The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I have the honour to inform
the Senate that the Clerk has received certificates from the Registrar General
of Canada showing that the following persons, respectively, have been summoned
to the Senate:
Laurier L. LaPierre
Mobina S. B. Jaffer
The Hon. the Speaker having informed the Senate that there were
senators without, waiting to be introduced:
The following honourable senators were introduced; presented Her Majesty's
writs of summons; took the oath prescribed by law, which was administered by the
Clerk; and were seated:
Hon. Laurier L. LaPierre, of Ottawa, Ontario, introduced between Hon. Sharon
Carstairs and Hon. Jean-Robert Gauthier.
Hon. Viola Léger, of Moncton, New Brunswick, introduced between Hon. Sharon
Carstairs and Hon. Rose-Marie Losier-Cool.
Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer, of North Vancouver, British Columbia, introduced
between Hon. Sharon Carstairs and Hon. Ross Fitzpatrick.
Hon. Jean Lapointe, of Magog, Quebec, introduced between Hon. Sharon
Carstairs and Hon. Raymond C. Setlakwe.
The Hon. the Speaker informed the Senate that each of the honourable
senators named above had made and subscribed the declaration of qualification
required by the Constitution Act, 1867, in the presence of the Clerk of the
Senate, the Commissioner appointed to receive and witness the said declaration.
Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators,
I rise today to welcome four new colleagues to the Senate. I feel honoured to
introduce our new senators, all of whom have particular knowledge, talents and
expertise to bring to our chamber.
Senator Laurier LaPierre has been celebrated for his "passionate Canadian
nationalism" and for his thorough knowledge of issues regarding Quebec.
Over the span of his career, Senator LaPierre has been a constant presence in
the Canadian media working as a journalist, author, editor and commentator.
Senator LaPierre earned a doctorate from the University of Toronto and was a
faculty member with several other universities across our country. He has served
as chair of Telefilm Canada and as host of the electronic town hall meetings for
the Citizens' Forum on Canada's Future.
Senator LaPierre is even now in the Canadian media, where he can be seen in
discussion with public figures on his own show, on the CBC's reprise of This
Hour Has Seven Days, and at the Ottawa International Writers' Festival. In
1994, Senator LaPierre received the Order of Canada for his achievements and
unconditional dedication to our country.
Senator Viola Léger has made a great contribution to Canadian and Acadian
culture. Through her many acclaimed performances, particularly in the leading
role of Antonine Maillet's La Sagouine, a role with which she is closely associated here in
Canada and abroad. In 1985, Senator Léger founded her own theatrical company to
educate a new generation of actors in Canada.
Senator Léger has been awarded several of the most coveted prizes and honours
in the field of culture. She has received, among others, the Chevalier de
l'Ordre français des Arts et des Lettres.
Senator Léger was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1989.
Senator Mobina Jaffer is a practising barrister and solicitor from British
Columbia and has been a Queen's Counsel since 1998. She has served on the Trial
Lawyers Association of both British Columbia and of America. Senator Jaffer has
offered her legal expertise to gender and multicultural causes too numerous to
list, including working with the Immigration and Refugee Board, serving as
President of the YWCA of Canada and serving as founding President of Immigration
and Visible Minority Women of British Columbia and the Yukon.
Senator Mobina Jaffer has received numerous awards for her professional and
Senator Jaffer has been active politically as well as socially, and she
currently serves as President of the National Women's Commission of the Liberal
Party of Canada.
Senator Jean Lapointe is a Quebec artist and variety entertainer with an
His performances have earned him the admiration of audiences and critics
alike. Senator Lapointe has also worked as a community and social activist,
establishing the Jean Lapointe Foundation and youth addiction centres to help
alcoholic and other addicted members of society become rehabilitated.
Senator Lapointe is the recipient of two honorary doctorates from Quebec
universities and was named "Grand Québécois de l'année" in 1995. Senator
Lapointe became an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1984 for his commitment to
artistic and social causes in Canada. We are, honourable senators, greatly
privileged to have such distinguished new colleagues as members of this chamber.
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!
Hon. John Lynch-Staunton (Leader of the Opposition): Honourable
senators, I am delighted to join with the Leader of the Government in the Senate
in expressing the warmest of congratulations and welcomes to our new colleagues.
As Senator Carstairs so succinctly outlined, each new senator brings to this
place talents and experience that are as diverse as they are impressive. May
these also benefit the parliamentary process.
The Senate is, first and foremost, an essential partner and participant in
the evolution of federal legislation. Adjustment, even by those who come here
with some political experience, is not always easy, and it certainly does not
come quickly. May I hasten to reassure our new senators that whatever our
differences, the tradition of this place is to work more together than
separately. May this alone give them confidence as they embark on what will no
doubt be a most rewarding journey.
Allow me, on a personal note, to acknowledge Senator Lapointe, from my home
province. Not only is he one of Quebec's most highly regarded personalities, but
he has also, like myself, chosen to live in the Eastern Townships, more
specifically in the area of Magog. Such perspicacity is a good sign for all
Once again, congratulations to the new arrivals and all best wishes as they
assume their new responsibilities.
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!
Hon. Marcel Prud'homme: Honourable senators, I should like to bring to
the attention of the Senate that we have made history today. By welcoming Madam
Mobina Jaffer, we have received in the Senate, with great pride, as we have done
for the other new senators, the first senator of Muslim faith who has sworn
allegiance to the Queen on the holy Koran. I would never forgive myself if I did
not mention this. I know that I am not embarrassing her or her family by
mentioning this highly important historical event.
Leave having been given to proceed to Government Notices of Motions:
Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators,
with leave of the Senate and notwithstanding rule 58(1)(i), I move, seconded by
the Honourable Senator Lynch-Staunton:
That the Senate express its sorrow and horror at the senseless and vicious
attack on the United States of America on September 11, 2001;
That it express its heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims
and to the American people; and
That it reaffirm its commitment to the humane values of free and democratic
society and its determination to bring to justice the perpetrators of this
attack on these values and to defend civilization from any future terrorist
The Hon. the Speaker: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to
adopt the motion?
I know that a number of senators wish to speak, and I will call first on the
Honourable Senator Carstairs.
Given the wording of the motion, I propose that honourable senators observe a
minute of silence.
Honourable senators then stood in silent tribute.
Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, last Tuesday morning,
Canadians stood transfixed by the sights that unfolded on their television
screens. At first, we thought, or perhaps we hoped, that it was simply an
accident when the first plane crashed into the World Trade Center. However, when
the second plane hit the second tower, we knew that it was no accident.
We then heard of the strike on the American Pentagon. We then heard of a
flight that went into a field in Pennsylvania.
We watched in horror and disbelief at the violence perpetrated on the United
States of America. We were struck with grief at the loss of life that resulted
from such thorough devastation.
Honourable senators, we are all deeply shaken when we look back on the
abhorrent acts that took place that day. We now know, if we did not know before,
that the world around us can change dramatically within the space of a very
Our world may be forever coloured by recent events. We make discoveries about
ourselves, about the way we view others and about the way we view other nations
that are sometimes encouraging and sometimes deeply disturbing. We see, but with
more immediacy, how hatred against any nation or any person is not only grossly
inappropriate, but breeds a cycle of hatred that is never-ending.
We saw on our national day of mourning last week that Canadians are
responsive and compassionate people. One hundred thousand people gathered on
Parliament Hill last Friday, paying their respects and offering their sympathy
to the Ambassador of the United States and to all Americans.
Canadians now find themselves with the difficult and delicate task ahead of
them of deciding how to respond to the events that left such a heavy mark on
people throughout the world.
Canada and the United States share a special relationship that transcends
national boundaries. We feel very close to our American neighbours, some of whom
are family and many of whom are friends. None of us has to look far to find
someone that we know who has lived in, worked in or visited the same places we
saw disintegrating before our eyes.
Many Canadians and citizens of other countries lost their lives that day.
While this tragedy took place on American soil, we know that this was also an
assault against democracy itself. Many world leaders, including our Prime
Minister, have declared that the family of democratic nations will stand
undeterred beside our American ally.
We have pledged our unambiguous support to assist our American neighbours in
a worldwide campaign against terrorism. In the words of our Prime Minister,
"The world has been attacked. The world must respond."
We must respond as one democratic union. We must be sure that our response is
measured, controlled, effective and just. We must not be swayed by rhetoric, but
guided by righteousness. Our resolve must be unshakable and not diminish with
time until we overcome the threat that we are now facing. We will need to find
ways to build peace through non-proliferation and other strategic defence
initiatives, while striking out against international crime and terrorism.
We must increase our vigilance and take steps to increase security within our
own borders. We will have to discourage the promotion of violence as a solution
to the failure of diplomacy, but we will have to ensure also that terrorism and
its horrendous consequences will not spread across the world unchecked. We will
have to strike a balance between using force and using dialogue in order that
justice will prevail.
Together with our government allies around the world we face many difficult
decisions in the days, months and years ahead. Finding our way through the maze
of terrorist organizations will be difficult enough without the countless moral
dilemmas that we will surely need to confront. We must give our full support and
understanding to leaders around the world who are engaged in this war against
terrorism. The global community has made mistakes in the past and mistakes may
be made in the future, but we must have confidence that democratic leaders are
giving full consideration to each step they take and that each initiative will
be guided by our shared democratic values.
There were many acts of heroism, both large and small, following the
disasters endured by the United States that day. We will never know all the
names of these heroes; people who assisted fellow workers encumbered by
wheelchairs to escape a burning building, the many rescue workers and
volunteers, the airline passengers who held fast against terrorists' demands at
the certain cost of their own lives. Their heroism is what put them at greatest
risk. These are the very people no society can afford to lose. However, we also
understand that while these actions are rare and heroic they are nonetheless not
Many Canadians lined up to donate blood, organized transportation, and
offered accommodations, meals and medical assistance to the victims of this
terrible tragedy. We are proud of the efforts they made to help our friends to
the south during these trying days.
We have seen great heroism as countless Americans come to the rescue of their
fellow citizens. Many more stories of heroism will be uncovered over the next
few weeks. Because of these incalculable acts of bravery and mercy, we know that
it is goodness that is common and evil that is uncommon.
We offer our continued sympathies and our prayers to all of those who lost
their lives that day, from whatever nation, and especially to those families who
have suffered directly from this heartbreaking tragedy. While we were observing
a moment of silence, honourable senators, a young child cried. Perhaps she cried
because of the solemnity of the occasion and the fact that we had all gone
silent. It is for that child and for the other children of the world that we
must do better than we have done.
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!
Hon. John Lynch-Staunton (Leader of the Opposition): Honourable
senators, I want to begin by thanking the Leader of the Government in the Senate
for bringing forward this motion, which I agreed to second without hesitation.
What we witnessed last week, and have been suffering since, is the cold,
cruel, brutal reality of life and death at the beginning of this century. We
grieve for those who have lost loved ones in this senseless act, and we grieve
for those who are the first casualties of the first war of the new century.
Honourable senators, we must do more than grieve. It is time for all
legislators in Canada to unite in a non-partisan display of support for our
neighbour to the south. The values attacked a week ago are values we share with
the United States: freedom, democracy, equality; all exercised under the rule of
law. This shared heritage inextricably entwines us together with all those in
the world who treasure those ideals to fight for them and win against those who
would destroy them.
In the United States Congress, a legislator can exercise a freedom of action
free from party discipline that is so prevalent in our system. Therefore, one
can only be touched by the overwhelming bi-partisan nature of the support given
to the executive by all sides in both houses in Washington. Here, we must have
the same political unity to demonstrate our unqualified support for the United
States as it embarks on a major campaign against the tyranny of the terrorist;
hopefully, with our unconditional help, whenever it is needed, and that of all
freedom loving nations in the world.
Not only must we pass resolutions of support, but the time has come for us to
demonstrate our support in a real and tangible fashion. In times of crisis,
friends come closer together. Friends support each other. Whatever our cultural
naysayers may say, we, as Canadians, have no closer friends in this world than
our neighbours to the south. It is not without reason that the words inscribed
on the American and Canadian sides of the Peace Arch, which spans the
international boundary between the State of Washington and British Columbia
states "Children of a Common Mother — Brethren Dwelling Together in Unity."
Our close relationship was again emphasized by the United States Ambassador
to Canada, Paul Cellucci, both in his address to the thousands assembled on
Parliament Hill on Friday and in an open letter the following day in many
newspapers. If we had any doubt of our place in the hearts and minds of
Americans, Ambassador Cellucci has laid that permanently to rest. In short, he
described the outpouring of help from Canadians to Americans in need as "images
of a generous spirit, of unbounded kindness, and of the best of what it is to be
human. These images capture the essence of Canada."
I, too, want to say how proud I am of all Canadians who reacted so quickly
and positively to help in any way they could to aid those who are direct or
indirect victims of the terrorist atrocities. Having spent a short period of
time this past summer in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, I can attest firsthand to
Eastern hospitality. People from all over the world stranded in this part of
Canada and elsewhere would know no better treatment than that offered by warm,
caring Canadians who wanted to help friends in a time of crisis.
Honourable senators, we are now a week away from the unspeakable acts that
killed and injured thousands of Americans, an untold number of Canadians and
many people from all over the globe. It is now time for us to reflect on what
went wrong, to learn from it and to act accordingly. We must also look ahead to
determine what we are to do to cope and succeed in this new world that faces us.
We must recognize our potential vulnerability. If we ever did, we certainly
no longer live in the "fireproof house" — words used by Senator Raoul
Dandurand in 1924 to describe how our geography protected us from attack. We are
all vulnerable. The fact that we could be victims of such an attack was
prominently noted in the 1999 report of the Senate Special Committee on Security
and Intelligence, chaired by Senator William Kelly, which states at page 5:
Canada remains, however, a "venue of opportunity" for terrorist groups: a
place where they may raise funds, purchase arms and conduct other activities
to support their organizations and their terrorist activities elsewhere. Most
of the major international terrorist organizations have a presence in Canada.
Our geographic location also makes Canada a favorite conduit for terrorists
wishing to enter the United States, which remains the principal target for
terrorist attacks worldwide.
The committee went on to recommend changes to airport security and our
immigration practices, which would aid in the fight against terrorism.
The CSIS annual report for the year 2000, tabled earlier this year, also
clearly predicts what it sees as the future — a future that has now become a
reality. It says:
Terrorism in the years ahead is expected to become more violent,
indiscriminate, and unpredictable than in recent years....There will likely be
terrorist attacks whose sole aim would be to insight terror
itself....Canadians now more than ever, are potential victims and Canada the
potential venue for terrorist attacks.
While this debate is perhaps not the time to address it in detail, we, as
legislators, will need to review the reduced capacity of the Canadians Armed
Forces, and determine what role, if any, they are now capable of playing in the
defence of this country or to help the United States in the fight against the
universal threat of terrorism. We should also address our minds to changes in
our immigration policies and steps we should take to implement the more
appropriate recommendations in the Senate security report.
However, these are issues for another day, when I hope that the government
will allow us, as representatives of the people of Canada in both chambers, to
participate in the review of our preparedness. This is the overarching role of
Parliament as representative of the people of Canada. Our duty, Canada's duty
today, is to stand by its closest friend and neighbour in its hour of need. Our
duty, borne out of love and friendship and mutual respect, is to answer the call
for help. We should be assessing our capabilities and offering advice based on
years of being a world leader in the field of peacekeeping and peace building,
and also as one who has never hesitated to answer the call, as demonstrated too
eloquently by the thousands of Canadian war graves across the world.
We should be in communication with the United States administration, offering
help and advice on the options of dealing with the NATO Alliance, under Article
5, and perhaps putting the entire issue of terrorism before the obvious world
body, the United Nations. There are options that, with our experience, we should
be helping the United States explore.
We are all victims of the acts of terrorists. However, we owe it to those who
died, not to change our society but to maintain the fundamental freedoms they
enjoyed until death. In these deaths and this destruction, we must seek the
rekindling of our determination to live in a free, democratic and open society.
On a personal note, and I speak as one who is notorious for not wearing his
heart on his sleeve, I live only five miles in a direct line from the
Canada-U.S. border. I cross it constantly. I did my university education in the
United States. I am a great admirer of the American political system, with all
its flaws and excesses. In particular, I cannot think of another country, warts
and all, which I would want to be mine as a neighbour than the United States.
Their pain is my pain.
Honourable senators, terrorism knows no frontiers in its dastardly attacks on
our fundamental values. That is why we must declare, without fear of tarnishing
our own identity, that today we are all Americans.
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!
Hon. B. Alasdair Graham: Honourable senators, in the awful hours of
one of the darkest weeks in the history of mankind, we now enter the numbing
reality of a world turned upside down. All around us grows the agonizing
certainty that all certainty is gone. There is a terrible sadness coincident
with rage and the open wounds of a great horror. There is the steely strength,
resolve and noble courage of everyday heroes who have given us faith in the
remarkable endurance of the human spirit. We have wept, in part because of the
callous tragedy of their loss, in part because of the calm resolution so many
showed in the face of the death of all those lost citizens of the free nation
with whom we have shared a partnership without equal in the history of nations.
When the first Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Jonathan
Winthrop, spoke of the momentous mission of his people in the new world in the
early 17th century, he envisaged building a city on a hill, free from the
intolerance of the old world. That city, which would become the United States of
America, would be born in revolution under the banner of life, liberty and
The music is now gone from lower Manhattan, one of the strongest symbols of
the power and energy of the land of the free and the home of the brave. However,
I believe the resilience of the vision that has inspired the great republic, one
of the greatest countries in the history of mankind, is strong and enduring. The
American people will keep the faith and the lights will go back on in the big
The world will watch as Americans, as Canadians and as all free and
democratic societies across this planet leave an old world behind, standing
shoulder to shoulder in a struggle against a remorseless evil which knows no
shred of humanity and which threatens not only the generations of the present
but also our children's children and those beyond.
Honourable senators, the motion before us expresses our heartfelt condolences
to the families of the victims and the American people. We reaffirm our
commitment to the human values of free and democratic societies. These simple
words have enormous implications. For in that process of reaffirmation, and with
the war on terrorism in awful proximity, we struggle as a free people to
re-examine what we are, to speak to the values we must fight to protect.
In so doing, we fire the first shot against terrorism. In so doing, Canadians
will bolster the resolve of frightened people across the globe, the resolve of
all those new democracies that stand in the early dawn of freedom. Perhaps more
importantly, we serve to strengthen the resolve of the great republic to the
south to move past the rage and horror and the understandable urge for
vengeance. We must help to ferry them to a better place.
Over the centuries, in spite of our differences, Canadians and Americans have
built two blessed and prosperous nations. Our ancestors built nations with
parallel commitments to freedom, equality and respect for the rule of law, to
democracy and human rights, to a world where children have the right to grow up
We have fought side by side and shoulder to shoulder in the air, on the land
and at sea. We helped to open a window of freedom over Europe. We built an
alliance that gave hope to millions during the darkest hours of the Cold War. We
stood in San Francisco together in the early days of the conception of the
United Nations. We built a continental air defence system. We opened the skies
across the 49th parallel. Together we have shared a continent.
Honourable senators, we have lost 75 Canadians in the rubble of what was the
World Trade Center. Many countries have lost their citizens in these once
shining cathedrals of Western progress. The motion before us expresses our
determination to bring the perpetrators to justice and to defend civilization
against these enemies of the human race, these enemies of humanity.
We ask ourselves as a people: As Canadians, what can we do? Our generous and
freedom-loving people are moved as never before by the suffering of our great
friend and ally.
Honourable senators, I believe we have much to offer in the struggle against
the moral, intellectual and emotional depravity of terrorism. Canada is a
country that is loved and respected around the world. We possess a formidable
arsenal in the trust and international experience we have acquired in a world
turned upside down. We now face the toughest test since World War II. We must
make it very clear what we stand for to all those who despise our values. We
must resist the racism and intolerance that are the by-products of fear and
Honourable senators, we must talk to our children and we must teach our
children well. We must now exercise our wellspring of international influence as
never before. With all of our diplomatic skills, with all the trust, with all
the confidence inspired by our flag. We must help the Americans to form a tough,
global coalition against terror and the rat holes in which these depraved
individuals breed because these are enemies of the human race. No nation, no
people, no community is free from their remorseless hatred, from the glory they
take in the murder of children.
Honourable senators, we must square the circle. We must help, but we must
remain Canadian. We must provide solace and support at all levels, but we can
never forego who we are. In many ways, we must follow in the steps of heroes
from the past, as Richard Gwyn wrote so poignantly a few days ago. We must fight
together, if the logic and the evidence appears overwhelming, and we must pray
together. Canada must remain steadfastly at the side of the United States in the
bitter aftermath of tragedy.
Indeed, honourable senators, while military action may be inevitable in the
days to come, we must counsel against misdirected air attacks that could kill
innocent civilians in the thousands, which will fuel international anger and
cancel out the present overwhelming sympathy we have seen for the United States
so far in poignant and moving demonstrations of the solidarity of mankind in
capitals across the world.
We must understand that if the United States retreats into isolationism and
an extreme thirst for military action, we all lose. Canadians will face
unforgiving challenges to our sovereignty, both foreign and domestic. Yes, we
must try to square the circle, remain focused on our interests and principles
and try to counsel restraint, if such counsel is needed, in the long anguished
days and nights that lie ahead.
Steadfastness in the face of terrorism is enormously difficult for democratic
governments. Historically, terrorists across countries and centuries have used
their deadly tactics to provoke their enemy to brutality. The awful consequences
of the cold fury of military retaliation reach far beyond the deaths of
thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of innocent people. They reach to the
very foundations of Western civilization. If the values of tolerance and respect
for human rights and minorities, if the values of freedom and compassion begin
to weaken in the Western democracies, if our convictions wane, the future of
democracy all across this planet will shatter and crumble, and the central
objective of the murderers who celebrate the death of innocents will be
We must remember, honourable senators, that these enemies of the human race
are the enemies of all mankind. They are the enemies of Muslims and Christians
and Jews. They are the enemies of Americans and Indonesians and Jordanians.
Perhaps it is no longer good enough for the leaders of the free word to speak
only to their own nationals. In this time of crisis, shock and challenges, which
appear almost overwhelming, our leaders should speak to their fellow world
citizens, to the fellow members of our global civilization.
In the meantime, the free democracies of the planet must exert a coordinated
and concentrated international effort to extirpate and destroy this evil. The
United States will lead this effort and Canada must do everything possible to
assist it. We must pray that President Bush will be steadfast, courageous and
enormously disciplined, resisting the short-term political temptations of polls
that show a grieving people desperate for revenge, desperate for some kind of
immediate retribution, understandable in the overwhelming emotions of this
President Bush, Prime Minister Chrétien and other world leaders must show a
moral authority that exerts leadership on many fronts: on the war against
increasing disparities between rich and poor; on the war against oppression and
greed and state- sponsored cruelty, as well as in the twilight world of
intelligence- gathering and counterterrorism.
Yes, honourable senators, Canada must do everything possible to assist the
great republic, our friend and neighbour, in many ways our family, as the Prime
Minister has said — everything except surrender the most important currency that
we have in this country and around the world, and that is the heart and the mind
and the soul of Canada.
To refer to the wonderful words of Elie Wiesel, we must remain a nation that
will continue to place human rights at the centre of its universe, because it is
at that centre where we will find our strength. It is at that centre where the
values of the generations yet to come will be forged and shaped. It is at that
centre where we will teach our children that racism and intolerance and hatred
are the enemies of a free society.
It is at that centre where Canadians will find the will and the determination
to follow in the footsteps of our heroes of the past. It is at the centre of the
universe, honourable senators, where a better world will be constructed and an
old world left behind.
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!
Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable
senators, I rise to lend my unequivocal support to the motion before this house.
Today, we are challenged by the evil events of September 11 and we are
challenged to understand the unintelligible. We are challenged to maintain our
faith in the goodness of the human person. We are challenged to fortify our
loyalty to human society. I am convinced that we shall meet these challenges and
that good will triumph over evil.
Our work, honourable senators, in Canada and around the world, must use as a
solid and reliable beacon the non-negotiable principle of the inherent dignity
of all members of the human family. We must speak anew of the order that should
exist between peoples. Any human society, if it is to be well-ordered and
productive, must lay down as a foundation this principle, namely, that every
human being is a person with rights and duties by virtue of their humanity.
The events of last week might lead some to abandon the international human
rights regime or abandon international order that the world seeks. Some might
argue that there is not universal acceptance for the development of world order.
Others note the nature of the exclusion of some from the distribution of the
world's goods. Yet others observe that there appears to exist today a dichotomy
in the world, a world that is at once powerful and weak; capable of doing what
is noble and what is base; disposed to freedom and slavery, progress and
decline, solidarity and hatred.
In the global society of today, we can be conscious that the forces unleashed
in the world are in humanity's own hands and that it is up to us to control them
or be enslaved by them. Herein lies the contemporary challenge. As suggested by
Reinhold Niebuhr, in his book, The Children of Light and the Children of
Darkness, there are those who are so convinced of the correctness of their
"good position" that they do not recognize the existence or reality of the
danger of others, those who would be dismissed as of the "bad" position, the "evil." Perhaps by the intoxication of the perceived
"righteous way," we
fail to understand or use the language of others.
Honourable senators, I accept the proposition of those who see the events of
September 11 as an awakening from a holiday from history. It would be better, in
my view, to accept that the dialectic of history has not stopped; rather, it
continues. We must learn from all the lessons of history as we make decisions in
this Parliament and elsewhere that will shape the future of the world.
In supporting the motion before this honourable house, we wish to express our
solidarity with our friends in the great republic to the south, as described by
my colleague Senator Graham. We extend our sympathy to the victims of this
horrific tragedy. However, I argue, honourable senators, that we, as Canadians,
must come to the table of the contemporary world to be there shoulder to
shoulder with all freedom-loving people, and be prepared to lend both material
and thoughtful concrete support in the resolve to rid the world of the evil of
Let there be no doubt, honourable senators, that Canada and Canadians have
unique Canadian contributions to make: contributions based on our Canadian
values; contributions based on our Canadian fortitude.
The Senate of Canada has an opportunity to undertake some immediate concrete
steps. The first such concrete step could be our very careful examination of
Bill C-11, which deals with immigration to Canada. A second area for concrete
action by the Senate of Canada could be a pre-study of Bill C-16. A pre-study of
Bill C-16 would allow honourable senators to determine how to deal with the
matter of fundraising in our country by organizations that support directly or
indirectly terrorist groups. It is not necessary, honourable senators, for this
house to wait until the other place concludes its examination of Bill C-16. We
ought, I submit, to subject Bill C-16 to examination forthwith by this
Honourable senators, other concrete steps to be taken by the Senate are in
the field of public policy — for example, public policy relating to our
preparedness for any escalation of terrorist activities in biological, nuclear
or ecological spheres.
A further concrete role for the Senate of Canada would be to ensure that
Canadian values of freedom, responsible citizenship and human rights continue to
inform future developments.
Let me remind honourable senators, all of us, of the provisions of article 4
of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Article 4 reads, in
part, as follows:
1. In time of public emergency which threatens the life of the nation and
the existence of which is officially proclaimed, the States Parties
— meaning Canada —
may take measures derogating from their obligations...
— to respect human rights —
provided that such measures...do not involve discrimination solely on the
ground of race, colour, sex, language, religion or social origin.
I remind honourable senators of this provision, for we observe in the
television media fora and in the written media suggestions made from certain
quarters to allow the state extraordinary powers, powers that might contravene
well-accepted human rights.
I remind honourable senators that in that covenant itself there is no
derogation allowed from a number of rights. There is no derogation from the
right to respect life. Therefore, in those quarters where one sees the argument
advanced to give extraordinary powers to agents of the state for extra judicial
killings, there is no derogation from the right to life, honourable senators.
This area, it seems to me, is one in which Canada can make a major contribution
in this important struggle against terrorism — that we do it right and that we
do it in a manner that is informed by our values.
We, as Canadians, must be vigilant so that the acts of racial profiling, for
example, do not become a way of life. We must build, rather, on the wealth of
understanding and insight of all communities of Canadians. We have learned,
honourable senators, the lesson of the Japanese-Canadian experience. Canada must
continue and strengthen its involvement in multilateral work, strengthen its
contribution to economic, social and cultural development in those areas of the
world that so desperately need our assistance.
While our analysis of the tragedy of last week is unequivocal in the
rejection of this quintessential act of dehumanization — and we can understand
the anger and the call for retaliation — it might very well be Canada's role,
honourable senators, to encourage a narrowing of the focus as the response is
developed. The perpetrators must be identified and sanctioned, and that no doubt
will best occur by a global multilateral response.
We ought not lose the opportunity to examine, however, some of the underlying
issues. Some will claim that international terrorism has nothing to do with the
way that we learn to close our ears when told that one out of every three people
on this planet does not have enough food. The larger picture must be the
informed backdrop over the coming days, and the Senate of Canada is well
positioned to help in this understanding.
I shall conclude, honourable senators, with a footnote. At the time of this
tragedy, I was a passenger in a Boeing 767 at 39,000 feet, flying west. I would
have been four hours in the air, having proceeded from New Brunswick that
Tuesday morning. Our plane was a little west of Winnipeg. I was en route to
Edmonton, to join my colleagues at our national caucus meeting. Our pilot
received the order to go to the nearest airport, which was Winnipeg. I want to
state in this house — we were one of the latter planes to land — how well
prepared the emergency measures people were in Winnipeg and how efficient and
courteous they were. While I did not have to use a cot in the armouries, on the
other hand, I did not have the opportunity to lodge in one of the fine Winnipeg
hotels. Let me tell you about Winnipeg West and a very fine motel called the
Super 8. I commend it to you if you are looking for a place to stay in Winnipeg.
Hon. Joyce Fairbairn: Honourable senators, I, too, wish to join
colleagues in this house in support of this motion. The last seven days have
shown those of us who share the borders of North America the fragility of the
peace and security we have taken for granted in the history of the past several
decades. Now, how very hard it is, as individuals and as nations, to adapt and
accept the viciousness and terror of an attack on our own soil. War has always
been something that was fought far away, and we in Canada have sent young men
and women in generous numbers to join in foreign conflicts in the name of world
peace and humanity.
The terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, in New York, at the Pentagon and
in a field in Pennsylvania, an attack that has shaken every corner of our world,
has brought with it not just devastating tragedy to those victims, innocent
individuals of all ages who were just starting off their day of work or flying
to another destination never to return, but also has revealed a shining,
overwhelming spirit of courage, love and dedication from all of those who have
offered everything they possess, including the hundreds of police and
firefighters who gave their very lives in a heroic effort to rescue or recover
the victims in Manhattan or Washington, D.C. A whole nation has shared prayers
and anguish with those who have been left behind to pick up the pieces, and we
Canadians have joined in those prayers.
As the Prime Minister told American Ambassador Paul Cellucci and some 100,000
citizens at the extraordinary memorial gathering on Parliament Hill last Friday,
Canadians are not silent friends, not in terms of grief, nor generosity, nor
courage. It was a message for the world to hear. Some of our own citizens are
mourning family or friends lost in the two World Trade Center towers. Individual
Canadians immediately began lining up to give blood. Our hospitals put out a
call to help burn victims, medical professionals headed for New York, and
centres large and small across this country opened their doors to all those
thousands of travellers whose aircraft was redirected to land at Canadian
airports. Our anthems were sung with high emotion, as they are sung in my little
city of Lethbridge in southwestern Alberta, less than an hour away from Montana.
We sing those anthems together regularly, not just on occasions like this. They
were being sung again here on Parliament Hill, while our two flags waved
together with pride. Our children tried to express their troubled feelings by
writing letters and drawing pictures. Throughout the television coverage, we
shared all of this together — not only as friends but also as a true family,
joined because of our freedoms and our values and the closeness of our
democracies. We shared with them as we always proudly celebrate the longest
undefended border in the world.
Honourable senators, the Prime Minister has said that we will walk together
with our American friends every step of the way. The attack on them has been
seen as an attack on us, as well as all those countries of the world that value
human life and civil liberties.
Our role at this moment is not clear, but our resolve is assured: to assist
to the very best of our capacity in a campaign where the enemy is not clearly
defined and is largely invisible. The United States and the allies it draws
together in a coalition to find and bring to justice their attackers are now
forced to create a new plan of offence, as well as to develop a defence quite
different from the one that was shattered with such diabolically clever
simplicity a week ago today.
Amid the instant debate on military retribution, it was encouraging to hear
President Bush, angry though he is, noting that the enemy is not easily found
and that the battle to hunt and dismantle an underground terrorist network will
involve the work of months and, perhaps, years. Bombs and missiles cannot be
guaranteed to hit the mark. We must go a lot further than that.
Honourable senators, this becomes a battle of the mind. It is a master puzzle
that requires an exquisite mix of intelligence, of patience, of wisdom and of
instinct regarding how to get into the mind of those who, in the end, hold their
personal life totally dispensable in their effort to further their cause of
hatred and destruction. As facts become available, the most chilling reality is
the degree to which these terrorists were living seemingly regular lives within
Honourable senators, as others have suggested, these terrorists may well be
living amongst us as well. Historically, that is not new, but somehow other
imperatives of the new technology of open warfare have blunted our collective
reasoning on the potential of hidden combat and all the forms that it might
take. What an enemy that is, and what a massive effort of trust and cooperation
determined and caring nations must put forward to repair that loss of faith and
confidence that has affected the daily life of the greatest power of the world,
as well as all of us.
Honourable senators, we do not know whether there will be a military role for
Canada. If called to assist, our troops will be ready to do a job. In the heat
of rhetoric in this debate and elsewhere in the country, we should not diminish
in any way the excellence, capacity and will of the Canadian Armed Forces.
However, in the circumstances of secret warfare, perhaps we have another
special role to play. We need only look at our history as a small nation which,
through our great diplomat and former Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, has
managed to entrench the notion of peacekeeping as a valid and viable
interruption of war. Canada is known and respected as a conciliator and a
facilitator among nations, a reputation we have built through our active
membership and participation in the key alliances of our world order. We do not
ever really close diplomatic doors. We have gained a reputation, if not
notoriety, as an informed messenger who can be trusted.
Always, security and intelligence are just as strong as combined resources
can make them, be they human or technological. We will bolster our efforts in
Canada, but we must also be able to count on the willingness of our allies to
share information with us. That collegiality and trust will be a critical weapon
in the days and years ahead.
In addition, our government would be well advised to revisit the testimony
and recommendations that were produced by the Senate Special Committees on
Terrorism and Public Safety in recent years. Those warning bells were sounded
loud and clear.
The comfort of the assumption of security in a peaceful nation was shattered
a week ago. The unthinkable happened. It could well happen again.
However, honourable senators, I ask you the following: Was it really
unthinkable? We live in a haven of prosperity here in North America, as do so
many of our closest allies. Just as we do not have a long history of wars and
oppression, nor have we endured a history of poverty and illness and
deprivation, which breeds despair and fosters tyranny.
We live in a system based on the rule of law and open elections. If we do not
like our leaders, we toss them out at the ballot box and not through
revolutions. We have a respected Constitution and a Charter of Rights and
Freedoms that millions in this world cannot even dream about. Religion may
foster disagreements, but we worship in peace.
What has happened in one short week shocks us to the very core because we
cannot really understand it. We cannot fathom the passion and hate that drives
those who see others like ourselves living an existence of endless opportunity,
in their eyes, while they live in a potent clash of politics, religion, race and
poverty amid a long, long history of wars. Millions of people on the ground can
barely feed a family let alone guarantee an education or a future for their
Yes, honourable senators, we have major challenges in our country to help and
to protect those in need, and that is a priority for all of our governments now
and in the future. However, we simply cannot close our minds to the causes that
help sow the seeds of despair and anger and terrorism abroad. We do have the
tools to fight a humanitarian cause with much greater vigour than our country
has yet ever committed, but that is tomorrow's battle, a battle that we ignore
at our peril. Today, our hearts and our minds are with those mothers and
fathers, husbands and wives, children and families who are torn apart by the
loss of those who have been killed in the United States of America, our friend,
our neighbour, our family.
The Americans are going back to work. They are determined to keep themselves
and their country moving forward, refusing to retreat in anxiety or in fear.
In that very same spirit, Canadians from every region of the country,
citizens from every culture, race and religion who make our country strong, and
from every political party in our democratic system, must find common ground and
profound tolerance so that together we can make the greatest possible
contribution to bringing hope, confidence and optimism into the only world we
have to care for.
Hon. Michael A. Meighen: Honourable senators, one week ago today we
were given a brutal and unforgettable wake-up call. Three acts of violence — so
shocking in their magnitude that few, if any of us, would have ever contemplated
such barbarism — forced us to realize that our world is no longer a safe place
or, at the very least, no longer as safe as most of us thought it was when we
went to bed on September 10. We have enemies and they are prepared to bring
their special brand of terror and hatred to our very doorsteps.
Words cannot express the horror that all of us felt when witnessing those
ghastly pictures on the television screen last Tuesday morning. I was in
Edmonton with many of my colleagues and, like you, we could simply not believe
what was unfolding before our very eyes. We were, quite simply, overwhelmed by
those acts of senseless violence. Our hearts and prayers go out to our American
neighbours, as does our admiration for their courage and fortitude.
I join with all Canadians in expressing deepest condolences to the families
of the victims of this tragedy, not only in the United States but in Canada and
several other countries. I must also express my admiration of the thousands of
volunteers who have been working day and night, and will continue to do so,
without a break, for a long time yet, helping seek out survivors and clear away
I wish to join Senator Lynch-Staunton and other colleagues in expressing my
thanks and admiration for Canadians everywhere who immediately extended warm and
generous hospitality to stranded travellers from all over the world, including,
it would appear from the remarks of Senator Kinsella, even from New Brunswick.
Honourable senators, this will be unlike any war that we have ever fought.
The last time and, indeed, every time in the past, the enemy was obvious. This
time the enemy is fleeting, shadowy and, when all is said and done, cowardly.
Our war against terrorism will not be a war of dramatic victories. It will be a
drawn-out affair. It will require all our reserves of patience and persistence.
This will be a war that will rely as much if not more upon
intelligence-gathering rather than on sheer might.
I was very pleased with Minister Manley's unequivocal statement to the effect
that Canada is firmly committed to working along with the United States and our
NATO allies to take all necessary steps to combat terrorism.
It is regrettable that this statement of support was late in coming, but in
times like these we have a duty to focus on the big picture and not get into
squabbles over less important matters.
I know that the men and women in the Canadian Armed Forces, the RCMP and
other law enforcement agencies, as well as in the intelligence community, will
give their all in the battle against terrorism. We, as a people, must give our
all in support of them. Budgets must be increased, equipment upgraded and
procurements fast-tracked. I am pleased that Minister Martin has indicated he
expects spending on defence and national security to increase. We look forward
to seeing those details.
Of course, readying ourselves for battle means we must ascertain, as
Canadians, what role we can best play. I and many others have long argued that
we are not making adequate use of our reserves, particularly here at home. Now
is an excellent opportunity to remedy that mistake.
The war against terrorism will not be a conventional one. Let us not,
honourable senators, commit the classic error of repeating the last war. This
one will be won, in large part, by brains not by brawn. It will not be a war won
by the side with the most tanks or heavy artillery.
This war against terrorism requires a new way of thinking, a new vision. The
United States and its allies will need to have highly sophisticated equipment,
highly trained intelligence and linguistic experts, and highly mobile
anti-terrorist forces. This war against terrorism will be ideally suited for
niche players. It is tailor-made for Canada's expertise. Clearly, Canada does
not have the brawn, but we certainly do have the brains. Let us use them. Let us
use them and play the role that the world has come to expect of Canada.
Honourable senators, just as we must ensure that Canada plays an appropriate
role in the fight against terrorism outside our borders, we must also work to
insure that terrorism does not touch down inside our borders. We will need to
streamline our border practices and immigration policies to ensure a substantial
degree of consistency with the United States. What a shame that it has taken a
tragedy of this size to force us into a long overdue review.
What a shame, as Senator Fairbairn noted, that the three ground-breaking
studies into terrorism and what can be done to combat it have been allowed to
gather dust. These studies were led by our former colleague Senator Kelly and,
at least in the case of the last one, ably also by Senator Bryden and other
colleagues. What a shame they were not better used.
Nonetheless, I and most Canadians are very pleased to hear that the
government is preparing to make amends for our sins of omission and to move
quickly to make the necessary changes. Now is not the time for pandering to
those in Canada who constantly complain about our close relationship with our
best friend and neighbour. A threat to our neighbour is a threat to us, and we
must work together to build the forces and the fences to keep this threat at bay
and to ultimately destroy it.
Honourable senators, as you know, this chamber has recently created a new
Standing Senate Committee on Defence and Security. We could not have known then
how timely was our decision and how apt was our name. This committee will have
an opportunity to carry on and hopefully to implement the good work of Senator
I am sure that our chair, Senator Kenny, and other members of the committee,
myself included, will want to study all the implications of this crisis,
including the ability of our Armed Forces and law enforcement agencies to meet
these new threats so that we, as Canadians, may also do our part in the struggle
which appears to inevitably lie ahead.
In that endeavour, I know that we will have the wholehearted support of the
Canadian people, just as I know that the Canadian people would want us to
unequivocally support the motion before us.
Hon. Douglas Roche: Honourable senators, my first words are an
expression of deepest sympathy to the victims and their families, who have
suffered the evil of the terrorism that struck New York and Washington last
week. Second, I say that I will stand with Prime Minister Jean Chrétien who,
yesterday, set a course for Canada to give a reasoned response built on our
nation's values of freedom, justice and tolerance.
I urge the government to continue to respond in a way that upholds the
principles of international law. I encourage the government to shun the language
of war which suggests that only militarism can combat terrorism.
Canada is not in a state of war. It is not war that we should seek but
justice. It is not the rule of war that should predominate but the rule of law.
The people of the United States have been gravely wounded. There is a loud
cry for vengeance. However, revenge as an end in itself will not restore the
world to order. Merely defeating the enemy of terrorism will not cure the
problems that feed the hate that terrorism spews out. Military action by itself
may give us the feeling that we are doing something, but we will be fooling
ourselves that we are actually accomplishing a safer world. A cycle of violence
will only create more hate, more terrorism and more danger for all humanity.
Of course, the terrorists who committed these terrible acts must be hunted
down and brought to justice, just as the police capture a criminal in our own
neighbourhood. It may take military action to do this, but the action must be
proportionate so that the culprits are punished without inflicting more death on
Canada should be guided in its actions by Resolution No. 1368 adopted by the
United Nations Security Council on September 12, 2001. Calling on all states to
work together to implement international anti-terrorist conventions, the
Security Council expressed its readiness "to take all necessary steps to
respond" to the latest terrorist attacks, and to act in accordance with their
responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations.
Article 51 of the UN Charter, the self-defence article, permits a state
acting alone or collectively to defend itself against an armed attack, but such
an action must not diminish the authority and responsibility of the Security
Council to maintain or restore international peace and security. The
international coalition now taking shape cannot and must not supplant the
authority of the Security Council.
Not only must the defence be within the confines of international law, it
must be part of effective international cooperation to combat terrorism based on
the principles of the Charter, including respect for international humanitarian
law and human rights.
At the very least, any military response must be limited to the least
possible damage. Canadians have always upheld the value of all humanity. We must
never approve military strikes that have the effect of killing innocent people
or triggering a humanitarian catastrophe.
At this very tense moment, Canada, working with the United States, must urge
restraint in the use of force. We must help the United States to see that it
should dedicate its great powers to lead a humanity-centred response in which
appropriate military action is augmented by a range of comprehensive measures to
truly root out terrorism.
Canada can make a specific contribution to fighting terrorism by such
measures as helping to strengthen the anti-terrorist machinery of the UN,
including the immediate establishment of an international tribunal to mete out
punishment to terrorists; stimulating the new coalition to pursue intelligence
sharing, police coordination, passport control, travel surveillance and judicial
enforcement against terrorists, with increased funding; and stepping up its work
to end international production of fissile material and control of all existing
stocks so that future terrorists cannot gain access to nuclear weapons
In calling for a larger view in the midst of this crisis, we must hold to the
belief that war itself is not the solution to terrorism. We must not be afraid
to say this, based on the conviction of our values.
At this turning point for the world — for that is what it is when terrorists
anywhere can covertly destroy the prized assets of the powerful — we need to
face up to a hard reality: not raw military strength, nor nuclear weapons, nor
missile defences will defend us against those who lash out at humanity itself
because of their consuming hatred. Such hatred exploits the brutalities of
poverty, oppression, power and greed of modern society. Thus, our long- range
defence lies in addressing the great injustices that today are worsening the
divisions between rich and poor, the powerful and the vulnerable, the triumphant
and the despairing.
There are vital questions that now challenge us. Will we lift ourselves up to
get at the real problems of social disorder and the roots of hate? Will we
strengthen the international machinery to promote the rule of law and economic
and social development? Will we provide genuine hope to the growing numbers of
Honourable senators, what has war produced for us so far? In the 20th
century, at least 110 million people were killed in 250 wars, six times as many
deaths as in the 19th century. In the year 2000, 40 armed conflicts were fought
in the territories of 35 countries. There are 500 million small arms in
circulation around the world, arms which kill 500,000 people a year. Governments
plead that they have little money for social programs, yet they are currently
spending $800 billion a year on military expenditures, which is 80 times more
than the $10 billion they spend on the entire United Nations system.
This emphasis on militarism stands in sharp contrast to the social deficit of
humanity. Almost half the world's people live in abject poverty. Of the 4.6
billion people in developing countries, 1 billion lack access to clean water and
2.4 billion do not have basic sanitation. The richest 1 per cent of the world's
people receives as much income as the poorest 57 per cent. Sixty-six countries
are now poorer than they were a decade ago.
That is the reality of life for countless people whose anger against the
West, whose riches and high standard of living are flaunted daily on television
that reaches the most remote corners, is rising in a palpable way. Such a
climate is bound to foster the seeds of terrorism. Stamp out today's terrorists
without stamping out the problems that spawned them and we will have
accomplished little to ensure our safety, for tomorrow's terrorists are the
children in today's refugee camps.
A distinguishing feature of our time is that morality and pragmatics have
intersected. What we have long known we should do for our brothers and sisters
on the planet we now know we must do if we are to survive without the most
wrenching dislocations in our lives. It is not news that moral teaching
emphasizes the core values of respect for life, liberty, justice and equity,
mutual respect and integrity.
It is news that technology has brought us to the point where we all stand on
one planet, breathe the same air, are affected by one another's problems and
possess the power to decimate all life.
The physical integrity of all human life today demands political policies
that enhance, not diminish, life in every region of the planet. The common good
requires policies that promote sustainable and socially equitable development
and peace in all regions of the world.
Finally, honourable senators, there is hard slogging ahead for Canada to help
build the conditions for peace, development, equity and justice. Canada's real
strength will be shown in our willingness to use the present catastrophe as a
wake-up call to energize the political systems to provide social justice in a
shrinking and much more dangerous planet.
Hon. Jim Tunney: Honourable senators, I rise today to deliver a
statement that, until a week ago today, September 11, I could never have
When I was a child, I remember the wanted poster that read, "Wanted Dead or
Alive!" All I want, and all America wants, is to see them brought to justice.
This obviously staged and press-minded comment by President Bush is
headlining today's press. Some more inappropriate comments that have been
eliminated were seen on television last night and this morning.
In making that statement, President Bush has touched the darkest side of the
American psyche. More thoughtful American citizens are asking the legitimate
question: Why is America, why are Americans, the most hated by so many in the
more impoverished parts of the world? My answer to that would be that it is not
just that the Americans are wealthy and powerful; rather, it is that they have a
tendency to flaunt the fact that they possess both. They have an obvious
inclination to regard bombs and bullets as the solution to issues and matters
with which they do not agree. If I am wealthy and intellectually brilliant — and
I am neither — I do not need to keep reminding people of that. They will
recognize it without my ostentatious show of it. People are only more disliked
by the continuous repetition of such statements.
Based on my experience in Russia and Ukraine over some years, I never ceased
to be distressed by the remarks made about the U.S. on the one hand and the
totally favourable remarks made about a country of which the people are so
fortunate to be a part — our Canada. I am most concerned that too often we make
remarks that Canada is felt to be the best country in the world in which to
live, and that we subsequently may be perceived as displaying the same arrogance
as the Americans display.
We are pledging to be America's closest ally, and in Afghanistan's response
to a response, we could conceivably be targets of retaliation on our West Coast,
in Halifax, in Montreal, or even in Ottawa.
Honourable senators, we are dealing with an impoverished nation. The Afghan
people are the poorest of the poor, with an illiteracy rate of 95 per cent. In
our preparations to respond, we must ensure that we, as a country, know
precisely what our mission is, and the specifics of our campaign against
terrorism must be clear and known to all. We must also ensure that there are
both educational and economic components to the long-term strategy, which will
be just as important as the short term.
Hon. J. Michael Forrestall: Honourable senators, like every one else
in the chamber, I rise first of all to express my sincerest condolences to the
families and friends of those who lost their lives so tragically in the United
States just days ago. I extend my sympathy to them. I want them to know that the
prayers of my family are with them today and will be until such time as Senator
Roche's dream of peace is once upon us.
We cannot win this war alone because it is a war. We can, however, by
multilateral efforts, support our neighbours and friends to the south.
I have three grandchildren and a daughter in Washington that I did not hear
from until Wednesday, simply because we could not reach them. I have
sisters-in-law in Manhattan, working in the very area of the tragedy. I have
empathy and personal feelings in that respect.
I thank the Leader of the Government in the Senate for bringing forward this
motion. I listened carefully to debate in the other place on television
yesterday. I was moved by the sincerity of the Prime Minister's appeal to his
fellow countrymen and by his pledges of support for our American allies — our
friends and neighbours. I was moved then just as I have been moved today by the
comments here, as I am sure all have been moved.
My friends, while we sympathize and support a vigorous battle against
terrorism, and while we recognize we must take action, I suggest to you that we
must be quite honest with ourselves. It is with a heavy heart that we in this
chamber debate this motion. People are afraid of the unknown; they want answers;
they want security; and they want protection. It is not hard to understand
because the crime was monstrous. Terrorists and their supporting nation states
have stolen our freedom and our sense of security. They have shown little or no
regard for humanity.
Last week, senior citizens were requested not to take pictures of the
Parliament Buildings. Perhaps it is a necessary caution in the eyes of some. Is
this the level to which our freedoms have been contravened and compromised by
It will not come as a big surprise to you, honourable senators, that I am
concerned, as are you, about national security and transport safety. We all come
to this chamber with different perspectives on similar problems, and to some
degree, we have a duty to bring them to the attention of the government of the
day. This is not the time to leave stones unturned or questions unanswered. It
is not the time to take "no" for an answer or to accept "we will deal with
that later." That is not good enough. Whether or not we like it, we are at war.
It is a different kind of war. We have a solemn duty to protect the people of
Canada and to support our allies. We have a pledge to the people all over the
world who suffer from terrorism.
I pledge my support to the Prime Minister of this country, knowing that
people of goodwill will do what can be done. It may be little that we can do. It
may mean giving some money to our police and military to strengthen them. It may
mean giving funds to CSIS for surveillance capacity in order to improve our
ability to seek out, identify, track, and, where appropriate, bring to justice
those who would perpetrate such heinous crimes on our society.
These civilian airliners that struck the World Trade Center and the Pentagon
could just as easily have struck the Parliament buildings here. The August
edition of Jane's Intelligence Review states that Osama bin Laden has
cells here in Canada. The electronic media has said that five individuals here
in the nation's capital are being monitored by the security service.
Honourable senators, the government must take immediate steps, in my opinion,
to increase the funding to the Canadian Security Intelligence Services, the
RCMP, the Customs and Revenue Agency, the Canadian Coast Guard, and the
Department of National Defence. Some of you may note the order in which I have
listed those. It was quite deliberate. I do not want to go to war. I do not want
Canadians to go to war. However, I do want to protect our citizens in any way
that we can. Next to prayer, I see that as being perhaps the best first route.
The government must take steps to increase human intelligence assets in
Canada to root out these terrorists who threaten our security and the security
of our allies. Clearly, human intelligence is an area in which all Western
countries are lacking because they all failed to discover this evil plot against
The government has cut CSIS funding in the past. This must halt. I am told
that we have little to offer in terms of intelligence to our allies. Indeed, in
this regard, we are somewhat irrelevant. It was not always that way. However, it
is the current situation. That situation makes valid the current criticisms of
Additionally, the RCMP must receive increased funding. We should not
undertake any more cuts to our national police force, particularly in light of
the events in which we find ourselves.
The cancellation of Ports Canada Police has left our ports vulnerable. Local
police do a good job, but they do not do the job of the nationally trained ports
police who were involved in customs, smuggling and the penetration of our
country by aliens illegally. These are important windows of security for Canada.
I suggest, and have for many years now, that we take greater advantage of our
nationally trained police force. We should staff our ports, airports and other
points of vulnerability with our nationally trained police force. We are
learning, as we did in the Transport Committee in conversations with airport
management and representatives of airlines over the last two or three years, the
extent of our vulnerability.
For the first time in my life, I was apprehensive getting on a plane this
morning to fly here. I became more apprehensive, as you will appreciate. We were
55 minutes late by the time they had closed the door, without anybody telling us
I think the move to strengthen on-board security by locking the flight deck
door is probably a good idea, certainly when the plane is airborne or from the
moment it moves away from the terminal. However, I am not enamoured with that
approach largely because the stakeholders, the pilots themselves, have very
serious reservations because of what may happen to them in the event of an
accident. How do they get out of a cockpit door that is rigid and jammed?
On the other hand, I do not dismiss lightly, as does Minister Collenette, the
suggestion that we do develop with the specially trained elements of our
national police force the concept of air marshals. This is not a new idea. It is
not alien to our thought. We thought about it long and hard just a few short
years ago and decided to go in another direction.
The Customs and Revenue Agency needs our further support.
Honourable senators, the last area is the strengthening of Canada's military.
This government has significantly eroded it, and Canadians know it. When the
Prime Minister says that we must fight a war against terrorism, I must ask the
government what our army will fight with.
The Canadian navy lacks robust modern helicopters. That is a subject matter
with which we will deal in the ensuing week. I would hope that we deal with it
in some depth, so our people might get answers.
The navy is understaffed. In this regard, it is underfunded and does not have
sufficient money to train. How would we send F- 18s to that troubled area of the
world. We no longer have tanker capacity in the Armed Forces. We must borrow one
from our neighbours. The army is just about burned out from the Balkan
peacekeeping operations. Our tanks do not have armour to stand up to hand-held
weapons available to terrorists today, let alone fight on a modern battlefield.
The artillery regiment's guns are old and need replacement. In fact, the army is
planning to turn mortar units over to the artillery so that the artillery has a
more substantial role. Field engineer units are so weak that they will likely
receive pioneer units from our under-strength infantry battalions. The British
army tried that several years ago and abandoned it.
With only nine near full strength battalions, the government is planning on
going to six, thus eliminating one of Canada's three brigade groups. It would be
laughable if the situation were not so bad.
We have no rapid reaction capability. Sadly, the Canadian Airborne Regiment
was disbanded. It should have been fixed. A strict commanding officer, a strong
regimental sergeant major and an effective adjutant — three people — could have
fixed that unit. Now all we have is Joint Task Force 2, but it is only squadron
strength. Perhaps the government should enlarge this unit into three squadrons —
one for training, one for counterterrorism and one for special forces operations
abroad — in order that we might have something with which to fight terrorism.
We cannot send our new Coyote reconnaissance vehicles to Afghanistan — if we
could ever get them there — as they have no direct fire support in any
confrontation with field tanks. As I have said, CF-18s would take a long time to
get to bases and then would be very vulnerable. We will not strafe the Taliban
with Sea Kings. They have no real land attack capacity in the navy. Canada has
little, even of intelligence value, to add. So our war on terrorism will be
relegated to limited military, diplomatic and intelligence support — very
limited support, despite the Prime Minister's rhetoric and Mr. Day's rush to
send ground troops overseas.
Let us all hope and pray that nothing goes wrong anywhere else in the world.
North Korea and Iraq come immediately to mind.
Honourable senators, to sum up, the Government of Canada has left our
national security agencies a mere shell of themselves and we must take immediate
steps to reverse its past troubled course. No one will complain if the
government takes action. We all know the risks of doing nothing. We witnessed it
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I am sorry to interrupt the
Honourable Senator Forrestall but his 15 minutes have expired.
Senator Forrestall: May I have leave to continue?
The Hon. the Speaker: Is leave granted, honourable senators?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
The Hon. the Speaker: Leave to continue has been granted.
Senator Forrestall: Honourable senators, let us get in the game before
we get hit on someone else's terms.
My prayers will always be with those who lost their lives in the tragedy.
Hon. Lise Bacon: Honourable senators, one week ago, the United States
was the target of incredibly violent terrorist attacks. For thousands of
Americans, time stood still one week ago.
I wish to express my deep sympathy and my sincerest condolences to all those
who mourn loved ones. I also have a special thought for the Canadians who are
among the victims and for their friends and families. Let us hope that time will
ease their grief. It is my hope that the families of the victims will hear the
comforting voice of Canadians so that they can overcome such a painful ordeal.
These attacks hurt America and the whole world. The daily lives of not only
the Americans but of all of us has been affected. Each one of us, in his or her
own way, will remain scarred. While relief workers are searching through the
rubble looking for survivors, Americans are desperately trying to determine how
to win the fight against terrorism. Individually and collectively, we must join
forces and help them in this global war, because this is the only way to
We must preserve democracy, freedom, diversity and the respect of human
rights, which are all values that are dear to Canadians. It is sad that last
week's attacks have triggered a deep resentment toward Canadians who are Muslims
and toward other minorities. We must get a grip on ourselves quickly! It is this
same anger, this same hatred that is at the root of those recent events.
Let us not let those feelings surface at home. The true fight against
terrorism lies beyond that. Let us promote hope, love, life, and let us think
before we act. Let us seize the opportunity to understand and analyze our
This is a time for healing. Time, which stood still last Tuesday, is again
marching on. The extraordinary courage displayed by relief workers, both
professionals and volunteers, requires us to also rise to the challenge. This
type of undaunted courage should inspire the families affected and also all of
us. The fight will be a lengthy one.
Americans rolled up their sleeves in a show of unity. I am convinced that,
likewise, Canadians are more united than ever.
I wish to express how proud the gathering on Parliament Hill, last Friday,
made me feel. The Prime Minister wanted to give Canadians an opportunity to show
their support for our neighbours, for our friends. This is where the strength
and determination of Canadians were expressed.
Hon. Donald H. Oliver: Honourable senators, I am pleased to rise today
to speak in favour of the motion before this chamber. The events of the past
week have been most unsettling. We North Americans are not used to seeing death
and mayhem on our doorstep. We have, foolishly perhaps, convinced ourselves that
terrorism is something that happens elsewhere. Since the sad events in New York
and Washington, the Americans have called upon their friends and allies around
the world to join them in helping to stamp out the scourge of terrorism wherever
it exists. Canada has joined the chorus of supporters. We have made a commitment
as a nation to stand by our American friends. We are committed to war — morally,
politically and, most assuredly, economically.
The question we need to ask ourselves, honourable senators, is this: What
exactly is war in the 21st century? It is likely to be a war unlike anything we
have ever seen before. Is Canada ready for this type of war?
When we talk about fighting terrorism, what weapons do we have in mind?
Surely not conventional weapons like tanks and missiles. In the case of
Afghanistan, the Russians learned, to their sorrow, the folly of such weapons in
a land such as that. Perhaps it would be a ground war like Vietnam. Air strikes
are probably not realistic against our terrorist enemy.
Terrorists operate in a clandestine world far from the concerns and
understanding of the average Canadian. They work in networks of highly secret
independent groups. They communicate by cell phone, the Internet, satellite and
e-mail. Do we have the resources, the know-how, the desire or the will to take
on such an enemy? Do we have the ability to defend ourselves should these people
decide to strike out at us in retaliation?
Osama bin Laden has become the target of the Americans' wrath. Is he the
culprit — the only culprit? Facts to date are in short supply. If he is in some
way responsible, how do we fight him? He reportedly changes residence twice
daily. He has no ostentatious headquarters. He travels simply and lives in the
shadows. Yet, many of his followers are said to be highly educated and well
travelled. They have mastered the intricacies of the Internet and the high-tech
world. They are certainly not the ragged peasants or ignorant hill people they
are so often portrayed to be. They operate from a network of terrorist cells
with five to 10 people in each. They use elaborate, sophisticated communications
techniques. They operate out of more than 34 different countries in the world.
Is Canada ready to fight such an enemy — an enemy largely invisible, ready to
strike with deadly consequences at a largely defenceless population?
If not through our Armed Forces, what can Canada do to realistically address
the problem of terrorism? Do we need a strong prevention of terrorism act? I
certainly think so. If so, what then happens to the rights and values that we
know and cherish under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms? How do we
reconcile the two? Can the two ever be reconciled?
As our colleague Senator Kelleher pointed out in an article in The Toronto
Star recently, as in the case of the tragic Air India attack, what happened
on September 11 in the U.S. was a massive failure in intelligence gathering.
Here in Canada, our intelligence-gathering capabilities are restricted to say
the least. In fact, CSIS is specifically barred from gathering intelligence
outside our borders. How, then, do we hope to protect ourselves against
retaliation when we have such a limited, if non-existent, capacity to find out
things about our enemies?
Just last February, terrorists planned to launch a sarin gas attack on the
European Parliament. What would have happened if such a thing had occurred here?
By taking part in the American war on terrorism, will we then become targets for
potential chemical or biological counterattacks, a possibility raised by Prime
Minister Blair and other world leaders? Are we, as parliamentarians, ready to
take on that responsibility? Our government has taken no steps to date to
prepare us for the evils of a possible war of toxic chemicals.
Personally, I believe that we are sadly ill-equipped to fight anyone. We must
be cognizant that we are talking about a fight against an elusive, highly
motivated group of individuals, who show little compunction about attacking and
murdering thousands of innocent civilians. Their moral values are different from
As one commentator recently reminded us, we are democratic; they are not. We
have respect for human life; they do not. We hold essentially liberal values;
they do not. As we look into these issues, it is important that we never lose
sight of our basic Canadian values, but we at the same time need to understand
the nature of the enemy and act accordingly.
The moral dilemma now facing Canadians is clear. We are committed to come to
the aid of the Americans, our friends and our neighbours. I have no problem with
this. They are our friends and we must come to their aid, as they would come to
ours in similar circumstances. However, I repeat: Are we equipped to take on an
ethereal enemy, an enemy that lives in the netherworld of false passports,
forged identities, murder, extortion and terror? What options do we have? If an
armed force is not a realistic option, what can we do to help our neighbours,
while at the same time doing something practical to stop the terrible toll
terrorism brings upon us?
I agree with the Prime Minister of Britain, Tony Blair, when he stated:
So we need to look nationally and internationally at extradition laws, and
the mechanisms for international justice; at how these terrorist groups are
financed and their money laundered; and the links between terror and crime and
we need to frame a response that will work, and hold internationally.
Honourable senators, this is surely a proper role for Canada.
In conclusion, I received a fax on Friday from a business friend in Dallas,
Texas. I wish to share a few of his lines with honourable senators. He said:
At this moment, none of us can know the impact that events of that day will
have on our lives, our families, our careers, the economy, our country and the
world. We do know that those who lost loved ones in this brutal, murderous
expression of senseless rage are devastated and need our prayers.
Question: What should we do? First, thank God that you, and hopefully your
family, are indirect and not direct victims of this despicable act. Next, make
a financial contribution to the Red Cross and/or other relief organizations
that are aiding the families of the victims of the attack. Third, respond to
the tragedy by recommitting and redirecting your life towards being a better
person, doing better things to help more people. Remember, you can have
everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what
they want. Finally, take to heart what Carl Bard said: "Though no one can go
back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand
new ending." Now is the perfect time to take that step.
Hon. Serge Joyal: Honourable senators, I should like to add my voice
to that of the honourable senators who have expressed their profound sorrow and
sympathy to the families of the victims and especially to the families of the
Canadians who lost their lives in the tragic events of September 11, 2001.
We are all united in condemning these despicably evil acts perpetrated
against the civilized world, and the values that form the foundation of our free
and democratic society. The international community cannot tolerate the
activities of terrorist groups that carefully orchestrate the deliberate murder
of innocent civilians. Those responsible for the terrorist attacks, and those
who help facilitate them, must be held accountable for their crimes before
courts of justice. The world order cannot survive if these attacks are not
redressed and eradicated.
It is essential, honourable senators, that the two Houses of the Canadian
Parliament, the House of Commons and the Senate, the combined voice of the
people, the regions, and the minorities of our country, strongly express their
condemnation of this heinous violation of our fundamental principles. However,
they must also consider and deliberate the decision of the government to
cooperate with the United Nations and our NATO allies in the elimination of
It is the responsibility of Parliament, the democratic embodiment of the
Canadian people, to scrutinize the proposed methods of achieving this objective.
Parliament as a whole, and the Senate in particular, has views that should be
stated and taken into account by the government, especially on an issue as
crucial as the defence of our country and our national security. This important
function of Parliament is entrenched in the National Defence Act itself.
Furthermore, in January 1999, a Special Senate Committee on Security and
Intelligence, headed by former Senator William Kelly and Senator Bryden,
released a comprehensive report. This report continued the work of two earlier
special reports on terrorism-related issues released in 1987 and 1989. It
contained 33 specific and still very relevant recommendations, with
recommendation 28 emphasizing the role of Parliament. On such issues, the Senate
has the independence, continuity and long-term perspectives that are essential
for the effective performance of our duty as parliamentarians. The current
Standing Senate Committee on Defence and Security will certainly continue this
vitally important work.
Honourable senators, I should like to submit three points to you today.
First, terrorism strikes at the very foundation of our free and democratic
political order. It seeks to destroy the principle of the rule of law.
Terrorists target the peaceful course of our lives in society and attempt to
disrupt the social fabric of our democratic institutions, which are based on
respect for human rights and the peaceful resolution of disputes.
Since the end of the Second World War, Canada and the international community
have laboured to construct a peaceful world order in which states do not resort
to violence to solve their disputes. These efforts are based on respect for the
principles contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other
international human rights covenants. International tribunals have been
established to hold perpetrators of crimes against humanity accountable for
their actions. Canada has been a leading champion of initiatives to expand the
rule of law at the international level, first, by signing all 12 international
anti- terrorism conventions and, second, by promoting important initiatives like
the 1998 Treaty of Rome establishing the International Criminal Court.
The failure to include terrorism within the jurisdiction of the ICC due to
the inability of the participating governments to agree on a definition of
terrorism is an egregious weakness. The tragic events of September 11
demonstrate that its inclusion in the Rome statute must now be a priority
objective for the Canadian government and all its allies.
Canada has entrenched, in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, our belief in
the fundamental values of human rights and democracy. Indeed, we have deemed
several of these rights, notably the right to vote and the freedom to enter,
remain and leave the country, so fundamental that they are exempted even from
section 33, the notwithstanding clause. These rights can never be abrogated,
either by the Parliament of Canada or by any provincial legislature.
The late Pierre Elliott Trudeau highlighted the great strength of democracy.
He said this:
Democracy is superior to other political systems because it solicits the
express agreement of the people and thus avoids the necessity of violent
changes. At each election, in fact, the people assert their liberty by
deciding what government they will consent to obey.
Terrorists, whether Islamic fundamentalists, Basque separatists, Irish
paramilitary groups, or extremist American militias, to name only a few, reject
the peaceful democratic route for change in favour of violence, fear and chaos.
They seek to destroy our way of life. Despite our legitimate differences, it is
imperative that Canada work effectively with our allies in the international
community to preserve the rule of law. Jeffrey Simpson wrote last Friday in
The Globe and Mail of our closest ally and neighbour, the United States:
We do not agree with the Americans about everything. We do not always see the
world through similar eyes. But those differences pale beside what we share. It
goes beyond geography. It stretches past commerce. It even extends beyond the
thousand ties of kith and kin and friends. It stands on the bedrock beliefs of
freedom and democracy, and the values that underpin them. The two countries'
institutions that express democracy and protect freedom are different; the
commitment to them is the same.
Our common democratic beliefs and the principles of international law that we
value are being assaulted by terrorism, and we must act to defend them.
This, however, brings me to my second point. In responding to terrorism, we
must be faithful to our convictions as a distinct democratic country. We cannot
allow anger and fear to lead us blindly into overly hasty initiatives or else we
risk destroying the very values that we seek to protect. In the absence of
careful deliberation and thorough analysis, supposedly quick-fix solutions,
based on unproven assumptions, will not enhance our security. In fact, they risk
compromising the principles that have made Canada a land of hope, equality and
cultural diversity. Already we see people blaming Islam — a peaceful spiritual
movement with a rich cultural tradition that has made invaluable contributions
to humanity — for terrorist attacks that violate the central tenets of the
Islamic faith and that are condemned by the overwhelming majority of its
Terrorism is not a prescription of the Koran. Freedom of religion is a
fundamental right, as is freedom of thought and freedom of association. In our
democratic world no religion has a superior political status that gives it the
right to impose itself on the will of free citizens. Our dignity as individual
human beings entitles all people to exercise their free will and to make their
own choices. Violence and terror are a very assault against that human dignity.
Some have insinuated that lax Canadian border controls and overly generous
refugee or immigration policies have made our country a safe haven for
terrorists. Some advocate forming an integrated border with the United States,
without considering the many differences between our countries.
As the Honourable Elinor Caplan, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration,
stated on September 4, 2001, as reported in the National Post:
We have different constitutions. We have a Charter of Rights and Freedoms,
they don't. We're Canadian. I think it's really important that people realize
we are Canadian.
Honourable senators, it should be possible to be more effective in the fight
against terrorist infiltrations at the border without compromising our
respective sovereignty. We can take comfort from the fact that since the attack
so many government voices have spoken in favour of this prudent, well-balanced
response. This, rather than a headlong rush to clamp down on civil liberties and
reduction of sovereignty, is the behaviour that befits a mature and responsible
democratic society such as ours.
Yes, we are Canadian, and it has a bearing on the initiatives we should take
to fight terrorism. A return to a shoot-on-sight approach would not be, in my
opinion, the legitimate way of inspiring respect for what we hold to be
fundamental norms of the legal order. Such logic cannot but exacerbate violence,
vengeance, distrust and the law-of-the-jungle attitude that we have tried to
eliminate from the arsenal of the free world.
Canada has the freedom to define for itself what it considers appropriate to
fight terrorism. Article 5 of the NATO treaty provides that each member state
...assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith,
individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems
necessary, including the use of armed force...
In other words, Canada has a shared responsibility to act but can determine
for itself the extent of its contribution beyond its existing commitments to the
maintenance and respect of our Canadian values.
Canada has full control over its contribution to the fight against
terrorists. Over the years, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien has repeatedly pushed
very specifically for international initiatives to fight terrorism. Canada is
convinced that international cooperation and coordination is required, and we
have worked with the economic summit countries for over 20 years in countering
At the G-7 summit in Halifax in 1995, Canada, under the initiative of Prime
Minister Chrétien, convinced its partners to hold a ministerial meeting on
terrorism. The meeting was held here in Ottawa in December 1995, in partnership
with all five permanent members of the UN Security Council, as well as the
presidency of the European Union.
The ministers present in 1995 here in Ottawa approved a document entitled
"The Ottawa Declaration," which contained a 10-point action plan to fight
international terrorism. Key steps included, and I quote point 4:
Pursuing measures to prevent terrorist use of nuclear, chemical and
Point 7 states:
Strengthening protection of aviation, maritime and other transportation
systems against terrorism.
Since then, Canada has been participating actively in international meetings
to pursue the objectives set by the "Ottawa Declaration." At the G-7 summit in
France two years later, in 1997, a report on anti-terrorism efforts was given to
the members of the G-7 and the issue has become a permanent item on the agenda
of their summits, always with the support and initiative of Canada. This is, in
our view, one of the many effective fora where the enactment of additional
initiatives should be debated and taken jointly.
Canada has fully assumed its G-7 responsibilities in the past, and it is
there that our contribution to the fight against terror, in cooperation with our
closest partners in the free world, could be most effective.
The Hon. the Speaker: Senator Joyal, I regret to advise you that your
speaking time is up.
Senator Joyal: I have two more pages to read.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, is leave granted to allow
Senator Joyal to continue?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
The Hon. the Speaker: Senator Joyal, you may proceed.
Senator Joyal: Thank you, honourable senators.
My third and final point, honourable senators, is that when a country and the
lives of its citizens are threatened by terrorists, it is not wise to listen to
the councils of fear, aggression and the spirit of vengeance. Their guidance
will not help us fight terrorism effectively. It masks itself in secrecy,
darkness, subversion, hypocrisy and deceit. It cannot, therefore, be easily
fought by tanks, missiles and bombs. Rather, thorough and discreet
investigations, involving coordination among many different government agencies,
are most likely to produce effective results. This is a lengthy, difficult and
time-consuming process but, despite our understandable desire for swift
retribution, we must accept that this is the most effective way.
The democratic voice of the Canadian Parliament remains the ultimate and best
rampart protecting our rights and freedoms in these times of uncertainty that
call for patience, cooperation and a true patriotic spirit. The present crisis
is a profound test for our democratic institutions. What compromise over the
exercise of our civil liberties and the sovereignty of our country are we ready
to make to maintain a fair level of security?
Canada must stand with our allies to bring to justice those responsible for
this senseless slaughter of innocent civilians and to combat the global scourge
of international terrorism. In doing so, however, let us be concerned to protect
the fundamental rights and freedoms of all Canadians and the democratic
principles that are the bedrock of our country and that we share intimately with
our closest ally and friendly American neighbours.
Hon. Gerald J. Comeau: Honourable senators, many of my fellow Nova
Scotians have asked me to pass on their heartfelt condolences and prayers to the
families and friends of the victims of last week's tragic events in the United
States. People in my region, like civilized people all over the world, are
shocked and saddened. Those I talked to could find no words to adequately
describe the horror and revulsion at the mass murder of men, women and children
in their place of work, travel and leisure.
I have read and heard in the media, and here this afternoon, some advocating
that our attention should be directed at fixing the root causes that lead to
violence. I would suggest that poverty and mass murder are two entirely
different issues and two different sets of problems. We cannot fall in the trap
of letting historical grievances, whether legitimate or not, be used to justify
violence. There can be no sympathy with terrorists. They are not the victims. By
all means, we should all try to make this a better world in which to live, but
terrorism and righting past injustices are two entirely different issues and
require two entirely different sets of responses.
Honourable senators, our response must be clear. Violence will not be
tolerated or excused.
Hon. Nicholas W. Taylor: Honourable senators, I will not be as brief
as the previous speaker. I wish I could be.
First, I also want to extend sympathy to the people affected and also to
support the motion, although I know there is little we can say or do now that
will ease the sense of loss that many of them must feel. I hope they take some
consolation from the fact that there are literally millions of people around the
world who extend their sympathy to them.
A number of people have indicated where they were when they first learned
about these tragic events. I was in North Africa representing Canada at a
12-country meeting with Arab countries, Israel and Iran, to try to work out a
solution to the Palestinian refugee problem. Naturally, this incident hit very
close to home, especially when speculation concerned Arabs. We suspended the
meetings for that day but continued on for three days afterwards. I must admit
that we did make some progress, but I do not think you will read about it in the
papers as a great breakthrough. However, I was interested to know that countries
like Algeria and Israel could agree on some points.
Aside from that, I will take a philosophical line. In general, too often in
our modern society we believe that the end justifies the means. The terrorist
has just taken that to the ultimate end in saying that the end justifies the
means. Terrorism is certainly not restricted to the Middle East. Many people
still think that it could have been masterminded by U.S. or German people who
hired these all-too-willing volunteers from other cells.
The point is that if we are to retire the netherworld of terrorism, we must
get to the very root of what causes it. If we study history, we see that
terrorism is present in many areas and has been in many areas. Even some of my
own ancestors tried to blow up the House of Commons 300 or 400 years ago because
of religion, and which ends up to this day being burned in effigy on bonfires on
Guy Fawkes Day. There is the burning of Atlanta, where the North tried to teach
the South what the Civil War was all about. We can go back to the zealots in
early Israel. More recently in Israel, right after the war, Israelis used the
same terrorist activities as the PLO are now using to get their freedom. They
blew up the King David Hotel, which had both military personnel and men and
women in it; and perhaps worst of all, they machine-gunned the unarmed UN
mission of Count Folke Bernadotte, with Menachem Begin, who later became Prime
Minister of Israel, supposedly being one of the people in the group.
I am really pointing out that the line between a terrorist — a guerrilla —
and a patriot is very thin indeed and quite often depends on who writes the
In this case, let us try to analyze what are the roots of this Middle East
form or the blowing up in Oklahoma City or the anarchist demonstrations at trade
Having spent a good part of my business life in the Middle East, in Iran,
Israel and Egypt, on both sides of the so-called question over there, and having
had the experience of representing Canada three times at IPO meetings — the
Muslim countries are usually supported by the African countries in the
interparliamentary union — I can tell honourable senators that one must spend
some time over there to realize a number of things.
First, North America has its trade agreement, NAFTA. Then there is the
European Union. There is the Asiatic area, Korea and Japan. There is no such
thing as a trade agreement or trade area for Muslims. They have their noses
pressed at the windows, or many people do, and it is so easy to see today,
through far-reaching television cameras, that the standard of living in Western
Europe, Canada and the U.S. is so far above theirs that they ask what is going
on, why should it be so. If they try to get into one of the trade areas, they
have tariffs against their goods. I have been in Africa when the farmers were
going under in the Sahara area because we were donating our wheat. We did not
worry. We complain about the Americans selling their wheat more cheaply than we
do, but we were donating wheat that was breaking the back of the African farmer.
This was in North Africa, which is a Muslim area.
Looking at terrorism from the point of view of economics, one can see
similarities. Poverty in Ireland was one of the great bases of the IRA. The IRA
was able to come to Boston to raise money to keep going, but as soon as the
economy of southern Ireland surpassed that of the north the jobs became more
plentiful and the violence seemed to die. Some say it was because the English
were superior in diplomacy, but I think it was tied to the economy.
Wherever separatism raises its ugly head, it usually has its roots in a
community that is willing to finance it, and if not willing to finance it at
least hide it or cover for it. Therefore, we have to get those people to not
hide and cover the terrorists in their midst. We want them to disown them or
disown the person.
Now, I use the words "him" and "he" quite often, but the Patti Hearst
story tells us that there are women terrorists as well as men.
We can talk about what happens to those who have the nerve to question the
Western world. We only have it look at NATO. It is not terrorism when we fly in
the bombers and kill innocent men and women, blow up bridges and so on. It is a
police action. It was not terrorism when we burned and used flame-throwers in My
Lai and through the Vietnam jungle in a defoliating scheme. It was a police
action to stop communism.
People outside looking in say that we have one code of values for ourselves
and another code of values for them. With terrorism, whether it comes looking
down the barrel of a tank or whether it comes from crashing into a building, the
innocent people are just as dead. In the new world that we are putting together,
somehow or another we have to convey to these people that there is a place for
them, that they are partners on this planet. They are not just people that we
westerners figure should be saddled and bridled and rode for the sheer joy of
the Western world for our higher standards.
You are getting a touch of that when you see people demonstrating at the G-8
conferences. That same thinking will continue to nourish terrorists. Many
believe we do not care. The terrorist wants to have a place to get money and a
place to hide. That will not come about from their community if their community
feels that they are a significant and desired part of the planet.
For example, I just mentioned economics — let us look at drugs. I was
fortunate enough to go with Dr. Keith Martin and visit a number of clinics. I
followed up to see whether he was right, and he was right — when he said that
nearly 90 per cent of the drugs patented in the last 50 years are used in North
America and Europe. We are spending little money to wipe out disease in Africa
and the Middle East. As far as the disease we do have in common with them, AIDS,
we do not allow them to make generic drugs. When South Africa tried to turn out
generic drugs for AIDS at one-fiftieth the cost, economic sanctions were
threatened. The U.S. is great for imposing economic sanctions as a means of
bringing people in line, but we never put economic sanctions on somebody that
will sell us oil, because we need it. Even Iraq sells more oil today than it did
before we put sanctions on that country. Most people do not realize that.
There was the question of drugs. Our Western world has not gone out of its
way to help the Muslim, the African poor to get them the drugs they need.
Lastly, an agrologist mentioned to me that the development of new types of
wheat, corn, peas and potatoes that grow in temperate climates has progressed at
great speed over the last 50 years. Nevertheless, the money that is spent on
helping tropical countries raise certain fruits — for example, plantain or
cassava — is still the same as nearly 50 years ago.
There is a vast mass of people who, through the medium of television, can see
that they are not part of the world. That is a natural breeding ground for
My suggestion, honourable senators, besides importing El Al to tell us how to
run a safe airline and having normal security measures, is that we should take a
long-term view of bringing these people in to being part of the earth community,
if you want to call it that, I just hope that vengeance does not become the
reason we react. Vengeance is a very poor thing to base anything on. It was
Golda Meir who said that an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth means that
you end up with a bunch of blind old men without teeth. The same thing applies
here with a vengeance. Both sides lose. Golda knew what she was talking about.
In closing, I would like to say that if there is to be a war, let it be on
poverty, ignorance and hunger.
Hon. A. Raynell Andreychuk: Honourable senators, I wish to underscore
the importance of this motion and the opportunity that it presents for us to
call on Canadians to stand united through both Houses of their Parliament.
I want to add my voice to the condolences expressed to the American people
and to the bereaved families. This atrocity has touched Canadian families,
American families and families from many other nations.
We admire the resilience of the workers, the volunteers and of the grieving
family members who must stand by, watching, waiting, not knowing whether any
real hope remains at this late hour.
This motion gives us an opportunity, too, to register our admiration of the
administration and the politicians at all levels of government in the United
States as they stand united in their grief and in their commitment to make their
country stronger by overcoming this tragedy.
Terrorism is not new, honourable senators. It has, throughout the ages, had
two elements — force and violence. What is new is how close to home this terror
has struck. We thought that we could not be more shocked or amazed or horrified
after the events of the Second World War and the treachery that we have seen in
all four corners of the world — in the Middle East, in Northern Ireland, in
Bosnia, in Rwanda, in Sierra Leone, in Somalia, in Uganda, in Kenya, in Tanzania
and, yes, even in Oklahoma. We had almost grown to believe that such things do
occur, but at a distance. September 11 proved that ours is a very small world,
as others have underscored.
We are proud to see Canada united in support for our closest ally and friend,
the United States. Over the last number of months in this place, we have had
opportunities to point out our differences with the United States, but we
quickly come to the essential truth that we share very similar values with the
Americans. Hopefully, we will not lose touch with that truth in the coming
I was privileged to be part of the Special Senate Committee on Security and
Intelligence, which filed its report in January 1999. In rereading that report,
I was reassured. The study began in 1998, when Senator Kelly introduced a motion
for a special committee to hear evidence on and consider matters relating to the
threat posed to Canada by terrorism and to hear evidence on the counterterrorism
activities of the Government of Canada. It is worthy to note that there were
some 97 witnesses, most of whom preoccupy themselves in their professional lives
thinking about terrorism in Canada and around the world. Terrorism is not a
forgotten issue for those people.
I hope that every senator and every Canadian takes the time to read that
report. Terrorism and its effects on Canadians were highlighted in that report.
It is amazing to read it in the context of what happened on September 11, 2001,
and to realize just how relevant that report was.
Incidentally, that was the third such report by the Senate. There is no
oversight committee in the House of Commons. There is no ongoing apparatus to
ensure that Parliament looks after this issue of defence and security. I was
reassured that such a relevant report had come from the Senate. That is an
important footnote to our frequent discussions about the relevance of the
Senate. In my eight years as a senator, that report is one of the most important
pieces of work that we have undertaken, though we, in this chamber, may not have
realized its true importance until this time.
I want to underscore some of our findings for the benefit of Canadians. The
counter-intelligence and intelligence services in Canada were actively involved
in defining the issues that face Canada and the democratic world. However, as
Canadians, we have been overly complacent, incorrectly assuming that we simply
cannot be targeted. We have been too simplistic in our approach to our record
and to terrorism in today's world.
The time has come to address our complacency and the reality of terrorism. I
will quote from this rather prophetic statement at page 17 of our report:
The established norm of behaviour used to be that terrorist groups would
announce their threats and rush to take credit for their actions. In this way,
their existence and their objectives would be as widely known as possible.
A new trend is for terrorists not to take responsibility for their actions.
The destruction, killing or maiming of targets is sufficient to the cause...
The trend to avoid responsibility makes it more difficult to track
terrorist organizations, to trace responsibility for terrorist acts and to
bring those responsible to justice.
Honourable senators, that is exactly what we face in the days to come.
We were also told that the environment has changed. Terrorism makes use of
the "technological treadmill." Agencies simply cannot keep up with the changes
and with the resources that terrorists have today.
We looked at airport security. We questioned the turf battles between police
and the issue of privatization and weighed that against the inconvenience and
the dollars that may be necessary. Perhaps we did not dig deeply enough and we
should review this area in the coming days. We did, however, hit the nail on the
head as to what Canada needs to do in the future. Government threat- analysis
capability must be beefed up. Adequate resources are needed. Manpower for
strategic analysis is more important than our previous emphases.
Finally, our report pointed out that there can be no lessening of the
responsibility of Parliament in the future. Parliament must, as a democratic
institution, have an oversight role and a responsibility to its citizens.
We talked at great length in our committee hearings about the roles of
immigrants and refugees. I was pleased to see this emphasis. We underscored the
value of immigration, past, present and future, to Canadians. The ills of
Canadian society were not disproportionately coming from the immigrant base of
Canada. Therefore, whatever measures we take to ferret out those terrorists
among us, we must be ever mindful that we do not target the valuable asset of
those Canadians who have immigrated to Canada. Their contribution to our
society, to democracy and to our way of life is equally important to those, and
with those, who were born on Canadian soil.
Honourable senators, we must encourage a reasoned assessment and response,
but we have yet to know what that means. Today, many have proffered their
opinions, and I certainly will take the time to reread the evidence of our
honourable colleagues and of those in the other place. The issue is the root
cause and the ability not to cause greater harm to individual civilians who,
disproportionately we find out in most cases, are 70 per cent children and
women. We must not use vengeance with vengeance.
Honourable senators, it is easy to defend human rights in times of peace and
in times of prosperity. The true test of our democracy will be whether we can be
ingenious, persistent and sacrificing enough to continue to defend those human
rights, both for ourselves and for those around the world, as we fight the
elements of terrorism. We cannot be cowed, but we must not become so bold that
we change in the process, thereby yielding some measure of success to
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!
Hon. Ione Christensen: Honourable senators, with others in this
chamber, I wish to convey my sympathy and that of all Yukoners, whom I
represent, to all those who lost loved ones in this tragedy. A week ago today,
on September 11, 2001, North Americans lost their innocence as they received a
911 wake-up call.
Most members in this chamber can go back in history and mark international
milestones that have affected their lives and changed history. Last Tuesday, I
called to my Ottawa office at 6 a.m. Yukon time, and my staff member said that
there had been an accident at the World Trade Center in New York. She had the
television on and, as we talked, the second plane came in. The reality of what
was happening hit us.
I hung up the phone and turned on the television and, along with millions of
others, watched as the horror unfolded — the towering inferno, the imploding of
those enormous buildings and the volcano-like smoke snaking through the streets.
Our minds would not allow us to equate living human beings in the midst of all
of that, and yet, they were there — living flesh and blood one moment and
crushed in the rubble the next.
It had all seemed so distant — over 6,000 miles away. Then suddenly, in
Whitehorse, Yukon, we had a 12-minute alert that a possible hijacked Korean
airliner with a full load of passengers was inbound to our airport, accompanied
by U.S. and Canadian fighter planes. It was not idle speculation: There had been
a special signal received from that aircraft. Any feelings of detachment that we
might have felt vanished, and we were on the front lines. We evacuated schools,
closed down buildings and prepared quickly. Our outcome was a happy one, but the
terror of New York and Washington still exists.
Did September 11, 2001, mark a change in history? Yes, profoundly it did. It
brought home the smallness of our planet and shook us out of our complacency.
Can such violence only happen in a far away country? No, it cannot, any longer.
Two words have been widely used during this heinous event: the "R" word and
the "W" word. The first must be rejected outright and the other pursued with
vigour for however long it takes. Revenge in itself is an act of terrorism.
History has shown us that it has never been effective — not in Ireland, not in
the Middle East and not now. War on terrorism can be effective, especially if it
is vigorously pursued and joined with the other wars that we have already
resolved to fight — war on poverty, crime, drugs and hunger. They are all
intertwined, but they can be won if the democratic nations of this world work
together to make it happen.
In North America, we have been especially blessed, and we are strong in so
many ways. Working with other nations around the world, we can lead the way by
taking the moral high road and by looking outward to help others to share the
freedom and the bounty that we too often take for granted. While Tuesday's
devastation took place on American soil, that act of terrorism was made against
the entire free world. Canada, as America's closest neighbour, must continue to
do what all good neighbours do — provide compassion, solace, wise advice and
help in whatever way we can to bring the perpetrators of this monstrous crime to
The world is a small place, honourable senators. Our task is not to protect
our little corner, but to open opportunities to others. We cannot have winners
and losers, only winners, or we will all become losers as was so horrifically
demonstrated last week. Let us pray for a greater power to guide our nations in
this hour of darkness.
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!
Hon. David Tkachuk: Honourable senators, last Tuesday, over 5,000
people paid the ultimate price for just being where they were. Innocent lives
taken mistakenly in a shootout in any city is cause for grief. However, on the
morning of September 11, 2001, ordinary people, of which 100 or more may have
been Canadians, were part of the most infamous videotape ever made. It was
filled with all manner of horror, from the eerie scenes of bodies falling over
80 stories — too high to imagine because they were dwarfed by the television
screens — to the 45 or so victims who became heroes as they hurled a plane, at
about 500 miles per hour, into the ground in Somerset County, Pennsylvania,
extinguishing themselves and their captors.
Honourable senators, I unabashedly love Americans. In the Prairies, towns
like Humboldt, Saskatchewan, share their names with American cities such as
Humboldt, California. Oil entrepreneurs and labourers arrived in waves after
1948 and the discovery of oil in Alberta. Tens of thousands of others in
Saskatchewan call Phoenix, Arizona, their second home. Thousands of Americans
come to the Prairies to hunt and to fish. They are our friends.
On behalf of the people of Saskatchewan, I join with the other Saskatchewan
senators and all senators here to offer our deepest sympathy to the American
people. May God grant them strength in their endeavour to seek out the evil
perpetrators of these criminal acts of murder and terrorism. May God grant their
President wisdom in his pursuit of justice.
The Prime Minister, last Friday, quoted Martin Luther King: "In the end, it
is not the words of your enemies that you remember, it is the silence of your
friends." The Prime Minister continued and said, "Mr. Ambassador, as your fellow
Americans grieve and rebuild, there will be no silence from Canada."
There will be no silence from our side during this terrible time. I will be
supportive of our government's efforts to assist the United States and to fulfil
our obligations under NATO. I and all my colleagues will urge our government to
secure our citizens.
There is no greater responsibility of government, after all, or of
parliamentarians than securing sovereignty. When citizens lose the belief that
they are secure, they no longer believe they are sovereign.
Honourable senators, what could we do now? We could enhance our border
patrols. We could have a moratorium on the granting of refugee status. We could
detain refugees until such time as they are granted Canadian protection, a
practice followed in Australia. We could ban all groups involved in domestic and
trans-national terrorism. We could speed the passage of money necessary to seek
out terrorist cells in Canada. We could assist and cooperate with the United
States to pursue, deport or arrest these people. We could cooperate fully in the
passage of bills allocating increased budgets to our Armed Forces and Coast
We should demand a statement of readiness by our Minister of National Defence
to the legislatures in both Houses. A committee of the Senate should assess the
work on security done by honourable senators in this place and make
recommendations for action or legislation.
Let there be no doubt among us, this was an act of war. Let us govern
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!
Hon. Landon Pearson: Honourable senators, I, too, wish to throw my
full support behind our Senate resolution. I remember with sorrow and compassion
the lives lost last week and the families and friends who were left behind to
mourn for them. Let us both grieve for and with them and take time to reflect on
what we must now do.
This event is a moral atrocity. The cold-hearted killing of well over 5,000
people by a small number of well-educated and intensely motivated young men who
used their training and skills to transform civilian airplanes full of innocent
and horrified passengers into guided missiles striking at the heart of America
was a particularly gruesome fusion of cruelty and technology.
I will leave to others more qualified than I the task of addressing the clear
need for security and intelligence. Instead, I will pose the questions that have
been troubling me since I watched the towers tumble to dust.
How could anyone form a human response to this terrible event? How can we
prevent such an attack on the symbols of American power from ever recurring? How
can we ensure that the cultural symbols of the U.S., like Disneyland and
Hollywood, are not the next targets? How can we ensure that our own values of
tolerance, fairness and respect for human rights do not disintegrate under the
pressure for retaliation and for closing our borders to every potential threat,
real or imagined? How can we prevent our own minds from closing to the events of
Honourable senators, we must understand why and how these young men became
pure concentrations of evil. If we do not, we will never free ourselves or
others from the fear and terror that they have created.
Last week's events were unique in many ways; however, the capacity of human
beings to inflict unspeakable horrors on other human beings is not new. Most of
us in this chamber have lived through dark stretches of human history, from the
Holocaust to the genocide in Rwanda. Each period has been marked by the profound
failure of the moral imagination. It is a failure of the capacity in
perpetrators and bystanders alike to see what is humanly important. Whether
blinded by distance, tribalism or ideology, there were millions in the 20th
century who behaved abominably to other human beings, and millions who failed to
protect their victims.
Honourable senators, what should we do to nurture the moral so that human
beings cease to inflict such pain on one another, cease to even consider it? As
the terrorists who perpetrated last week's crimes demonstrate, education has
great power. It can serve destructive ends just as well as beneficial ones.
There is no doubt that the attack on America was brilliantly conceived by
sophisticated and educated minds. However, those minds were so darkened by
hatred and ideology that they were unable to see the human reality within their
Honourable senators, at this time of crisis, each one of us must find his or
her own human response and act in the ways that we know best. I work for and
with children. I will redouble my efforts to promote their rights in all
situations so that they will not grow up to hate others. I will also try to
ensure that the education they receive will nurture a moral identity that
recognizes the worth of every human being, no matter how strange or different.
This is not an easy task, nor will it be a brief one. However, the
proliferation of human rights agreements that have evolved under the aegis of
the UN since the Second World War, culminating in 1989 with the Convention on
the Rights of the Child and its subsequent protocol, is a real cause for hope.
This week, I was supposed to be in New York at the UN special session on
children. That meeting has been postponed, but not for long. Its outcome
document, "A World Fit for Children," which we are still negotiating, will
provide us with good guidelines for action and perhaps restore the moral compass
for children. In a world fit for children, there would be no terror.
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!
Hon. Gérald-A. Beaudoin: Honourable senators, in these difficult
times, we would do well to remember this thought by the great philosopher,
Man is only a reed, the weakest thing in nature; but he is a thinking reed.
The 20th century was a century of great violence, but it was also the century
in which the United Nations was established and the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights drafted.
At the dawn of the 21st century, we must remind ourselves of the fragility of
life, civilization and our most precious possessions.
The great and friendly nation next door has just been the victim of
indescribable horror. We offer our sympathies from the bottom of our heart.
All action and reaction must be guided by serious thought. We are not
starting from scratch. We have established great international structures and
international public law. We must make appropriate use of them, and more than
ever now for the greater good of humanity.
Hon. Laurier L. LaPierre: Honourable senators, I would have preferred
to make my initial statement in this august chamber at some other point in time.
However, circumstances make it necessary to participate in this discussion
because I agree with the motion that has been presented and seconded, and that I
hope we shall pass. I agree with it because the word "war" is not mentioned in
it. I agree with it because no one has sought the help of some deity that no one
can understand. I think that God must be the busiest person in the universe,
attempting to explain to everyone what it is that he did, if he did it.
I find that all this rhetoric has little foundation in reality. I hate when
people say to me that the free world has been attacked by the events, tragic as
they are, in New York. It is not only the free world that has been attacked, it
is every single human being on this planet that has been attacked.
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!
Senator LaPierre: The civilized world was not attacked, as the
resolution says in French.
I hope that it will be changed.
The great moral values of the world as a whole were annihilated at that point
in human history.
I must also tell you that I am extremely sad that, for circumstances that I
fail to understand, the face of terrorism is an Islamic child, an Islamic man or
an Islamic woman, as if terrorism were concentrated in the Islamic world. The
perpetrators of this present evil have —
— overwhelmed the whole of humanity with their violence and determination.
Terrorism is a collective word for people who use terror as an instrument of
political pursuit. That is all it is. There is terror in Spain. Do we pass
motions? There is terror in Northern Ireland when the children only recently
were abused by violence and indignities on their way to school. There is terror
in the old Yugoslavia, where people are killing free people to achieve political
ends. There is terror in Colombia. There is terror in large parts of Africa and
in large parts of South America.
I say to you, honourable senators, that terror exists and terrorism exists.
It is not by launching a holy war that we will resolve the terrorism that
Over the past few days, I have read so much negative press about my country
that I was — how shall I say — annoyed. I was annoyed essentially because my
country was being denigrated day after day by pundits of all sorts about masses
of terrorists seeking out others largely because we are open and consider that
the Charter of Rights applies to someone who seeks refuge in our country because
that person is being afflicted in his or her country. I find good in the human
spirit, and this is of great value in our nation. I want that to be preserved.
I am overwhelmed by the fact that now I must arm myself to the teeth to be
ready for someone I do not even know exists, wherever they may be and whatever
they may do. I am saying that the price of arming ourselves to the teeth, as is
being requested, that the price of harmonization, as is being requested, that
the price of putting marshals practically everywhere, in every home and on every
street, as is being requested, will mean that we will have to shift masses and
masses of money. Away from what? Away from the poor woman and the poor man with
children. Away from children who do not have a proper education. We will have to
abandon our magnificent policy on Aboriginal people that the government has
undertaken in our name and to which we subscribe, although the time has come to
repair the ravages of history and to make these people, these children, capable
of living magnificent lives like the rest of us. The price of such policies will
mean a decrease in our foreign aid.
I beg of you, honourable senators, if we are to have a war against terrorism,
let us have a war against ourselves. Racism is terrorism. There are Muslim women
in this country who are afraid to go out on the street because someone will
probably beat them up or spit in their faces. In my country! In my country! I do
not want that. That is a form of terrorism. If I am to wage war, I will wage war
in my own country, against all those who spit in the face of the Indians, the
First Peoples, who consider them to be drunks and everything else, who have all
kinds of prejudices and all kinds of manifestations of hatred against a people
who are not of their same colour or religion. That is terrorism!
Honourable senators, I do not want a war. I want my little grandchild, who
was crying this afternoon, to grow up in a world of love and in a world of
harmony, where men and women help each other, particularly the children of the
planet, to achieve the safe havens that we all want.
This is not a war like the other wars because it is a war of the spirit.
With this awareness, we will not tolerate violence.
We shall not tolerate violence, whether it be in our hearts, in our society
or in societies of others. We stand for these things in this country. We have
done so now for hundreds and hundreds of years, and we shall continue to do so.
Hon. Elizabeth Hubley: Honourable senators, in support of this motion
and quite simply on behalf of the people of Prince Edward Island, I wish to
express our profound feelings of sadness, confusion, anger and loss, feelings
shared by all Canadians.
Our sympathies go to our American neighbours as they deal with the tragic
events of September 11, 2001. We have attended memorial services, church
services, held personal prayer vigils, donated blood and offered financial
support, as all peoples of the world have done, in an effort to support our
friends in the United States at this difficult time.
These efforts, as great as they are, seem to pale in light of these
unconscionable acts and the extent of the losses inflicted. As the world now
awaits the next step, we pray that the United States of America will continue to
show the world the true depth of its courage and resolve in seeking a just and
humane solution to this terrible attack on its people and ultimately on all the
people of the world.
Hon. Anne C. Cools: Honourable senators, I join senators on both sides
of this chamber in supporting this initiative, which began with the Prime
Minister of Canada and was brought forward to this chamber by our government
leader, Senator Carstairs.
I have a few things I wish to say, but I should first like to bring some
comfort to our new senator, Senator LaPierre.
Senator LaPierre, I am pretty certain that the Prime Minister and Senator
Carstairs are fully aware and understand totally the difference between horrific
and terrible individual acts of racism and murder and the events that unfolded
in New York City and in Washington, D.C. I can assure the honourable senator,
because I was in the United States of America during this time, that those
members of the Armed Forces and all of those young men and women who are ready
and on alert know the difference between, say, a lynching, if they are Black,
and what happened September 11, 2001. There is a difference, and perhaps another
day, another time, I will attempt to persuade my honourable friend of the
However, today, this motion is to support our government and our leadership
in sending support to the Americans. For myself, I send strength and support to
our neighbours, the Americans, at this time of grief and sorrow. I especially
uphold in my prayers the afflicted families of all those who were injured and
who perished, the families of all the employees, rescue workers and even the
passersby. To all of those who are still active in the rescue operations, I send
my strength and my great respect and esteem in their difficult, dangerous and, I
would admit, tedious work.
Honourable senators, as a quick review of some of the facts as they stand in
today's news reports, we are dealing here with a phenomenon — the hijacking of
four different airplanes. All of those airplanes were flown and crashed. All
passengers and all crew were killed on impact. Two of those planes were crashed
deliberately and wilfully into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New
York City, one was flown and crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and
one crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. It did not hit a target. It is
believed that this airplane was headed for the White House, but some male
passengers, it is said, challenged the hijackers and tried to overpower them.
Currently, the number of people missing in New York is 5,422. We all know
that many thousands of people normally worked in the World Trade Center. We are
told that in Washington, D.C., 91 people are missing and 97 are dead. I read
just a few moments ago that 218 people are confirmed dead in New York City and
that hope is quickly being lost for the rest of the missing there. Mayor Rudolph
Giuliani of New York City has said that as every minute passes, hope is fading
for those people.
Honourable senators, the attacks in these two cities have left us stunned and
shaken. The enormity of the loss of life and destruction of property is greater
than anything our minds can countenance. I do not think we have the ability to
process what has happened. The massiveness of the attacks — conceived, planned
and executed with unflinching, cold-blooded nerve to fulfil the goal of terror,
pain, suffering, death and destruction — is truly diabolical, a cruel,
cold-blooded plan with a terrible result.
Honourable senators, I was in the United States during these terrible events.
I was stranded for several days in San Diego, California, far away from my home.
It seemed to me to be an eternity and was a very difficult time indeed. I had
been a keynote speaker at a conference organized by the National Centre for
Strategic Non-Profit Planning and Community Leadership. Its president, Dr.
Jeffrey Johnson, and its conference chairperson, Charlene Meeks, were stellar as
they proceeded with the conference meetings. All participants of the conference
joined hands in prayer that fateful Tuesday morning September 11, 2001, at 9
a.m. Pacific time. They joined their hands and prayed, as did most Americans
from coast to coast.
Over those days, my experience with those Americans made their suffering
mine, as conference participants scrambled for information about relatives and
friends, and as I struggled to get back to Ottawa.
Honourable senators, the personal visit of United States President George W.
Bush to the sites of the attacks was greatly welcomed and very needed by the
families of the victims and by the rescue workers. President Bush's very
presence there provided them with moral, emotional and spiritual strength. His
visit was seen as an affirmation of the ancient concept of the leader as the
servant of his followers and the societal dependence on the force of the moral
character and the strength of the leader. Americans drew personal comfort from
President Bush's very person and from his prayers.
At this moment, there is great uncertainty in the United States of America. I
again offer them my affection, my love and my prayers. I ask them to proceed
carefully and cautiously.
I should like to read to you a poem that some of the older members of the
chamber will recognize. This poem was read by King George VI, our own King, in
his Christmas broadcast in 1939, at a time of great uncertainty in Canadian and
British history. In May and June of 1939, King George and Queen Elizabeth, the
current Queen Mother, had visited Canada. That visit was apparently conceived by
Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King and Winston Churchill as a way to
bring the King to North America to meet with the then President of the United
States of America Franklin D. Roosevelt.
The declaration of war had been made around September, and in his Christmas
Day broadcast, King George VI immortalized these words written by M. Louise
Haskins. The poem is entitled God Knows and was published in 1908 in a book
entitled The Gate of the Year. I offer this poem to all Americans — to President
Bush, all the families and all the rescue workers. It reads in part:
And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
"Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown."
And he replied:
"Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way."
So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night.
And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone
Honourable senators, this event is of such enormity that it is beyond our
comprehension. The best thing I can say to President Bush, Mayor Giuliani and
all those involved is "God bless America."
Hon. Marcel Prud'homme: Honourable senators, politicians often say
that they had not intended to take part in a debate. And everyone smiles. For
reasons that will be clear to you from the brevity of my remarks, I did not
intend to take part in this debate.
I, too, wish to express my sincere sympathy to our friends and neighbours in
their suffering. I wish them courage and assure them that our prayers are with
Honourable senators, yesterday, I spoke with journalists from Radio-Canada,
the Montreal Gazette, and The Globe and Mail. My comments were
very hard-hitting. None of them were reported, although I would have liked to
see a few of them make the news.
I said that it made me feel safe to know that right now the country is being
governed by a man I have known since 1953. Without wishing to offend him, I
would say that he is someone who does not lack for plain down-to-earth good
sense. I am talking about the Prime Minister of Canada, Jean Chrétien. I am
confident that this lifelong friend will lead Canada with wisdom and
intelligence. I would be very surprised if he were to do otherwise.
I wish to add my comments to those of my colleagues. You know the passion
with which I could speak because, when I speak to you about Canada, I very
nearly get carried away. Today, the same passion is there, but the energy level
is not the same.
Senator LaPierre's comments were very moving, and I believe that the new
senators introduced here today are just as talented and will be able to guide us
in our reflection.
We all need inspiration and, as privileged and spoiled senators, we have a
responsibility. We must justify to Canada and the world the trust the public
showed in us when it appointed us senators.
I would urge you to reread the comments made by Senator Roche, for they are
worth a careful second look. Until his death, my father, who was a physician,
provided me with excellent guidance. He was a philosopher who read works in the
original Greek and who knew of my interest in international matters. He saw all
this coming and told me that one was not born a terrorist but became one.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, the clock indicates six
o'clock. Is it your pleasure that I not see the clock?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
Senator Prud'homme: Thank you, honourable senators. I will not abuse
the rule; I know it well.
My father also told me: "Try to define words as well." Some people here are
products of Quebec's "écoles classiques," where we learned to trace words back
to their roots. I would like to see the words used in this debate — for
instance, the word "terrorist" which is being used right, left and centre —
Honorable senators are all aware of my involvement in a cause, the
"Prud'homme cause" they call it.
I want to put on the record that I am not a Québécois, I am not a Muslim, I
am not a Palestinian, I am not an Israeli. I am a Canadian.
That, I said in French.
A Canadian should never hesitate to stand up for what is right and go to the
root of the problems being faced by humanity. In 1970, 32 years ago, and in
1956, at the University of Ottawa, I did my part in trying to get to the root of
the problem. I am talking about only one part of the world, the Middle East,
which I know well. Nothing worse could have been happening to a member of the
House of Commons or the Senate. I have kept silent. I will continue.
Honourable senators, I have a group of friends who are putting together the
worst of what has been printed about me for the last 35 years. I have never
reacted, because I believe it is not the way to understand what is happening to
humanity. When I hear suggestions that we must direct billions of dollars toward
this and toward that, $40 billion right away for arms, I only dream of what it
would be like if part of these billions had been directed at helping people get
back their dignity.
Honourable senators, everyone on earth wants the same thing that we enjoy
here. If we do not understand that, we do not know the meaning of humanity. We
do not know what the term "human race" means. Needless to say, we will fall in
a state of paranoia. Guilty people must be found. Guilty people must be
punished. That is clear. However, we must not lose our minds in scaring people
and dividing people.
Our new friend, Senator LaPierre, talked about a woman who was not well
treated. I know a senator who was told by another senator recently, "Boy, have
you seen what your friend did?" To me, it is as bad as a slap in the face if I
were Black, or if I were an Indian, or if I were a Hindu, or if I were a Sikh.
One must learn to be tough. One must learn to take it one's first and prime
motivation in life is to bring justice to all without excluding people, to make
Canadians and others understand.
We do not have the right to ignore the major issues of the day when they
cannot do otherwise than to lead to other, worse, tragedies than those our
American neighbours have experienced.
I will conclude by quoting my esteemed colleague in his speech. It is
sometimes more difficult to understand a quote when it is taken out of context,
but it will be food for thought for these new pages, who come from around
Canada, as they have always done. He said, in part: "For tomorrow's terrorists
are the children in today's refugee camps."
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!
The Hon. the Speaker: Is the house ready for the question?
It was moved by the Honourable Senator Carstairs, seconded by the Honourable
That the Senate express its sorrow and horror at the senseless and vicious
attack on the United States of America on September 11, 2001;
That it express its heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims
and to the American people; and
That it reaffirm its commitment to the humane values of free and democratic
society and its determination to bring to justice the perpetrators of this
attack on these values and to defend civilization from any future terrorist
Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?
Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable
senators, I move, seconded by Senator Kinsella, that the Speaker convey the
resolution adopted unanimously today by the Senate of Canada, together with the
name of every member of the Senate, to the Congress of the United States of
The Hon. the Speaker: Is leave granted, honourable senators?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
The Hon. the Speaker: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to
adopt the motion?
Hon. Marcel Prud'homme: Honourable senators, I have made my views
known. They were raised by the Honourable Senator LaPierre. Some honourable
senators would strongly suggest to the Leader of the Government in the Senate
that she ensure that the French text of this resolution corresponds exactly with
the meaning of the English that was just read.
We have difficulties, and I have expressed them. It is not necessary to
repeat what Senator LaPierre said. I know many senators who have suddenly said,
"Oh my God, in French it does not mean the same thing."
We agree with what is written in English. We will all sign it. We will sign
the French text, too. However, we would like linguists to ensure that it
corresponds exactly with the meaning. I tell honourable senators that it could
open debate eventually that could lead to some misunderstanding which we will
have to explain. My father always said that when you start to explain, you are
Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators,
I thank Senator Prud'homme for his intervention. I will speak to the various
parties involved to ensure that we try to get the identical language.
The Hon. the Speaker: Is the house ready for the question?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
The Hon. the Speaker: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to
adopt the motion?
Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable
senators, I move that the Senate do now adjourn and that all items on the Order
Paper and Notice Paper that have not been reached stand in their place.
The Senate adjourned until Wednesday, September 19, 2001, at 1:30 p.m.