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56 Elizabeth II, A.D. 2007, Canada

Journals of the Senate

1st Session, 39th Parliament


Issue 88

Tuesday, April 24, 2007
2:00 p.m.

The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, Speaker


The Members convened were:

The Honourable Senators

Adams, Andreychuk, Angus, Atkins, Bacon, Baker, Bryden, Callbeck, Carney, Chaput, Cochrane, Cook, Cools, Cordy, Dallaire, Dawson, Day, Di Nino, Downe, Eggleton, Fitzpatrick, Fortier, Fox, Fraser, Furey, Gill, Goldstein, Hervieux-Payette, Hubley, Jaffer, Joyal, Kenny, Keon, Kinsella, Lapointe, LeBreton, Losier-Cool, Lovelace Nicholas, Mahovlich, McCoy, Meighen, Milne, Mitchell, Moore, Munson, Murray, Nancy Ruth, Nolin, Phalen, Poulin (Charette), Poy, Ringuette, Rivest, Robichaud, Rompkey, St. Germain, Smith, Spivak, Stratton, Tardif, Tkachuk, Trenholme Counsell, Zimmer

The Members in attendance to business were:

The Honourable Senators

Adams, Andreychuk, Angus, Atkins, Bacon, Baker, Bryden, Callbeck, Carney, *Carstairs, Chaput, Cochrane, *Comeau, Cook, Cools, Cordy, Dallaire, Dawson, Day, Di Nino, Downe, Eggleton, Fitzpatrick, Fortier, Fox, Fraser, Furey, Gill, Goldstein, *Grafstein, Hervieux-Payette, Hubley, Jaffer, Joyal, Kenny, Keon, Kinsella, Lapointe, LeBreton, Losier-Cool, Lovelace Nicholas, Mahovlich, McCoy, Meighen, Milne, Mitchell, Moore, Munson, Murray, Nancy Ruth, Nolin, *Oliver, Phalen, Poulin (Charette), Poy, Ringuette, Rivest, Robichaud, Rompkey, St. Germain, Smith, Spivak, Stratton, Tardif, Tkachuk, Trenholme Counsell, Zimmer

PRAYERS

The Senate observed one minute of silence in memory of Master-Corporal Anthony Klumpenhouwer whose tragic death occurred a few days ago while serving his country in Afghanistan.

SENATORS' STATEMENTS

Some Honourable Senators made statements.

DAILY ROUTINE OF BUSINESS

Tabling of Documents

The Honourable the Speaker tabled the following:

Report of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal for the year 2006, pursuant to the Canadian Human Rights Act, S. C. 1998, c. 9, sbs. 61(4).—Sessional Paper No. 1/39-776.

The Honourable Senator Tkachuk tabled the following:

Government Response, dated April 20, 2007, to the second report (interim) of the Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages entitled: Understanding the Reality and Meeting the Challenges of Living in French in Nova Scotia—Fact-Finding Mission to the Acadian and Francophone Communities of Nova Scotia, from September 19 to 23, 2005, tabled in the Senate on October 5, 2006.—Sessional Paper No. 1/39-777S.
(Pursuant to rule 131(4), the report and the response were deemed referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages.)

Presentation of Reports from Standing or Special Committees

The Honourable Senator Day, for the Honourable Senator Kenny, Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence, tabled its fourteenth report (subcommittee's attendance at the 90th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge). —Sessional Paper No. 1/39-778S.

The Honourable Senator Day moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Dallaire, that the report be placed on the Orders of the Day for consideration at the next sitting.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

SPEAKER'S RULING

On Tuesday, March 27, 2007, Senator Murray participated in the debate on the motion to amend the second reading motion of Bill C-288, dealing with the Kyoto Protocol. At the end of the fifteen minutes allotted to him for debate, the senator agreed to ask leave for an extension of his speaking time in response to a request by Senator Fraser to pose a question. Leave was granted with the condition that the extension be for no more than five minutes. Following the exchange between Senator Fraser and Senator Murray, Senator Cools rose to put a question to Senator Murray. However, as the agreed extension of five minutes had expired, as Speaker I informed Senator Cools of that fact and indicated that she was being recognized for debate. While acknowledging that Senator Murray's time had by agreement been extended for only five minutes, Senator Cools objected to this limitation on debate and proceeded to put a question to Senator Murray, which was duly answered. Senator Cools then continued with some comments that led to a request for a further response from Senator Murray. I then recognized Senator Joyal who asked whether Senator Murray's time had been extended so that he could ask him a question. I answered by stating that the debate had passed to Senator Cools. This led Senator Cools to state that she had thought she had "asked the Chamber if we could extend Senator Murray's time. Senator Murray stood up and spoke and I was answering him.'' After some additional exchanges with several senators about what had actually happened, debate on Bill C-288 was adjourned and Senator Cools rose on a point of order to challenge the practice of granting leave to extend a senator's debate for a five minute period of time. According to the senator, this practice is "unfair'' because it denies senators the right to express themselves on important issues that require further debate.

Intervening to speak to the point of order, Senator Fraser reminded those present that the Senate is master of its own proceedings and suggested that the Senate should perhaps reconsider the practice of automatically giving five additional minutes each time leave is sought to extend debate. Senator Comeau was of the opinion that the practice of granting leave for five minutes had created the equivalent of a Senate convention or practice, which serves everyone's interests fairly. It was his opinion that the five minutes was originally a courtesy period given to allow the orator to wrap up a speech. He added that, if the Senate wanted to change the practice of granting an extension of only five minutes, the senator requesting leave to extend debate should indicate how much additional time was needed.

Senator Cools rose again to stress the importance of taking advantage of the immediacy of questions and comments following a senator's intervention. In her opinion, a comment or question does not carry the same weight when it takes place after the fact and senators should be able to put comments or questions directly to the senator involved. In closing, Senator Cools repeated that she had thought she had asked for an extension of Senator Murray's time and that was how she believed that she had participated in the debate on Bill C-288.

I wish to thank, as always, those senators who contributed to the discussion on the point of order. At the time, I decided to take the issue under advisement. While the Senate was adjourned, I reviewed the Debates of the Senate, Rules of the Senate, precedents and relevant authorities and am now prepared to give my ruling.

First, I would like to point out that rule 37(4), which deals with the time limit on senators' speeches, is quite categorical. It states that "[...] no Senator shall speak for more than fifteen minutes, inclusive of any question or comments from other Senators which the Senator may permit in the course of his or her remarks.'' This time limit on debate was incorporated into the Rules of the Senate in 1991, together with numerous other rules that were drawn up to more clearly structure the Senate's sitting day and to better assure the ability of the government to transact its business.

Despite these mandated time limits on debate, it remains possible to extend the time for an individual senator's debate through leave. Originally, such requests were without any restriction. This then led to objections that too much time was being monopolized when leave was granted. Speaker Molgat acknowledged this situation in a ruling made on May 11, 2000, when he addressed a point of order similar to this one. Referring to rule 37(4), Speaker Molgat recognized that:

There is no doubt that the current rule is restrictive. With growing frequency, requests are being made to extend the time for debate and the question and comment period that can follow a speech. Only rarely are these requests denied. This practice, in turn, may now be giving rise to a sense of frustration. This appears to be evident based on the objections that have occasionally been raised by some Senators who find the process too open-ended.

Speaker Molgat went on to state that, through rule 3, it is procedurally acceptable to suspend rule 37 strictly limiting the time available for debate and, at the same time, impose specified conditions or limits of time to a request to extend the time for debate. As Speaker Molgat explained in his ruling:

[...] I do not find it procedurally objectionable to have a request for leave to suspend the rules limiting the time for debate combined with a proposal to fix the time of the extension. Indeed, following the model of the House of Lords [...], it might be useful and advantageous to the Senator, who is requesting more time, to indicate how much time is needed in order to improve the likelihood of a favourable response. Moreover, such an approach would, I think, be in keeping with the intent of rule 3 regarding the suspension of any particular rule. According to this rule, the purpose of any proposed suspension should be "distinctly stated.'' As much as possible, I have usually permitted an explanation so long as it did not involve any prolonged discussion. This I think is a sensible approach that could serve the Senate well until the rules of debate are revised.

I concur with Speaker Molgat's assessment and I accept his ruling, which was not appealed. In addition, I have found that House of Commons Procedure and Practice, by Marleau and Montpetit, supports this position. It states on page 498 that: "During debate, unanimous consent has been sought to extend briefly the length of speeches or the length of the questions and comments period following speeches.'' I believe that it is perfectly in order to set a specific time limit when requesting an extension of a senator's time in debate. Indeed, there is nothing prohibiting the inclusion of any condition in a request for leave to suspend a rule.

At the same time, I should note that in reviewing the precedents, there have been numerous instances since Speaker Molgat's ruling when rule 37(4) was suspended in order to give leave for a few additional minutes of debate. As mentioned by Senator Comeau, it would seem that the Senate does generally give leave for no more than five minutes, probably because it is usually sufficient to allow senators to wrap up their speech or to answer a few questions. This is not to say that it has become a convention or practice. In fact, no rule or precedent is ever created through the use of leave. However, I should add that there is nothing that binds the Senate to a particular limit, if any, in extending the time for a particular senator in debate. Indeed, in my study of precedents, I identified a number of instances when the Senate gave leave to extend debate by more than 5 minutes. I have examples when the Senate granted an additional ten minutes, 15 minutes and even as much as 30 minutes.

In addition, there is nothing preventing an additional request for an extension of time in debate when the original extension is exhausted. This is what I think Senator Cools thought had happened on March 27. However, as the Debates of the Senate show, the request was not actually put to the Senate and there is no indication that the Senate had agreed to the extension of additional time to Senator Murray beyond the five minutes. This, in turn, led to some confusion about whether Senator Cools was participating in debate on her own time or asking Senator Murray a question, prompting Senator Cools to raise her point of order.

In summary, it is my ruling that a request seeking leave to extend debate is procedurally acceptable. Equally, it is competent for the senator requesting leave, or for any other senator, to specify the length of time for that extension. In all such cases, however, the leave of the Senate is required to suspend the limits of debate established by our rules.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

A point of order was raised with respect to order and decorum in the Senate Chamber.

Debate.

SPEAKER'S RULING

Honourable senators, I would like to thank all senators for their input and, as Speaker, I am prepared to give my ruling on this point of order.

I agree with everything that has been said by the senators. The new position of the House of Lords of Westminster states that the Lord Speaker has the same level of responsibility as the Lord Chancellor in the past. It is not up to the Speaker to rule; rather, it is up to the Lords.

Things here in the Senate of Canada are not the same as in the other place. As Senator Cools very clearly indicated, it is the senators who are responsible for the running of this honourable chamber. I would therefore like to remind all senators that, as parliamentarians, they are all responsible for respecting all the rules.

As Speaker of the Senate, I try to facilitate the full participation of all senators in the debates and during question period, while respecting both ethics and collegiality. That is the tradition of our chamber, although it is very different from the other place.

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Bills

Order No. 1 was called and postponed until the next sitting.

Third reading of Bill C-36, An Act to amend the Canada Pension Plan and the Old Age Security Act.

The Honourable Senator Angus moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Tkachuk, that the bill be read the third time.

After debate,

The Honourable Senator Cordy moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Rompkey, P.C., that further debate on the motion be adjourned until the next sitting.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

Order No. 3 was called and postponed until the next sitting.

Inquiries

Order No. 1 was called and postponed until the next sitting.

Motions

Order No. 1 was called and postponed until the next sitting.

Reports of Committees

Orders No. 1 to 3 were called and postponed until the next sitting.

OTHER BUSINESS

Senate Public Bills

Orders No. 1 to 9 were called and postponed until the next sitting.

Commons Public Bills

Orders No. 1 to 4 were called and postponed until the next sitting.

Reports of Committees

Orders No. 1 to 4 were called and postponed until the next sitting.

Consideration of the seventh report of the Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans (budget—study of the Federal Government's New and Evolving Policy Framework for Managing Canada's Fisheries and Oceans), presented in the Senate on March 29, 2007.

The Honourable Senator Rompkey, P.C., moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Milne, that the report be adopted.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

Order No. 6 was called and postponed until the next sitting.

Consideration of the eleventh report of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence, entitled: Canadian Security Guide Book 2007 — Coasts, tabled in the Senate on March 27, 2007.

The Honourable Senator Atkins moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Murray, P.C., that the report be adopted.

After debate,

The Honourable Senator Tkachuk moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Cochrane, that further debate on the motion be adjourned until the next sitting.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

Consideration of the ninth report of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence, entitled: Canadian Security Guide Book 2007 — Seaports, tabled in the Senate on March 21, 2007.

The Honourable Senator Atkins moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Spivak, that the report be adopted.

After debate,

The Honourable Senator Tkachuk moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Angus, that further debate on the motion be adjourned until the next sitting.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

Orders No. 9 to 16 were called and postponed until the next sitting.

Other

Orders No. 26, 6 (inquiries) and 166 (motion) were called and postponed until the next sitting.

The Order was called for resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Fraser, for the Honourable Senator Grafstein, seconded by the Honourable Senator Cook:

That the following Resolution on Combating Anti-Semitism and other forms of intolerance which was adopted at the 15th Annual Session of the OSCE Parliamentary Association, in which Canada participated in Brussels, Belgium on July 7, 2006, be referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights for consideration and that the Committee table its final report no later than March 31, 2007:

RESOLUTION ON
COMBATING ANTI-SEMITISM
AND OTHER FORMS OF INTOLERANCE

1. Calling attention to the resolutions on anti-Semitism adopted unanimously by the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly at its annual sessions in Berlin in 2002, Rotterdam in 2003, Edinburgh in 2004 and Washington in 2005,

2. Intending to raise awareness of the need to combat anti-Semitism, intolerance and discrimination against Muslims, as well as racism, xenophobia and discrimination, also focusing on the intolerance and discrimination faced by Christians and members of other religions and minorities in different societies,

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly:

3. Recognizes the steps taken by the OSCE and the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) to address the problems of anti-Semitism and other forms of intolerance, including the work of the Tolerance and Non-Discrimination Unit at the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the appointment of the Personal Representatives of the Chairman-in-Office, and the organization of expert meetings on the issue of anti- Semitism;

4. Reminds its participating States that "Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred towards Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed towards Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, towards Jewish community institutions and religious facilities'', this being the definition of anti-Semitism adopted by representatives of the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) and ODIHR;

5. Urges its participating States to establish a legal framework for targeted measures to combat the dissemination of racist and anti-Semitic material via the Internet;

6. Urges its participating States to intensify their efforts to combat discrimination against religious and ethnic minorities;

7. Urges its participating States to present written reports, at the 2007 Annual Session, on their activities to combat anti-Semitism, racism and discrimination against Muslims;

8. Welcomes the offer of the Romanian Government to host a follow-up conference in 2007 on combating anti- Semitism and all forms of discrimination with the aim of reviewing all the decisions adopted at the OSCE conferences (Vienna, Brussels, Berlin, Córdoba, Washington), for which commitments were undertaken by the participating States, with a request for proposals on improving implementation, and calls upon participating States to agree on a decision in this regard at the forthcoming Ministerial Conference in Brussels;

9. Urges its participating States to provide the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) with regular information on the status of implementation of the 38 commitments made at the OSCE conferences (Vienna, Brussels, Berlin, Córdoba, Washington);

10. Urges its participating States to develop proposals for national action plans to combat anti-Semitism, racism and discrimination against Muslims;

11. Urges its participating States to raise awareness of the need to protect Jewish institutions and other minority institutions in the various societies;

12. Urges its participating States to appoint ombudspersons or special commissioners to present and promote national guidelines on educational work to promote tolerance and combat anti-Semitism, including Holocaust education;

13. Underlines the need for broad public support and promotion of, and cooperation with, civil society representatives involved in the collection, analysis and publication of data on anti-Semitism and racism and related violence;

14. Urges its participating States to engage with the history of the Holocaust and anti-Semitism and to analyze the role of public institutions in this context;

15. Requests its participating States to position themselves against all current forms of anti-Semitism wherever they encounter it;

16. Resolves to involve other inter-parliamentary organizations such as the IPU, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly (EMPA) and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in its efforts to implement the above demands.

SPEAKER'S RULING

On Tuesday, April 17, 2007, Senator Cools raised a point of order challenging the procedural acceptability of the motion moved by Senator Fraser, for Senator Grafstein, to authorize the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights to consider the resolution on combating anti-Semitism and other forms of intolerance as adopted by the 15th Annual Session of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) Parliamentary Association.

Senator Cools had four concerns with the motion. I propose to address each in turn.

The first concern is that the motion asks the committee to table its report no later than March 31, 2007. Given that this date is now passed, I agree with Senator Cools that the reporting date will require an amendment.

Secondly, Senator Cools noted that the motion refers to "Parliamentary Association'', but observed that it should refer to the "Parliamentary Assembly''. Senator Cools is correct with respect to the nomenclature and this error should also be corrected by an amendment.

Senator Cools then turned her attention to the larger question of whether it is in order to ask a committee of the Senate to "judge a proceeding of another Assembly,'' which, in her view, is prohibited by long standing parliamentary practice. The first issue to be determined, in my mind, is the nature of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. Honourable Senators, those of you who are participants in the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association, will be familiar with this organization. The Parliamentary Assembly is, in essence, the vehicle by which the parliamentarians from OSCE- member nations can convene to consider and debate issues that touch on the mandate of the OSCE intergovernmental organization. In other words, it exists as a construct of its member parliaments, of which Canada is one. In my opinion, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly is not a body with the same standing as our Parliament or another parliament. Furthermore, in that one of the fundamental goals of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly is to promote inter- parliamentary dialogue and co-operation, this type of motion seems to be in keeping with the very objectives of the organization and would not constitute any violation of its status.

In addition, the motion itself does not in any way direct the committee to take any stand whatsoever, nor does it ask the committee to in any way pass judgment on the resolution. A motion to refer the subject-matter of the resolution to the committee would be in order. It is only a very small additional step to refer the resolution itself to the committee for consideration and report. Accordingly, I do not find that the motion is acting in the manner feared by Senator Cools.

This leads us to the last issue raised by Senator Cools in the point of order. Senator Cools questioned the ability of the Senate to refer to its committees "proceedings of other assemblies other than from the House of Commons.'' We are familiar with the privileges that apply, especially in Westminster-style parliaments, to the proceedings of their legislatures. However, as has already been established, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly has no such standing and its proceedings are not really analogous to those of a parliament such as ours. To the contrary, the motion does not attempt to refer proceedings of another parliament, but the conclusions of a body of which Canada's Parliament is a member for the consideration of one of our committees. Furthermore, a similar motion referring a resolution from the same institution to the Standing Committee on Human Rights was adopted by the Senate on February 10, 2004. Therefore, I also find that this aspect of the point of order is not sustained.

Having disposed of the various points raised in Senator Cools' point of order, I wish to consider the two issues raised by Senator Murray. First, he questioned the manner in which Senator Cools called the Senate's attention to her concerns. In Senator Murray's opinion, it appeared to him that Senator Cools followed a novel approach whereby she debated the merits of the motion, before signalling that she objected to its procedural acceptability. The Senator then concluded by again debating the subject of the motion. In my reading of the Debates of the Senate, I will accept that Senator Cools' concluding remarks may have strayed back into the merits of the motion, but I will also accept her contention that they did so in the context of her point of order. Nonetheless, Senator Murray's point is logical: any Honourable Senator, being of the opinion that an item on the Order Paper is not procedurally correct, should ask that the matter be resolved first, before entering into debate on the merits of the motion. I would, therefore, ask Honourable Senators to bear this in mind in the future.

The second matter raised by Senator Murray was whether a committee, such as the Human Rights Committee, needs an order of reference in order to consider a matter such as is put forward in the motion. In his comments, Senator Murray noted that only two committees are explicitly authorized to undertake work of their own volition, the Rules Committee and the Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration. Despite this limitation, Senator Murray noted that "some committees allow themselves a great deal of latitude in discussing and reporting on matters within their mandate without a specific order of reference.'' For the record, I would like to remind Senators that the Rules of the Senate also authorize the Committee on Conflict of Interest to initiate work within its areas of responsibility.

The Rules of the Senate are clear that it is only these three committees that can initiate consideration of matters that fall within the mandates spelled out in the rules. All other committees must have the matters referred to them by the Senate. There is no question that there is a wide range in the specificity of orders of reference given to committees. As noted by Senator Murray, some are very broad, and give committees a great deal of latitude, while others are more narrowly focused. For example, the Foreign Affairs Committee has an order of reference authorizing it to "examine such issues as may arise from time to time relating to foreign relations generally,'' a very broad order of reference. Others, such as the order of reference to the Transport and Communications Committee to examine and report on the objectives, operation and governance of the Canadian Television Fund, are more specific.

In his intervention, Senator Murray asked me to reflect on "the extent to which the Senate wishes to keep its standing committees on a short leash.'' While the Senator raises an interesting issue, it is not a matter for me, as Speaker, to decide. Rather, it is a matter only the Senate can decide when it considers proposed orders of reference.

In conclusion, debate on the motion may continue, but amendments relating to the reporting date and the name of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly should be moved to correct it.

Ordered, That Order No. 92 (motion) be postponed until the next sitting.

Orders No. 21 and 19 (inquiries) were called and postponed until the next sitting.

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Dallaire, seconded by the Honourable Senator Robichaud, P.C.:

That the Senate call on the Government of Canada to take a leading role in the reinvigoration of the urgent matter of nuclear disarmament in accordance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty at the Preparatory Committee Meetings scheduled to convene April 30 to May 11, 2007, in Vienna which act as a prelude to the next Treaty Review Conference in 2010; and

That the Senate urge the Government of Canada to take a global leadership role in the campaign of eradicating the dire threat to humanity posed by nuclear weapons.

After debate,

The Honourable Senator Tardif moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Fraser, that further debate on the motion be adjourned until the next sitting.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

Orders No. 11, 27, 28 (inquiries), 140 (motion), 3, 23, 22, 9, 12 and 14 (inquiries) were called and postponed until the next sitting.

Resuming debate on the inquiry of the Honourable Senator Tardif calling the attention of the Senate to questions concerning post-secondary education in Canada.

After debate,

The Honourable Senator Hubley moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Milne, that further debate on the inquiry be adjourned until the next sitting.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

Order No. 25 (inquiry) was called and postponed until the next sitting.

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Banks, seconded by the Honourable Senator Moore:

That the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration be directed to examine and determine, in light of recent discussions and in light of present Rules, procedures, practices and conventions of the Senate, whether it is appropriate or permissible that persons working in the offices of senators, including senators who are Ministers of the Crown, should obtain or attempt to obtain from hotels used by senators conducting business properly authorized by the Senate, detailed breakdowns including lunches or other costs included in hotel invoices, and including any and all sundry costs associated with the stay; and

That the Committee be directed to report its determination to the Senate no later than Thursday, December 7, 2006;

And on the motion in amendment of the Honourable Senator Comeau, seconded by the Honourable Senator Stratton, that the motion be amended by deleting the word "and'' at the end of the first paragraph and by adding the following paragraph immediately thereafter:

"That the Committee be directed to take into consideration whether it would be appropriate or permissible for persons working in the offices of Senators to obtain from hotels replacement receipts for the Senator in whose office they work should the originals be misplaced or be otherwise unavailable; and''.

After debate,

The Honourable Senator Day moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Moore, that further debate on the motion in amendment be adjourned until the next sitting.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

Orders No. 20 and 15 (inquiries) were called and pursuant to rule 27(3) were dropped from the Order Paper.

SPEAKER'S RULING

On Tuesday, March 27, 2007, while the Speaker pro tempore was in the Chair, the Order was called for resuming debate on the motion urging the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Dalai Lama to enter into dialogue about the future of Tibet. Senator Cools then rose on a point of order about the form or acceptability of the motion. She emphasized that she was not speaking to the motion itself. She suggested that the motion was improper because, "[t]he Senate cannot directly communicate with or address a foreign sovereign.'' Communications with a foreign government, she suggested, should be from the Canadian Government and not from the Senate.

Senator Cools quoted approvingly a motion adopted by the House of Commons on February 15, 2007, suggesting that it offered a more appropriate model to follow. That motion stated that the Government of Canada should, in the opinion of the Commons, urge the Government of China and the representatives of the Tibetan Government in exile to continue dialogue. Senator Cools suggested that a motion of this type is in keeping with the "lawful and appropriate mode of proceeding,'' since it does not speak directly to the Government of China, but rather asks the Government of Canada to speak to it.

In making her case Senator Cools made reference to Erskine May. To quote the most recent version — the 23rd — at pages 712 and 713, "Addresses have comprised every matter of foreign or domestic policy; the administration of justice; the expression of congratulation or condolence...; and, in short, representations upon all points connected with the government and welfare of the country; but they ought not to be presented in relation to any bill in either House of Parliament.'' This indicates that, in the United Kingdom, Addresses have been used to communicate formally with the Crown.

Upon close reading, however, it will be noted that the citation does not clearly state that an Address is the only parliamentary vehicle whereby a House can make known its views on one of these classes of topics. The quote makes clear that they are a legitimate tool, but does not make it clear that Addresses are the only option available.

Motions of the type in question are not frequent in the Canadian Parliament, but a few can be found. On September 20, 1983, the Senate passed a motion demanding that the Soviet Government provide a full explanation of the unwarranted August 31, 1983 attack on a Korean Airlines passenger flight and co-operate with the investigation into the matter. In this case, the motion called upon the Speaker to convey the resolution to Presidium of the Supreme Soviet. There had been leave to put the motion, since no notice had been given.

Similar motions have also been adopted occasionally in the House of Commons. Instances occurred on September 30, 1998, December 10, 1998, October 10, 2002, and October 1, 2003. These motions were adopted after unanimous consent and, with one exception, without debate.

In the United Kingdom House of Commons, motions urging action by foreign governments frequently appear on the Notice Paper as Early Day Motions, for which no day has been fixed. These motions are tabled by backbenchers to draw attention to some matter of concern, typically without any expectation of debate, although it does appear that they are subject to review to ensure their acceptability. As noted at page 390 of Erskine May, "[a] notice which is wholly out of order may be withheld from publication on the Notice Paper.''

Turning to the specific motion in question, no direct consequences seem to flow from it. It only provides an expression of the Senate's view. The motion does not require that its content be communicated to anyone, and it does not require action or follow-up. As Senators know, there is a general preference in the Senate to allow debate on a motion or an inquiry, unless it is clearly out of order. Both Canadian and UK practice suggest that there is sufficient flexibility to allow for motions of the kind proposed by Senator Di Nino. Of course, a motion framed in the way Senator Cools suggested would also be in order, and would avoid the concerns she raised.

In conclusion, the motion of Senator Di Nino is in order and debate on it may continue.

REPORTS DEPOSITED WITH THE CLERK OF THE SENATE PURSUANT TO RULE 28(2):

Summaries of the Corporate Plan for 2005-2009 and of the Operating and Capital Budgets for 2005 of the Laurentian Pilotage Authority, pursuant to the Financial Administration Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. F-11, sbs. 125(4) .—Sessional Paper No. 1/39-770.

Summaries of the Corporate Plan for 2006-2010 and of the Operating and Capital Budgets for 2006 of the Laurentian Pilotage Authority, pursuant to the Financial Administration Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. F-11, sbs. 125(4).—Sessional Paper No. 1/39-771.

Summaries of the Corporate Plan for 2007-2011 and of the Operating and Capital Budgets for 2007 of the Laurentian Pilotage Authority, pursuant to the Financial Administration Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. F-11, sbs. 125(4).—Sessional Paper No. 1/39-772.

Summaries of the Corporate Plan for 2007-2011 and of the Operating and Capital Budgets for 2007 of the Pacific Pilotage Authority, pursuant to the Financial Administration Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. F-11, sbs. 125(4)..—Sessional Paper No. 1/39-773.

Report on the administration of the Canada Small Business Financing Act for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2006, pursuant to the Act, S.C. 1998, c. 36, ss. 18 and 20.—Sessional Paper No. 1/39-774.

Summary of the Amendments to the 2007 Capital Budget for Loans and Investments and the 2007 Operating Budget of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, pursuant to the Financial Administration Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. F-11, sbs. 125(4). —Sessional Paper No. 1/39-775.

ADJOURNMENT

The Honourable Senator Tkachuk moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Angus:

That the Senate do now adjourn.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

(Accordingly, at 4:14 p.m. the Senate was continued until 1:30 p.m. tomorrow.)


Changes in Membership of Committees Pursuant to Rule 85(4)

Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce

The name of the Honourable Senator Meighen substituted for that of the Honourable Senator Segal (April 19).

The name of the Honourable Senator Goldstein substituted for that of the Honourable Senator Cordy (April 23).

Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources

The names of the Honourable Senators Sibbeston and Milne substituted for those of the Honourable Senators Robichaud and Dawson (April 23).

Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs

The names of the Honourable Senators Fraser and Milne substituted for those of the Honourable Senators Banks and Zimmer (April 23).

Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications

The name of the Honourable Senator Mercer substituted for that of the Honourable Senator Fox (April 23).

Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry

The name of the Honourable Senator Eyton substituted for that of the Honourable Senator Oliver (April 24).