Download as PDF

Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

3rd Session, 40th Parliament,
Volume 147, Issue 30

Wednesday, May 26, 2010
The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, Speaker


THE SENATE

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Senate met at 1:30 p.m., the Speaker in the chair.

Prayers.

Afghanistan—Fallen Soldiers

Silent Tribute

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 Afghanistan.

Honourable senators then stood in silent tribute.

[Translation]

Business of the Senate

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.

[English]

New Senator

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 Senate:

Introduction

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. Germain, P.C.

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 declaration.


(1340)

SENATORS' STATEMENTS

New Senator

Congratulations on Appointment

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 Hamilton SPCA.

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.

[Translation]

Maternal Health

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 demonstrated.

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.

[English]

Asian Heritage Month

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.

(1350)

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 vote.

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.

Canadian Skills Competition

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 and tomorrow.

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.

[Translation]

The Honourable Jacques Demers

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 playoffs.

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.

This is the dawn of a new day.

[English]

Hunger Awareness Day

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.

(1400)

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.


[Translation]

ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

Commissioner of Official Languages

2009-10 Annual Report Tabled

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.

Regulation of Securities

Proposed Legislation Tabled

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.

The Estimates, 2010-11

Supplementary Estimates (A) Tabled

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.

[English]

Study on Issues Relating to Federal Government's Current and Evolving Policy Framework for Managing Fisheries and Oceans

Fourth Report of Fisheries and Oceans Committee Tabled

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.)

[Translation]

The Estimates, 2010-11

Notice of Motion to Authorize National Finance Committee to Study Supplementary Estimates (A)

Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I give notice that, at the next sitting of the Senate, I will move:

That the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance be authorized to examine and report upon the expenditures set out in the Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2011.

Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Bill

First Reading

Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government) presented Bill S-11, An Act respecting the safety of drinking water on first nation lands.

(Bill read first time.)

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, when shall this bill be read the second time?

(On motion of Senator Comeau, bill placed on the Orders of the Day for second reading two days hence.)

[English]

Anti-terrorism

Notice of Motion to Authorize Special Committee to Study Matters Relating to Anti-terrorism

Hon. Hugh Segal: Honourable senators, I give notice that, at the next sitting of the Senate, I will move:

That the Special Senate Committee on Anti-terrorism be authorized to examine and report on matters relating to anti-terrorism.


[Translation]

QUESTION PERIOD

Official Languages

Annual Report of Official Languages Commissioner

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 service.

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 laissez-faire?

[English]

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 week.

[Translation]

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 responsibilities?

[English]

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.

(1410)

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.

[Translation]

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 departments?

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.

[English]

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.

[Translation]

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?

[English]

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 serve.

[Translation]

Finance

Church of Scientology

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?

(1420)

[English]

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 nature.

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 manipulation?

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.

Environment

Climate Change Policy

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 concerns.

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 thought about.

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?

(1430)

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.

[Translation]

Delayed Answers to Oral Questions

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.

Natural Resources

Renewable and Alternative Energy

(Response to question raised by Hon. James S. Cowan on March 18, 2010)

The list of projects requested for the Renewable Energy and Clean Energy Demonstration component of the Clean Energy Fund is provided under Attachment 1.

The projects are grouped by range of funding. Specific funding levels cannot be released until contribution agreements are finalized with each proponent.

(The text of Attachment 1 appears in the Appendix, p. 594.)

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:

Nechi Institute

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.


ORDERS OF THE DAY

Business of the Senate

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.

[English]

Criminal Code

Bill to Amend—Second Reading

On the Order:

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 prorogued.

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 bill proposes.

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 offences.

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?

(Motion agreed to and bill read second time.)

Referred to Committee

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, when shall this bill be read the third time?

(On motion of Senator Wallace, bill referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs.)

[Translation]

Legal and Constitutional Affairs

Notice of Motion to Authorize Committee to Refer Documents from Study on Bill C-26 During Second Session of Fortieth Parliament to Current Study on Bill S-9

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.

[English]

Canada-Russia Friendship Day Bill

Second Reading—Debate Adjourned

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 about Russia.

(1440)

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 engage.

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 mainstream.

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 factbook:

. . . 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 highways.

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 are everywhere.

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 in Pskov.

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.

(1450)

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 dispute.

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 and paved.

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.

(1500)

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 cathedral.

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 Volga boat.

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 Corporation.

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 countries.

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 Russia.

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 Russia.

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 observe.

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 investment.

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.

(1510)

Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.

(On motion of Senator Segal, debate adjourned.)

Study on User Fees Proposal

Health Canada's Proposal to Parliament for User Fees and Service Standards for Human Drugs and Medical Devices Programs—Fourth Report of Social Affairs, Science and Technology Committee—Adopted

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, 2010.

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 devices.

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 Canadians.

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.

(1520)

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?

(Motion agreed to and report adopted.)

Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament

Second Report of Committee—Debate Continued

On the Order:

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 Speaker.

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.

Motion in Amendment

Hon. Sharon Carstairs: Honourable senators, therefore, I move:

That this report be not now adopted but that it be referred back to the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament for further study and debate.

(On motion of Senator Cools, debate adjourned.)

(1530)

2010 Olympic Winter Games

Inquiry—Debate Continued

On the Order:

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 years.

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 obesity.

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 fitness.

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 happier employee.

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 overwhelming problem.

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.

(1540)

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.

(On motion of Senator Munson, debate adjourned.)

Business of the Senate

Point of Order

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 the debate.

Then Senator Tardif rose after I rose and moved the adjournment again.

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 recommendations.

The Hon. the Speaker: The chair will be pleased to undertake that. I thank honourable senators.

The Senate

Motion to Televise Proceedings—Motion in Amendment Withdrawn

On the Order:

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 Government): Yes.

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 interesting concept?

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 little time.

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.)

[Translation]

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.

Referred 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 of Parliament.

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.

[English]

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.

(1550)

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 Eaton:

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.)

[Translation]

The Acadian Flag

Inquiry—Debate Continued

On the Order:

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 people together.

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 several.

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 43.

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 1:30 p.m.)


APPENDIX

Natural Resources

Renewable and Alternative Energy

(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 Systems

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 Manitoba

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 Community

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 environment.

7. Demonstration of Waste-heat Recovery at Compressor Stations

Lead proponent: Great Northern Power Corp.

Strategic Area: Hybrid Systems/Northern

Location: Compressor Stations in Alberta and British Columbia

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 Canada.

8. Residential Implementation of Solar-thermal Heating Systems

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 Electricity Demonstration

Lead proponent: Harvest Power Canada Ltd.

Strategic Area: Bioenergy

Location: Fraser Richmond Soil and Fibre, British Columbia

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 Gasification

Lead proponent: Nexterra Systems Corp.

Strategic Area: Bioenergy

Location: UBC Point Grey Campus, Vancouver, British Columbia

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 Near-capacity Substation

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 recherche

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 vehicles.

13. Biomass and Coal Co-firing Demonstration in Coal Plants

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 Energy (FORCE)

Strategic Area: Marine/Hydro

Location: Minas Passage, Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia

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 Heating System

Lead proponent: City of Yellowknife

Strategic Area: Northern/Community Energy System

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 Park

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 commercialization.

19. Community-based Geothermal Demonstration in a Remote First Nations Community

Lead proponent: Borealis GeoPower Inc./Aco Dene Koe First Nation

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.