The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, before
we proceed, I would ask senators to rise and observe one minute of silence in
memory of Private Kevin Thomas McKay, Colonel Geoff Parker and Trooper Larry J.
Rudd whose tragic deaths occurred recently while serving their country in
Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the
Government): Honourable senators, there have been consultations among the
parties, and it has been agreed that photographers may be allowed on the floor
of the Senate for this afternoon's meeting, so that they may photograph the
swearing-in of the new senator with as little disruption as possible.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I have
the honour to inform the Senate that the Clerk has received a certificate from
the Registrar General of Canada showing that David Braley has been summoned to
The Hon. the Speaker having informed the Senate
that there was a senator without, waiting to be introduced:
The following honourable senator was introduced; presented
Her Majesty's writs of summons; took the oath prescribed by law, which was
administered by the Clerk; and was seated:
Hon. David Braley, of Burlington, Ontario,
introduced between Honourable Marjory LeBreton, P.C., and Honourable Gerry St.
The Hon. the Speaker informed the Senate that the
honourable senator 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
Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government):
Honourable senators, I am pleased and proud to welcome Senator David Braley of
Burlington, Ontario to the Senate of Canada.
Senator Braley is a very successful businessman, a
dedicated philanthropist and has now embarked on a new career of public service.
Undoubtedly, this will be of great benefit not only to the Senate of Canada but
to the government and to the Canadian public.
Senator Braley is currently the President and owner of
Orlick Industries Limited, a leading auto parts manufacturer. He is the current
owner of two CFL teams, the Toronto Argonauts and the BC Lions, and the former
owner of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. As a former season ticket holder of the Ottawa
Rough Riders, I hope Senator Braley will be a good influence and Ottawa will
once again have a CFL team.
Senator Braley is a director of the 2015 Pan American
Games and was the director of the successful 2015 Pan American Games Bid
Corporation. He also served as chairman of the 2003 World Road Cycling
Championships in Hamilton and was the founding chairman of the McMaster
Manufacturing Research Institute from 2000 to 2002.
Senator Braley's honours include induction into the
Hamilton Sports Hall of Fame, recipient of the Consumer's Choice Award as
Vancouver's Businessman of the Year in 2009, and he received an Honorary Doctor
of Laws degree from McMaster University in 2000.
Honourable senators, Senator Braley has supported numerous
good causes, including McMaster University, the Hamilton Health Sciences family
of hospitals, the Art Gallery of Hamilton, Big Brothers Big Sisters and the
Senator Braley was raised by his grandfather, who always
believed that public service was an excellent way to round out a career. His
grandfather would have been proud to see him in this chamber today as he embarks
on the next journey of a remarkable career.
Senator Braley, on behalf of honourable senators, I
welcome you to the Senate of Canada. Thank you for deciding to serve your
country in this manner. Welcome, senator.
Hon. Lucie Pépin: Honourable senators, Cardinal
Marc Ouellet spoke out against abortion, even for victims of rape. Ninety-four
per cent of Quebecers do not agree with this statement made by the Primate of
the Catholic Church of Canada.
Monsignor Ouellet also called for the abortion debate to
be reopened. Some people agree with him, as the latest pro-life march
We live in a democracy. It is natural that not everyone
will agree. Some people are against any form of termination of pregnancy, and
others want to grant legal status to the foetus. However, one person's
opposition to abortion must not deny the right of another person to have one.
As a Canadian woman who participated in the movement to
legalize contraception and abortion, I am shocked that we have been hearing more
and more calls to restrict access to abortion.
A debate over the right to terminate a pregnancy will undo
nearly 50 years of collective efforts. We worked tirelessly so that Canadian
women could have more control over their bodies. Women were trapped for much too
long between the state and the church, and had little control over their own
reproductive functions. They had to make babies and keep quiet. Contraception
was a sin, and abortion was both illegal and dangerous.
Many Canadian women consider the right to terminate a
pregnancy a given. As I understand it, they are not ready to put their lives in
danger, as in the past. Banning access to abortion would only force women to
have unsafe, life-threatening illegal abortions.
Instead of trying to reopen this outdated debate on access
to abortion, we could be devoting our energies elsewhere. Despite the wide
availability of contraceptive methods, teen pregnancy rates remain high.
Abortion is often used as a method of birth control. More education, much more
education, is needed. We need to inform people and raise awareness. We should be
focusing our efforts on ensuring that abortion is used only as a last resort.
What can we do to ensure that women are less likely to
resort to this extreme measure when contraception is readily available? In my
opinion, instead of remaining divided on this and using scare tactics on one
another, we should be joining forces to resolve this serious and vital issue.
However, the right to abortion must not be changed.
Hon. Yonah Martin: Honourable senators, as we near
the end of Asian Heritage Month, I rise to recognize and honour two great
Canadians who are pioneers and role models to a great many people. The first is
our colleague, the Honourable Senator Vivienne Poy, the person responsible for
establishing Asian Heritage Month in our country in 2002. She is, as her friend
Frank Ling calls her, "the godmother" of Asian Heritage Month.
I also stand to honour another distinguished Canadian who
was a man of many talents and a person who made history every day he lived. He
was a person of many firsts. He was a soldier, lawyer and politician. After his
death on January 4, 2002, his legacy lived on.
Despite being born in Canada, in Victoria, B.C., on
February 24, 1925, Douglas Jung was not entitled to Canadian citizenship because
he was of Chinese descent. In fact, the Chinese in Canada were recognized as
"allied aliens" and had few rights, if any. Douglas Jung and his Canadian-born
"alien" comrades enlisted to serve in the Canadian military during World War II.
They believed that fighting for Canada would be the truest way to demonstrate
their loyalty to their country of birth.
After fighting for their country, they would eventually
fight for their Canadian citizenship and voting rights for all Asian Canadians.
Douglas Jung and his brothers, Ross and Arthur, were among 600 Chinese Canadians
who heeded this call.
Douglas Jung was part of a unit code-named Operation
Oblivion, so named because their mission was given little chance of success and
the members of the unit were not expected to come back alive. They were under
the direct command of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Twelve Chinese
Canadians and one British officer were trained in the Okanagan's Goose Bay and
later in Australia for the secret military operation. They parachuted into
Southeast Asia, behind enemy lines, with a predetermined outcome of zero
success. For all intents and purposes, it was a suicide mission.
To everyone's surprise, Jung and all of the soldiers
returned alive. Four of his comrades were awarded medals of bravery and Jung was
awarded the Burma Star.
After fighting for Canada, Douglas Jung and his comrades
fought their greatest battle yet in Canada to repeal the Chinese Immigration Act
of 1923. Also known as the Chinese Exclusion Act, the legislation was repealed
on May 14, 1947, thus allowing Chinese Canadians to be recognized as legal
Canadian citizens. Later that year, Chinese Canadians were given the right to
Douglas Jung graduated from the University of British
Columbia in 1953. He had the distinction of being the first Chinese Canadian
veteran granted university training by the Department of Veterans Affairs. In
1955, Douglas Jung achieved another milestone by becoming the first Chinese
Canadian lawyer ever to appear before the British Columbia Court of Appeal. In
the 1957 federal election, he became the first Chinese Canadian ever elected to
the House of Commons as the member of Parliament for Vancouver Centre for the
Progressive Conservative Party.
Honourable senators, I end with the words of Douglas Jung
that clearly embody his spirit and symbolize his life in Canada despite the
prejudices he faced early in his life:
I cannot forget that I have 5000 years of Chinese
blood in me but that doesn't lessen the love I have for my country.
Hon. Catherine S. Callbeck: Honourable senators,
this past weekend, more than 550 young people from across Canada gathered in
Waterloo, Ontario, for the sixteenth Canadian Skills Competition. These
secondary, post-secondary or apprenticeship students competed in over 40 trade
and technology contests to showcase their technical and leadership skills. The
annual competition is organized by Skills Canada, a national non- profit
organization that actively promotes careers in skilled trades and technology to
Canadian young people.
It is increasingly recognized that the Canadian economy
faces a shortage of skilled workers. Many companies find it difficult to hire
and retain people with the skills, knowledge and abilities they require. Skills
Canada has taken on the challenge of encouraging more young people to explore
the many rewarding career opportunities available in the skilled trades and
technologies. Its goal is to increase the number of well-trained, well-prepared
young people who can be employed in a wide range of jobs in the economy of today
The Canadian Skills Competition is Canada's largest
showcase of trade and technology talent. Students participate in practical
challenges designed to test the demanding and exacting skills required in trade
and technology occupations. It is a chance for students to show what they know.
It is a wonderful learning experience and provides an opportunity to recognize
the high level of skills associated with today's trades and technologies.
Honourable senators, trade and technology workers keep our
cars running, our homes comfortable, our telecommunication systems operating and
our food supply safe. Without skilled trades and technology workers, our world
would literally cease to function. That is why I pay tribute today to our
skilled workers across Canada and extend congratulations to all those who took
part in this year's Canadian Skills Competition.
Hon. Andrée Champagne: Honourable senators, as we
return from the parliamentary recess, from a short, well-deserved break — though
some might say otherwise — I almost feel like singing the refrain to an old
Jacques Michel song that goes something like this:
This is the dawn of a new day. . .
Last Monday in my part of the country, some people
celebrated Victoria Day while others celebrated Dollard des Ormeaux, and still
others, the Patriotes. We were also going through an intense heat wave despite
the fact that it was still the month of May. Some might blame it on global
warming, but I think it was just a little preview of summer.
That same Monday, hockey fans watched as the last Canadian
team, the Montreal Canadiens, lost to the Philadelphia Flyers, putting an end to
an unexpected adventure and to the dream we all shared of reliving the 1993
Oh, 1993! All I have to do is close my eyes to remember —
who could forget? — the master of 1993.
Fans who watched the game in French went through the whole
gamut of emotions. They watched and listened to the Canadiens players express
their disappointment at the prospect of trading their hockey sticks in for golf
clubs a little sooner than they might have wanted. However, they saw something
else too: the friendship and gratitude that were plain to see when our national
coach bid an official adieu to RDS.
The moment was heartbreaking despite having been planned
months ago. His half-hidden tears brought more tears to the eyes of people we
would never have expected to see crying.
We are going to miss his analysis, his way of dissecting
games and his way of toning down other people's shameless criticism. Who could
forget his ability to inspire confidence and hope among the fans just as he did
with the players who flourished under his guidance in 1993?
Take heart, hockey fans. I am sure that sooner or later,
we will, see him on one network or another, in a part-time capacity, of course.
Today, honourable senators, we have reason to rejoice.
Yes, we are welcoming a new colleague, but we are also welcoming one of our own,
who will finally be a full-time senator from now on.
We will benefit from his insatiable curiosity and his
constant thirst for learning. We will benefit from his generosity, his
unswerving loyalty, his innate drive to share, encourage and give. These will be
tremendous assets to all of us as we work here to serve all Canadians.
Honourable senators, Senator Jacques Demers, believe me
when I say that we welcome you back today with all the warmth of a heat wave.
Hon. Jane Cordy: Honourable senators, Tuesday, June
1, is Hunger Awareness Day in Canada. Hunger Awareness Day is a growing movement
to raise awareness about the solvable problem of hunger in Canada, a problem
that should be solved because we live in a country with so much. Food banks
across the country host events on Hunger Awareness Day to highlight the work
they do and to shed light on the realities of Canadians who rely on food banks.
Hunger in Canada exists because deep and persistent
poverty continues in this country. For more than a decade, diverse and
interrelated factors have sustained this situation: a labour market that fails
to provide enough jobs with stable, liveable wages; a rise in precarious and
non-standard employment; and an income security system that does not provide
sufficient financial support for those in need. There is a lack of safe,
affordable social housing and there is a lack of accessible and affordable child
care. People living in poverty must turn to food banks to help them meet this
most basic need of having food.
Over the past year and a half, Canada has been struggling
to cope with the current recession. As a result, in 2009, Canadian food banks
saw the largest year-over-year increase of usage by Canadians on record. In
2009, nearly 800,000 people were assisted each month by a food bank in Canada.
This number was 18 per cent higher than in 2008. In March 2009, 72,000 people
walked through the doors of a food bank for the first time.
In Nova Scotia, Feed Nova Scotia is the provincial food
collection and distribution centre for approximately 150 food banks and for meal
programs across Nova Scotia. The centre serves at least 38,000 Nova Scotians
each month. Feed Nova Scotia is also dedicated to finding long-term solutions to
poverty and chronic hunger that will reduce the need for food banks in Nova
Scotia. We know that food banks were supposed to be a temporary measure, and it
is most unfortunate that their usage is increasing.
On June 1, food banks across Canada will hold events, open
houses and community activities to spread the word about their important work to
alleviate hunger. The food banks will encourage Canadians to take action to
support those in need in their communities. Far too many Canadians face the
harsh reality of worrying about how they will feed their families, and they must
rely on food banks to do so.
In my province, Feed Nova Scotia will bring attention to
the realities of hunger by forming a Nova Scotia hunger line-up in various
regions of the province, each holding banners that proclaim, "Hunger is in our
community and we want to help." For 15 minutes, people will stand in unison to
acknowledge the severity of hunger and poverty and to show respectfully their
support for change.
I encourage all senators to participate in helping to
bring an end to hunger and poverty in this country. The excellent Senate report,
In From the Margins: A Call to Action on Poverty, Housing and Homelessness,
tabled by the Social Affairs, Science and Technology Committee, provides
recommendations to eliminate poverty in Canada. The implementation of these
recommendations would be a great way to start.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, pursuant
to section 66 of the Official Languages Act, I have the honour to table, in both
official languages, volume I of the 2009-10 annual report of the Office of the
Commissioner of Official Languages entitled: Beyond Obligations.
Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the
Government): Honourable senators, I have the honour to table, in both
official languages, a proposal concerning Canadian legislation entitled Proposed
Canadian Securities Act.
Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the
Government): Honourable senators, I have the honour to table, in both
official languages, the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending
March 31, 2011.
Hon. Bill Rompkey: Honourable senators, I have the
honour to table, in both official languages, the fourth report, interim, of the
Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans entitled: The Management of
Fisheries and Oceans in Canada's Western Arctic.
(On motion of Senator Rompkey, report placed on the Orders
of the Day for consideration at the next sitting of the Senate.)
Hon. Claudette Tardif (Deputy Leader of the
Opposition): Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the
Government in the Senate. The Commissioner of Official Languages tabled his
report on official languages yesterday and expressed his concerns about the
government's laissez-faire approach to official languages in the federal public
In 2009, the government abolished the Canada Public
Service Agency and transferred its responsibilities and those of the Centre of
Excellence for Official Languages to the Chief Human Resources Officer of the
Treasury Board Secretariat. This Centre of Excellence has not received the
resources required to carry out its new responsibilities and, what is worse, the
number of employees was reduced from 30 in 2008 to 13 in 2009.
My question echoes the Commissioner's request. How will
the government ensure that this new approach truly promotes the application of
the Official Languages Act and does not result in a political climate of
Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government):
Honourable senators, the government thanks the Commissioner of Official
Languages, Mr. Graham Fraser, for his report and looks forward to reviewing all
of the recommendations contained therein.
I am pleased to see that Commissioner Fraser noted in his
report that the government has " . . . succeeded in requiring a level of
bilingualism among its senior executives that was difficult to imagine four
decades ago." With regard to the Centre of Excellence, the President of the
Treasury Board has met with the Commissioner of Official Languages to discuss
the report. Minister Day has assured Mr. Fraser that the government is committed
to promoting bilingualism in the public service.
The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat's Centre of
Excellence for Official Languages continues to carry out the responsibilities
required under the Official Languages Act. As an example, the Centre of
Excellence is hosting an annual conference of official languages champions this
Senator Tardif: Honourable senators, the Centre of
Excellence has lost its status and its resources. The number of employees
dropped by 60 per cent, as I indicated, between 2008 and 2009, and the Official
Languages Branch had 74 employees in 2006. The departments are left to fend for
themselves and do not have the internal capability to understand, interpret and
analyse their obligations under the Official Languages Act.
When will the government show leadership and when will it
provide federal institutions with the means to fully carry out their
Senator LeBreton: I thank the honourable senator
for the question. The Centre of Excellence has been restructured to better align
its roles with deputy heads responsible primarily for official languages in
their respective departments and agencies. The report of the Commissioner of
Official Languages states, ". . . there is a network of official languages
champions; there are accountability and reporting requirements."
The President of the Treasury Board and the government are
committed to the program, which has been restructured to place the
responsibility on each department and each agency for implementing Canada's
Official Languages Act.
Senator Tardif: Honourable senators, I appreciate
that the program has been restructured. However, if there are no additional
resources to accompany the restructuring, how can the minister ensure that the
departments and agencies will have the necessary resources to do their work?
Senator LeBreton: Honourable senators, I would
think that $1.1 billion would provide the necessary resources. This is the
largest amount for official languages ever invested by any government at any
time in the history of the country. The government is delivering the necessary
support in respect of minority language rights, not only in the federal public
service but also in minority language communities across the country.
More than 70 per cent of the commitments our government
made in the Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality have been confirmed
and funded. This represents more than $792 million. Therefore, I take issue with
the honourable senator's claim that the resources are not there to implement our
official languages program, because they most certainly are.
Senator Tardif: I have a supplementary question.
The number of employees has gone down from 74 to 13 in order to help the
departments and the federal institutions to meet their obligations. How can you
meet the capacity and say you are fulfilling your obligations when you have
reduced the number of employees from 74 to 13?
Senator LeBreton: First, with respect to
restructuring, rather than having the program structured completely within
Treasury Board, it has now been restructured into the departments and the
responsibility is being given to the deputy ministers and agency heads therein.
To say there are not people designated to implement this program in those
departments is quite incorrect.
As part of this restructuring from Treasury Board into the
departments, there are other people now tasked with this important matter, and
they are not all located in one place. I believe that has contributed to the
report of the Commissioner of Official Languages wherein he said that the
government had succeeded in requiring a level of bilingualism among its senior
executives that was difficult to imagine four decade ago. That is one of the
reasons why it is important to place the responsibility for the program in the
departments, under the deputy ministers and the agency heads who are directly
responsible for implementation.
Hon. Maria Chaput: Honourable senators, my question
is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. It has to do with the 2009-10
annual report of the Commissioner of Official Languages. Delays in signing
agreements with official language minority communities cause delays in payments
and put their development at risk. The commissioner cited a number of examples
in his report to describe what is happening in anglophone communities in Quebec
and francophone and Acadian communities outside Quebec.
There are some very serious concerns over the internal
restructuring of the government, as Senator Tardif mentioned, and also the
privatization of services, the decentralization of those services and the
negative impact on the development of official language minority communities.
Just look at what is happening with Air Canada or Canada Post, for example.
Mr. Fraser said, "The delegation of responsibilities must
not lead to laxity."
With all this restructuring, what will become of all those
who once were responsible? Who is supporting federal departments now to ensure
that services are provided in both official languages? Who is providing
oversight? Who is analysing the impact of the decisions made by various federal
Can we count on the minister to get the government's
support for the recommendations? May I ask the minister to impress upon those
responsible the great importance of these recommendations? The Commissioner's
report mentions the Prime Minister, the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the
Clerk of the Privy Council.
Senator LeBreton: Honourable senators, the fact
that there has been a restructuring in the responsibility for the implementation
of the official languages program does not in any way undermine the successful
efforts of the government. As a matter of fact, one could make a great argument
that programs are better implemented by the departments and agencies directly
instead of having one body to oversee them. We can point to many examples where
that does not work.
As I said before, our support of $1.1 billion for official
languages is the largest amount ever invested by the federal government. We are
in the second year of our Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality, which
is a five-year commitment. Today, more than 70 per cent of the commitments our
government has made in our roadmap have been confirmed and funded. Our official
languages community groups working on the ground in communities across the
country make the implementation of our two official languages a reality. Surely,
it is a better system to give money directly to the communities in order that
they can implement programs on their own, rather than have some other body,
somewhere, overseeing this and not even ensuring these programs take place.
We have taken significant action. Community groups are
experiencing more stability and less red tape. There are many good news stories.
I am sure that the Commissioner of Official Languages is aware of many of them,
and his report seems to indicate that there is some success.
We continue to work with all community groups in order to
implement these programs. In this program, as in others, we believe that the
resources are better put into the communities where these programs are vital. In
this way the communities are better served and, in this case, we ensure that our
official languages policy is properly implemented at the community level.
Senator Chaput: Honourable senators, can we be
assured that the Leader of the Government in the Senate will do everything in
her power to ensure that the recommendations of the Commissioner of Official
Languages will be reviewed and that the government will follow up on the matter?
Senator LeBreton: Actually, at the beginning of my
answer to Senator Tardif, I said that we very much appreciate the hard work that
the Commissioner of Official Languages has done. We look forward to reviewing
all of the recommendations. Obviously, we take these recommendations seriously,
and any government would want to do everything possible to ensure that these
services, especially with something as important as our official languages, are
properly and fully implemented and serve the communities they are meant to
Hon. Céline Hervieux-Payette: Honourable senators,
my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. On May 15, Le
Devoir reported that the Church of Scientology was preparing for a major
offensive in Canada. This pseudo-church seems obsessed with the idea of
establishing itself in Canada in order to recruit new members. According to the
president of Canada's Church of Scientology, Yvette Shank, they hope to open
another seven churches by the end of 2011 in Canada's major cities, much like
the one opened in downtown Quebec City in January 2010. They are looking to
build in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Kitchener.
We know that the founder of the Church of Scientology was
convicted of fraud by a French court in 1977; that in 1992, Toronto's Church of
Scientology was condemned by the Ontario Court of Justice for ordering some of
its members to spy on government authorities, including Ontario's police service
and the Office of the Attorney General; and that in 2009, the two main branches
of France's Church of Scientology and seven of its leaders were prosecuted for
organized fraud and illegally operating as a pharmacy, eventually paying
hundreds of thousands of euros in fines. How does your government intend to
limit the growth of this movement and take appropriate measures to ensure that
it does not receive any public funding or claim a federal property tax exemption
and also ensure that it is never recognized as a charitable organization for tax
credits under the Income Tax Act?
Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government):
Honourable senators, I am puzzled that the honourable senator would address the
activities of the Church of Scientology. These activities have nothing to do
with government policy, although I recognize that at the end of the honourable
senator's question she talked about tax charitable status and things of that
I will not comment on a newspaper report of any
organization that may be coming to Canada, but I will take as notice the portion
of the honourable senator's question with regard to charitable status.
Senator Hervieux-Payette: To help the honourable
senator with her inquiry, I point out that the Church of Scientology is no
stranger to criminal accusation or prosecution. Its message of deceit has
spread, through brainwashing vulnerable people in the United States, France,
Spain, Ireland, Canada and dozens of other countries, and the organization is
banned in some countries such as Germany. The global spread of the Church of
Scientology coincides with a number of events orchestrated by the organization
that are of questionable legality and morality. The Church of Scientology's rap
sheet contains charges and accusations of fraud, extortion, capital flight,
coercion, the illegal practice of medicine, taking advantage of mentally ill
persons and murder.
When will this government get tough on crime and ban
organizations like the Church of Scientology and other sects that prey on the
weak and put all Canadians at risk through the use of theft, violence and
Senator LeBreton: Honourable senators, this matter
is not something that directly involves the government, other than the
honourable senator's question about charitable status. A newspaper report based
on stories about the Church of Scientology is interesting to some, I am sure.
There have been all kinds of accusations, which have nothing to do with the
government, and it is therefore not appropriate for me to respond any further.
Hon. Grant Mitchell: Honourable senators, several
years ago the spin phrase for Conservative environmental policy was "made in
Canada." That, of course, has all changed now. We do not hear about "made in
Canada" anymore. Instead, the government should say, "made in the United States
of America," because that is what the government means when it says it will
harmonize with the climate change policy of the United States. Of course, it is
not as easy to harmonize as one might think, and I want to know whether the
government has thought through some of that harmonization.
Can the Leader of the Government in the Senate tell us how
the Government of Canada can even begin to harmonize its climate change policy
with the United States when the United States spends 18 times more per capita on
green technology and renewable energy technologies?
Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government):
Honourable senators, we had an example last week of building on our
collaboration with our neighbours to the south, the United States, in regulating
greenhouse gas emissions. We made an announcement some time ago in conjunction
with the United States about passenger automobiles. Last week in Washington, and
here in Canada, the Americans on their side and Minister Prentice on our side,
we made an announcement to do the same for heavy-duty vehicles.
Given our integrated economies, as I have said before,
significant benefits are to be gained by a harmonized approach. We share the
same continent. Ninety per cent of our population lives within 100 miles of the
U.S. border. Trade and traffic move back and forth across the border regularly.
The U.S. is our biggest customer, and we are a huge customer of theirs. We also
share the same air space. It makes no sense whatsoever not to harmonize these
matters with our largest trading partner.
Following up on the agreement signed in Copenhagen, the
Minister of the Environment is following that track. I believe the approach is
reasonable in helping to resolve the issue of climate change and environmental
Senator Mitchell: It is interesting that the leader
mentions last week, since last week something of monumental proportion was
presented in the United States, and that is the bill entitled the
Kerry-Lieberman American Power Act. To begin debate in the United States Senate,
this bill lays out exactly what the United States government is thinking about
with respect to climate change policy. The bill is comprehensive. Among other
elements, it contains border adjustments, which I bet this government has not
If the government was able to harmonize tailpipe emissions
standards last week, why does the government neglect to harmonize in some
legislative way what the United States is presenting? When will we see, in the
Parliament of Canada, comprehensive legislation and policy initiatives to deal
with climate change in Canada and North America, therefore harmonizing with the
kind of legislation the United States has brought to the Senate?
Senator LeBreton: I think the operative phrase is
"brought to the Senate." There is no indication that any of this legislation
will come to pass. I can assure the honourable senator only that Minister
Prentice and our environmental officials are working closely with their American
counterparts. We are following the agreements signed in Copenhagen. As the
honourable senator knows, all major emitters have now participated in those
agreements, unlike Kyoto. The government is on a responsible track, especially
with regard to making agreements with our U.S. counterparts in areas of
immediate concern, which includes tailpipe emissions.
Senator Mitchell: Another critical issue in
harmonizing is that the abatement curves are different in the United States and
Canada. This difference means that it costs less to reduce a tonne of carbon in
the U.S. than it does in Canada. If we share the 17 per cent objective, which
the government says it shares with the U.S., then at the same price per tonne of
carbon we will reduce far less carbon. To reduce the same amount and harmonize
at the 17 per cent level, we have to charge more per tonne of carbon.
Which is it? Will the government charge less per tonne of
carbon or reduce less?
Senator LeBreton: I do not know how to make this
point any clearer to the honourable senator. We will not bring in a carbon tax,
as the honourable senator's party has promised to do.
The budget provides $100 million over four years to
support clean energy generation and reduce emissions in our forestry sector
through the Next Generation Renewable Power Initiative. The government is
working in a number of areas in collaboration with the oil industry and the
various green energy industries. The Minister of the Environment is making great
progress on all fronts with regard to the environment, including securing
important lands in this country that will forever be preserved and not used for
anything other than national parks. A host of areas is involved.
In answer to a question that the honourable senator asked
a couple of weeks ago, I promised to provide a list of the measures the Minister
of the Environment has taken in all areas in terms of improving Canada's
position with regard to greenhouse gas emissions, as well as other major steps
to preserve our environment.
Senator Mitchell: It should not take long to
compile that list. I appreciate the offer, but it is amazing that it has taken
three weeks. We can sit down and talk about it for five or six minutes.
Talking about harmonization, the United States invested
$780 million in nuclear energy incentives this year. How do we harmonize and
compete with that kind of potential or driven technological development on
nuclear energy, when government in Canada is all but shutting it down?
Senator LeBreton: Honourable senators, that is not
the case. The honourable senator said my list will not be a long one; it will
not be a short one, either, and he can draw from that remark what he would like.
Senator Mitchell talks about the various things that he
says the United States is doing. While there are all kinds of measures before
the U.S. Congress, we have taken definitive action in certain areas. We have
taken definitive action with our U.S. neighbours, such as that on tailpipe
emissions. In other areas, one cannot get up and cite a bill that is before the
U.S. Senate which, if one follows the American media and some of the political
opinion, has no chance of ever making it through the Senate.
Let us deal with reality and the things we can get done.
Let us follow the agreement that was signed in Copenhagen. That was the first
time major emitters actually came to the table to address this serious matter
and the first time that countries agreed on targets to work towards.
Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government):
Honourable senators, I have the honour to present delayed answers to two oral
questions. The first was raised by the Honourable Senator Cowan on March 18,
2010, concerning Natural Resources — clean, renewable energy, and the second by
the Honourable Senator Dyck on April 22, 2010, concerning Indian Affairs and
Northern Development — funding for the Aboriginal Healing Foundation.
(Response to question raised by Hon. Lillian Eva Dyck
on April 22, 2010)
The Aboriginal Healing Foundation ended funding to 134
healing projects on March 31, 2010. According to the Foundation,
approximately 10 of those projects will remain open because they have other
sources of funding.
In addition to the healing projects, the Aboriginal
Healing Foundation has 12 healing centres across the country which it will
continue to fund until March 31, 2012:
Couchiching First Nation - Fort Frances, Ontario
Tungasuvvingat Inuit - Ottawa, Ontario
Enaahtig Healing Lodge and Learning Center - Victoria Harbour, Ontario
The Healing Drum Society - Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
Wapiimoostoosis Healing Center - Lebret, Saskatchewan
St. Paul Treatment Center - Cardston, Alberta
Inter Tribal Health Authority - Nanaimo, British Columbia
Tsow-Tun Le Lum Society - Lantzville, British Columbia
Waseskun House — Kahnawake, Quebec
Mawiw Council of First Nations — Fredericton, New Brunswick
Native Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counselling Association of Nova Scotia —
Eskasoni, Nova Scotia
Eyaa-Keen Centre — Winnipeg, Manitoba
We also have the following information, which was
provided by Health Canada:
A healing project within the Nechi Institute received
funding from the Aboriginal Healing Foundation until March 31, 2010. The
Nechi Institute is still in place and in receipt of Health Canada funding;
Health Canada Alberta Region is working with the Institute located just
north of Edmonton on training programs to build from its history, providing
indigenously directed training focusing on culture and healing.
Tsuu T'ina Nation
The Spirit Healing lodge located on Tsuu T'ina Nation
reserve, south of Calgary, has not been in operation since December 2007;
Health Canada Alberta Region continues to support a wide range of community
based health programs with Tsuu T'ina Nation.
Kainaiwa First Nation
Kainaiwa Youth Treatment Centre and St. Paul's
Treatment Centre are both located on the Blood Tribe reserve in southern
Alberta and continue to receive Health Canada funding to provide residential
treatment to First Nations clients seeking to overcome addictions.
Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the
Government): Honourable senators, pursuant to rule 27(1), I wish to inform
the Senate that, when we proceed to Government Business, the Senate will begin
with Item No. 2 under Bills, that is, Bill S-9, followed by the other items as
they appear on the Order Paper.
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable
Senator Wallace, seconded by the Honourable Senator Duffy, for the second
reading of Bill S-9, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (auto theft and
trafficking in property obtained by crime).
Hon. Larry W. Campbell: Honourable senators, I am
pleased to speak to you today as the critic on Bill S-9, An Act to amend the
Criminal Code (auto theft and trafficking in property obtained by crime).
Bill S-9 replicates Bill C-26 as it was passed by the
House of Commons in the previous session. As honourable senators will recall,
Bill C-26 was being reviewed by the Senate in the last session when Parliament
I would refer honourable senators to the speech I made on
Bill C-26 on October 29, 2009, as my feelings on this legislation have not
changed. However, I will briefly address the main legislative changes that the
This bill deals with trafficking, importation and
exportation of property obtained by crime, but its main purpose is to target
auto theft. This bill establishes the distinct offence of theft of a motor
vehicle. It creates a new offence for altering or removing a VIN — the vehicle
identification number — and creates new offences for trafficking in and
possessing for the purpose of trafficking property obtained by crime.
This bill will give law enforcement agencies more ability
to target organized crime groups, specifically those who have profited greatly
from auto theft crime in the past.
We are all aware that auto theft in Canada is a serious
problem. Motor vehicle theft is estimated to cost Canadian taxpayers in excess
of $1.2 billion a year, and the dangers involved put their safety at risk.
Nonetheless, auto crime has declined substantially in
recent years. This is due in large part to the hard work and dedication of
Canadian police forces. Our law enforcement agencies have been able to evolve
and adapt to changes in criminal activity, and so should our legislation.
I support this bill. It is another good step in the
ongoing fight against auto theft in Canada. However, there are some issues I
would like to see raised in committee when this bill is studied.
Some of the statistics that have been used in the study
and discussion of this legislation are not as up to date as they can or should
be. We cannot expect our justice system to effectively battle vehicle theft if
our legislation is based on old data.
I would also like to see some more concrete evidence to
support the implementation of minimum sentencing for third-strike vehicle theft
Honourable senators, the changes proposed by Bill S-9 are
an important step towards reducing auto theft in Canada. This bill should be
sent to committee to be studied without delay.
The Hon. the Speaker: Are honourable senators ready
for the question?
Hon. Senators: Question.
The Hon. the Speaker: Is it your pleasure,
honourable senators, to adopt the motion?
Leave having been given to revert to Notices of Motions:
Hon. Joan Fraser: Honourable senators, I give
notice that, at the next sitting of the Senate, I shall move:
That the papers and evidence received and taken and
work accomplished by the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and
Constitutional Affairs during its study of Bill C- 26, An Act to amend the
Criminal Code (auto theft and trafficking in property obtained by crime),
during the Second Session of the Fortieth Parliament, be referred to the
committee for the purposes of its study on Bill S-9, An Act to amend the
Criminal Code (auto theft and trafficking in property obtained by crime) (Tackling
Auto Theft and Property Crime Act) during the current session.
Hon. Peter A. Stollery moved second reading of Bill
S-218, An Act respecting Canada-Russia Friendship Day.
He said: Honourable senators, it has been many years since
I read The Fall of the Russian Empire, by Edmund Walsh, which still sits
in my library and which my dad bought in 1931. I suppose that I read it in the
early 1950s. I read a lot in the late 1940s and 1950s. People around me still
talked about the purges. They had been broadcast on the radio. I can remember
clearly my dad talking about the Moscow trials. "They all pleaded guilty in
public," he would say, shaking his head.
Even during the war, my mother did not like the Russians
because of the communists. Remember, this was before the Cold War started.
However, my dad was for our Russian allies and told me that at school in Toronto
during World War I — at the time it was referred to as the Last War — they sang
"God Save the Tsar." Russia was our ally then as well. All I knew about Russia
was the 900 days of Leningrad and Stalingrad, and the fall of Berlin. Then came
the Cold War and Kremlinology and people who mostly pretended that they knew
The best story I heard was from a dramatic Pole I saw
interviewed on early television about the death of Stalin. He was convincing and
had Stalin having a stroke at a meeting and lying on the floor, seemingly dead.
Lavrentiy Beria was supposed to have said, "Look. The monster's dead." When
Stalin opened his eyes and looked at him, Lavrentiy Beria got down on his hands
and knees and begged forgiveness.
The Pole relating the incident was persuasive. He talked
the U.S. networks into interviewing him, and he persuaded me, and for years my
friends and I talked about the scene with Beria on his knees.
Now, only 20 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union,
what a difference there is. I have a dozen serious books in my library, many of
them based on interviews with people like the Mikoyan family members, the
Berias, Georgy Malenkov's daughter and Vyacheslav Molotov's grandson. The KGB
archives have been public for years.
Twenty years ago, I read Telford Taylor's The Anatomy
of the Nuremberg Trials. He was one of the prosecutors. He wrote in 1990:
"In 1945 and for fifteen to twenty years thereafter,
the reading public in the Western world knew a good deal about the structure
and record of the Third Reich and the names of its leading personalities —
Hitler, Goering, Goebbels, Ribbentrop, and Himmler, among others — were
household words. Today that is no longer the case."
That is happening today with the main personalities of the
Soviet period. The world has moved on. Looking at history, it would be hard to
find another example of a country that has achieved what Russia has achieved in
only 20 years from what Orlando Figes described in A People's Tragedy —
and not much more than 10 years from their effective bankruptcy.
Our committee, the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign
Affairs and International Trade, started working on Russia along with Ukraine
about 10 years ago. The germ of the idea of studying Russia and Ukraine came
from the committee's study of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, mostly
chaired by my distinguished predecessor, Senator John Stewart. We heard
repeatedly from the members of NATO that Russia was the potential enemy, as a
reason for maintaining the fiction of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Our report, which I finally produced as chairman when
Senator Stewart retired, is skeptical about the future of NATO. The report was
unanimous. Ten years ago, Russia was coming out of turmoil. Its critics seemed
uninformed, so the committee decided to take a serious look. The report was a
first, at least in Canada. I had the staff install a large map of Russia at the
head of the room so we could at least follow the unfamiliar geography.
We went to work. Before we were finished, a small group of
senators, including Senator Andreychuk, our vice-chairman, and me, met with
President Vladimir Putin for a candid question-and- answer period. In my
opinion, that report was limited, but it was a first. We started the ball
rolling on this region of the new emerging world with which Canada needed to
As I wrote at the time:
. . . this report is the result of years of work in
which we saw European affairs moving further and further east and committee
members' increasing concern about what this means for Canada.
Now, under the able chairmanship of Senator Di Nino, we
had a second report about Canada and Russia eight years after the first one, and
how things have changed. Russian gross domestic product has quadrupled while
Canada's has not quite doubled. Russian foreign currency reserves have gone up
10 times. Most important, Russia has become more and more a part of the world
The real weakness of our first attempt to understand
Russia was that the committee did not go there in 2002. Under Senator Di Nino's
chairmanship, last October we did.
One is given an impression when one listens to witnesses
in Ottawa or reads a fact book that says, and I quote from the CIA world
. . . the rapid privatization process, including a
much criticized "loans-for-shares" scheme that turned over major state-owned
firms to politically-connected oligarchs, has left equity ownership highly
concentrated. The protection of property rights is still weak and the
private sector remains subject to heavy state interference.
One has a different impression when one goes to Moscow, or
in my case, St. Petersburg, Tver, Yaroslavl, Kostroma, Ivanovo, Vladimir,
Nizhny, Novgorod and Kazan and see the energy, the thousands of private cars —
Russia has taken over from Germany as the largest car market in Europe — and
infrastructure improvements; the thousands of new apartments and complexes, the
many shops and good restaurants filled with customers and the busy streets and
One of our colleagues who was going to Russia asked me
about changing money. I told him to forget it, and go to a bank machine, which
During our October visit, the committee visited one of the
many Auchon supermarkets in Moscow. I believe there were 96 busy checkouts, with
hundreds of customers. As I said to Senator Di Nino, they cannot all be
oligarchs. Our able researcher, Natalie Mychajlyszyn, reminded me that the
particular Auchon we visited was so big we could hardly see the end of the line
of checkouts from the first one.
As I prepared these few words, I could not help wondering
about that CIA World Factbook. There was no texture. It did not reflect what
members of the committee saw. It was out of date, and I am talking about
information updated as recently as April 28, 2010.
I was not entirely happy with the results of our first
Russia study. It was not only that we did not visit. There were witnesses that
were good; there were witnesses that I did not believe.
As honourable senators are aware, the committee moved on
to our review of the Free Trade Agreement and North American Free Trade
Agreement. Then, encouraged by Senator Corbin, we worked on our Africa report,
which received a great deal of favourable publicity and, as I never tire of
reminding people, 20,000 downloads the last time I looked.
However, I did not forget about Russia and my unhappiness.
My problem was that, although I speak a language or two and have travelled
widely, privately my knowledge of Russia was limited to crossing it by train
from Peking on my way to Paris in 1975. I decided that I must learn something
about modern Russia and that the only way was to travel there myself by bicycle.
I have been a regular long-distance cyclist for many years
in many countries, so that was not so unusual. What was unusual is that it was
seven years ago, when I was 67. As I looked at my maps, I could see that the
distances between towns became greater as one traveled east. As it turned out
that year, my first year, my longest day north from Pskov, just over the border
from Latvia, was 167 kilometres with a loaded bike.
For those senators with an interest in the complex
relationship between Russia and Ukraine, Pskov, an important city, was founded
1,100 years ago, and near the banks of the Velikaya River and the ancient
Kremlin is a small shrine to the birthplace of Saint Olga of Kiev, who was born
For those senators who like to eat, I recommend the Cafe
Kaleidoscope where I ate a wonderful dinner, if you like boletus mushrooms with
pickerel, excellent white wine from the Caucasus and Pushkin vodka. I always go
local, and Pushkin was from near Pskov.
I could not believe it myself when I calculated my 167
kilometres, and naturally celebrated that evening with an Estonian metal pipe
salesman and a litre of local vodka in a small bar-café owned by
Latvian-Russians who had to leave Riga because they could not speak Latvian. It
was in the town of Slantsy. I had never heard of the town before and was
directed there by two men who reminded me of Buster Keaton in their old-
fashioned leather helmets riding an old Slawa motorcycle with a sidecar that
kept breaking down.
The practically deserted road ran through forests that at
one point were filled with mushroom pickers carrying pails and looking down, and
occasionally waving to me. The Slawa and I kept passing each other as they
stopped for repairs, and we took to laughing as to who was going faster. I knew
nothing about mushrooms and later that year joined the Toronto Mycological
Society to learn about what I had seen in Baltic Russia.
Of course, the country was flat and there was no wind, or
I never would have made it, but I learned how few services there were in Russia,
only seven years ago. There was no hotel in Slantsy, a sizable town with
European hornbeam instead of the more usual plane or beech growing elegantly in
the town square.
When one enters Russia from Latvia to travel to St.
Petersburg, one goes north, not east. St. Petersburg is at latitude 60, the same
latitude as the border between our Canadian provinces and the Northwest
Territories. Hornbeam is a deciduous tree that grows very far north and is
common in northern Russian towns.
One of those ubiquitous ugly-from-the-outside, grey
plaster, Soviet-era apartment buildings had one floor with rooms to rent to
travellers, which is where I met the Estonian. What looked awful from the
outside was quite cosy on the third floor, and the staff could not have been
friendlier. The trick was in finding the place. I went 167 kilometres because
there was no place to sleep between Pskov and Slantsy.
Of course, I had many adventures and the next year I
cycled the 650 kilometres between St. Petersburg and Moscow. There were
precisely two motels along the way, and it is the main highway between the two
largest cities in Russia.
There were some cars, not a lot, but many transport
trucks. That is where I saw my first licence plate from Kazakhstan.
I found places to sleep, but it was difficult. Not far out
of St. Petersburg, I got stuck and paid 500 rubles to a retired schoolteacher,
whom I found cleaning toilets at a roadside restaurant, to sleep in the parlour
of her small wooden cottage in the nearby village. Her pension was practically
worthless, and the 500 rubles were helpful. While she chatted with another older
lady in her tiny garden, I walked around the village, which was very
interesting, and which, if I had not been stuck, I would not have seen. Even
seven years ago, people who made some money had either bought a cottage or
perhaps inherited one and there was a surprising amount of renovation and new
construction going on. A river ran through the village and, taking advantage of
summer, young people were splashing and diving from the mud banks.
I walked into the nearby forest and the insects, which
were unfamiliar, were even larger and more voracious than in Canada, but for
some reason they did not come into the village.
Honourable senators, let me take a moment to talk about
property rights in Russia. The World Factbook says that the protection of
property rights is still weak. The Economist, in an article on March 11,
2010 — which even managed to dredge up Stalin who has been dead since 1953 —
said that it is a "country with weak property rights."
Of course, I do not know about the whole country — it is
pretty big — but six years ago, in that village I saw a lot of log and wooden
buildings being erected. Our committee, when we travelled in November, saw
thousands of new apartments. It is hard to believe that the village buildings or
the huge apartment developments would be built if land title was very much in
It just happens that a close friend of mine who lives
outside Russia, who is not a Russian citizen but was born in St. Petersburg,
inherited an apartment in St. Petersburg about the time I started my
investigations. My friend, in order to avoid the complicated transfer, was
inclined to sell for a few thousand dollars. I said: "Whatever you do, do not
sell. Go there; sit there; deal with it."
My friend took my advice and is much richer for it. It was
complicated — with copies of this and copies of that needed — but my friend has
title and rents the place out for a tidy sum.
As I have pointed out, six and seven years ago,
infrastructure was not great, but it was being improved. It depended on the town
and the oblast, or county. I visited a lot of towns in a total of 10 oblasts and
one autonomous republic. Critics, for reasons hard to follow, say: "Oh, yes,
Moscow. But outside of Moscow, things are terrible." That is simply untrue.
The year after I made Moscow, I cycled the Golden Ring,
600 kilometres of ancient towns and churches up to the Volga and around to
Vladimir on the main Volga Highway. I had never heard of the Golden Ring before
finding a Russian travel book written in English in a bookstore in St.
Petersburg. I never saw so many churches being refurbished. That year, I used
the most recent Lonely Planet guidebook, which was completely out of date
although it was less than one year old. It was hard on my nerves. I never knew
what to expect. After the previous year's problems about where to sleep, I was
always worried, but the changes in three seasons were amazing. Of course, I did
not know that and, on a bicycle, where to sleep is more important, obviously,
than in a car.
In one small town, there were three new hotels where there
had been none 12 months previously and, of course, there were busy town centres
and new buildings going up everywhere. In an industrial town named Ivanovo that,
at first glance, looked rather gloomy, poking around I found a camera store in a
new six- or seven-storey commercial building where they sold more up-to- date
electronic cameras than I had been able to buy in Toronto. From Ivanovo to the
next town, 60 or 70 kilometres further on, the highway had been newly repaired
I am not a lobbyist for Russia. I work in the Canadian
interest. I paid every penny of my Russia travels myself, but I do not think it
is in the Canadian interest to have other people's interests and propaganda
presented as fact. Mr. Tye Burt, president and CEO of Toronto-based Kinross Gold
Corporation, Canada's largest single investor, wrote in The Globe and Mail:
. . . the Western media has tended to focus unduly on
business failures in Russia rather than on success stories. This, in turn,
has fed the perception of a corrupt and unworkable system.
In an article last Friday, Mr. Burt quoted from the
committee's most recent report:
. . . the negative experiences are only part of the
story and do a great disservice in scaring away a greater number of trade
and investment initiatives that might lead to systemic reforms. . .
Here are some statistics: From 2000 to 2009, Canada's
total trade with Russia increased by more than 357 per cent, or an average
annually of over 22 per cent, and increased by an average of 23.17 per cent
annually as a percentage of total Canadian trade.
During the same period, Canada's exports to Russia grew by
an average of 22.5 per cent annually and increased by an average of 22.57 per
cent annually as a percentage of total Canadian exports.
Also, between 2000 and 2009, Canadian imports from Russia
grew by 27 per cent per year and increased by an average of over 27 per cent
annually as a percentage of total Canadian trade.
Russian-Canadian trade is growing, but it is small in the
context of the United States or China. However, we know that Bombardier is
interested in the upgrade of the Russian railway system, and we know about the
attempt by Magna International to buy Opel and open up in Russia. The Canadian
business press did not seem to understand the importance of Magna's Russian
partner, Sberbank, the Russian national bank run by Herman Greff, the highly
regarded former Minister of Industry.
Russian-Canadian trade is not small, if one is a Canadian
beef producer in Alberta or a pork producer. Canadian beef producers have been
devastated by U.S. non-tariff barriers. They are eager for the Canada-EU free
trade agreement supported by our committee since the 1990s. We met a large
Alberta delegation in Moscow that concluded an important agreement for beef
exports. I am certain that our committee's presence was useful.
I learned on my bike riding that on weekends Russians love
shish kebob. One always knows it is Thursday from the smoke of barbecues
starting up in roadside gas stations and restaurants. Normally, shish kebab is
made with lamb. It comes from the Caucasus and from central Asia, but not in
Russia. In Russia, they eat pork shish kebab, and the country has been an
important market for our hard up pork producers.
Last August, I cycled for a few hundred kilometres along
the middle Volga and took the train from Nizhny Novgorod to Kazan, the capital
of Tatarstan. The service situation was day and night compared to seven years
ago — not everywhere, but at times it was difficult to believe that the Soviet
gloom ever existed.
What Russians have achieved is truly amazing. Often
European Russian cities turn the main street into a pedestrian mall. The one in
Nizhny Novgorod is very elegant with shops and restaurants and leads to the
quite spectacular view from the Kremlin on the high bluff where the Oka River
meets the Volga.
Kazan is a UNESCO world heritage site, where about half
the population is Muslim and the other half is Orthodox. Their Kremlin also
looks over the Volga where it turns south towards the rich agricultural lands,
which were settled by Germans under Catherine the Great and who were mostly
removed by Stalin.
Side by side, in the Kazan Kremlin, stand the Annunciation
Cathedral and the huge, new, and I thought quite elegant, Kul Sharif mosque. The
cathedral was built to commemorate the Ivan the Terrible's defeat of the Tatars.
The mosque, completed in 2005, is named after Kul Sharif, the imam who died
defending the city against Ivan the Terrible. The mosque is bigger than the
There are two particularly interesting sites in Kazan.
Across a sort of lake in the midst of thousands of new apartments is a small log
mosque. It seems to be new, and I stood across the street and watched worshipers
going and coming. I thought it was very neat. In my many years in Muslim
countries, I have never seen a log mosque, and it is perfectly made.
To understand the other sight, it helps if you read the
Cyrillic alphabet. Near the MacDonald's, owned by George Cohen in Toronto, in
the pedestrian mall, is a large statute of a man dressed in modern clothes
holding a soft felt hat. The statue stands in front of a new hotel. The name in
English is something like "The Kazan Hilton." In Russian, it is the Chaliapin
Hotel, and the statute is of Feodor Chaliapin, who apparently started his
career, appropriately enough, on the Volga in Kazan. I have fond memories of
listening to the great Feodor Chaliapin on old 78s as he sang the Song of the
Volga Boatmen. It was pretty amazing to see the statue.
Stalingrad, now called Volgograd, scene of the greatest
defensive battle in history, is on the west bank further south, and on the east
bank further south lies Kazakhstan. As honourable senators can imagine, one
cannot give up what has changed from an investigation to an adventure without
seeing Stalingrad and the great Volga delta at Astrakhan. It is indeed a
pleasure to walk in the wonderful market in Kazan where you feel central Asia at
your fingertips, with its spice smells and mix of Russians, Tatars, Kazakhs,
Azeris and other peoples from the lands further to the east.
I still have my bike, but I am 74, and I am looking for a
As my bill is an act respecting Canada-Russia Friendship
Day, I would like to mention the standing committee's visit to Khanty- Mansiysk
on the Ob River in Northwest Siberia. It is the oil centre.
Our committee visited countries in Africa, where huge oil
revenues have been either squandered or stolen. That is not the case in
Khanty-Mansiysk. It is an old Cossack town of the usual wooden houses, founded
when the Cossacks crossed the Urals at the end of the 18th century. My mother's
family were lumber people from the Ottawa Valley and, as a child, I spent a lot
of time with my beloved grandfather in Northern Ontario, with people who still
knew how to build log buildings. I have much sympathy for Russian log houses. In
Khanty-Mansiysk, that old wooden town is surrounded, and the oil money has built
a new, modern town with churches and shops and modern apartments. Blue is a
favourite colour for the metal roofs to resist the harsh winters. The university
opened in 2004 and has 2,000 students. The cultural centre for young actors,
musicians, dancers, sculptors and painters, with 1,200 students, is amazing. One
of their theatrical groups has performed in New York.
The nearest next town is 600 kilometres away. In winter,
the temperature can hit minus 50. A Russian friend of mine, who watches Russian
television, phoned me to say that there was a special bulletin out for the
citizens of Khanty-Mansiysk last winter not to travel by car to the next town
without a cell phone. Apparently, a number of people froze to death when their
car broke down.
Russian Senator Gennadiy Dmitrievich Oleynik, senator for
the district, accompanied the committee from Moscow, and we all thank him for
his time and kindness. He was terrific.
I would like to say a few quick words about Russian
demographics. The critics talk about declining Russian population. There is no
doubt that population is a big problem for the Russians, as it is for all
industrial countries. My own travels have been in European Russia, where most of
the 142 million people live, but Russia has vast areas east of the Volga and the
Urals, all the way to the Pacific, which have never been heavily populated, and
some border on China, with its huge population. That is where the problem is,
not in European Russia. The Canadian birth rate is actually lower than the
Russian birth rate. The Russian birth rate is 11.11 births per 1,000 persons,
and ours is 10.28 per 1,000 persons. We also have huge empty areas, but without
1 billion people next door. That is the real demographic situation.
Honourable senators, I will end my remarks by reading from
an article that appeared in The Globe and Mail last Friday, May 21, 2010.
This is by Mr. Burt, president and CEO of the Toronto- based Kinross Gold
For years, we've heard how our similarities in
geography and resource endowment should be the basis for stronger economic
relationship between Canada and Russia. Shared issues such as Arctic
sovereignty, sustainable development of the North, and global warming
strongly underline the case for a more robust engagement between our
Now, a new report by the Canadian Senate Standing
Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade adds a persuasive and
well-researched argument for stepping up Canada's commercial relations with
Russia. The report (Canada and Russia: Building on Today's Successes for
Tomorrow's Potential) is required reading for any Canadian executive,
investor or government official seeking knowledge about doing business in
With the G8 and G20 summits approaching, it also gives
timely advice to our government leaders on how they can advance Canada's
commercial agenda in Russia by taking a more prominent and active role in
engaging their Russian counterparts.
The senators' report is based on their fact-finding
tour of Russia last fall, which included 26 meetings with 40 representatives
from the Russian government, Canadian and Russian businesses, international
organizations, and others. It sums up many of the key lessons that Canadian
companies, such as Kinross Gold, have learned during years of operating in
Their bottom line — Canada companies "can succeed in
Russia cleanly and without reproach" — is a message that needs to be heard
by Canada's business and investment community.
The senators' conclusion and their "recipe for
success" in Russia, square closely with Kinross's experience. As Canada's
largest single investor in Russia, we have learned the critical importance
of having a committed local partner; of understanding the mechanics of
various Russian government agencies and knowing where decision-making power
lies; of clearly demonstrating the benefit that our investment brings to the
local population; and, above all, of being patient — and persistent — in
pursuing our goals.
The report does not sugar coat the realities of doing
business in Russia. It points out the unique challenges of dealing with an
evolving bureaucracy combined with a protectionist mindset, and relates
examples of Canadian companies that have been stymied in their attempts to
break into the Russian market.
In some cases, the problems these companies face have
proven intractable, but in others, initial delays and frustrations have
eventually been resolved: Inevitably, those who've succeeded point to the
importance of taking a long-term perspective, cultivating personal
relationships, and understanding that in Russia, government always plays a
bigger role in guiding business decisions that it does at home.
The report notes that the Western media has tended to
focus unduly on business failures in Russia rather than on success stories.
This, in turn, has fed the perception of a corrupt and unworkable system.
"The negative experiences are only part of the story and do a great
disservice in scaring away a greater number of trade and investment
initiatives that might lead to systemic reforms," the senators astutely
The Canadian panel met with a number of Russian
officials who discussed anti-corruption efforts under way, as well as new
initiatives to encourage foreign investment. Significantly for mining
companies and other companies in the extractive sector, the senators heard
that legislation governing subsoil extraction would be revisited and
changed, based on consultations with foreign businesses in order to attract
For Canadian companies hoping to expand into Russia,
the senators offer encouragement, citing opportunities in infrastructure
development, agriculture, transportation, timber and paper, natural
resources, construction and housing and green technologies.
The report concludes with specific recommendations to
the Canadian government based on comments from their Russian hosts. A key
recommendation is that senior Canadian federal and provincial
representatives have higher profile in Russia. The senators note that
governments and other G8 and G20 countries conduct regular high-level visits
to Russia, giving companies in those countries decided advantage over
Canadians businesses in the Russia market.
The focus of next month's G8 and G20 meetings will be
global and multilateral, but they also provide an ideal opportunity for our
government to follow the senators' advice and beginning elevating our
bilateral engagement with Russia to a new level.
The Senate proceeded to consideration of the fourth report
of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology (Health
Canada's Proposal to Parliament for User Fees and Service Standards for Human
Drugs and Medical Devices Programs), presented in the Senate on May 13,
Hon. Kelvin Kenneth Ogilvie: Honourable senators,
this report comes forward to us from Health Canada. It deals with user fees
related to evaluation, approval and monitoring of prescription drugs and medical
The review, monitoring and approval processes require a
great deal of effort. Honourable senators can imagine the tens of thousands of
documents that can come forward for a single prescription drug as it proceeds
through all levels of research to its ultimate recommendation for use by
Since the 1990s, the cost of conducting and monitoring
these reviews was intended to be split between the Government of Canada, on
behalf of Canadians, and the industries bringing forward the prescription drugs
or medical devices. The first fees were levied in this regard in 1995. They were
intended to recoup 50 per cent of the cost of carrying out these activities.
The fees have not been adjusted over intervening years.
For the current fiscal year, it is estimated that these fees cover only
approximately 23 per cent of the true cost of assessing and monitoring these
drugs and devices.
Therefore, Health Canada brought forward a full report
after consultation with users and stakeholders in both industry and the public.
The report is before honourable senators, and came before the Standing Senate
Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology.
This report recommends that Canada move to increase fees
to allow for 50 per cent recovery of the cost of monitoring and assessing
prescription drugs and medical devices. To give honourable senators an
indication of what occurs with our major trading partners, 50 per cent is the
lowest cost recovery among the industrialized nations with which Canada deals.
Most European countries recover a minimum of 60 per cent, and up to 100 per
cent, of the costs of conducting their assessments. Fees in the United States
are 50 per cent of the total assessment cost.
The report before honourable senators recommends that we
approve Health Canada's proposal that Canada's fees once again be adjusted to
recover 50 per cent of the cost; that the fees be maintained at that level by an
approximate 2 per cent annual adjustment; and that the overall fees be reviewed
in a three- to five-year period following the requested approval of this report.
Honourable senators, these reviews are important to
industry because the timely review and ultimate approval of new pharmaceuticals
and medical devices allows entry into the marketplace, which is a clear
industrial benefit. At the same time, public good is achieved. Efficient and
timely approval of these pharmaceuticals and medical devices allows Canadians to
benefit from advances benefitting their health.
I hope honourable senators will support the unanimous
recommendation of your committee. Thank you.
Hon. Terry M. Mercer: Will the Honourable Senator
Ogilvie permit a question?
Senator Ogilvie: Yes.
Senator Mercer: Honourable senators, I am curious
about the second part of Health Canada's proposal to Parliament regarding user
fees and service standards for the human drugs and medical devices programs. The
medical devices program is of personal interest because I walk around every day
with two medical devices in my body — my artificial knees. Honourable senators
know that Senator Harb has a bill before the house dealing with medical devices.
One issue with medical devices is that there is no
registry in Canada. There used to be a registry in Ontario. Any honourable
senator may have a medical device; I have two artificial knees. Other senators
may have a pacemaker or other devices in their bodies.
No registry exists to trace those devices in case of a
defect or problem. I had difficulty with one of my knee replacements and was
away from this place for about four months. I know that was a pleasant time for
our friends opposite.
Is there any thought given in the report from Health
Canada to establish or re-institute a registry for medical for medical devices?
Senator Ogilvie: Honourable senators, I will
refrain from addressing the personal example that the honourable senator uses.
However, I will address the point with regard to the overall registry.
As the honourable senator probably knows, Health Canada
follows the reports concerning the use of all approved devices. As I understand
it, and as Senator Mercer outlined, there is not yet a current, direct
relationship of registry between the individual patient and the specific
product. However, Health Canada records and monitors the overall observations
regarding the performance of the devices.
It is also my understanding that the concept of formally
establishing a registry is outside the scope of the particular report we have
before us. However, that does not diminish the ultimate importance of
establishing such a registry.
Senator Mercer: I thank the honourable senator for
his answer. In my consultations with a number of orthopaedic surgeons who use
these devices, I have ascertained that they would support a registry. Indeed, at
one time the Ontario Department of Health paid for the Ontario registry. When
the ministry stopped the funding, the registry ceased to exist.
I appreciate this might be outside the scope of this
discussion, but perhaps when we debate Senator Harb's bill, the honourable
senator and others members of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs,
Science and Technology would support us in the debate to help establish that
registry in the future.
Senator Ogilvie: Honourable senators, I will
acknowledge the observation and, since it is outside the scope of the report, I
think it would be best that I refrain from any additional comment.
Hon. Suzanne Fortin-Duplessis (The Hon. the Acting
Speaker): Are honourable senators ready for the question?
Hon. Senators: Question.
The Hon. the Acting Speaker: Is it your pleasure,
honourable senators, to adopt the motion?
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable
Senator Smith, P.C., seconded by the Honourable Senator Fraser, for the
adoption of the second report of the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures
and the Rights of Parliament (study on questions of privilege),
presented in the Senate on April 27, 2010.
Hon. Sharon Carstairs: Honourable senators, I rise
today to speak to the second report of the Standing Committee on Rules,
Procedures and the Rights of Parliament. I thank honourable senators for
allowing this to remain adjourned in my name during the week before the break. I
was not well and am still not well, so let me apologize for not being as
articulate as this item deserves. However, I do not like to see items remain
overly long on the Order Paper, particularly those in my name. Therefore, I will
give it my best effort.
Honourable senators, matters of privilege are among the
most, if not the most, important issues to come before us. The privileges of a
senator and/or a member of the other place are fundamental to our democratic
system. In my role as chair and past chair of the Inter-Parliamentary Union's
Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians, I have dealt with over 300
cases of parliamentarians who have essentially lost those privileges. They have
been murdered, kidnapped or imprisoned; they have disappeared from the face of
the earth; or, in lesser ways, they have had their privileges taken from them
outright or had them significantly diminished. This has certainly led me to a
heightening interested in the importance of parliamentary privilege.
Honourable senators, I have also experienced being the
lone member of my party in the legislature of the Province of Manitoba, where it
was often far too easy for other members to ignore my rights in favour of their
own. For example, the rule in Manitoba at that time was that, if the two whips
of the other two parties of the house decided that the bells could stop ringing,
they simply brought their members into the chamber and ordered the bells to
stop. If I had left the chamber as they had all left, and I was sitting in my
office when they walked into the chamber and announced that the bells had or
should cease, I was denied the opportunity to cast my vote.
Fortunately, a back-bench Progressive Conservative member,
recognizing this was unfair, would warn me when his party was leaving their
caucus room and heading for the chamber, thereby allowing me to leave my office
and go to the chamber and cast my vote.
It is in the context of these experiences that I speak
today. In 1991, there was a significant change made to the Rules of the
Senate of Canada with the introduction of rule 43. This rule prescribed
clearly how a matter of privilege could be raised. The new rule did not receive
full agreement in this chamber because it gave the Speaker a new role. The late
Senator Royce Frith said:
In my submission, that is the rule governing the
procedure for points and questions of privileges in the Senate. The whole
concept of a role for the Speaker is foreign to their place and is a role
that takes place in the other House. It is clear that the Rules Committee
has decided — and the Senate has agreed and has had as part of its rules for
a long time — that questions of privilege are dealt with in the Senate in
accordance with rule 33. They are dealt with by senators and I do not
believe that the Speaker should be called upon to talk about prima facie
cases, as he is called upon in the House of Commons and in some other
legislatures. I know, from have spoken to Senator Ottenheimer, that that is
the case in the Newfoundland Legislature and I know that is so in other
legislatures, but not in the Senate. The Senate has dealt with these
situations not through Beauchesne, not through anybody else's
customs, but through our own black and white rules.
I am in full agreement with Senator Frith. I do not
believe there should be a rule for the Speaker in matters of privilege,
particularly when the members of this place do not choose the Speaker. The prime
minister chooses the Speaker in the Senate. While we have been generally well
served, particularly by the incumbent, I object to the principle that the
Speaker should determine a prima facie case. I believe it is our role as
senators to make that determination.
This proposed rule change would, in my view, further erode
our powers as senators. It would delete rule 59, which allows a motion from the
floor; a motion approved or disapproved by senators without a role for the
The argument that has been made in this and previous
reports is that rule 59 is redundant; it should have been excised in 1991. It is
simply an oversight. Honourable senators, I find this very difficult to believe.
The Rules Committee of the day, under the leadership of
former Senator Brenda Robertson, was thorough. They made changes; Senator
Robertson was a very detailed person and I find it difficult to believe it was a
simple oversight. What disturbs me more is there appears to be no attempt to
hear from those who were in this place at that time — and there are many still
in this chamber — who could speak to the matter. We seem to have simply accepted
the fact that something that existed should not have existed, but that is
something that has never been proven.
Honourable senators, there was only one meeting of this
committee in this session, despite the fact there were five new members of the
committee, many of whom were also new to this place and therefore with little
experience of matters of privilege. I am a member of this committee but,
regrettably, I was giving a speech on the Special Senate Committee on Aging in
Toronto the day of the meeting. Had I known this matter would be dealt with in
only one session, I would have asked for a postponement or submitted a brief
along the lines of today's remarks.
Honourable senators, this is our chamber. Matters of
privilege are our responsibility. Each senator should be engaged in the process.
Resuming debate on the inquiry of the Honourable
Senator Raine calling the attention of the Senate to the success of the 2010
Olympic Winter Games held in Vancouver, Richmond and Whistler from February
12 to 28 and, in particular, to how the performance of the Canadian athletes
at the Olympic and Paralympic Games can inspire and motivate Canadians and
especially children to become more fit and healthy.
Hon. Hector Daniel Lang: Honourable senators, I
rise today to join with Senator Greene Raine in her quest to motivate and
inspire young and older Canadians to become more fit and healthy.
Honourable senators, according to the 2004 Canadian
Community Health Survey, more than 14 million adult Canadians are either
overweight or obese. To put it another way, almost one half of our population is
either overweight or obese. As has been highlighted earlier, direct medical
costs of this epidemic are $2.1 billion annually.
It is indeed ironic that in February Canada experienced
one of its most successful Olympic and Paralympic games in our history, yet our
country faces a national health crisis that we need to come to grips with. It is
clear what that problem is: It is overeating and lack of exercise.
Over the last number of years, more and more reports are
bringing forward the seriousness of the problem. The effects of Fast Food Alley
are being felt throughout our country. Young, old, poor and rich, we all face an
insidious plague that, if not arrested, will push our health system to a
breaking point to where it will not be able to cope. The end result for many
Canadians is diabetes, heart problems, osteoarthritis and the list goes on.
Reports say what we see every day in our malls, our
schools and our streets — a new generation of young Canadians are growing up in
a culture of fast food, too much TV, computer games and little, if any,
exercise. It is hard to believe that the Dick and Jane that we grew up with
today have a better than 20 per cent chance of being overweight or obese. To put
it another way, one child out of five is destined to be overweight.
Honourable senators, we can only speculate how a young
overweight boy or girl feels as, day after day, they have to cope with an eating
addiction that becomes worse and worse as the months pass by. Meanwhile, as this
silent addiction takes hold, it robs these young people of a happy, healthy and
active childhood and sets them up for failure. It is hard to believe 20 kids out
of every 100 are heading in this direction, yet little is being said about it.
It is almost as if it will go away if we do not talk about it.
I know that every parent wants their child to be
successful in life, yet our busy modern lives often mean that parents do not
know that their child is not getting enough exercise and they are not
necessarily eating properly. Parents need reminding.
Canada faces a crisis — a crisis of untold human
suffering, a crisis of incalculable cost — and it is time we search for
solutions for this state of affairs. If our young people do not receive the
proper exercise and food, how do we expect them to be mentally sharp and at
their best when they are supposed to be studying and learning?
As part of this inquiry, I will share with honourable
senators some ideas about how governments, private companies, parents and
individuals might help to mitigate the human health disaster we face. It is my
belief that if we are to meet with any success, we must take a multifaceted
approach to help Canadians deal with this overwhelming problem.
It has been proposed that physical education should be
mandatory in all our schools. In Japan, I am told, physical activity is
considered a key part of the curriculum, with students required to keep a
journal of their activities. As with math and languages, students are graded on
their physical activity. I will even go further and ask that the schools who
have not revised their lunch programs to reflect good food choices be encouraged
to make the appropriate changes for the sake of their students.
As many of us know, Canada has a problem, but it is an
even bigger problem in the United States. Legislators south of the border are
beginning to take notice and to take action. President Obama has committed $100
million to confront this problem, and the First Lady has taken the initiative to
inform Americans of the importance of healthy food and exercise.
In Texas, they are contemplating making it mandatory for
fast food chains to publish the calorie intake of the food choices on their
menus. In the state of California, they are considering prohibiting fast food
chains from providing giveaway toys with high-calorie foods offered to children.
As we speak, New York City is taking a lead role in working with food companies
and restaurant chains to cut their sodium intake by 20 per cent in the next five
Here in Canada, I know positive steps are being taken,
both at the federal government level and also with the provinces and
territories, which bear primary responsibility for health care. I think of the
Health Canada Sodium Working Group, which is to report shortly, and the
increasing attention by provincial governments to the practice of prevention.
Honourable senators, these steps are good, but we need to
do more to raise the importance of this issue. We did it with smoking and rates
have fallen. It is time to take a similar approach with the crisis of obesity.
For instance, we can call on food manufacturers and fast
food chains to stop the practice of targeting young people in their marketing —
the ads for fast food chains and cereals trying to seduce our young people into
adopting lifelong, unhealthy eating habits. Stopping these ads will be a big
step forward in preventative medicine.
Senator Greene Raine brought this discussion to life by
referencing the heroics of our Olympic athletes. Indeed, it is gratifying to see
that some steps are being taken to recognize our Olympic athletes. The extension
of Own the Podium is a significant step forward, but I will go further and
recommend that our federal government, in conjunction with major corporations,
undertake an ongoing public relations campaign highlighting the success of our
Olympians and bringing our Olympians front and centre to help fight the war on
Elevating our Olympic athletes as icons, as household
names to be revered by our young people, can go a long way to encourage our
children to get out, to participate in sports and to learn the importance of
A further use of our tax policy can be another step taken
to encourage healthy living. By that, I mean build on the success of the Child
Fitness Tax Credit that was introduced in 2007.
Let us consider including adults to encourage them to
become more active. We can also encourage giving tax incentives to companies to
provide the time and the place to encourage physical activity. Study after study
shows that if fitness is encouraged, the end result is a more productive and
Prevention is the key to our success. Ongoing education
and disseminating information to Canadians is of the utmost importance to help
instil the individual responsibility that will be necessary to overcome this
Honourable senators, in view of the seriousness of the
health problem facing Canada, perhaps we should consider referring the matter to
an appropriate committee for an in-depth study. I remind honourable senators of
the important work of the Social Committee chaired by Senator Kirby on mental
health and of the positive changes brought about in response to the committee's
report. Similarly, Senator Keon's committee report on population health also
demonstrates the effectiveness of these committees and their studies.
Honourable senators, the message to Canadians is clear: We
are what we eat. I ask honourable senators to give this issue the priority it
deserves and support Senator Raine's effort to address this very real problem
that affects so many Canadians.
Hon. Anne C. Cools: Honourable senators, I rise on
a point of order regarding a correction to the Debates of the Senate at
page 561. It is not a major thing. On May 13, 2010, following the intervention
of Senator Nolin, who had been speaking to Bill S- 10, there was great interest
in asking questions of the honourable senator. I remember that very well, but
that is not the purpose of my intervention. The purpose of my intervention is to
point out that a mistake has been made in the record at page 561 on May 13,
2010. Toward the end of some exchanges between Senator Baker, the Acting Speaker
Senator Fortin-Duplessis and me, we see very clearly that the record states:
The Hon. the Acting Speaker: Honourable
senators, the debate is closed.
Senator Cools: No, I move the adjournment of
Then Senator Tardif rose after I rose and moved the
Hon. Claudette Tardif (Deputy Leader of the
Opposition): I move the adjournment of the debate.
(On motion of Senator Tardif, debate adjourned.)
The record shows here, "On motion of Senator Tardif,
debate adjourned." That is clearly a mistake. I noticed it and thought it was
unusual, but I thought I should check the record and the record confirms what I
am saying. I ask that that correction be made.
The other small point that I would like to ask Your Honour
to look into is that I made other interventions during these exchanges that do
not appear on the record. It appears to me that, my microphone was turned off a
couple of times, which I found a little odd but I am sure there is nothing
sinister. I am sure that everything is reasonable; I just found it odd. So I
just thought I should rise and, one, ask that the record be corrected and, two,
ask that Your Honour look into the fact that my microphone seemed to have been
switched off at least twice, maybe three times. At one point, I had the
impression that all senators' microphones were off, so it could have been an
error in the sound system. I do not know, but I think honourable senators should
take notice of this.
I also thank Senator Fortin-Duplessis for her rather
strenuous efforts as Acting Speaker in a rather difficult situation. I would
also like to say to her that quite often a senator who is new in the chair will
find that many senators are willing to assist her if she is in difficulty. All
she has to do is look to us and we will help. Thank you.
Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the
Government): I recall that a great deal of talking was going on at the time.
May I suggest that the Speaker refer to the audio tapes? If the record is not
what it should be, then the Speaker might wish to come back to the Senate with
The Hon. the Speaker: The chair will be pleased to
undertake that. I thank honourable senators.
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable
Senator Segal, seconded by the Honourable Senator Nolin:
That the Senate approve in principle the installation
of equipment necessary for broadcast quality audio-visual recording of its
proceedings and other approved events in the Senate Chamber and in no fewer
than four rooms ordinarily used for meetings by committees of the Senate;
That for the purposes set out in the following
paragraph, public proceedings of the Senate and of its Committees be
recorded by this equipment, subject to policies, practices and guidelines
approved from time to time by the Standing Committee on Internal Economy,
Budgets and Administration ("the Committee");
That proceedings categorized according to subjects of
interest be prepared and made available for use by any television
broadcaster or distributor of audio-visual programs, subject to the terms
specified in any current or future agreements between the Senate and that
broadcaster or distributor;
That such selected proceedings also be made available
on demand to the public on the Parliamentary Internet;
That the Senate engage by contract a producer who
shall, subject only to the direction of that Committee, make the
determination of the program content of the proceedings of the Senate and of
its committees on a gavel to gavel basis;
That equipment and personnel necessary for the expert
preparation and categorization of broadcast-quality proceedings be secured
for these purposes; and
That the Committee be instructed to take measures
necessary to the implementation of this motion;
And on the motion in amendment of the Honourable
Senator Banks, seconded by the Honourable Senator Moore, that the matter now
before the Senate be referred to the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures
and the Rights of Parliament for study; and
That the committee submit its final report no later
than September 15, 2010.
Hon. Tommy Banks: Honourable senators, Senator
Comeau has the adjournment on this motion.
Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the
Senator Banks: Senator Segal's motion pertains to
televising Senate proceedings in the chamber. With Senator Comeau's approval, it
is my hope that honourable senators will refer this motion to committee
forthwith for study of the subject matter of the debate so that a direction on
the issue might be determined. Would the Honourable Senator Comeau find that an
Senator Comeau: With permission of the Senate, this
side could entertain that possibility. However, there is one problem with the
motion as it stands and that is the motion in amendment of the honourable
senator that the committee report to the Senate no later than September 15,
2010. I personally have a problem with that because it gives the committee so
Honourable senators, I know this is not the place to
negotiate, but perhaps if Senator Banks might wish to withdraw his motion in
amendment, then on this side we would be receptive to sending to the committee
the main issue, which is looking at if we should have audiovisual coverage of
Senate proceedings and leave the report back to the Senate to a later date,
giving them the time they would need to properly do an assessment of whether
this is possible or not.
I notice that the seconder of the motion is in the house
as well today. Perhaps he would be willing to support the withdrawal of the
motion in amendment. Certainly, this side would then look at this favourably.
Senator Banks: Honourable senators, I am grateful
because I think that would expedite things and we could get an answer.
Honourable senators, with leave of the Senate, I would
seek approval for the withdrawal of the motion in amendment, and with the leave
of the seconder, so that the main motion might proceed with more alacrity.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, is leave
granted to allow the withdrawal of the motion in amendment by Senator Banks,
seconded by Senator Moore?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
(Motion in amendment withdrawn.)
Hon. Fernand Robichaud: Honourable senators, in
order to clarify this, another amendment is needed to send this motion to
committee. Otherwise we would be voting on the motion before us, that is,
whether or not to accept what is proposed.
Hon. Joan Fraser: It is exactly the same thing.
The Hon. the Speaker: I believe it was Senator
Comeau's intention to move a motion to send this resolution to committee.
Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the
Government): Honourable senators, I am pleased to move a motion that Motion
No. 26 be referred to the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, it is
moved by Senator Comeau, seconded by Senator Eaton, that the motion be referred
to the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament.
Hon. Fernand Robichaud: Should we not include a
period of time in which the committee should report back to this chamber?
The Hon. the Speaker: Sine die.
Senator Comeau: Honourable senators, the committee
will do its job. We are well aware of the importance of this motion. We will
give the committee the time needed to report back to the Senate.
Hon. Tommy Banks: Honourable senators, the intent
of my having sought leave with the agreement of the seconder was to remove the
date part of the amendment.
If I understand correctly, the point of the motion is the
last part, which says that the matter now before the Senate be referred to the
Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament for study,
full stop, absent the date requirement, so that the committee can do its work in
its own good time and report back to the Senate. I think that is the intent,
and, if that is understood by all, then I hope it will find agreement.
The Hon. the Speaker: The question before the house
is the following:
It was moved by the Honourable Senator Segal, seconded
by the Honourable Senator Nolin:
That the Senate approve in principle the
installation of equipment necessary for broadcast quality audio-visual.
. . .
It was moved by Senator Comeau, seconded by Senator
That the matter be referred to the Standing
Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament for study.
Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the
motion in amendment?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
(Motion agreed to and referred to the Standing Committee
on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament.)
Resuming debate on the inquiry of the Honourable
Senator Robichaud, P.C., calling the attention of the Senate to the
importance to the Acadian people of the Acadian flag — a flag that brings
Hon. Rose-Marie Losier-Cool: Honourable senators, I
am pleased and proud to rise today to speak about the inquiry launched by my
colleague, the honourable Senator Robichaud, concerning the Acadian flag.
Senator Robichaud spoke about this flag as a symbol that brings people together,
and the honourable Senator Champagne used that same theme in reference to the
Acadians of Louisiana. I would now like to talk about the most visible and
audible expression of Acadians in the Atlantic provinces: their culture.
Since our Acadian flag first became an immediately
recognizable symbol, many of our artists have used their creations to rally our
society and our friends. I am particularly interested in the most captivating
and characteristic cultural disciplines of Atlantic Canada's Acadia: theatre,
music — both popular and classical — and literature, especially poetry.
If you have heard about Acadian artists, honourable
senators, chances are that they work in one of these areas or perhaps even
Let us start with theatre, which gave us the wonderful
Viola Léger, the immortal Sagouine and one of our former colleagues. Theatre
also gave us Myriam Cyr, Denise Bouchard, Christian Essiambre and René Cormier.
They often portray people from our area, giving them a voice, giving them life
once again and giving us all goose bumps during each of their performances.
Those characters are the work of talented playwrights such as Antonine Maillet,
Emma Haché and Marcel-Romain Thériault. The characters usually live at the
Théâtre populaire d'Acadie in Caraquet or the theatre in Escaouette when not on
one of the numerous school or community stages.
Let us now turn to popular music, which is played on
community radio stations in Acadia as well as on commercial radio and sometimes
even on Radio-Canada or the CBC. You must have heard of at least one of the
following popular singers, who are among the best our Acadia has produced: Roch
Voisine, Christian KIT Goguen, Danny Boudreau, Wilfred LeBouthillier, Pascal
Lejeune — who was performing in France last week — Zachary Richard, our Cajun
cousin from Louisiana, Jean- François Breau, Sandra Le Couteur and Angèle
Arsenault from Prince Edward Island, who takes us back to Grand Pré when she
sings C'est là que tout a commencé.
And we must not forget Natasha St-Pier, Lina Boudreau,
Marie-Jo Thério, Annie Blanchard, Edith Butler, Calixte Duguay and Donat
Lacroix, with his anthem Viens voir l'Acadie. Some of these artists also
belong to well-known groups such as 1755, Ode à l'Acadie, Barachois, Quatuor
Musica Mundi and La Virée. These groups have become synonymous with Acadia, and
their concerts are always sold out.
While I think of it, if you want to discover our singers
in the comfort of your living room, honourable senators, visit the website of
Distributions Plages, an Acadian record store that distributes recordings by a
number of these artists. Many of our singers write their own material, proving
that Acadia is a major source of inspiration for the poetry and literature of
its native sons and daughters.
Acadians love to write, to write well and to write
beautiful words. The proof is in the works of some of our best-known poets:
Gérard Leblanc, former New Brunswick Lieutenant- Governor Herménégilde Chiasson,
Clarence Comeau, Fredrik Gary Comeau, Jean-Mari Pître, Claude LeBouthillier,
Serge Patrice Thibodeau, Calixte Duguay and Dyane Léger.
If rhyme is not to your taste, pick up a novel or essay
and discover David Lonergan, Anselme Chiasson from Nova Scotia, Françoise
Enguehard from Newfoundland and Labrador, whose wonderful book L'archipel du
docteur Thomas connects Acadia with St-Pierre and Miquelon, Herménégilde
Chiasson, our Prix Goncourt winner, Antonine Maillet, or Rose Després. These
authors and poets and many more are published by Bouton d'or Acadie, Les
Éditions de la Francophonie, La Grande Marée, Éditions d'Acadie and Éditions
Perce-Neige. You can also meet them and have them autograph a book for you at
the Salon du livre de la Péninsule or one of the book fairs in Edmundston or
Dieppe, the Fureur de Lire festival in Moncton, the Northrop Frye International
Literary Festival or the Festival acadien de poésie.
Is classical music more to your taste? Why not take in a
concert by the excellent Choeur de la Mission Saint-Charles, the vocal ensemble
Douce Harmonie conducted by Émé Lacroix or the famous Choeur Neil-Michaud? Or
would you prefer to listen to New Brunswick's great opera singers who have
performed on the most prestigious stages in the world? There is Anna Malenfant
who sings the beautiful Mon Acadie, ma douce that will touch your heart.
I could also mention Gloria Richard and Rosemarie Landry as well as young
international stars including Suzie LeBlanc, Nathalie Paulin, Pascale Beaudin
and Michèle Losier. By the way, I encourage you to read the most recent issue of
Air Canada's enRoute magazine for its profile of Michèle Losier on page
Classical music may be perceived as more elitist than
popular music, but that does not seem to matter to the crowds that take in the
concerts at the Baie-des-Chaleurs international chamber music festival or the
ever popular international baroque music festival in Lamèque. And what can I say
about the album sales of guitarist and lute player Michel Cardin, the concerts
by harpsichord players Anne Dugas and Mathieu Duguay, or the enviable reputation
of the late violinist Arthur LeBlanc who left his name to a still-active quartet
based at the Université de Moncton?
Honourable senators, our Atlantic Acadian culture is alive
and well. It is vibrant and exciting. It brings us together. It centres us. It
reminds us of our roots. It comforts us and makes us proud and happy. It
represents us so well to the rest of Canada and the world that we would not want
it any other way.
I named a number of our artists, but I left out at least
as many and I apologize to them. There are so many it would be impossible to
name them all. In closing, I hope you will discover these artists and learn to
love our Acadia as much as I do.
(On motion of Senator Comeau, debate adjourned.)
(The Senate adjourned until Thursday, May 27, 2010, at
(Response to question raised by Hon. James S. Cowan on
March 18, 2010)
(See p. 580.)
Attachment 1: List of Projects
Requested for the Renewable Energy
and Clean Energy Demonstration Component of the Clean Energy Fund
PROJECTS EXPECTED TO RECEIVE $2.5—$5 MILLION
1. Biomass-based Urban Central Heating Demonstration
Lead proponent: SSQ, Société immobilière Inc.
Strategic Area: Buildings/Community Energy
Location: Québec, Québec
Purpose: La Cité Verte is an innovative real
estate project, which combines various initiatives related to sustainable
development, such as renewable energy utilization, energy efficient design,
the management of water consumption, energy and waste management. The
funding will support the installation of a biomass and wood-based district
heating system. This project combines many technologies and partners.
2. Utility-scale Electricity Storage Demonstration
using New and Re-purposed Lithium Ion Automotive Batteries
Lead proponent: CEATI International Inc.
Strategic Area: Electricity Storage
Location: Toronto and Cornwall, Ontario, and
Purpose: This project will address electricity
storage for renewable and high-density urban applications. The project will
demonstrate utility-scale electricity storage systems using new and
re-purposed automotive batteries. This concept will reduce cost for electric
vehicle batteries providing a future market to meet urban electricity demand
using automotive batteries.
3. Energy Management Business Intelligence Platform
Development and Demonstration
Lead proponent: Power Measurement Ltd.
Strategic Area: Smart Grid
Location: Commercial buildings in Calgary,
Alberta, Ontario, and BCIT in Burnaby, British Columbia
Purpose: This project will develop and
demonstrate smart grid technology, voluntary load curtailment and peak
shaving in a commercial building setting. Most projects of this type to date
have focused on residences. This technology will also enable tenants to
voluntarily reduce their demand based on real-time price signals.
4. Wind and Storage Demonstration in a First Nations
Lead proponent: Cowessess First Nation
Strategic Area: Wind/Storage
Location: Cowessess, Saskatchewan
Purpose: This project aims to demonstrate a
combined wind and storage energy system in a First Nation community. The
successful demonstration would prove this system as a model for other First
Nation's communities across Canada.
5. Bioenergy Optimization Program Demonstration
Lead proponent: Manitoba Hydro
Strategic Area: Bioenergy
Location: Five locations in Manitoba
Purpose: This project is comprised of five
different bioenergy systems at five different project sites. The project
demonstrates collaboration between utility companies and customers. It is
anticipated that the project will help to remove the perceived barrier of
technical and operational risk and will promote the wide-scale adoption of
bioenergy systems in Canada.
6. Offshore Wave Energy Demonstration
Lead proponent: SyncWave Systems Inc.
Strategic Area: Marine/Hydro
Location: Offshore Central Vancouver Island
near Tofino, British Columbia
Purpose: This project will demonstrate the
performance, operations and life cycle of a pre-commercial 100-kW wave
energy device in ocean conditions typical of British Columbia's open coast.
Canada has potentially significant wave energy resources, and it is
important for Canada to participate in demonstrations to further the
technology, understanding of ocean conditions and the regulatory
7. Demonstration of Waste-heat Recovery at Compressor
Lead proponent: Great Northern Power Corp.
Strategic Area: Hybrid Systems/Northern
Location: Compressor Stations in Alberta and
Purpose: This project plans to demonstrate
waste-heat recovery systems on a variety of stationary, reciprocating
engines greater than 1,000 hp. A successful demonstration has the
opportunity to lead to commercialization and wide-scale adoption of this
technology at compressor stations and other industrial applications across
8. Residential Implementation of Solar-thermal Heating
Lead proponent: Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc.
Strategic Area: Buildings/Solar
Location: Greater Toronto Area, Ontario
Purpose: The project will use different types
of solar collectors and storage technologies to verify and compare their
costs, performance and technical qualities. The project has the ability to
validate the technology and provide integrated systems at a lower cost to
consumers, thereby allowing greater market penetration.
9. Food and Yard Waste Anaerobic Digestion to
Lead proponent: Harvest Power Canada Ltd.
Strategic Area: Bioenergy
Location: Fraser Richmond Soil and Fibre,
Purpose: This project would be Canada's first
high-efficiency system for producing up to one MW of renewable energy from
food and yard waste. If successful, this technology has the potential to be
rapidly deployed across Canada as a mechanism to divert food wastes from
landfills and produce renewable energy.
PROJECTS EXPECTED TO RECEIVE $5—$10 MILLION
10. Demonstration of Heat and Power from Biomass
Lead proponent: Nexterra Systems Corp.
Strategic Area: Bioenergy
Location: UBC Point Grey Campus, Vancouver,
Purpose: This project will showcase biomass
gasification integrated with an internal combustion engine generator in a
novel, small-scale combined heat and power demonstration suited for on-site
applications at public institutions, industrial facilities, and northern and
remote Canadian communities. The project has the potential to overcome the
difficulty of gas clean up and opens up the possibility of significant
replication in Canada and overseas.
11. Energy Storage and Demand Response for
Lead proponent: BC Hydro
Strategic Area: Smart Grid/Electricity Storage
Location: Golden and Field, British Columbia
Purpose: This project demonstrates the
integration of energy storage as a mechanism for reducing electricity demand
at near-peak capacity substations. This type of solution has the ability to
be used in other remote communities where the grid reliability is low and
the cost of the transmission line upgrade is uneconomical.
12. Interactive Smart Zone Demonstration in Québec
Lead proponent: Hydro-Québec — Institut de
Strategic Area: Smart Grid
Location: Boucherville, Québec
Purpose: This project will ensure the
installation of an interactive network area in a neighbourhood of
Boucherville. This will demonstrate different technologies and concepts
related to modernization of electrical networks, in particular the
deployment of infrastructure for charging electric and hybrid rechargeable
13. Biomass and Coal Co-firing Demonstration in Coal
Lead proponent: Nova Scotia Power
Strategic Area: Bioenergy
Location: Coal Plants in Nova Scotia
Purpose: This demonstration project aims to
determine optimum fuel blends for the potential co-firing of wood- based
biomass with coal as a mechanism to partially replace fossil fuels with
sustainable energy sources in coal plants. If successful, there is potential
for wide-scale implementation across Canada and the United States.
PROJECTS EXPECTED TO RECEIVE $10—$20 MILLION
14. Tidal Energy Project in the Bay of Fundy
Lead proponent: Fundy Ocean Research Centre for
Strategic Area: Marine/Hydro
Location: Minas Passage, Bay of Fundy, Nova
Purpose: The project plans to validate the
performance and resilience of tidal current turbines in the Minas Passage of
the Bay of Fundy. This will be the first Canadian deployment of
commercial-scale tidal turbines. The project has the potential to advance
tidal energy in Canada, provide economic impacts in the Atlantic region and
place Canada as a world leader in marine renewable energy.
15. Northern Application of a Geothermal District
Lead proponent: City of Yellowknife
Strategic Area: Northern/Community Energy
Location: Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
Purpose: The City of Yellowknife is in advanced
stages of project engineering and plans to install a district heating system
by extracting heat from the abandoned Con Mine. This project has the
potential to provide a cost effective and a more environmentally friendly
alternative to fossil fuel based heat. The information that will come out of
this project on the effect of extracting ground-source heat from an existing
aquifer and its associated long-term heat capacity will help determine if
this technology could be replicated in other northern communities.
16. Electricity Load Control Demonstration
Lead proponent: New Brunswick Power Corporation
Strategic Area: Smart Grid
Location: Four maritime communities in New
Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island
Purpose: Traditionally, to accommodate the
intermittent nature of wind power, other generation sources are required to
follow the net effect of variation in load and wind power production. This
project focuses on the integration between smart grid technologies, customer
loads and intermittent renewables in a region with potentially significant
renewable electricity capacity. It will allow utilities to better understand
how customers will react to smart grid and which loads can be controlled by
real-time demand balancing in up to 750 buildings, thereby assisting these
utilities to capitalize on renewable resources in the region.
17. A 9-MW Wind Technology Research and Development
Lead proponent: Wind Energy Institute of Canada
Strategic Area: Wind/Storage
Location: Prince Edward Island
Purpose: The nine-MW wind park proposed will be
the first wind/storage combination in Prince Edward Island. The project's
research base has a strong focus on information dissemination and would be a
good base for supporting additional wind research.
18. Demonstration of Fish-friendly and VLH Turbines in
Existing Low-head Water-control Dams
Lead proponent: Eco Joule Inc.
Strategic Area: Marine/Hydro
Location: Mississippi River System, Ontario
Purpose: This project will demonstrate three
in-stream hydro technologies including fish-friendly, low-head hydro
turbines along an existing water-controlled river system in Ontario. It has
the opportunity to prove the technology concept, demonstrate cooperation
with a conservation organization, and reduce the barriers to
19. Community-based Geothermal Demonstration in a
Remote First Nations Community
Lead proponent: Borealis GeoPower Inc./Aco Dene Koe
Strategic Area: Hybrid Systems/Northern
Location: Fort Liard, Northwest Territories
Purpose: This project will demonstrate how a
northern community can use a geothermal resource to generate electricity and
heat, thereby reducing the entire community's fossil fuel demand and energy
costs. A successful demonstration will provide a model for other northern
and First Nations communities with available geothermal resources.