Download as PDF

Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

2nd Session, 36th Parliament,
Volume 138, Issue 12

Thursday, November 25, 1999
The Honourable Rose-Marie Losier-Cool, Speaker pro tempore


Table of Contents

THE SENATE

Thursday, November 25, 1999

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

Prayers.

The Honourable P. Derek Lewis, Q.C.

Tributes on Retirement

Hon. B. Alasdair Graham: Honourable senators, when Winston Churchill published a collection of his newspaper and magazine articles under the title, Great Contemporaries of 1938, he included a testimony to the life and work of Robert Baden-Powell, whom he called one of the three most famous generals he had known in his life. Baden-Powell, of course, was not only a respected general in the armed forces but also founder of the worldwide Boy Scout movement.

Churchill wrote that the "Be Prepared" motto of scouting's famous founder "speaks to every heart its message of duty and honour. Be prepared to stand up faithfully for right and truth, however the winds may blow."

Honourable senators, as I look through the documents pertaining to the wonderful career of Senator Derek Lewis, Q.C. —a public life marked by a deep commitment to service and devotion to duty — I found the influence of Baron Baden-Powell very solidly in his background. Derek was for many years a major figure in the Boy Scouts of Canada, having served over a period of time as secretary of the national organization, and he is now an honorary life vice-president.

Senator Lewis, as all honourable senators in this chamber would know, is a very modest person. Some might even characterize him as the Baden-Powell of Newfoundland. Legend has it that while Senator Lewis served in the Boy Scouts, Senator Joan Cook, who is his seatmate today in this chamber, was a member of the Girl Guides in Newfoundland. Senator Lewis was known to observe on occasion — and I just heard him repeat it — "You know, Joan, the 'Boy' Scouts"; to which the equally quick-witted Senator Cook would reply, "Yes, Derek, but the `Girl' Guides."

Throughout those long years of dedicated service, Senator Lewis was committed to the development of the fullest potential of young people and the creation of responsible citizens — individuals with values which always centred on doing their best, both in their communities and their country, and always with eyes wide open on the international community. In many ways, the motto of "Be Prepared," which Baden-Powell himself noted was founded on his own initials and means that "you are always to be in a state of readiness in mind and body to do your duty," has been a hallmark of this distinguished senator whom I have always been so proud for so many years to call a true friend.

Senator Lewis was admitted to the Newfoundland bar in 1947, only two years before this small, but significant nation in its own right — only two years before the tenth province — joined the Canadian Confederation. This year, as we celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the union, unfortunately we are saying goodbye to one of Newfoundland's outstanding sons and gentlemen — a man who represents all the talent of a warm-hearted, resilient and dynamic people, the people of Newfoundland, in the political life of this country.

A native of St. John's and a highly respected lawyer, Senator Lewis brought his renowned sense of humour and his great skills at negotiation and compromise-building to the Senate of Canada upon his appointment in March of 1978. When I first met Senator Lewis, as so many of us made our first acquaintances, namely, through politics, Derek was Newfoundland chair or senior advisor in many federal election campaigns.

Senator Lewis' dedication and reliability are well known in this place. He has served on virtually every committee the Senate has struck and in so doing was widely renowned for his ability to work unfailingly with other committee members to come to consensus on often complex pieces of legislation.

(1410)

The litany is extensive, it is impressive, and it is important for the record. Senator Lewis served on the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce. He served on the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration. For three years, between 1984 and 1986, he chaired the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, and he served as a member of that committee continuously from 1979 to the present. He has served on the Standing Committee on Rules and Orders or, as it became known after 1991, on Privileges, Standing Rules and Orders, for about the same duration of time — a little over two decades.

Senator Lewis brought his very considerable political gifts to the Standing Committee on Regulations and Other Statutory Instruments. He chaired the Standing Joint Committee on the Scrutiny of Regulations over much of the course of this decade. He often served on the Joint Committee of Printing of Parliament and the Special Joint Committee on the Reform of the Senate struck in the early 1980s.

Senator Lewis has, in addition to this already long and impressive list, served on the Special Joint Committee on the 1987 Constitutional Accord and the Special Committee on Bill C-110 (constitutional amendments) from 1994 to 1996.

It is no wonder, then, that this joyful Newfoundlander, with the quick wit and ready laugh, has acquired one of the finest reputations of any person ever to serve in this chamber. He is a man renowned for his generosity of time and spirit and energy in the service of his province and country. As a senator, he has always understood that the Senate of Canada, as I repeat over and over, is the workplace of government — a workshop wherein he acquired universal respect and admiration on both sides of this chamber.

For Derek Lewis, who gave so much of his volunteer time to scouting in this country, the road to success was always just a matter of doing one's duty and of paddling one's own canoe — as Baden-Powell once said — with heart and head, and to be prepared, as Senator Lewis has always been, to stand up faithfully for right and for truth, however the winds may blow.

Right and truth; duty and honour; fairness and equity: These words aptly apply to our departing colleague.

I also recognize the very supportive role played by Senator Lewis' wife, the "amazing Grace," who is with us in the gallery today. Many of us in this chamber have been the beneficiaries of their friendship and their warm and very generous hospitality over a long, long period of time. They leave this place with the best wishes of all honourable senators and with our very sincere wishes for good health and much happiness together in the years ahead.

Hon. C. William Doody: Honourable senators, I should like to add a few words of good wishes to those of my colleagues on the occasion of the retirement from this place of our friend Derek Lewis.

I have known Senator Lewis here in this place for 20 years and before that back in St. John's. He is truly a very unusual man. I can honestly say that, during all that period of time, I have yet to hear anyone utter an unkind or critical word about him. That is made even more remarkable by the fact that he has been a successful practising lawyer during all that period of time.

To make it even more remarkable, in addition to his very successful law practice during that period, he was and is very active in the affairs of the Liberal Party of Canada. I cannot recall an election, federal or provincial, in which Derek did not take an active part. He was a player in numerous campaigns, winning some and losing some. In my opinion, he won far too many and lost far too few, but then, again, I am looking at it from a different perspective.

Win or lose, Derek was always a gentleman: polite, well mannered, well turned out and meticulous to the extreme. In point of fact, I have heard it said in St. John's that Derek's most embarrassing moment was being caught one day with his necktie loosened.

No matter what the occasion, no matter winning or losing or any other way, all of his activities were always seasoned with a nice touch of a sardonic gentle humour that I think was unique to Derek Lewis.

In the Senate, I think he will be best remembered for his work on the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs. Senator Graham has itemized quite properly and well the vast role of activities in which Derek participated in this place. He has been invaluable in the work of the Legal Affairs Committee, and his wide knowledge of the law and his practical common-sense approach to committee work and the tasks assigned to him will be difficult to replace.

Senator Lewis' attendance record in this place, of course, is something of which we can all be proud and that all of us should try to emulate. I did not see any reference to it in Claire Hoy's book, but I do not expect that sort of thing gets much attention anyway.

I served with Derek on the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration for quite a long period of time, and once again his work in that committee will be remembered, certainly by me.

Derek's work in Newfoundland in his chosen profession has been done with equal dedication and meticulous care. His career as a lawyer has long been recognized by his peers. He was a bencher of the Law Society of Newfoundland from 1962 to 1978. He assumed the chairmanship of the Law Foundation of Newfoundland in 1979.

Honourable senators, Derek Lewis has pursued the practice of law in the province of Newfoundland since 1947. That was shortly before the Confederation episode referred to by Senator Graham. I am still trying to find out if Derek was a confederate or an anti-confederate. He refuses to say. Sometimes he refers to himself as a reluctant Canadian. He does that in the past tense, so I do not know exactly what that means. I am trying to find out for certain if he was or was not, because it was a very close margin there, as honourable senators will remember, and there may be grounds for a recount.

Derek Lewis has been active in the affairs of our province and our city. His work with the Boy Scouts of Canada has been mentioned. He is well recognized in Newfoundland for that, for his work with the Game Fish Protection Society of our province, and for his work with various and sundry other volunteer organizations that are so vital to the orderly progress of society in Newfoundland. Indeed, Derek has been active in just about everything. He has given generously of his time, whenever he has been asked, and we are all grateful to him.

I will not go into any detail with respect to Senator Lewis' work with the Liberal Party, as Senator Graham is far more capable of doing that. Besides, it would not sound very complimentary from my point of view.

I wish Derek and Grace many happy years of retirement. In that, I include the hope that he retires from the Liberal Party, as well as the Senate, for obvious reasons.

Thank you, Derek.

Hon. Joan Cook: Honourable senators, those of us who aspire to public life believing that we can bring about change, change that will ensure a better quality of life for all people, need look no further than to my friend and colleague Senator Derek Lewis. He is of a quiet strength, with an extraordinary character and incredible wit.

As Derek is ever ready to remind me, brevity is the soul of wit, so I simply say my association with him and his wife, Grace, spans some 30 turbulent political years. Many and varied have been the challenges, highs and lows. Were I to write a book, I can assure Senator Doody that it would ensure me a best-seller.

(1420)

During that time, Derek was the Liberal Party's provincial treasurer. Candidates and campaign workers alike seeking necessary funds believed that if they had enough money, they would surely win. His patience, I know, is infinite because in this regard his was certainly tried. However, when time after time we tasted electoral defeat, Grace was always there with her comforting ginger snaps to ease our sense of loss and dejection.

To give you a glimpse of Derek's philosophical attitude, two things stand out from that period. First, you did what you could. Second, money does not win elections; you will win when the people are with you.

Therefore, in the immortal words of the late Don Jamieson, when speaking of our Newfoundland heritage, that describes you both so well, I end by saying:

The sea made the land and the land made the people, may they never change.

Derek and Grace, may you never change, and long may your big jib draw!

Hon. Ethel Cochrane: Honourable senators, I am sorry to see the departure of Senator Lewis from our ranks. I know that we have sat on opposite sides in this chamber, but, as senators from Newfoundland, we have sat on the same side of many an airplane over the years and shared all too many flight delays and diversions.

I did not know Senator Lewis before I came to the Senate. He lived on our province's East Coast, while I reside on the West Coast of Newfoundland, some 1,000 kilometres away. We first met in Ottawa and soon developed a friendship based on our common bond as representatives of our province, a friendship that has survived our political differences over the years.

When I first arrived here in 1986, I had no understanding of how the Senate operated, where to go or what to do. Senator Lewis was a tremendous help to me in surviving those early months here. He acted as a mentor to me then and continued over the years since to offer me wise counsel, and, I might add, without charging me a cent.

I have never known Derek Lewis to be in a melancholy mood. No matter how dark or foreboding the weather or the political situation might be, Derek Lewis will always boost your spirits. He has an admirable ability to recall a joke at any time to suit the occasion. With Derek, jokes are often unexpected, and he can tell very humorous ones without even cracking a smile.

Despite the wit and the humour he displayed to his friends, Derek Lewis presented a very quiet face to the public. He has always been a very private individual, never looking for publicity for his actions and contributions. He has been admirably successful in public life as a fundraiser for his great Liberal Party, as a member of the national executive of that party, and as a faithful and dutiful contributor to the work of the Senate. He has served his party, his constituents in Newfoundland and Labrador, and Parliament, quietly and well for many years without seeking a spotlight to shine on his accomplishments.

Before coming to the Senate, Derek Lewis was a very prominent lawyer, practising in St. John's. He was highly respected and well regarded in his community. He had a partnership in his earlier days with Finton Aylward and John Crosbie. There they were, a staunch Liberal, partnered up with the very Conservative Finton Aylward, who would go on to become a justice in Newfoundland and Labrador, and partnered up as well with young John Crosbie, who would go on to a very distinguished career as a Conservative federal cabinet minister and now is Chancellor at Memorial University. Who knows what Derek Lewis could have made of himself if he had only seen the light and shifted his political allegiance in his youth.

Senator Lewis continues to practise law part-time with the firm of Lewis and Day. His practice includes some of the most distinguished lawyers in our province. I am sure his colleagues in his firm join us in wishing Derek well on this occasion.

Derek and his wife, Grace, own a home on Hogans Pond, in St. John's. I know they enjoy swimming in that pond every morning during the summer. I hope they will continue to enjoy Hogans Pond and all the other delights of Newfoundland and Labrador for many years to come.

God bless you, Derek!

Hon. Joyce Fairbairn: Honourable senators, it is a sad day for the Senate when we must say farewell to a colleague such as Senator Derek Lewis, who has made an enormous contribution to this place for more than 20 years. He has carved out a special spot in the Senate, both in terms of the work that he has done and his personal influence on individuals like myself, Senator Cochrane and so many others who have sought his advice and support in our efforts to better understand and develop our own role here.

Newfoundlanders and most especially Senator Lewis bring to Parliament and certainly to this chamber a very different point of view and attitude from those from other provinces, a sort of briny freshness from their history as the newest province to enter our Confederation, at 10 minutes to midnight on March 31, 1949.

We have learned from our Newfoundland colleagues a great deal. We have learned also that we are very lucky to have them here because their arrival was by no means a landslide vote. I believe the vote was won by 52.3 per cent. We have listened to them reflect on the pros and cons of their new nationhood. I have certainly profited from the intensity of the patriotism they give to Canada without relinquishing one ounce of the emotion and pride that belongs to their island home.

Derek Lewis is not a great talker; he is a doer. He listens and he evaluates. When he finally speaks up, whether it is in this chamber or on the multitude of committees on which he has served, he does so with care, wisdom and an economy of words.

I have noticed also over the years that he will not let go. He is a little like a terrier with a bone if he feels a witness or a colleague is holding back or evading an issue. He was a model for me for years on the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs. When large and difficult issues loomed in this chamber on the constitutional question of changes to the Newfoundland school system, his advice to me was invaluable.

Senator Lewis is a lawyer who was described by none other than his fellow Newfoundlander John Crosbie as "a quiet but great legal mind." He is not reluctant to use it, either. He was hardly dry behind the ears as a senator before he was trying to change this place as a member of the Special Joint Committee on the Reform of the Senate, chaired by our present Speaker Senator Molgat, in 1983.

Senator Lewis also turned a previously dry and, some would say, incomprehensible joint Scrutiny of Regulations Committee into an art form, causing consternation in certain circles from individuals who had been lulled into a false sense of security that no one was really paying any attention.

(1430)

As others have noted, Senator Lewis has taken on just about every significant committee in the Senate, and has most recently been a key member of the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs.

However, with all of his experience and his tremendous sense of duty to his responsibilities here, it is the kindness, the generosity, the deep sense of fairness, and the compassion for individuals less fortunate than ourselves that will remain fixed in my recollections of friendship with Senator Lewis.

While enthusiastically seizing the opportunity for public service, he has never forgotten where he came from nor the needs and the strengths of the people of his beloved Newfoundland, where he is so admired. Indeed, within my own Liberal Party, one simply did not set foot in St. John's without giving Derek a call. Regardless of his work, or the weather, he would make time for a visit.

I have painted a rather saintly portrait of my dear colleague, but I should note also that he has a devilish sense of humour, is a great storyteller, and has been known to relish a few sips of light rum. He has said that the person who will be most happy with his retirement is his wife, Grace, who has so strongly supported him, even as he set out on a new career that would take him away from the Island regularly, week after week, over these past two decades. That says much about the strength of their relationship. I wish them both many happy years together.

Derek is not sure which new challenges he will take on, but I would encourage him not to forget to stick to his knitting.

Hon. Gérald-A. Beaudoin: Honourable senators, Senator Lewis was born in Newfoundland in 1924. He attended Memorial University in St. John's, studied law, and was admitted to the bar of that province in 1947. He practised law in St. John's with the firm of Lewis, Day, Cook and Sheppard. He married Grace Knight in 1961. He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1964 and was a bencher of the Law Society of Newfoundland from 1962 to 1978. He was appointed to the Senate in 1978.

[Translation]

Senator Lewis is a lawyer in private practice. This fact has marked his life. Since his arrival in the Senate, he has long been a very active member of the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, where he earned an excellent reputation. Since arriving in the Senate in 1988, I have worked with him on this committee for many years.

He is a practical man. His feet are firmly planted on the ground. His mind is alert. He is a man of sound judgment. He is friendly and he is focused. We will miss him a lot.

[English]

Senator Lewis chaired the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs from 1984 to 1986, co-chaired the Joint Committee on the Scrutiny of Regulations from 1994 to 1997, and was a member of that committee for many years. He also served on an impressive number of other committees: the Standing Committee on Privileges, Standing Rules and Orders; the Committee of Selection; the Special Joint Committee on the Reform of the Senate, from 1980 to 1983; the Special Joint Committee of the Senate and of the House of Commons on the 1987 Constitutional Accord, in 1987 and 1988, among other committees.

It has been said that the great contribution of the Senate is its work related to the improvement of legislation and its work in committees. Senator Lewis is a committee man and a great expert in legislation.

I wish to thank him very much.

Hon. Lorna Milne: Honourable senators, let me share a few more stories with you about the Honourable Senator Derek Lewis, starting with the day that I think we became friends. It was like a tale out of Edgar Allan Poe: "Once upon a midnight dreary, as I pondered weak and weary..." Of course, it really was not quite that late, but I was alone in my office on the mezzanine floor of the Senate about four months after I was called to this place, and I was getting a bit fed up with it. That night, I heard a little tap at the office door. It was Senator Lewis and Senator Bonnell. Derek said, "We thought you might still be here and we wondered if you would like to join us for Chinese." Well, I had my coat on and I was out the door almost before he finished his sentence.

Since that day, Ross and I have become true friends, I think, with both Derek and the "amazing Grace." Actually, we have seen far too little of Grace over the years, for she is great fun. I have enjoyed every minute that we have spent together.

During his time here, Senator Lewis has been the mainstay, as has been amply pointed out, of several committees, but particularly of the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs. As several people have said, he served for some time as chair of the committee, and he was the ideal committee member. He was always there, and usually on time. He stayed until the bitter end of every meeting. Whenever the questioning of a witness began to falter, he would come up with a question that revived the proceedings or opened up an entirely new facet of the bill that we were studying, or perhaps a possible unforeseen result of that bill.

Every committee chair knows how vitally important it is to have the right motion made at precisely the right time, and Derek could always be relied upon to do just that. His sense of timing has always been absolutely brilliant, and his advice on the committee's proceedings was always completely reliable, for, as others have said, his legal mind is impeccable.

Of course, Derek, like all Newfoundlanders over the age of 50, is Johnny-come-lately to the business of being Canadian. Derek was indeed a most reluctant Canadian. He voted at least once, I believe, against joining Confederation. In fact, he thought it was just a terrible idea. However, once Canada joined Newfoundland, he took to our politics with some enthusiasm — at times perhaps with a bit too much enthusiasm.

Derek, I do hope that you will write a book. Do not leave it to Senator Cook. Tell the world of your escapades — tales like the one about taking out the garbage right under the nose of your old law partner's cohorts, and tales about what might be stored in the office safe.

Of course, that was back in the bad old days when Derek's law partner was a certain John Crosbie, a sometime Liberal who went on to fame, or perhaps infamy, in the other place. I hasten to add that Derek has become much more proper since those days, or so he says.

Derek, my friend, the number of people in this chamber today who have said that they will miss you is a measure of the kind of person you are. I know that I will miss you dreadfully. I will miss your staunch advice, your reliable presence, and your marvellous, quirky sense of humour. Most of all, I think, I will miss the comforting knowledge that a true friend is walking these halls every day. I promise that we will stay in touch and we will remain friends, even if it has to be at a distance.

Hon. Consiglio Di Nino: Honourable senators, I should like to speak of another element of Senator Lewis' contribution to Canada and Canadians, of which most of you may not be aware.

(1440)

You may have noticed from time to time when we see each other that we shake hands with our left hands. That is not a sign of membership in a secret society; it is a sign of membership in a wonderful society that has done a great deal of work in this country. Senator Lewis has been a long-time, dedicated and hard-working member of the scouting community, a passion we both share. He has been rewarded in numerous ways by that community, in particular latterly as honorary vice-president of the national body, a title I was also honoured to receive.

On behalf of the scouting community, Senator Lewis, thank you for all of the great work you have done. Good luck and good scouting. May you have many years of long and happy life left.

Hon. Sharon Carstairs: Honourable senators:

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings — nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And — which is more — you'll be a Man, my son!

Those words, written by Rudyard Kipling, were obviously not written in knowledge of Derek Lewis, but it must have been someone very much like Derek Lewis.

Honourable senators, we refer to each other in this chamber as honourable colleagues, but I must say that none is more honourable than the Honourable Derek Lewis. I have known Derek since he and I sat together on the national executive of the Liberal Party of Canada in 1975 — he representing the marvellous province of Newfoundland and I, in those days, representing Alberta.

Derek Lewis was then, and is now, a very gentle man. He is clearly of the view that his successes — as he has had a great many of them — could and would be achieved only through his own work and effort. Senator Lewis has never felt the need to use other people in order to achieve his personal goals. No one has ever been able to claim that Derek climbed over them in his search for success, because Derek believed that it was in helping others that his own life could be enriched.

Although a successful lawyer and parliamentarian, my own view of Derek will always be of a kind man, with a gentle sense of humour, who was always very supportive of me in a quiet but clear manner.

When I was the chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs and Senator Nolin was my deputy chair, Senator Lewis was the other member of the steering committee. When I became Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate, I knew he was always there, willing to lend a helping hand in his quiet but very determined way.

Derek and Grace graciously entertained all of the members of the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs at Hogans Pond in Newfoundland when we went there to study the Newfoundland school question. As Derek well knew, I had problems with that amendment; on the other hand, he was clearly supportive of the amendment. At no time, however, did that get in the way of our affection and respect for one another. I must say, I was much more concerned with upsetting Derek than I was with upsetting the government.

I will miss Derek in this chamber. I will miss Grace in her all-too-infrequent visits to Ottawa. I wish them many years of retirement together in their beloved province, and particularly at Hogans Pond. I hope they will keep in touch, as good friends are rare, and they are the best of friends to all they know.

Hon. Jerahmiel S. Grafstein: Honourable senators, we are here today to celebrate the long and illustrious Senate career of our friend, Derek Lewis, on his retirement — the quiet, modest man from Newfoundland.

Is it not appropriate that we pause and remind ourselves of the delicate balance the Senate plays in our public life, and the quiet, almost invisible principles that render our work here significant and credible?

When I first came to Ottawa in 1966 to work as the chief of staff to a minister, I was advised that it was essential to learn about the work of the Senate. I knew very little about how the Senate actually worked.

On a sunny day in July, I sought an appointment through Torrance Wiley, an old friend and then executive assistant to the Honourable John Connolly, the powerful leader of the government in the Senate. I was immediately invited to see him. I attended in his beautifully panelled and sunlit corner office across the hall from the Senate chamber, now occupied by the current Leader of the Government in the Senate. Senator John Connolly left me with one simple message: If the minister and I, as his senior staff person, would respect the Senate and its responsibilities, the Senate would respect our work, and my job would be easier.

Almost two decades later, when I was fortunate enough to be called to the Senate, I was immediately approached by an old friend, Senator Godfrey, the father of John Godfrey of the other place. Senator Godfrey handed me the red Senate rule book and said, "Respect the rules, and you will get respect from the Senate."

Shortly thereafter, the outspoken Senator McElman of New Brunswick advised me that the heart of the Senate was the work of its committees. While most of us are partisan, he reminded me that we can shape bad government policy through the quiet, unheralded and deliberative work of Senate committees. "Work hard at committees," he admonished me.

Then I encountered Senator Ian Sinclair, who at that time had just recently been appointed to the Senate. Formerly, he was the very successful chief executive of Canadian Pacific, one of the largest corporations in Canada, and a living legend in business circles. Senator Sinclair advised that his experience in business taught him that his best work — and hence the best work done in the Senate — is the work done by senators themselves. He suggested that hard work in the chamber and in the committees would bring its own personal satisfaction and personal rewards.

Finally, Senator MacEachen of Nova Scotia — formerly a leader of the government in the Senate — repeatedly reminded me, and all of us on this side, that in order to maintain our own persona's credibility and the credibility of the Senate, we must maintain at all times a respectful arm's length distance from the other place down the hall and from the other place across the street. Echoes of his advice reverberated in the Senate just yesterday, when Senator Murray raised the question of pre-study. Senator MacEachen was staunchly opposed to pre-study of government bills, as it had the undesirable effect of diminishing the credibility of the Senate as a chamber of sober second thought, as a chamber independent of the other place and of the other side of the street, independent in the eyes of ourselves and the public we serve.

Hence, honourable senators, for me there has been a delicate balance of principles at work in the Senate. The torch of power in the other place is always alluring, but if we get too close, the Senate and our work here can be burnt and turned quickly to embers and ashes. These were the first principles I garnered about the Senate. Principles and practice march best when they march together.

All of this, honourable senators, is by way of preamble to my tribute to our good friend Derek Lewis, who leaves us for a well-earned retirement. For me, Derek brought all of these principles alive. Derek respected this institution. Derek gained an encyclopedic knowledge of the rules and respected the practices of this place. He was the ultimate draftsman when it came to committee work. Derek was quiet, careful, competent, witty and deliberative. He always did his own work. He always retained a respectful arm's length from the powers that be.

(1450)

In a phrase, Derek was a senator's senator, a public solicitor's solicitor. In that sense, he is a diminishing resource here in the Senate. For these reasons and for the loss of the pleasure of his company, his departure will leave the Senate sorely depleted.

Derek, your race is run. Your duty is done. You and Grace are heartily entitled to a good and healthy retirement. As they say in the Jewish tradition, "May you live in good health to 120 years." God bless.

Hon. Landon Pearson: Honourable senators, when I first joined the Senate, Derek Lewis' face was one of the very first to emerge out of the unknown crowd of faces that confronted me every day in this chamber. His manner was friendly yet modest. His perceptive good humour would constantly direct me toward what did and did not matter in this house.

I greatly value the five years I have shared with Derek in this place and the knowledge that he has passed on to me in his inimitable style. I also value the fact that he regularly conveyed to me that he respected me both as a colleague and as a woman.

Derek Lewis will be greatly missed, and I join all honourable senators here today in wishing him and Grace Godspeed. May their life after the Senate be considerably richer and more entertaining then they can possibly imagine now.

Hon. Dan Hays (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I am pleased to stand with my colleagues and pay tribute to Senator Derek Lewis. I first met Senator Lewis here, not in my role as a senator but as the son of a senator. Senator Lewis was a good and close friend of my father, who was serving in the Senate at the time. Senator Lewis was introduced to me as a very special person. One of the real treats of my service here has been that I, too, have gained and enjoyed the friendship of Senator Lewis.

We have heard already that Senator Lewis is a remarkable man, a senator, a lawyer, one of Her Majesty's counsel, learned in the law and, perhaps most important, a volunteer in his community. I congratulate him on that and I thank him for it.

Senator Lewis has represented the best of the Senate in his quiet dignity, profound competence and hard work. He knows what is required to make this place work. It is not only Senator Lewis who retires today, however. We must also think about the contribution of Grace. She has our thanks for her tolerance of Derek's many absences. We also thank Senator Lewis' long-time assistant, Sallie.

Senator Lewis, enjoy your retirement. You have worked hard. The Senate will miss you. May you have a long and happy retirement. We hope to see you and Grace often. In a quiet, firm and effective way, you have served your province and your country with distinction. You will be missed in this place.

Hon. Edward M. Lawson: Honourable senators, many things have been said about the outstanding career and the accomplishments of Senator Lewis, but for people who come from the West, it is always a remarkable thing to meet someone with the wonderful wit and sense of humour of Senator Lewis.

We both have been here for a long time, but when we arrived, there was an older senator here who had been around for many years. This old senator would often say that when he would die, he intended to take everything with him, and he was serious. He came from that part of world. He had accumulated an estate of $300,000 in cash, so he called together his doctor, his minister and his lawyer and good friend Senator Lewis and he repeated his vow. He gave them each an envelope containing $100,000 cash and told them that when he passed on they were each to drop the envelope into the box containing his remains.

The old senator passed on. The three men all dutifully marched forward and dropped their envelopes into the coffin. As they were walking away, the doctor said that he had a confession to make. He felt the needs at the hospital were so desperate, with government cutbacks and so on, that he withheld $25,000 in cash.

The minister responded that he, too, had a confession. Given the demands and stresses and desperate needs in the church, he had held back $40,000 of the cash.

Senator Lewis told them that they should both be ashamed of themselves for breaking their solemn, sacred promises and assured them that he had faithfully placed in the casket his envelope containing his personal cheque for the whole $100,000.

No matter what problems you bring to this place, though you may have the weight of the world on your shoulders, when you meet Senator Lewis, you must smile. He is a joy to be around with his own quiet way, his wonderful wit and his wicked sense of humour.

Senator Lewis, we shall miss you!

[Translation]

Hon. Léonce Mercier: Honourable senators, it is my pleasure to pay tribute to Senator Derek Lewis, who distinguished himself through his sense of justice and his sense of diplomacy.

I have greatly appreciated this Newfoundlander's qualities. Senator Lewis carried out his duties with honesty and ability. His intelligence and sense of humour helped strike a balance among his fellow senators. This is a rare skill!

[English]

Senator Lewis often embodies the saying, "To your own self be true," letting us all know that he is a man whose word is gold, who is dependable and trustworthy. I only hope that all Newfoundlanders are the same, for Senator Lewis has set an incredible standard that will be hard to follow.

Senator Lewis, you have done both your province and your country proud with your service. I wish you all the very best.

Hon. P. Derek Lewis: Honourable senators, I thank the previous speakers for their comments. Even if some of it was greatly exaggerated, I, of course, will not dispute a word of it, particularly the kind things that have been said. I will leave the disputing to others. The tone of sentiment and the affection of your remarks are greatly appreciated and will be long remembered.

I have had the privilege to be a member of this chamber for just over 21 years. I have greatly enjoyed and been honoured by the opportunity to associate with so many diverse, knowledgeable and accomplished colleagues.

During my time here, I have made many close friendships that I will always cherish. I must say, I certainly enjoyed working with members on both sides of the chamber. My only regret is that, due to circumstances, I have in the past year been somewhat restricted in my activities and have not had the opportunity to get to know a little better the more recent appointees to the chamber.

At one time, I had no use or regard for the political process or for politicians. However, after becoming involved in politics myself, I quickly came to understand, appreciate and sympathize with those involved for their work, tribulations and uncertainties. It was curiosity that first led me to get involved in politics. As some of you may know, once you get involved in a project, you find yourself on a treadmill that goes faster and faster until you are hooked.

When I first came here, unlike so many of you, I had no previous experience with parliamentary procedure. It took some time to become familiar and comfortable with the ongoing activities. Some of those activities were so unpredictable that they could at times be personally confusing.

To me, there is a need for all new senators to have available an orientation program to make them aware not only of the procedure but also of the various services and facilities available. In many instances, this knowledge was only gained by me through discussion with colleagues, similar to that which my colleague Senator Cook has found. This is a pity, as such information is readily available if one knows where to seek it. Over the years, many new senators have expressed similar concerns. I understand that in the last few years steps have been taken to improve this situation. It is certainly important that, as soon as possible, new senators become familiar with the Rules of the Senate.

(1500)

I have greatly enjoyed, and endured, many years of work on various committees. I have been impressed with the depth and quality of investigations carried out therein. Certainly, as others have said, the work of committees is one of the most important activities of the Senate.

Two committees on which I served come to mind. One of my first committees was the Joint Committee on Scrutiny of Regulations. It had a different name then. At first, like many others, I did not find it very interesting, but I soon came to appreciate its importance as the watchdog on the bureaucracy, and I actually came to enjoy the process. It was a pleasure to work with the staff and officials of the committee. They do such an excellent job in the tedious work of investigating and analyzing regulations and orders. On this committee, I served with various joint chairmen who, on the Senate side, included former senators Lafond, Forsey, Godfrey and Nurgitz, and of course the present Senator Grimard. More recently, our chairperson has been Senator Hervieux-Payette. I myself served for a while as the joint chairman of the committee.

I also had a very long tenure on the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, which has always been one of the busiest Senate committees. I had the pleasure of serving with such various chairpersons as former senators Stanbury, Neiman and Nurgitz and present Senators Beaudoin, Carstairs and Milne. The work of this committee was most interesting and important. The leadership exercised by these chairpersons contributed in no small way to the accomplishments of the committee.

I should now like to say a few words with regard to the question of reform of the Senate, which ever since its establishment has been a topic of much ongoing debate and controversy. I note that soon after being appointed here, the question of reform to make the Senate an elected body again came under discussion. In 1980, a joint committee of both Houses of Parliament was established to consider ways by which the Senate could be reformed to strengthen its role in representing people from all regions. I was appointed to that committee under the joint chairmanship of the Honourable Senator Molgat and the Honourable Paul Cosgrove. After many meetings in various parts of the country and hearing much evidence, submissions, and discussion, the committee came to the conclusion and reported to both Houses that the Senate should be elected by the people, and it set out suggestions as to how this could be achieved. That report was tabled in 1984. As honourable senators know, nothing has changed since.

I recommend that senators read that report. You will note that the consideration of the committee was only on the question of whether the Senate should be an appointed or an elected body. The questions of whether Canada should actually have a bicameral form of government and what the powers and duties of such a second chamber should be were not before the committee. These questions have, over the years, been largely ignored. To my mind, these are crucial questions that should first be addressed before settling on the method of selection of members to any such second chamber or the division of membership by region or province.

In this respect, I note that Senator Joyal is presently in the process of forming an informal committee of prominent academics to study these matters. For his efforts, Senator Joyal has been described in the press as the Sir Galahad of the Senate. We can look forward to the results of this study and any recommendations that may be made.

Before I close, I should like to thank all of you who have in any way assisted me in my work here over the years. I thank all staff and officials for the kindness and help they have shown me. In particular, I thank my secretary, Sallie DeLaplante, who is in the gallery, for her loyalty, assistance and efficiency over such a long period. Of course, I must thank my wife, Grace, for the ongoing and loving support she gave me during this time.

I should mention one other thing. I do not do so as a point of privilege. It appears that there is a prankster in the chamber. Just a little while ago, I guess out of deference to my age and for my comfort, there appeared under my desk a blanket. I know not from where it came.

Senator Di Nino: It is probably from Grace!

Senator Lewis: It might have been, but I will leave it here for the next occupant of this desk.

Thank you all for your forbearance, and I wish you all the very best in the future.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!


SENATORS' STATEMENTS

The Late Allan Austin Lamport, O.C.

Tributes

Hon. Francis William Mahovlich: Honourable senators, the former mayor of Toronto, Allan Austin Lamport, has passed away. Alan Austin Lamport, Order of Canada, Member of the Ontario Legislature, Chairman of the Toronto Transit Commission, member of the Royal Canadian Air Force, was known as "Lampy" to most of his friends.

I came to know Lampy in the early 1950s when I first arrived in Toronto. The year was 1953-54, the subway was open, and Lampy was mayor. This was a blessing for anyone who had to work at Maple Leaf Gardens. Time was of the essence, and hockey practices after school did not leave one with much time for dinner or studies. The subway saved time.

The mayor was famous for his malapropisms or "Berra-isms". Before the U.S. had Yogi Berra, Canada had Allan Lamport. Here are some of them:

Toronto isn't what it was, but then again, it never was.
Let's jump off the bridge when we come to it.
I sold my house and moved into a pandemonium.
We've got to act wisely or other wisely.
It's like pushing a car uphill with a rope.
I resemble that remark.

Lampy found his "Lampy-isms" a formidable weapon in his political career.

The man who "denied all allegations and defied the alligators" had some losses: the Red Ensign, the Royal Canadian Air Force, a lawsuit over slander by a taxi driver, and his St. David's seat to William Dennison when he was transferred to the East Coast in 1945. I think 1945 was the year Senator Milne was born, and she happens to be the daughter of William Dennison.

Who knows what's in the foreseeable future?

Well, 40 years after he opened the subway and I arrived on the scene in Toronto, we were both named to the Order of Canada in 1994.

What you're telling me is of major insignificance.

It's hard to make predictions, especially about the future.

The one thing that I could predict about Lampy was where he sat at the Hot Stove Lounge at Maple Leaf Gardens. I would come in the entrance door, hang my coat and hat, make a right turn, and there was Lampy, a true politician, shaking everyone's hand as they came in for the luncheon.

No one should ever visit Toronto for the first time.

We are lost, but we are making record time.

These are some more quotable quotes from the man who gave Toronto Sunday sports.

Now for your final conclusion, Lampy, you will always be remembered as the man with the "turmoil touch". God bless!

(1510)

Hon. Peter A. Stollery: Honourable senators, I saw Senator Mahovlich on Sunday evening at the funeral parlour where Allan Lamport was lying. I should like to associate myself with his remarks for personal reasons. My father, Alan Stollery, was a great supporter of Allan Lamport. I remember in my youth the events like Sunday sports, like the first public housing project in Canada, and all of the other things that made Allan Lamport, without a doubt, the greatest mayor of the century in Toronto.


ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

Fisheries

First Report of Committee Tabled

Hon. Gerald J. Comeau: Honourable senators, pursuant to rule 104 of the Rules of the Senate, I have the honour to table the first report of the Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries, which deals with the expenses incurred by the committee during the First Session of the Thirty-sixth Parliament.

(For text of report see today's Journals of the Senate.)

Security and Intelligence

First Report of Special Committee Tabled

Hon. Eymard G. Corbin: Honourable senators, on behalf of Senator Kelly, and pursuant to rule 104 of the Rules of the Senate, I have the honour to table the first report of the Special Committee of the Senate on Security and Intelligence, which deals with the expenses incurred by the committee during the First Session of the Thirty-sixth Parliament.

(For text of report see today's Journals of the Senate.)

[Translation]

Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration

First Report of Committee Tabled

Hon. Pierre Claude Nolin: Honourable senators, pursuant to rule 104 of the Rules of the Senate, I have the honour to table the first report of the Standing Senate Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration concerning the expenses incurred by the committee during the First Session of the Thirty-sixth Parliament.

(For text of report see today's Journals of the Senate.)

[English]

Transportation Safety and Security

First Report of Special Committee Tabled

Hon. J. Michael Forrestall: Honourable senators, pursuant to rule 104 of the Rules of the Senate, I have the honour to table the first report of the Special Committee on Transportation Safety and Security which deals with the expenses incurred by the committee during the First Session of the Thirty-sixth Parliament.

(For text of report see today's Journals of the Senate.)

Adjournment

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

That when the Senate adjourns today, it do stand adjourned until Tuesday next, November 30, 1999, at 2 p.m.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Motion agreed to.

Legal and Constitutional Affairs

Notice of Motion to Authorize Committee to Meet During Sitting of the Senate

Hon. Lorna Milne: Honourable senators, I give notice that on Tuesday next, November 30, 1999, I will move:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs have power to sit on December 1, 1999, at 3:30 in the afternoon, even though the Senate may then be sitting, and that rule 95(4) be suspended in relation thereto.

[Translation]

Privileges, Standing Rules and Orders

Committee Authorized to Meet During Sitting of the Senate

Hon. Serge Joyal: Honourable senators, with leave of the Senate and notwithstanding rule 58(1)(a), I move:

That the Standing Committee on Privileges, Standing Rules and Orders have power to sit at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, even though the Senate may then be sitting, from now until the end of December 1999, in order for the committee to deal expeditiously with the question of privilege raised by the Honourable Senator Bacon, in addition to the questions of privilege of the Honourable Senators Andreychuk and Kinsella, and that rule 95(4) be suspended in relation thereto.

[English]

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Hon. John Lynch-Staunton (Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, did I hear Senator Joyal say that the motion was for 3:30 or 4:30 p.m.?

Senator Joyal: I said 4:30.

Senator Lynch-Staunton: I thought the Speaker pro tempore had said 3:30 p.m.

Once again, honourable senators, we are faced with committees asking to sit while the Senate is sitting. Perhaps the Senate should await the committees to settle their sitting hours, then we can determine our own. We are turning the whole thing upside down.

Four committees in two days have asked to sit while the Senate is sitting. I leave that with senators to reflect upon. Hopefully, next week we can come to some kind of agreement not to have committees sitting while the Senate is sitting, unless there is an emergency. I do not think studying a question of privilege is an emergency, and I do not see why the committees cannot sit on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday night or on a Friday morning. They seem to be constantly intruding on the work of the Senate. I agree that committees take senators away to important assignments, but we have important assignments in this chamber as well.

Hon. Dan Hays (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, Senator Lynch-Staunton, the Leader of the Opposition, has raised a valid point. It is something that we senators, together, must reflect upon and, as Senator Lynch-Staunton suggests, come to some sort of decision on the times alloted to committees for meeting that will not interfere unduly with the work of the chamber.

When I sat at the back of the chamber, I did not feel that way so much as I do now, as I see the chamber emptying as the afternoon wears on. The point that has been raised by the Leader of the Opposition is a good one. I accept his invitation to reflect upon it, and I will raise the matter with my colleagues on this side to determine how we can ensure that the Senate's important committee work is done without compromising the work of the chamber.

Hon. Peter A. Stollery: Honourable senators, this subject, in a sense, points up the same problem that has been created with the new block system for committees, which is causing considerable difficulty. Perhaps we could revisit that issue at the same time that we are visiting the question of committees sitting when the Senate is sitting.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Motion agreed to.


(1520)

QUESTION PERIOD

National Defence

Replacement of Sea King Helicopter Fleet

Hon. J. Michael Forrestall: Honourable senators, the Leader of the Government in the Senate has given us the assurance, which we accept, that Sea King replacements for shipborne activity is a top priority of the Minister of National Defence. Two days ago, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, in answer to a question in the other place, said that the decision rests with the minister and sits on his desk. Today, the Deputy Chief of Defence Staff said that the Armed Forces signed off the statement of requirement in late June or early July. In other words, the minister has been sitting on this for some time now.

What is the holdup? Has there been a departure from the defence white paper of 1994 which said that this was a top priority then and that its fulfilment would be achieved by the end of this decade?

Hon. J. Bernard Boudreau (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, as the honourable senator points out, it appears that preliminary work has been done with respect to this decision. When I combine that with the assurance that I received from the minister, that this represents his top priority, I am very hopeful that a decision will be forthcoming in the very near future.

Obviously, the Minister of Defence does not make decisions involving major expenditures without reference to colleagues, as would be the case with any other department of government. However, we certainly have some encouraging signs from the minister.

Replacement of Sea King Helicopter Fleet—Possibility of Removing Troops from Troubled Areas

Hon. J. Michael Forrestall: Honourable senators, these are encouraging signs five years after the fact. The patient is not very well.

We had the spectacle today of senior members of the Canadian Armed Forces resorting to the tactics of the political chamber down the hall; screaming, hollering, and begging for the wherewithal to acquire new equipment.

The minister will be aware of Operation Cobra, initiated some years ago, in which the Armed Forces had to rely on the Sea Kings in the event they had to extract troops from Bosnia. We now have some 4,500 Canadian Armed Forces personnel serving in dangerous places around the world. What piece of equipment would we use to extract those people and bring them to safety, were we to face such a requirement today?

Hon. J. Bernard Boudreau (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, Senator Forrestall knows that senior military officials are always able to express a need for additional equipment, and there is always such a need. We have equipment that has been in service for a considerable period of time, and the Minister of National Defence has made it his priority to have this equipment replaced as quickly as reasonably possible.

With respect to the Sea King helicopters, the honourable senator has forwarded and continues to forward, his view that the replacement program has not moved ahead quickly enough. I cannot speak to what has happened in the past, but I am hopeful that we will be able to move forward in a reasonable time frame to replace that equipment.

Honourable senators, I am not a military strategist, but I know that there are types of equipment that have performed quite well in moving personnel and material into areas of our responsibility around the world. It is to be hoped that that capacity, which has been used recently, remains at the ready.

Senator Forrestall: Honourable senators, my concern is for the well-being of Canadian Armed Forces personnel. They are flying in equipment which, when serviceable, is serviceable for only a short period of time. The equipment is old and unreliable.

We had the phenomenon of having to evacuate a school in Cape Breton as recently as yesterday or the day before because a Hercules aircraft developed an engine leak and had to make a precautionary landing, at best, and probably an emergency landing. We know that the Hercules are overdue. We know that the Labradors are grounded. We also know, from the front page of The Ottawa Citizen today, that we are paying some $10 million to the Americans so that we might have a place at the table as Boeing and other manufacturers develop the next generation of supersonic fighters and defence aircraft. We are paying $10 million just to sit at the table to know what is going on. Presumably, that is so we can replace the F-18s.

If we can spend $140 million here and $147 million there, why not buy a position to be in on the design of the Cormorant or Sikorsky run of new equipment to ensure that they are outfitted with the task requirements set forth by the statement of requirements, which requirements have been available since we started looking at the EH-101? Why can we not purchase that new equipment and put it to work?

Honourable senators, people are beginning to believe that the actions of the government are amoral, and soon they will be immoral. Please act before we lose any more lives.

Senator Boudreau: Honourable senators, I share the concerns of the honourable senator, as I am sure do all members of the Senate, with respect to the safety of our Armed Forces and their operational efficiency.

We are talking about complex equipment, and even complex equipment breaks down. In fact, even new complex equipment breaks down and requires servicing. I think it is fair to say that the replacement program has already made some significant strides. The program for the replacement of submarines has received funding of over three-quarters of a billion dollars. Replacing one Labrador search and rescue helicopter is worth almost $800 million.

These programs are underway. The submarines will be in Halifax Harbour in the near future, and the replacement of the Labradors is, as I mentioned, well underway. I know that the honourable senator would love to see the Sea King replacement program moving along more quickly. I do not disagree with him, but these programs are proceeding apace, and significant gains have been made over the last short while.

Replacement of Sea King Helicopter Fleet—Request for Copy of Statement of Requirements

Hon. J. Michael Forrestall: Would the minister undertake to table here in the chamber the statement of requirements with regard to the program that is now completed?

Hon. J. Bernard Boudreau (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I will inquire of the minister and follow the existing practice of tabling such a document.

(1530)

Industry

National Hockey League—Possibility of Government Aid to Teams

Hon. David Tkachuk: Honourable senators, my question is addressed to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. This week, Kanata City Council announced that it would be reducing its property tax on the Corel Centre by 75 per cent. They would then give that property tax rebate to the Ottawa Senators. Is it the government's intention to provide financial aid from the federal treasury to the Senators hockey team? Will such aid be distributed equally to all Canadian hockey teams?

Hon. J. Bernard Boudreau (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, Minister Manley, who is the minister responsible for such matters, has indicated that he has been considering options concerning federal assistance. Obviously, this latest measure was welcome news in the process. It represents a measure which, perhaps, is encouraging in the overall picture. However, Minister Manley has indicated that while this may be a positive start, a series of elements must be in place before a decision is made by the federal government. To this date, I am not aware that any decision has been made by the minister.

Senator Tkachuk: Honourable senators, what are the major objections to giving federal government aid to professional hockey teams?

Senator Boudreau: Far be it from me to paraphrase objections that have been raised in debate by various parties, honourable senators. They have done that reasonably well. However, I can speculate that there is a resistance because of the salary levels of the players, not to mention the salary levels of the owners of the teams.

I do not want to advance those arguments. I am speculating on what some objections may have been. The government, through Mr. Manley, has clearly said that this is a matter that he would consider, but that it had to involve a chain of events. The most recent event by Kanata City Council has been a positive development. As far as I am able to inform the honourable senator, the minister is not yet prepared to announce a decision.

Senator Tkachuk: Honourable senators, I am fairly consistent. I do not like subsidies of any kind. However, I thought the federal government would be falling all over itself to give money to the Ottawa Senators because giving money to people who make lots of money is not unusual for the federal Liberals.

For example, last year, the CBC received $844 million. The year before it received $903 million. I believe the president and the vice-president of the CBC take home salaries of between $200,000 and $300,000 per year. Book publishers received $31,643,742 last year. The president and chairman of the board of Rogers Cable make well over $1 million per year, but they are not Prairie boys who play in uniforms and who are watched by 2 million people every Saturday night.

There are all kinds of examples in the blue book which pertains to the Estimates. There is money for movie producers and television networks. There is money for movies no one goes to see, the producers and directors of which take home salaries of $50,000 to $200,000 per movie, let alone per year.

Is Mr. Manley thinking even for a moment that he will not help hockey teams and players from small Prairie towns and rural Ontario? This government should be ashamed of itself. Culturally, hockey is much more important to Canada than all of the examples to which I have referred. You should be writing those cheques tomorrow.

Senator Boudreau: Honourable senators, I am glad to see that the honourable senator has such strong feelings on the issue. I certainly will convey his strong feelings to those concerned. For a moment, I was afraid that the honourable senator was about to adopt the NDP philosophy which favours giving economic development money to people who lose money rather than to people who make money.

Senator Tkachuk: That is the Liberal philosophy!

Senator Boudreau: I will be happy to pass along the honourable senator's remarks, for which I thank him.

Delayed Answer to Oral Questions

Hon. Dan Hays (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I have a response to questions raised in the Senate on November 16, 1999 by the Honourable Senators Gustafson, Sparrow and Spivak.

Agriculture and Agri-Food

Farm Crisis in Manitoba and Saskatchewan—Possibility of Program for Farm Credit—
Agricultural Income Disaster Assistance—Efficacy of Program—Payouts to Applicants

(Response to questions raised by Hon. Leonard J. Gustafson, Hon. Herbert O. Sparrow and Hon. Mira Spivak on November 16, 1999)

Farm Crisis in Manitoba and Saskatchewan—Possibility of Program for Farm Credit

Farm Credit Corporation (FCC) realizes the seriousness of the situation that many prairie farmers face. In response, the Corporation has implemented a program to proactively contact customers in Saskatchewan and Manitoba who are anticipating difficulty to help them work out solutions.

So far FCC customers are managing to make payments despite the commodity downturn. As of the end of October, 95 per cent of accounts were up to date nationally and 94 per cent in Saskatchewan.

Arrears levels also have not yet shown a large increase although they are rising. In Saskatchewan at the end of October, there were 1,267 customers in arrears compared to 953 at the same time last year. In Manitoba, there were 243 customers in arrears compared to 231 the same time last year. However, there is a lag time between the marketplace effects and arrears levels so FCC will continue to monitor the situation closely in the coming year.

At this point, working with customers who anticipate difficulty on an individual basis is the most effective way for FCC to help these customers develop solutions to see them through. As a federal Crown, FCC will be ready to play a public policy role if asked.

As mentioned, the majority of FCC customers have been able to make their payments to date.

Agricultural Income Disaster Assistance (AIDA)

The AIDA program was designed to assist producers who suffered major income losses due to uncontrollable circumstances in 1998 and 1999. The federal and provincial governments are jointly providing up to $1.5 billion dollars in funding assistance over two years to the program. And just recently, the federal government added a further $170 million contribution, bringing total Government of Canada assistance to over $1 billion.

The Government of Canada has recently made changes to both the AIDA and NISA programs that allow more producers to qualify for assistance. Here are some key changes:

As of September, producers have been able to apply for a 1999 AIDA Interim payment that would provide immediate assistance at 60 per cent of their total 1999 eligible payments.

On November 4, 1999, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food announced the federal government would cover 70 per cent of producers' negative margins for 1998 and 1999.

For the 1999 Calendar Year, producers will be able to make a one-time choice of the reference period on which payments are based.

Since September, farming corporations that have completed their fiscal year for income tax purposes can apply immediately for 1999 AIDA benefits.

Changes to NISA have also helped put money in producers' pockets:

The NISA Minimum Income Trigger has been increased from $10,000 to $20,000 for an individual, and from $20,000 to $35,000 for farm families.

Participants in NISA can now make a withdrawal and deposit in the same year.

The repayment period for interim withdrawals has been extended from 90 days to one full year for producers who withdrew more than their eligible amount under the withdrawal triggers.

The overpayment charge for interim withdrawals has been reduced.

Producers who have opted out of the NISA program will now be allowed to rejoin the program after only two years instead of the current three years.

With these changes, the AIDA Administration has provided almost $380 million in payments to some 19,000 producers. In addition, just over 27,500 producers have withdrawn $304 million from their NISA accounts.

These changes clearly demonstrate the Government of Canada's commitment to remain creative and flexible in designing programs that will assist those producers in greatest need, and will continue to make improvements to ensure as many Canadian producers as possible benefit from available assistance.


Business of the Senate

Hon. Dan Hays (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I should like to say a few words with respect to the correction I made earlier today to page 269 of yesterday's Hansard. I anticipated that the bill would not be in two places at one time, and that the reports from both committees will come to the Senate. Honourable senators will have to be vigilant to ensure that, if one of the committees reports before the other, it be noted as out of order if we attempt to deal with one of the reports before both reports are on the Order Paper for deliberation in this chamber.

Senator Kinsella: Agreed.

Hon. Eymard G. Corbin: Honourable senators, may I ask the Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate if this is a precedent? Has this ever been done before?

Senator Hays: I thank Senator Corbin for his question. I am afraid it is a precedent. I think I would have been advised by experts who serve us here if there was a precedent for this. I have not received such advice. Therefore, I conclude that this is a novel practice.

Senator Corbin: Honourable senators, my understanding is that one committee will examine certain aspects of the bill.

(1540)

That committee is empowered to report, but that report will not be discussed until the bill is sent to the other committee, which will then report, and the two reports will be debated together. Can the deputy leader tell me in what way or by whom the bill will be moved from one committee to the other, if not from this house?

Senator Kinsella: By the clerk.

Senator Hays: The honourable senator highlights the fact that the bill can only be in one place at a time. The bill is now out of the Senate. We have referred it, with an instruction to report back, to the Banking Committee. The language that I have used, which was discussed here yesterday, would then see it go to the Foreign Affairs Committee. Therefore, the bill will not be in more than one place at a time. It has gone to the Banking Committee. When they have concluded their deliberations, it will go to the Foreign Affairs Committee. There will be a report by the Banking Committee, I hope, as soon as their deliberations are completed. That report will come in the normal course to this chamber. Perhaps the chairman will time its tabling with the tabling of the report of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

I think this procedure will work. Provided no attempt is made to discuss the first report to arrive before the other is here, then this should not be out of order in any way that I can determine. I hope that helps the honourable senator.

Senator Corbin: Honourable senators, we are talking about a precedent that can have consequences for the future operation of this chamber. Once you set a precedent, there is an inclination to invoke the precedent to repeat that kind of performance. Would it not be simpler for the first committee that examines this bill to report the bill back to the Senate, at which time the Senate could make a second order to refer the bill to the other committee? It seems to me that that would be the ideal way to deal with the situation. In that way, the bill would not be in limbo somewhere.

Senator Hays: Honourable senators, in responding to the honourable senator, I must report that the precedent has been set. We are not doing it today, we did it yesterday. What we are doing today is simply clarifying what was done.

If the Senate wishes to give leave to revisit this issue, the Senate can do so. However, I do not know that that leave would be forthcoming. If someone wishes to ask, that is fine; however, as a result of my understanding with the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, I am not asking for leave to do more than I have asked, which is, as a matter of order, to clarify the record of proceedings to reflect what was distributed to you all in the blues as opposed to the language that appears in the Debates of the Senate for November 24, which was distributed in the normal course.

Senator Corbin: Honourable senators, I will respect the decision of the Senate, but I simply want to raise a warning flag that we should not do this sort of thing on a whim. We should proceed along clear-cut procedural lines. It seems to me that the precedent that should apply in this instance would be for the first committee to study the bill and report back, and then for the Senate to consider another motion referring the bill to the second committee, have the committee report back, and then discuss both reports at the same time. I am not comfortable with the way we have decided to do it.

Senator Hays: I accept the criticism, honourable senators, if that is what it is. I can assure honourable senators that I will be more careful in future, in terms of trying out new ways of getting bills to committee.

Hon. Sharon Carstairs: Honourable senators, the Deputy Leader of the Government has tried to clarify the situation this afternoon, but Senator Corbin, by his intervention, has indicated that we have a problem now because that first committee will be required under our rules to submit its report as soon as it is ready. It cannot delay until the other committee has reported. My recommendation would be for the committee to report as soon as the report is ready but for us to stand that report while the other committee is studying the bill. In that way, we would be staying within the ambit of the rules. However, I must also add that I think this is an extremely dangerous precedent.

Senator Hays: Again, I accept that criticism, honourable senators.

Senator Carstairs: It is not criticism.


ORDERS OF THE DAY

Civil International Space Station Agreement Implementation Bill

Second Reading—Debate Adjourned

Hon. Peter A. Stollery moved the second reading of Bill C-4, to implement the Agreement among the Government of Canada, Governments of Member States of the European Space Agency, the Government of Japan, the Government of the Russian Federation, and the Government of the United States of America concerning Cooperation on the Civil International Space Station and to make related amendments to other Acts.

He said: Honourable senators, let me begin by saying that it is with great pleasure that I speak on second reading of Bill C-4, legislation governing Canada's participation in the great science and technology project, namely, the international space station. I might add, in parentheses, that the bill was not controversial in the other place.

Allow me to begin my remarks by quoting the inspiring words pronounced by John H. Chapman, the father of the Canadian space program:

In the second century of Confederation the fabric of Canadian society will be held together by strands in space just as strongly as the railway and telegraph held together the scattered provinces in the last century.

Mr. Chapman went on to state:

The technological advances which are the outcome of space spill over into the more normal activities of our world.

Honourable senators, Bill C-4 is about space exploration for the benefit of all Canadians and humanity. Bill C-4 enables Canada to become a full partner in this great endeavour, the construction and operation of the international space station. It formalizes our participation.

Our investment in international space science and technology projects like the international space station positions Canadian scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs on the world market. It allows this nation to continue contributing to scientific discovery and to our understanding of the universe.

The international space station is a symbol of international cooperation and the joint effort of the world's leading industrialized nations, including Canada as a key partner. In its final form, the station will cover an area as large as a football field and will accommodate a permanent international crew of seven astronauts, including Canadian astronauts, dedicated to advancements in areas of biotechnology, engineering, earth observation, and telecommunications.

Honourable senators, the bill before us relates to the implementation of Canada's obligations under the agreement concerning cooperation on the international space station and extends the application of the Canadian Criminal Code to Canadians on-board.

All parties to the agreement have undertaken to establish a framework for mutual international cooperation in relation to the detailed design, development, operation, and use of a permanently inhabited space station for peaceful purposes. The bill before us brings Canadian law in line with the international obligations negotiated in the agreement, and thereby reaffirms Canada's strong commitment to participate in this historic project.

(1550)

The history of Canada's participation in the international space station project dates back to the year when Canada's first astronaut, Marc Garneau, travelled in space. In 1984, President Reagan invited friends and allies to join the United States in the building, operation and use of a space station in earth orbit for peaceful purposes. In March 1985, Canada accepted the invitation and notified NASA that Canada's contribution was to be based on the concept of the Mobile Servicing System. This system is nothing less than the next generation Canadarm, which would help assemble and maintain the space station once in orbit

In 1988, Canada, the U.S., Europe and Japan formalized a partnership when they signed an agreement on the space station. This set out the broad principles and legal basis for cooperation in the space station program. Following a redesign of the space station in 1993, the partners formally invited Russia to join the partnership, in what became a truly international space station.

On April 8, 1997, during a press conference with President Clinton, Prime Minister Chrétien reaffirmed Canada's participation in the international space station program with an announcement that Canada would provide the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator. This appendage-like robotic technology, often referred to as the robotic hand, is designed to operate with the new robotic arm for delicate assembly and repair operations.

Following three years of negotiation, all parties signed a revised intergovernmental agreement on the space station on January 29, 1998, officially bringing Russia into the partnership. The agreement stipulates a two-year ratification period to January 29, 2000. Bill C-4 allows Canada to ratify this international agreement and legally endorses our commitment to the partnership.

Over and over again, in international discussions about this country's many accomplishments in space, Canada's role with respect to the Canadarm is mentioned. Our space robotics and automation technologies clearly have become symbols of Canada's success in the field of high tech and a source of pride for Canadians. Moreover, for the global high-tech community, our robotic technologies have become a showcase of what this nation is capable of doing here on earth and out in space. Most important, the success of the Canadarm has given Canada the credibility to venture further, with the full confidence of the world's space-faring nations, to undertake the next step in advanced space robotic systems.

From the outset, Canada has capitalized on its expertise in space robotics. Canada maintains its position as world leader in this field. Canada's scientific communities have privileged access to the unique microgravity environment, access that results in new technology spinoffs. Today, Canada is already reaping the benefits of its participation in the project, in terms of contracts to Canada's space industry and the prestige of being part of one of the greatest engineering feats in history. Overall, Canada expects returns of three or four times the original investment, along with many high-qualified jobs.

Canada's participation in the assembly of the international space station began with flying colours. Last December, we watched how the Canadarm and the Canadian artificial vision system were brought together to assemble the first two modules of the space station — Unity and Zarya.

In May of this year, we watched with great pride as Julie Payette became the first Canadian to board the first two modules of the station.

Next year, Marc Garneau will participate in his third space mission, as a crew member of STS-97. That mission will be devoted mainly to installing the international space station's solar panels and will require two spacewalks, coordinated by Mr. Garneau. Among his other duties, he will operate the Canadarm for assembly purposes.

Following Marc Garneau will be Chris Hadfield, on his second mission to space. Canadians will be watching Chris Hadfield make history by becoming the first Canadian to perform a spacewalk to install Canada's new robotic arm on the international space station. Once the arm is installed, Canadians and the rest of the world will watch with pride as the Canadarm and the new arm for the space station work in concert to build the largest space structure and microgravity laboratory ever.

Once the entire mobile servicing system is operational, with the installation of the helping robotic hand functioning on the end of the arm, astronauts will be able to perform complex on-orbit tasks quickly, safely and cost effectively from the relative comfort of the space station modules. Simply put, without the use of Canadian robotic technologies, the station could not be built or maintained efficiently and effectively.

In March of this year, the Government of Canada provided the Canadian space agency with stable, ongoing funding for the Canadian Space Program. The funds demonstrate the government's strong commitment to promoting advanced sciences and technologies that are driving the global, knowledge-based economy and helping Canadians remain leaders in the field.

Our investments in space support our international commitments to the environment, as in the case of the Montreal Protocol and agreements signed in Kyoto. Canada is the creator of RADARSAT, the remarkable satellite that has given this nation world leadership in managing the Earth from space. Today, RADARSAT is being used to manage floods, as it did in the Manitoba Red River floods, support disaster management operations, as it did in Kobe, Japan, and provide a greater understanding of the effects of war on local populations and environments, as it did in Vietnam.

Scientific discovery is advanced by our investments in space. Through experiments being performed by the world's space science community, in which Canadian scientists are recognized for their decisive role, we are learning more about our universe, the effects of the sun on the earth, and how to exploit the unique microgravity environment to obtain invaluable insight into the cardiovascular system, bones, brain, and effects of radiation on human organisms. Canadian space science experiments, for example, are addressing human disorders, including cancer and bone diseases such as osteoporosis, an ailment that affects over 1 million Canadians.

Our investment advances innovation and spinoffs in our everyday life. Today we seem unaware of the fact that, each time we turn on the television, listen to the weather forecast, visit the doctor, turn on our portable computers, pick up our car phone or lace up our shock-absorbing running shoes, we access products and services that space has helped to advance. The list of products and services is long. The positive contribution to our quality of life is real.

Our investments also promote a space industry that employs thousands of Canadians and registers revenues of over $1.4 billion, of which 45 per cent are in the form of exports, the largest among the space-faring nations.

As a result of Canada's industrial strategy, whereby space robotics and automation has become a strategic niche, our industry has responded with innovative technologies that are making their mark the world over. For example, a Newfoundland company has developed a sensitive skin originally developed for space robotic manipulators and is applying this technology on prosthetics and the bumpers of cars to control the deployment of air bags — all this thanks to Canadian innovation in the Canadian Space Program.

Other leading industrialized nations are turning to Canadian expertise to help make their contribution to this space station project a reality. EMS Technologies of Ottawa recently won a $9.5-million contract from Mitsubishi of Japan to supply electronics to Japan's contribution to the international space station. Additional orders could bring the total contract up to $24 million.

Above all, our commitment to a vibrant space sector is a commitment to this nation's youth — our future scientists, engineers and astronauts.

In closing, the international space station is about advancing telecommunications; it is about advancing science; it is about innovation; it is about earth observation and space exploration. The ratification of Bill C-4 is an important step to what has been a long and beneficial international engagement for this country. Bill C-4, the legislation governing Canada's participation in this remarkable venture, represents this confident next step in this giant leap for Canada and humanity.

On motion of Senator DeWare, for Senator Kelly, debate adjourned.

(1600)

Speech from the Throne

Address in Reply—Motion for Termination of Debate on Eighth Sitting Day—Debate Continued

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Hays, seconded by the Honourable Senator Mercier:

That the proceedings on the Order of the Day for resuming the debate on the motion for an Address in reply to Her Excellency the Governor General's Speech from the Throne addressed to both Houses of Parliament be concluded on the eighth sitting day on which the order is debated;

And on the motion in amendment of the Honourable Senator Kinsella, seconded by the Honourable Senator DeWare, that the motion be not now adopted but that it be amended by striking out the word "eighth" and substituting the word "fourteenth".

Hon. Dan Hays (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I should like to remind you that I moved, as have many deputy government leaders from both parties before me, that the speeches in reply to the Speech from the Throne be concluded on the eighth sitting day that the order is debated. In other words, debate would be completed in eight sitting days.

Senator Kinsella made a number of arguments with respect to this motion, concluding with his amendment to alter the motion by removing the word "eighth" and adding the word "fourteenth", and it is this amendment that I am addressing.

Senator Kinsella's main argument is that this motion would unduly limit the number of speakers allowed to speak in the Senate on this motion. In fact, he went so far as to say that it might be dangerous. Therefore, I have the obligation to answer him as to why this motion was put.

Honourable senators, we have now had five sitting days of debate with an average of three senators speaking each day, I believe, for a total of 15, nine opposition senators and six from the government side.

Although we are not governed by the following rule, it is nevertheless interesting that in the House of Commons, rule 50(1) of their Standing Orders states:

The proceedings on the Order of the Day for resuming debate on the motion for an Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne and on any amendments proposed thereto shall not exceed six sitting days.

Honourable senators, that is two days less than the motion that I have put proposes. There are, of course, similar orders in the other place, such as debate on the budget.

Why, then, is there this rule in the other place, and why would this motion be a tradition in this place?

I believe the reason is that the Speech from the Throne traditionally has been an opportunity for senators to speak on virtually any subject, not simply, as Senator Kinsella suggested in his speech, the vision of the government, although that is encouraged. In other words, a senator can rise in his or her place and speak on a subject of which other senators have no notice and to which other senators may wish to respond.

There is a process in this chamber for making speeches, which is to give notice of inquiry or notice of motion. After one day's notice, which is required in both cases, the speech is then delivered. Other senators are thereby given one day to prepare and to then remark on the same subject, if they wish, having listened to the initial speech.

Honourable senators, this is the proper way for subjects to be raised in this chamber. There is no impediment to doing so. One day's notice is required for very good reason. Hence, if the Speech from the Throne is left on the Order Paper for too long a period of time, the potential exists for that order being used for purposes other than might be expected.

Senator Kinsella concludes that the time allowed for debate of the Speech from the Throne is inadequate. I am not trying to have fun at his expense, but on page 87 of the Debates of the Senate, he concludes:

If it were two hours a day...that would be a total of 16 hours. In that scenario, only 32 senators would have an opportunity to speak on what I assume to be, from the government's perspective, its whole vision for this session. Less than one-third of the honourable senators in this house would have an opportunity to participate in the debate....

Honourable senators, I shall correct the math of the Honourable Senator Kinsella. If each senator can speak for 15 minutes and we have two hours a day devoted to this discussion, then eight senators a day could speak to Her Excellency's address. Therefore, if we were to allow for 16 hours of debate, eight days times two hours a day would allow 64 senators to speak, twice the number suggested by Senator Kinsella and approximately two-thirds of this chamber. This is hardly an unreasonable number.

Using Senator Kinsella's assumption of two hours a day for 14 days, this proposal would allow 112 senators to speak. That, I think, is more time than we need for the debate.

Senator Carstairs: That is more senators than we have!

Senator Hays: Honourable senators should note that at no time since 1967, in any session of a Parliament, have more than 33 speakers spoken on reply to the Speech from the Throne. I am going back 32 years. In fact, the average number of speakers since 1967 who have addressed the Throne Speech is 20.73, to be exact.

Therefore, by any reasonable measure, the motion made ensures that there will be an occasion for all senators to participate who wish to do so in the normal course.

[Translation]

Furthermore, and this will interest my colleagues on the other side, the precedents seem to favour 8 days and not 14. Beauchesne's citation 271.1 has this to say:

After the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne has been moved and seconded, a maximum of eight sitting days are allowed for completion of the resumed debate on the motion.

Honourable senators, this is exactly the same as the rules in the other place. In our chamber, honourable senators, this was the practice adopted by many, including my predecessor, Senator Graham.

On October 2, 1986, the Progressive Conservatives, through Senator Doody, had an identical motion approved in the Senate. Again, on December 13, 1988, honourable senators repeatedly approved this motion, which was unanimously approved when it was first introduced by Senator Frith in 1983.

[English]

In summary, honourable senators, I do not think the amendment is a good one, not so much because it is based on faulty math, but because it goes against precedent and needlessly extends debate on a subject that we are given ample time to debate. I believe the numbers speak for themselves.

On motion of Senator DeWare, debate adjourned.

(1610)

Parliament of Canada Act

Bill to Amend—Second Reading—Debate Adjourned

Hon. Jerahmiel S. Grafstein moved the second reading of Bill S-5, to amend the Parliament of Canada Act (Parliamentary Poet Laureate).

He said: Honourable senators, in the beginning was "the word," then came a poem, and since that earliest time a fierce debate has ensued between myth and truth that has not yet, through the many millennia, been stilled or settled.

Metaphor, the intimate connection between language and thought, emerged as a touchstone of history.

Logic, from Locke to Bosanquet, essayed language. Yet they could not grasp the poetic mind. So poetry emerged unscathed through the ages, shrouded between history and science, between myth and truth, as the purest harbinger of literature and culture.

The great critic Owen Barfield once wrote: "The most conspicuous point of contact between meaning and poetry is metaphor." Metaphor, as Shelley argued, marked out the clouded realm between words and thought. Language was poetry before prose. The age-old question became simply: Does poetry make war on reason or is poetry the precursor to reason? And so the debate about the meaning of poetry and history rages on. Is history truth, or is truth better displayed in the sparseness or austerity of poetry?

Let us move smartly to the common era, to our cyberworld, from books to digital clicks. The rapid rise of the electronic media, now soon to be overtaken by the Internet, has instigated some pseudo-critics to argue, to stoke a false clamour, that the age of literature, and thus the age of poetry and prose, is coming to an end. To paraphrase Mark Twain, the announcement of literature's death is somewhat premature.

One can more forcefully argue that, in the digital age, the importance of literature, the essence of poetry, now becomes even more significant to a civil society than in earlier times. Poetry encapsulates popular history and popular memory in a way that history alone cannot.

How do we remember history? In the Davidic biblical period, it was the Psalms. In the Peloponnesian Wars, it was the Iliad. In the days of the first Common Era, it was the Sermon on the Mount. In the First English Commonwealth, it was the daunting poetry of Milton. Is not World War I, displayed in these pictures around us, best remembered by the poem In Flanders Field? Is not the shining moment in Camelot, the Kennedy era, best reflected by the poem of Robert Frost, recited on the cold winter day of President Kennedy's inauguration, "...and miles to go before I sleep..."?

Before European settlement of Canada, the poetic myths of aboriginal peoples permeated this land. Even Jacques Cartier was a poet. From the time he touched the land to be called Canada, our land became rich in poets and poetry.

There are over 1,500 published poets in Canada. We had the pleasure of the company of the late Jean LeMoyne in the Senate, who came here as a poet of renown. I am told that Canada has the largest number per capita of published poets in the world. All countries, large and small, come more alive through the words of their poets. We have a rich, if unheralded, inventory of poetry — from Atwood, to Callahan, to Klein, and Cohen, and from Johnson to Pratt to Birney to Scott. Louis Riel was a published poet. In French, from LaPointe, Miron, Legault, Henault or Roy, there continues to this day a rich and deep vein of poetry and creative imagination.

As we approach the next millennium, honourable senators, is it not appropriate that we recognize the role of the poet in Canada? From the 16th century, the Poet Laureate was recognized as a vital and cherished part of English life. This was heralded in Samuel Johnson's The Lives of English Poets. In the late 1930s, the Library of Congress in Washington appropriated this idea called a Poet Consultant to the Library of Congress.

What better way for Canada to celebrate our diversity for the next millennium than by establishing a Parliamentary Poet Laureate? By a simple means, we can bring Parliament and the Library of Parliament to a more visible, central place in our literary landscape that these institutions so richly deserve. By this simple act of Parliament, we can celebrate the artistry of poetry and unite poets, Parliament, and the people together in a greater union of creative harmony.

The process in this bill is simple and cost effective:

The Speaker of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Commons, acting together, shall select the Parliamentary Poet Laureate from a list of three names submitted in confidence by a committee chaired by the Parliamentary Librarian and also composed of the National Librarian, the National Archivist of Canada, the Commissioner of Official Languages for Canada, and the Chair of the Canada Council.

The duties of the Poet Laureate are, and are meant to be, minimalist. The Parliamentary Poet Laureate, during the two-year term, shall:

(a) write poetry, especially for use in Parliament on occasions of state;

(b) sponsor poetry readings;

(c) give advice to the Parliamentary Librarian regarding the collection of the Library and acquisitions to enrich its cultural holdings; and

(e) perform such other related duties as are requested by either Speaker or the Parliamentary Librarian.

Honourable senators, the duties encapsulated in this bill are meant not to be complex or onerous. Nothing should interfere with the work of the poet to write poetry.

Honourable senators, I commend this modest bill to you for your thoughtful consideration.

On motion of Senator Kinsella, debate adjourned.

European Monetary Union

Report of Foreign Affairs Committee on Study—Order Stands

On the Order:

Consideration of the fourth report of the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs entitled: "Europe Revisited: Consequences of Increased European Integration For Canada", tabled in the Senate on November 17, 1999.—(Honourable Senator Stewart)

Hon. Dan Hays (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I rise not to speak to this order but to request leave of the Senate to substitute my name for that of Senator Stewart, as Senator Stewart is now retired. I believe that the order should stand in the name of a sitting senator.

Hon. P. Derek Lewis (The Hon. the Acting Speaker): Is that agreed, honourable senators?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Order stands.

Social Affairs, Science and Technology

Committee Authorized to Study Developments Respecting Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Carstairs, seconded by the Honourable Senator Mercier:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology be authorized to examine and report upon developments since the tabling in June 1995 of the final report of the Special Senate Committee on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide, entitled: Of Life and Death. In particular, the Committee shall be authorized to examine:

1. The progress on the implementation of the unanimous recommendations made in the report;

2. Developments in Canada respecting the issues dealt with in the report;

3. Developments in foreign jurisdictions respecting the issues dealt with in the report; and

That the Committee submit its final report no later than June 6, 2000.—(Honourable Senator Kinsella).

Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, we on this side are ready to conclude debate at this stage on this matter.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Motion agreed to.

(1620)

Present State and Future of Aboriginal Peoples

Inquiry—Debated Continued

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the inquiry of the Honourable Senator Gill calling the attention of the Senate to the situation of Aboriginal Peoples, to enable us to take stock and consider appropriate measures for the future.—(Honourable Senator Watt).

Hon. Sharon Carstairs: Honourable senators, I should like to leave this order standing in the name of Senator Watt, but I wish to speak to it today, if that is agreeable.

The Hon. the Acting Speaker: Is it agreed, honourable senators?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, each time I return to my province of Manitoba, I drive up Highway 59 and I pass through Brokenhead, which is an aboriginal community. I drive past a school called Sergeant Tommy Prince School. Sergeant Tommy Prince was the most decorated aboriginal serviceman in both World War I and World War II. He actually served in World War II. Yet, when Sergeant Prince returned home, for the next 15 years of his life, he could not vote in a federal or a provincial election. It has always been my view that the finest thing ever done by the Right Honourable John Diefenbaker in leading his government was to provide to the aboriginal people of this country the right to vote in federal elections.

When I go by that school, I am mindful of the conditions of aboriginal people. I am mindful of them because, in my experience of growing up in Halifax, I had very little contact with aboriginal people. I occasionally saw them when they came into the city in the spring to sell mayflowers, which was the provincial flower. They would sometimes knock on the door and we would always purchase them. I would also occasionally see them when driving to Truro and they would be selling baskets along the roads. That was my only contact in my province with aboriginal people.

Aboriginal people are not a significant part of the population of Nova Scotia in terms of numbers. They are certainly a significant part in terms of what they contribute to the province.

However, when I moved to Alberta in 1965, I found myself in a classroom of girls at St. Mary's Girls High School with some young women from what was then called the Sarcee Reserve, which was located on the edge of the city. It was the only school they were eligible to attend at the high school level. Those girls always sat isolated from every other member of the class. They rarely participated in classroom discussions and very quickly dropped out. Very few of them made it through grade 10, and I do not remember a single one of them making it to grade 11.

Honourable senators, I want to say that circumstances have changed dramatically since 1965, but the truth of the matter is that circumstances have not changed greatly for our aboriginal people in this country. Indeed, while teaching in Winnipeg in 1981, I remember a young man in grade 10 geography class standing up and saying, vituperatively, what he thought of aboriginal people. That young man left me absolutely stunned. I was standing in a classroom as the teacher listening to a boy of 15 talk about his fellow human beings, his fellow citizens of the province of Manitoba, spouting lies and misinformation that he could only have received from his parents, his colleagues or his fellow citizens.

When I got over my initial shock and began to address some of the comments he was making, I realized that we needed to do a unit in that particular course on the life of aboriginal people in this country, and I proceeded to do so.

I am afraid I never quite made it with this particular young man in terms of his belief. What fascinated me was that this young man had not been born in Canada. He was an immigrant. He came to Canada at the age of two or three. His parents were extremely well educated and sophisticated. His father was a professor of mathematics; his mother was a professor at the dental college. These were not uneducated people. Yet this boy had such a racist view of our aboriginal people that it was a deep shock.

I suppose, therefore, I should not have been shocked when my daughter Catherine had an experience in grade 6 about which her teacher called me. Cathi had a bad experience in grade 5 and we switched schools. Cathi was feeling her way, so to speak, among her new classmates and so had little to say — that is, until the day on which a classroom discussion took place with respect to aboriginal people. The comments made by her classmates were negative. Cathi, for the first time in this particular class, in a moment which made her mother extremely proud, announced to the class that they did not know what they were talking about. She used, as her experience, the fact that when I returned to teaching after she was born, the housekeeper I hired was a Cree from Northern Alberta.

Cathi's understanding of aboriginal people came from Theresa. Theresa taught her of the strengths of her aboriginal community. Theresa took her to visit her aboriginal community. Theresa's family came to visit in our home, and Cathi believed that aboriginal people were the first people of this nation.

Honourable senators, shortly after I became a member of the legislature in Manitoba, I went to visit The Pas band school. Oscar Lathlin, who was then the chief but is now a cabinet minister in the province of Manitoba, had transferred the children from the Kelsey School Division in The Pas, Manitoba, in order that the children would be educated in the reserve school. He felt that they were not getting the kind of cultural experience within their home school that they should be getting and that the school division could not meet their needs, and he wanted them at home.

Mr. Lathlin invited me to visit the classrooms, and so I went. I must tell you that it was quite remarkable. From children who, in 1965, were hanging their heads in a classroom, here were children in an aboriginal school being taught aboriginal customs, language, as well as the rest of the Manitoba curriculum. They were bubbling, filled with enthusiasm. When the Northern Manitoba science fair results came out, these aboriginal children won the majority of the awards. It was a remarkable event to watch.

Honourable senators, I had the same experience when I visited the Children of the Earth School in Winnipeg. Perhaps that is why I am so deeply committed to the principle of aboriginal self-government. I am committed to the principle because I believe that, unless aboriginal people are given the opportunity to govern themselves, they will not be able to make the progress that I believe they should make and that we have a responsibility to allow them to make.

(1630)

Honourable senators, it is no secret to any of you gathered in the chamber — and I know many of you are knowledgeable about aboriginal affairs — that there are fewer aboriginal people in post-secondary institutions than any other group of people in this country. It is true that we have made progress. There are now doctors and lawyers and dentists who are aboriginal. We look around us in this chamber and we are blessed with no less than five members of the aboriginal community, each one making a significant contribution to our institution — but that is not enough.

Other statistics tell us that aboriginal people have the highest mortality rate in Canada, at birth, tragically enough, but also as young people. They die through accidents; they die through fires; they die — and this is the greatest tragedy of all — through the highest suicide rate of young people in Canada.

I do not think that any of you are surprised to know that, among our aboriginal people, diabetes runs rampant. One doctor described it to me as the new smallpox or measles brought by us, as white people, to this continent and causing aboriginal people to die in record numbers. Now they are dying prematurely because of brittle diabetes. We know diabetes can be controlled through diet. We also know that diabetes can be a factor in kidney disease and in heart and stroke disease. Not nearly enough resources are put into the health care system to ensure that diabetes no longer becomes the killer of our aboriginal people.

It will not surprise any of you in this chamber to know that aboriginal people still have the highest unemployment rate. It is not unusual for 90 per cent of the able-bodied men and women in an aboriginal community to be unemployed. It is not unusual in some Northern Manitoba communities for children to get into trouble with the law just because, quite frankly, the juvenile detention centre in Winnipeg is considered a better place to be than their own aboriginal community.

Honourable senators, when Senator Gill spoke about his goals and his aspirations, I could not help but think that we will benefit very much from his presence here in the Senate. We will benefit because he will constantly keep us mindful, as do Senators Watt and Chalifoux and Adams, of the issues that impact on aboriginal people.

Aboriginal people have a right to live as full citizens in this nation. That means giving to them the same opportunities for quality health care, for quality education, and for quality government that every other Canadian is given.

We have waited now a number of years for a substantive response to the report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. We have not received that substantive response. I urge each and every one of you in this chamber to demand from the government of the day that a substantive response come as quickly as possible.

Honourable senators, in the past few weeks I have followed with interest the visit of the members of the House of Commons to the province of British Columbia for their study and evaluation of the Nisga'a treaty. The blatant racism that I believe is unfortunately still very present in our society has bubbled over. To my deep regret, it is fed by a political party that I only consider as a bottom-feeder. If I can say anything to my colleagues across the way, it would be this: Please revitalize the Conservative Party as fast as you possibly can; the nation needs you.

Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Senator Carstairs: To my aboriginal colleagues, let me assure you of my support and my encouragement as you continue the struggle to achieve real Canadian citizenship for your people.

Senator Kinsella: Bravo!

Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Hon. Jerahmiel S. Grafstein: Honourable senators, Senator Carstairs' speech is compelling. I did not plan to intervene because I have not followed the issues as carefully as I should, but I was impressed earlier this year by Senator Tkachuk's speech in which he pointed out that we have not looked at the issue of self-governance in a very intuitive or thoughtful way. We may be building greater problems for our future. I am sensitive to the issue on which he rose.

Something else bothers me in Senator Carstairs' speech. The Royal Commission report made a compelling case about the deaths of children, about obscene problems with education, about almost impossible problems with mental and emotional issues. Why is it that the government has not yet forcefully responded to those particular issues? Does the reason have to do with money, or is it more than that?

Senator Carstairs: Senator Grafstein, I do not think it is just money. In my opinion, it is lack of political will. That lack of political will exists because not enough non-aboriginal Canadians in other walks of life have been willing to stand tall in defence of our aboriginal people.

Senator Grafstein: Honourable Senator Chalifoux is here. Both she and I have been interested in the question of the homeless in Toronto. She has been working as assiduously as I have to convince the government to move forward on the question of homelessness. We are delighted that a minister has been named to coordinate this effort. She has done a fabulous job across this country. In addition, we hope, because of the inspiration in the Throne Speech, to convince the cabinet to respond soon and forcefully. That is our expectation.

Having said that, in examining the issue of homelessness in Toronto, I came across a very curious problem. Under the Constitution of Canada — section 91 or 92, I am not sure which — the government is responsible for Indians and Indian lands. I was surprised to discover that, notwithstanding the Constitution, the ministries were not taking constitutional responsibility for Indians who live off the reservation.

(1640)

Hence, there is a severe problem confronting us in Toronto, where a large plurality of the homeless are aboriginals off the reservation, off Indian lands. Yet, there has been no government response to that lacuna of constitutional responsibility. Who is responsible, then?

Honourable senators, the answer came as a surprise to me several months ago, and I commented on this to Senator Chalifoux. Apparently, the coordination for this responsibility lurked in another ministry, with another minister, and he had no staff to deal with this particular issue or funding.

I ask the senator, following her very wise speech, whether she has explored this lacuna of responsibility and whether we in this place can do anything about this constitutional irresponsibility.

Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, I wish I could tell the honourable senator that this constitutional problem arose only with respect to homelessness, but I have been fighting a particular and similar issue in my own province with respect to health care for aboriginal children. When a child is removed from an aboriginal community and brought to the children's wing of the Health Sciences Centre, the care of that child is paid for by the federal government because this child lives in an aboriginal community and therefore falls under federal responsibility. However, through some bit of logic which I do not quite understand, the Province of Manitoba is responsible for home care services. Hence, as a result of a jurisdictional dispute between the Minister of Health at the provincial level and the Minister of Health at the federal level, these aboriginal children are frequently left living in the hospital because no services are provided to them when they return to their home community. We, as Canadian taxpayers, are thus paying more for their hospital care. More important, those children are separated from their families and from their community and not given the opportunity to maximize their recovery by being with those who love them and care for them the most.

I wish I had a solution to the honourable senator's dilemma. All I can say to him is that we must have more debates like the one initiated by Senator Gill and hope that the other place is listening.

Hon. Sheila Finestone: Honourable senators, this exchange and, in particular, the interesting presentation by Senator Carstairs brought to mind Bill C-31, which I had the displeasure of handling in the House of Commons way back in the early 1980s. At that time, we were addressing the question of women's rights to their birthright and to their tribal numbers. In the end, we were removing the aberration whereby an aboriginal man who married a non-aboriginal woman was able to transfer to his children his birthright and his claims, whereas if the sister of this same man married a non-aboriginal man, she lost all rights in her society, all rights to land and all rights to living on the reserve. Nothing could be passed down, in terms of heritage, to the second and third generation.

Supposedly, that bill would enable women to return to their aboriginal lands, their territory, and to have all the rights and privileges that were accorded to their brothers, uncles and fathers. Unfortunately, the bill did not provide enough money to ensure that homes or schools would be built to enable the children and families in these situations to be fully integrated into their societies.

I recall Mary Two Axe Early, a fine advocate for the rights of women — and many other women, including, in fact, Senator Gill's sister — being active and involved in this particular issue. I thought the bill was a positive step forward. It is unfortunate that to this day we have not built the facilities needed to accommodate the families in their homes or to provide the schools to receive these children, a situation that has resulted in social dysfunction instead of the planned improvement in the lives of these women and their families.

In terms of the mechanics of this chamber, could the honourable senator suggest a way in which we and our aboriginal colleagues could put pressure on the other place to meet the commitments, both constitutional and non-constitutional, that are fundamental as values in this Canadian society so that we can be together as one people?

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Honourable senators, the time allocated for this debate has expired. Is it your pleasure to extend the time to allow Senator Carstairs to answer?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, Senator Finestone has asked specifically what we in this chamber can do. I think we have two vehicles. First, we have the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples. That committee should be and has been examining issues of this type. Sometimes, however, it is necessary to prod our committees a bit. I think what would be most welcome by the committee — it certainly has been welcomed in the past — would be a motion introduced in this chamber indicating that we wish the Aboriginal Peoples Committee to undertake a study.

Senator Finestone: So moved!

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

Legal and Constitutional Affairs

Committee Authorized to Engage Services

Hon. Lorna Milne, pursuant to notice of November 24, 1999, moved:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs have power to engage the services of such counsel and technical, clerical and other personnel as may be necessary for the purpose of its examination and consideration of such bills, subject matters of bills and estimates as are referred to it.

Motion agreed to.

Committee Authorized to Permit Electronic Coverage

Hon. Lorna Milne, pursuant to notice of November 24, 1999, moved:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs be authorized to permit coverage by electronic media of its public proceedings with the least possible disruption of its hearings.

Motion agreed to.

(1650)

Social Affairs, Science and Technology

Committee Authorized to Meet During Sittings of the Senate

Hon. Marjory LeBreton, for Senator Kirby, pursuant to notice of November 24, 1999, moved:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology have power to sit while the Senate is sitting on Monday, November 29, Tuesday, November 30 and Wednesday, December 1, 1999, and that rule 95(4) be suspended in relation thereto.

Hon. Dan Hays (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, the motion that is before us is unusual in that no time is specified. I am mindful that Tuesday is approaching and that there will not be an opportunity to do this before then, but at the very least I should like to know at what time the committee wishes to sit.

I ask that question because the normal practice is to ask for leave for a committee to sit at a specified time even though the Senate may still be sitting at that time. This motion does not have any such reference.

Senator LeBreton: On Monday, it is not an issue. We will be sitting at 1:00 on Monday. On Tuesday, we will sit from 3:30 until 5:30 or 6:00 p.m. On Wednesday, December 1, we will sit from 3:30 until 6:30 p.m.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Motion agreed to.

The Senate adjourned until Tuesday, November 30, 1999, at 2 p.m.