Debates of the Senate (Hansard)
2nd Session, 36th Parliament,
Volume 138, Issue 78
Wednesday, October 4, 2000
The Honourable Gildas L. Molgat, Speaker
Table of Contents
Wednesday, October 4, 2000
The Senate met at 2 p.m., the Speaker in the Chair.
The Late Right Honourable Pierre Elliott
Trudeau, P.C., C.C., C. H., Q.C.
Hon. J. Bernard Boudreau (Leader of the Government):
Honourable senators, for five days our entire country has been in
mourning. Tributes to the late prime minister Pierre Elliott
Trudeau have poured forth from Canadians from all walks of life,
all economic circumstances, every region, ethnic background and
even political persuasion. I cannot begin to match the depth and
impact of all of those tributes. Indeed, most of the speakers
following me today will have known him better than I and will
speak of him with far more eloquence.
As Leader of the Government in the Senate, I wish to
acknowledge Pierre Elliott Trudeau for his incomparable
contribution to the life of our country. His accomplishments have
already been recited, but one wondered over these last five days
what accounted for this unprecedented national expression of
affection and respect.
My 21-year-old son called me late last evening. He had
obviously been watching the funeral. We were not very long into
the conversation when I could sense that he had been really
moved by the experiences of the day, so I asked him, "You have
never met Pierre Elliott Trudeau. Before you became interested
in public life, he was gone from the scene. Why now are you so
moved at his passing?" His response to me was, "Dad, more than
anyone, he made us proud to be Canadian." I think that says it
For that great gift, Prime Minister Trudeau, our nation will be
forever grateful. Thank you.
Hon. John Lynch-Staunton (Leader of the Opposition):
Honourable senators, while Pierre Trudeau was viewed as much
a private person as a public personality, he tried, not always with
success and, I sense, when sometimes politically convenient,
with not much effort, to separate the two. Certainly, those of us
who knew him before he entered federal politics quickly realized
that behind this very private, shy, reserved individual lay an
inseparable public determination to get things done. After all,
what was Asbestos all about; and his attacks on clericalism in
Quebec and on the Duplessis government; and the very virulent
attack in 1963 against the Pearson government's reversal on
nuclear policy; and his constant condemnation of nationalism,
whatever its form?
At the time, his was one of those lone voices crying out in a
regimented, even cowed society, the voice of one who never
abandoned the search for fairness and equality and the
application of the rule of law.
For him, this fairness and equality could only be ensured
through the entrenchment of a charter of rights and freedoms.
Only a man with his intellect and his desire to seek justice as he
defined justice would ever have attempted to impose a charter of
rights in a political system where Parliament is meant to be
supreme. His ability to negotiate the supremacy of the Charter in
a parliamentary democracy more than anything illustrates to me
the agility of his mind to meld two competing concepts. As we
look at his efforts in this area, almost two decades later, we can
say that his efforts have been well rewarded as the Charter has,
for the most part, been a success.
His entry into federal politics and his dominance of it for so
many years, even after he left the prime ministership, seemed
somewhat inevitable when one recalls the determined, highly
principled yet realistic activist of his day who had yet to make
his mark nationally.
One will argue endlessly about the Trudeau governments'
policies, many now abandoned, and about his own stand on
issues which he so much took to heart, such as his extraordinary
participation in the Meech Lake Accord debate in this very place
One may well ask: How is it that one person no longer in
office can have such an extraordinary impact on public opinion?
My answer is that he personified in life, as he does in death, the
enthusiasm and idealism arising from the centennial celebration
of 1967, when, in one glorious year, Canadians set aside their
petty differences and quarrels to celebrate their uniqueness and
all that they have in common — a reality too often subjected to
challenges, never so brilliantly resisted as they were by Trudeau.
Trudeau was one of a tiny handful of Canadian leaders with
whom Canadians identified so emotionally and in whom they put
their trust so strongly. The outpouring of grief that we have
witnessed in the last few days is largely an expression of this
heartfelt sentiment which transcends all partisanship, as all see in
him what André Laurendeau saw when he summed up Trudeau
as follows: "It is his taste for freedom. He demands its risks and
For this alone, we owe him an eternal debt of gratitude. May
he rest in the peace he so richly deserves.
Hon. Dan Hays (Deputy Leader of the Government):
Honourable senators, I rise with those wishing to pay tribute to
Pierre Elliott Trudeau. I wish to say how grateful I am — and I
know I share that sentiment with those Canadians who spoke so
eloquently by their actions and words since Thursday last when
he died — for the public service that he rendered to Canada
during his lifetime and for the public service that will continue as
his memory lives within us.
I am also thankful to him for the privilege of serving in this
place. As one of those who was named a senator by him, I have
been extremely proud to conduct myself in a way that I hope and
believe is consistent with his values.
I extend my deep sympathy to his family, and I thank them for
the way in which they have celebrated his life with us since his
death on Thursday.
Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition):
Honourable senators, no words can ever match the eloquence of
the tribute expressed over the past few days by Canadians and
others at the passing of former prime minister Trudeau. We on
this side of the Senate chamber pay our respects to a
distinguished parliamentarian and a brilliant and passionate
Canadian. He not only wished Canada well but also worked to
make Canada well. Over these past few days, a caring society
reciprocated with its national love.
Each member of this honourable house has his or her special
remembrance of Pierre Trudeau. For me, I salute his human
rights legacy and would like to mention three separate files on
which I had the privilege to discourse with him personally.
The first was over the War Measures Act, upon which we
disagreed. The second was the Lovelace case, which I was
successful in taking to the United Nations against Canada and
concerning which he told me that academically he supported but
as prime minister it posed some difficulties for him. The third file
was the patriation of the Constitution with the Charter of Rights
and Freedoms, a time at which we in New Brunswick were in
agreement with the prime minister. I had the opportunity to be
present and to be sitting to the left of then premier Lévesque in
the room upstairs in the Conference Centre down the street when
Prime Minister Trudeau manifested his brilliance and was able to
present a proposition to the premier of Quebec which, as we
know, led to the breakup of the "gang of eight."
It is now, honourable senators, that we all trust that Pierre
Trudeau, who dreamed of a just society for Canada, sleeps the
sleep of the just in the bosom of Abraham.
Hon. Gérald-A. Beaudoin: Honourable senators, those who
spoke before me mentioned a number of aspects of the illustrious
life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, and those who will follow me will
do the same.
In the few minutes that I have, I want to deal specifically with
one aspect of Mr. Trudeau's life, namely the enshrinement of a
charter of rights and freedoms in our Constitution in 1982.
A constitutional charter of rights was the dream of his life.
This is the field of law he was teaching at the University of
Montreal, and his destiny was to become, in 1982, the father of
the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Trudeau was of the Jefferson school of thought. While
ambassador in Paris in 1787, Thomas Jefferson wrote to James
Madison in Philadelphia to congratulate him for the Constitution
of the United States. Jefferson stated that the Constitution was a
very good one, but there was one weakness: a bill of rights was
missing. James Madison and his colleagues adopted a bill of
The 1982 Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms was
considered by Chief Justice Brian Dickson of the Supreme Court
of Canada to be the single most important event since the birth of
federalism in 1867. In addition to traditional rights, the Charter
also includes language rights.
The Supreme Court has already issued 400 rulings based on
the 1982 Charter of Rights. This is an incredible amount of work,
and I congratulate the Supreme Court. That constitutional charter
will be discussed for a long time, just as the 1867 Constitution is
still discussed nowadays.
A charter of rights enshrined into the constitution of a country
regulates the life of every citizen, every day of the year. It is at
the core of constitutional law, just like federalism and
parliamentarism. It protects citizens, even against the state.
Let us not forget that a basic constitutional document, such as
a constitution and a constitutional charter of rights, transcends
political parties and leaves a lasting legacy. It clearly transcends
In 1982, I was active in academic circles. I joined a number of
colleagues, including Walter Tarnopolsky, who was later
appointed a justice of the Ontario Court of Appeal, and several
others in authoring a major collective book on the 1982 Charter.
A copy of that document was given to Prime Minister Trudeau in
his parliamentary office. He was very impressed and said to me:
"A book on the Charter, the very year that it was adopted."
Since then, several books have been written and many more
In my opinion, Mr. Trudeau was more than a great prime
minister and more than a statesman. He was also a great thinker
and a true philosopher, as witnessed by his Charter of Rights and
Freedoms, which has already begun to significantly change
The great legacy of Pierre Trudeau will not die. Historians will
write that Pierre Elliott Trudeau was the father of the Canadian
Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
I offer my deepest sympathy to his family.
Hon. B. Alasdair Graham: Honourable senators, I want to
begin by telling a little story which illustrates, I believe, in
simple terms, the kindness and thoughtfulness of Pierre Trudeau.
In 1978, the day following my re-election as president of the
Liberal Party of Canada, my family and I were having lunch in
the old Canadian Grill at the Château Laurier Hotel. Hearing that
we were all together downstairs, the Prime Minister slipped out
the side door of his suite upstairs, unknown to his security team,
came down the stairs on the indoor fire escape and into the grill
to thank my family one by one.
In the course of those conversations, the youngest of our ten
children, then eight years old and in second or third grade,
expressed concern about her absence from school back in
Sydney, Nova Scotia. The Prime Minister immediately asked the
nearest waiter for a piece of paper and quickly scrawled the
excuse, a copy of which I have here today: "Dear Teacher,
Thanks for letting Anne-Marie come to the convention.
P.E. Trudeau, February 1978."
Honourable senators, over the last few days and nights,
Canadians have engaged in a monumental, passionate and
unparalleled national celebration of the life and times of the
Right Honourable Pierre Elliott Trudeau. We have applauded his
courage, his self-discipline and his strength under fire. We have
admired the enigmatic magician and the dashing prince who
brought Canada to the world stage. We have reflected on the just
society and multiculturalism and a nation which, when
challenged by the audacious Mr. Trudeau, discovered the
wonderful reality of its soul.
We have all heard stories about the kind and compassionate
human being who was Pierre Trudeau. We have heard about the
formidable, philosophical gunslinger whose incisive intellect
could cut and thrust like no other. We have begun to understand
the profound depth of his spirituality and his devotion to his
family. We have thought back to his irreverence and his style and
the romance of a restless dreamer. Pierre Trudeau inspired and
sometimes vexed us, and he taunted us and teased us to follow
the magic, to follow the vision. If and when we faltered, he
encouraged us with words like "hope" and "faith" and "dreams
that will never die." He made us proud to be Canadian.
He piloted this country through the excitement of
self-discovery. With Mr. Trudeau at the helm, we portaged the
tough terrain towards a society based on the rights and freedoms
of the individual.
We redrew the map of the country. Francophone, anglophone
and allophone communities now live in harmony.
We ran the rapids of the promise of Canada, opening new
waterways and experiencing the kind of adventure and
exhilaration many of us had never known.
When we explored the world, we Canadians spoke with a
moral voice of authority. Our federation became a symbol to the
world of the common bonds of our humanity; a pluralist,
polyethnic land of diversity, united in the values that made us
one, values such as peace and cooperation, values such as
tolerance and compassion, a nation with a human face, a nation
which was and is a shining light in the international struggle for
a better world.
Wherever I have travelled in my own commitments to
democratic development, ordinary people from Nicaragua to the
Philippines, from Namibia to Bulgaria, have always asked about
Mr. Trudeau. As I spoke with President Carter on the steps of
Notre-Dame Basilica after the funeral mass yesterday, he
reiterated his praise of Pierre Trudeau as a wise and perceptive
ally in the exercise of his responsibilities on the world stage, a
point that President Carter had made on other occasions.
In one of my election-observing missions, I recall working
with the renowned Hodding Carter who once wrote: "There are
only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One
of those is roots, the other wings."
For all of us who watched his wonderful children take up the
challenges of the past week, overcoming the enormity of their
personal ordeal with grace and with the deepest humanity, there
was no question that those two lasting bequests — roots and
wings — had been given to Justin and Sacha. In many ways,
those two bequests have been passed on to all of us, to our
children and to our children's children.
Pierre Trudeau gave us the normative foundations of the level
playing field in this country. He gave us the passion and the
idealism of a cerebral springtime which changed us forever as a
nation. May all Canadians fly higher and stronger with the winds
of his timeless wisdom beneath our wings.
Rest peacefully, dear friend.
Hon. Joyce Fairbairn: Honourable senators, what a
roller-coaster ride all of us across the country have had in the last
five days, with non-stop waves of emotion, of affection, of pride,
and of memories.
Each one of us has our own memories. In every corner of
Canada, in our own way, we have grappled with the reality of
human mortality as we dealt with the loss of a very special
member of the family. Pierre Elliott Trudeau — who was a very
heady mix of French and Scot — truly propelled us all at the
time of our one-hundredth birthday, a pivotal time for Canada,
towards the unknown mysteries of a new century that are really
just opening up to us now.
He was a lawyer, a teacher, a man of deep and private faith. He
was an adventurer, both at home and abroad, and later a
statesman throughout the world. He was an athlete and, at the
same time, a lover of music and the arts and books and, of
course, literacy, which we certainly had in common. He was an
activist who was as tough as nails — stubborn, outspoken and
unbending in his fundamental principles. He was a gentleman —
kind, gentle, courteous and very loyal. He was a scamp, full of
laughter and a lot of fun. All in all, he was a different kind of guy
than we were used to having as the leader of our Canada.
As each of us reflects today on the place in our lives that
Pierre Elliott Trudeau held, I must admit at once that I have a
deep personal bias and a profound love for the man. We shared a
friendship over 35 years, 14 of them working together in this
building, which became a home after all those years during his
terms as Prime Minister and as Leader of the Opposition in 1979.
I wrote about him, as did my friend Senator Carney, during the
1960s. We used to share, in those simpler days, breakfasts at the
main table in the fifth floor cafeteria. He would eat boiled eggs
and brown toast, and I was so gripped with trying to get to know
him that I cannot remember what I ate.
When he left Ottawa 16 years ago, he certainly did not leave
the public mind. I must say that our friendship has simply
strengthened and carried on ever since, bound by memories of
events, both historic and personal — events that will never be
As others have said, honourable senators, millions of words
about Pierre Trudeau have poured out over the years, and
certainly so in the last few days, dissecting who he really was or,
perhaps more to the point, who others thought he really was. In
truth, that may seem a bit deep, but it is not really very
complicated. When he was asked some years ago how he would
wish to be remembered, his instant response, without a second of
thought, was, "As a good father to my children." Then he added,
"As one who loved this country and its people." The emphasis
was always on people. That is pretty much to the point, and it is
just the way our remembrance of him turned out.
His love for his children was deep and proud and joyous, and
they returned that love absolutely in kind. We have seen that
every minute of the last few days most particularly at the basilica
in Montreal yesterday. The boys, Justin and Sacha and dear
Michel, and his wonderful young daughter, Sarah, meant
everything to their dad. They were at the heart and the core of his
life. Yesterday, Justin, the eldest, rocked the soul of our nation
with his tribute to his father, Sacha with his scripture, and Sarah
with her dignity and attention to every word that was said. The
remembrance by his other "family," the people of his country,
would have touched him to the core.
Honourable senators, words or film cannot describe adequately
what happened in Canada over the past few days. In every
community, on the lawns and in the Hall of Honour on
Parliament Hill and, perhaps most movingly, in the City Hall of
his hometown, Montreal, and again in the streets of that great
city around Notre-Dame Basilica, he was given such a
magnificent send-off to glory.
His devotion and pride in this land and Canadians in every
corner of it filled his thoughts and his hopes and his dreams to
the very end. Every part of Canada meant something special to
him and fostered, early on in his life, that fierce determination to
do everything within his reach and power to secure the unity and
the independence of his country and to ensure that each
individual citizen had the confidence of protection of their
personal rights and freedoms within a strong and vibrant
Thoughts of patriation, of our Constitution and of the Charter
of Rights and Freedoms — which drew, I might say, a huge
round of applause among the crowd outside the basilica
whenever it was mentioned yesterday — did not just begin when
he became a member of Parliament back in 1965. As Justin said
yesterday, those thoughts did not come out of any textbook. They
were deeply embedded in his beliefs and clearly central to the
decision that these beliefs could be driven forward and moved if
he entered politics and public life.
Not everyone in this chamber agreed with his views or his
methods or his politics, nor by any means did everyone in this
country. However, I would venture to say that few would dispute
the strength of his commitment to furthering those goals because
in the end they were goals for everyone in Canada as well.
Honourable senators, some have suggested, even in recent
days, that the conventional impression of Pierre Elliott Trudeau
was of a man with no shades of grey. It was all black and white,
agree or disagree, like or dislike, patrician and aloof — in short,
he could not really be considered as a man of the people. I find
that astounding — a mythology perhaps built up through the
political battleground or perhaps in the pillars of academic
thought, or, indeed, maybe a quick or superficial commentary. In
truth, there was an extraordinary level of direct and personal
connection from the very beginning of his somewhat reluctant
entry into public life, and it played itself out in the minds and
hearts of people of all political persuasions across this land, who
granted him the respect of a person who steadfastly worked for
the greater cause of Canada at home and in the world.
Having travelled extensively in that world, Mr. Trudeau
looked at Canada with an especially sharp and loving eye. He
passionately believed it to be, not just the very best, but the most
special combination of persons and cultures of any other place.
His respect and friendship for our First Nations was profound —
those people who were here before any of our ancestors ever
came near to these shores and who protected and cared for this
land until the time came to share it. He never forgot them, and
they were there in Montreal yesterday in great numbers, as were
aboriginal friends in this chamber, to pay their respects.
Honourable senators, Pierre Trudeau gloried in the beauty and
the enormous potential that this country offered to those who had
had the courage to settle and stay and build a future for their
families under incredibly harsh conditions.
He wanted every Canadian to share those feelings, to
understand their country, to care for it, to protect it, and to
become involved in its life. He wanted everyone to have a fair
chance to do that in Canada, and he always believed that those
who, for whatever reason, did not have that fair chance should be
offered a helping hand, be it from the state or from each and
every one of us.
Pierre Trudeau enthusiastically encouraged and welcomed
people from every part of the world to come here and join this
family. Many of the most poignant messages that were left here
in those books of remembrance, or out at the Centennial Flame,
or at the front door of his house on Pine Avenue in Montreal,
were written by those who had listened to what he said, had
taken his advice, had come to Canada and had made it their
home, and they were saying, "Thank you very much."
In his never-ending determination to maintain a strong and
united Canada, Pierre Trudeau vigorously followed the initiative
of his predecessor, Prime Minister Pearson, and urged us to share
not only our founding cultures but our founding languages. That
has happened and is happening in a second generation of young
people all across this country, young people who have found that
speaking both French and English is an enormous asset in their
personal citizenship. In conversation with him, even most
recently, I often felt that my stories of the great successes of that
bilingual program — now almost viewed as conventional in
many parts of this country — touched him perhaps more than
anything else. It touched him to know that children are now
learning our languages in kindergarten in Canada and that my
own community, Lethbridge, in the southwest corner of Alberta
— which was never a hotbed of support for these programs in the
beginning — now has its first totally French school, L'école
La Vérendrye. That absolutely delighted him.
Policies come and go, sometimes with approval and
sometimes with heavy opposition. Some policies remain,
however, and change the face of a nation. Many of his have done
that, without a revolution but with great opportunity for our
young people and our future leaders. Canadians are remembering
that with respect and great appreciation, which in itself becomes
a part of his legacy.
I do not believe, honourable senators, that Pierre Trudeau fully
realized how deep and personal that public feeling goes. He does
now. There was no doubt in my mind that he was wandering
through the crowds across this country, here on Parliament Hill,
and in Montreal. He was wandering through those lines of folks,
listening in on those conversations they were having, looking
over their shoulders as they were writing messages, and he was
sniffing the roses. Michel was there with him sniffing roses as
well. Pierre would have smiled at the children who were not
quite sure why they were there but who sensed the occasion with
a little bow and a gentle touch of the flag.
Honourable senators, he would have thanked the security
teams, who permitted a free and steady flow of all those
thousands of citizens as they had come forward. He would have
thanked the Armed Forces for their participation in his vigil. He
would have thanked everyone on the Hill for going through the
crowds and reaching out to those who could not move easily,
who were in wheelchairs, and bringing them up to the front of
the line. He would have liked that a lot.
He would have been so proud of the Royal Canadian Mounted
Police detail that treated him with such care and loyalty, as they
had every day of his life for so many years; and would he ever
have loved that train ride. It would have brought back memories
of past campaigns, with all the waving flags and the friendly
faces along the tracks.
It is really so hard to let him go because, as Justin so
powerfully and pointedly reminded us yesterday, this time he will
not be coming back. The son issued the same challenge that we
had heard so often from the father: This is not the end; it is now
up to all of us to carry this country forward.
That, honourable senators, means all of us who have had the
privilege of being sent to this Senate by various prime ministers
— myself, of course, with great thanks, by Pierre Elliott Trudeau.
— we have a most special platform in this country from which to
fight for Canadians, for our future, and for the future of those
kids who were in those lines. It is that kind of commitment that
will carry forward the fundamental goals of nationhood for the
benefit of all our citizens. That was his dream.
To Mr. Trudeau's sister, Suzette Rouleau, and to Margaret, I
offer my deepest sympathies. To Justin and Sacha and Sarah,
they will always be part of our family. We share their sadness and
their loss today, and we offer our love and support for tomorrow.
As for my old friend Pierre, his spirit will be with me always,
as it will be forever in the history of this country. We will never
Hon. Sheila Finestone: Honourable senators, as I arrived at
my sister-in-law's home in Montreal last Thursday night she was
waiting at the door. We were getting ready to celebrate Rosh
Hashanah. "Have you heard?" she asked, with a trembling voice,
"Pierre passed away." I received the news with a pang in my
heart, tears in my eyes, and frankly, it was as if a personal loss
had occurred. In our minds and in our hearts, the people we love
and admire will live forever.
Today, I stand to deliver a eulogy for our beloved friend and
great statesman. The thoughts are many and so are the memories,
but every word that comes to mind seems too small to describe
such a grand man. Everywhere in the media he has been
eloquently remembered, and here on the floor of the Senate there
have been very moving tributes. He was the statesman who made
us young, made us proud, made us dream.
"A nation grieves," says The Gazette, "A reflective politician,
a thinker willing to act," says the Tribune, "United in grief, the
nation plunges into mourning," reads The Globe and Mail. As
well, CBC Newsworld, in its retrospective and fulsome coverage,
provided a much appreciated history lesson for many Canadians.
Perhaps the most poignant comment of all was the respectful
and reflective quiet on the grounds of Parliament Hill on Sunday
night when I visited. Thousands of people had gathered to pay
their last respects to the Right Honourable Pierre Trudeau. For
millions of Canadians, Pierre Elliott Trudeau will be remembered
as the founding father of our modern nation, the man who
patriated the Constitution, with its Charter of Rights and
Freedoms, accelerated social changes by promoting bilingualism
and multiculturalism, and leaped over conventional wisdom, for
he was an innovator and a visionary.
He clearly understood the needs and aspirations of the
Canadian people, captured the politics of the global scene, and
shared with all of us his vision of Canada's future. He was the
man who believed in working hard, playing hard, loving his
family and saluting the flag. He made all of us proud of being
Like many honourable senators, I had an opportunity to meet
with Mr. Trudeau many times, at cocktail parties, luncheons,
dinners and book launchings. On those occasions we had
pleasant exchanges but nothing of substance. However, I do have
other memories. I do have the memory of the 1980 referendum.
As a member of the executive committee for the No in Quebec, I
joined senators and members of Parliament on the platform in the
Paul Sauvé Arena as we awaited the arrival of Mr. Trudeau. I
can tell you that the tension that filled that arena was palpable.
When Mr. Trudeau arrived, it was as though electric sparks went
through the arena. There was a sense that someone had come to
give hope and guidance and that his will would prevail. It was an
absolutely amazing moment.
When I was approached to run as the candidate for Mount
Royal, which had been held for the previous 16 years by
Mr. Trudeau, I felt deeply honoured, yet very humbled, by this
awesome prospect. Although I found the challenge daunting, I
accepted. As the campaign proceeded, arrangements were made
for Mr. Trudeau to canvass with me in some shopping centres.
As the day of our first joint campaign undertaking approached, I
became increasingly nervous. What could I say to this very
important man, this great intellect? How could I thank him
appropriately for joining me on the campaign trail?
Mr. Trudeau's limousine arrived at my house and his
chauffeur opened the car door for me. As I took my seat, I
managed a few words and a tentative smile, trying to look
capable of the incredible task ahead of me. Mr. Trudeau took one
look at me with his piercing blue eyes and said, "Why on earth
do you want to run?" His question left me speechless, a rare
occasion for me. It took me several seconds to recover but I did
say what I wanted to say. I said, "I want to run because of you,
Mr. Trudeau. You brought the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, a
charter on multicultural rights and on women's rights, into sharp
focus as human rights." I and my family believed in that
philosophy and had worked toward those goals for many years. I
had been working for partnership, fairness, equality, and respect
Mr. Trudeau brought us this exciting mechanism for
democracy, this Charter. Canada would be strengthened through
it and Canada would become a better and a more fair place. We
just heard from Senator Kinsella about the 400 decisions that
have been made as a result of the Charter. The Lovelace case
began the move toward fairness and equality for women that was
I told Mr. Trudeau that he had given such strong constitutional
guarantees for equality that all men and women, all cultures, all
people, all races, and all religions, in their diversity would be
respected as equals. His was a vision of justice for all. I told him
that that was why I wanted to run. I wanted to help his vision and
the Charter become a reality.
When I was the critic for communications and cultural policy
for our party during the free trade debates, following
Mr. Trudeau's legacy, I voiced my personal concern and that of
our party for the promotion and protection of Canadian cultural
products and industries. We must never forget that, among his
many qualities, Mr. Trudeau was the fervent and passionate
architect of our renewed Canadian identity. Through critical
investments in the arts for museums, book publishing,
filmmaking and television, he embarked on a cultural
nation-building process with the belief and determination
necessary to make it the reality it is today.
Two wonderful examples of this are the two museums on
either side of the Ottawa River here. Under Mr. Trudeau's
leadership, Canada experienced the birth and development of
new cultural industries and products which, by repudiating the
19th century rhetoric and stereotypes, reinterpreted the notion of
being Canadian to being part of a vigorous, young, dynamic,
Trudeau's vision was deep and broad. He communicated his
vision to the Canadian people in a very distinctive personal voice
— engaging, persuasive, sometimes witty, always challenging,
and always skilfully coordinating all the parts of his thoughts
toward a well-conceived conclusion. Today, as his heirs, we have
learned that the sum total of his deeds is greater than his parts.
Pierre Trudeau's son Justin gave an amazing eulogy to his
father yesterday. In response to his eloquent and moving tribute I
say, "We understand that your dad will not be coming back any
more. It is up to all of us now." I hope that I am right in telling
Justin, Sacha and Sarah that they will not find us wanting.
On Sunday, as I joined the hundreds of pilgrims on Parliament
Hill, I thought how mystifying it was that the Right Honourable
Pierre Trudeau passed away during the Yamin Noraim, the ten
days of awe and repentance that start with Rosh Hashanah and
end with Yom Kippur. For the Jewish people, this is a time for
serious introspection, repentance and prayer, as we believe that
on Rosh Hashanah the destiny of all mankind is recorded by God
in the Book of Life. The book is then sealed on Yom Kippur. As
I stood by Pierre's casket, wrapped as it was in our beloved
Canadian flag, I said to him, "Thank you, Pierre, for all you have
done for us. May God inscribe you in the Book of Life, for you
are the eternal light in the heart of Canada."
Hon. Raymond J. Perrault: Honourable senators, who could
have predicted the outpouring of affection and grief that we have
witnessed during recent days? There was magic in the long line
of people who came to pay their respects in the Hall of Honour.
Together with many of you, my wife and I stood in line for five
hours to pay our respects. It was a worthwhile wait because we
had an opportunity to talk to many Canadians during that time.
Immediately in front of us was a young man who had come
here from Toronto where he is studying at university to be an
engineer. There were others who came here from the Prairie
provinces and other distant points at considerable cost and effort.
There was a woman waiting very near to us who was wearing a
bandanna. She was obviously in the advanced stages of cancer.
She had to sit down every ten minutes due to exhaustion, but she
stayed in line until her turn came to pay her respects to a former
prime minister. It was a phenomenal experience.
I was impressed as well by the thousands of people
there representing the ethnic minorities in Canada. Obviously,
Pierre Elliott Trudeau was very much loved by all Canadians,
regardless of racial descent and regardless of how long they had
been in this country. Pierre Elliott Trudeau made everyone feel
welcome in Canada. He regarded all Canadians as equals.
Pierre Trudeau believed in democracy. I recall that when I was
Leader of the Government in this place, some opposition senators
confided in us that they were having difficulty being an effective
opposition as they did not have enough members. A meeting was
scheduled with Prime Minister Trudeau and he was told of the
situation and the need to strengthen the opposition, that in order
to do its important work the opposition had to be strengthened.
He told me to leave it with him, and very soon thereafter
additional Conservatives were appointed to the Senate, for Pierre
Elliott Trudeau believed in the parliamentary system and
believed in the necessity of having an effective opposition.
I well remember sessions around the cabinet table.
Mr. Trudeau did not suffer fools gladly. He was an effective
democratic leader of government. His attitude toward various
issues invited many and varying opinions from members of
cabinet. He listened closely to what ministers had to say. More
than once, the majority view of cabinet was not his view, but he
was democratic and fair and got people working together, and he
welcomed new ideas.
Some truly magnificent speeches have been made this
afternoon and in the days that have passed. These speeches have
been some of the most eloquent oratory that I have heard in this
place and elsewhere. This oratory has sprung from a real desire
of Canadians to share with fellow Canadians their love and
appreciation of this country and of the inspirational man who
headed Canada for so long. I believe that a great deal of good
may come as a result of this sad event — a new appreciation of
Canada, its people and its standards.
Many other honourable senators wish to pay their respects, and
I have appreciated this opportunity to say a few words.
Hon. Pat Carney: Honourable senators, listening to the
speeches here and the tributes over the last few days, I am
reminded that I knew Pierre Elliott Trudeau as a parliamentarian.
There are not many of us in this chamber who knew him in that
way. Senator Forrestall, Senator Perrault, Senator Stollery and
Senator Joyal knew Pierre Elliott Trudeau as a parliamentarian.
That list may include Senator Al Graham also, but he has been
around for so long that I cannot remember in which House he sat.
It was as a parliamentarian that we should remember Pierre
Elliott Trudeau. I sat in the House of Commons with him during
the period of 1980 to 1984. I was a brand new member of
Parliament from Vancouver Centre and was going to save the
country. He was the re-elected prime minister who did save the
country. I was a novice and he was an old hand, and I learned
parliamentary manners from him. He understood clearly the role
of the Westminster system of government. He understood that the
government proposes and Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition
opposes, and out of that tension comes better legislation.
That was true of the Constitution debates. In the original
proposal to change our Constitution were measures entirely
unacceptable to Western Canada. During the debates, some of
those issues were changed for the betterment of the country.
I learned from Pierre Elliott Trudeau that if one asked a
question in derision, one would be answered in scorn. As a
Westerner, I opposed many of his policies. However, he remained
gracious and rarely dismissive. I learned that if long questions
were asked, he could tear the questioner to shreds. I learned that
if questions were clear and concise, the question would be
answered with courtesy and attention, if not with information.
Honourable senators, we could all practice these lessons in
both this chamber and the other place. In that way, possibly, a
greater clarity in parliamentary debate would be among
Hon. Serge Joyal: Honourable senators, the people of Canada
and the friends of Canada are in mourning. The man who, for
more than three generations, was the incarnation of Canada, of
the Canadian spirit, is no more. For some of us, myself in
particular, losing him is somewhat akin to being orphaned.
Our national connection is rooted far back in history. Today,
one of our most brilliant sources of inspiration is no longer with
us. The feelings expressed by so many Canadians in recent days
illustrate, and illustrate so movingly, what Henri Lacordaire
wrote about public responsibility:
One cannot reign over men if one does not reign over
Pierre Elliott Trudeau was involved in our national connection
at a decisive moment in our history.
He was our leader, and a true leader he was. He is the one who
showed us the path he believed the country needed to take in
order to ensure the rights of minorities and the weakest members
of our society, in order to guarantee that Canada, as a country and
as a nation, would continue to live up to our shared ideal.
He reassured us, not with the weight of his authority as a
leader, but by the forcefulness and rigour of his thought. His
thought was clear:
Man's freedom remains the hardest thing for humanity to
His entire lifetime was devoted to defending the individual
against political or religious dictates, against conventional
wisdom, which keeps societies from progressing, against the
fetters of narrow nationalism, which makes groups become
risk-adverse and reactionary, against the power of the corporate
consensus and against economic imperialism, which dominates
Pierre Elliott Trudeau did not have two different ethics, one for
his private life and one for the government. He was a man of one
consistent, rational whole. He focussed his efforts on leading the
debate to encourage us to be the best we could be, to remain
consistent with ourselves, to push us to hold onto our principles
without compromise and without side-stepping issues.
He was a firm man, but not a pitiless one. He was fair,
particularly in victory. To him, as a Liberal, the individual is
absolute. Societies do not exist for communities; they exist
merely to provide each individual with the chance to share
equally in the opportunities offered by the talents, the character,
the aspirations of each and every one.
Collectivism serves no purpose if the individual is crushed.
Pierre Elliott Trudeau fought cliques and the status quo. He
sought to reform the fearful, those who saw themselves
continually besieged; he worked to change institutions, in short
to free people from constraint, be it money or thought.
For him, men and women were not of two sorts, the good and
the others, the patriots and the traitors. There was but one sort of
man, one who seeks personal freedom along the way, at times by
trial and error. This is how he saw his political commitment.
Fifteen years ago, after he had stepped down, we were
camping in New Mexico on a rocky peak, and he said to me one
You know, there is no calling more noble than that of
politician, because through it alone can one set the measure
of a society's freedom.
He did not believe in weapons. He consistently defended peace
over force, rapprochement over exclusion, dialogue over
colonialisms. He saw humanity in grand terms; his dreams for us
were in grand terms, too.
He had a very clear sense of the country. He transformed it. He
took it to its limits. His view of francophones was rather
flattering as well:
Had I not been French Canadian by birth, I would have
been by adoption.
He identified with our secular spirit, our unbridled spontaneity,
our way of enjoying life, free of inhibition and false modesty.
On the evening of the election in Quebec on November 15,
1976, he delivered the following message to the country on
I am confident that Quebecers will continue to reject
separatism because they still believe that their destiny lies
within an indivisible Canada.
Pierre Trudeau did not see any benefit to Quebecers in
retreating into a sort of social or political ghetto. Why try to be
unilingual when cultural borders are opening up? It was his
profound belief that respect for the principle of the equality of
both official languages, French and English, would allow us to
share equally in Canada's potential and opportunities. If
francophones made the effort to assume, with competence and
integrity, the responsibilities of managing this country, nothing
would threaten their development.
His vision of us was a broad one. It took in all the horizons of
Canada, the West and the North, the places where, three centuries
ago, the explorers, many of them francophones, were the first to
venture. This man, who loved the wide open spaces and roughing
it, could not see why we had to corner ourselves in and abandon
a land of such abundance and potential.
He said to us:
Let us put down the signposts of our identity throughout
Canada, and roll up our sleeves like our ancestors before us:
Do we lack their fortitude? Do we have less faith in
ourselves than those poor colonists who battled to survive
the heat and the cold?
Canada was a part of him, with its challenges and its historic
hesitations. He wanted to put it on a more solid and lasting
footing, to ensure that it could grow in peace and justice.
Today, we must interpret the principles of the legacy he left us
if we are to live up to his trust.
How did Pierre Trudeau define a just society in 1968?
I should like to quote from what he wrote in 1968 before he
became the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.
The Just Society will be one in which the rights of
minorities will be safe from the whims of intolerant
majorities. The Just Society will be one in which those
regions and groups which have not fully shared in the
country's affluence will be given a better opportunity. The
Just Society will be one where such urban problems as
housing and pollution will be attacked through the
application of new knowledge and new techniques. The Just
Society will be one in which our Indian and Inuit
populations will be encouraged to assume the full rights of
citizenship through policies which will give them both
greater responsibility for their own future and more
meaningful equality of opportunity. The Just Society will be
a united Canada, united because all of its citizens will be
actively involved in the development of a country where
equality of opportunity is ensured and individuals are
permitted to fulfil themselves in the fashion they judge best.
Those were his convictions, the essence of our political legacy:
First, that the rule of law is the fundamental guarantee of a free
and democratic society; and second, that the Canadian Charter of
Rights and Freedoms is our inalienable heritage and, thus, we all
share the responsibility to abolish its derogatory clause, the hole
that was left from an unfinished initiative, because our rights and
freedoms should be above any government initiatives. Rights are
rights and should never be put at risk.
That one life, just one life, is worth all the efforts made to
protect it from the law of retaliation. That we form a nation that
is one, sovereign and indivisible. That our sovereignty is that of
the Canadian people as a whole and that our destiny as a united
country belongs to each and every one of its citizens, wherever
they may live in this great country. That our true wealth is the
diversity of our population and that we must work toward having
that diversity appreciated by defining the best rules to guarantee
mutual respect and confidence of its members in each other. That
our commitment to serve peace and to bring people closer must
rest on the fundamental respect of the dignity of people. That
linguistic equality is a daily commitment that is never completely
fulfilled, a commitment at each stage of the development of our
society. That the integrity of Parliament and of our national
institutions is at the core of our democratic development, and that
equal opportunity is the basis of actions taken by all governments
and of social cohesion.
He also wanted Canadians, all Canadians, to be able to control
our country's destiny. He wanted to make Canada a country
perfectly capable of determining its own future. With these
commitments, with this true ability to control our destiny, Pierre
Trudeau firmly believed that Canada would be:
...so advanced from the point of view of social justice,
prosperity and peace that to abandon it would be a sin
against the spirit, a kind of sin against humanity.
When he left politics in the spring of 1984, he ended his public
life at the Ottawa Civic Centre by saying, "Long live Canada,
one and indivisible."
For him, this was the end of the first phase of a job begun over
30 years ago. Honourable senators, we have inherited this great
dream. We now have to rise to the challenge that Pierre Trudeau
left us. The sun does not set on Canada.
The sun never sets on Canada.
I thank honourable senators for their attention.
Hon. Jack Austin: Honourable senators, what can be said of
Pierre Elliott Trudeau that has not been said by the tribute, the
respect and the affection that has been paid by the people of
Canada themselves across this vast and great land since the news
of his death on September 28, 2000?
Personally, I am in awe of the tens of thousands who waited
patiently on Parliament Hill for three or four hours just to touch
his coffin and say a silent prayer. I am in awe of the tens of
thousands of Canadians who, in the cities, towns and
countryside, have spoken of their respect and admiration for
someone they regard as a truly great leader of the Canadian
family and nation.
History has claimed Pierre Trudeau, and history will, over the
decades to come, evaluate his contribution to Canada. That
judgment will come in the millions of decisions made every day
by Canadians in the years to come about the values Canadians
choose for their lives, their society and their nation. Pierre
Trudeau stood for a united Canada — a Canada that was one, a
Canada that was progressive, a just society. He gave his reason,
his passion, his energy and his life for that cause. If Canadians
make the same choices, then he will be seen by history as a truly
great leader of this nation.
Once, when Pierre Trudeau and I were travelling together in
Asia, he said in a quiet and reflective voice: "Do their leaders
dream for their country and its people or only for themselves and
their power?" Canadians have no doubt that Pierre Trudeau's
dream was Canada.
I am a Canadian from British Columbia, and I am proud to
represent my beautiful province in the Parliament of Canada as I
was proud to represent British Columbia in Pierre Trudeau's
cabinet, from 1981 to 1984. He loved our landscape and, in
particular, our ski slopes. He married Margaret Sinclair, one of
our beautiful daughters. His son Justin lives and works there, and
his son Misha died in British Columbia in a tragedy that
depressed him horribly. Pierre Trudeau had a deep connection to
During his political days, British Columbia both intrigued and
puzzled Pierre Trudeau. He saw the potential of the land and its
people but he wondered whether they knew how to dream or how
to act on their dreams. In a now famous fundraising dinner for
the Liberal Party in 1981, in Vancouver, he talked about the
magic of being at the end of the rail, the start of the ocean and
the necklace of mountains. He said that to see the top of the
mountain was to see the challenge. When Quebec felt that they
had a larger entitlement than they were receiving from Canada,
Quebecers responded by seeking a greater presence in Ottawa. If
British Columbia felt ignored, then his advice to its people was
to send the best people to the Commons, to the public service.
Don't grumble and do nothing. He challenged British Columbia
to act. To quote Pierre Trudeau, "It is said that those who live at
the foot of great mountains are the last to climb them." Some
thought he was insulting them; others thought he was right to
provoke them to action.
I knew Pierre Trudeau was deeply attached to British
Columbia. When there was great controversy in the cabinet in
1982 over whether to support and fund Expo '86, including
Canada Place, he made the decision to go ahead. He came to
Vancouver to unveil the maquette of Canada Place. He came
again to join the Queen, in March 1983, in a ceremony to
witness the beginning of construction of Canada Place. When the
InterAction Council, his group of former leaders chaired by
Helmut Schmidt, decided to meet in Canada, Pierre Trudeau
chose Vancouver for their 1996 meeting.
On my Senate office wall hangs at least 16 identical portraits
of Pierre Trudeau, each shaded in different colours. The artist
presented this portrait to Pierre Trudeau in two identical copies.
One copy hangs in Mr. Trudeau's Montreal office. The other,
given to me by Pierre Trudeau and which hangs in my Senate
office, bears the following inscription: "To my colleague Jack
Austin from a friend with many faces but one reality." I did not
realize it then, but it was Pierre Trudeau writing his own epitaph.
I send my condolences to Margaret, Justin, Sacha and Sarah,
and to all those who loved Pierre Trudeau.
Hon. Louis J. Robichaud: Honourable senators, my few
words about Pierre Elliott Trudeau will certainly pale beside the
eloquence of the senators who have preceded me and what has
been written about him not only in Canada but worldwide. The
newspapers, the television, the radio, all the media have been
unanimous in their praise of an incomparable man, a political
giant. A man known very well to many of us, less well to some,
but admired by all. We admired Pierre Trudeau, a Pierre Trudeau
who was a man of many parts: a man with a spirit of justice, of
equity, a constantly alert mind, a man of great intelligence.
We believe that people are irreplaceable. However, I think we
can say that some people are not as replaceable as others. Pierre
Trudeau is in that category. It will be difficult, in years to come,
to replace a man of his calibre, a man so complete.
Not long ago I read that a teacher in an elementary school had
asked her six-year-old pupils to write a short letter and ask a
question to God. There were several questions, one of which
struck me. That question went as follows: "Dear God, why do
you allow so many people to die, because you have to replace
them? It would save you much work if you let them live much
longer." It was signed, "Suzie."
Pierre Elliott Trudeau should have lived much longer. Then
God would not have to replace him, because he would be here.
I knew Pierre Trudeau very well. He was truly aware of the
needs of the less advantaged in society, whether individuals or
communities. As an Acadian, I reaped the benefits of his broad
vision. To relate one rather commonplace event, he had turned
down a number of universities' offers of honourary degrees. The
Université de Moncton, to which I have a personal connection,
offered him one. Pierre Trudeau told me personally: "I have
turned down honourary degrees, but I cannot turn down one from
the Université de Moncton, the Acadian university."
I was present when that honourary degree was bestowed upon
him by the Université de Moncton. This may be a commonplace
gesture, but it was a symbolic one. He respected minorities.
Without a Pierre Elliott Trudeau there would be no official
languages and certain provinces would not be able to take pride
in saying: "We are bilingual; we can speak English and French."
Today, when we go to Calgary, Vancouver or Winnipeg, we can
hear French in the streets. Before Trudeau, that would not have
been easy. If French was spoken, it was in very limited circles. I
would like to tell the family of Pierre Trudeau what they have
heard so many times already: You have lost a great man, and
Canada has lost a giant.
Hon. Lucie Pépin: Honourable senators, those of us who
knew Pierre Elliott Trudeau well have been left, since his
passing, with a bewildering feeling of emptiness, a void that we
are all still wondering how to fill, and one that weighs heavy on
The death of Pierre Elliott Trudeau has brought down over us
a veil through which we can still see the rich heritage he left
behind: a heritage of beliefs, of ideas of what Canada should be,
of examples and of actions. Pierre Elliott Trudeau is no more, but
we are guided more than ever by his vision of Canada: a vision
of a modern, bilingual, multicultural country devoted to
protecting human rights and freedoms, a Canada of equality and
Without a doubt, the Charter is the most concrete evidence of
the concern for justice and equality that drove Pierre Elliott
Trudeau. He was an intellectual who was a liberal in the
philosophical and social sense of the word, a man motivated by
social justice and equality. Let us remember that, under his
leadership, the government passed legislation that laid the basis
for women's equality, access to the pill and therapeutic abortion,
liberalization of the Divorce Act, and decriminalization of
homosexual acts between consenting adults. He brought us into
the modern age. Moreover, women were appointed to positions
until then reserved for men: in 1972, he appointed the first
female Speaker of the Senate, Muriel McQueen Fergusson,
followed by Renaude Lapointe; in 1982, he appointed the first
female Supreme Court justice, Bertha Wilson. He also appointed
the first female Speaker of the House of Commons, Jeanne Sauvé
who, in 1984, went on to become the first female Governor
General of Canada.
Honourable senators, all of this was vital to building women's
citizenship, because it marks their transition to positions of
representation instead of those of mere participants in the
electoral process or players on the fringes of politics. In his
eulogy yesterday, Justin Trudeau said that his father taught them
to believe in themselves, to stand up for themselves. After that
eulogy, honourable senators, I have but one wish and that is that
the desire for excellence that Pierre Elliott gave to my generation
will be passed on to the youth of our country so that anyone with
a dream will be able to achieve it in whatever field of endeavour
he or she chooses. That was one of the hopes that Pierre Elliott
wished to leave to those who followed.
Hon. Michael Kirby: Honourable senators, I am thankful for
the opportunity I had to serve as the senior public servant on the
constitutional file that ultimately led to the patriation of the
Constitution with the inclusion of the Charter of Rights and
Freedoms. It was certainly the most interesting period of my life.
For all the reasons described already by Senators Beaudoin,
Joyal, Kinsella and others, that period had a very dramatic and
lasting impact on Canada.
I asked Pierre Trudeau what he thought his greatest legacy was
in public life. It is a question that the news media frequently
asked and to which he always gave a non-answer. I am afraid he
also avoided the question in private. However, I felt I had some
insight into what Trudeau thought of the Charter's importance
because of a speech he gave in New York City on the night of
November 5, 1981. That was the date on which the nine
provinces and the federal government reached an agreement to
patriate the Constitution and to include the Charter of Rights and
For many months, the Prime Minister had been scheduled to
receive a Man of the Year award from the American Council of
Churches in New York City. That afternoon, Mr. Trudeau flew to
New York, as planned, with the text that the staff had prepared
several weeks in advance; but, when he began to deliver his
speech, he ad libbed the opening paragraph. He included
two sentences that have always stuck in my mind as showing
Mr. Trudeau's opinion on the rightful place of the patriation and
the Charter in Canadian history:
In 1787 the founding fathers finished writing the United
States Constitution in Philadelphia. In Canada we did it this
That quote has not appeared in many places because it was not
in the official text, but I believe it summarized the importance
that Pierre Trudeau gave to the Constitution and to the Charter of
Rights in particular, even though he would not openly admit it.
Indeed, honourable senators, it has always surprised me that
the Charter has had such overwhelming support among
Canadians. Even during the so-called constitutional wars of 1980
and 1981, never did less than 80 per cent of the population in any
province support the Constitution. Indeed, in some provinces, the
percentage of support reached the high nineties. We were never
at less than 80 per cent, entirely independent of what the premier
of the day was saying.
A public opinion poll was published within the last six months
but, unfortunately, I could not lay my hands on it over the
weekend. In that survey, Canadians were asked about their
degree of support for a variety of Canadian institutions. The
institution to which they gave the highest degree of support was
the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. That is where it stands after
the 400 judgments referred to by Senators Kinsella and
I have always found it strange that a number of Canadians,
including some senators on both sides of this chamber, have
frequently criticized what they call the judicial activism of
today's judiciary. It is particularly puzzling to me that people do
that while simultaneously supporting the Charter.
Lest anyone have any false impressions, the first ministers,
when they agreed to the Charter, absolutely understood that one
direct consequence of the Charter would be a more activist
judiciary and less authority for legislatures and for the Parliament
of Canada. Indeed, on at least two occasions, there was lengthy
debate in the private, closed-door meetings between first
ministers and a few of their staff. In opposition to the principle of
the Charter, two premiers argued strongly about the need for the
supremacy of the legislature and the supremacy of the politician.
The end result of that debate was a comment by one first
minister, whom I will not identify because it was said in a
closed-door meeting. That minister summed up the debate as
follows: "Given how poorly politicians have performed in
protecting the rights and freedoms of individual Canadians, how
could the judiciary possibly do worse?"
For those who think that judicial activism is an accident, it is
not. Those who think that Pierre Trudeau did not foresee that
consequence of implementing the Charter of Rights and
Freedoms are wrong.
If being the architect of the Charter is Pierre Trudeau's greatest
public policy achievement, as Senator Fairbairn said a minute
ago, surely being an outstanding father is his greatest private
achievement. Those of us, like Senator Fairbairn, Senator Austin
and others in this chamber, who had the privilege of working
directly for Pierre Trudeau had the opportunity on a number of
occasions to witness the interaction between the father and his
sons. One occasion I recall was Thanksgiving weekend, 1981. I
remember it because it was three weeks before the final meeting
of first ministers that led to the patriation of the Constitution.
Pierre Trudeau and I were working on a number of things at
Harrington Lake, just the two of us. His mind was totally and
utterly focused, as only he could focus on an issue when he was
intellectually engaged. In the middle of the meeting, one of his
sons ran in with a minor problem. In an instant, Pierre
transformed himself from being the powerful intellectual, the
statesman, the government leader, into a father dealing with the
problems of a 10-year-old child. The child was told that if he
went outside and played, Pierre and I would come out and play
ball when we were finished our work. When that two or three
minutes had passed, in an instant Pierre was back once again as
the focused, absolutely concentrated, intellectually powerful
individual that he was.
I can think of a number of similar vignettes that were
incredibly impressive simply because they showed the man's
capacity to be all of the powerful government leader that the
public saw him as and all of the wonderfully good father that all
of us would like to be.
Honourable senators, as Canadians look back on the last four
or five days, we are clearly grieving the loss of a former prime
minister and many of us in this chamber are grieving the loss of
a friend. But Canadians have also been extremely proud of the
accomplishments of the public life of Pierre Trudeau. I suspect
that, particularly after yesterday, if Pierre Trudeau himself could
have watched these events, he would have said that his greatest
accomplishment and the one of which he was most proud was his
accomplishment as a father.
Hon. Peter A. Stollery: Honourable senators, I am proud to
have been a political supporter of Pierre Trudeau, having been a
member of that great Liberal caucus between 1972 and 1984.
Actually, I supported Pierre in all five of his elections by working
for Charles Caccia in 1968 and by being honoured by the
generous electors of Spadina in Toronto to be their representative
in 1972, 1974, 1979 and 1980. Of course, they did not vote for
me, and I always knew that. Many MPs think the electorate votes
for the candidate. They were not voting for me; they were voting
for Pierre Elliott Trudeau. I just happened to be there.
What an experience that was, honourable senators. None of us
who were there will ever forget the spirit in that caucus with our
leader Pierre Trudeau. We marvelled at his ability to sum up at
the end of the meeting whatever it was we had been discussing. It
was an astounding business, and I saw it hundreds of times.
For much of the time, we were not high in the polls.
I remember the figure of 27 per cent. There were some pretty low
numbers over those years, but the caucus did not waver. We
would go out the door after he spoke to us and pick up our
spirits, knowing that we were supporting the right man for the
country. It is a thing we are very proud of, and we talk about it
when we meet.
At the reception yesterday after the funeral, I met a former MP
from Quebec from those days, and we talked with such pride
about the discussions that surrounded the Charter of Rights. We
have heard people talk about the notwithstanding clause and
what a terrible thing it is. I remember those discussions. The
Charter of Rights and Freedoms did not all happen in one
meeting of the caucus. We had quite a few meetings on that
subject. Various versions of the Charter of Rights were brought
to us. The argument was that the premiers would go for this but
they would not go for that. Finally, Pierre said that we could get
the Charter if we would agree to the notwithstanding clause; but
the only way we would agree to the notwithstanding clause, he
told us, was if it had to be put to the legislature every five years.
He said that Canadians will not, on a long-term basis, support
their provincial governments taking rights away from their
citizens. That is how we got the Charter of Rights, and we feel
pretty good about that.
Honourable senators, Pierre Trudeau was a friend of mine. I
got to know him here in Parliament and also when he joined the
Arctic canoe club to which I belong. He was a wonderful
companion. Many senators here know what I am talking about
when I mention the twinkle in his eye. He had that unusual way
of discussing issues and of summing things up, and he did it not
just in public conversation but also when we were chatting and
discussing something that certainly was not an affair of the state.
Being Pierre's friend was an experience. Many times I walked
with him through the streets of Montreal. It was an odd and
almost an unsettling business because sometimes people would
not look at him, and I knew they were making a point of not
looking at him. Other times people would come up and introduce
themselves. I knew that I was in the company of a great man.
How often do any of us have the opportunity to walk down the
street in our home town with one of the great men of our history?
Honourable senators, I do not want to take up the time of the
Senate. I think so much has been said that it becomes
superfluous. Pierre Trudeau was a friend of mine. I had many,
many experiences with him, and not just on Parliament Hill. I am
greatly saddened by his death, and it is my wish that his soul
rests in peace.
Hon. Lise Bacon: Honourable senators, on Thursday last, we
learned that a giant of a man was gone.
During his lifetime, he did everything to bring us Canadians
together. From coast to coast, Canadians of every linguistic and
ethnic background united their voices in celebrating not only the
memory of the man but his political achievements as well.
The legacy of Pierre Elliott Trudeau is enormous. In the past
few days, we have taken a second look through the photo
archives at both our youth and the birth of modern Canada. He
gave form to the hopes and aspirations of a generation through
his panache and charisma, and through his work and his action he
marked Canada for ever.
Ask a Canadian to define modern Canada in a few words.
There is a good chance bilingualism, multiculturalism
and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms will be
mentioned most often. These concepts and policies are the gems
Pierre Elliott Trudeau has bequeathed to us.
Some of his adversaries in Quebec have often accused
Pierre Elliott Trudeau of trying to crush Quebecers. Blinded by
their goal, they never grasped the real meaning of Pierre Elliott
Trudeau's political action. Far from wanting to demean
Quebecers, Pierre Elliott Trudeau wanted to raise them and make
them equal citizens with other Canadians. Instead of hemming
them in within Quebec, he wanted them to be able to take their
rightful place within Canada and then in the world, and
Like all of you, I was moved by the spontaneous outpouring of
affection and respect for Pierre Elliott Trudeau. The extent of it
expresses Canadians' feeling of being left somewhat orphaned
today. At the same time, what all these Canadians have said gives
me hope. They are showing that the dream of Pierre Elliott
Trudeau lives on despite his passing. It is the duty of each of us
to continue his work.
Hon. Anne C. Cools: Honourable senators, I rise to join
colleagues in paying tribute to Pierre Elliott Trudeau. To me, he
shall always be Mr. Trudeau, this exciting man, this exceptional
man who touched us all and touched us deeply.
Honourable senators, last Monday morning, October 2, around
8:00 a.m., I watched as Mr. Trudeau's casket was carried away
from these buildings. I reflected deeply that Mr. Trudeau had
come to Parliament for the last time. I reflected on the fact that
he was leaving forever. For those of us who knew Mr. Trudeau
well and who served him loyally, that was a hard and difficult
moment. I grieved. In media interviews about him I mused on the
famous stanza from Robert Louis Stevenson's poem, Requiem.
Poets speak where we so often fail and speak so eloquently.
There are times to turn to the muses. The stanza I refer to from
Requiem reads as follows:
Here he lies where he longed to be;
Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.
Honourable senators, yesterday at Mr. Trudeau's funeral at
Montreal's Notre-Dame Basilica, his son Justin referred to
another very famous poem, often quoted by Mr. Trudeau,
called Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, written by
Robert Frost. Some of us here will remember that poem. Its last
The woods are lovely and dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
And miles to go before I sleep.
Justin Trudeau played with those words yesterday, but
I reflected on those words and the series of events that led up to
Mr. Trudeau's use of those particular words. I recalled his
May 22, 1979 defeat; his November 21, 1979 announcement that
he was quitting politics; the December 13, 1979 Liberal defeat
of Mr. Clark's government in a vote of confidence in the House
of Commons; the December 18, 1979 redraft of Mr. Trudeau to
lead the Liberals in the coming election; and Mr. Trudeau's
stunning February 18, 1980 election victory, which returned him
to power as prime minister. Mr. Trudeau said that he had
promises to keep and miles to go before he sleeps. Mr. Trudeau
Honourable senators, I was one of the many who served
Mr. Trudeau. I was one of his candidates in what many of us
remember as a very deadly general election, the 1979 election.
Many of us will remember that Mr. Trudeau was, literally,
almost destroyed politically. One also has to remember that I am
a black person. When I presented myself as a Liberal candidate
in Toronto in 1978 and 1979 it was indeed novel; indeed, novel.
I do not talk about these things very often, but that 1979 general
election was such an ordeal; it was very rough. The predators
were out to hurt Mr. Trudeau and to take him out, as they say, in
the general election, but there is one private matter I would like
to share with honourable senators. There were many enemies
trying to hurt Mr. Trudeau, and one of the ways that one could
have hurt Mr. Trudeau in those days was to try to demonstrate
that there was so much racism against me that, of course, the
voters would never ever vote for me. I see Senator Isobel
Finnerty here. She remembers these events very well. I want you
to know that whenever my campaign team encountered a sign on
which someone had scribbled "nigger," or whatever, we raised no
issue publicly. My campaign workers and myself went around in
the dead of the night and replaced those signs personally, because
we wanted no stain or scar on Mr. Trudeau. That is the depth of
feeling I had about this man.
Honourable senators, in the lead-up to the 1979 general
election, Senator Finnerty will remember very well that in
October 1978 there had been a spate of by-elections across
Ontario. There were seven, I believe. We lost every single one,
and of the seven, there were five that we had previously held as
Liberals. We lost all of those. Mr. Trudeau was discouraged and
Honourable senators, I remember at the time that Senator
Royce Frith had been talking to me and had told me how
despondent Mr. Trudeau was. I remember, honourable senators,
that that was on October 16. Two days later, on October 18, an
article written by John Hay appeared in the Ottawa Citizen. The
headline of that article written by John Hay read: "Cools still
waiting in Liberal wings." Remember, this was 1978 and the
anti-Trudeau sentiment was rising. In that article, John Hay
quoted me and wrote about me, saying:
There is also her deep attachment to Prime Minister
Trudeau himself, a subject that animates her more than most
Then he quoted me:
"I have great admiration, affection and esteem for the
prime minister... The man is a giant."
That is where that expression comes from: "The man is a giant."
My friends told me that this article was immediately placed
before Mr. Trudeau that morning and that it was a great source
of strength for him. I am sure that all of us here as party members
understand what happens in a political party and a political
caucus when the leader seems to be faltering.
Honourable senators, I would like to share one more example
of what I consider to be a great act of loyalty on my part to
Mr. Pierre Elliott Trudeau. I would like to share with honourable
senators what I believe was my greatest act of loyalty to this
particular man. Loyalty is very difficult to come by.
On October 1, 1992, at the Maison Egg Roll in Montreal, I
attended the monthly meeting of the newly revised magazine
Cité libre. I had attended that meeting to support Mr. Trudeau
that night, as he was about to speak on the Charlottetown accord.
The political context was the pending October 26, 1992 national
referendum on the Charlottetown accord. Mr. Trudeau felt quite
rejected by the Liberal Party, as the Liberal Party of Canada had
rejected his conception and vision of Quebec in Canada and had
chosen to support the Charlottetown accord.
In The Toronto Star of October 2, 1992, in an article by
Patrick Doyle and Sandro Contenta headlined "Trudeau says No.
Put emotions aside, voters urged" these journalists wrote about
Mr. Trudeau, saying:
He then joined the small head table, which included his
guests, Senator Anne Cools, Liberal MP Charles Caccia...
Honourable senators, Senator Jacques Hébert had extended
that invitation to me, and Liberals, especially those appointed by
Mr. Trudeau, were in very short supply. As a matter of fact, they
were very scarce. Senator Marcel Prud'homme was there as well.
At that meeting Mr. Trudeau denounced the Charlottetown
accord with the words, "...they have made a mess and this mess
deserves a big No."
Honourable senators, the results of that referendum are well
known. It was defeated. The Charlottetown accord was defeated,
and Mr. Trudeau's intervention was critical in that defeat.
Mr. Trudeau told me himself that it meant a lot to him that I was
there sitting next to him that night.
Honourable senators, I come to what in my mind is the
greatest and the most memorable aspect of Mr. Trudeau's life.
That night, at that Cité libre event, I was, as always, deeply
touched by the close relationship between Mr. Trudeau and his
son Justin. Yesterday at the funeral, I watched both Justin and
Sacha as that close relationship with their father was made
apparent to this nation. Canada joined in that closeness when
Justin, in his eulogy, related his own account of his realization of
the wonder of his father — the wonder of Mr. Trudeau as a man
and the wonder of Mr. Trudeau as a father.
Honourable senators, Mr. Trudeau's greatest legacy is not his
legal or intellectual activity, not his constitutional pursuits, not
his political triumphs nor his defeats. Historical judgment is still
out on the Charter, for example. His greatest legacy is not his
encounters with nature and the outdoors. Undoubtedly his
achievements are many. His greatest legacy is his encounter with
parenting. For some time now, the imagery of Mr. Trudeau with
one or all of his three boys — Justin, Sacha and Michel — has
become the dominant image of this man.
Two years ago, when Mr. Trudeau lost his son Michel, the
entire nation joined him and mourned with him. I can tell my
honourable friends that today Canadians think of Mr. Trudeau
primarily as a man who, despite his greatness as a statesman,
despite all his important matters of state, had time, and a lot of
time, for his three little guys.
Mr. Trudeau once told me that children came to him late in
life, at an age when he could actually appreciate the blessing that
they were. That is an astounding statement.
Honourable senators, in closing, I wish to say that
Mr. Trudeau's greatest legacy is a personal one that resonates
with all Canadian parents who struggle, sometimes in the face of
adversity, to raise their children. His greatest legacy is that of
being a parent. His greatest contribution to Canada has been his
achievement as a parent and his contribution to fatherhood. His
greatest achievement has been his excellence as a father, which is
accompanied by the fact that despite a divorce he always
supported the rights of the boys' mother and the boys' rights to
have her as their mother. Of Mr. Trudeau, it can be said that he
was the greatest father of them all. I am of the opinion that
history will treat Mr. Trudeau as a father in the same vein as
Saint Thomas More, who had a very unique relationship with his
Honourable senators, when Mr. Trudeau telephoned me in
January 1984 to appoint me to the Senate, he told me many
things. One of the things he told me in particular was that he
liked my struggle never to be bound by race or gender. Then he
also told me that he wanted me to promise him that on coming to
the Senate I would continue to work with families in difficulty
and families in conflict. As Justin said yesterday, his father kept
his promise. Honourable senators, I am keeping mine.
Honourable senators, Mr. Trudeau's journey is over and his
job is done. I celebrate his life. Mr. Trudeau has gone home to
meet his maker and to give account of himself. I send my love
and my support to his family, particularly to his sister and his
children, and I also send the love of all of us. There were many
who had the privilege to serve him, who served him in good
times and who served him in the hard times, and that is the
service that counts.
Hon. Charlie Watt: Honourable senators, I will begin in
[Senator Watt spoke in his native language.]
The man who led us for a number of years has left us behind.
He was a great man, a man with feelings, a man with whom I
have interacted in a number of different ways. I did not know this
man when I returned to my isolated community in 1965, but I
came to know him very quickly when he entered federal politics
and began to make sparks. I did not know what to expect at that
time. I had just arrived back home after receiving an education in
the south. When I arrived, I found a great mess in my
community. My own survival was in jeopardy. In 1965, two
levels of government were trying to get the Inuit under their
jurisdiction. At that time, we had a very strong leader of the
opposition, John Diefenbaker. Although I was only a young man,
I had the privilege of dealing with him directly.
I believed that someone had to speak out to make the rest of
Canadians understand us as a people and understand how we
survive in the North. I knew that it was a big job, but I was full of
energy. Some of my colleagues here today are fully aware of my
efforts in those early years. Some of them were close to the
Prime Minister at the time, and I had the privilege of dealing
with them at that time as well.
There are two areas in which I dealt with Prime Minister
Trudeau that I recall more than any others. The first was Bill 101,
when I decided to take on René Lévesque with regard to the
language issue. Every now and then I would read in the
newspapers a quotation from Pierre Elliott Trudeau, and it gave
me a great deal of encouragement to continue on behalf of not
only my own people but the entire nation, because I could not
accept having Quebec isolated from the rest of the country. In the
same spirit as Prime Minister Trudeau, I believed that the country
must remain united.
Honourable senators, I also had the privilege of dealing with
Prime Minister Trudeau, directly as well as indirectly, leading up
to the patriation of the Constitution. I remember one instance
very clearly. I had an appointment to meet with him at 24 Sussex
Drive, along with a few other politicians. I specifically remember
that Senator Michael Kirby was there because the Prime Minister
asked him whether what I wanted to do made sense.
During the negotiations preceding the patriation, there were
first ministers meetings during which the Prime Minister
repeatedly reassured me that I need not worry, that my demands
would not be taken out of the resolution. However, due to his
strong commitment to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, he
eventually had to make some trade-offs, and he told me that. I am
not sure how I responded, but it must have been effective
because I had a meeting with him shortly thereafter.
My only request of him was to give us at least a week to see
whether we could flush out the premiers. We wanted to take the
battle into our own hands. I did not see the need for the Prime
Minister to be directly involved because I believed that it was the
fight of the aboriginal people.
Whether by accident or design, when our Constitution was
drafted the aboriginal people were left out. In 1982 or 1983,
section 35 was entrenched in the Constitution. That gave us a
little more than we had previously, but a trade-off had to be
made. The Prime Minister and the premiers decided that we
could be brought back into the resolution by adding the word
"existing," and that was done. To me, that was like a
summersault. However, it was much better than what we had
I have many good memories of my dealings with Prime
Minister Trudeau. I will miss him a great deal because I have
always known that when we encountered problems in this
country he was not afraid to say publicly exactly what he
thought. We have no one else like him in that regard. However,
we heard his son yesterday, and I and many others from the
North were very touched by what he had to say. Justin said that
he was raised by his father to respect all people and to treat all
people in the same way. Justin said that this is not the end, and I
think we all understood what he meant.
We still have much work to do. Prime Minister Trudeau laid
the foundation and now we must build upon it to make it work.
We have to begin to implement what we have put together in the
Constitution. That is the challenge for every one of us.
Aboriginal people in this country are not always considered to
be responsible people. The fact is that among all peoples in this
country there are those who are responsible and those who are
not. It is that way with every society in the world. Let us not
paint everyone with the same brush and engender feelings of
hopelessness. There is always hope and our society will continue
to move forward.
One of our colleagues here said that we feel empty. We may
feel partially empty, but I do not think Pierre Elliott Trudeau
would want us to feel empty. He has fulfilled our needs, and it is
now up to us to move forward and live up to the goals that he set
for this country.
Hon. Marcel Prud'homme: Honourable senators, I had the
honour of meeting Mr. Trudeau as long ago as 1953. It was at the
Canadian Institute on Public Affairs in Sainte-Adèle, where an
annual meeting was held of those who were said at the time to
have nothing in common except that they were all against
Duplessis. There I was at age 18, meeting all the people who
were later to become the movers and the shakers in the
economic, political and social life of Canada.
Mr. Trudeau went on to become the leader of a movement that
was called "le Rassemblement." This movement is not well
known, but a few journalists have referred to it in recent days. I
have my membership card to this day. It dates back before the
1960s and bears the signature of Mr. Trudeau.
You know, there are only three of us in Parliament that predate
the beginning of Mr Trudeau's last career, his career in politics.
Mr. Gray was elected in 1962, Mr. Chrétien in 1963, and I myself
had the honour of replacing our Senate colleague Mr. Denis, with
my election in February of 1964.
I could take all the rest of the day to speak to you of all the
facets of this extraordinary character, of whom we have heard so
much in the past few days.
Mr. Trudeau had a very personal way of working. This
summer, I sorted through 200 of the boxes that will go to the
national archives one day. I discovered once again the way
Mr. Trudeau could operate on occasion, when he wanted to get
results without direct involvement. I learned more than I knew
about this myself from a book published in the United States in
1971, titled New Exile.
I will paraphrase parts of that book. It said that, in reality, even
before The Washington Post appeared, Trudeau had indicated
privately to a young Liberal Party MP from Montreal, Marcel
Prud'homme, that he would not be against Parliament bringing
pressure to bear against the immigration department's recent
entry deserter policies. The book said that Trudeau apparently
preferred to have nothing to do with it himself but was once
reported to have said he would step in if Parliament did not. It
went on to say that Prud'homme had awaited just such a signal
from his party's leader and, thereupon, brought together
25 Liberal MPs who met with Minister MacEachen and urged
him to change his policy.
The book's conclusion reads that after several more Liberal
Party caucuses sponsored by Prud'homme and fellow MP David
Weatherhead from Toronto, at which a party majority declared
itself in favour of change, MacEachen finally announced on
May 22, 1969 that if a serviceman from another country meets
our requirement of immigration he will not be turned down
because he is still in the active service of his country.
That is how I became involved in one of the most explosive
issues of the day. I had never spoken in public about that issue
and became the instrument in the hands of Mr. Trudeau to divide
the Liberal Party so that he could then intervene. The Liberal
Party of that day was totally opposed to admitting American
deserters and draft dodgers.
In 1974, one of the most controversial years in the history of
the United Nations, Mr. Trudeau did me the great honour of
appointing me to the United Nations as a delegate of Canada.
Canada's ambassador to the United Nations at that time was
Mr. Saul Rae, the father of John Rae and Bob Rae. The United
Nations was under the chairmanship of Mr. Bouteflika, Minister
of Foreign Affairs, who disappeared eventually. He is now back
as president of Algeria. It was my decision to stand up to applaud
Mr. Arafat, who was speaking for the first time at the United
This is when the world landed on my head and shoulders, and
the caucus, in a rage, wanted me recalled. The entire Canadian
press and Mr. Diefenbaker in Parliament were up in arms against
me, saying that I should be recalled. And yet, Mr. Trudeau, with
his usual patience, left me in my post at the UN until the end of
my term, that is, until the end of December 1974.
On my return, I was very distressed because I saw my political
future — which had never really begun in any case — disappear
from the horizon. And then, in May 1975, Ms Viau, my very
loyal secretary, a bit like Ms Bondar, in the case of Mr. Chrétien,
whom I salute in passing, called me to say the Prime Minister
wanted to speak to me. And so once again, discreetly, as
everyone was thinking my career was truly over because of the
outrageous things I had done, Mr. Trudeau asked me, being the
last to respond to the invitation by Mr. Sadat, to be his official
representative at the reopening of the Suez Canal in June 1975.
And so over the years Mr. Trudeau, who should have been
putting me in my place by giving me the silent treatment, never
discouraged me in my chosen goal, that of being a living witness
to the truth in the Middle East. I could quote — but I will spare
you because I will publish it — all of the events that have
occurred since then. Among others, he asked me to accompany
him to the United Nations, to the Conference on Disarmament.
Suddenly, I was supposed to disappear. He said that I was to
accompany Mrs. Trudeau to Japan. I was honoured. Mr. Trudeau
said, "You are going to come and meet Mr. Carter," whom I met
yesterday and with whom I spoke for a long time.
That is the Mr. Trudeau that many members may not know and
may have never known, but yet he truly existed. I was the
chairman of the Quebec caucus. I want to remind colleagues,
especially new colleagues, that I was always elected in a secret
ballot. I could never have aspired to be chairman of anything if
the ballots would have been open. I had silent encouragement,
acknowledgement, and a magnificent series of letters from
Mr. Trudeau that indicated to me that if I wanted to stand up I
could stand up alone. That is what I did, and I am very thankful
to Pierre Elliott Trudeau for that.
I have many witnesses who are still alive. I am not going to
quote them, of course. So I was around without being right in the
centre. Some honourable senators here were directly inside the
circle, not of his friends but his circle of political advisers. I was
there in the periphery of Mr. Pierre Elliott Trudeau's circle.
I know Madam Trudeau well. She agreed to do fundraising for
me in unbelievable circumstances. It was during the last days of
her living in Ottawa. I am thankful to her. I know her personally,
and I offer her and her sons, as well as Mr. Trudeau's daughter,
whom I do not have the honour to know...
I learned something from him that I would like to pass on to
these young people. They should never be afraid to find
themselves alone because they have said what they believed to
be true — even though it may, at times, cost them dearly and
even be devastating for them. If they are certain, in good
conscience, that what they are defending is what must be
defended, they will eventually succeed. This is what I remember
of Pierre Elliott Trudeau.
I would have liked to be accompanied by other honourable
senators when I looked at the 40 books made available to the
public, behind the Speaker's Chair, ten tables on each side of the
House of Commons and the Senate, two books per table, until
four in the morning. You could have sat down and read the
testimonies, which is what I did Saturday and Sunday until the
middle of the night. I hope that someday — and I am asking this
of Mr. Trudeau's estate — these books will be made available to
the Canadian people, so that they can read directly what
Canadians — I hate the word — both "official" and ordinary
Canadians have written in them. I hate the word "official"
because it seems to imply that there are two types of Canadians:
those who have responsibilities and the others who put their trust
into those who represent them.
I do not like the term "ordinary Canadian." It is unofficial and
like something in the sky that does not exist.
I would like people to be able to read these testimonies, and I
am asking the Speaker of this house to ensure that these
testimonies are kept. Hundreds of testimonies are being lost. If
you were to read them, you would find some extraordinary
things. I hope that these numerous testimonies can also become
part of a collection that would certainly be made available to
Mr. Trudeau's estate and that would eventually become part of
Hon. E. Leo Kolber: Honourable senators, I rise today to talk
about a man who touched my life in a very profound way. Pierre
Trudeau appointed me to the Senate in 1983, and after he retired
we began a series of world travels that included my wife, my son,
Senator Austin, his wife and, occasionally, a few others.
Much has been written about Mr. Trudeau and the
Constitution, Mr. Trudeau and Quebec, and Mr. Trudeau and
many other matters. I would like to spend a few moments
speaking of Mr. Trudeau, my friend, and my little essay could be
entitled "Travels With Pierre."
We actually became quite friendly while he was still prime
minister, but our real friendship with him truly blossomed after
he retired. Each year he would choose an itinerary that somehow
he always wanted to do, and Senator Austin and I would try to
work out the logistics. Our modus operandi was that we would
visit the ambassador of the country we wished to visit and tell
him our intentions. The ambassador would then make
suggestions as to the best way to proceed.
Our many trips included such fascinating things as being on
the Trans-Siberian Railway for six nights and seven days and
listening to Mr. Trudeau expand on geopolitics, while racing
through the Siberian tundra. We made fantastic trips to Vietnam,
Laos and Cambodia. We attended the theatre in London and New
York. We went with the Brazilian Airforce into the Amazon
jungle, and we spent several days with the Yano-mani tribe,
probably the most primitive group of people in the world.
I would like to highlight one trip that illustrates, in a peculiar
way, the magic spell this man was capable of weaving. He had
decided that he would like to follow the Marco Polo Silk Route
from Pakistan into China, which took us through the Karakoram
Pass and all these places I had never heard of. We met with the
Ambassadors of both Pakistan and China. The Pakistani
Ambassador was delighted because it seemed that Mr. Trudeau
had tried to get Pakistan into the Commonwealth, albeit with no
success. The Chinese Ambassador was thrilled, and he told us
that we would be safe but reasonably uncomfortable for the first
part of the trip.
For his part, Mr. Trudeau pointed out that he really wanted to
make the trip, but agreed that going under the aegis of General
Zia was pushing the envelope somewhat. General Zia was the
head of Pakistan and welcomed us warmly. In fact, he was our
protector for the Pakistani part of the trip. He made sure we were
looked after, albeit primitively, wherever we went.
As we neared the Chinese border, which was at an elevation of
16,000 feet, a call came in from the General's office to tell us
that a glacier had moved, and a big lake had formed that would
be in our way. In true style Mr. Trudeau told the General that
perhaps we could climb the mountain around the lake, to which
General Zia replied that it was dangerous and not possible, and
that he would make other arrangements. As we approached the
lake in very misty foggy weather, we saw about 100 army
engineers dressed in fatigues who had brought rafts for our
crossing. We then boarded the rafts, with the jeeps, and with
some of our Chinese hosts who had come to meet us. We then
proceeded to the other side of the lake.
As we disembarked, we noticed a little yellow school bus on
the other shore. As the engineers were unloading the jeeps and
other equipment, we walked towards the school bus. Remember,
at this point we were truly in the middle of nowhere — we were
at 16,000 feet in the Himalayan Mountains, with no roads, no
vegetation, and a lack of oxygen. To our utter amazement, there
were 12 tourists from the province of Quebec trying to cross the
other way. When they spotted and recognized Mr. Trudeau, you
can imagine the utter astonishment on their faces. It was as
though the Messiah had arrived. The shouts of "Mon Dieu, c'est
Pierre. Qu'est-ce qu'il fait ici?" filled the air, and a sort of
Canadian reunion took place. I cannot imagine anyone else
pulling off such a stunt in this most happenstance way, but that
was Pierre. He touched our lives in a very profound way.
Speaking for my wife and myself, we shall be forever grateful.
Hon. Jerahmiel S. Grafstein: Honourable senators, the hour
is late, the evening draws nigh, the dreaded night is here, and so
we come to honour Pierre Elliott Trudeau. How should we
honour him? How he loved words, whether as a pamphleteer,
essayist, teacher, satirist, memoirist, advocate, poet, or politician,
he adored words. All his life he was most careful with his own
words. Now, all we have to offer are our words to assuage the
elusive feeling of loss to our own persona.
His crackling words first attracted our minds and our thoughts
in the 1950s. Finally, even though we resisted, his persona
captured our hearts. So we come to honour him for his words and
In a strange way, looking back, it seems to me now, much of
what I have said in the Senate was for a critical audience of one.
I took care with my words in the Senate and relished his
reactions in notes, encounters and conversations.
Why did he scorch such a significant space on the Canadian
psyche? By the dint of his own energy and thoughts, he alone
created a novus ordo seclorum, a new school of thought, a new
lexicon of rights by the so-called breach birth of the Charter, a
new uncommon Commonwealth. Surely, the final honour cannot
be less than the accolade of acceptance by his most vitriolic
opponents who, despite themselves, have adopted the Charter as
their touchstone, just as his advocates have.
My first memories of Mr. Trudeau go back to the 1950s after
I had first read his dashing essays on federalism. Our earliest
exchange came in 1961, through a mutual friend, the late Jean
David. We renewed more frequent exchanges during my first
stint in Ottawa from 1966 to 1968.
He had a quick wit. On the day he finally announced his
intention to run as leader of the Liberal Party early in 1968, he
sent me an unsolicited photograph inscribed, "To Jerry. Next
Year in Jerusalem. Pierre." Earlier, I had turned down his offer of
a job. To this day, I am not sure what he meant by that note.
Whether he wanted me to go or to stay, or would we meet in the
"Promised Land." In any event, I left Ottawa in 1968, right after
his election as leader. In October 1972 he called for help during
that ill-fated "Land is Strong" campaign, which I answered. In
the midst of that campaign, I organized and co-chaired a surprise
birthday party for Mr. Pearson, who was then dying of cancer.
The surprise party was held in the intimate surroundings of the
Maple Leaf Gardens for 25,000 Canadians, and we convinced
Mr. Trudeau to act as host. It was to be Mr. Pearson's last public
event. I recall the final exchanges between Mr. Pearson and
Mr. Trudeau on that evening. The rest is history.
From 1974 until 1984 he asked me as a volunteer to supervise
all of his television and print campaigns and so we carried on
regular written and personal exchanges on ideas and policies.
Too many personal anecdotes flood across my memory plain,
many intersected on public events. Allow me to focus my
thoughts on the Senate and make a very partial public confession.
When I received a call from Mr. Trudeau early in 1984 to
inform me of his decision to appoint me to the Senate, he
described, in a quiet and complimentary way, the various private
memos, some controversial, I had sent him over two decades.
None had ever leaked; none had ever appeared in the press. He
concluded with this line, "We need you in the Senate." He asked
whether I needed some time to think about it. I said, "No, no,
no." I was prepared to accept right then and there. I considered
the appointment to be the greatest compliment ever bestowed
upon me. However, I did allow that I was curious about one
thing. I asked him why he had said, "We need you in the Senate."
Then I heard the phone drop and a sudden burst of laughter. He
picked up the phone and he politely apologized. He told me he
thought I was the first person that he had ever appointed who had
asked why? I told him, "I am serious, Prime Minister. I accept,
but I still want to know why." Why did he need me in the
Senate? He then told me something that I have never forgotten.
Pierre Trudeau wanted me to use the Senate as a platform for
my own ideas, the same ideas, he said, that I had relentlessly
pressed upon him and others in the party. He wanted the Senate
to be a "house of ideas."
Shortly after my appointment to the Senate, the first issue that
struck my attention was the debate of apology and compensation
to Canadians of Japanese descent who had been incarcerated and
had their property expropriated during the Second World War.
On April 10, 1984, I tabled a motion in the Senate and, on
May 8, 1984, I made my maiden speech on this subject.
Mr. Trudeau opposed this measure. We could not forever
resurrect the past, he argued. We could only change the future.
I and others felt that the case for Canadians of Japanese
descent was different and could be differentiated on its facts from
other similar claims. Mr. Trudeau argued vehemently that such
differences would be overlooked. To do so would be an invitation
for a flood of attempts to rewrite history. All we could do is not
to repeat the failures of the past. We agreed to disagree.
When an apology and compensation were ultimately made by
Mr. Mulroney's government, Mr. Trudeau gently chided me
about the floodgate of demands and the expectation that this had
indeed triggered, just as he had predicted. He rarely forgot, yet he
never resented a principled or reasoned stand.
The next event we recall was the Meech Lake debate in 1988,
right here in the Senate chamber. After Mr. Trudeau's retirement,
he was most reluctant to return to public discourse. I and others
convinced him that the principles captured in the Meech Lake
agreement were more important than his person and that if he
came to the Senate, he could make a difference.
The two-nations thesis was embedded in Meech Lake. Pierre
Trudeau had fought against such a revisionist view of history his
entire life. "Special status" or "distinct society" were code words
for the two-nations thesis, he explained. I agreed. This he and
many of us here could not accept.
Honourable senators, the Senate chamber echoes this evening
with the eloquence of his speech and his responses. He sat in this
chamber that day and argued here, alone, in the Committee of the
Whole, for well over three hours. I have the transcript here. To
my mind, that day he kept Canada on the fragile "One Canada"
and "Canada, one and indivisible" course.
When the last referendum came, we enquired whether
Mr. Trudeau had been invited to participate. We were surprised
that we had not seen him on the hustings. We were told by the
organizers that he was reluctant to do so. As the polls drew
closer, many of us still believed that Mr. Trudeau could make the
crucial difference. Calls were made to the No organizers in
Ottawa and in Montreal to see how this might be done. In the last
days, the No side support slid further and softened. Polls showed
that the two sides were within several points of each other, within
the margin of error. Still no invitation.
I concocted what I thought was a marvellous and simple plan.
Mr. Trudeau, on that last Sunday before the referendum, after all
the official television advertising had been completed, would
take a casual morning stroll and then sit on a bench in the park
near his house in Montreal. A CBC television camera crew
would accidentally wander by. He would then give a final
interview on that crucial Sunday and own the media on that day
and on Monday, referendum day.
While Mr. Trudeau was reluctant, since he had not been asked
earlier, I had reason to believe that he could have been persuaded
to do so, even at that late hour. The organizers in Quebec would
have none of it. I believe Mr. Trudeau would have been worth at
least five additional points on the No side and again history
would have changed. Honourable senators, it is for learned
historians to speculate on that.
After the referendum came a resolution presented in
Parliament respecting the "distinct society." I had heard from
others here on this side and in the another place that Mr. Trudeau
was in agreement. I could not believe that, so I called him several
times. He urged me to make a long and forceful speech against
the resolution in the Senate. That was the only time from the date
of my appointment that he ever asked me to do something.
Others convinced me that the resolution was not important and
that I should remain silent. The resolution would fade.
Honourable senators, on December 14, 1995, I made the
shortest speech I ever gave in this place against the motion to
recognize Quebec as a distinct society. Let me repeat it:
Come, let us now praise Canada, for Canada is a distinct
society. The rest is commentary. Canadians, themselves, can
count the ways.
This did not please Mr. Trudeau or anyone on this side or in the
other place. I regret to this day that I did not follow his strong
advice, for Mr. Trudeau believed that principles and practice
march best when they march together.
Finally, honourable senators will recall the extradition bill and
the discretion it gave to the Minister of Justice respecting the
death penalty. Mr. Trudeau was delighted with the position some
of us had taken against the measure.
When it came to the Nisga'a treaty, he again spoke quietly of
his concern with respect to the compromise of some significant
principles espoused in that measure.
I recount these events to demonstrate that from the time of his
resignation 16 years ago as prime minister, he continued to
actively follow events in Parliament, including the Senate,
closely and with great and precise interest.
Honourable senators, how then are we to honour Mr. Trudeau?
To hold fast to his ideas, ideas that many of us on both sides of
this chamber share?
In 1979, after 11 turbulent years as prime minister,
Pierre Trudeau's political fortunes had fallen to their lowest ebb.
When the election started, the Liberals were lagging in the polls.
The economy had been ravaged first by international then
domestic inflation. The public had lost confidence in him. The
regions were upset. The only area of public opinion where Pierre
Trudeau still held an overwhelming lead was the leadership
indices. Thus, I coined the phrase for the 1979 campaign: "A
leader must be a leader."
Since that time, leaders of every political stripe in Canada,
consciously or unconsciously, essay to measure themselves
against the high standards set by Mr. Trudeau's innate and
practised leadership skills and qualities. All others pale in
comparison. Why so?
Pierre Trudeau came to politics and sought power, not for its
own sake, but for a specific idea of Canada. His message was
inseparable from his medium. The man became the medium. He
envisaged Canada as a distinct society, a bilingual and
multicultural society, and a just society fused by equality and
inclusion. No one should be left out and no one should be left
behind. Activist organs of government were to be re-engineered
to be servants of the people. The Canadian Charter of Rights and
Freedom would transform the political landscape. The individual
would be placed above politicians or Parliament. In the process,
alone, as I noted earlier, he created a new school of thought for
us — a new and different commonwealth. Pierre Trudeau
energetically, creatively and repetitively hammered home his
singular message with persuasion, passion and precision
designed to forge an unbreakable link with each Canadian,
whether or not one agreed with him.
It is not strange, then, that each Canadian should personally
measure his or her life experience against the larger-than-life
figure cut by Pierre Trudeau. It certainly comes as no surprise
that, on his death, each and every Canadian feels an
indescribable personal loss, as if somehow one's own persona
were diminished. The power and depth of that response across
Canada is still unfathomable and unmeasurable.
Honourable senators, we honour Pierre Trudeau because
today's political discourse vibrates and resonates anew with his
obsession for equality rights — the demand for rights by one
group or another, by one individual or another. Each claims
rights based on the individual rights and freedoms he embedded
in the Charter. Pierre Trudeau had that vision. These ideas would
forge Canadians together into an exciting new crucible of
identity, and that has been done.
For those who were privileged to know Pierre Trudeau up
close and personal or from afar, his ideas are alive. His belief in
forging one Canada, one and indivisible, now and forever, has
been reignited, whether it be in the Citizenship Act or other
legislation to come. His ideas refuse to be diluted or diminished.
He cannot be forgotten. Pierre Trudeau's heartbeat lives on.
Rereading Pierre Trudeau's early essays, as I have this
weekend, is a fresh pleasure. From that electric first encounter
almost 40 years ago in a Montreal bar, his penetrating intellect
forced one to think harder and more clearly and to be better than
we deserve. I urge all new senators to read and reread his Meech
Lake evidence in the Senate as a powerful reminder of what the
Senate can do if we have the collective political will.
Let me conclude on a personal puzzle. From whence sprang
Mr. Trudeau's fountain of ideas? I often asked him and myself
that question. What motivated him? I began to read and reread
carefully the ideas of Mounier, Acton, Newman, Maritain,
Gilson, Berlin, and even the poet Saint-Exupéry. Trudeau prided
himself as a contrarian who went against the grain, an
anti-nationalist, especially when people wrapped the mantle of
nationalism around them, which they needed for their own
insecure comfort and needs. I reread the Spiritual Exercises of
St. Ignatius and the Interior Castle, written by St. Teresa of
Avila, and delved into the works of St. Thomas and
St. Bonaventure. "Know thyself," "know thyself," these works
proclaimed. Was it these thinkers or more simply the premature
loss of a father we shared that forced one to think independently
and differently, against the grain? We shared a fascination with
the mysteries of China and the Lubavitch movement. Above all,
he relished the expression of ideas and phrases, both written and
When he came to office, he surrounded himself with creative
thinkers, like his closest friends Gérard Pelletier; Jacques Hébert;
the late and most lamented Fernand Cadieux; the unsung
McLuhan of French Canada; Jean LeMoyne, the poet he
appointed to the Senate; Eugene Forsey; Jean Louis Gagnon, that
great Quebec Liberal who, in the 1930s, stood up alone against
the Duplessis tide; Rod Chiasson; or my old friend and confidant,
now in England, Roy Faibish.
One hour with Trudeau, honourable senators, became a
gruelling intellectual workout, like an inept middleweight
sparring partner against a heavyweight champion. Amplified by
Mr. Trudeau's capacious memory, for he could remember
precisely what one had said long after one had forgotten, he
could always sneak in a jab or a telling counterpunch.
He frustrated us with his excellence just as he inspired us. Just
as he relentlessly drove himself to inner standards of excellence,
he inspired each of us to drive ourselves intellectually and
professionally well beyond our meagre talents. In the same way,
he concentrated his own bundle of energy and singular talent to
drive Canada to be better than even we could dream. The dream
lives on, inspiring us anew. Trudeau's heartbeat is alive. The
mystery of Trudeau's persona still eludes us. We hardly knew
him. No one did.
Deo gratias. Deo gratias. Pierre, thank God for the pleasure of
Deo gratius. Deo gratius. Visio est tota merces...
Vision is the full reward. Your vision is blessed.
And so, honourable senators, the beat goes on!
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I see no other
honourable senator rising. Before I ask you to rise and join me in
a minute of silence, I would simply like to say that it had been
my intention earlier today to ask the Speaker pro tempore to take
the Chair so that I could participate in the debate honouring my
long-time friend, my leader, the man who appointed me to this
chamber 30 years ago less three days, but the speeches have been
so eloquent that I do not feel it necessary to do so. I simply want
to join in the statements that have been made.
Would you now rise and join me in a moment of silence.
Honourable senators then stood in silent tribute.
Library of Parliament
Scrutiny of Regulations
Standing Joint Committees—Message from Commons
The Hon. the Speaker
informed the Senate that the following
message had been received from the House of Commons:
Wednesday, September 27, 2000
IT WAS ORDERED,—That the Standing Joint
Committees be composed of the Members listed below:
Library of Parliament
Members: Assad, Catterall, Clouthier, Doyle, Finlay,
Harb, Karygiannis, Lavigne, Lill, Malhi, Mayfield, Mercier,
Plamondon, Redman, Reynolds, Ritz—(16)
Associate Members: Davies, Dumas, Tremblay
Members: Bélanger, Bellemare; Bonin, Bulte, de Savoy,
Godin (Acadie—Bathurst), Grey (Edmonton North), Hill
(Macleod), Kerpan, Kilger, Lavigne, McTeague,
McWhinney, Muise, Plamondon, Proulx—(16)
Associate Members: Chrétien (Frontenac—Mégantic),
Dumas, Mercier, Nystrom, Turp, Tremblay
Scrutiny of Regulations
Members: Assad, Bonwick, Bryden, Casey, Comuzzi,
Cummins, De Villers, Grewal, Lebel, Murray, Myers,
Nystrom, Pankiw, Pillitteri, Venne, Wappel, White (North
Associate Members: Bellehumeur, Dockrill, Guimond,
Tremblay (Rimouski—Neigette-et-la Mitis)
That a message be sent to the Senate to acquaint their
Honours of the names of the Members to serve on behalf of
this House on the Standing Joint Committees.
WILLIAM C. CORBETT,
The Clerk of the House of Commons
Hon. Catherine S. Callbeck:
Honourable senators, I rise
today to speak about the important role that cooperatives have
played and continue to play in the development of many areas of
Canada — not just economic development but important
community and social development as well.
National Co-op Week will be held October 15 to 21. It is a
time to celebrate what the cooperative movement has meant to so
many Canadians. I am very proud of the level of involvement the
people of my home province have displayed within the
cooperative movement through the years. In fact, almost
28,000 Prince Edward Islanders are members of Co-op Atlantic
Co-ops and credit unions invest in the communities in which
they are located, and the results of those investments are
tangible. The investments remain in the communities and help to
foster further development. They provide good jobs and good
services to the communities, developing a very positive cycle of
investment and return.
Across Canada, there are 10,000 cooperatives and credit
unions, all providing this type of positive community
development and investment. There is no question that Canada,
as a whole, is much stronger because of these institutions. More
than 135,000 Canadians are employed in co-ops and credit
unions from coast to coast. In total, these institutions have
over $100 billion in assets, making them a major force in the
It is the people involved in the co-op movement who have
made it such a force. In particular, I would like to take a moment
to recognize a former colleague of mine who was recently
recognized for his outstanding efforts in support of the
cooperative movement in Prince Edward Island.
Leonce Bernard of Wellington was named Co-op Atlantic's
member of the year at the organization's annual general meeting
held in Sydney, Cape Breton. Mr. Bernard's tireless dedication
to his home community is almost legendary in my home
province. I would like to commend him for his good work.
Effect of Climate Change on the Arctic
Hon. Charlie Watt:
Honourable senators, I have some
information to share with you about what I personally
encountered this summer. This may be shocking information to
some of you, but I feel it is important enough to ensure that it
goes on the record today. I have already spoken about the matter
to the Liberal caucus and the Quebec caucus, including the
national caucus, but I have not yet spoken about the matter here.
It involves the climate change in the Arctic.
Honourable senators, we must seriously begin dealing with
this issue because it is here now. I say that, honourable senators,
because I have encountered a huge number of polar bears this
summer where I have never witnessed any before. Why is that? It
is because the ice is melting in the Arctic. The polar bears are
roaming around inland, rather than staying out on the ice,
because they have to eat somewhere.
For that reason, we have been flooded with a huge number of
polar bears in Ungava Bay this summer. Our outpost camps all
around the coast, from the Labrador site upwards, were full of
polar bears. We managed to knock down some of them, but not
all of them because we must respect the laws and we do not want
to kill bears just for the sake of killing them. We only took the
ones that were endangering human life. We opened up their
stomachs to see if there was anything in them but we found
absolutely nothing. That tells us that something serious is
happening in the Arctic. I also encountered an early spring in the
month of May. In May, caribou normally have calves that weigh
between 4 pounds and 5 pounds. This year, they weighed
between 2 pounds and 3 pounds. The calves could not even reach
their mothers to milk.
For that reason, I took it upon myself to knock down a few to
see what was happening to those cows who are full of milk and
who no longer have calves following them. They are all drying
up inside. I do not know what will happen to them.
As well, honourable senators, the vegetation in the Arctic is
growing wild. Vegetation is everywhere, growing in places it has
never grown before.
All kinds of insects, which were never before seen, are starting
to appear in the Arctic. It is becoming a little scary to be out in a
tent because we do not know what they can do and whether they
A great many unknown factors are occurring in the Arctic
today. Our government — and, in fact, all political parties, even
those in the international community — will have to take this
matter seriously. It is here and it will not disappear.
Today, I had the privilege of having a short exchange with the
Minister of the Environment. I pointed out to him some
information I culled from the Internet this morning concerning
Inuit observations on climate change. I put a figure to this
If we continue trying to reinvent the wheel while not being
able to identify the actual problem, then we will be repeating
ourselves again, honourable senators.
Privileges, Standing Rules and Orders
Ninth Report of Committee Tabled
Hon. Richard H. Kroft:
Honoourable senators, on behalf of
Senator Austin, I have the honour to table the ninth report of the
Standing Committee on Privileges, Standing Rules and Orders.
Honourable senators, the ninth report of the committee
informs the Senate that the committee has revised the March
1996 edition of the Rules of the Senate. Since March 1996, there
have been four rule changes.
Rule 137 was added on February 19, 1998. Rule 138 was
added on June 9, 1998. Rule 1(3) was added on February 9,
1999. Rule 22 was amended on June 27, 2000. All of these
changes are incorporated in the new rules book, which will be
circulated to all honourable senators shortly.
Notice of Motion to Approve Appointment of George
Hon. Dan Hays (Deputy Leader of the Government):
Honourable senators, I give notice that tomorrow, Thursday,
October 5, 2000, I shall move:
That in accordance with Section 53 of the Privacy Act,
Chapter P-21 of the Revised Statutes of Canada 1985, the
Senate approve the appointment of George Radwanski as
Energy, the Environment and Natural
Committee Authorized to Meet During Sitting of the
Hon. Dan Hays (Deputy Leader of the Government):
Honourable senators, I move, with leave of the Senate and
notwithstanding rule 58(1)(a
That the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the
Environment and Natural Resources have power to sit while
the Senate is sitting today, and that Rule 95(4) be suspended
in relation thereto.
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Honourable senators, is
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
Motion agreed to.
Committee Authorized to Meet During Sitting of the
Hon. Gerald J. Comeau:
Honourable senators, might I, too,
ask leave of the Senate for the Standing Senate Committee on
Fisheries to have the power to sit while the Senate is sitting
today, and that rule 95(4) be suspended in relation thereto?
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Is leave granted,
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
Motion agreed to.
Manitoba Claim Settlements
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore
informed the Senate that a
message had been received from the House of Commons with
Bill C-14, respecting an agreement with the Norway House Cree
Nation for the settlement of matters arising from the flooding of
land, and respecting the establishment of certain reserves in the
province of Manitoba.
Bill read first time.
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: 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.
Report of Visit of Co-Chairs to China Tabled
Hon. Dan Hays (Deputy Leader of the Government):
Honourable senators, I have the honour to table, in both official
languages, the fourth report of the Canada-China Legislative
Association regarding the co-chairs' visit to China in May 2000.
Notice of Motion to Change Rules of the Senate to
Accommodate Clarity Act
Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition):
Honourable senators, I give notice that on Tuesday next,
October 10, 2000, I will move a proposal for a Senate rule
change to accommodate the Clarity Act. I shall move that:
1. Rule 26 of the Rules of the Senate be amended:
(a) by adding the following before section (1):
(1) Orders of the Day under rule 26.1
(b) by renumbering sections (1) and (2) and all
cross-references thereto accordingly.
2. The Rules of the Senate are amended by adding the
following after rule 26:
26.1(1) Immediately after the government of a
province tables in its legislative assembly or otherwise
officially releases the question that it intends to submit
to its voters in a referendum relating to the proposed
secession of the province from Canada, motions to
refer the question to Committee of the Whole for
consideration and report may be moved without leave
at the next sitting of the Senate, and, if moved, must be
considered and disposed of in priority to all other
orders of the day.
CLEAR MAJORITY CONSIDERED
(2) Immediately after the government of a province,
following a referendum relating to the secession of that
province from Canada, seeks to enter into negotiations
on the terms of which that province might cease to be a
part of Canada, motions to refer the subject of the
clarity of the majority achieved in the referendum, to
Committee of the Whole for consideration and report
may be moved without leave at the next sitting of the
Senate, and if moved must be considered and disposed
of in priority to all other orders of the day.
ORDER OF BUSINESS
(3) Notwithstanding rule 23(8), the Speaker shall call
for motions under this rule as the first item of business
after question period.
(4) In Orders of the Day, motions shall be considered
and disposed of in the following order: a motion, if
any, by the Leader of the Government; a motion, if any,
by the Leader of the Opposition; motions, if any, by
(5) Only one order of reference at a time may be made
under subsections (1) and (2), and as soon as an order
of reference is adopted, with or without amendment,
the remaining motions fall from the Order Paper.
TRANSMISSION OF FINDINGS
(6) When the Senate adopts a resolution in respect of a
report received and considered under subsection (1),
which shall be within 15 days of the commencement of
proceeding under subsection (1), the Speaker of the
Senate shall transmit copies of the resolution and of all
proceedings held under this rule in the Senate and in
Committee of the Whole, including an integral copy of
every representation made under this rule, to the
Speaker of the House of Commons and to the Speakers
of each provincial and territorial legislative assembly
(7) Where an order is made under subsection (2), the
Clerk of the Senate, immediately following the
adoption of the report, shall invite the government of
every province and territory to make verbal or written
representations to the Committee of the Whole, and
every province and territory that replies in the
affirmative shall be given reasonable opportunity to do
(8) Where an order is made under subsection (2), the
Committee shall decide which representatives of the
Aboriginal peoples of Canada and of the English and
French linguistic minority population of each province
and territory should be invited to make verbal or
written representations to the committee, and every
representative who replies in the affirmative shall be
given reasonable opportunity to do so.
TRANSMISSION OF FINDINGS
(9) When the Senate adopts a resolution in respect of a
report received and considered under subsection (2),
which shall be within 15 days of the commencement of
proceedings under subsection (2), the Speaker of the
Senate shall transmit copies of the resolution and of all
proceedings held under this rule in the Senate and in
Committee of the Whole, including an integral copy of
every representation made under this rule, to the
Speaker of the House of Commons and to the Speakers
of each provincial and territorial legislative assembly
Absence of Leader of the Government
Hon. Dan Hays (Deputy Leader of the Government):
Honourable senators, the Leader of the Government in the
Senate, our representative in the government, is unavoidably
away due to cabinet business. Accordingly, I would offer to take
notice of any questions that senators may wish to put.
Summit of the Americas
Hon. Marcel Prud'homme:
Honourable senators, I would
like the budding minister to give particular attention to a question
I recently put to the Leader of the Government in the Senate.
You can answer in English — that is my interpretation of the
function of bilingualism — but to be clear, I speak in French.
Honourable senators, my question had to do with the Summit
of the Americas to be held in Quebec City next spring. Canada is
hosting the Summit of the Americas and it is up to the Prime
Minister of Canada to issue invitations to participants.
The response to my question is completely unacceptable.
Since this response was public and official, it may be consulted
by anyone who is interested.
I wish to say that, while I am getting on in years, I am still an
excellent organizer. I therefore fully intend to mobilize public
opinion in Quebec so that the Government of Canada at least
takes the initiative of including Cuba in the Summit.
The meeting yesterday with Fidel Castro was an extremely
warm one and the crowd applauded both Mr. Castro and
Mr. Carter. I spoke with Mr. Castro, and the Prime Minister
greeted him and met with him afterwards. I must say that I am
somewhat responsible for encouraging them to speak to one
another, but I will say more about that, if necessary, when we
debate the matter.
I return to my original question. The answer I was given is
totally unacceptable, considering what is going on in other
countries on the issue of human rights.
There is no need to mention what will unfortunately happen in
the Middle East, where, perhaps, governments will use force or
be defeated by the public opinion. This situation is very serious.
I believe the time has come for Canada to take the initiative
and to invite Cuba to the conference. Should this be impossible
because of a decision made by the OAS, the Prime Minister
should still invite the Cuban head of state as an observer. That
initiative would be a first step that would lead to Cuba's
becoming a full-fledged member of that organization.
I will display the same determination here that I showed when
I asked that North Korea be recognized, in spite of the fact that
Canada's security services are paranoid about people who, like
me, have been asking for a long time that North Korea be
recognized. This will now be the case; North Korea will now be
At this Summit of the Americas, which will be held in Quebec
City, people would find it hard to understand why the host
country did not take the initiative of ensuring Mr. Castro's
I take note of your commitment to refer the question to the
powers that be today. I can assure you that I will be persistent
about this issue, until the end of this parliamentary session.
Western Canada Telephone Company
Third Reading—Debate Adjourned
Hon. Dan Hays (Deputy Leader of the Government)
the third reading of Bill S-26, to repeal An Act to incorporate the
Western Canada Telephone Company.
Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition):
Honourable senators, I have been asked by my colleague Senator
Oliver to move the adjournment of the debate in his name. He
will speak to this item tomorrow.
On motion of Senator Kinsella, for Senator Oliver,
Sales Tax and Excise Tax Amendments Bill,
Third Reading—Debate Adjourned
Hon. Dan Hays (Deputy Leader of the Government)
the third reading of Bill C-24, to amend the Excise Tax Act, a
related Act, the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, the Budget
Implementation Act, 1997, the Budget Implementation Act,
1998, the Budget Implementation Act, 1999, the Canada Pension
Plan, the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act, the Cultural
Property Export and Import Act, the Customs Act, the Customs
Tariff, the Employment Insurance Act, the Excise Act, the
Income Tax Act, the Tax Court of Canada Act and the
Unemployment Insurance Act.
Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition):
Honourable senators, I would like to move the adjournment of
the debate in the name of Senator Stratton.
On motion of Senator Kinsella, for Senator Stratton,
Canadian Tourism Commission Bill
Third Reading—Debate Adjourned
Hon. Catherine S. Callbeck
moved the third reading of
Bill C-5, to establish the Canadian Tourism Commission.
Hon. Noel A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition):
Honourable senators, I have been asked by my colleague Senator
LeBreton to move the adjournment of the debate in her name.
On motion of Senator Kinsella, for Senator LeBreton, debate
The Senate adjourned until tomorrow at 2 p.m.