Hon. A. Raynell Andreychuk: Honourable senators, I wish to
note the death last week of Mr. Michael Starchevsky, known to
most Canadians as Mr. Michael Starr. Mr. Starr was born on
November 14, 1910, in Copper Cliff, Ontario, near Sudbury.
Like many Canadians of Ukrainian descent in that generation
and many generations thereafter, Mr. Starr claimed Ukrainian as
his first language before entering school, both parents having
come from Ukraine. He started his working life as a clerk in
Oshawa and married Anne Zaritsky in 1933. In Oshawa, he was
an alderman from 1944 to 1949 and mayor from 1949 to 1952.
Also in 1952, he entered federal politics as a Progressive
Conservative member from the Oshawa constituency, which he
represented until 1968. He was Minister of Labour, from 1958
until 1963, in the John Diefenbaker administration.
Having first served as house leader from 1965 to 1968, he
went on to contest the P.C. party leadership in 1967, although
unsuccessfully. In 1968, having been defeated in the general
election, he went on to serve as a citizenship court judge until
1972, and then as Chairman of the Ontario Workers'
Compensation Board from 1973 to 1980.
Mr. Starr is remembered for his work in furthering the cause of
ethnic groups and minorities. He helped to build the policy of old
age pensions for the Conservative Party. He worked to make the
national employment service more humane in its approach to the
unemployed and, in his tenure as minister, extended
unemployment insurance benefits to women and seasonal
workers, and extended federal financial assistance to the
provinces under the vocational training coordination act.
While his record of fairness and commitment to public service
would be the pride of any parliamentarian, he is best remembered
by me and by many Canadians of Ukrainian descent as the first
Canadian cabinet minister of Ukrainian descent. Prior to
his appointment, Canadians of Ukrainian descent had
entered Parliament, but it was Mr. Starr's appointment by
Mr Diefenbaker that created the breakthrough for Ukrainian
Canadians, and that appointment was received with much pride
in the Ukrainian community. For his achievement, Mr. Starr was
named Ukrainian of the Year for North America in 1957 and
went on to receive other awards in the community for his
continuous work on behalf of the multicultural community and
for his dedication to fairness and opportunity for all, irrespective
of ethnic background.
While Mr. Starr's record of achievement is long, it was not
without difficulty that he gained this important milestone. His
career in public office often started with attempts and defeats,
whether as an alderman, a mayor or a parliamentarian. It was this
perseverance on behalf of minorities that is often pointed to as
being the reason for his entering the race in 1967. He continued
to persist and show that, through persistence, the legitimization
of the multicultural and pluralistic society to which we subscribe
can be changed from words into actions. For those in this
chamber who believe that this may be overstating the situation,
I quote from The Globe and Mail obituary of March 21 of this
year, where it stated:
His handicaps included his inability to make a good speech
and the trace of a Ukrainian accent.
It is therefore regrettable to note that the campaign Michael Starr
started on behalf of the multicultural community and, in
particular, the Ukrainian community, is far from achieved. It is
reassuring, however, that his legacy is an example to others. To
truly make Canada a country of equal opportunity and
acceptance for all Canadians, his legacy must continue.
Honourable senators, Michael Starr's daughter and
grandchildren should be rightly proud of his heritage, his
accomplishments and his place in the developments of Canada.
I extend my condolences to his family.
Hon. J. Michael Forrestall: Honourable senators, I will add
just a few words to those of my colleague Senator Andreychuk
with respect to the passing of the Honourable Michael Starr,
member of the Privy Council for Canada.
I served in the House of Commons with Mr. Starr. Indeed, he
was one of the first people I met when I came to this venerable
institution. As has been said, perhaps he had a trace of a
Ukrainian accent and perhaps he did not make the most fiery
speeches. However, we had some great stand-up orators in those
days. I think of Joe Greene. I remember Joe Greene listening to
Michael Starr, and that is the point I want to make. Michael
Starr's relationship to his colleagues was fair, firm and always
giving. He was always ready to discuss. He never presumed that
he had the answer to everything.
If one looks back at Michael Starr's life history in cabinet and
in the Parliament of Canada, one will find that the work he did in
the field of labour remains a monument and a useful source of
reference for those trying to work their way through labour law.
To list Mike's activities would be difficult. I assure honourable
senators that there are those who will remember him well. The
labour movement in this country owes much to him. He was a
good, kind and thoughtful man. Above all, he was most fair in
the sense that he listened. He never presumed until the evidence
was all in. Now he is with God. Grant him peace.
Hon. Donald H. Oliver: Honourable senators, I rise on the
day after the International Day for the Elimination of Racial
Discrimination to pay tribute to the young people of Canada who
made this anti-racism campaign a success from coast to coast. As
you know, this day is observed annually on March 21 to
commemorate the 69 anti-apartheid protesters who were killed in
Sharpeville, South Africa, when police opened fire on their
peaceful demonstration in 1960. Now, some 40 years after that
brutal massacre, March 21 has become a day of celebration and
learning. It is a time when people around the world are asked to
remember the fundamental values that support the elimination of
racism: respect, equality and diversity.
In Canada, this initiative has received strong support.
Throughout the 11 years since its launch on March 21, 1989, the
"Racism. Stop it!" campaign continues to gain momentum and
recognition in this country, and Canadian youth are at the heart of
Our young people know that racial discrimination exists and
are ready to take action against it. This week, in universities,
schools and communities across Canada, there are concerts,
displays, films, lectures, marathons and information booths all
focused on raising awareness about the existence of racial
I was not in the chamber yesterday to speak on this matter
because I spent the day with 286 students in Grades 6, 7 and 8 at
the Rothesay Park School in Rothesay, New Brunswick. I spoke
about the evils of ethnic stereotyping and racism at their
assembly, and later in the day I met with four different classes to
discuss what the assembly meant to them.
This event was the culmination of an anti-racist program
developed by 12 student peer helpers from that school. I met with
the peer helpers, and I am pleased to tell honourable senators that
they are a remarkable group of young Canadians. Their
anti-racist program evolved from a discussion in which several
students shared their personal experiences with racism. They
were not satisfied with simply talking about the problem, so the
group, with the help of their teacher, Mr. Carl Wolpin, decided to
take action. They made it their mission to raise awareness and
spark discussion among their fellow students by designing and
teaching a series of classes and workshops about racism and the
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
In conclusion, honourable senators, I am proud to see the
positive and sincere efforts being made at Rothesay Park School
to promote peace and respect for cultural diversity. The work of
those students and of the hundreds of young Canadians involved
in this campaign encourages me to believe that in Canada we can
one day transcend the scourge of racism.
Hon. John G. Bryden: Honourable senators, I rise to bring to
your attention my seatmate.
Senator St. Germain: Is she running for the leadership of the
Senator Bryden: Senator Pearson is one of the most respected
senators in this chamber. She has gained that respect in many
ways, one of which is her tremendous devotion to the young
people of Canada, to the youth of the world and, in particular, to
I think it is fitting that I should be given the opportunity, on
her behalf, to welcome to our chamber her two granddaughters,
Maija and Micka, who are sitting in the gallery with their father,
Michael Pearson, who is named after a very famous grandfather.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I should like to
draw your attention to a distinguished delegation in our gallery. It
is a delegation of parliamentarians from the United Kingdom, led
by Baroness Pitkeathley. They are accompanied on this
occasion by His Excellency Sir Anthony M. Goodenough, High
Commissioner for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and
On behalf of all honourable senators, I wish you welcome here
in the Senate of Canada. May you find some resemblance to your
own chambers in the United Kingdom.
Committee Authorized to Meet During Sitting of the
Hon. Jack Austin, with leave of the Senate and
notwithstanding rule 58(1)(a), moved:
That the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Peoples have
the power to sit at 2:00 p.m. tomorrow, Thursday, March 23,
2000, even though the Senate may then be sitting, and that
rule 95(4) be suspended in relation thereto.
The Hon. the Speaker: Is it your pleasure, honourable
senators, to adopt the motion?
Hon. J. Michael Forrestall: Honourable senators, my
question is directed to the Leader of the Government in the
Senate, and it concerns rail safety.
We know of the many thousands of kilometres of rail line in
this country that lack modern, updated signalling equipment.
We have had two recent accidents in what they call "dark
territory" — that is, lines where there is inadequate or, in some
cases, no signalling whatsoever. One occurred in Thamesville,
and resulted in a loss of life; and one occurred in the Miramichi,
in New Brunswick.
According to the United Transportation Union and its officials,
we are facing another Mississauga. What will the government
do? We have had an announcement about the establishment of
the commission of inquiry into safety measures — one of the
longest titles for such a body that I have ever come across — but
what will it do? This is a delaying tactic. It is at the very least
amoral to permit passengers to travel on lines that are not
Hon. J. Bernard Boudreau (Leader of the Government):
Honourable senators, I appreciate the honourable senator raising
this subject and giving me this opportunity to respond to it. The
government's intention is not to delay in dealing with this matter
but, rather, to deal with it in a thoughtful and reasoned way. We
expect that full information and details, along with
recommendations, will be forwarded to the government. I can
only indicate that I will express the honourable senator's concern
in this area.
The matter of passenger rail service in Canada — and, I
responded yesterday to another honourable senator who raised a
similar question — is presently before the Minister of Transport.
If we are to continue an acceptable level of service in the years to
come, additional capital expenditures will be required.
Senator Forrestall: Honourable senators, the transportation
union group has written to Minister Collenette asking him to
establish a formal commission of inquiry, which I presume he
intends to do, with all the authority and powers that attach to
that. However, the minister has not yet replied to that request. I
am not suggesting that the minister is ignoring it, but I am
concerned about whether or not the government is giving active
consideration to the serious measure of a formal inquiry into rail
Senator Boudreau: As the honourable senator stated, the
suggestion has been placed before the Minister of Transport.
Obviously, I am not in a position to give his response at this point
in time. However, I can reassure all honourable senators that the
entire issue of passenger rail service in this country is very much
on the top of the minister's desk. Along with the specific request
to which the honourable senator referred, I am sure the minister
will be reviewing the entire subject of passenger rail service and
the type of action required to ensure quality passenger train
service in this country.
Possible Announcement on Restructuring—Request for
Hon. Donald H. Oliver: Honourable senators, while the
honourable leader is talking about passenger service, I have a
question for him respecting VIA Rail. The government keeps
putting off an announcement on plans to restructure VIA Rail.
There was supposed to have been an announcement last fall but it
was put off when the Air Canada-Canadian Airlines matter came
before the Minister of Transport. However, given the haste with
which the government has moved to finance the capital spending
of a certain foreign railway, could the Leader of the Government
advise the Senate exactly when we can expect an announcement
on passenger rail in this country?
Hon. J. Bernard Boudreau (Leader of the Government):
Honourable senators, I can only reassure the honourable senator
that the government considers this matter an extremely important
issue for the country. In a country as large as Canada, passenger
rail service is critical. The matter has been before the minister for
some time. I can tell honourable senators that it is under active
consideration as we speak. As to the exact timing of any
announcement, I must leave that to the Minister of Transport.
However, I am confident that policy will be brought forward in
the very near future to address the concerns and issues raised by
the honourable senator.
China—Influence of Environmental Policy in Granting
of Funds to Three Gorges Dam Project
Hon. A. Raynell Andreychuk: Honourable senators, in 1993,
Mr. Chrétien was adamant that the environment must be the
cornerstone of Canada's foreign policy. In fact, the famous
Red Book said:
Canada must promote sustainable development around the
Under a Liberal government, environmental security
through sustainable development will be a cornerstone of
Canadian foreign policy.
In fact, the Liberal government went further in its response to
the joint committee on foreign policy when it stated that global
security includes the environment. If that is the case, could the
Leader of the Government in the Senate explain why the Export
Development Corporation was allowed to ignore this cornerstone
in our foreign policy by committing and providing financing for
the Three Gorges Dam in China, a project that is universally
condemned for the environmental damage that it will cause?
Hon. J. Bernard Boudreau (Leader of the Government):
Honourable senators, I do not have the details of that specific
project before me. However, in point of fact, the Export
Development Corporation has offered and continues to offer
assistance to support the success of Canadian business abroad.
As to its exact involvement in the project of which the
honourable senator speaks, I am not completely familiar, but
I can make further inquiries.
Senator Andreychuk: Honourable senators, the Three Gorges
Dam is the biggest project undertaken in China, if not in the
world, so I trust that the minister will look into the matter.
Influence of Human Rights Policy on Granting of Funds
Hon. A. Raynell Andreychuk: Honourable senators, I wish to
go a bit further with this line of questioning. The Standing Senate
Committee on Foreign Affairs indicated that there was a direct
link between trade and human rights and that Canadians should
not have their money, government money, used in such a way
that it would adversely affect the lives or security of human
beings on this planet. The Minister of Foreign Affairs has now
made human security the premier plank in foreign policy. In light
of that, why is the government not ensuring that the Export
Development Corporation, which utilizes Canadian taxpayers'
money, adhere to the values and standards that Canadians expect
and that the Liberal government indicated it would follow?
Hon. J. Bernard Boudreau (Leader of the Government):
Honourable senators, the values and goals that the honourable
senator recites are fully supported by the Government of Canada
and, insofar as possible, in all of its agencies, including the
Export Development Corporation. Those directions, I am sure,
are taken seriously by that body.
The primary focus of that agency, as I have said, is to assist
Canadian businesses and industry in doing business around the
world. The EDC has been very successful in offering assistance
that has allowed Canadian businesses to participate successfully
in all areas of the globe. At the same time, it does not require a
further draw on the treasury of the Government of Canada. In
fact, it has been operating within its own resources.
The Export Development Corporation, from that point of view,
is to be commended. It remains the view of the Government of
Canada that the principles enunciated should be taken into
account by that agency.
Miramichi, New Brunswick—Possible Withdrawal of Gun
Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition):
Honourable senators, my question is directed to the Leader of the
Government in the Senate. Is the minister aware of reports
circulating in the Miramichi area of New Brunswick to the effect
that the gun registry office in Miramichi may be withdrawn
because of the position of the member of Parliament from that
region and the position taken in court by the Government of
New Brunswick opposing the federal government's position on
Hon. J. Bernard Boudreau (Leader of the Government):
Honourable senators, no, I am not aware of any such rumours in
New Brunswick or elsewhere. I do not know that I can contribute
anything else, except to say that I am confident that the
Government of Canada does not make decisions to locate or
remove facilities involved in the performance of a government
responsibility based on the political persuasion of the local
member of Parliament or of the provincial government. I know
that the honourable senator shares that view with me.
Hon. Dan Hays (Deputy Leader of the Government):
Honourable senators, I have a response to a question raised on
February 22, 2000, by Senator Andreychuk, regarding the advice
to companies seeking to do business in countries with human
rights violations; a response to a question raised on February 29,
2000, by Senator Oliver, regarding the budget, allocations for
Nova Scotia and for research on the East Coast; a response to a
question raised on March 1, 2000, by Senator Roche, regarding
the proposal to develop ballistic missile defence systems with the
United States and a request for information in respect thereto;
and a response to a question raised on March 2, 2000, by Senator
Andreychuk, regarding Cuba, efficacy of quiet diplomacy.
Advice to Companies Seeking to Do Business in Countries
with Human Rights Violations
(Response to question raised by Hon. A. Raynell Andreychuk
on February 22, 2000)
What advice has the Canadian government provided to
companies prior to their entering volatile regions that could
be detrimental to business operations?
Officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs and
International Trade familiarize companies with the
Travel Advisory Report on the country in which the
company would like to operate. The Department's
trade officers can also provide information and advice.
Foreign Affairs officials strongly recommend that
companies contact the Canadian High
Commissions/Embassies of their host country for
advice before signing any business deals.
The Department provides a general overview of both
the political and economic conditions of the country a
company wants to operate in.
The Department provides advice on how to enter the
market and how to stay in the market.
What advice did the Canadian government offer Talisman
Energy prior to their entrance into Sudan?
Department of Foreign Affairs and International
Trade officials advised Talisman Energy not to
do business in Sudan because of the various political
security/economic risks involved.
The Department briefed Talisman Energy on the risks
involved in entering a country at civil war, including
the human rights violations in the country, security
risks for Canadians working in Sudan, et cetera.
Talisman Energy were told they could be subject to
intense scrutiny from human rights groups, church
groups, et cetera, if they decided to operate in Sudan.
Talisman Energy chose to operate in Sudan, despite the
Do we give companies an indication of Canada's political
position in particular countries, or do we merely provide
We provide both corporate and political information to
In respect to China and Malaysia, as partners in the
Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company, what sort of
dialogue has our government engaged with these two
Minister Axworthy wrote to both the Foreign Ministers
of Malaysia and China to express his deep concern
regarding the allegations of military use of the Heglig
airstrip in Sudan.
The Budget—Allocations for Nova Scotia and for
Research on East Coast
(Response to question raised by Hon. Donald H. Oliver on
February 29, 2000)
A substantial portion of the $320 million will be spent in
Atlantic Canada to address gaps in the marine safety system
through measures to restructure the Coast Guard's Search
and Rescue capacity and to strengthen scientific advice and
conservation and protection measures related to various
fisheries. Details regarding specific allocations of funds will
be available upon completion of the Department's business
plans for 2000-01.
The budget includes almost $40 million over three years
to address gaps in the provision of timely and reliable
scientific information and to improve the understanding and
advice for the conservation and sustainable use of living
aquatic resources and their environments. Specific
increased ocean monitoring to track dynamic changes
in the marine ecosystems and the consequences of
these regime shifts on productivity of salmon,
groundfish and invertebrate species;
stock assessments for species and stocks of fisheries
that have never been assessed and for which there are
serious conservation concerns; and
additional effort and resources to assess and monitor
East Coast lobster stocks.
Proposal to Develop Ballistic Missile Defence System
with United States—Request for Information
(Response to question raised by Hon. Douglas Roche on
March 1, 2000)
To date, there have been no formal consultations with the
U.S. government on the U.S. National Missile Defence
program. On March 2, 2000, the Assistant Deputy Minister
for Global and Security Policy made a presentation to the
Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International
Trade on this issue. His presentation is attached for
Presentation by Mr. Paul Heinbecker, Assistant Deputy
Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and International
Trade to SCFAIT March 2, 2000
NATIONAL MISSILE DEFENCE
Thank you for inviting me to participate in these hearings.
What I will present to you today are perceptions that
strike me, as a senior official, to be significant.
I will not be speaking on behalf of the Government of
Canada or indeed on behalf of the Minister of Foreign
The most fundamental point is that the National Missile
Defence program is a U.S. program, the United States has
not yet decided to deploy it, and the U.S. Government has
not officially invited Canada to participate.
The NMD program raises very large issues for Canada
and endorsement of it would have very far-reaching
An eventual NMD decision would be taken by the
government in light of a wide range of factors.
Before discussing some of those factors, it would perhaps
be helpful for me to set out for those of you not fully
conversant with it some of the what, why, where and when
of NMD, as we see it.
WHAT IS NMD?
Work has continued in the U.S. on ballistic missile
defence since the end of the Star Wars program of the
NMD would be based on earth — not in space —
although space sensors would be used to detect and track
A National Missile Defence system would launch, from
the ground, an unarmed projectile called a "kill vehicle" that
would intercept an incoming missile and destroy it by the
sheer force of impact.
As currently planned, NMD would counter an attack by a
limited number of missiles and warheads.
You are also aware of Theatre Missile Defence, or TMD.
The systems are akin to one another, but there are
Theatre Missile Defence is intended for use, as its name
implies, in theatre, to protect U.S. troops abroad and/or
It complies with the 1997 revisions to the Anti-Ballistic
Missile (ABM) Treaty, which has yet to be ratified.
BMD or Ballistic Missile Defence is a generic term that
includes both TMD and NMD.
To avoid confusion, I will not use the term BMD.
WHY IS THE U.S. DEVELOPING THIS SYSTEM?
Essentially, the proponents' argument is that the emerging
threat caused by the proliferation of missile and weapons of
mass destruction (WMD) technology is a new factor that the
old bi-polar world no longer exists and that U.S. security is
being undermined and the nature of international relations
Two recent developments have added urgency to their
First, in 1998 the bi-partisan "Rumsfeld Report", named
after its chairman, former Secretary of Defence, Donald
Rumsfeld, and mandated by Congress, concluded that the
U.S. could face an ICBM threat from a "rogue" state in five
years — much sooner than had been expected.
Second, in August 1998, North Korea launched a Taepo
Dong 1 ballistic missile, capable potentially of hitting some
areas in the U.S.
On January 20 last year, U.S. Secretary of Defence Cohen
concurred that a threat exists, that it is growing and that it is
expected soon to pose a threat not only to American troops
overseas, but also to the U.S. itself.
A rogue state with an ICBM could limit American
foreign policy options by blackmailing future American
In March 1999, bills calling for the deployment of a
National Missile Defence system were approved in the
Senate and the House by wide margins.
On July 23, 1999, President Clinton signed the National
Missile Defence Act, which states that an NMD system will
be deployed when technologically feasible.
He also set out criteria that would govern a deployment
These are: whether the threat is materializing; the status
of the technology; whether the system is affordable; and
national security considerations, including arms control and
disarmament regimes, relations with Russia and the impact
of the decision on allies.
These are major considerations for the United States.
The deployment decision has not yet been taken and, as a
matter of fact, might not be taken by this or even a
WHERE WOULD AN NMD SYSTEM BE LOCATED?
Current U.S. planning is for the initial deployment of
100 ground-based interceptor rockets at a single site in
This number of interceptors would have the capability to
address only a limited number of incoming warheads.
It could theoretically protect all of the U.S.A., including
Hawaii, from that spot.
The U.S. apparently needs to use radar equipment located
in other countries to track incoming missiles and to guide
None of these countries has as yet apparently assented to
this use of its territory.
As currently envisioned, none of the NMD components,
launchers or radars would be based on Canadian territory.
The U.S. does not appear to need Canadian territory to
host any components of the NMD system.
There has been talk in Washington of a second phase,
with greater capability and possibly an additional site for
WHEN WOULD IT BE DEPLOYED?
When he signed the National Missile Defence Act into
law last July, President Clinton stressed that a final decision
to deploy an NMD system would take place only after a
Deployment Readiness Review has been completed.
The target date for this Review is June.
Two of the initial three tests required before a deployment
decision can be made have been completed.
The first test of the NMD "kill vehicle" was in October
While the kill vehicle successfully hit and destroyed the
target missile, some doubts have been expressed about the
full validity of the test.
The second test in January 2000 was not fully successful.
The guidance unit of the kill vehicle failed six seconds
before the projected impact with the target causing the
vehicle to miss.
It was, however, reportedly a very near-miss.
A further crucial test is now scheduled for May.
U.S. authorities have said that they need at least two
successful tests for a decision to deploy.
There have been recent calls for the U.S. Administration
to delay the deployment decision, primarily for
A Pentagon panel recommended in November 1999 that
additional tests be conducted before a deployment decision
In January 2000, the Pentagon's director of operational
testing and evaluation said that the Pentagon was facing
undue pressure "to meet an artificial decision point in the
development process" and that the current timetable
disregards the enormous technical problems.
While a decision to deploy could be taken as early as
June this year, it would, of course, be some years before any
system could, in fact, be in position.
At this time, the earliest deployment possible — if all
goes well technologically — is apparently 2005.
NMD RAISES LARGE ISSUES
First and foremost, no national missile defence is
permitted under the terms of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile
Treaty signed by Russia and the USA — hence, the
discussions under way.
Under that Treaty, as amended in 1974, each side is
allowed to protect either its capitol or an ICBM field, not
both and not the national territory.
The Soviet Union chose Moscow and installed a system.
The U.S. chose Grand Forks, but has not installed a
The Treaty is intended to ensure that deterrence works.
Deterrence is based on mutual vulnerability; the premise
is that, since each side can destroy the other, neither will try.
Underlying the ABM Treaty was the fear that if one side
had an effective missile defence system, then it could launch
nuclear weapons at the other side without fear of retaliation.
The thesis was that a national missile defence system
would touch off a spiral of offensive weapons development
to overcome the defences.
To sustain deterrence, the two sides agreed that neither
side would have a capability to protect itself from the
nuclear weapons of the other side.
Both sides agree that an NMD system would be
inconsistent with the ABM Treaty.
The U.S. has engaged the Russians in discussions to
amend the Treaty.
It is attempting to persuade the Russians both that the
threat from rogue states is real and must be countered and
that the size and character of the NMD system the U.S.
would deploy against that threat would not undermine
The Russians accept that the proliferation of missile
capability and weapons of mass destruction does create a
Indeed, they maintain they are potentially in greater
danger than the United States is.
Nonetheless, they believe that a U.S. NMD system would
eventually undermine Russian defence, that the threat from
rogue states is not sufficient to jeopardize the 30 years of
stability that they maintain the ABM Treaty has delivered,
and that other methods can and should be used to counter
That is the nub of the diplomatic issue.
While Canada is not a party to the ABM Treaty, we do
consider it to be a cornerstone of the international arms
control and disarmament regime.
We are open to seeing the Treaty amended if the parties
But, we would obviously have reservations if one side
were to abrogate the Treaty unilaterally.
Great circumspection is warranted when decisions could
damage a system that has underpinned nuclear restraint and
allowed for nuclear reductions.
NMD, THE ABM TREATY, CANADA AND
It is worth reiterating at this point that the United States
President has not yet decided to deploy an ABM system,
that Canada has not been invited to participate as and when
such a decision is made and that the Canadian Government
has not accordingly decided whether it would participate.
We have, nonetheless, been following the development of
this technology for some time.
In the 1994 Defence White Paper, the Government of
Canada decided that Canada should cooperate with the
United States in the development of missile warning
systems, as well as research and consultation on Theatre
However, Canadian engagement was and is contingent
upon this work complying with the ABM Treaty and other
agreements and being cost effective and affordable.
It must also make an unambiguous contribution to
Canadian defence needs and build upon missions already
performed by the Canadian Forces, such as surveillance and
A major factor to be weighed in the NMD debate is our
relationship with the United States.
Obviously, we have an extensive, close and productive
relationship with the United States across the entire range of
bilateral and international affairs.
For this reason alone, no decision on NMD would be
There are several issues that would play in any eventual
Cabinet decision to join an NMD program.
Among others, whether by doing so Canada would be
more or less secure.
Whether and how such a decision could be expected to
affect Canadian economic relations with the United States.
How such a decision would affect Canadian foreign
policy — e.g., would we be more or less independent?
How much it would cost — the U.S. NMD program is
costing annually something approaching our total defence
How it would affect Canadian defence relations with the
Some have argued, for example, that were we not to
subscribe to NMD, NORAD would automatically atrophy.
Such an outcome does not strike me as preordained.
Certainly, if NMD was awarded to NORAD, changes
would be required in the way NORAD works.
But a good argument can be made that were the
ABM Treaty to be abrogated unilaterally, and should the
Russia-U.S. relationship turn hostile again, NORAD and
Canadian airspace would likely grow in significance.
The Government would take an NMD decision in light of
decisions it would make on other security issues.
Terrorism, crime and drugs trafficking, cyber-defence and
the protection of critical infrastructure are all changing the
American defence posture and are all of interest to us, too.
Taken together and however Canada responds, they add
up to a significant change in Canada-U.S. security relations.
Nor would the Government obviously make an
NMD decision without weighing the merits of the
arguments of the proponents and opponents, both, of the
Do we share the Rumsfeld report's assessment of the
threat as well as more recent ones such as the U.S. National
Intelligence Estimates of 1999?
And is NMD the appropriate response?
For one thing, the Russians' nuclear weapons systems are
real and sophisticated; any emerging rogue state's threat is
much less immediate and capable.
For another, a good number of Americans, including
former U.S. Under-Secretary of Defense, Joe Nye, now at
Harvard, have argued that a ballistic missile attack by a
rogue state is the least likely form of action against the
There would be no doubt where the missile came from
and not much doubt about the consequences for the
Perhaps more important, cruise missiles, unmanned
aircraft launched from freighters, tramp steamers into the
port of New York, the proverbial suitcase bomb and even
made-in-the-U.S.A. bombs by terrorist groups seem more
plausible near term threats.
There is currently little effective defence against any of
these threats, beyond "intelligence cueing", i.e., warning by
The NMD program would offer little in this area.
Will NMD work?
My own view is that it would be unwise to bet against the
technology eventually working, especially where money for
it is no object and the sense of national vulnerability is
Is NMD going to be cost effective?
That depends on how the costs are calculated.
If Russia and the United States cannot reach agreement
on amending the ABM Treaty, and if the United States
unilaterally abrogated the Treaty, there would be significant
The ABM Treaty has been a centrepiece of international
strategic stability for thirty years.
This Treaty has been the key, first, to the Strategic Arms
Limitation Agreements (SALT) and, more recently, the
Strategic Arms Reduction Treaties (START).
It has permitted the "build-down" of missiles that we
have witnessed in recent years.
START I saw a reduction to 6,000 deployed strategic
warheads on both sides.
START II calls for a reduction to 3,500.
The United States has ratified START II; the Russians
have not ratified START II, but have signalled their
intention to do so in the Spring, following the Presidential
Once so ratified, Start III would follow and reduce
strategic weapons on both sides possibly to as low as
1,500 each, but more likely 2,000-2,500.
For the first time, Start III would also address tactical
These treaties all depend on an assumption of stability in
terms of the strategic nuclear balance.
All could be lost if the ABM Treaty were abrogated.
There would quite possibly be a knock-on effect for other
arms control and related treaties, including crucially the
Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the Comprehensive Test
Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty
Whether strategic stability would endure in these
conditions is not certain but seems unlikely.
The Russians apparently worry that NMD would
progressively undermine their own strategic deterrent, that it
would provide the basis for a U.S. "breakout" and make the
United States invulnerable.
The system could have a significant impact on the current
Chinese strategic nuclear deterrent.
Both Russia and China believe, as a minimum, that their
own geostrategic positions would suffer vis-à-vis that of the
United States, although neither, especially the Russians, can
afford an arms race.
It is quite possible that new offensive arms programs
could be triggered in Russia and in China and possibly by
both, in cooperation with each other.
A potential alliance of Russian technology and growing
Chinese prosperity would, nevertheless, be cause for
There would also be consequences if the ABM Treaty
were unilaterally abrogated for our NATO allies.
If their vulnerability were to increase the Atlantic would,
figuratively, widen further.
It is evident that the issues that a unilateral abrogation of
the ABM Treaty would raise are significant and very
Further, as Henry Kissinger pointed out in a recent
Los Angeles Times article, it does not take a degree in
political science to see that there are better times than the
middle of an election campaign to make a decision so
fraught with potential consequences.
Talks between the United States and Russia continue.
United States negotiators are trying to persuade Russia
that the ABM treaty can and should be changed, in ways
that safeguard, indeed enhance, each others' security.
The Russians are trying to persuade the Americans that
U.S. (and Russian) security can be better assured by other
The Russians are apparently making counter-proposals to
that effect based in part on the unratified 1997 U.S.-Russia
agreements on theatre missile defence and the ABM Treaty.
Both sides have told us that they remain hopeful that the
other side will ultimately agree.
The ABM Treaty is between the United States and
Russia, but the strategic stability and arms reductions it has
generated are everyone's business.
NMD appears to be on a fast track in the U.S.
But there remain some significant unknowns.
Will the technology work?
Or will it be, as one U.S. Senator described it, "a Maginot
Line in the sky?"
If the rogue state threat does materialize, can it be
adequately countered by other technical and diplomatic
Will the Russians ultimately acquiesce in an amendment
to the heart of the ABM Treaty or will they continue to
If the Americans unilaterally abrogate the ABM Treaty,
will they be able to maintain the strategic balance with
Russia that has been critical to maintaining stability for so
Will U.S. allies support unilateral abrogation if it comes
These are all real and serious questions that remain to be
It remains to be seen what the U.S. Administration will
The question of Canadian participation remains open.
(Response to question raised by Hon. A. Raynell Andreychuk
on March 2, 2000)
Is trade paramount to human rights in Canada's foreign
policy toward Cuba?
The Canadian government has established a policy of
constructive engagement with Cuba. The 14-point Joint
Declaration between Canada and Cuba encourages
political reform and economic transition.
We continue to believe that a balanced policy based on
political dialogue, technical and policy cooperation,
and active commercial links will accelerate the pace of
change in Cuba.
Canada neither encourages nor discourages companies
from engaging in business in Cuba. Decisions are taken
by individual firms for commercial reasons. Canada
has long trading relations with the Caribbean. It is not
surprising that many firms are present in that region's
largest economy and third largest market. However,
commercial objectives have not been pursued at the
expense of advancing Canadian concerns about
democracy, good governance and, in particular, human
The Canadian government has repeatedly underlined, at
senior levels, our concerns with Cuba's ongoing
repression of human rights, and especially the
imprisonment of human rights activists.
We have stressed the case of Cuba's four leading
dissidents and reminded the Government of Cuba that
provisions exist under Cuban law to grant immediate
release to these individuals.
Canada is also working hard to support the creation of
practical space for non-governmental actors in Cuban
society, including improved practices with regard to
dissent. Canada provides moral support to constructive
human rights and opposition leaders, assists with penal
code reform and modernization of Cuba's judicial
process, and encourages the unconditional release of
It is simply not true that Canada no longer supports
discussing Cuba in multilateral human rights fora. We
are working with other governments to ensure that due
attention to the deterioration of human rights
observation in Cuba is addressed in appropriate
international fora such as the UN Commission on
Our leadership proved critical to securing passage of
last year's UN resolution criticizing the negative trend
in Cuba's human rights and good governance
We will be looking closely this year at any
UN resolution that emerges on Cuba.
Will the government review its Cuba policy?
In fact, the Prime Minister ordered a review of Canada's
relations with Cuba in the aftermath of Cuba's new
anti-dissident legislation and the imprisonment of the
country's four leading political activists.
The Spring 1999 review concluded that a constructive
engagement approach remains the most appropriate
tool for advancing Canadian interests in Cuba and that
this policy has provided Canada with influence in Cuba
and on Cuban issues internationally.
However, the review did put in place new guidelines to
refine our engagement in Cuba. All new initiatives,
including ministerial visits, will be reviewed on a
case-by-case basis to ensure that such activities support
Canadian objectives of promoting economic and social
change in Cuba. Established programs, particularly
those falling under the Joint Declaration, will proceed,
as will normal commercial relations.
Because Canadian values are central to our foreign
policy, there will likely continue to be differences in
this bilateral relationship, given the present Cuban
Should the Cuban regime signal a greater acceptance of
international norms, Canada would be ready and
willing to expand its engagement with Cuba.
Over the long term, though, Canada feels certain that
the best strategy is to continue engaging with Cuba to
encourage political reform and economic transition
while at the same time speaking openly to the Cuban
government concerning its unacceptable human rights
Statement of Minister of Finance—Inquiry—Debate
Hon. Erminie J. Cohen rose pursuant to notice of Senator
Lynch-Staunton on February 29, 2000:
That he will call the attention of the Senate to the Budget
presented by the Minister of Finance in the House of
Commons on February 28, 2000.
She said: Honourable senators, last spring and summer I had
the honour to co-chair the Progressive Conservative Caucus Task
Force on Poverty. We held 16 public meetings across Canada and
heard from almost 250 people who represented, to name a few,
food banks, soup kitchens, hostels, homeless shelters and church
groups. As well, we heard from people who work on the front
line in our communities, such as social workers, educators,
public health people, police officers and, of course, Canadians
who are marginalized and impoverished. What we heard
validated what we knew intuitively, that poverty in Canada is
worsening and, in spite of great economic growth and prosperity,
there is a persistent and growing gap between the rich and the
poor in Canada.
Commenting on our task force report, my local newspaper, in
an editorial on January 26, wrote:
...some of the recommendations simply cry out for
implementation. The Chrétien government would be wrong
to ignore them because they are just...and they are above
Our 41 recommendations, to be debated at a PC policy
convention in May, are based on the testimonies we heard, and
so, too, is this response to the recent budget.
Honourable senators, although the budget did offer some
positive measures to provide relief for low- and middle-income
families, it failed miserably in addressing the problems of
poverty in Canada, offering Canadians no tools to lift themselves
out of the poverty trap. The National Anti-Poverty Organization
tells us that the gap between many of the poor and the rich was
made even wider by the proportionately larger tax benefits to
Canadians who are better off financially. We are well aware that
in order to reduce the deficit, the federal government cut social
spending and employed tax increases. NAPO went on to state
that both measures burden low-income families severely, as the
largest cuts to spending have been to welfare programs. Yet, this
budget rewards higher income earners proportionately more and
offers next to nothing in the reinvestment of social programs.
Last Friday, at his party's convention, and just a few weeks
after he delivered the budget, the Minister of Finance talked
about the need for government action to deal with the widening
gap between rich and poor which the technology-driven new
economy is creating. Pardon me? The gap he refers to began with
the cancellation of the Canada Assistance Program plus the
severe cutbacks to social programs initiated to finance the debt,
all of which affected the lowest-income people, not the
technology-driven new economy. However, the new economy
will deal a death blow to young Canadians who do not have the
resources to compete. Funds and initiatives must be made
available to enable these students to pursue post-secondary
education. We need equal opportunity here.
Josephine Grey, Director of Low Income Families Together,
tells us that the,
...acceleration of the high-tech economy, for which many
Canadians are ill prepared, combined with cuts to social
programs such as employment insurance, mean that when
people fall out of the mainstream now, they tend to stay
down, if they ever come up at all.
A March 4 TorontoStar article stated that:
...as part of the war on the deficit, this government slashed
unemployment insurance by $5 billion and tightened
eligibility requirements so that today only about 40 per cent
of those out of work qualify for benefits.
The culprit, honourable senators, was Bill C-12, which was
passed in 1996.
Our poverty report recommends, first, that the Employment
Insurance intensity rule be repealed. It unfairly penalizes
seasonal workers by reducing benefits to those who made a claim
in the previous five years. Second, the report recommends that
part-time workers with an overall income less than $5,000 per
year, many of whom are students and women, be relieved of the
burden of paying EI premiums. The third recommendation is that
the federal government consult with Canadians on the entire act
to seek solutions that will ensure that the EI program provides
adequate income protection to Canadians in all regions in the
event of job loss, while ensuring reasonable eligibility
Over the weekend, at his party's convention, the Prime
Minister suggested that future changes may be made to
Employment Insurance. His motivation, however, was skewed.
The context in which he made the suggestion was for gaining
seats in Atlantic Canada rather than helping the unemployed.
Atlantic Canadians will not be fooled.
A positive move in the budget, and one that our report
recommended, was restoring full indexation of the entire tax
system, which will enhance the Canada Child Tax Benefit, the
National Child Benefit, and the GST credit. This measure will
provide cost savings to low-income families.
The extension of parental leave benefits under the employment
program from six months to 12 months supports the values of
parenting and early childhood development. I was pleased to
note also that the child care expense deduction was increased
from $7,000 to $10,000, but where are the promised programs in
child care and in early childhood intervention and development?
The increase in the Canada Child Tax Benefit to $1,975 by the
year 2004 is a positive move, but why wait an additional year to
begin to provide assistance to those families most in need?
People in poverty need money in their pockets now.
I was disappointed that the budget made no mention of the
unfair provincial clawbacks from families receiving social
assistance. The government could have shown leadership here.
After all, he who pays the piper calls the tune.
Our task force agreed with the testimony of witnesses that the
threshold above which income tax becomes payable, that
is, $7,131, is much too low, as Canadians should not be expected
to pay taxes on an amount that is not even sufficient to cover
their basic expenses for food, clothing and shelter. We
recommended the basic threshold be raised to $10,000, ensuring
that no income tax is payable on income below that amount.
As it stands now, honourable senators, the government expects
that in four to five years the basic personal amount will rise
to $8,000. This year's increase in the basic personal amount will
be $100. Honourable senators, this actually works out to a federal
tax saving of 33 cents a week; not a lot of money when you
consider the higher costs of health care and child care and factor
in the increase in heating and gasoline costs.
An economist from Nesbitt Burns commented that Canadian
consumers spend 3 per cent of their after-tax income on gasoline
and 6 per cent on energy. If current prices remain, the cost to
consumers will be another .5 per cent of disposable income,
almost offsetting the net impact of the first year tax cuts
contained in the current federal budget.
Following are several excerpts from national newspapers that
support these concerns. One mother of four, who lives in poverty,
was actually apologetic for daring to counter the tax cut hike, but
she described her view of the tax cuts clearly when she said:
You have to see the face of poverty. We're real people.
There's nothing here for me and my family. I'm really sorry
if this is uncomfortable for people. But I live in it every
day....You know we're going to turn out like New York,
hiding the poor and hiding the homeless.
Molly Ladd-Taylor, a York University professor said:
The tax cut that I will get, as the group that is targeted the
most, is small change compared to the money I'm going to
have to pay out again as schools fall apart, as health care
falls apart and in terms of child care.
Another mother of a family of four, whose income fits almost
squarely in the middle income tax bracket, explained that her
family will experience a savings of a modest $450 in income
taxes, an average of about $20 a paycheque. When given the
choice between saving this amount or spending more on health
care, she stated that the last thing she wants is a $450 tax break
that will result in further cuts to health care and education. She
wants these services in place for her children.
The truth is that income tax and health care spending are not
mutually exclusive. Canadians do deserve a tax break, and they
also deserve to see more spending in priority areas like health
care and education. In fact, an Angus Reid poll pointed out that
72 per cent of Canadians feel that health care should be the top
priority in the next five years. Education was the second top
priority. This budget chose to ignore both. In this budget, for
every $1 in tax relief there is 2 cents of spending on health care.
While it is important to take the steps to help those
disadvantaged in our society with short-term relief, it is more
important to consider future hardships that may be brought on by
lack of measures and a long-term strategy. The $2.5-billion
one-time extra funding to provinces for health and education in
the next four years is totally inadequate. When you divide this
among the programs and the provinces, it is not very much.
More important, the provinces are looking for more stable
funding. The government has given extra funds to the provinces
with no commitments. How do you manage a system when it is
not known from year to year what funding will be available? It is
clear why the premiers from across the country are outraged and
frustrated by Ottawa's snub to our medicare system. While health
care costs rise, they are left with choices like spending cuts,
obtaining more funds through user fees, or increasing the role of
the private sector. This is what we are experiencing right now
A study by the Atlantic Institute of Market Studies says that
our medicare system in its present state is unsustainable. The
Canadian Medical Association agrees that the $2.5 billion is
insufficient to deal with the growing crisis in medicare. An aging
population and the growth of expensive medical technology are
two areas that need to be addressed.
Post-secondary education institutions also felt the crunch in
this budget. Sharing the $2.5 billion will not do much for either
post-secondary education or the health care system.
The Minister of Finance deliberately invited the provinces to
spend this one-time payment, which will be spread out over four
years, on both health and post-secondary education. In doing this,
he effectively passed on a messy battle that will see health
groups and post-secondary education groups vying for their share
of the funds. As Robert Giroux, the President of the Association
of Universities and Colleges of Canada, so aptly put it: "We will
have to go after provincial governments for our fair share of the
transfer." Honourable senators, it is no wonder the premiers are
angry. The federal government is essentially pitting what
Minister Martin himself called the "highest priorities of
Canadians" against each other in the battle for funding.
While the measures put in place to give students with
scholarships a break were a step in the right direction, they did
not go far enough. Post-secondary education has seen cuts of
approximately $5 billion over the past six years. This year's
budget does nothing to redress past cuts. The result will be
increased tuition and higher student debt. We are allowing our
future generations to begin their careers with massive debts and
added stress. As mentioned earlier, where are the incentives in
the programs to attract students from lower income groups to
pursue post-secondary education?
A major disappointment in the budget was the government's
failure to address the desperate shortage of affordable housing in
Canada's cities. Instead, there was only a weak commitment by
the federal government to work with other levels of government
and private investors to improve municipal infrastructure. The
modest $500 million set aside for infrastructure will include
everything from sewers to highways to houses.
There is no question that funding for infrastructure is needed.
In cities across Canada, university buildings, bridges and roads
are crumbling. However, these issues should not need to compete
with the equally pressing issue of social housing. More often
than not, it is the homeless and those with rents they cannot
afford who lose out in the battle for infrastructure funding.
Honourable senators, it is hard to imagine that in 1990 the
Liberal Caucus Task Force on Housing, co-chaired by the
Minister of Finance himself, recommended the following: More
funding for affordable housing in provincial transfers; new
federal-provincial programs to assist working poor with housing
costs; increased funding for housing co-ops; making surplus
Crown lands available below market value for low-income
housing; and eliminating substandard aboriginal housing by the
Now that the Minister of Finance is in a position where he can
fulfil some of these recommendations, he chooses to ignore the
plight of the homeless and those who live in inadequate housing.
While the government has committed some infrastructure money
to housing, there is still no national housing strategy in place.
Canada, in fact, is the only developed country in the world
without a national housing strategy.
Recognizing the responsibility for the provision of social
housing rests with the provinces, Ottawa should renew its
financial commitment to social housing with the objective of
ensuring that low-income Canadians have access to new
affordable housing, and soon. We believe that the federal
government, in partnership with provincial, territorial, and
municipal governments, should develop a national housing
policy — a policy that acknowledges the need for Ottawa to be
an active partner in the provision of funding and leadership in the
area of social housing, and that states that a portion of this
federal funding should be directed to new cooperative housing
Honourable senators, the Minister of Finance has promised
that "the best of Canada is yet to come." Well, what are we
waiting for? This budget only brings temporary relief to
taxpayers and does little to strengthen the health and social
systems we cherish as Canadians. The Prime Minister proudly
proclaimed last weekend that the "sun is shining in Canada." It
may be shining for some people, honourable senators, but a
whole sector of Canadians are not feeling its warmth.