46 Elizabeth II, A.D. 1997, Canada

Journals of the Senate


Issue 26

Thursday, December 4, 1997
2:00 p.m.

The Honourable Gildas L. Molgat, Speaker


The Members convened were:

The Honourable Senators

Adams, Angus, Austin, Bacon, Beaudoin, Berntson, Bolduc, Bonnell, Bryden, Buchanan, Butts, Callbeck, Carstairs, Chalifoux, Cochrane, Comeau, Cools, Corbin, De Bané, DeWare, Di Nino, Doody, Doyle, Fairbairn, Ferretti Barth, Forest, Forrestall, Gauthier, Gigantès, Grafstein, Grimard, Gustafson, Haidasz, Hays, Hébert, Jessiman, Johnson, Joyal, Kelleher, Kelly, Kenny, Keon, Kinsella, Kirby, Lavoie-Roux, LeBreton, Lewis, Losier-Cool, Lynch-Staunton, Maheu, Meighen, Mercier, Milne, Molgat, Moore, Murray, Nolin, Pearson, Perrault, Petten, Phillips, Poulin, Roberge, Robertson, Robichaud, (L'Acadie-Acadia), Robichaud, (Saint-Louis-de-Kent), Rompkey, Rossiter, St. Germain, Simard, Sparrow, Spivak, Stewart, Stollery, Stratton, Taylor, Tkachuk, Watt, Whelan, Wood

PRAYERS

SENATORS' STATEMENTS

Some Honourable Senators made statements.

DAILY ROUTINE OF BUSINESS

Presentation of Reports from Standing or Special Committees

The Honourable Senator Milne, Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, presented its Third Report (Bill S-5, An Act to amend the Canada Evidence Act and the Criminal Code in respect of persons with disabilities, to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act in respect of persons with disabilities and other matters and to make consequential amendments to other Acts), with an amendment and observations.

The Report was then read by one of the Clerks at the Table, as follows:

THURSDAY, December 4, 1997

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

THIRD REPORT

Your Committee, to which was referred Bill S-5, An Act to amend the Canada Evidence Act and the Criminal Code in respect of persons with disabilities, to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act in respect of persons with disabilities and other matters and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, has, in obedience to the Order of Reference of Wednesday, October 29, 1997, examined the said Bill and now reports the same with the following amendment and observations:
Page 9, clause 16, replace lines 15 to 22 with the following:
"16. Section 16 of the Act is replaced by the following:

16.(1) It is not a discriminatory practice for a person to adopt or carry out a special program, plan or arrangement designed to prevent disadvantages that are likely to be suffered by, or to eliminate or reduce disadvantages that are suffered by, any group of individuals when those disadvantages would be based on or related to the prohibited grounds of discrimination, by improving opportunities respecting goods, services, facilities, accommodation or employment in relation to that group.

(2) The Canadian Human Rights Commission, may

(a) make general recommendations concerning desirable objectives for special programs, plans or arrangements referred to in subsection (1); and

(b) on application, give such advice and assistance with respect to the adoption or carrying out of a special program, plan or arrangement referred to in subsection (1) as will serve to aid in the achievement of the objectives the program, plan or arrangement was designed to achieve.

(3) It is not a discriminatory practice to collect information relating to a prohibited ground of discrimination if the information is intended to be used in adopting or carrying out a special program, plan or arrangement under subsection (1).".

Concerns were raised by some members of the Committee regarding the language used in reference to the proposed Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. For example, the English version of subsection 50(1) refers to "the members or panel conducting the inquiry" while the French version refers to "le membre instructeur." Despite assurances by departmental officials, the Committee urges the Minister of Justice to review the language used in Bill S-5 to ensure concurrence between the English and French versions.

A number of concerns about the operation of the Canadian Human Rights Act that were brought to the attention of this Committee were outside the scope of this particular bill. The Committee was therefore pleased to hear from the Minister of Justice that she is committed to conducting a broader review of this legislation. As we approach a new millennium and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of

Human Rights, it is time for a comprehensive assessment of the Act and its ability to promote and protect human rights into the next century.

Respectfully submitted,

LORNA MILNE

Chair

The Honourable Senator Milne moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Chalifoux, that the Report be placed on the Orders of the Day for consideration at the next sitting.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

The Honourable Senator Rompkey, P.C., presented the following:

THURSDAY, December 4, 1997

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

SIXTH REPORT

Your Committee has examined and approved the budgets presented to it by the following Committees for the proposed expenditures of the said Committees for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1998:

 

Standing Joint Committee on Scrutiny of Regulations (Senate Share):
97-12-02/052
Professional and Special Services     $ 56,760

Transportation and Communication   

 1,950

All Other Expenditures   

 3,240

TOTAL   

 $ 61,950

 

Standing Committee on National Finance (Legislation):
97-12-02/054

Professional and Other Services     $ 8,000

Transportation and Communication   

 7,500

All Other Expenditures   

 1,500

TOTAL   

 $ 17,000

Respectfully submitted,

WILLIAM ROMPKEY

Chair

The Honourable Senator Rompkey, P.C., moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Joyal, P.C., that the Report be placed on the Orders of the Day for consideration at the next sitting.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

Tabling of Reports from Inter-Parliamentary Delegations

The Honourable Senator Comeau tabled the following:

Report of the Canadian Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union regarding its participation at the 98th Inter-Parliamentary Conference, held at Cairo, Egypt, from September 10 to 16, 1997.-Sessional Paper No. 1/36-285.

ANSWERS TO WRITTEN QUESTIONS

Pursuant to Rule 25(2), the Honourable Senator Carstairs tabled the following:

Reply to Question No. 32, dated October 1, 1997, appearing on the Order Paper in the name of the Honourable Senator Kenny, respecting the Alternative Fuels Act-Canadian Museum of Nature.-Sessional Paper No. 1/36-286S.

Reply to Question No. 36, dated October 1, 1997, appearing on the Order Paper in the name of the Honourable Senator Kenny, respecting the Alternative Fuels Act-National Capital Commission.-Sessional Paper No. 1/36-287S.

Reply to Question No. 73, dated October 22, 1997, appearing on the Order Paper in the name of the Honourable Senator Forrestall, respecting CF-18 Hornets.-Sessional Paper No. 1/36-288S.

Reply to Question No. 79, dated October 23, 1997, appearing on the Order Paper in the name of the Honourable Senator Spivak, respecting the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. -Sessional Paper No. 1/36-289S.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Bills

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Cools, seconded by the Honourable Senator Chalifoux, for the second reading of Bill C-23, An Act for granting to Her Majesty certain sums of money for the public service of Canada for the financial year ending March 31, 1998.

After debate,

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

The Bill was then read the second time.

The Honourable Senator Cools moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Chalifoux, that the Bill be placed on the Orders of the Day for a third reading at the next sitting.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Moore, seconded by the Honourable Senator Ferretti Barth, for the second reading of Bill C-16, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Interpretation Act (powers to arrest and enter dwellings),

And on the motion in amendment of the Honourable Senator Cools, seconded by the Honourable Senator Sparrow, that the motion be amended by deleting all the words after "That" and substituting the following therefor:

"Bill C-16, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Interpretation Act (powers to arrest and enter dwellings), be not now read a second time because
(a) the Senate is opposed to the principle of a bill which has been placed before Parliament as a result of the judgment of the Supreme Court of Canada of May 22, 1997, and of the Court's Orders of June 27 and November 19, 1997;
(b) the Senate finds it repugnant that the Supreme Court is infringing on the sovereign rights of Parliament to enact legislation and is failing to respect the constitutional comity between the courts and Parliament; and
(c) the Court is in effect coercing Parliament by threatening chaotic consequences respecting law enforcement and arrests if Parliament does not pass this bill."
After debate, The Honourable Senator Kinsella moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator DeWare, that further debate on the motion in amendment be adjourned until the next sitting.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

Second reading of Bill C-10, An Act to implement a convention between Canada and Sweden, a convention between Canada and the Republic of Lithuania, a convention between Canada and the Republic of Kazakhstan, a convention between Canada and the Republic of Iceland and a convention between Canada and the Kingdom of Denmark for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income and to amend the Canada-Netherlands Income Tax Convention Act, 1986 and the Canada-United States Tax Convention Act, 1984.

The Honourable Senator Grafstein moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Austin, P.C., that the Bill be read the second time.

After debate,

The Honourable Senator Johnson moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Rossiter, that further debate on the motion be adjourned until the next sitting.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

Motions

Orders No. 1 and 2 were called and postponed until the next sitting. The Honourable Senator Carstairs moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Stewart:

That, in accordance with subsection 54(3) of the Act to extend the present laws of Canada that provide access to information under the control of the Government of Canada, Chapter A-1, of the Revised Statutes of Canada 1985, the Senate approve the reappointment of John Grace as Information Commissioner, to hold office until April 30, 1998.

After debate,

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

Reports of Committees

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Pépin, seconded by the Honourable Senator Lucier, for the adoption of the Report of the Special Joint Committee to Amend Section 93 of the Constitution Act 1867 concerning the Quebec School System, deposited with the Clerk of the Senate on November 7, 1997.

After debate,

The Honourable Senator Kinsella for the Honourable Senator Lavoie-Roux moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator DeWare, that further debate on the motion be adjourned until the next sitting.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

 ___________________________________________

With leave, The Senate reverted to Presentation of Reports from Standing or Special Committees. The Honourable Senator Kirby, Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce, presented its Fifth Report (Bill C-11, An Act respecting the imposition of duties of customs and other charges, to give effect to the International Convention on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, to provide relief against the imposition of certain duties of customs or other charges, to provide for other related matters and to amend or repeal certain Acts in consequence thereof) without amendment.

The Honourable Senator Kirby moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Watt, that the Bill be placed on the Orders of the Day for a third reading at the next sitting.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

OTHER BUSINESS

Senate Public Bills

Second reading of Bill S-8, An Act to amend the Tobacco Act (content regulation).

The Honourable Senator Haidasz, P.C., moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Stewart, that the Bill be read the second time.

After debate,

The Honourable Senator Milne moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Butts, that further debate on the motion be adjourned until the next sitting.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

Reports of Committees

Consideration of the Fourth Report of the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce (budget-study on the state of the financial system in Canada), presented in the Senate on November 26, 1997.

The Honourable Senator Kirby moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Stewart, that the Report be adopted.

After debate,

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

Other

Orders No. 8 (inquiry), 3 and 1 (motions) were called and postponed until the next sitting.

 ________________________________________

At 4:12 p.m. the sitting was suspended. At 5:45 p.m. the sitting resumed.

MESSAGES FROM THE HOUSE OF COMMONS

A Message was brought from the House of Commons with a Bill C-2, An Act to establish the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and to amend the Canada Pension Plan and the Old Age Security Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, to which they desire the concurrence of the Senate.

The Bill was read the first time.

The Honourable Senator Carstairs moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Robichaud, P.C. (L'Acadie-Acadia), that the Bill be placed on the Orders of the Day for a second reading on Monday next, December 8, 1997.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted, on division.

With leave,

The Senate reverted to Government Notices of Motions.

With leave of the Senate,

The Honourable Senator Carstairs moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Fairbairn, P.C.:

That when the Senate adjourns today, it do stand adjourned until Monday next, December 8, 1997, at 2:00 p.m.

After debate,

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

REPORTS DEPOSITED WITH THE CLERK OF THE SENATE PURSUANT TO RULE 28(2):

Report on the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement and the North-Eastern Quebec Agreement, "Cree-Inuit-Naskapi" for the year 1996, pursuant to the James Bay and Northern Quebec Native Claims Settlement Act, S.C. 1976-77, c. 32, s. 10. -Sessional Paper No.1/36-284.

ADJOURNMENT

The Honourable Senator Carstairs moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Fairbairn, P.C.:

That the Senate do now adjourn.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.