The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, before we start,
I direct your attention to a distinguished visitor in the gallery. He
is Jean Malaurie, the founder of the Centre d'études arctiques of
the Centre français national de recherches scientifiques.
Professor Malaurie is an author and a publisher. He is here as
a guest of our colleague the Honourable Senator Charlie Watt.
On behalf of all honourable senators, I welcome you to the
Senate and hope your visit to Canada is an interesting one.
Before I call for tributes to our colleague the Honourable
Senator Grimard, I should like to note that Madam Grimard and
their son, Marc, are in the gallery on this occasion.
Hon. John Lynch-Staunton (Leader of the Opposition):
Honourable senators, in September 1990, Prime Minister
Mulroney, in the face of an unprecedented obstruction —
unprecedented in both its ferocity and its doggedness — by the
Senate majority of the day of a government bill, decided to
invoke section 26 of the Constitution and appointed eight
senators in order to break the impasse.
Never have senators been welcomed with such criticism,
ridicule, indeed offence. In all of the Senate's history, this period
was surely the most shameful, with civility giving over to
offensiveness, and courtesy to rudeness.
Today, these eight senators, each in their own way, are
recognized as having contributed jointly and severally to the
work of the Senate in a way that brings honour to this house.
I recall this time because, today, we mark the departure of the
first of the eight, who, tomorrow, becomes the victim of the
mandatory retirement provision of the law. Senator Grimard took
a few hard punches in his first weeks with us, but those who had
fun at his expense quickly learned that their target was stalwart
and a match for anyone.
I am sure that I am not the only one here who remembers
vividly Senator Grimard's forceful intervention during the GST
debate aimed at the then leader of the opposition who, for one of
the few times in his career, retreated into stunned silence.
Senator Grimard has brought to the Senate a vast experience in
law and in politics, which he has put to good use, in particular on
the Standing Joint Committee of the Senate and the House of
Commons for the Scrutiny of Regulations and on the Standing
Committee on Privileges, Standing Rules and Orders. His wide
knowledge and intellect have allowed him to write on a variety
of topics, such as Senate reform, Crown corporations, the
Canadian family, Canadian identity and professional sports. His
talents even extend to the movies, as he was reported to be
featured in a short documentary entitled The Senate at Sunset,
which, unfortunately, is only available for private viewing.
Seldom has a senator enjoyed the friendship and even
affection of colleagues on all sides, both here and in the other
place, as has Senator Normand Grimard. His generosity and
warmth are among the many traits that we will all miss. His
knowledge of gastronomy has made many of us more
appreciative of fine food and manufacturers of anti-cholesterol
drugs more profitable.
Senator Grimard's willingness to travel to far away places at a
moment's notice was a credit to the Senate. He will be missed as
much by future official delegations and host countries as by
five-star restaurants around the world. As a matter of fact, I
understand that more than one embassy will have their flag at
Although it is with much regret that we say goodbye to our
esteemed colleague, we take solace in the knowledge that our
friendship will stand the passage of time.
I cannot conclude without saluting and thanking Normand's
wife, Dolly, who is in the gallery with one of their three children,
their son, Marc. Dolly always provided exceptional support to
Senator Grimard in his public life, to the point that she, too,
deserves to be called honourable.
Normand, may you enjoy many years of retirement from this
place. You have certainly earned them.
Hon. Dan Hays (Deputy Leader of the Government):
Honourable senators, my friend Senator Normand Grimard, as
Senator Lynch-Staunton observed, came to this place at a time
of, shall I say, creative tension. He came, and as we now fondly
know them, as one of the GST senators. Senator Grimard has
done a great deal, immediately after that time and since, to
contribute to a sense of normalcy and camaraderie in this place.
When he came to the Senate, Senator Grimard left behind him
a brilliant career in law, in Quebec. He was appointed Queen's
Counsel in 1959 and he built an enviable reputation through his
work in mining law at the Chambre de commerce du Québec and
in the business world in general. Senator Grimard has done a lot
of travelling, and is a philanthropist and a man of great culture.
This is what I will remember most about him.
The time I have spent with Senator Grimard, without fail, has
been memorable and enjoyable. His "joie de vivre," knowledge
of food and wine, general good spirits and diplomacy have
always been welcome additions to our efforts to represent
Senator Grimard has the advantage of being married to the
vivacious and always interesting Dolly. Together, they form a
couple who make great partners in life. I am sure that all of us
who know them are grateful for the experience of knowing them
and having the opportunity to share that experience with them.
Senator Grimard made the most of being well travelled and
well read, as has been observed by Senator Lynch-Staunton. He
extended that by frequently contributing articles to the local
Quebec newspapers so that his constituents knew what he was up
to and would benefit from his insights into a variety of matters,
including Senate reform. He deserves our congratulations for
writing the book L'indispensable Sénat: défense d'une institution
mal aimée. He has also contributed to our understanding and
furtherance of our pluralism through issues involving
multiculturalism, employment and foreign affairs.
Honourable senators, Senator Grimard represents the best of
the Senate. He is, I believe, an ideal senator. His pleasant
demeanour, good sense of humour and non-partisan nature have
made him not only well liked but effective and persuasive in
pursuit of the public good. Senator Grimard is a senator's senator
and he stands for what we are at our best when the camaraderie
of this place extends to all corners of the chamber.
I will miss you, Senator Grimard. All the best to Dolly and
yourself in a long and happy retirement. Do not forget the good
life that you so ably represent.
Hon. Lowell Murray: Honourable senators, I just want to say
a few words to express my respect and admiration for our friend
Senator Grimard. As former leader of the government in the
Senate, I have many reasons to remember with gratitude his
dedication and his loyalty. Normand Grimard arrived in the
Senate in 1990, at the age of 65, at an age when many of his Bar
colleagues think about retiring from professional life.
However, far from considering his appointment to the Senate
as a sinecure, Senator Grimard embraced parliamentary life with
energy and enthusiasm. For 10 years, all his energy, intellectual
gifts, experience and talents were at the service of Parliament and
his country, Canada.
Thanks to Senator Grimard's participation, the debates in the
Senate and in several important Senate committees benefited in
terms of clarity, depth and quality. Senator Grimard deserves
respect and, as Senator Hays just mentioned, he is a friend to us
all, and we are all grateful for this.
Progressive Conservative senators in particular are honoured
to have had him as a colleague. He has done the Senate and
Parliament proud. He has always sought to serve and defend the
national interest of Canada. Senator Grimard well deserves our
gratitude and respect. We extend our very best wishes on his
retirement from this place to him and to his family.
Hon. Gérald-A. Beaudoin: Honourable senators, Senator
Normand Grimard had carved out a career in law in Quebec
before he came to the Senate 10 years ago. He earned recognition
as an excellent legal practitioner by the Quebec Bar Association.
A pragmatist, characterized by his good judgment, he rapidly
developed a good client base and was extremely influential in his
A man with a great interest in politics, he was appointed to the
Senate by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney in September 1990.
He has made a remarkable contribution to the Standing Joint
Committee of the Senate and the House of Commons for
Scrutiny of Regulations. This committee does some very difficult
and very essential work — for which it is not given enough
credit. I congratulate Senator Grimard, for he and Senator Lewis,
who retired last November, were pillars of that committee.
I would also like to point out that he is the author of
L'indispensable Sénat: défense d'une institution mal aimée,
which merits our attention. In it, he tells not only of his career,
but also of certain events that have taken place in the Senate,
such as the business of the eight so-called "Divisional Senators,"
of which he was one, and the famous GST debate.
In his book, Senator Grimard staunchly defends the Senate and
proposes a Triple V reform: in French "viable, vraisemblable,
valorisante." The key principles of such a reform to make the
Senate "viable, plausible and motivating" are the following: a
Senate equal by region; a Senate appointed fifty-fifty by Ottawa
and the provinces; a Senate with 130 senators, of whom
65 would be Ottawa appointments, and with a 10-year mandate.
Our colleague has left his mark on the Senate and we are
extremely grateful to him for it. I wish Senator Grimard, his
charming wife Dolly, and his family, a long life together, good
health and many happy days.
Hon. Jean-Claude Rivest: Honourable senators, I should like
to join with the rest of the Senate in honouring our friend
Of course, his contribution to the business of the Senate must
be addressed, but it is also important to remind honourable
senators that Senator Grimard comes from Abitibi, an area of
Quebec that does not always attract the attention its population
deserves, from either the Quebec National Assembly or the
federal government and the federal Parliament.
As Senator Grimard is now obliged to leave public life, it must
be pointed out that the needs of his fellow citizens in the Abitibi
region remain as pressing as ever and that, with his retirement,
they are losing a spokesman emeritus.
Senator Grimard has tried to convince me of the merits of one
of his great political mentors, former Quebec premier, the
Honourable Maurice Duplessis. He has worked hard to convince
me, a member of the Liberal Party of Quebec, of the merits of
this premier. As he reaches the age of retirement, he will
recognize it, Senator Grimard has still not quite succeeded in
convincing me. I cannot say he succeeded, because by so doing I
could put an end to my long friendship with Senator Bacon, who
has very definite opinions on Maurice Duplessis.
You will no doubt have an opportunity to come back and visit
us. Perhaps you will be able to continue your efforts to convince
me. Like all honourable senators, I would be very happy to
welcome you here, because we all appreciate your kindness, your
devotion and your friendship with each and every member of this
Honourable Senator Grimard, I wish you and your family a
happy retirement and I look forward to seeing you again.
Hon. Roch Bolduc: Honourable senators, I met Senator
Grimard 55 years ago. It was during the Second World War, and
we were boarding at the Trois-Rivières seminary, which was the
classical college of the Saint-Maurice region.
Normand was a few years ahead of me, and as one always has
a certain admiration for those older, I was impressed by his
eloquence, because he was the best speaker in the college. I
recall his flamboyant speeches in the language of the classics
taken directly from Bossuet. Like all young people of the 1940s,
we were very impressed by politicians who could move people.
Henri Bourassa, naturally, set the standard, but Adélard
Godbout and Maurice Duplessis were excellent speakers as well.
The latter noticed young Grimard and became a sort of protector.
Senator Grimard's very successful law career was built on the
strength of his own abilities — not that this prevented him from
indulging his passion for baseball and hockey. He was close to
the players and trainers of the Canadiens and the Expos. His
homes are veritable museums of Montreal's sports jet set.
For 10 years in the Senate, in a somewhat obscure but very
important role, Senator Grimard kept a watchful eye on federal
regulations, ensuring that the administrative machinery stayed
within the legislative boundaries assigned to it by Parliament.
This is a very important job when it comes to guarding the public
interest and ensuring the freedom of citizens.
Thank you, Normand, for this major public service, and enjoy
golfing with Dolly in the years to come.
Hon. Jack Austin: Honourable senators, the involuntary
retirement from the Senate that Senator Grimard is about to
experience also brings about his retirement as Deputy Chairman
of the Standing Committee on Privileges, Standing Rules and
I have had an association with Senator Grimard in that
capacity now for several months, and I want to acknowledge his
steady judgment, patience and grand advice to me on the
handling of its many interesting issues.
Senator Grimard, you will be missed.
Hon. Joyce Fairbairn: Honourable senators, I, too, wish to
add my voice to the tributes to Senator Grimard this afternoon as,
sadly, we say farewell.
One thing that has struck me over the years — and Senator
Hays mentioned this — is Senator Grimard's spirit of goodwill
and friendship, which has extended to every part of this chamber.
Certainly, it extended to me, for which I am most grateful.
Honourable senators, Senator Grimard and I share a passion
for baseball. Together, we, along with Senator Murray and
former senator Davey, have joined in many moments of cheering
for the Blue Jays, and I know he is a tremendous fan of the
I spent a week of our spring break in Jupiter, Florida, at the
spring training camp of the Montreal Expos, and I had the
pleasure of spending the afternoon with our much-revered,
early-Expos pitcher, Claude Raymond, who is now a broadcaster.
I gave him my card. I do not think he was particularly impressed
with my presence there, but he said, "I have a friend in the
Senate, and I wonder if you have the good fortune to know him."
Of course, he was speaking of Senator Grimard. I brought back
his best regards.
Certainly Senator Grimard has been a senator's senator. He is
a gentleman who has made a strong and devoted contribution to
this chamber, particularly as a representative of his province and
I wish him and his lovely spouse many happy years together.
Do not forget us.
Hon. Leonard J. Gustafson: Honourable senators, Senator
Grimard made an impression on me when I came to this place
seven years ago. As some of you know, although I have never
before raised it in the Senate, I come from the little town of
Macon in a farming district of Saskatchewan. To illustrate what
kind of Canadian Senator Grimard is, although he is a lawyer
from Montreal, he has always been concerned about farmers. In
fact, he once phoned me because he wanted to help the Canadian
Wheat Board sell some wheat to a certain country. We made the
presentation, but I am not sure whether the wheat was ever sold.
I tell you that story simply to illustrate that Senator Grimard is
a Canadian, a Quebecer, and a lawyer who represents the
camaraderie in this place that I have come to enjoy.
I extend best wishes to Senator Grimard and to his wife for a
very happy retirement.
Hon. Serge Joyal: Honourable senators, I wish to join with
my colleagues in paying tribute to the Honourable Senator
Grimard as he leaves us today, and remind him that, when he first
entered this house, he did so in a context of extremely partisan
Today he is leaving, several years later, with the dignity of a
man who has provided this institution with the essential qualities
it must offer the Canadian public: courtesy, respect for
differences of opinion, and the ability to express all the points of
view that make up the Canadian mosaic. Senator Grimard, you
have always behaved like a gentleman, one who knows how to
listen to the opposing view. You have always had very strong
political beliefs and you have expressed them in earlier writings.
However, your opinions have never prevented you from wanting
to understand the other person's view. When you leave this place,
I hope you will not mind my reminding you that we have friendly
ties with the members of your family and I hope that they will
continue for a long while yet. All the best in your future
endeavours, Senator Grimard.
Hon. J. Michael Forrestall: Honourable senators, as one of
the remaining five from Senator Grimard's era, I wish to join in
the fitting and warm tributes that have been extended to him and
to his family.
I wish to reassure Senator Grimard about something from our
past. When Senator Frith sat where Senator Lynch-Staunton now
sits, day in and day out during the GST debate, he hammered us
unremittingly, resorting from time to time to what I thought at
the time were some pretty underhanded methods of attack.
He singled me out and suggested to the chamber that I was not
qualified to sit here. I took some umbrage at that. He was basing
that on the hope that I did not, in fact, own our family home. As
we all know, in order to be qualified to sit here, certain property
ownership is required.
Senator Frith went so far at one point as to suggest that, were
he able to dislodge me, it would enable a legitimate argument to
be put forward about the other seven senators who had been
appointed. The act stipulated eight. Therefore, if I were gone, the
other seven would have to go.
That disturbed Senator Grimard as well. I can understand why,
because it upset me a little, too. I want to take this occasion to
apologize to him. Truly, Senator Grimard, you had nothing to
worry about. Had I bothered to reveal my limited wealth to other
than the officer of this esteemed chamber, you would have
known that I indeed owned the qualifying property. I believe that
12 acres on Halifax Harbour more than qualifies me for
appointment to this place.
I wish to share one other thought. Although it comes to me
second hand, I believe it to be absolutely true. Senator Grimard
quite recently said to Brian Mulroney, "These have been the
finest 10 years of my life."
Good luck to you and Dolly, and to your family. Enjoy that
beautiful property in Florida. Good health to you all.
Hon. Marcel Prud'homme: Honourable senators, I did not
wish to prepare notes, but that would have been wiser. Since first
coming to the Senate, I have always tried to meet with new
senators in order to get to know them better. Among the first I
got to know was Senator Normand Grimard. A friendship, I
think, sprang up immediately. Why? Because, for me, Senator
Grimard was someone who was genuine. What does genuine
mean? It means "Normand Grimard."
Without prejudice to all the other senators I have known, there
was one a bit like him, and that was Senator Landry, from New
Brunswick, who was another "genuine" senator. I say genuine
because of their spontaneous friendship and their manner. When
we have known Senator Grimard, and his wife, Dolly — and
have had, in addition, the honour of being invited over — we can
only be marked for a long time.
We all know that Senator Grimard was always prepared to
accommodate those who asked a favour of him. You cannot
imagine the number of people on Parliament Hill, particularly in
the Senate, who had legal problems at one time or another. It
costs money to see a lawyer. These people would ask Senator
Grimard if he would give them some legal advice.
I could see him on the Hill explaining with much emphasis,
with his hands, the problems that confronted these people and the
way to solve them. I can assure you that, at the end of the day,
these people did not receive a lawyer's bill. A smile was all that
This is the type of attitude that is lacking in the Senate, this
warmth that we could develop for one another. I look at the two
new senators and I tell myself that we should try to get to know
each other. We all lead different lives, but we do not make much
of an effort to get to know each other.
Senator Grimard, who is a man of remarkable integrity, readily
agreed to be the secretary-treasurer of the Canada-Russia
association, which is thriving thanks to him. Not a single
expenditure has been authorized in the close to two years that the
association has been in existence, and the funds are intact. He is
the trustee of these funds, while I am just the humble president of
the association, until a new one can be found to satisfy the
majority. I thank him for having taken on the task. One of his
friends will probably succeed him; perhaps Senator Buchanan
will take over the responsibility of administering the
Senator Grimard was also very successful in ensuring the
survival of the Canada-Cuba association. I created that
association, but Senator Hébert was its first president. Guess who
pulled off that coup? Senator Grimard. Senator Hébert was
convinced that Senator Prud'homme would never accept him. I
can still see this intelligent lawyer walk across the floor of the
chamber and offer the position to Senator Hébert, who was
looking at me while I was gesturing to tell him yes, this is really
happening, we want you as our president. These are the roles that
Senator Grimard enjoyed playing.
He was also an extraordinary travelling companion. He is a
man of great classical culture, something which, unfortunately, is
becoming more and more rare. He has flawless legal insight, and
he was totally dedicated to the parliamentary committees on
which he sat. He was lucky not to be an independent senator like
That is the difference between Senator Grimard and some
other senators. Some beg to be on committees but do not make
their presence as known as they should. I will not name names,
When he accepted responsibility, he acquitted himself of it
with talent, dash and doggedness. I am not going to say I will
miss him, because I plan to continue our friendship just as if he
were still here. The parliamentary committees will miss him, as
will his whip, for he was — and this is a risky thing for an
independent senator to say, but it is important in politics —
totally loyal to his party and its ideas.
I respect loyalty in a person. Like everyone who has known
him well, I want him, his wife and family to know that he will be
missed. Even though he has plenty of friends in his own party, I
want him to know that the door of Marcel Prud'homme in the
Senate is always open to him at any time when he comes to visit
us here in Ottawa. Any little thing I can do for him in return for
all that he has done for us, I would be more than pleased to do. I
am going to merely say "au revoir," and I do not dare look at him
to say it, because I know what an emotional fellow he is. This is
a hard day for him. Senator Grimard, au revoir, with all our love.
We must not be shy about saying it. Senator Grimard and his
wife are as dear to me as the Senate, even though sometimes the
Senate does not reciprocate.
Senator Grimard, my very best wishes, and let me remind you
that you are always welcome in the Senate. There will be so
many people offering you their offices that I wonder if you will
ever have the time to come to mine.
Hon. Normand Grimard: Honourable senators, first, it is my
duty to express my most sincere thanks to the Right Honourable
Brian Mulroney, who appointed me to the Senate in 1990. As
others have already said, I was at that time running a legal
firm in northwestern Quebec, a region known as
Abitibi—Témiscamingue and Rouyn—Noranda.
The premier of Quebec of the day, the Honourable Maurice
Duplessis, had encouraged me to go there, and he even paid my
way there, saying that that region was the future of Quebec
because of its forestry and mining developments.
Prime Minister Mulroney crowned my legal career by calling
me to the Senate. A few days after my appointment, on
October 8, 1990 to be exact, I wrote to thank him. My letter
ended as follows: "Dolly joins with me in expressing our deep
appreciation of this honour. Please give our warmest regards to
your wife." I do not remember the rest, but I signed it "Normand
Grimard, now your senator."
Every time I ran across Mr. Mulroney, and we know he had a
phenomenal memory, he would say "And how is 'my' senator
today?" Well, Mr. Mulroney, your senator is fine, but sad at
leaving the Senate of Canada, where you gave him the
opportunity and the privilege of representing his fellow citizens
Thank you for all you have done for me. At this point as well,
I would like to tell my wife, Dolly, how much I admire her. She
is the woman of strength in the Gospel, a woman with
extraordinary intuition. There have been times I have not
followed her advice and, to my great regret, I must say publicly
that I have made mistakes.
Dolly is a woman with a hand of iron in a velvet glove.
However, Dolly, my life will change starting tomorrow. As you
know, during my years as a lawyer in Rouyn—Noranda and the
entire region and here in the Senate, I was not at home a lot. I
was not there for lunch, and many times not for dinner either.
But, starting tomorrow... I do not need to go any further,
everyone understands. I have a favour to ask, before everyone
here: Could there be less iron in your hand and a lot more velvet
in your glove?
In my 10 years here, I have known three Speakers of the
Senate. The first was the late Guy Charbonneau, a dear and close
friend I had known for 20 years prior to my arrival here. Guy was
a real pillar in my passage in the Senate, and I am greatly in his
debt. Our birthdays were only a few days apart, and very often
we celebrated together. My memories of Guy are only the best
and in the warmest of terms.
I believe the Right Honourable Mr. Chrétien did well in
appointing his two successors. The first was the former governor
general, who was Senator LeBlanc at the time, and the second is
the current Speaker, Senator Molgat.
In 1993, there was some discord in the Senate between the
various caucuses, but the two Speakers, and especially you,
Senator Molgat, brought a return of peace, harmony and courtesy
to the Senate. Today, with party lines respected, it is a pleasure to
be in the Senate, which is one reason I am doubly sad. I wonder
if, had I left in 1993, it would have been so hard. Your Honour,
you know we are close to you and your wife, Allison. In a
number of circumstances, you have given me expressions of your
friendship and please believe that I am truly grateful.
I should like to say a few words about my two leaders. The
first was Senator Lowell Murray, who was my leader when we
were in power. I shall admit that it was during those years, from
1990 to 1993, that I was perhaps happiest in the Senate, and I
think that it was during this period that I made my best
contribution. The only thing you ever refused me, Senator
Murray, was a shower in my office. However, you will recall that
I got around you by paying the cost of its construction myself.
That is perhaps the only disagreement we had, but I found a way
to foil you.
There is also my present leader, with whom we experience the
adversities of opposition, Senator John Lynch-Staunton, with
whom I have spent some truly good times. I want to express my
deep respect and friendship for him, as well as my admiration for
the way he leads our caucus.
Now, honourable senators on both sides of the house, I leave
without enemies, I believe. I leave with the satisfaction of a job
accomplished, of having respected you all. You know, I am an
only child, a solitary person, and I am very very unsociable.
Perhaps around a table I feel more at ease but, as my wife knows,
I am very unsociable. I may, therefore, inadvertently have put
some of you off. If I have done so, please know that it was not
deliberate and that I am sorry, but I do not think that I have been
unfair to any of you.
I am leaving friends, which is perhaps why I am sad. There are
clerks I have known, Mr. Barnhart and especially his successor,
Paul Bélisle. Here again, I have to say he is a friend of the
family. How many times have he and his wife, Danièle, and
Dolly and I got together, here in Ottawa, in Montreal, or even in
Florida to socialize? Paul, thank you for your friendship. You
realize, Paul, that there are those who are jealous.
I see Mr. O'Brien at the Clerk's Table. Gary, you will
remember how I started out in the Standing Committee on
Privileges, Standing Rules and Orders with you, and you guided
me well — we amended the Rules of the Senate after all. I want
you to know that I will have the fondest of memories of you as
I wish to thank my immediate employees: Mrs. Tremblay,
Mr. Dion, and all the others as well, especially the drivers of the
shuttle between the Victoria Building and the Centre Block.
As you know, my office was located in the Victoria Building. I
did some calculations and found that I made over 1,000 trips. Of
course, I socialized more with these drivers because I saw them
often. I also want to thank the messengers, the pages, the security
guards, the finance department, the human resources department
and all the others.
No one mentions the parliamentary restaurant and its chef,
Judson Simpson, its maîtres d'hôtel and its staff, who were good
friends of mine. My menu is still well known. If you want to dine
well, just go to the restaurant and say "I want to eat exactly the
same menu that Senator Grimard had." You may want to add
"And I also want the same wine," which, incidentally, is no
longer on the list. The result of all this is that I must have gained
some 20 pounds during those 10 years. Over the next two or
three years, I shall try to summon the courage to shed this extra
weight by playing golf, which is my favourite sport.
My dear friends, what have I done here during those 10 years?
First, I was a member for 10 years and joint chairman for three
years of the famous Scrutiny of Regulations Committee. It is
more like a punishment when a senator is assigned to that
committee. I should be given a medal for my service to that
Senator Nolin: Four more years!
Senator Grimard: I also worked hard in other committees,
such as Privileges, Standing Rules and Orders.
In 1993, in collaboration with Senator Robertson and Senator
Doyle, we amended at least 50 to 55 rules of the Senate. Our
amendments were not too bad because, after seven years, they
are still in force. However, there is a question about the
15-minute time limit for speeches. I like what Senator Mahovlich
said two or three months ago: "Quantity does not mean quality."
I agree with him.
Senator Mahovlich: Less is more!
Senator Grimard: If honourable senators decide to extend the
period for speeches by another 5 or 10 minutes, the same
situation will exist. However, honourable senators, you can do
what you want because I am retiring at 11 o'clock, 59 minutes
and 59 seconds tonight.
As Senator Beaudoin mentioned, I wrote a book. My book was
entitled L'indispensable Sénat: défense d'une institution mal
aimée. In that book, I defended the Senate, and I am happy to
have done so.
I have also written many essays. I want to give you a few
titles: in 1995, "The Family in Canada"; 1996, "Canada Amid
the Turmoil of the Labour Market in the 1990s"; 1997, "Media
Coverage of Elections and the Constitutional Debate"; 1998,
"Professional Sports in Canada," and I think that was my best
essay. I also wrote one in 1999 entitled "Canadian Identity, or the
American Influence on Daily Life in Canada."
I wrote many articles for newspapers such as the Gazette,
Le Droit, Le Devoir, La Presse, and many articles for the
Canadian Parliamentary Review. The last article was written a
couple of months ago. It was entitled "Bilingualism in the
National Capital Region."
Honourable senators, bilingualism on the Hill has been good
for me. When I came to the Senate in 1990, I could not write a
decent letter in English. I could not speak in English without
having a text in front of me. First, I asked my assistant to give me
only the English version of every text that I received. I read more
than 85 books during those 10 years, and at least 75 to 80 per
cent were in English. Even my earphones in the Senate or in
committee were always tuned to the floor language. As
honourable senators know, 80 per cent of our business is
conducted in English. That means that I was always listening to
English when that language was being spoken.
I can now write good letters. My wife, who is perfectly
bilingual, says my English is almost perfect. As you can see, I
can speak without a text.
In January of this year, I was invited to Palm Beach to be a
guest speaker at a meeting of a society called the Round Table.
They have two meetings per month during the winter season. I
spoke for 40 minutes and answered questions for 20 minutes with
no text, just a few notes. This is why I say that bilingualism on
the Hill has been good for me.
Honourable senators, it is now time for the grand finale.
Everyone asks me what I will do in my retirement. For the
time being, I do not intend to continue to practise my profession.
For the past 30 years, I played over 100 golf games per year,
except two years ago, when I was sick. To use Dolly's
expression, if God keeps me in good health and alive, I intend to
continue practising my shots and try to play over 150 games,
while reminiscing about the 10 wonderful years I spent with you
in the Senate of Canada. Canada: my country and my love.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I realize this is
not quite in order, but might I be permitted to ask a question of
the Honourable Senator Grimard?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable Senator Grimard, you
said that if we want to dine well, we just have to go to the
parliamentary restaurant and order Senator Grimard's menu. You
added that if we want to drink well, we should order Senator
Grimard's wine. Are we to conclude that Senator Grimard will
foot the bill?
Senator Grimard: To ask the question is to answer it.
Hon. Lise Bacon, Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on
Transport and Communications, presented the following report:
Thursday, June 15, 2000
The Standing Senate Committee on Transport and
Communications has the honour to present its
Your Committee, to which was referred Bill C-26, An Act
to amend the Canada Transportation Act, the Competition
Act, the Competition Tribunal Act and the Air Canada
Public Participation Act and to amend another Act in
consequence has, in obedience to the Order of Reference of
Tuesday, May 30, 2000, examined the said Bill and now
reports the same without amendment, but with observations
which are appended to this report.
(For text of documents, see appendix to the Journals of the
Senate, p. 722.)
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, when shall this
bill be read the third time?
On motion of Senator Hays, bill placed on Orders of the Day
for third reading at the next sitting of the Senate.
Hon. E. Leo Kolber, Chair of the Standing Senate Committee
on Banking, Trade and Commerce, presented the following
Thursday, June 15, 2000
The Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and
Commerce has the honour to present its
Your Committee, to which was referred the Bill C-22, An
Act to facilitate combatting the laundering of proceeds of
crime, to establish the Financial Transactions and Reports
Analysis Centre of Canada and to amend and repeal certain
Acts in consequence, has examined the said Bill in
obedience to its Order of Reference dated Thursday,
May 18, 2000, and now reports the same without
amendment, but with a letter and observations, which are
appended to this report.
E. LEO KOLBER
(For text of documents, see today's Journals of the Senate,
Appendix , p. 724.)
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, when shall this
bill be read the third time?
On motion of Senator Hays, bill placed on the Orders of the
Day for third reading at the next sitting of the Senate.
Hon. Lowell Murray, Chairman of the Standing Senate
Committee on National Finance, presented the following report:
Thursday, June 15, 2000
The Standing Senate Committee on National Finance has
the honour to present its
Your Committee, to which was referred Bill C-32, An Act
to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in
Parliament on February 28, 2000 has, in obedience to the
Order of Reference of June 13, 2000, examined the said Bill
and now reports the same without amendment.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, when shall this
bill be read the third time?
On motion of Senator Hays, bill placed on the Orders of the
Day for third reading at the next sitting of the Senate.
The Hon. the Speaker informed the Senate that a message
had been received from the House of Commons with Bill C-37,
to amend the Parliament of Canada Act and the Members of
Parliament Retiring Allowances Act.
Bill read first time.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, when shall this
bill be read the second time?
On motion of Senator Hays, bill placed on the Orders of the
Day for second reading two days hence.
Notice of Motion to Authorize Committee to Meet
During Sitting of the Senate
Hon. Jack Austin: Honourable senators, I give notice that on
Monday, June 19, 2000, I will move:
That the Standing Committee on Privileges, Standing
Rules and Orders have power to sit from 6:00 p.m. on
Tuesday, June 20, 2000, even though the Senate may then
be sitting, and that rule 95(4) be suspended in relation
Cancellation of Canadian Transportation Agency
Hearings on Port of Halifax Lease Dispute with Halterm
Hon. J. Michael Forrestall: Honourable senators, I have one
or two questions that arise out of a series of advertisements
which most likely appeared in all of Canada's large daily national
newspapers today. It has to do with Halterm. As the minister
knows, the ads that are running ask serious questions of the
present government. Might I ask if the minister agreed with the
decision that cancelled the Canadian Transportation Agency's
hearing into the Halterm lease?
Hon. J. Bernard Boudreau (Leader of the Government):
Honourable senators, the honourable senator will know that, as a
member of cabinet, I naturally support all of the decisions of
government when they are made. The discussions that may have
occurred up to the decision itself, of course, remain confidential
within cabinet, and I am not at liberty to reveal either what my
views were or what other views were. The decision was a
government decision and, as a member of government, I support
Senator Forrestall: I wonder if the minister has seen the
article in today's Chronicle-Herald that suggests quite strongly
that, if the fees substantially increase to users at the Port of
Halifax, then shipping lines like Maersk and Zim could leave.
Their spokesman was quoted as saying:
But money speaks, and as things get more expensive in
Halifax, somebody certainly has to go back and review
Halifax and see whether it is worthwhile.
Has the minister received any correspondence from national or
international shipping firms about the current situation? If so,
could he give consideration to tabling that correspondence?
Senator Boudreau: Honourable senators, I hesitate in my
response simply because I did have discussions directly with the
major users of the port. As a matter of fact, I invited them to
come to my office to talk about the port itself and about a
number of the issues that the honourable senator raises. If there
was correspondence, it was something very routine, such as
confirming that they would come to see me on a certain date. I
do not recall anything specifically.
However, we did meet, we had discussions, and they were
quite firm in their view that the operation of a port such as
Halifax is very price-sensitive, and that any significant increases
in operating costs to them put the business of the port potentially
at risk to some degree. I do not think they were indicating that
that was the case as they spoke to me, but they did want to raise
the concern. I had a good meeting with them. Certainly, it was an
education for me. I am sure that the Halifax Port Authority and
others who are involved with the management of the port are
very aware of that matter.
Senator Forrestall: Honourable senators, the Port of Halifax
generates 7,000 jobs, directly and indirectly. Every container
equals three man-hours. Halterm alone, in business for some 30
years, unloaded 165,000 containers last year. If you do the simple
arithmetic, you will see we are looking at a substantial number of
man-hours, with the attendant economic impact.
What will the minister do to resolve this potentially disastrous
dispute? Will the government give consideration to freezing port
fees, now slated to increase by some 700 per cent, or face the
Senator Boudreau: Honourable senators, the Government of
Canada will continue to take a strong interest in the commercial
activity at the Port of Halifax. I know I certainly will. I do not get
the impression from the people to whom I have spoken, nor from
the meetings I have had with the major port users, that there is
any immediate crisis. However, as the honourable senator points
out, these ports are price-sensitive and it is something of which
we must be conscious.
I hope that the issues that have now arisen between the Halifax
Port Authority and Halterm, who have provided major
employment to that area for a considerable number of years, can
be resolved to everyone's satisfaction and that the development
of the port will continue. The Port of Halifax has a bright future
in front of it, and we will continue to be interested in its
development and the challenges that face it.
Senator Forrestall: Honourable senators, Halterm has just
finished purchasing two Post-Panamax cranes from China at a
cost of some $20 million. They did that with the full belief that
the port authority itself would pick up the cost of rail upgrade, at
about $1 million, as well as the electrical and other upgrades
required to support these new Post-Panamax cranes, another
$2.5 million, bringing the total to $23.5 million. On top of those
costs, a 700 per cent increase in rent could be fairly disastrous. I
wish the government would give consideration to asking
someone to arbitrate in this matter, to step in and bring some
order to this chaos, because the potential loss to the Port of
Halifax, the city of Halifax and the economy of Nova Scotia is
Senator Boudreau: Honourable senators, I certainly
appreciate the honourable senator's interest in this important
subject. I do not treat his suggestion lightly. I will take that
suggestion forward to the minister responsible and, hopefully, the
parties as well. Resolution of this matter as quickly as possible
will be in the best interests of all the port users and the people of
the province. I give the honourable senator that undertaking and,
hopefully, the matter can be resolved.
Canada's Participation in Removal of Antipersonnel Mines
Hon. Douglas Roche: Honourable senators, I have a question
for the Leader of the Government.
There has been some publicity alleging that Canada has been
deficient in its duty to participate in getting antipersonnel mines
out of Kosovo. Has the minister looked into this? Can he clarify
whether there is any factual basis for these stories? Can he
inform us whether the United Nations has actually made any
formal statement in this respect, as distinct from certain officials
perhaps giving viewpoints? Does the UN have a position or a
statement with respect to Canada's participation in the de-mining
Hon. J. Bernard Boudreau (Leader of the Government):
Honourable senators, I am not certain whether or not such a
statement exists from the UN, but I can make those inquiries.
The honourable senator will know that Canada was one of the
first nations to respond rapidly to the emergency need for mine
clearing in Kosovo. I believe there has been some suggestion that
those operations may have ground to a halt and are not to be
continued, and I am happy to have this opportunity to indicate to
the honourable senator that, on the information I have received
from the minister and his department, there is no such halt. In
fact, another de-mining project team will be fielded within a
matter of a couple of weeks. They will be active within two
weeks. Apparently, there was completion of one phase of the
project, and then a period of evaluation, but that was not to
indicate that we were abandoning the activity. That activity will
resume in its next phase, I am advised, within a couple of weeks.
Hon. Dan Hays (Deputy Leader of the Government):
Honourable senators, I have a response to a question raised in the
Senate on May 18, 2000, by Senator Forrestall regarding the
replacement of Sea King helicopters, procurement process; a
response to questions raised in the Senate on June 1 and 7, 2000,
by Senator Stratton regarding the future of CFB Shilo; a response
to a question raised in the Senate on June 1, 2000, by Senator
Forrestall regarding the replacement of Sea King helicopters; a
response to a question raised in the Senate on June 6, 2000, by
Senator Bolduc regarding flow of specialized workers to the
United States, incentives to remain in Canada; a response to
questions raised in the Senate on June 14, 2000, by Senator
Kinsella regarding the deportation of a citizen of China,
execution for criminal acts upon return, request for information
on hearing, and regarding deportation of citizenship applicants
facing capital punishment.
Replacement of Sea King Helicopters—Openness of
(Response to question raised by Hon. J. Michael Forrestall on
May 18, 2000)
As the Minister of National Defence has stated several
times, the Maritime Helicopter Project is his number one
equipment priority and the aerospace industry is fully aware
that the Government is developing an appropriate
procurement strategy to replace the Sea Kings.
The Government will ensure that the new helicopter
meets the Canadian Forces' operational requirements. A
Statement of Requirements is the basis of any major
equipment project, and the Maritime Helicopter Project is
no different. However, a number of issues must be carefully
examined and other Government departments have to be
consulted to ensure that the procurement strategy will lead
to the right equipment and the best value for Canadians. The
Government will make an announcement when all the issues
have been addressed.
(Response to questions raised by Hon. Terry Stratton on
June 1 and 7, 2000)
Following the announcement of Germany's intention to
cease training at CFB Shilo at the end of 2000, the
Department undertook the development of a business-case
analysis for the future of Land Forces in Manitoba. The
business-case analysis provided a comparison of various
options based on four key factors: operational effectiveness,
cost, impact on Quality of Life of both civilian and military
workforce and their families, and regional economic impact:
The first phase of the analysis was released in mid-April.
Between mid-April to mid-May, departmental officials
consulted with various stakeholders and refined the
information on facilities and infrastructures found in the
Based on these refinements, departmental officials are
now finalizing the presentation of options for the Minister's
(Response to question raised by Hon. J. Michael Forrestall on
June 1, 2000)
The Government will ensure that the new maritime
helicopter meets the Canadian Forces' operational
requirements. A Statement of Requirements is the basis of
any major equipment project, and the Maritime Helicopter
Project is no different. However, a number of issues must be
carefully examined and other Government departments have
to be consulted to ensure that the procurement strategy will
lead to the right equipment and the best value for
Flow of Specialized Workers to the United
States—Incentives to Remain in Canada
(Response to question raised by Hon. Roch Bolduc on June 6,
Though no measure for fiscal expenditure-type incentive
packages, provided to immigrants to entice them to come or
to stay in Canada, exists, CIC has numerous programs to
encourage qualified workers to come and stay in Canada,
such as :
1) Facilitated Processing for Information Technology
In response to the need of employers to fill critical
shortages in the software industry, Citizenship and
Immigration Canada (CIC) collaborated with Human
Resources Development Canada (HRDC), Industry Canada
and the Software Human Resource Council (SHRC) on the
development of a pilot project to streamline the entry of
those workers whose skills are in high demand in the
software industry and whose entry into the Canadian labour
market would have no negative impact on Canadian job
seekers and workers. Under the pilot project, the
job-specific validation was replaced by a national validation
letter, which states, among other things, that certain
software positions cannot be filled by Canadian citizens or
permanent residents. The national validation letter removed
the delay associated with the job-specific validation process.
The seven specific job descriptions can be found on the CIC
2) Spousal Pilot
A national pilot project for the spouses of temporary
foreign workers was launched on October 15, 1998. Under
this pilot project, the spouses of workers coming to Canada
for jobs in certain high skill occupations in key high growth
sectors of the economy are able to obtain employment
authorizations without having their job offer subjected to
any labour market testing by HRDC.
The pilot is open to the spouses of foreign workers in the
two highly skilled occupational categories described in the
National Occupational Classification System and who hold
employment authorizations valid for at least six months.
3) Reduction in processing delays
With additional permanent funds allocated for the
Department, the International Region was able to deploy an
addition 3.6 persons dedicated to immigrant processing in
the summer of 1999 and an additional 19 new positions will
be deployed this summer (2000).
We are also continuing to work to streamline
decision-making which will speed up processing.
With regard to the question concerning employment
authorizations for Americans coming to Canada and
Canadians going to the U.S., we can provide the following
Canadian employment authorizations signed from 1997 to
June 12, 2000 to persons from the United States in 'skilled'
occupations are as follows:
It is not part of CIC's mandate to monitor Canadians
seeking employment in the United States; this information
would best be obtained from American officials.
Deportation of Citizen of China—Execution for Criminal
Acts Upon Return—Request for Information on
Deportation of Citizenship Applicants Facing
Capital Punishment—Government Policy
(Response to questions raised by Hon. Noël A. Kinsella on
June 14, 2000)
The Chinese national in question received full due
process, including a risk review based on all information
available at the time.
To date, the sentence has not been carried out, and in fact
has been appealed.
The Government of Canada and the Minister of
Citizenship and Immigration are concerned about this
matter, and accordingly, we have expressed Canada's
concerns to the Chinese government.
Canada's refugee determination system is recognized as
one of the fairest systems in the world. However, Canada
will not, as a general policy, refuse to deport persons to
countries that have capital punishment. Canada will not
become a safe haven for serious criminals, terrorists,
violators of human rights and war criminals.
Privacy legislation does not authorize Citizenship and
Immigration Canada nor the Immigration and Refugee
Board, an arm's length independent agency of the federal
government, to release the contents of individuals' files
without their consent.
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore informed the Senate that a
message had been received from the House of Commons
returning Bill S-18, to amend the National Defence Act
(non-deployment of persons under the age of eighteen years to
theatres of hostilities), and acquainting the Senate that they had
passed the bill without amendment.
Hon. John C. Bryden moved the second reading of Bill C-12,
to amend the Canada Labour Code (Part II) in respect of
occupational health and safety, to make technical amendments to
the Canada Labour Code (Part I) and to make consequential
amendments to other Acts.
He said: Honourable senators, today we begin the second
reading of Bill C-12, an act to amend Part II of the Canada
Labour Code and, as such, confirm that the Government of
Canada is committed to safety in the workplace and to ensuring
that Canadians live in healthy and safe communities.
This legislation also demonstrates our trust in the ability of
federal employers and employees to recognize and solve their
own health and safety problems together. This bill makes
important amendments to Part II of the Canada Labour Code and
is good social and economic policy because a safe workplace,
combined with sound labour management relations and
employee involvement in decision-making, makes good sense.
Approximately 10 per cent of the Canadian workforce is
governed by the Canada Labour Code, and Part II of the code
sets out a legislative framework governing occupational health
and safety issues for employees who are within the federal
Employees and employers covered under this legislation
include the federal public service and certain Crown corporations
such as Canada Post. Industries in the private sector include
uranium mining and grain handling, as well as industries which
are international or interprovincial in scope, such as road, rail,
and air transportation; shipping; pipelines; long shoring;
telecommunications and banking.
Part II of the code establishes three basic employee rights
regarding health and safety in the workplace and defines the
duties of both employers and employees. They are the right to
know about hazards in the workplace and ways of dealing with
them, the right to participate in health and safety matters, and the
right to refuse dangerous work.
The legislation also sets out the processes and procedures to be
followed in exercising those basic rights. For example, the role of
health and safety committees is described, along with the
procedures to expeditiously determine whether a danger exists
when a refusal to work arises.
The amendments before you were formulated to ensure that
Part II continues to protect workers, to align federal legislation
with the occupational health and safety legislation in other
jurisdictions, and to modernize Part II's approach to occupational
health and safety regulations.
Honourable senators, there are five main elements to the bill.
The first permits parties to identify and solve problems on their
own. Local health and safety committees will be mandated to
conduct regular workplace inspections and the committee will be
given increased powers in dealing with complaints.
Second, a management and an employee member of the
committee will have the power to investigate any unresolved
complaints. If a violation of the code is found, they will ask the
employer to give a written undertaking to resolve the complaint.
If an immediate danger is found, they will terminate the activity.
Only if they cannot agree on a solution will a government health
and safety officer be asked to intervene.
Third, the bill calls for the creation of a health and safety
policy committee at the corporate level. Such a committee will
be required for enterprises with 300 or more employees. This
committee will address a range of issues, such as injury and
prevention initiatives. Approximately 85 per cent of the federally
regulated workforce will be covered by this aspect of the bill.
Fourth, the bill provides additional protection for pregnant and
nursing employees. If a woman has reason to believe that an
activity or condition such as exposure to a chemical will
adversely affect her or her foetus, or her child if she is
breastfeeding, she will be able to withdraw from that work until
she has an opportunity to consult her doctor. At present, the
employee has to continue working until she obtains a medical
Fifth, there is the ability to make regulations to which every
employer, in consultation with the health and safety committee at
both the workplace and the corporate levels, will be required to
develop, establish, and monitor a prevention program. The size
of the workplace and the nature of the hazards will be key
considerations in the design of the prevention program.
As you can see, honourable senators, these changes represent
the Government of Canada's commitment to occupational health
and safety and its confidence in the willingness and ability of
labour and management to solve their problems together. This
bill addresses not only the human side of the equation but also
the economic side.
Each year, approximately 36 workers in the federal jurisdiction
die on the job, and another 60,000 suffer occupational injuries
and illnesses. That is one million lost work days annually, costing
over $350 million in lost wages, medical aid, rehabilitation, and
disability pension payments.
Honourable senators, in Canada, more days of work are lost
each year because of injuries than are lost to strikes and lockouts.
These statistics paint a sober picture, but one that can be
brightened if all of us — governments, employers, unions,
workers, and safety and health professionals — work together to
solve the problem. That is why I hope that all senators will join
me in supporting Bill C-12.
If nothing has changed since yesterday, it will be possible,
with the cooperation of the other side, to expedite the movement
of this bill to committee. That is a credit to us because there was
a bit of a hold up on it at the beginning. If we can get it to
committee for detailed study, that would be much appreciated by
the people who worked so hard to get it this far and those who
will be affected by the legislation.
Hon. Mabel M. DeWare: Honourable senators, I am pleased
to have the opportunity to speak on behalf of my colleagues on
this side of the chamber at the second reading of Bill C-12 which
amends Part II of the Canada Labour Code.
First, I should like to point out that we support the general
intent, aims, and principles of this bill, which require employers
and employees to work together to ensure a healthy and safe
working environment. In keeping with this purpose, the bill sets
forth a series of new rights, responsibilities, and duties, including
the right of employees to refuse to perform dangerous work, and
provides mechanisms that will enable problems to be resolved
Part II of the Canada Labour Code, which governs
occupational health and safety standards in workplaces under
federal jurisdiction, has not been substantially amended since
1985. In the 15 years since then, there have been many changes
affecting the workplace. It is clear that the law must be brought
up to date. An overhaul of Part II is long overdue.
We are also very supportive of the fact that Bill C-12 was the
product of extensive and lengthy consultations among the federal
government, federally regulated employers, and labour. We
respect the consultation process which resulted in this legislation
and we are impressed by the spirit of compromise and mutual
interest which defined the discussions and negotiations. Bill C-12
represents a concerted effort to modernize federal health and
That being said, however, we did have a number of concerns
with the bill as introduced in the other place. We still have
several issues with the bill in its current form, and we hope that
these will be considered carefully both in the chamber and by the
Concerns were raised in the other place that some provisions
of Bill C-12 did not faithfully reflect items which were agreed
upon by all parties in the tripartite consultations. Most witnesses
who testified before the Commons committee seemed willing to
give the bill's drafters the benefit of the doubt. However, such
apparent oversights could undermine the generally accepted view
that the government undertook this exercise in good faith.
In any event, the witnesses indicated that they wanted the bill
to become law as quickly as possible. Employer groups and
employee associations fear that any delays could result in the
legislation not going anywhere for a very long time. An election
could be called, and Bill C-12 would die on the Order Paper.
They would have to kick-start the process all over again, and
they are certainly not prepared to wait another three years for
As honourable senators will recall, the government introduced
a bill amending Part II of the Canadian Labour Code back in
April, 1997. It, too, was based on tripartite consultations that had
taken place in the preceding years. Unfortunately, however, the
legislation died on the Order Paper soon after its introduction
when the 1997 federal election was called.
It is interesting to note that the substance of the then Bill C-97
was virtually the same as the legislation that is now before us. A
comparative reading of the two bills reveals that there are some
refinements in Bill C-12, to be sure, as well as many relatively
minor word changes. However, the key provisions of the current
bill which our colleague Senator Bryden has outlined for us, and
for which there is broad support, were already part and parcel of
Bill C-97. This is further reflected in the fact that the summaries
of both bills are identical in every respect.
However, it took the government over two years before it got
around to bringing back what is essentially the same piece of
legislation. Bill C-12 has sat on the Order Paper for almost eight
months since it was finally introduced in the other place on
October 28 of last year. We are somehow expected to agree that
the government's delays in amending occupational health and
safety standards should now constitute an emergency on the part
of the Senate.
Those of us on this side of the chamber are questioning why
the government is, all of a sudden, in a hurry to have Bill C-12
become law — such an hurry, in fact, that after we gave first
reading to an incorrect version sent to us by the other place, the
government was willing to disregard established rules of the
Senate in order to expedite consideration of the correct one. We
were told that suspending the application of those rules was
justifiable on the grounds that passage of Bill C-12 is a matter of
great urgency. One might be tempted to speculate that another
election is imminent.
The points that I just raised are ancillary to the task to which
this chamber must now apply itself, which is to study the bill on
its merits. However, I felt it was important that they be noted in
the public record. I will now turn my attention for a moment to
the substance of Bill C-12.
Honourable senators, in pointing out some of the areas of
concern with the legislation, I should first like to review the
amendments that were made to the bill in the other place. While
some of those amendments address problems that we identified
in the bill, they did not respond to all of the concerns. I should
also like to take this opportunity to commend the Commons
committee for taking its responsibility seriously and not simply
rubber-stamping the government's legislative proposals in this
The government, however, may have felt that the committee
took its job too seriously, which probably explains why it took
the rather unusual step of promptly seeking to reverse one of the
amendments made by the committee.
That amendment involved the definition of "danger" proposed
in the bill. That definition was the object of some debate in the
other place, and deep-seated concerns were raised by witnesses
who testified before the Commons committee. As a result,
Bill C-12 was amended in committee to extend explicit
protection against workplace dangers to pregnant women, their
unborn babies and to nursing mothers. However, as soon as the
bill was reported, the government moved to undo this
amendment, with the eventual support of a majority of members
in the other place, although, as honourable senators will recall,
this was not reflected in the version of the bill that was originally
sent to this chamber.
We must take the government at its word that it is anxious to
protect the health and safety of pregnant and nursing employees,
and, indeed, other parts of this bill do contain certain special
considerations for them. However, given the reversal of a
committee amendment that had wide support, we feel that this
matter could benefit from further study by the committee. In
addition, concerns were raised about the adequacy of those
The bill's definition of "health" was problematic for a number
of witnesses, mainly because it specifically excluded the effects
of workplace stress and work-related factors and the
psychological well-being of federally regulated employees of the
public service. The committee in the other place amended the bill
by removing the definition of "health" entirely. However, the
testimony indicates that there was some support for retaining it in
an amended form, and this might warrant further exploration.
Another amendment resulted in the deletion of an item that
would have required employees to take medical examinations
and tests. It was removed in response to a concern raised
primarily by employee associations, but also supported by
witnesses from employer groups. The reason given was that such
tests should not be mandatory, as mandatory tests are illegal
under the federal human rights law. However, there were also
calls for the deletion of another provision that authorizes the
minister to undertake medical surveillance and examination
programs with respect to occupational health and safety. We look
forward with interest to further study on this matter as well.
Finally, the other place made an amendment regarding
disciplinary action. This amendment addressed a concern raised
by several witnesses, among them the Canadian Labour Congress
and federally regulated employers. They noted that this was a
misinterpretation of an item on which consensus had been
obtained in the tripartite consultations, and they recommended
that it be changed to reflect the original wording of the
agreement. The committee reworded it as recommended, so it is
our hope that that concern, at least, has been adequately
I should now like to discuss a few issues that were not the
object of amendments in the other place. Concerns were
repeatedly raised about the procedure that Bill C-12 establishes
for appeals of decisions made by health and safety officers.
Many witnesses expressed dissatisfaction with the one-stage
system set forth in the bill, which provides that a decision made
by the appeals officer is final and cannot be reviewed. They
called for a two-tier appeal system, with the second tier being the
Canada Industrial Relations Board, in order to ensure due
process. The Public Service Alliance of Canada noted that
employers and workers had originally agreed that there should be
a two-tier appeal system for any case, including discipline cases
and appeals of the directives of health and safety officers. We
hope that the Senate committee will revisit this aspect of the bill.
There was concern as well about the adequacy of Bill C-12 to
deal with workplace violence. Witnesses told the committee in
the other place that a consensus had been reached in the tripartite
consultations to include a regulation on a workplace violence
prevention program. However, the bill does not explicitly state
the requirements for the development of such a program.
Another area where questions remain is Bill C-12's
introduction of the concept of ergonomics to occupational health
and safety standards. It requires employers to ensure that
machinery, equipment and tools meet ergonomic standards.
However, those standards are not defined in the bill, and there is
no indication that regulations or guidelines are forthcoming, so
this provision could end up being toothless.
Ergonomics involves fitting the job to the physical limitations
of the workers in order to prevent work-related, musculo-skeletal
disorders such as back injuries and carpal tunnel syndrome.
These can be caused by repetitive motions, force, awkward
postures or overexertion of certain muscles. They are common
and preventable, not to mention very expensive in terms of time
and cost. Although ergonomics is a relatively new concept,
models for the effective implementation of related standards do
exist. For example, in November, 1999, the United States Labour
Department unveiled a wide-ranging proposal in this area. The
mention of ergonomics in Bill C-12, however, is so vague as to
be virtually meaningless. We therefore question how effective
this new provision will be.
The Public Service Alliance, among others, pointed out that
workers on Parliament Hill are not subject to Part II of the
Canadian Labour Code and are thus left unprotected by health
and safety law. Witnesses noted that Part III of the 1986
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act contains
provisions that would extend to employees of the Senate, House
of Commons, Library of Parliament and workers for members of
Parliament the same occupational health and safety rights and
conditions as other workers in the federal jurisdiction. However,
only Part I of the act has thus far been proclaimed. Witnesses
called for Part III of the act to be proclaimed into force and for
related amendments to be made to Part II of the Canadian Labour
Another concern involved the fact that with Bill C-12, which
also makes technical amendments to Part I of the Canada Labour
Code, the government missed a golden opportunity to correct the
many instances of gender-specific language still contained in that
part. This matter was raised most forcibly by our colleague
Senator Kinsella during the Senate's review of Bill C-19 in the
last Parliament. I expect he will also speak more fully to this
Honourable senators, it looks like this is a pretty long list of
concerns, but, then again, Bill C-12 is a very substantial bill. I
wish to make it clear that none of these concerns impact on the
overall thrust of this important legislation or detract from our
support of the bill as a whole. However, we in this chamber have
a duty to thoroughly study all concerns that have been brought to
our attention, and I hope that these issues will be given the
consideration they deserve when Bill C-12 goes to committee.
Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition):
Honourable senators, I wish to add a few comments. Following
on the speech of the mover, Senator Bryden, and that of Senator
DeWare, I am quite cognizant of the fact that in Senator Bryden
we have one of the leading labour lawyers in our country, who
has forgotten more about labour law than I would ever learn in
my lifetime; and in Senator DeWare, we have a former minister
of Labour. We are quite fortunate in this chamber to have this
expertise addressing this particular bill.
The other day, honourable senators, when we had the
technical, procedural difficulty around the manner in which this
bill arrived from the other place, some of you may recall that I
rose and asked whether we would be able to examine the second
parchment. I did go and examine the second parchment, as did
some of my colleagues in this place. I simply wish to put on the
record something that I found to be rather extraordinary about
the parchment. As honourable senators know, we received a
message from the House of Commons and the parchment signed
by the Clerk of the House of Commons attesting that Bill C-12
was adopted by the House of Commons and that the House was
now seeking the concurrence of the Senate. It was dated — listen
to this — May 31.
As honourable senators recall, a few days later, we gave first
reading to what we thought was the bill. It is not until around
June 3 or June 5 when we apprehended that there was a problem
with the bill. We then received this second message that contains
a bill with the word "Reprint" on the front page. The parchment,
however, against which the reprinted bill is attached, signed by
the Clerk of the House of Commons, is dated not June 6 or
June 7 when it happened, but, believe it or not, backdated to
May 31. All of us know that if we were dealing with a civil
instrument and we had backdated it, we may be on dangerous
I simply place those comments on the record and will not
proceed further. Senator Hays and I have consulted with
His Honour about this poor piece of business. Hopefully, it will
be resolved through the usual channels.
Let me turn now, honourable senators, to the matter alluded to
by Senator DeWare, which I wish to underscore vis-à-vis the
As Senator DeWare indicated, when we last had a labour bill
here that opened up the Canada Labour Code, it was studied by
our Social Affairs Committee. On June 18, 1998, the Standing
Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology
presented its eleventh report. In that report, our committee spoke
to the issue of the problem we had apprehended of the
gender-specific language that is all throughout the Canada
Labour Code. In its report to this chamber, the committee said:
Your Committee was pleased with the statement made to
it by the Minister of Labour on the issue of gender
neutrality. Clearly, the Minister supports the view of
committee members on the absolute need for gender
neutrality in legislation, and we encourage the Minister to
give immediate and constant attention to this matter.
The Minister of Labour himself appeared before the
committee. I draw your attention to Issue No. 16 of the evidence
before the Social Affairs Committee on June 17, 1998. We drew
the minister's attention to the Canada Labour Code being replete
with gender-specific language. Since the labour code is an
instrument of education for workers across Canada, as well as
being the standard of fair employment practices, it has an
educational function. Although all our laws should be gender
neutral, this law in particular, because of its educational import,
should be non-sexist in its language.
I will now quote from the Minister of Labour, who said:
Senator Kinsella has raised an interesting point
concerning the language of the bill, suggesting that its
wording is not gender-neutral. He has a point if he means to
say that parts of the Canada Labour Code not being
amended contain gender-specific terms, but such is not the
case with Bill C-19. Non-sexist language has been used in
The minister accepts that there was sexist language throughout
the labour code.
I understand that the policy of the Justice Department is
that all bills amending current legislation or establishing
new laws must be gender-neutral, but it is not their policy to
draft specific stand-alone legislation whose sole purpose is
to remove gender-specific terms.
This is the critical part. This is the commitment that was given by
the Minister of Labour to our committee.
The minister continued:
I want to pursue this matter and am actively exploring
with my colleagues ways to accommodate these concerns
without reopening discussions on the substance of Part I of
the code. I expect to introduce amendments to Part II of the
code later this year, which could present an opportunity to
address this issue....
Senator Kinsella: I want to thank the minister for his
recognition of the problem of gender-neutrality in the
language in which we draft legislation.
The minister then said that when the code is opened up again
for amendment, he would undertake to ensure that the
gender-specific language of the Canada Labour Code would be
Honourable senators, we are at that point now. We had the
commitment of the government to amend the code. When this
bill goes to committee — and I believe it will go to the Social
Affairs Committee, which has a corporate memory of this matter
as it was the committee that looked at the bill before — we have
all the amendments prepared to make those technical changes to
the Canada Labour Code. The work has been concluded and the
Senate could make a real contribution if our committee would
attend to theamendments that we will bring to the committee to
do the job that needs to be done.
With that, honourable senators, I conclude my remarks on
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: It was moved by the
Honourable Senator Bryden, seconded by Honourable Senator
Chalifoux, that this bill be read the second time.
Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable
Senator Boudreau, P.C., seconded by the Honourable
Senator Graham, P.C., for the second reading of Bill C-11,
to authorize the divestiture of the assets of, and to dissolve,
the Cape Breton Development Corporation, to amend the
Cape Breton Development Corporation Act and to make
consequential amendments to other Acts.
Hon. Lowell Murray: Honourable senators, I have always
said that I do not really need a huge audience. I am quite satisfied
so long as there is one shorthand stenographer left so that I can
get on the record. Nevertheless, I do appreciate the courtesy of
the sponsor of the bill, the Honourable Leader of the
Government, for remaining in the chamber for this debate and I
also thank his predecessor, Senator Graham. That courtesy is not
always granted by ministers in the House of Commons, where
ministers often feel that parliamentary debate is a matter fit only
for parliamentary secretaries and backbenchers. They race out of
the House of Commons when they have made their initial
speeches on their own legislation. However, I do appreciate the
courtesy and I will not keep honourable senators very long.
I am, as senators know, an Ontario senator with roots in Cape
Breton and considerable concern for the people there and, I
believe, some familiarity with the situation there. It appears that
we have begun to write the final chapter in the 33-year history of
Cape Breton Development Corporation. My purpose in rising at
this time is to make a plea. It is a plea to honourable senators,
from whatever part of Canada they may come, to the Senate and
to the Parliament of Canada that we reaffirm, indeed, that we
insist on our authority, our commitment and our responsibility as
the Parliament of Canada for the Cape Breton Development
Corporation and for the economic and social fate of Cape Breton
and Cape Bretoners and that we not hand it off and abandon it as
this bill would have us do.
The purpose of this bill is to hand off to the federal cabinet and
to the board of directors of Devco, which is the creature and the
agent of the cabinet, complete authority to divest the assets of
Cape Breton Development Corporation and to dissolve the
corporation as they see fit. I believe that is an abdication of a
responsibility which a previous Parliament accepted 33 years
As honourable senators know, the people of Canada, through
Parliament and the government, have a sizeable financial
investment in Devco. I speak here not just of the annual subsidies
that have gone to support the corporation for the past three
decades. I speak also of certain assets with which we are familiar.
There is the Prince coal mine, which, as Senator Buchanan
reminded us the other day, has perhaps 10 or 15 years of useful
life left. There is also the undeveloped Donkin coal mine into
which the federal government put $80 million some years back
before they sealed the tunnels. Surely the terms and conditions of
the disposition of these assets ought to require the approval of
Parliament. Otherwise, what becomes of ministerial
accountability? What is Parliament for?
However, in addition to the considerable financial
commitment and involvement of the people of Canada in Cape
Breton, there is an unprecedented — and I know how
overworked is the word "unprecedented" — political
commitment to Cape Breton and to the people of Cape Breton.
There is an economic and social involvement, a commitment to
the people there, which was taken on by Parliament when Lester
Pearson was the Prime Minister, Allan J. MacEachen was Nova
Scotia's man in the federal cabinet, Jean-Luc Pepin was the
federal Minister of Mines, and Robert Stanfield was the Premier
of Nova Scotia. Together, these people and their governments
agreed on a new approach, quite a noble approach, if you like, to
the economic and social problems of the coal mining towns.
Call it an experiment, if you like. Call it a 33-year experiment.
Call it an experiment that perhaps has not worked out as well as
everyone would have liked, although it is altogether too easy to
disparage, as the central Canadian media is so fond of doing, the
very real contribution that this federal Crown corporation has
made over the decades to the economic and social life of Cape
Breton and of its people.
Some may say that it was too costly, but if they that, they
should be prepared to answer a fair question, and the fair
question is: Too costly compared to what? To Mirabel? To the
scientific tax credit, a few years back, where almost $1 billion
dollars was blown overnight?
Where I live now, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited is an
important presence in the Upper Ottawa Valley. I asked a
question the other day about its possible privatization.
The Leader of the Government was not able to confirm that there
are plans to privatize it, but privatization seems to be under
I have no comment to make about AECL at this time, but I
simply want to remind senators that over the 30 years of the
existence of Devco, the annual subsidy to AECL from the federal
Parliament in the late 1960s and into the mid-1970s started in the
range of $50 million to $60 million. For the past 20 years at least,
it has been between $100 million and $200 million per year. The
subsidies that have gone to the Cape Breton Development
Corporation over that period have been quite small in
comparison. I make that point and leave it for the consideration
of honourable senators.
Another point that we should not forget is that the federal
treasury was subsidizing the Cape Breton coal mines well before
Devco was created. It was subsidizing the Cape Breton coal
mines when those coal mines were under private ownership. I
think honourable senators will find that, allowing for inflation
and so on, the federal subsidies that went to the private owners in
those days were no less than the annual subsidies that have been
going in recent years from the federal Parliament to that Crown
Since 1967, I think that successive federal parliaments and
governments have been true to the spirit and the letter of the
Devco legislation. They have dealt honourably and, yes, I will
say, generously with the people of Cape Breton. If the time has
come, as it apparently has in the view of the government, for the
federal government "to exit" the coal-mining business in Cape
Breton — that is the phrase in the explanation that goes with the
bill — surely we will not allow it to happen simply by a remit to
the federal cabinet and to the directors of Devco. Surely,
Parliament should reserve to itself the right to pronounce on what
is done here.
Last summer, the Supreme Court of Canada used the concept
"honour of the Crown" in its judgment in the Marshall fisheries
case. They were talking about the honour of the Crown engaged,
as it is, in the treaties that our political ancestors signed with the
aboriginal peoples. I believe that the honour of the Crown is
engaged in Cape Breton and in those communities as a result of
what Parliament did 33 years ago. I do not think that the honour
of the Crown can be maintained, upheld or preserved if
Parliament walks away and simply hands over authority to the
Governor in Council to do with these assets and with this Crown
corporation as it pleases.
Honourable senators, the policy is to reprivatize the coal fields
in Cape Breton. Some of the advocates of this bill speak as if
private ownership of the coalfields of Cape Breton was
something new. As we know, coal has been mined in Cape
Breton since 1685, under the regime of Louis XIV. The first
commercial operations were instituted in 1720. For a good part
of the first half of the 20th century, the Dominion Steel and Coal
Corporation turned a nice dollar and made a profit on operating
the coal mines of Cape Breton. The corporation received
subsidies from the federal government in later years to help it do
so. When Dominion Steel ceased to make a profit, it walked
away without a thought for the economic and social
consequences in those communities.
In addition, an environmental legacy was left behind that those
of us who know the area are aware is one of the worst in Canada.
This legacy amounts to 100 abandoned pits that are now in the
hands of the federal Crown to clean up. I think we can
confidently predict that before that mess is cleaned up, the cost to
the Canadian taxpayer will be one-quarter of a billion dollars. I
have seen the analysis done by the federal Department of Natural
Resources, and I have seen the analysis done by the John T. Boyd
Company. It is an understatement to say that there are 100
abandoned pits and it will cost $167 million, or whatever. I think
we can confidently expect it will cost one-quarter of a billion
dollars to clean it up by the time we are finished.
Honourable senators, is it any wonder that Cape Bretoners are
fearful? Is it any wonder that they want to see the not-so-fine
print? They want to know the terms and conditions of the
disposition of this company. Do they not have a right to expect
that their Parliament, which took on this obligation 33 years ago,
will at least see it through to the end and that we will reserve to
ourselves the final approval of what is done?
I say with great respect, honourable senators, that the present
government must redeem itself with regard to Devco and that
they have not always been completely up front, either with
Parliament or with Cape Bretoners, about their plans. I do know,
as we all know, that it has been part of the agenda of the federal
Department of Finance — and it did not start with this
government, not at all — to have the federal government "exit"
the Cape Breton coal mines. Governments come and
governments go, but the Department of Finance goes on — a
culture unto itself and, it appears, a law unto itself.
Part of the strategy on the part of the government and of
Devco had been to pretend that there was a future for the Phalen
coal mine and to pretend that there was a future for the Phalen
coal mine in the face of all kinds of evidence to the contrary.
Three times a special Senate committee heard evidence to the
effect that with all the geological and other problems at the
Phalen coal mine, its future was a dubious proposition. Three
times a Senate committee recommended that there be an
assessment of the future of the existing mines — in June of 1996,
in April of 1997 and in December of 1997. Three times we asked
for a study, not to open the Donkin mine, but to do a study of the
economic feasibility of Donkin. Three times we were
stonewalled — no pun intended — by ministers and bureaucrats
in Ottawa, and by their compliant surrogates in Cape Breton.
Honourable senators, the government had to pretend that there
was a future for the Phalen coal mine because once they admitted
the contrary, the subject of a possible new mine at Donkin came
up. I will not go into the history of the 1997 election campaign,
but that is the last thing the Department of Finance or the
government wanted to hear. They put it off until such time as it
became perfectly obvious that Phalen was finished after the
government had already announced they would close the shop
and privatize the corporation anyway.
The Senate will understand why Cape Breton needs
reassurance. The Senate will understand, I hope, why Parliament
should decide not just whether the Devco assets will be divested,
but how and under what conditions.
The Leader of the Government in the Senate spoke on June 13
in opening debate on this bill.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable Senator Murray, your
speaking time has expired. Are you requesting leave to continue?
Senator Murray: Yes, for a very few minutes, honourable
senators. I am coming to the end of my remarks.
The Hon. the Speaker: Is it agreed, honourable senators?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
Senator Murray: Honourable senators, the Leader of the
Government insisted that this bill does not mean that coal mining
will cease in Cape Breton. He said:
It will have a future, and approximately 500 people will
have employment in a new and reinvigorated coal industry.
That is really the issue here. How does the minister know? How
can he be sure? What assurances does the honourable leader
have? What assurances can he or the government give to
Parliament and to the people of Cape Breton in this respect? Who
is in the loop in these negotiations? I believe it began with the
60 companies that were asked to take an interest in this matter.
They whittled it down over the months. Negotiations are going
forward with one company. Who was in the loop? There is
Nesbitt Burns, of course, agents of the government; federal
ministers and officials, one assumes; the board of Devco, one
assumes; and Nova Scotia Power. One of the vice-presidents of
Nova Scotia Power testified at the House of Commons
committee and indicated that Nova Scotia Power had discussions
with a putative purchaser. I suppose that is understandable given
that an important part of all this is the Nova Scotia Power
contract, but he took refuge in confidentiality when pressed for
When Mr. Shannon, the Chairman of the Board of Devco, was
asked what was the major asset of Devco, he said it was the
Prince mine. Some people — I think Senator Buchanan is among
them — think that the major asset may well be the Nova Scotia
Power contract, which still has 18 years to run. Senators will
understand the concern on the street, which was alluded to by
Senator Buchanan, that a United States company, which is
perhaps not greatly in the business of coal mining but is a coal
broker, will buy the assets at a fire-sale price and then proceed to
import coal from Colombia, the United States or wherever to
supply Nova Scotia Power. There go the 500 jobs to which
Senator Boudreau referred.
Honourable senators, timing is everything, and the
convergence of time supports my position that Parliament should
take a look at and have the final say on what is being done.
When Mr. Goodale spoke at third reading on June 6 in the
House of Commons, he said that Devco is now at the stage of
evaluating and clarifying one of the proposals with a view to
finalizing the broad terms and conditions of a potential sales
agreement, perhaps as early as later this month.
That was June 6, today is June 15. Our friend, Senator
Boudreau, the Leader of the Government in the Senate, on
June 13, said:
The privatization process is now approaching its final stage,
and any final agreement of purchase and sale must be
approved by Devco's board of directors and the federal
government. However, without the authority contained in
Bill C-11, there can be no sale.
To which I say, "Just so."
I presume this bill will be referred to committee. This is the
opportunity for the government to bring forward the details of the
deal that is being negotiated, so that we may see what assurances
there are in respect of coal mining in Cape Breton, and whether
coal mining will continue in Cape Breton, and whether these
500 jobs and this reinvigorated industry to which the Leader of
the Government referred are a reality or just a pious hope. Bring
these issues to the committee, and we will examine and
pronounce on them.
I tell you, honourable senators, in all seriousness, we should
not pass this bill until we have had the opportunity to pronounce
on the disposition of the assets and the disposition of the Cape
Breton Development Corporation. We should not pass this bill
until we are entirely satisfied that those terms and conditions are
fair and just to the people of Cape Breton, and that the honour of
the Crown has been upheld.
Hon. Nicholas W. Taylor: Would Senator Murray permit
Senator Murray: Certainly.
Senator Taylor: I gather it is Senator Murray's argument that
we should not confirm the final sale until the agreement of
purchase and sale is brought back to Parliament to be approved.
Does he think that is a practical way of proceeding?
Senator Murray: Honourable senators, at a minimum,
Parliament should be completely cognizant of the terms and
With great respect to my honourable friend, the argument of
practicality and convenience is one that is always put forward to
justify short-circuiting the rights of a parliamentary democracy. I
do not accept it for one moment.
Senator Taylor: It seems we are approaching something not
dissimilar to the proposed transport legislation where we are
introducing an ombudsman to ensure that competition is
encouraged and that the public is not exploited.
After years of being in business I know — I am sure Senator
Murray will agree with me — that it is difficult to reach an
agreement that cannot be averted on some level.
Has Senator Murray given any thought to the appointment of
an ombudsman who would oversee the operation to ensure that
coal is not brought in or substituted for that coal outlined in the
contract, and to ensure that people are not unjustly laid off?
Would Senator Murray consider such an appointment?
Senator Murray: One could try to amend the legislation in
some way, I suppose, along those lines.
I have not examined the legislation to which my friend refers.
I have my own views about the commercial passenger air traffic
in this country. In a nutshell, they are that we must not have, nor
must we permit, an unregulated monopoly. Whether that bill is
satisfactory or not is something I would want to review at
It is perhaps the more practical solution, at least at the
beginning, not to try to anticipate every eventuality by amending
Bill C-11, but rather consider what is proposed by way of the
terms and conditions of sale.
I would be the first to acknowledge that there is such a thing as
commercial confidentiality. I have no problem with that.
However, I do say that Parliament and the people must know
what is being done and what assurances there are to back up the
statements that our friends, the Leader of the Government here,
and Mr. Goodale in the other place, have made with regard to the
continuation of this so-called "reinvigorated" industry in Cape
Breton in the future. That is the issue upon which we must satisfy
ourselves. We cannot anticipate every eventuality that may occur
years down the road. At the least, reasonable people can examine
a closed contract, post agreement, and come to their own
conclusion as to whether it is fair, just and honourable.
Before I came to the chamber today, I reviewed the legislation
to privatize Air Canada and CN. It is true that in those cases
Parliament did delegate to the minister a significant amount of
authority. However, in those instances, we were dealing with
companies that were a going concern. No threat was felt by
anybody that the railways or Air Canada would cease operations.
The provisions that were made were for a public share offering,
as my colleagues know.
Even in those cases, we hummed and hawed about having
legislation with conditions. Parliament went so far in the case of
Air Canada to spell out in the bill that they had to continue
maintenance operations in Winnipeg, Mississauga and Montreal.
We stipulated that the Official Languages Act would continue to
apply. We also stipulated how much individual and foreign
ownership would be allowed, and so forth. It was quite detailed
legislation, and that was in the case of a company that was a
Devco is still the major employer and the major economic
activity for a number of communities in Cape Breton. I do not
wish to make more of the point than I made. It is simply vital that
Parliament not just hand off to the Governor in Council the right
to dispose of it.
We had better take our responsibility on this matter and
carefully consider the proposal and make our best judgment as to
whether what is proposed is in the interests of the Crown and,
most of all, in the interests of those communities which have
depended so long on this federal Crown corporation.
Senator Taylor: Senator Murray's thoughts are most
interesting, as always.
I am a mining engineer in Alberta, one of the last to graduate
with Alberta Coal. I am older than the honourable senator, and I
remember at one time, in Alberta, coal mining employed more
people than even Cape Breton. In fact, in the 1950s, we imported
coal miners to work in our coal mines. However, although we
have more coal than Cape Breton, the quality is not as good.
Perhaps Cape Breton is at the same point Alberta was at in the
1950s. The oil and gas industry there is just starting to take off.
Geologically speaking, I believe I can assure the honourable
senator that Cape Breton probably has reserves closely
equivalent to or equivalent to those of Alberta. It will just take
time to get them underway. If you go into this idea of keeping an
industry alive — and it is an energy industry, although later on it
might be a metallic industry and it may be an ideal place to
sequester carbon — would you not be looking at something
which would allow the transition to take place to a free market
economy rather than trying to perpetuate this situation in the
Do not get me wrong, honourable senators. Coal may very
well be valuable in the future. I am saying that as of now the oil
and gas industry is looming on the horizon, just as in Alberta in
the 1950s. It more than made up for the number of jobs we lost in
coal mining. There was room for everyone, their children and
their relatives. People even phoned Cape Breton to get their
relatives to come out to work in the oil and gas industry at that
time. Obviously, Nova Scotia is on the brink of breaking through
into a whole new employment field.
Since the honourable senator is a member of the free market
party, does he not think that the system should allow people to
adjust rather than being encapsulated into an old industry?
Senator Murray: Honourable senators, I hope and believe
that my honourable friend's optimism about the future economy
in that area as a result of oil and gas discoveries is well founded.
I also gratuitously express the hope and belief that governments,
notably governments in those provinces, and in particular that of
Nova Scotia, will be sensible and long-headed in the way in
which they treat that resource.
What my honourable friend is suggesting is exactly what
appears to be proposed in this bill. First, there will be a transition
from a subsidized federal Crown corporation to a privatized
entity. As the Leader of the Government has reminded us, we
will have a coal industry that will be smaller, that will not be
government owned but that will be, as he said, reinvigorated and
employ 500 people. Thus, what is proposed is a transition.
My position is that we, the Parliament of Canada, are about to
authorize, it would appear, the Governor in Council to divest
itself of an asset that we have had for 33 years. I want to be sure
that Senator Buchanan is not right that it is going as a fire sale. I
want to be sure, as do the people of Cape Breton, that what is
happening here is not some kind of smokescreen, some kind of
elaborate procedure to conceal the fact that the buyer is not
interested in continuing to mine coal in Cape Breton but only to
get hold of a pretty lucrative contract with Nova Scotia Power
which they will supply by importing coal from the United States,
Colombia or wherever.
Sure, I belong to a party that believes in the free market. I
believe in the market. However, the market has its limitations, as
my friend knows. The sooner we realize that the market is
amoral and agnostic as to human social values, as it should be,
since its business is to produce goods and services at a profit, the
sooner we will accept the role of government, which is peace,
order and good government. I am with the Robert Stanfields of
this world, who believe that the "order" in peace, order and good
government strongly implies a social order in which there is
some effort made to see that there is equality of opportunity and
some redistribution of the wealth of the nation. That, however,
honourable senators, is another story.
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Honourable senators, is it
your pleasure to adopt the motion?
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable
Senator Finestone, P.C., seconded by the Honourable
Senator Gauthier, for the second reading of Bill C-16,
respecting Canadian citizenship.
Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition):
Honourable senators, Bill C-16 is entitled, "An Act respecting
Canadian citizenship." However, if you read the bill, the pith and
substance of it suggests that it would be more correctly entitled
"the Canadian naturalization act." The bill is about citizenship
acquisition and the technical matters relative thereto; it is not
about the richness of Canadian citizenship. Thus, why are we
calling it the Citizenship Act?
Second, in my view, the government has missed an excellent
opportunity to introduce a real Canadian citizenship act which, at
the launch of the 21st century, would have spoken to the vitality
of Canadian citizenship, the citizenship that is shared by
31 million Canadians.
Third, on May 6, 1993, our own Standing Senate Committee
on Social Affairs, Science and Technology presented to the
Senate a report entitled "Canadian Citizenship: Sharing the
Responsibility." In this report, our own committee observed that,
in many ways, Canadian citizenship is a treasure to discover. In
its study, the committee unearthed a multitude of elements that
undergird a modern conception of Canadian citizenship, a
conception of our citizenship in the world of the 21st century.
The forward to our report reads as follows:
We viewed this inquiry as an opportunity to ask some
fundamental questions and to think of ways in which
Canada's Citizenship Act could be amended to strengthen
Canadian citizenship, and enhance its value for our country,
ourselves and our children.
Honourable senators, it is a pity indeed that the officials who
drafted Bill C-16 failed the government by basing this legislative
proposal on the sterile naturalization approach to citizenship, the
orientation of the past. Rather they could have submitted to
government a model that would speak to the Canadian
citizenship shared by all Canadians who are focused on active
citizenship in the world of the third millennium. What a pity
indeed, given that the bureaucrats had only to turn to a Senate
study for the required inspiration.
On page 13 and 14 of the report, we read that the current
Citizenship Act came into force in 1977. It was intended to clear
away some of the anachronisms of the 1947 statute which, as
honourable senators realize, was the first Canadian Citizenship
Act in Canada. The 1977 act removed the British preference and
those provisions that discriminated on the basis of gender.
Plural citizenship was also accepted under the new changes;
and citizenship was no longer to be considered a privilege to be
granted to those qualified but, rather, a right which could be
exercised by anyone with the requisite qualifications.
The committee's report also states:
However, as a Committee, we are convinced that it is
time for the Government to enact a new Citizenship Act, one
that clearly reflects contemporary realities.
The Act should recognize the pluralist nature of
contemporary Canada as well as reaffirm the fact that we
are an officially bilingual nation. In addition, it is important
that the Act provide both a clear statement of citizenship
rights and responsibilities. A new CitizenshipAct must be
one with which all Canadians, including our aboriginal
peoples can enthusiastically identify.
We therefore recommended — and this was a recommendation
adopted by this house:
That Parliament enact a new Citizenship Act....That the
Act reflect the pluralist, officially bilingual and
multicultural nature of Canadian society and that it provide
a clear statement of citizenship rights and responsibilities.
Honourable senators, we were not listened to, once again, so
here we are in the year 2000, but I think it is still quite
appropriate that we ask the following questions. Why should we
have a Citizenship Act that would provide a clear statement on
the rights and responsibilities, not of new Canadians, but a
Citizenship Act that speaks to every one of the 31 million
Canadians? What are we doing bringing in, under the guise of a
Citizenship Act, an act that speaks to naturalization, an act, quite
frankly, with which the vast majority of Canadians cannot
In answer to that question, I am reminded of the testimony of
the Canadian Citizenship Federation before our committee a few
years ago. They stated:
It is with some anxiety that we see our symbols being
dubiously used. In some areas of the country, young people
assume that the national anthem is something sung at
hockey games or at the Olympics when a Canadian athlete
wins a medal. The flag is draped carelessly and limply on
tops of buildings or shoved into a corner at official functions
or behind a screen. We are not proud to be Canadians. We
lack the cutting edge. We do not offer excitement or
challenge and we fail to make being a Canadian citizen a
Honourable senators, I think you would agree that there is
much truth in that statement of our witnesses. As Canadians, we
do take for granted our way of life. We tend not to appreciate the
many rights and responsibilities we are privileged to have.
One of our most important civic rights and responsibilities as
Canadian citizens is the right and responsibility to vote. As
mentioned — and it is worth underscoring this afternoon — the
right to vote is one of the few rights that is limited or specific to
Canadian citizens in our constitutional Charter of Rights and
Freedoms. Through the vote, for example, citizens exercise a
direct input in the shaping of our government. It is a democratic
right of citizens to participate in shaping not only the nature of
government but also government policy. However, with this right
comes the responsibility to be informed and aware of the issues
facing our country. We all have a role to play in providing a
framework for these responsibilities to be met, through education
and promotion. To this end, I had expected that the Government
of Canada would have given priority to introducing into
Parliament a new Canadian Citizenship Act that would have laid
out the rights and responsibilities that speak to the 31 million of
us living in this great land.
A new Citizenship Act surely ought to be speaking to all
Canadians, whether we are young or old, whether we have
acquired our citizenship through naturalization or through birth.
Such an act surely will serve to codify our shared values and
The preamble of a new Canadian Citizenship Act should be
the statutory locus of the ideals and values brought forward by
Canadians during the past few years. There should be a preamble
of this kind in a contemporary Canadian Citizenship Act, one
wherein we could set out the values that Canadians have said
they cherish most: the equality of women and men; a
commitment to full participation in our country by all citizens
without discrimination; the recognition of the historical rights of
the aboriginal peoples within Canada; the importance of the
bilingual nature of our country; and the contribution of peoples
from many cultures and lands in building the nation that we
cherish today. Most of all, we should have a preamble in our
Citizenship Act in which we can entrench the quintessential
Canadian balance between the personal freedom we all enjoy and
the personal and collective responsibility we require of one
another. Not every Canadian will find all the same things to
cherish in this land, and we will have different symbols, poetry
and prose that inspire us. This is not only acceptable for the
purposes of a new act, but, indeed, it is one of the values most
central to it — the diversity of thought and the diversity of
cultures and visions that collaborate in order to form this great
experiment known as Canada.
Citizenship, then, is the vehicle by which diverse ideas and
viewpoints may be brought forward by every Canadian, to build
upon and to learn from the ideas and viewpoints of others. The
role of citizenship is to ensure that every citizen may contribute
to and feel a part of the synthesis of our national discourse. That
synthesis is what ultimately becomes our nation.
Honourable senators, attempting to define the essential nature
of Canadian citizenship has become a sort of national pastime.
The proximity of the United States and our symbiotic
relationship with this world power help to explain why
Canadians are trying to differentiate themselves from their
If this exercise stimulates discussion and reflection, it would
be pointless to look for an ideal. Certainly, we must identify
closely with our country, but this identification can be from
different perspectives and connotations in the case of the values
we hold dearest. Perhaps this is the essence of Canadian
The rights conferred by citizenship are more apparent than the
responsibilities it imposes. According to what many witnesses
have said, it is at our own risk that we perpetuate an unbalanced
view of citizenship, one that focusses more on rights than on
responsibilities. The civil, political and social rights inherent in
citizenship must be offset by a responsibility that involves a
contribution to the community. Citizenship presupposes a
commitment in an area beyond personal interest.
Canada's history, honourable senators, its regional contacts
and its cultural composition have promoted the development of a
civic virtue that tolerates diversity and varying degrees of
attachment, while allowing us to recognize the reciprocal
benefits of our independence.
Canadian democracy is contingent upon an aware and
educated citizenry. The principal need of modern democracy is
that all citizens have the skills and information to make sound
choices. People are not born with an instinctive knowledge of
civics, but, rather, government policies and institutions must give
citizens the skills and knowledge necessary for civic
participation. Without this, populist cries ring hollow and phrases
like "participatory democracy" remain more suited to theory than
Today in Canada, citizenship education, regrettably, is a sorely
neglected area. Political education is taught in a passive sense,
focusing more on memorization of facts and structure than on
participation in the political system. There has been little
innovation or attention given to civics programs in our schools
across Canada since the mid-1960s, and there is no national
Education, as we know, is a multi-billion-dollar-a-year
investment for Canadians. Surely, given the financial
commitment to the educational system, it is not too much to ask
that we play a role in preparing students to be full and active
participants in the democracy Canadians treasure so much.
Our Senate committee studied Canadian citizenship, a study
which was completely ignored by the drafters in the bureaucracy
as they put together this naturalization bill. Our committee
underscored a number of ways by which we can improve the
standard of citizenship education in this country. We can develop
new modules for multicultural education which, by incorporating
content about cultural groups and their perspectives into the
curriculum, can help students appreciate more fully our
pluralistic society and can incorporate group participation and
interaction into our curricula. We can develop programs based on
developing critical thinking skills instead of on rote
memorization. In short, we should ask that a program be devised
which empowers our future citizens to feel that they can make a
difference in our society.
In our Senate study on citizenship we examined other
successful programs in citizenship education in other parts of the
world, such as the "civitas" model in the United States which
serves as a curriculum framework for schools in that country.
Honourable senators, the true goal of citizenship education is
not only to increase the rates of civic participation, but also to
nurture confident, reflective, and responsible participation. We
all know too well the pervasive cynicism about democratic input
that exists in this country. Now is the time to invest in the future
of our democracy by showing our youth the potential in hopeful
public commitment and to inspire them to join in the quest for
the public good as active citizens.
In conclusion, regrettably, Bill C-16 does not speak to any of
these citizenship issues which affects 31 million Canadians. The
machinery of government, as presently structured, wherein the
responsibility for Canadian citizenship is coupled with
responsibility for immigration, has clearly shaped or skewed the
thinking that underlies this bill. It is focused toward the issue of
citizenship acquisition or naturalization and does not address the
need for a Canadian citizenship act with which every Canadian
Hon. Sheila Finestone: Honourable senators, I wish to ask a
question of Senator Kinsella. I listened with great interest to his
very clever observations on citizenship in Canada. I believe that
citizenship acquisition is an integral part of a citizenship act and
that a preamble could be an important asset to this bill.
I believe that that which you call "naturalization" is an
important part of citizenship acquisition. If a proper preamble
were included, would the honourable senator find this bill more
Senator Kinsella: I thank the honourable senator for the
question. The answer is, yes.
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: I regret to interrupt the
Honourable Senator Kinsella, but his allotted time has expired.
Is the honourable senator requesting permission to continue?
Hon. Dan Hays (Deputy Leader of the Government):
I suggest that we give leave for Senator Kinsella to respond to
questions for another 10 minutes.
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Is leave granted,
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
Senator Kinsella: The answer to Senator Finestone's question
is yes. Indeed, I believe that this is an opportunity for the Senate
to do the fine work that it can, in the committee that will be
examining this bill.
One part of the bill does give the citizenship commissioner a
certain educational responsibility, although I believe that it refers
to "new" citizens.
There are many technical problems with the bill particularly as
it relates to naturalization to which other senators have alluded.
We all understand how things work in this town. Certain people
in the Department of Citizenship and Immigration drafted a bill
and gave it to the minister. You must understand that the
citizenship branch is part of the Department of Citizenship and
Immigration. It was not always so. When our colleague the
Honourable Senator Joyal was the Secretary of State, the
citizenship branch was in the Department of the Secretary of
State. When that was the case, that ministry also dealt with issues
of citizen participation, issues of multi-culturalism, and issues of
In other words, the corporate philosophy of the Department of
Secretary of State was the participation of the total population of
Canada. The citizenship branch had a registration unit, located in
Sydney, Nova Scotia, where all applications for Canadian
citizenship were processed. That was a unit within a department
that spoke, in its corporate philosophy, to all Canadians.
The Campbell administration reorganized the machinery of
government. It broke up the Department of Secretary of State and
put the citizenship branch with immigration. That is why it no
longer speaks to all Canadians. Most Canadians are not new
Canadians, but rather Canadians by birth. The corporate
philosophy in the Department of Citizenship and Immigration is
focused on the issue of immigration rather than promoting good
citizenship of the entire citizenry. No one is doing that. That is
how we probably ended up in this situation.
Perhaps the committee would want to delve into this,
honourable senators. Why is it that, in this particular bill, there
seems to be this focus on citizenship revocation? Is it that
officials in the Department of Justice, who are dealing with
issues like war crimes or issues of people acquiring Canadian
citizenship who are under investigation for allegations of war
crimes in the past, wanted to have an easy way to revoke
citizenship? Where did that dynamic come into play? Again,
none of it seems to have been based upon a view of Canadian
citizenship that involves the vast majority of Canadians. That is
its weakness. It is a weakness — and perhaps one of the
challenges in our country today — that we do not have an easily
articulated public statement that a preamble to a Canadian
citizenship act might very well provide.
I apologize for my long-winded answer, but it gave me an
opportunity to express concern and wonder out loud as to how
this all came about. I am not criticizing government, but I do
have questions about those who serve governments.
Senator Finestone: I think the goal the honourable senator
alludes to is a good one. One must remember that the educational
aspect of citizenship is also a provincial responsibility, and we
must bear that in mind in the way that we approach it. Perhaps
the educational channels of television may be a good tool in that
I would remind the honourable senator that the proposed
section 31(7)(b) is quite specific in its definition of the various
roles of the new citizenship commissioners. It states "to promote
active citizenship in the community." It does not say that it is to
promote active citizenship only towards new Canadians. That is
one of the five or six responsibilities that the new citizenship
commissioner will have.
I thank the honourable senator for his most interesting
observations. They certainly will require careful consideration. I
hope that some of the creative ideas that Senator Kinsella has put
forward will be brought to fruition in a medium other than either
this place or the Citizenship Act.
Hon. A. Raynell Andreychuk: May I ask a question of the
honourable senator? Senator Kinsella quite eloquently stated that
the weakness in the bill is that it does not speak to all citizens. I
share that point of view. Since the bill does not do that, and since
it seems to reduce the number of safeguards for those people who
become citizens from "offshore," if I can call it that, the bar for
the test for revocation has been left where it is, at a low level or
Does the honourable senator believe, therefore, that if the bill
is not amended that it will drive the wedge even farther between
those who were born here and those who come here than does the
Senator Kinsella: The short answer to that question is yes, I
do believe that it will create two categories of citizenship, which
is intrinsically evil, in my view. I am also concerned with the
"citizenship by probation," almost, to which this bill, if passed,
There is also, honourable senators, the matter of the oath that
is being proposed in the bill. Mr. John Bryden, Member of
Parliament in the other place, spoke eloquently about his concern
with that clause of the bill. I would simply commend honourable
senators to read what Mr. Bryden had to say. This is one of those
situations where one of the bureaucrats came up with something
that looked good. The House of Commons had an opportunity to
examine this issue for a long period of time in committee when it
was dealing with Bill C-63. It has now spent some time on
It is extremely important for our committee to get to the
bottom of this. I believe that we can make some very important
amendments. We hear horror stories about due process and
human rights. However, I am anxious to encourage colleagues to
focus on amending this bill so that it will be a contemporary
Canadian citizenship act that speaks to all of us, one that and
situates Canada in the world community of the 21st century.
On motion of Senator Kinsella, for Senator Di Nino,
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable
Senator Finestone, P.C., seconded by the Honourable
Senator Gauthier, for the second reading of Bill C-276, to
amend the Competition Act (negative option
marketing).—(Honourable Senator Andreychuk).
Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition):
Honourable senators, when I first arrived here in the Senate
10 years ago, one of our distinguished, now retired, senators,
Heath Macquarrie, came to me because I had the audacity to
stand up twice one afternoon to speak. If I were to speak now,
that would be the third time today — and on a Thursday
afternoon. Therefore, I will not speak to this bill today but I will
do so next week.
Hon. Sheila Finestone: Honourable senators, perhaps we
could complete this expeditiously before six o'clock, and move
the bill on to committee.
Hon. Dan Hays (Deputy Leader of the Government):
Honourable senators, other than Senator Kinsella, I know of no
other senator who wishes to speak to this bill. It is now a few
minutes before six o'clock. As I look down the Order Paper,
perhaps out of consideration for Senator Finestone, we should
hear Senator Kinsella. I do not know whether his speech will be
long, but knowing him as I do, his excellent interventions always
prompt questions. However, that is the risk that we will have to
Senator Kinsella: Thank you, honourable senators. I will give
you the abridged version.
I do not like it when I get a bill in the mail that tells me that I
owe a cable company a certain amount of money for something I
did not order. That is the pith and substance, as I understand it, of
Bill C-276. Rather than search to be an architect of words around
that basic principle, I would just say: "I do not like that." Thus, I
do like the principle of this bill, and I support the principle of the
Report of Social Affairs, Science and Technology
Committee—Motion in Amendment—Debate Continued
On the Order:
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable
Senator Carstairs, seconded by the Honourable Senator
Mercier, for the adoption of the seventh report of the
Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and
Technology entitled: "Quality End-of-Life Care: The Right
of Every Canadian," tabled in the Senate on June 6, 2000;
And on the motion in amendment of the Honourable
Senator Corbin, seconded by the Honourable Senator
Ferretti Barth, that the motion be amended by adding the
That the Senate request the Government to provide a
comprehensive response to the unanimous
recommendations contained in this Report within six
months of the adoption of this motion.
Hon. Lucie Pépin: Honourable senators, allow me to take a
few minutes of your time to express my support for the report on
palliative care tabled in this chamber last week.
As you know, palliative care — which does not include only
care provided to terminally ill cancer patients, but all types of
care provided to any terminally ill patient — is at the core of the
subcommittee's work on the updating of the report "Of Life and
Death." This is so true that our committee's report deals
primarily with the issue of end-of-life care, including palliative
During its work, our subcommittee found that palliative care is
sorely lacking in Canada. Moreover, not only is palliative care
lacking, but where it exists it is unevenly spread across Canada,
with the result that it is difficult for people living in rural or
remote areas to have access to such care. The subcommittee feels
that these are major problems, since each Canadian is entitled, at
the end of his or her life, to care that is provided with
competence, compassion and respect. Palliative care must
become an integral part of our health system and not only be
available, through chance or privilege, to a limited number of
people. It is the federal government's responsibility to act as a
leader in this area.
As a nurse by profession, I am particularly interested in the
issue of palliative care. Nurses are the central players in the
delivery of care. Naturally, they do not act alone. In the best of
all possible worlds, they work together with doctors and other
health professionals, social workers, and pastoral care workers,
to name just a few, and they do so as part of an ongoing and
integrated process. Note that I say "in the best of all possible
worlds" because the subcommittee noted that, right now, the
situation is far from ideal. In fact, next to no progress has been
made on most of the unanimous recommendations in the 1995
report, or what progress there is has been unsatisfactory. One
conclusion of our report which, by the way, I urge you to
examine, is that there is no political will to give palliative care
the place it deserves in our health care system. To echo the words
of our subcommittee's Chair, the Honourable Sharon Carstairs:
"The dead cannot vote."
I wish, honourable senators, to illustrate my remarks using a
few examples from the report tabled five years ago. The report
recommended an integrated approach to palliative care. Five
years later, not only is there still no national palliative care
strategy but, in all the restructuring of the health care system, no
province has made palliative care a priority. That is why the
subcommittee feels it is important for the federal government to
take a leadership role in this area, a role that will, however, have
to manage the feat of striking a balance with provincial health
Another recommendation was that the training of health
professionals be improved in all aspects of palliative care. Five
years later, a number of witnesses from whom we heard in the
first phase of our work said that they found it regrettable that the
training of future doctors, nurses and other health professionals
remains largely incomplete. In fact, with respect to doctors,
witnesses said that either they had received no palliative care
training during their years at school, or this training was limited
to a few hours which, in either case, is inadequate.
Honourable senators, we must insist that tomorrow's
physicians, nurses and others who will be dealing with terminal
patients receive proper training in palliative care.
Another point is that all health professionals need more
training, and better training, in pain management. Here again,
five years after the report was tabled, many witnesses told us
that, for the most part, the training in pain management still left
much to be desired. Others suggested that many physicians were
hesitant to administer treatment or medication that was intended
to alleviate suffering but was liable to hasten death because of
the impreciseness of the Criminal Code in this area.
I will not go on. These are enough examples to demonstrate
that palliative care does not receive all of the attention it deserves
Today, this may be merely regrettable, but tomorrow it might
be dramatic. Honourable senators are not unaware of the
demographic trends that characterize Canada. The aging of the
population creates a heavier demand on palliative care. The
incidence of certain diseases, such as Parkinson's, AIDS, cancer,
not to mention other terrible conditions such as amyotrophic
lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is
generating pressure on the health system in favour of the
development of palliative care. Still relating to demographic
trends, the diversification of Canadian society means that
palliative care will need to be adapted to fit people's belief
As things are, palliative care is in the background of Canada's
health system. As the subcommittee discovered, there is certainly
a connection between this situation and the fact that it is difficult
to plead a case for life-sustaining care, which is essentially aimed
at pain relief, when the medical and social culture is focused on
cure. In other words, palliative care may pose a threat to people
because it forces us to rethink our concept of medicine: that it is
not only focused on life, but also on making our departure from
life a more comfortable process.
In fact, it is only at this level that palliative care forces us to
think about our health care system in Canada. This is perhaps the
best area for governance. Governance is a multi-faceted approach
to managing that seeks to establish a link between civil society
and the political system in orienting the collective future.
Governance implies a network of exchanges between the civil,
community and political, a network that operates on the logic of
dialogue, consensus and collective construct. In the context of
health care, governance implies that governments work with
health care professionals — doctors, nurses, pharmacists — other
stakeholders, for example, social workers and volunteers and,
most important, with the public in order to get the health care
system to truly respond to their needs. Governance implies the
desire to work together, mutual openness, dialogue and listening,
all elements of end-of-life situations.
In a text to be published by the Royal Society of Canada,
Monique Bégin argues in favour of the approach of governance
in health care in Canada. However, there are some obstacles to
this, including the lack of integration in Canada's health care
system — so much so that Ms Bégin speaks of 13 health care
systems in Canada — relations between the federal government
and the provinces and territories and, most important, the
public's exclusion from health care decision-making.
Honourable senators, we should keep in mind the spirit of such
a proposal to establish a network of palliative care that would be
accessible to all Canadians, regardless of their place of residence,
age, wealth, disease or religion. Governance is a strategy that can
help us preserve and renew a value which has so far been a
trademark of our health system, namely, universality.
I will conclude with a paradox. We can now communicate
very rapidly with people at the other end of the world, but it
seems that we are increasingly less able to communicate with our
close ones, to alleviate the pain of those who are about to leave
us, to develop with them a relationship that is based on deep
compassion. This sad paradox should spur us, as a society, to
review our priorities.
Hon. Sharon Carstairs: Honourable senators, I thank Senator
Pépin for her remarks today. I also thank Senators DeWare,
Corbin, Roche and Beaudoin for their earlier comments.
I assure the Senate that I believe Senator Corbin's motion in
amendment, which urges the government to report back to us in
six months on our report, is an excellent motion and one worthy
of all our support.
Honourable senators, the response to this report has been
tremendous, and if you have seen a little less of me these days in
the chamber, it is because I have been handling a great number of
media calls, talk shows and Canadian e-mails, letters and phone
calls. Every single event in which I have participated or
communication that I have received has been positive.
Honourable senators, this idea touches a deep resonance
within the Canadian people and indeed in the media. I can only
hope and pray it finds the same kind of resonance with
governments across this country. I urge each and every one of
you to support this motion.
Emerging Developments in Russia and Ukraine—Budget
Report of Committee on Study Adopted
The Senate proceeded to consideration of the ninth report of
the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs (power to hire
staff and to travel) presented in the Senate on June 13,
2000.—(Honourable Senator Stollery).
Hon. Peter A. Stollery moved the adoption of the report.
Present and Future State of Forestry—Budget Report of
Committee on Study Adopted
The Senate proceeded to consideration of the second report of
the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry
(power to hire staff and to travel) presented in the Senate on
June 13, 2000.—(Honourable Senator Fitzpatrick).
Hon. Ross Fitzpatrick moved the adoption of the report.
Regional Restructuring Legislation—Refusal to
Declare Ottawa Officially Bilingual—Inquiry—Debate
On the Order:
Resuming debate on the inquiry of the Honourable
Senator Poulin calling the attention of the Senate to the
decision of the Ontario Government not to adopt a
recommendation to declare the proposed restructured City
of Ottawa a bilingual region.—(Honourable Senator
Hon. Sharon Carstairs: Honourable senators, it is my honour
today to rise to speak to this inquiry. I must say that it is
extremely difficult if not impossible for me to understand the
decision of the Ontario government not to declare Ottawa,
Canada's national capital, a bilingual area.
When one examines the role of Ontario in Canada's history, I
am struck by the contributions of many Progressive Conservative
leaders in that province — men like Bill Davis, who accepted
with dignity and warmth the special responsibility of a premier
representing a province with the largest population in the
country. Bill Davis understood he had a special role to play on
the national stage, and he played it in a manner that protected the
less well-off provinces and the minorities, both linguistic and
religious, in our special country.
Regrettably, his legacy and the lessons his legacy taught have
not been learned or, perhaps, they are misunderstood by the
present premier and his government. Had they learned these
lessons, I am in doubt that they would have shown the generosity
of earlier premiers and have recognized the bilingual nature,
character and history of this, our capital city.
As a former history teacher who spent much of my teaching
experience in Western Canada, I know that the concept of
Canada as a bilingual country is not always an easy sell. Yet my
students, after studying our history and the settlement patterns of
our peoples, understood, albeit some of them grudgingly, that
Canada entered into a partnership of French and English peoples
in 1867. That partnership resulted in the bilingual nature of our
national government. In 1968, formal recognition of official
bilingualism corrected many wrongs suffered by linguistic
minorities in this country.
It has never been our finest hours in Canada when we have
been forced by the Supreme Court of Canada to be generous to
our linguistic minorities. However, we seem to have failed to
learn the lessons of past mistakes when we yet again
The Ontario government, because it did not wish, I assume, to
take some political heat in making this decision, refused to make
a decision, preferring instead to pass it on to the transition team
implementing the unification process in this city. They, too, have
passed the buck and say it should be a decision of the new city
council. The transition group has recommended that services,
where required, be available in both official languages.
Honourable senators, in my view, that is simply not good
enough. This is our capital city. In the capital city of a country
which is officially bilingual, it is surely inconceivable that both
languages will not exist in equality with one another.
Where is the generosity of a Richard Hatfield, who made New
Brunswick a bilingual province? Why has his legacy somehow
It saddens me, as a property taxpayer of this city, one who is
principally a unilingual Canadian, that we have so far failed to do
the right thing, the Canadian thing. Our capital city should be a
Resuming debate on the inquiry of the Honourable
Senator Wilson calling the attention of the Senate to the
situation in the Sudan.—(Honourable SenatorAndreychuk).
Hon. A. Raynell Andreychuk: Honourable senators, I note
the late hour. I do not intend to give a full speech on the issue of
Sudan, but I do want to commend Senator Wilson for the work
she has done on behalf of the Government of Canada and the
people of Canada in attempting to work to encourage the peace
process in Sudan. I commend her personally and encourage her
to circulate to all members of the Senate a copy of the speech she
gave on May 11, 2000, to the Canadian Institute of International
Affairs. In that speech, she succinctly laid out the problems of
Sudan and how the world community has failed the people of
Sudan. She commented on the issues that have been long
standing, about their heritage of some colonial disasters, and
their failed effort to build a nation state.
We are now in a situation where countless people are losing
their lives in Sudan.
I would highlight two points. The first is that Talisman Oil has
been the subject of much debate in the newspapers for, first,
being in Sudan, and second, in the words of Amnesty
International, being part of the process that encourages the
government not to clearly deal adequately with the human rights
issues and the other issues facing Sudan as a country.
One of the fundamental difficulties in Sudan for the Canadian
government is the fact that the Canadian government has not a
constant, coherent policy that deals with issues like those in
On the one hand, we have Minister Axworthy, who has been
very vocal and outstanding in his support of concepts of human
rights and human security and, on the other hand, we talk trade.
Trade is all, to this day, although I do hear from some quarters
that we do not talk quite as loudly as we did in 1993.
It would serve the people of Sudan, our foreign policy, and the
Canadian position if the Canadian government had a consistent
foreign policy that defines what they mean by trade and what
they mean by human rights. These cannot be separated by having
the Minister for International Trade speak with one voice and the
Minister of Foreign Affairs speak with another.
To that extent, I believe that Talisman must answer for its own
actions, and I am certain that Talisman would have received an
update from the Government of Canada as to its position. Many
European countries, and others, are working in the oil industry in
Sudan. I do not believe that they would have received a clear
signal from Canada that it would not serve their interests in the
long run, nor Canada's, to be there.
In fact, when Minister Axworthy said that he was going to take
immediate action against Talisman and then did not take action
in the early months, that left everyone confused. That gave the
government of Sudan and the rebel forces in the south room to
manoeuvre, room to know that the international community,
including Canada, were not always speaking with one voice.
I again urge the Canadian government to reconsider how they
marry ministers' comments and statements, and to have a
cohesive policy on such issues.
At this moment, due to the fact that oil production contributes
22 per cent of the state's revenues and is expected to increase in
the coming year, it is important that the Government of Canada
redouble its efforts to ensure that there is some political will
brought to the process of the peace negotiation.
Senator Wilson, in the IGAD process, cannot do it alone. She
cannot bring the full force of Canada's will to the table.
Countries such as Canada, Britain, India, Italy, New Zealand and
Pakistan, who have been and continue to be in the oil industry,
must come together to rationalize how their companies working
in Sudan should continue to operate and what rules they must
obey if they continue to operate, but at the same time, bringing
combined political will to warn Sudan and the southern region
that they cannot continue to use and abuse their citizens.
I do not have time at this moment to go over the horrific
position that citizens of the country have found themselves in.
Millions have died. Millions have been put into slavery of one
form or another. This cannot continue unnoticed.
This is one of those issues that grabs the attention of the press
for a while and then it is put aside, but the plight of the people in
Sudan has not changed. Therefore, if we are serious about our
commitments and serious about human security, we must
continue to do better than we have done in the past.
I commend the government for installing the new officer into
the office in Khartoum. He will scrutinize Sudan. I know him
personally, and I know that he will put his best efforts toward
monitoring the situation and that he will give good advice to
It will serve all of us if we can work with the Canadian
company, Talisman, to set the standards that they must live by
and standards that we, as a Canadian Parliament, as a Canadian
government, and as the Canadian people, wish to be governed by.
and that we marry the two so that, in the future, companies will
not go into areas and have mixed or confused ideas of what is
expected of them.
I hope that my urging here will be taken to the government and
that it will be taken seriously and again look at our foreign
policy, to ensure that we do not separate trade and human rights,
but have a coherent and consistent policy so that when
companies approach the Canadian government, they will know
that they perhaps should not enter into a certain situation.
Although it may be feasible for them from a profit point of view,
it will not be in their long-term best interests to be doing
business. That a business opportunity will increase or accelerate
human rights abuses should be made clear to them.
The international community continues to condemn the oil
production in the south, of which Talisman is part. They continue
to state that the oil development is exacerbating the problem and
that civilians are being jeopardized by the actions of the oil
companies. The Canadian government must continue to look into
these concerns and to speak out strongly and take action where
I do not believe it is sufficient to have put an office in
Khartoum and to continue to have Senator Wilson put her best
efforts into the IGAD process. We need something more. We
should not wait until the situation erupts again.
I had the privilege of representing Canada in Nairobi and have
been in this war-torn area. These areas are exploited by the
leaders when they see opportunities for profit. We must not give
them opportunities to turn away from peace.
I hope that the Canadian government will do better in the
future. There is an opportunity now in Sudan to do better. I trust
that they will take up the pieces of the Sudan problem and
exercise political will at cabinet level and make every effort to
encourage the peace talks to reach fruition. In my opinion, they
are stalled at this moment.
That completes the comments that I wanted to put on the
record. I do not intend to speak further on this issue.
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Honourable senators, if
no other senator wishes to speak, this inquiry is considered