surely as the 20th century has been defined by the automobile,
the exploitation of new forms of energy, and air and space travel.
The last part of this century has been dramatically altered by the computer and
the extraordinary power it has unleashed; the power of universally accessible
information and the power of infinite numbers of calculations that have
permitted a revolution and understanding of both outer space and the infinitely
small pieces of inner space.
The ability to see, identify, and manipulate the smallest parts of our universe
has led to the subject of my remarks today; what is commonly known as genetic
engineering. This term that has become part of our language seemingly overnight
will change our lives and those of our children and grandchildren even more
than Henry Ford and the Wright brothers changed that of our grandparents and
Science is entering new frontiers that are, frankly, unbelievable. Fundamental
elements of life are being changed in a way never thought of by ordinary
people. In any given week, we learn of genetic engineering that enhances food
production, ensures shelf life, or improves nutrition or taste appeal. Each of
these stories is and will be accompanied by expressions of fear and cries for
legal restraints on this new science. In the same week, we will also learn of
cures for terrible diseases, giving new hope to millions present and future.
Some of these stories, such as Monday's report from London, Ontario, tread on
ground seemingly beyond understanding. There, human genes are being
transplanted into tobacco plants to create a vast new source of material for
anti-inflammatory medication for a variety of serious diseases.
So, again, science and technology have dealt us a contradiction. Just as the
industrial revolution bred child labour, just as the automobile created an
enormous threat to human life, and just as atomic energy remains a conundrum,
we are now faced with a new reality.
Science will go on. New frontiers will be opened and wonderful things will be
made to happen. At the same time, we face the challenges we always have, the
need to provide a legal, moral and cultural framework in which to manage the
power the human genius continues to give us.
It rests with bodies such as the Senate of Canada to martial all the knowledge,
judgment and balanced, collective wisdom available to assure that we continue
to advance, in a balanced way, the human condition.
Hon. Brenda M. Robertson: Honourable senators, I make this
statement on behalf of Senator Carstairs and myself. In February and March of
1998, Senator Carstairs and I participated in a debate calling the attention of
the Senate to its lack of full accessibility to Canadians with disabilities and
to a means for dealing with disability issues. Other senators showed a keen
Shortly following the debate, a process was begun to address the challenges
facing the Senate in this regard. Honourable senators, I wish to report on the
progress achieved to date and to invite all senators to contribute to the
initiative on disability.
Let me review the process or the blueprint for tackling the obstacles to full
participation in life at the Senate by Canadians with disabilities. The project
manager for the disability initiative has been appointed and is guided by an
advisor and a group of experts from the disability field. They have struck a
working group of senior managers from the Senate. They are working to achieve
the following goal which captured Senator Carstairs' and my initial intent, to
improve accessibility to the Senate of Canada and to encourage participation in
it for persons with disabilities by developing policies and practices which
eliminate barriers and by taking other appropriate action.
The time-frame for the initiative reflects the complexity of the issues and the
need to build initiatives into the regular planning process of the Senate. We
expect to have a preliminary report completed by September to present to the
Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration.
It is our wish that we have a strategy and action plan in place to be able to
announce it in the Senate by December 3, 1999, which is International
Disability Day. By that time, we will also be well on our way to developing a
guidebook for senators and a specialized training program that will make
informed advocates of each of us.
When Senator Carstairs and I spoke to this issue, in 1998, we argued that we
cannot afford to exclude Canadians with disabilities from life at the Senate
lest we short-change them and this institution.
Honourable senators would agree that, in the final analysis, our actions must
match the ideals and the principles we champion publicly. I am pleased to
report progress and look forward to an interim report in the fall.
Hon. Jerahmiel S. Grafstein: Honourable senators, when the
20th century social history of Canada is written, pioneers of the professions,
such as the late Heward Stikeman, will occupy auspicious space. Last Saturday,
Harry Heward Stikeman, Q.C., O.C., known as Heward Stikeman, passed away at
the age of 85, at his home in Bromont, Quebec.
Heward was one of Canada's outstanding tax lawyers. He rose to that position
after a long and remarkable career in the public service. In 1939, he joined
the predecessor to the revenue department and served there with great
distinction until 1946. During that time, he acted as government counsel before
the British Exchequer Court, then Canada's final appellate body for tax
matters, and before the Supreme Court of Canada. He became the outstanding
specialist in income tax. While in the department he helped to prepare and
shape all the Second World War budgets.
His career holds special significance to the Senate. In 1946, he considered it
a leap upward in his career when he left the Department of National Revenue to
become counsel to the Senate Banking Committee, mandated to investigate and
recommend changes to Canadian taxation law.
That benchmark study led to the 1948 Income Tax Act. Taking his leave from
public service, he joined Fraser Elliott to form a law firm called Stikeman &
Elliott, specializing in tax law. A year later he was joined by George Tamaki.
Led by Heward, they built their firm into a global law firm with offices across
Canada, Europe and the Far East. In the process, he helped to transform not
only the legal and accounting professions, but also business practices. In the
early 1960s, he was joined by the Right Honourable John Turner, Q.C., P. C. the
former prime minister, who served as a partner to that firm before his
appointment to cabinet in 1965.
Heward was the author of numerous texts and articles on the tax system. He took
special delight in editing tax reports, like the late Bora Laskin, who for
years edited the Dominion Law Reports. He provided a signal service to
the legal and accounting professions, helping to codify the burgeoning tax
I first had the pleasure of meeting Heward in the mid-1960s and enjoyed a
number of exchanges with him over the years. I can attest to his curious,
probing, exacting and quicksilver type mind. He understood not only the arcane
structure but also the social and public policy behind the tax system. On
occasion, we acted as co-counsel on several exacting files ,and I came to
admire his ability to focus on problems and find solutions that were fair and
defensible not only to the client but to the public purpose.
Heward, modest as he was, by his life's work, could lay credit to causing the
legal and accounting professions to look outward to the world. In the process,
the staid Canadian business leadership turned its attention outward to the
globe. His work helped to reforge and refashion Canada, and its major
companies, as players in a leading-edge trading nation. The work of the tax
system and its practitioners was too often condensed and rarely praised. This
is a deficit in popular thinking. A fair tax system lies at the heart of
democracy and the rule of law. For democracy to work, acceptance of the tax
system by our citizens depends on fairness and comprehension. Heward always
argued for simpler, fairer tax rules. Heward fought against the Department of
Revenue when it ran roughshod over simple questions of justice and equity
within the tax system, as the department was bound to do time and time again.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I draw your
attention to some distinguished visitors in our gallery. This is a delegation
from Brazil led by the Minister of Agriculture, the Honourable Francisco Turra.
On behalf of all honourable senators, I bid you welcome to the Senate of
Hon. Lois M. Wilson: Honourable senators, June 26, 1999 is
United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, a day
inaugurated with a view to eradicating torture. It also serves to promote the
effective functioning of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel,
Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. This convention entered into
force on June 26, 1987, a date whose anniversary is imminent.
A refugee known to my Toronto colleagues is a victim of torture. He is caught
in a Catch-22 situation. It is required that he rehabilitate himself in order
to get work. He must get work in order to get landed status and bring his wife
to Canada. In other words, he must pass tests to get his family admitted. He is
a victim of torture trauma and is in no shape to pass these tests. It raises
the question about whether such a refugee should have access to protection
under the law in Canada until he is able to function well enough to work.
A 1994 study by the Canadian Mental Health Association, the Ottawa-Carleton
region, revealed that professionals working with refugees suspected that 11 per
cent of the clients they had seen in the previous two years were survivors of
torture. Studies in other parts of the world estimate that 10 to 30 per cent of
refugees have been tortured.
Some creative work under the aegis of the Canadian Mental Health Association
has been done to attempt to bridge that gap. A counselling network committee to
assist victims of war and torture has emerged in the Ottawa-Carleton region.
A series of training workshops entitled "Understanding the Unspoken Pain"
has been held for elementary school teachers, physicians, nurses and other
health care professionals. A training manual has been issued and new
facilitators trained for an awareness level workshop.
I wish to call the attention of the Senate to this issue because the
anniversary date is imminent. I ask all honourable senators to support the
continuing development in this area of our work.
Hon. Lowell Murray: Honourable senators, over the weekend I
was in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, for a testimonial dinner in honour of
our former colleague Senator Orville Phillips.
Although the proceeds went to the local Progressive Conservative Association,
the event was a community affair. The speakers included our former Liberal
colleague, Senator Lorne Bonnell who spoke at length and quite hilariously. I
tell honourable senators this in order to share something of the flavour of
Speakers at the dinner recognized and lauded the significant role played by
Senator Phillips in bringing to reality such important projects as the Fixed
Link, the Summerside Aerospace Centre and the GST Centre in that city. These
two facilities were located in Summerside by the Mulroney government to try to
offset the economic problems that would be caused by our decision to close
Canadian Forces Base Summerside. When we had to take a major facility out of a
community, we accepted the responsibility to put something back into that
community. We attracted private enterprise to the Aerospace Centre and we
created direct government employment at the GST Centre.
By all accounts, these investments of public and private funds have been
crowned with success. I was told that the GST Centre, which we forecast in 1991
would employ 400 people, now has a payroll in the vicinity of 1,000 and
counting. This proves that if you want a growth industry under the Liberals, it
is tax collection.
The occasion also served to remind me of the campaign underway to locate an
important federal facility in Cape Breton. As honourable senators know, the
termination by the federal government of the Cape Breton Development
Corporation means a loss of several thousand jobs directly and indirectly
associated with the Cape Breton coalmines. The opportunity is at hand for the
government to offset the dire economic and social effects of its closure
decision by establishing in Cape Breton the national headquarters of the new
Customs and Revenue Canada agency. When the legislation creating this agency
was before Parliament, the government accepted an amendment which would allow
the headquarters to be located anywhere in Canada.
No doubt there is resistance in some circles to locating this agency's
headquarters away from Ottawa. There was resistance to the decision in the
1970s by a previous Liberal government to locate the Department of Veterans
Affairs in Charlottetown. However, that crucial commodity - political will -
carried the day. Political will was the decisive factor when the Progressive
Conservative government decided that the GST Centre would be in Summerside. I
can testify personally to the fact that there was plenty of resistance until
the day that Prime Minister Mulroney let us know that he was heading for
Summerside to make the announcement. Thus ended the argument. Will Prime
Minister Chrétien now do as much for the people of Cape Breton?
Hon. Marcel Prud'homme: Honourable senators, Senator
Forrestall and I were appointed by Mr. Pearson to sit on a special committee on
Canada's national anthem. There is a reason why people in this country do not
get along with each other: What you sing in English is totally different from
what is sung in the original version of Ô Canada, which was
written on the occasion of the annual Marian Convention of the
Saint-Jean-Baptiste Society in Quebec City to be sung on June 24, 1880. This,
despite the fact that, on July 1, 1980, it was mistakenly said that it was the
national anthem's centenary. So this is a first ambiguity among Canadians.
The second is the Canadian flag. There are few people left here who voted for
the maple leaf as the Canadian flag. Senator Whelan and Senator Stewart are two
of these people. We French Canadians in Quebec had always wanted a distinctive
Canadian flag. We got it. Since then, those who wanted it want it less and
those who did not want it wrap themselves up in it and distribute it 20 million
at a time.
The controversy in this morning's newspapers goes beyond these
misunderstandings. I will come back to this in the next sitting, that is, on
the statement attributed to the Right Honourable Jean Chrétien, the
Mr. Chrétien is a personal friend, as is Brian Mulroney. I do not turn
on my friends. My friend Jean Chrétien seems to be embroiled in a huge
controversy. On television this morning, it was awful. Nobody understood Mr.
Chrétien's humour. All of Canada's historians are now up in arms because
Jean Chrétien apparently said that it was not his fault, that he could
not rewrite history and that, if he had been there when Montcalm was beaten,
he would have woken him.
Those who know the Right Honourable Jean Chrétien, my friend - which may
bother some people - and who were upset by what he said understood absolutely
nothing. So we end up in another huge controversy. You should have heard the
open-line shows this morning and even the television. A certain Lowell Green
was having fun saying that Mr. Chrétien, my friend, was a separatist.
Honourable senators, those who missed the point are creating separatists,
because they understand nothing about the humour of some and the true feelings
of us French Canadians from Quebec in the Senate.
Report of Committee Presented and
Printed as Appendix
Hon. Michael Kirby, Chairman of the Standing Senate
Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce, presented the following report:
Tuesday, June 15, 1999
The Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce has the honour to
Your committee, to which was referred the Bill C-78, An Act to establish
the Public Sector Pension Investment Board, to amend the Public Service
Superannuation Act, the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act, the Royal Canadian
Mounted Police Superannuation Act, the Defence Services Pension
Continuatinuation Act, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Pension Continuation
Act, the Members of Parliament Retiring Allowances Act and the Canada Post
Corporation Act and to make a consequential amendment to another Act, has
examined the said bill in obedience to its Order of Reference dated Thursday,
June 3, 1999, and now reports the same without amendment, but with observations
and two letters which are appended to this report.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, is it agreed that
the appendix to the report be printed as an appendix to the
Journals of the Senate of this day?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
(For text of Appendix see today's Journals of the Senate,
Appendix A, p. 1749.)
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, when shall this bill
be read the third time?
On motion of Senator Kirby, bill placed on the Orders of the Day for third
reading at the next sitting of the Senate.
Sixth Report of Committee
Presented and Printed as Appendix
Hon. Wilfred P. Moore, for Senator Hervieux-Payette,
Joint Chairman of the Standing Joint Committee of the Senate and the House
of Commons for the Scrutiny of Regulations, presented the following report:
Tuesday, June 15, 1999
The Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations has the honour to
("A" presented only for the Senate)
Your committee, which is authorized by section 19 of the Statutory
Instruments Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. S-22, to review and scrutinize statutory
instruments, now requests approval of funds to attend the biennial conference
on delegated legislation in Sydney, Australia.
Pursuant to section 2:06 of the Procedural Guidelines for the Financial
Operations of Senate Committees, the Committee requests that it be
empowered to adjourn from place to place outside Canada.
Pursuant to section 2:07 of the Procedural Guidelines for the Financial
Operation of Senate Committees, the budget submitted to the Standing
Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration and the report
thereon of that Committee are appended to this report.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, is it agreed that
the report be printed as an appendix to the Journals of the Senate of
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
(For text of Appendix see today's Journals of the Senate,
Appendix B, p. 1762.)
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, when shall this
report be taken into consideration?
On motion of Senator Moore, report placed on the Orders of the Day for
consideration at the next sitting of the Senate.
One Hundred First Conference Held
in Brussels, Belgium-Report of Canadian Group Tabled
Hon. Joan Fraser: Honourable senators, I have the honour to
table, in both official languages, the report of the official parliamentary
delegation of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, which participated in the 101st
Inter-Parliamentary Conference, held in Brussels, Belgium, from April 10-16,
Hon. Lorna Milne: Honourable senators, I have the honour to
present 54 signatures from Canadians in Alberta who are petitioning the
We request the release to the public of all post-1901 Canadian Census Records
92 years after they were recorded. This would begin with 1906 census records
being released immediately. The 1911 census would be released in 2003 and
subsequent census records would be released after 92 years and be made
available for research as part of our Canadian heritage.
Increase in Foreign Property
Component of Deferred Income Plans-Government Response to Senate Motion
Hon. Michael A. Meighen: Honourable senators, my question
is to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. On Tuesday last, honourable
senators in this chamber gave bipartisan support to my motion, seconded by
Senator Kirby, urging the government to increase the foreign property component
of deferred income plans from 20 per cent to 30 per cent over a five-year
My question is the following: Did you, minister, have the opportunity to convey
the wishes of this chamber to the members of the government and, if so, to
whom, and what was the response?
Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government): Yes,
honourable senators. I would remind Honourable Senator Meighen that the motion
was passed on division. However, I did bring the motion to the attention of
both the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance. With respect to this
motion, there has not been a specific response, as yet.
Senator Meighen: Honourable senators, as the Leader of the
Government knows, the decision of this chamber, albeit on division, has
received extensive and favourable national media coverage. No doubt the Leader
of the Government in the Senate noted that the British Columbia papers have
written perhaps the most extensive articles, and favourably so, since last
Tuesday. What would be the minister's estimate of a possible date when we
could look forward to a change in the limit?
Senator Graham: If I could estimate that, I probably would be
the Minister of Finance, and I am sure that no one in the country would want
that to happen.
Honourable senators are aware, as Senator Meighen has indicated, that this has
been a matter of public discussion for some time. If an announcement is to be
made on this subject, the Minister of Finance will be the one to determine the
most appropriate time. In the meantime, it is and will continue to be a matter
of discussion in the Finance Department and in the financial sector.
Hon. J. Michael Forrestall: Honourable senators, let me assure
the Leader of the Government that I would welcome such an appointment. Having
trained under Senator MacEachen, when you are finished with Cape Breton you can
start in on the Eastern Shore.
Hon. J. Michael Forrestall: Honourable senators, my
question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. I know it would be
asking the minister to break cabinet confidence were I to ask him what took
place, or anything about what might have taken place at a cabinet meeting.
However, would the minister tell us whether or not there was a cabinet meeting
at any time on Friday last and, if so, at what time?
Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government): Honourable
senators, I would not want to break any confidence with respect to a cabinet
meeting that might have been held on Friday last. However, I can say
categorically that I was not present and I would have been notified if such a
meeting had been held.
Prudence of Budget
Allocations-Application of Surplus-Government Position
Hon. Terry Stratton: Honourable senators, my question is
addressed to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. It is with respect to
this year's budget and the anticipated surplus. The estimate by economists is
that the surplus will range from $3 billion to $15 billion. Some economists,
however, are apparently growing tired of these surpluses being spent on other
The Royal Bank's economist John McCallum calls it prudence by stealth. Mr.
McCallum has said that Mr. Martin and his officials have what might be called a
reverse credibility problem. Mr. McCallum was echoing the views of several
economists, who have been saying that they support using prudent assumptions
in the budget on what might happen to interest rates or economic growth, but
not as a cover to have money for last-minute spending programs.
Would the Leader of the Government in the Senate care to respond?
Hon. B. Alasdair Graham (Leader of the Government): Yes,
honourable senators. The government is not using prudence by stealth. It is
using prudence intelligently. Had the previous government used prudence
intelligently, we might not have had the deficit we inherited. I will not
mention here today the deficit numbers that we were faced with when we took
office in 1993. This methodology of using prudent assumptions for fiscal
planning purposes was advocated by the private sector, including most banks.
Senator Stratton: Honourable senators, I did not receive a
complete answer to my question, which also alluded to the fact that people and
economists are getting tired of the surplus, ranging from $9 billion to $15
billion, being used for purposes other than tax reductions or for paying down
the debt. Instead, it is being spent without any attempt by this government to
live up to the promise that it made during its first term in office that
one-half of any fiscal dividend would go toward new spending, and the other
half would be divided between debt and tax reduction.
Senator Graham: Honourable senators, the government is living
up to that commitment.
Senator Stratton: Could the leader provide details regarding
how the government is living up to that promise?
Senator Graham: Honourable senators, I have already done so,
but I will refer to previous issues of the Debates of the Senate and
bring them to the attention of my honourable friend.
Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Deputy Leader of the Government):
Honourable senators, I have a response to a question raised in the Senate on
May 4, 1999 by the Honourable Senator Donald H. Oliver regarding the loss of
disposable income as a result of taxation; and a response to a question raised
in the Senate on May 13, 1999 by the Honourable Senator Ethel Cochrane
regarding the Millennium Scholarship Foundation, progress of negotiations with
Loss of Disposable Income as a
Result of Taxation-Government Position
(Response to question raised by Hon. Donald H. Oliver on May 4, 1999)
What is really important is how much tax such a family pays. The fact of the
matter is that this family does not pay any net tax; in fact, they receive
$2,083 in net benefits from the government (including Canada Child Tax Benefit
and the GST credit).
As family income rises, of course, these benefits are reduced.
Given limited fiscal resources, this is necessary to target government
assistance to those in greatest need.
Thus it can be expected that some families would lose most of their benefits as
their incomes rise appreciably.
The number of families in the particular circumstances described in the
question is however quite small.
This government is committed to do better and to reduce taxes further as fiscal
The government has taken measures in the last two budgets to provide tax relief
to all Canadians.
Together, the two budgets provide for tax relief totalling $3.9 billion in
1999-2000, $6 billion in 2000-2001 and $6.6 billion in 2001-2002, totalling
$16.5 billion over three years.
These measures have helped to start reducing marginal tax rates throughout
The government will provide additional tax relief in each future budget in line
with available resources.
Foundation-Progress in Negotiations with Provinces-Request for Update
(Response to question raised by Hon. Ethel Cochrane on May 13, 1999)
The Canada Millennium Scholarships Fund is about helping Canadians benefit from
educational opportunities and manage their student debt.
Announced in the 1998 Budget, an initial endowment of $2.5 billion will provide
scholarships to some100,000 students annually over ten years. Although
scholarships will begin to be awarded beginning in the year 2000, Canadians
still have access to existing provincial programs and to Canada Student Loans
Program (CSLP) which assists them to pursue education and training at the
The Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation was established in June 1998 as an
independent body to manage the $2.5 billion endowment and to award
scholarships. The Foundation is also responsible for securing agreements for
the delivery of the scholarships in each province and territory.
The Foundation - not the government - will decide how best to design and
deliver the Canada Millennium Scholarships within its mandate. The Foundation
has set itself an objective to award scholarships in a manner that complements
existing provincial student financial assistance programs and avoids
duplication, to the extent possible.
We are pleased that the Alberta, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Nova
Scotia Governments have signed agreements with the Canada Millennium
Scholarship Foundation and we are told that other agreements will be secured
over the next few weeks.
With respect to Quebec, clearly we would like to see an agreement.
Our first priority is making sure that students in Quebec, like those in all
other provinces, benefit from this initiative and we hope that this matter will
soon be resolved for Quebec. That is why the Government of Canada appointed a
facilitator, Mr. Robert Bourgeois, to help resolve this matter.
Mr. Bourgeois and Mme Champoux-Lesage, the Deputy Minister of Education of
Quebec, are now discussing the issues.
As the government has indicated before, the legislation guiding the
scholarships is sufficiently flexible to allow an agreement that meets the
demands of the Quebec government, as expressed in the Gautrin motion. We look
forward to further developments and we are confident that an agreement can be
Hon. Anne C. Cools moved the third reading of Bill C-86, for
granting to Her Majesty certain sums of money for the public service of Canada
for the financial years ending March 31, 2000 and March 31, 2001.
Motion agreed to and bill read third time and passed.
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Milne, seconded by the
Honourable Senator Butts, for the second reading of Bill C-84, to correct
certain anomalies, inconsistencies and errors and to deal with other matters
of a non-controversial and uncomplicated nature in the Statutes of Canada and
to repeal certain Acts that have ceased to have effect.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, if no honourable
senator wishes to speak on this item, is it your pleasure, honourable senators,
to adopt the motion?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
Motion agreed to and bill read second time.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, when shall this bill
be read the third time?
On motion of Senator Milne, bill placed on the Orders of the Day for third
reading at the next sitting of the Senate.
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Lavoie-Roux, seconded
by the Honourable Senator Butts, for the second reading of Bill S-29, to amend
the Criminal Code (Protection of Patients and Health Care Providers).-(Honourable
Hon. Anne C. Cools: Honourable senators, I had taken the
adjournment last week with the intention of finding time to prepare a
full-bodied speech on this very difficult and complex matter, which in the long
run is the issue of life and the determination of when lives are ended, justly
I believe it is well known in this chamber that I am an opponent of euthanasia,
but I am aware that there are enormous issues attending the concept of
Senator Lavoie-Roux is eager to move this bill forward to committee, and I have
not had the time, because of other commitments, to carry out the depth of
research that I would like to do on this item. However, in agreeing to let this
bill go forward to committee, I wish to reserve the opportunity at committee
stage to raise the issues about which I have deep concern.
The Hon. the Speaker: Does any other honourable senator wish to
speak? If not, is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Lynch-Staunton,
seconded by the Honourable Senator Bolduc, for the second reading of Bill S-26,
respecting the declaration of royal assent by the Governor General in the
Queen's name to bills passed by the Houses of Parliament.-(Honourable
Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Deputy Leader of the Government):
Honourable senators, there is some disagreement with the general principle of
this bill on both sides of the chamber, but I am not one of those who is in
disagreement. I happen to agree with Senator Lynch-Staunton and the process he
wishes to put into place for Royal Assent. However, I might be in the minority
of my own caucus, and certain senators on the other side have indicated that
they, too, do not wish to change a process that we have had in place virtually
Honourable senators, the best place in which to continue this debate would be
in committee. Therefore, after the bill is read for the second time, I will
move that it be referred to committee.
On motion of Senator Prud'homme, debate adjourned.
Ninth Report of Committee
On the Order:
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Maheu, seconded by the
Honourable Senator Ferretti Barth, for the adoption of the ninth report of the
Standing Committee on Privileges, Standing Rules and Orders, (independent
senators), presented in the Senate on March 10, 1999.
Hon. Jean-Maurice Simard: Honourable senators, I read with
great interest the report of the Standing Committee on Privileges, Standing
Rules and Orders, concerning independent senators. I congratulate the chair of
the committee and I want to say sincerely that I support this report.
On motion of Senator Simard, for Senator Kinsella, debate adjourned.
Yugoslavia-Relationship to International Law-Inquiry-Debate Suspended
On the Order:
Resuming debate on the inquiry of the Honourable Senator Grafstein calling the
attention of the Senate to the question of international law: Canada and the
NATO action in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.-(Honourable Senator
Hon. Douglas Roche: Honourable senators, lessons that NATO, the
United Nations and Canada should learn from the Kosovo war concerning the
future of international law are the theme of this address. The Kosovo war was
fundamentally about the rule of law. How will international law be imposed in
the years ahead: by the militarily powerful determining what the law will be,
or by a collective world effort reposing the seat of law in the United Nations
It is in no light vein that I stand to oppose Senator Grafstein, whose high
respect in the Senate has been eminently earned. Senator Grafstein has argued
that not only was NATO's bombing of Serbia and Kosovo legal but also that it
was necessary because of the failure of the United Nations to act against the
brutal aggression against the Kosovars committed by the forces of
Slobodan Milosevic. Senator Grafstein is in accord with the Government of
Canada's position, as articulated by the Leader of the Government in the
Senate, who said that NATO had to intervene because:
The alternative would have been to watch passively as an entire population was
terrorized and expelled from its ancestral land.
I am in profound disagreement with this viewpoint. I hold that NATO did not
have the right to take the law into its own hands. Moreover, NATO's continued
bombing for 78 days caused immense suffering and damage, worsened the situation
for the Kosovars, undermined the United Nations and destabilized international
I do not feel alone in opposing the weight of government thinking on this
matter. Former president of the United States Jimmy Carter criticized the NATO
The decision to attack the entire nation has been counterproductive, and our
destruction of civilian life has...become senseless and excessively brutal.
Former leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, said that the
possibilities for a political solution were not used and NATO's disregarding
the views of countries like Russia, China and India has placed the world "in
a very, very difficult situation." Pope John Paul II deplored the human
suffering caused by the bombing. Here in Canada, James Bissett, former
Canadian Ambassador to Yugoslavia, said:
NATO's unprovoked attack is a blatant violation of every precept of
Historian Michael Bliss said that NATO's action was "ill-considered and
Honourable senators, let us consider for a moment what actually happened. Using
700 aircraft and 20 ships, NATO flew nearly 35,000 sorties, dropping 20,000
bombs on 600 cities, towns and villages. There were 13,000 civilian casualties,
including 2,500 dead. Utilities, roads, bridges, hospitals, clinics and
schools were destroyed along with military targets. There has been no spring
planting and, thus, there will be no autumn harvest. Countless wells, which are
the principle water source, have been poisoned with human bodies, dead animals,
and toxic substances such as paint and gasoline. The NATO bombardment, which
cost NATO countries about $100 million a day, has set much of Yugoslavia back
into a pre-industrial state and the cost of rebuilding the demolished
infrastructure will be between $50 billion and $150 billion.
Western media downplayed the fact that the negotiations between the U.S. envoys
and Milosevic were on the verge of an agreement before the bombing. The Serb
Parliament was ready to accept the withdrawal of the bulk of Serb forces from
Kosovo and permit the entry into Kosovo of 1,800 unarmed international
inspectors, and would allow overflights by NATO planes. NATO threatened air
strikes to force a peace agreement to be monitored exclusively by NATO's ground
troops. The negotiations floundered on NATO's threat to bomb. Once NATO had
issued this threat, it felt compelled to follow through. Thus, when Milosevic
rebelled, NATO - without a legal mandate - started bombing. NATO persisted in
the bombing because the credibility of NATO itself had become an issue.
Why was the Secretary General of the UN not immediately dispatched to
personally conduct negotiations on behalf of the entire Security Council? The
answer to that question, which historians will surely probe, is that the United
States, which proudly proclaims itself as what it calls the "indispensable
nation," decided that it and its NATO partners would force a solution.
The consequences of the imposition of force by the nuclear-armed western
military alliance have been startling. The military action has virtually halted
Russian-American consultations on nuclear disarmament, buried the START II
Treaty, and has bread a dangerous trend pushing some countries out of the
non-proliferation regime. China, whose Belgrade embassy was bombed, has
excoriated the U.S. and NATO for bullying tactics. NATO should learn that
humiliating the Russians and the Chinese is no way to build world peace.
Only a decade after the end of the Cold War, the hopes for a cooperative global
security system have been dashed on the rocks of power. The trust engendered
during the early post-Cold War years is now shattered. New arms races are
Honourable senators, it has been said that NATO action was a "just war."
Senator Grafstein cited Hugo Grotius, the father of international law, to
advance this idea. However, two of the requirements for a "just war"
are limitation and proportionality. The damage must be limited to combatants
and no greater than the securing of a military objective. As we can see, such
rules were formulated before the technological development of modern warfare.
Killing and damage, as Kosovo showed, are now indiscriminate. The phrase "collateral
damage" had military doublespeak, covering up the killing of innocent
It was said that the bombing was to stop the ethnic cleansing of the Kosovars.
When the bombing started, 45,000 Kosovar refugees fled. After the strikes
began, the number of refugees swelled to 855,000. Bombing worsened their
To say that the Kosovar war was not just nor justifiable in the political
circumstances does not mean that I am closing my eyes to the horrors for which
Milosevic now stands indicted before the special Yugoslav tribunal. Of course
something had to be done. However, it is the UN Security Council, not NATO,
which has the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international
peace and security.
When nations signed the UN Charter, they accepted the obligation as set out in
Article 2.4, to refrain from the threat or use of force, and under Article 42,
to use force to stop acts of aggression only under a mandate of the Security
The UN Charter is the modern embodiment of the international law that has been
built up through previous centuries. We lost sight of that basic fact
yesterday. To downgrade the UN Charter is to close one's eyes to the structural
role played by the UN in the development of international law which has at
last produced an agreement on an international criminal court. Even NATO's own
Charter says that NATO's actions must follow the UN Charter.
The Security Council did in fact adopt three resolutions on Kosovo: on March
31, 1998, September 23, 1998, and October 24, 1998. It is a myth for the
proponents of the war to keep saying that the UN was paralyzed. The Russians
and Chinese were certainly opposed to NATO troops being the exclusive
intervenors in Kosovo and would have likely vetoed a resolution authorizing
NATO alone to intervene, but where is the evidence that they would have vetoed
an international force? In fact, the latest resolution, number 1244, dated June
10, 1999, specifies that the deployment of a force in Kosovo will now be "under
United Nations' auspices." Moreover, the interim administration for Kosovo
is "to be decided by the Security Council."
NATO troops are a leading element of the international force, to be sure, but
the overall responsibility for keeping the peace in Kosovo as well as
coordinating humanitarian relief foundations has been handed back to the UN.
Thank God for the United Nations. It is a tragic irony that, after all the NATO
blundering, we are back to where we were before the bombing, that is, with the
UN Security Council now determining how to maintain international peace and
security. Moreover, the potential sovereignty for Kosovo, the stumbling block
of the Rambouillet agreement, has now been removed.
It is only through the United Nations that the whole international community
can jointly pursue such basic Charter values as democracy, pluralism, human
rights and the rule of law. As the Secretary-General of the UN, Kofi Annan,
stated a few days ago:
Unless the Security Council is restored to its preeminent position as the sole
source of legitimacy on the use of force, we are on a dangerous path to
Honourable senators, the Security Council must unite around the aim of
confronting massive human rights violations and crimes against humanity. In a
world where globalization has limited the ability of states to control their
economies, regulate their financial policies and isolate themselves from
environmental damage and human migration, the last right of states cannot and
must not be the right to enslave, persecute or torture their own citizens.
States must find common ground in upholding the principles of the UN Charter
and also find unity in defence of our common humanity - a double challenge.
Since the end of the Cold War, the world has witnessed important instances in
which the Security Council did rise to the challenge and legitimized both
peacekeeping operations and the use of force where they were just and
necessary. Central America and the reversal of the Iraqi aggression against
Kuwait are prime examples of the Security Council playing the role envisioned
for it by its founders. The failures of the Security Council should be
measured against its successes to dispel this spurious charge that it cannot
keep the peace.
Honourable senators, finally the Kosovo crisis of 1999 has exposed the
contradictions in Canadian foreign policy. For a long time, Canada has tried to
balance its adherence to the United Nations system and its allegiance to NATO.
When the United Nations was trying to rid the world of nuclear weapons and
NATO said they were essential, Canada tried to accommodate both viewpoints.
When NATO expanded into Eastern Europe at the expense of the development of the
pan-European body, the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe,
Canada went along.
When the United States and the United Kingdom began, in 1998, protracted
bombing of Iraq without any mandate from the UN Security Council, Canada
acceded. The war, opened up by NATO's bombing of Serbia and Kosovo, a direct
violation of the UN Charter as well as NATO's own Charter, has brought the
fissures between western military might and the global strategies of the United
Nations into the open.
Canada is still trying to balance its adherence to both the UN and NATO.
Increasingly, this is becoming an impossible task as the differences between
each become irreconcilable. The UN wants peace through peacemaking techniques.
NATO wants peace through military dominance. Canada is caught in a dilemma.
Its fundamental values lie with the United Nations as the guarantor of
international peace and security. Its own protection during the Cold War lay
with the western military alliance that would come to Canada's defence if
attacked. As long as there was a reasonable compatibility between the two,
Canada could absorb the clashing of the two systems.
In choosing to not only support but participate in NATO's bombing of Serbia and
Kosovo, Canada for the moment put NATO above the UN. Of course, the other NATO
members did the same thing. They all subverted international law by war.
The pragmatics of attempting to stop the ethnic cleansing and suffering by the
Kosovars at the hands of Serbs won out over the principle that only the UN
Security Council has the right to take military action against an aggressor.
The planes that Canada sent to bomb Serbia and Kosovo illustrate the skewing of
Canada's priorities. Canada sent the planes to show it was an active
participant in the NATO action. However, their need, relative to the
overwhelming U.S. strength, was marginal. Canada's effort to resolve the Kosovo
crisis would have been better served by using resources to strengthen political
and diplomatic endeavours than to contribute forces to a UN-approved
Honourable senators, I see that my time has expired but I am on my last page.
The Hon. the Speaker: Is leave granted?
Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition):
Honourable senators, I suggest that we grant leave but I think there may be
questions afterwards. Can we have agreement to hear Senator Gauthier now on
Item No. 34 on the Order Paper, and then return to this order, whereupon we
would grant the extension of time?
The Hon. the Speaker: Is it agreed, honourable senators, to
suspend this particular debate to hear from Senator Gauthier on Item No. 34,
then to return to this order and the speech of Senator Roche, and that leave be
granted to extend the time then?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
Hon. Marcel Prud'homme: Honourable senators, mention was made
of questions and answers. May we understand clearly what is being proposed?
The Hon. the Speaker: That is agreed.
That is so. Anyway, according to the rules, comments and questions.
Progressive Deterioration of
French Services Available to Francophones Outside of Quebec Inquiry-Debate
Leave having been given to proceed to Order No. 34:
On the Order:
Resuming debate on the inquiry of the Honourable Senator Simard calling the
attention of the Senate to the current situation with regard to the application
Official Languages Act, its progressive deterioration, the abdication
of responsibility by a succession of governments over the past ten years and
the loss of access to services in French for Francophones outside of Quebec.
Hon. Jean-Robert Gauthier: Honourable senators, first of all, I
wish to thank the Honourable Jean-Maurice Simard for having drawn the Senate's
attention to a very important matter, namely the situation currently faced by
francophone or anglophone minorities in Canada.
I am going to speak about the education and training of the young and the not
so young living outside of Quebec. For 20 to 25 years, they have been working
very hard to get provincial governments to provide satisfactory elementary and
secondary schools. As you know, this issue was resolved by section 23 of the
1982 Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
This section stipulates that Canadian citizens whose first language learned and
still understood is that of the English or French linguistic minority
population of the province in which they reside, and I quote:
...have the right to have their children receive primary and secondary school
instruction in that language in that province.
The provinces took a long time to comply with this provision. It took the
Supreme Court of Canada and help from the federal government, before
Francophone communities managed to obtain justice and to have the obligation to
comply with section 23, a strict minimum, understood. In defining a context in
which to interpret section 23, the Supreme Court stressed the important link
between language and culture and confirmed the role of the provision in
maintaining both official languages and cultures throughout Canada and
promoting their growth by giving minority language parents the right to educate
their children in their language.
With this interpretation, the Supreme Court gave section 23 a remedial nature
in order to counteract the progressive assimilation of the other official
language minorities. One aspect of this remedial nature lies in the requirement
to allow the parents and communities in question to administer and control the
If we look at school administration nationally, we realize that, little by
little, over a period of 15 to 17 years, the provinces eventually handed over
some control of schools to their linguistic minority.
In the case of British Columbia, although the School Act, authorized the
creation of a francophone school board, only one has been created up to now. In
theory, school administration is a possibility for francophones but, in
practice, it is very limited.
As I mentioned, francophone communities must be able to administer their
schools, and the boards must be able to count on not only qualified but
For this speech, I tried to obtain information from various resource persons,
and my research revealed an astonishing paradox: On the one hand, francophone
communities receive little information about the life of their community but,
on the other, these same communities claims greater resources without the
backing of specific and verifiable information. They lack credible statistics.
In this context, it is difficult to prove our claims to the authorities
involved. This situation is not new. In his report to the Department of
Canadian Heritage, to the Secretary of State, to the Secretariat of the
Treasury Board and to the Privy Council Office, Donald Savoie raises this
thorny issue, contending that Statistics Canada, an agency that has the
capacity to carry out such socio-economic studies, lacks the mandate to do so.
For their part, the various organizations devoted to defending the rights of
francophones outside of Quebec obviously have neither the financial resources
nor the infrastructure to conduct such studies or research.
Mr. Savoie, a professor at the University of Moncton, reached the following
It is vital that all departments and organizations have accurate statistics,
whether for policy development or the delivery of quality service. Without
access to relevant data, departments will not be able to define viable policies
and programs to further the development of francophone communities outside of
My own 11 years of experience with the Ontario school system here in Ottawa,
from 1960 to 1972, brought home to me the impact that an inadequate
infrastructure can have on a community. Statistics on the number of students
and teachers were not available either.
A study published in 1966 by the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
concluded that only 14 per cent of Franco-Ontarians continued their education
past Grade 10, with 86 per cent of them abandoning their studies because of the
lack of publicly funded French-language schools.
This high drop-out rate could not be explained away as francophones' lack of
aptitude for higher education, or an entire community's lack of intellectual
wherewithal. And this was borne out when, in 1969, the Ontario government of
John Robarts made funds available to establish French-language secondary
schools in Ontario. The situation immediately improved. In 1969, there were
1,700 students in private French-language secondary schools, in Ottawa. Less
than three years later, there were 7,200 students in seven public
French-language secondary schools in the national capital.
Let us now take a look at the present situation, using the 500,000
French-Canadians in my province as an example. How is it possible, in such a
context, to anticipate future needs for francophone teaching staff in Ontario?
By referring to the various retirement figures available, we can simply
conclude that there will shortly be such a need.
Indeed, close to 25 per cent of the total teaching staff will reach retirement
age within the next four years. Worse still is the fact that we are currently
experiencing a shortage of teachers for certain subjects, including French as a
In the specific context of the teaching of French as a second language, it is
estimated that 3,700 teachers will retire over the next 10 years. However,
fewer than 450 students seem interested in taking over from them by registering
in Ontario's education faculties.
It is therefore safe to say that the demand for teachers will be significant in
the near future, both for anglophone and francophone teachers.
But what about the offer? This is where we have a problem. Generally speaking,
the number of students in education has never been so low. In Ontario,
registration has been constantly declining, from 20,000 in 1990 down to 8,000
Also in Ontario, it is interesting to note that the number of students in
instructional units has been relatively stable since the early 1990s. The
number of francophone students at the elementary and secondary levels has
remained around 95,000. It goes without saying that the number of anglophone
students is much higher.
The student base definitely seems to be there, but this relative stability does
not seem to have any impact on the training of francophones to become teachers.
In other words, we do not have enough people to take over from our teachers and
educators. In a context in which our young people are somewhat at a loss over
their employment prospects and the course of their life in general, how can we
explain the low attraction of a profession in which the demand, as far as staff
is concerned, far outweighs the supply? Unfortunately, I have no answer, but I
know that a lack of qualified personnel to take over threatens the very
vitality of our community. Access to education in one's mother tongue is
This situation is especially distressing, because assimilation seems to be
making ever greater inroads among the Franco-Ontarian population. A series of
articles appearing recently in TheOttawa Citizen, and
reprinted in part by
La Presse of Montreal, showed that fewer and fewer Ontarians indicated
that French was their mother tongue or considered French to be the language in
use at home.
With this sombre portrait, it becomes increasingly clear that the federal
government, the main force behind the application of and respect for Canada's
linguistic duality, must examine this question.
The interest for the federal government in promoting and respecting minority
linguistic communities has been well established. More than ever, the
government is showing its will to act. Before spending blindly, the government
ordered in-depth studies by experts in order to evaluate the shortcomings and
failures of the current system.
On the basis of the conclusion of these various reports - I am thinking of the
Fontaine and the Savoie reports, in particular - the federal government is now
in a position to take specific action. The first was to inject an additional
$70 million in direct aid into the communities, bringing the total invested to
$250 million. Again today, I was reading that some $8 million had been given to
the Department of Human Resources Development over three years, I think, to
promote computer studies.
Other measures were announced, but I will wrap up my remarks by mentioning that
the federal government has now recognized the negative impact the lack of
socio-economic data has on minority language communities.
A task force, chaired by Michael O'Keefe of the Department of Canadian
Heritage, was formed in order to better coordinate enforcement of sections 41
and 42 of the Official Languages Act. Composed of officials from various
departments, this committee is responsible for ensuring that interdepartmental
research into official language services is effectively coordinated. Having
looked into this myself on a small scale, I was struck by the lack of
coordination between federal departments with respect to the services they are
required to provide to official language minorities.
Statistics Canada is a member of this committee, which will have to find a
solution so that francophone communities are finally provided with relevant
We still do not know whether francophone communities outside of Quebec will
take part in the work of this interdepartmental committee, or whether it is
just an informal exercise among officials. We might be told that this should be
left to the Department of Canadian Heritage, even though we feel that it is
the responsibility of the Department of Human Resources Development and of the
Department of Industry.
In Nova Scotia, $60 million was set aside for a joint federal-provincial
program to help install computer systems in schools. To my knowledge,
francophones were not consulted and nothing has been planned for French
schools. When the Fédération des communautés francophones
acadiennes raised the matter with the Department of Industry, they were told
that it was not its problem, but that of the Department of Canadian Heritage.
So there is a lack of coordination. This is not a case of ill will, but simply
of nobody having taken the matter in hand and wanting to help improve the
prospects of francophones outside of Quebec.
I hope that this new committee, which will coordinate research projects, will
find the necessary funds for programs that will be more accessible to
Montfort Hospital was in the limelight for several weeks. The issue is now
before the courts. Why? It is to try to make people understand that we are
concerned about our aging population and by the inadequate access to
health-care institutions, to the management of these institutions by our people
for our people. No more, but no less. I would ask that, in the fall, all of us
together - and I will give notice of an inquiry to that effect - discuss the
overall situation in our country with regard to health, which is now one of the
most controversial issues. Education was for a number of years our community's
main concern. Now, it is health. They want to deprive us of Montfort Hospital,
the only French-language medical training institution outside of Quebec. And
that, honourable senators, is important. We either believe in it or we do not.
If francophone minorities, and the anglophone minority in Quebec, are abandoned
by the majority, we will not need the PQ and the federalists to divide the
country, it will just happen.
Honourable senators, we must look after the health and education of these young
francophones so that they can, from province to province, have access to
education programs, post-secondary programs and health-care services in their
On motion of Senator Kinsella, for Senator Rivest, debate adjourned.
The Hon. the Speaker: I thank the honourable senators for
having allowed Senator Gauthier to speak today. We are aware of his health, and
it was a courtesy we owed to him.
Yugoslavia-Relationship to International Law-Inquiry-Debate Continued
On the Order:
Resuming debate on the inquiry of the Honourable Senator Grafstein calling the
attention of the Senate to the question of international law: Canada and the
NATO action in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.-(Honourable Senator
Hon. Douglas Roche: Honourable senators will be glad to know
that I will not repeat all of the comments that I made before Senator
My final point is that Canada's effort to resolve the Kosovo crisis would have
been better served by using resources to strengthen political and diplomatic
endeavours and then contributing forces to a UN-approved international force.
This would have underscored Canada's commitment to international law, but it
would have meant stepping outside of NATO's action. Canada is not ready to
leave NATO, but Canada wants UN solutions. Therefore, this country continues to
try to balance both sets of obligations.
It is becoming clearer that remaining in a nuclear-armed western military
alliance is undermining Canada's ability and desires to express our yearning
for peace through the United Nations system. If, by remaining in NATO, Canada
can successfully work with allies to eliminate NATO's reliance on nuclear
weapons and ensure that NATO works under, not above, the UN, the allegiance
will be worthwhile. However, it will take far more determination than has yet
been seen on the part of the Canadian government to achieve these goals.
As long as NATO remains imperious, the demand of thinking Canadians, concerned
about the requirements for a truly global security system, for Canada to leave
NATO will grow.
Hon. John B. Stewart: Will Senator Roche help me by answering a
Senator Roche referred to the Security Council's resolutions on Yugoslavia. He
has implied that the Security Council was prepared to authorize whatever
measures, including force, were necessary to enforce those resolutions.
Would the honourable senator state his views on why members of NATO concluded
that they could not rely on the Security Council to undertake whatever
intervention would be required to persuade Yugoslavia to conform to the
security resolutions, the ones to which he has already referred?
As well, will he give us his explanation of why the United States government
decided, along with its NATO partners, to intervene as they did?
Senator Roche: I thank the Honourable Senator Stewart for his
questions. They are rather linked.
While the negotiations were concluding, at least in their final stages, the
U.S. envoy conducting the negotiations on NATO's behalf was authorized to state
that NATO would start bombing unless the Milosevic regime would accept the
Rambouillet agreement, and specifically that NATO ground troops would be
exclusively permitted to monitor the situation in Kosovo. Milosevic rebelled at
that, and there was much to and fro occurring. When NATO, having threatened to
bomb, was still unable to secure the agreement under NATO's terms, it then
decided that it had to follow through with its threat. As I mentioned earlier,
the first few days of bombing not having achieved the desired and intended
result of bringing Milosevic immediately to his knees, NATO concluded that it
had to continue bombing, among other reasons, to preserve its own credibility.
With respect to the United States' decision to intervene, it is fairly clear,
as Václav Havel mentioned in his joint Senate and House of Commons
parliamentary address, that there was an ethical dimension to this war unlike
any other. This war was being fought not for aggrandizement of territory or
resources but for a new situation in international relations - the protection
of the human rights of people who live within a sovereign state. Under Article
2.7 of the UN Charter, this had previously been considered off limits. A nation
state cannot intervene in the domestic problems of a government, and this has
been a well-established principle.
However, that principle is now being overtaken by the ascension of the
recognition of human rights - the universality and indivisibility of human
rights and their inherent quality in every human being. We have entered a new
stage in international politics in which the rights of individuals are now
being considered to be higher than the protection of the sovereign state. This
dilemma faces the entire international community, not least the United Nations.
Thus, the United States decided, as the principal driving force within NATO,
that it would launch its attack.
If there were other reasons that the U.S. had for maintaining a military
solution to the Kosovo dilemma, that is not for me to say. I will not attempt
to read the mind of the U.S. administration. Many commentators have made such
an attempt, but I will not use this forum to go beyond what I said above.
It is clear that the United States has stated, in very formal statements by Ms
Albright, and repeated by the President, that it considers itself an
indispensable nation, and that it would have to be the chief arbiter and
negotiator of problems pertaining to world peace. This, of course, is directly
connected to the United States' diminishment of the United Nations, and not
only through its failure to pay its dues, which is a technical manifestation.
Forces within the U.S. Congress are inimical to the multilateral solutions for
which the United Nations stands. The U.S. administration is listening to those
Senator Stewart: I wish to ask a supplementary question, which
to some extent is a repetition of my first question. I did not hear words that
seemed to me to answer the question.
I asked for Senator Roche's explanation as to why the members of NATO concluded
that they could not rely on the UN Security Council to take the necessary
steps. Senator Roche has given us his explanation as to why NATO decided to act
as it did. Why was it that NATO came to the conclusion that the Security
Council would not act?
Senator Roche: I think the answer to that, honourable senators,
is that there was an assumption, and perhaps there were even discussions in
camera that led the United States to believe that Russia and China would
have vetoed a resolution calling exclusively for NATO ground troops to monitor
a political solution.
NATO was determined that it was going to run the show in Kosovo. I say
parenthetically that this little imbroglio we are now witnessing with Russia
occupying the airport first is but a recognition that Russia is determined, as
it was before, that this would not be an exclusively NATO show, that there
would be an international force and it would play a responsible role within an
Hon. Marcel Prud'homme: Honourable senators, NATO has spent
billions of dollars for over 50 years to anticipate any situation. How could
NATO not be ready for everything? How could they not know that the Russians
would move in first?
Second, how can those who believe in sanity in world affairs believe that we
will have sanity by humiliating Russia? That country is going through great
difficulty, and for some to say, "Let us crush them" is not
Third, I applaud the arrival of Russian forces in advance of NATO. Would the
honourable senator comment on my assumption that as NATO and the Russians are
both present in this area, this will force the situation to be resolved?
Senator Roche: I thank the honourable senator for that
question. On the first point, in regard to NATO being able to predict this
outcome, General Clark, the NATO commander in the field, said that it was not a
military problem, that he could have got to the area first, but rather what he
described as a political problem. He was clearly throwing the ball back to his
We are now seeing some of the difficulties inside the changing Russian
leadership through this question, which is connected to the United States'
reaction. It may have overplayed its hand a bit and thus is taking a cooler
approach to Russia's desire to play by not reacting. The official United States
response to Russia's moving into the airport was to downplay the event.
However, as far as the prediction is concerned, NATO clearly could have seen
that coming if they had been more prescient with respect to the needs of
On the second point, the humiliation of Russia by the West has been ongoing for
some time. It is a very risky business to expect that we can build a global
security architecture for the 21st century without Russia as a keystone player
along with China. The West must get over the idea that we will run the whole
show for world security, and that brings us back to the utility of the United
Nations. For no small reason was the United Nations formulated on the basis
that the five permanent powers would have to agree on common goals in order to
stop regionalization in military efforts.
Third, Senator Prud'homme says that he applauds the Russians arriving first. I
suppose that he will probably have much company in that applause. However, I
suspect that a couple of heads will roll in light of these events.
Hon. Nicholas W. Taylor: Honourable senators, I have a question
for the honourable senator. I wonder whether the honourable senator was trying
to lead me down a bit of a garden path when it comes to the Russians and the
occupation of Kosovo.
There are two ways that one can control a corporation or a government. First,
you may act in unison and all vote. Second, there is the divided method, where
each one has a certain sector of the company to run. We could divide the area
into peace sectors, as was done with Berlin. The honourable senator may not be
as old as I, but he might recall the period following World War II when French,
English, American and Russian sectors divided up that city.
Does the honourable senator believe that Kosovo would be better managed with
three governments, a Chinese, Russian and a UN sector? Was he saying that the
Russians must be included, but they would have to come in with the UN vote
where their solutions might be considerably watered down? Which solution is
the senator recommending?
Senator Roche: I certainly was not recommending a partition
process in Kosovo. Indeed, the resolution adopted by the Security Council
maintains that the establishment of an interim administration for Kosovo be
determined by the Security Council of the United Nations to ensure conditions
for a peaceful and normal life for all inhabitants of Kosovo.
As I tried to indicate earlier, the Russians were determined to get their oar
in the water to ensure that not only the world but the Russian people
understood that they were a part of the international presence. I believe that
Russia is very much committed to preserving the integrity of the Kosovo state.
Hon. Jerahmiel S. Grafstein: Honourable senators, I wish to add
to the congratulations of other senators to Senator Roche for his articulate
defence of the position that NATO forces were in breach of international law
when they decided to intervene on a question of humanity in Kosovo.
I wish to ask the senator if he could focus on a narrow question: Was the
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, because of its actions in Kosovo, in breach of
either customary or conventional international law?
Senator Roche: Any country that treats its citizens the way the
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia treated the people of Kosovo is in breach of its
international requirements not only to keep the peace but to preserve human
I said earlier that there is coming into play now in the international arena a
recognition of the universality of human rights which challenges the previous
and hitherto assumption that nothing was more sacred than national sovereignty.
Therefore, my short answer to the Honourable Senator Grafstein is "yes."
Senator Grafstein: It is clear from the honourable senator's
position that there was just cause. Where we disagree concerns who is mandated
under the rule of law to enforce international law. That is the question before
Senator Roche: The very words "just cause" bring to
mind the idea of a "just war." If I recall correctly, I believe
Senator Grafstein referred to that yesterday in quoting Hugo Grotius. However,
in talking about a "just war," you have to talk about limitation and
proportionality also - two qualities that were totally absent in the NATO
As to who mandates, I do not think I can do any better in answering that
question succinctly than to quote the Secretary-General of the United Nations
who has appealed to the international community to restore the UN Security
Council to what he has called its "pre-eminent position as the sole source
of legitimacy on the use of force." Indeed, the very resolution that was
adopted by the UN Security Council to bring about a peaceful resolution of the
Kosovo crisis states in its first preambular paragraph:
Bearing in mind the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United
Nations, and the primary responsibility of the Security Council for the
maintenance of international peace and security, -
Thus, the answer to the question is clear: The United Nations Security Council
has the authority to legitimate force.
Senator Grafstein: I do not quarrel with the fact that the
Security Council has the legitimacy in terms of enforcement. I want to deal
with the question of the UN Charter, upon which the honourable senator's
argument is founded. In respect of the questions that were raised by Senator
Stewart, he has acknowledged that the UN Charter, in some parts, has been
superseded by subsequent conventions, both customary international law and
conventional international law. He has mentioned that with respect to human
Article 2 of the Charter states, in part:
Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to
intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of
any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement
under the present Charter; -
I think the honourable senator has now agreed that some aspects of the UN
Charter at least have been superseded by conventional international law. Is
Senator Roche: Honourable senators, the Charter is a living
tree; it is itself growing. The Honourable Senator Grafstein is quite correct
in saying that subsequent treaties have given a new understanding of things.
One example is the non-proliferation treaty which came into existence in 1970.
When the UN Charter was adopted in 1945, nuclear weapons had not been invented.
Thus, in order to deal adequately with nuclear weapons, the international
community had to go to a new treaty, the non-proliferation treaty. Therefore,
the non-proliferation treaty has the same function and role as the UN Charter.
Yes, it has been superseded.
As a matter of fact, Chapter VIII of the UN Charter turns it around and states
that it fosters regional bodies for the purpose of supporting the UN strategies
on global peace and security.
Senator Grafstein: That is precisely what NATO has said it is
doing, which is to support UN resolutions. As the honourable senator has
pointed out, President Havel said precisely that. It was not in aid of
aggrandizement; it was in aid of supporting UN resolutions.
I wish to return to the UN Charter for a moment. I take it that the honourable
senator's case about exclusivity, as well as Annan's proposition of exclusivity
or sole power, rests on Article 2, 4, which states:
All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or
use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any
The word "refrain" does not mean "prohibit," it means "avoid."
That clause refers very much to Article 2 of the Charter which the honourable
senator says has been superseded by conventional treaty and territorial
How could the UN under Articles 2,4 or 2,7 of its Charter use force to
intervene to support UN sanctions if, in fact, it was argued by the Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia to this day before the international court that this
would be an invasion of its sovereignty and its territorial integrity? Was that
not the source of the UN's inability to move on this issue?
Senator Roche: Honourable senators, Article 2,4 needs to be
read in conjunction with Article 42, which authorizes the use of force against
an aggressor when legitimized by the Security Council.
The nub and heart of my whole argument today is that the military action, if
required, must fall under Article 42 to ensure that it is the entire
international community that is taking this action against an aggressor, not
just one regional body. That is the only way you will get global support.
Finally, I believe it was Senator Grafstein yesterday who advanced the
argument, and in so doing I think he named Italy, Greece and one or two other
countries that claimed that this was not just a domestic occurrence, because
the spillover of refugees was making this an international situation and they
were afraid of such dislocation in their internal domestic considerations that
they had to call for international action.
Senator Grafstein: I cannot give honourable senators personal
knowledge concerning China's actions with respect to the use of its veto.
However, I do have personal and direct knowledge, as do other parliamentarians,
with respect to Russia's conduct in terms of NATO members trying to induce
Russia to be part of an international force. I say this from firsthand
knowledge, all of which is contained in the records of the OSCE meeting held in
Copenhagen last year.
At that time, the Americans made a great effort to try to establish a
resolution of the OSCE which would involve Russia as a member of the contact
group in a forceful intervention against the Serbian government's breaches of
international law. Many hours were spent in trying to develop a resolution. The
Russians would not agree to such a resolution. They would not agree to force.
On the facts, firsthand and secondhand, Russia indicated clearly that it was
not prepared to play.
Now that we have come down the road to Damascus with a conversion, which I
recognize and accept as being prudentially positive for the future of the
United Nations, at the crucial time when people were being slaughtered and
ethnically cleansed, Russia refused to move. It refused to budge. I say that to
the honourable senator not as a question of fact but as a question of
Senator Roche: Senator Grafstein is returning the argument to
his basic convention. The problems Russia has been facing are connected to its
economic dislocation and the denuding of its military forces. It is simply not
in a position today to match NATO's strength. It is fearful that NATO's
overwhelming strength, which is 10 times greater than all the rest of the
countries put together, will be used in a way that will disadvantage Russia.
The expansion of NATO earlier this year sent shivers down the spines of many
Russian military people.
We must have a little more understanding of what is really going on in Russia.
I remember Senator Kinsella, myself and others pleading with the Government of
Canada on an almost daily basis to get Russia involved, as opposed to there
being a military engagement, because Russia possessed the key to a diplomatic
and political solution.
Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition):
Honourable senators, there have been fewer important debates in this chamber
than the one we are engaged in right now. Not only does it speak to an issue
involving Canadian men and women in that theatre of the world, it also speaks
to many other theatres of the world, and thus my question to Senator Roche.
What lessons must we draw from this experience, in terms of our responsibility
as a member state of the United Nations, to use more creatively our seat on the
Security Council? We are in this very special position in these days. If there
was any apprehension of a potential block of a resolution at the Security
Council - and this is hypothetical - why would a country such as Canada not be
using the General Assembly?
Senator Roche: I thank the Honourable Senator Kinsella for his
question. The honourable senator is quite correct, that Canada, in its position
as a member of the Security Council, is instrumentally placed to advance
solutions. We must recognize, though - and I suppose we all do - that by world
standards Canada is a small player and it is better, perhaps, not to try to
over-reach in a unilateral, solo effort. That is why, in many questions today,
we are calling for Canada to work with like-minded states.
Many like-minded states have come into their own following the end of the Cold
War, and recognize that a common effort is needed to advance multilateral
solutions that will carry the support of regions around the world. We cannot
leave everything to the superpowers of the past tense, or the superpower of the
Canada's continuing, entangling relationship with the United States is an
inhibiting factor in our freedom of action. There is a common feeling that we
cannot annoy the Americans, and I certainly would not make that my career. I
feel that it is necessary, however, in recognizing the dependence Canada has
on the United States on many security and economic questions, that we, at the
same time, espouse a friendship to the United Nations in speaking to them
perhaps privately, but frankly, in support of multilateral solutions. The
United States itself, therefore, would not feel it must carry the burden as
I believe that, in working with like-minded states, we can summon up some
courage, bravery, and a better explanation by the Government of Canada to the
Canadian people as to what is involved in bringing forward Canadian strength,
and perhaps recovering some of the strength that Canada had in earlier years
in espousing foreign policies.
There is much to be said on this subject, and I will confine my answer there.
However, Senator Kinsella evokes within me a sense that Canada has a tremendous
responsibility in the modern world. We are the second largest piece of real
estate in the world, a country which the United Nations called the number one
country for our social life indices. We do not know how blessed we are in the
sense of the capacity we have. Having worked at the United Nations myself for
some time, I was always impressed, even sometimes embarrassed, at the manner in
which other delegates would approach me. I am sure others in this chamber have
been in similar circumstances and felt the same attitude, namely, the trust
that other states and delegates repose in Canada.
I am only pleading here that Canada, having gone through this unfortunate
experience in the Kosovo war, now redouble its efforts to build the conditions
for peace, and work with like-minded states.
Senator Kinsella: Further, Senator Grafstein quite rightly
raises the practical problem of the gross and consistent patterns of human
rights violations that were occurring in Kosovo, being perpetrated by the
Serbian authorities against the Kosovar Albanians. However, at the same time,
there were atrocities being perpetrated by the Kosovar Albanians on the Serbian
community. Therefore the world community is aware of gross and consistent
patterns of human rights violations. That, of course, speaks to resolution 1503
of the General Assembly.
In many parts of the world, however, the United Nations Human Rights
Commissions, and others, have said that there are gross and consistent patterns
of human rights violations occurring. In different theatres of the world, will
the regional forces be justified in banding together and bombing that country?
Is this what we have opened up? Are we involved in an international Wild West
model, or are we able to learn from this experience and challenge, by the
points that Senator Grafstein has raised, and that we must tie together with
the law, which may be dragging a little behind, the regional organizations that
are playing critical roles in international order?
Senator Roche: Honourable senators, Senator Kinsella has very
effectively answered his own question. I am in total agreement with what he has
said, so I will not repeat it all.
I did not refer at length this afternoon to the KLA, the Kosovo Liberation
Army. A dangerous situation indeed now lies on the horizon with respect to what
they will do. With respect to other regional trouble spots, what is happening,
or might happen, in Tibet, or Taiwan, and other sources of conflict today, as a
result of the certain inspiration that others may have received as a result of
a regional body taking unto itself the enforcement powers of deciding when
force will be used. All of that poses some real dilemmas down the line.
Therefore, I once more appeal for Canadian strength and action in working with
like-minded countries to strengthen the United Nations' capacity to deal with
international peace and security questions in every region of the world.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I should like to
draw your attention to the presence in the right-hand side of our gallery of a
distinguished visitor. We have with us one of our past colleagues, the former
honourable senator the Honourable Richard Stanbury.
Leave having been given to revert to Reports of Committees:
Consideration of Report of
Transport and Communications Committee-Debate Continued
On the Order:
Resuming debate on the consideration of the report of the Subcommittee on
Communications of the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications
entitled: "Wired to Win! Canada's Positioning Within The World's
Technological Revolution", deposited with the Clerk of the Senate on May
28, 1999.-(Honourable Senator Spivak)
Hon. Mira Spivak: Honourable senators, as the Deputy Chair of
the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, I am pleased to have the opportunity
of speaking on the tabling of "Wired to Win!" which, unfortunately, I
was not here for. The whole title is "Wired to Win! Canada's Positioning
Within The World's Technological Revolution."
This report has been a work in progress for more than three years. The interim
report was submitted in April 1997, and now the final report, containing 21
recommendations, has been tabled. I consider them to be important documents for
one very important reason: At no time in world history has humankind
countenanced such a massive exchange of information on a planetary scale. The
industrial revolution of some 200 years ago had far-reaching consequences that
were ineffable at the time. An agrarian existence gave way to factories,
machinery, and to the migration of country folk to the villages and towns of
For good or ill, that is for another debate. On the one hand, there were the
sweatshops, environmental pollution and horrendous exploitation. However, this
great leap forward also brought with it wealth and the creature comforts we
enjoy today. True, many parts of the world are less fortunate than we, where
freedom and security are lacking, basic possessions scarce, and access to
health care and education practically non-existent. However, if knowledge is
power, then the benefits of instant communication and the sharing of
information that modern telecommunications allows could well be the key to a
Throughout the hearings for the two reports, a newly-minted phrase was heard
repeatedly - the death of distance - for that is what the technological
revolution has achieved; a capacity for instant communication between any two
points on earth. As with the industrial revolution, the new information era
presents unknowns, and it was with that in mind that the Subcommittee on
Communications went about the task of trying to identify the impact of
telecommunications technology on Canada. It examined where we have been and
where we are - at the so-called old media, in the form of regulated radio and
television, that offer point-to-multipoint distribution, and at the new media
of the Internet and the Worldwide Web, the so-called point-to-point
The interim report focused on Canada's international competitive position in
communications and established that we are well-placed, because of our talent
and telecommunications infrastructure, to play a leading role in this new
revolution. The findings of the final report stemmed from a sweeping inventory
of where we fit into the technological market-place, the evolving industry that
is driving it, and in particular the impact upon our own culture.
Let me say, before I go any further, that it was the expert witnesses who
allowed the subcommittee to put into context divergent views on complex issues.
The result is a list of 21 recommendations that form the basis for discussion
on how this country should respond to the challenges of the technological
revolution. Their testimony provided invaluable resource material, and on
behalf of the committee I wish to extend our sincere appreciation to them.
Without exception, it was recognized by all those who provided input into the
hearings that Canada has a right and a responsibility to safeguard its cultural
identity. The final report reflects this in the recommendations, with roughly
half of those recommendations referring specifically either to culture or
Canadian content - words frequently used synonymously.
The Internet and the Worldwide Web figured prominently in the discussions, and
these two are mirrored in the recommendations, along with the need for
competition within the industry, new media literacy, the development of young
talent, the protection of intellectual property, and the role of our cultural
agencies and the CRTC. We covered a lot of ground, but, in the interests of
time, I will confine myself to only a few aspects of the recommendations.
The committee wrestled with the question of what constitutes culture. Is it
art, literature, a ballet performance, or something broader, something that
more accurately defines who we are? The committee elected for a broader view
along the lines of that taken by UNESCO, whose definition of culture includes
architecture, the arts, crafts, heritage, multiculturalism, native culture,
parks and recreation, religion, sports, and urban design. As noted in the
executive summary of the full report, that perspective gives us a lot to
celebrate, for Canada has much to showcase in each of these categories. The
committee firmly believes that these values must be reflected in the new media
products of the future, in the ways we present ourselves through emerging
technologies. As such, the recommendations are designed to ensure that Canadian
culture, talent and technology command a global presence.
Fiscal incentives and other inducements are suggested to encourage producers of
media content and cultural products to develop exportable commodities, such as
movies and TV programs. In particular, the committee recommends the creation
of a national cultural trading agency to consolidate current international
marketing activities and provide a one-stop venture for Canadians engaged in
producing content or cultural items for export. The committee goes further in
suggesting that English-language public television broadcasters should emulate
French broadcasters and seek alliances with their international counterparts to
provide a new global network offering top quality programming. It is in this
context that I believe the protection of the future of the CBC and its venture
The committee also suggested that a committee be set up under Part I of the
Status of the Artist Act to examine the working conditions and laws affecting
the self-employed who are increasingly found in the cultural arena and new
media. It is, of course, a vast area of employment at very modest rates that
our artists have provided for Canada.
As for the Worldwide Web, incentives should be offered to Canadian portal
companies so that they will give prominence to domestic cultural content -
rather than imposing conditions for doing business. In the same vein, the CBC,
as this country's public broadcaster, is encouraged to devote resources for a
portal or search engine that would provide access to Canadian content on the
Internet. This race for portals on the Internet and who will control them is
the hottest race at the moment.
These measures should not be viewed as protectionist but as initiatives to
promote Canadiana at home and abroad. However, as far as international trade
negotiations are concerned, the government should reaffirm its position that
Canada will not relinquish its cultural sovereignty, that our culture is not
In the debate over foreign access to our market, it should be noted that Canada
is already wide open: 90 per cent of the prime time television we watch is
American; 95 per cent of the movies we watch are not made in Canada; 84 per
cent of the records we listen to are in voices other than our own; 70 per cent
of books we read are written by non-Canadians; and 50 per cent of the
magazines we buy come from elsewhere. I certainly wish the Minister of Canadian
Heritage every strength that she can muster to make sure that that remains the
way it is because, honourable colleagues, not only are we open to foreign
competition but our cultural identity has thrived despite being inundated with
foreign material. All you have to do is think of the home-grown female singers
- male as well - topping the recording charts, our authors, actors and
producers who have succeeded in the big leagues of the entertainment industry
by having their presence subsidized and protected by the government. Here the
importance of our cultural institutions in developing regional talent should
not be overlooked, especially the CBC, the Canada Council and Telefilm Canada.
It was through forward-thinking policies of the past that these institutions -
not forgetting the CRTC and its role in ensuring Canadian content in the
broadcasting sector - showed us who we are, whether on canvas, film, vinyl,
cassette disk, or the printed page.
The Internet, of course, was the focal point of our hearings, and conflicting
views emerged on whether it should be regulated. Some argued in favour of a
hands-off approach, pointing out that Internet sites are everywhere and nowhere
- and I note the recent CRTC decision. Close one down, it is said, and it opens
under another guise. Others maintain that the Internet can be regulated by
imposing strictures on Internet service providers. After all, everything is not
a point of light on the Internet; there are also people who could, for example,
be held responsible for filtering objectionable material, such as violence,
pornography and racism. Laws to curb vile websites, along with the need to
protect intellectual property, pose great challenges for the governments of the
world, for it will be difficult to come to universal agreement, try, though, we
On the issue of regulation, it is interesting to note that the CRTC recently
announced that it would not try to regulate the Internet because that would put
Canadian companies at a competitive disadvantage. I do not exactly agree.
Furthermore, by deciding that online broadcasts from traditional broadcasters,
such as radio and TV stations, will be exempt from CRTC control, the agency has
addressed a particular concern of the committee which wanted the government to
clarify the distinction, if any, between telecommunications and broadcasting.
In another sphere, the committee is reiterating its admonition in the interim
report that care must be taken to ensure that we do not create in Canada a
group of technological have-nots - in other words, people marginalized by not
having the opportunity to access computers. While we must insist on preparing
young Canadians for the technological challenges of the information age, we
must also insist that they be educated to a superior level of reading and
writing ability, and we have someone in our midst who is trying her best to
ensure that that happens - Senator Fairbairn.
A few moments ago, I briefly mentioned the necessity of developing policies to
protect intellectual property. We, the subcommittee members, feel that a step
in the right direction would be to expedite Phase III revisions to Canada's
As well, we advocate the adoption of measures to ensure individual privacy on
the web. Indeed, one of the reasons cited why web business has not reached its
potential is the fear that personal information will be disclosed to other
parties, particularly for e-commerce. An attempt by some huge corporations in
the U.S. to foster trust among web users failed because of abuses and lack of
standards. As a result, there are calls for tough legislation by the U.S.
Congress, and the European Commission is pushing for strict international rules
governing personal information about European citizens. In the absence of
worldwide agreement, one idea being advanced is for web sites to disclose which
jurisdictions they abide by. This would give customers an idea of the laws
under which a company operates.
What clearly emerged during the hearings was a high degree of activity taking
place within the telecommunications industry. Different sectors - conventional
broadcasting, cable TV, satellite TV, telephony, local wireless, and electrical
utilities - are vying to become the dominant distributor of the new media.
These once-regulated monopolies are vying with one another, forming strategic
alliances in a competitive free-for-all.
While this market-place spirit is good news for consumers, the subcommittee is
concerned that an unfettered process of acquisitions and mergers could lead us
right back into a monopolistic situation. Consequently, the government is
advised to be alert for any trend along these lines, and urge the Competition
Bureau to ensure that competition is not stifled through mergers and
Earlier in my remarks, honourable senators, I hinted at brevity, but I may have
overstated my intention by exploring some of the issues that we dealt with as a
subcommittee. However, if they serve to highlight the importance of the issues
with which we are confronted in this technological revolution, then I hope my
time will have been well spent. I trust senators will read the report and
glean a deeper insight into some of the ramifications swirling around us, and
what we can do about them.
I cannot close without offering my sincere appreciation to the Chair of the
committee, who is a workaholic such as I have never seen. Her efforts,
single-handedly, propelled this report forward. I also wish to thank my
colleagues on the subcommittee who I think are just fantastic. All are females,
except one. That shows you what can be done if we try hard.
On motion of Senator Maheu, debate adjourned.
Election of canada to united
nations security council
Resuming debate on the inquiry of the Honourable Senator Roche calling the
attention of the Senate to the election of Canada to the United Nations'
Security Council for 1999-2000, and Canada's role in contributing to peace,
global security and human rights in the world on the eve of the new
millennium.-(Honourable Senator Andreychuk)
Hon. A. Raynell Andreychuk: Honourable senators, I wish to
participate in the debate on this issue. I believe that Canada's assuming a
seat on the Security Council of the United Nations is an important step and
therefore one that should be scrutinized by a parliamentary process. I am not
certain what reasons led the government to believe that this was the opportune
time to seek election to the Security Council, but I do know that much time
and attention was spent in seeking and successfully obtaining that Security
I know that in past times votes were traded, opportunities were gained and
promises were made, and these were far-reaching in both obligations and
opportunities for Canada. I know that much money and much effort was spent by
many individuals in obtaining the Security Council seat. Therefore, I think it
is important that, when the year is over, the Minister of Foreign Affairs
undergo some parliamentary scrutiny to determine whether the objectives that
were set for Canada on the Security Council have been met, because I believe
the cost has been high.
Honourable senators, at a later date I should like speak in greater detail as
to why I believe it would be important for the Senate to study this issue and
to invite the Minister of Foreign Affairs to come before us at the end of the
year, in January of the year 2000, to explain whether this effort has been
successful, and whether it is important for Canada to continue. It is becoming
increasingly important that foreign policy be seen as part of a strategy within
a national debate.
On motion of Senator Andreychuk, debate adjourned.
Royal Commission on Aboriginal
Peoples-Motion to Permit Committee to Table Final Report on Study with Clerk
Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Deputy Leader of the Government),
for Senator Watt,pursuant to notice of June 10, 1999, moved:
That, in relation to the Order of the Senate adopted on Tuesday, December 9,
1997, the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples, which was authorized
to examine and report upon the recommendations of the Royal Commission Report
on Aboriginal Peoples (Sessional paper 2/35-508) respecting Aboriginal
governance, be permitted, notwithstanding usual practices, to deposit its
report with the Clerk of the Senate if the Senate is not sitting, and that the
report be deemed to have been tabled in the Chamber.
Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Acting Speaker): Is it your pleasure,
honourable senators, to adopt the motion?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
Motion agreed to.
The Senate adjourned until Wednesday, June 16, 1999, at 1:30 p.m.