Debates of the Senate (Hansard)
1st Session, 41st Parliament,
Volume 148, Issue 79
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, Speaker
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
The Senate met at 2 p.m., the Speaker in the chair.
Hon. Joseph A. Day: Honourable senators, I rise today to discuss the
importance of intellectual property in innovation and world trade.
Honourable senators will be aware that one of Budget 2012's main focuses is
on strengthening innovation in Canada. Typically, we would tend to think of
intellectual property in terms of physical possessions like our house or our
automobile. However, non-tangible intellectual property is also a very important
property right, especially in a world of growing international trade. It is,
therefore, more than a coincidence that the World Trade Organization and the
World Intellectual Property Organization are both located in Geneva.
The theme of this year's World Intellectual Property Day is the celebration
of visionary innovators. The World Intellectual Property Organization describes
these individuals as those whose "ingenuity and artistry have broken molds,
opened new horizons and made a lasting impact." Notable Canadians who fit the
description would be Sir Alexander Graham Bell, Mr. Bombardier and, more
recently, Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, founders of Research In Motion and
creators of the BlackBerry.
Intellectual property, honourable senators, encompasses patents, which deal
with how something works, and trademarks, which deal with distinguishing a
product such as McCain Foods or the Irving services. Copyright is an original
work of art, literacy or music, and design relates to what a physical product
Honourable senators will become much more familiar with intellectual property
when the anticipated copyright bill, Bill C-11, reaches this place. The bill is
meant to modernize Canada's copyright laws, its aim being to clarify and set
guidelines for issues like artists' rights, infringement of copyright and moral
rights and issues surrounding the reproduction of copyrighted material.
This evening, honourable senators, between five and seven o'clock in room
256S, we will be hosting members of the Intellectual Property Institute of
Canada, otherwise known as IPIC. The IPIC was founded in 1926 and is currently
comprised of 1,800 members. As honourable senators may recall, when I spoke on
this issue two years ago in this place, the membership was 1,300. Honourable
senators will understand, therefore, that as intellectual property issues grow,
so does membership.
This evening, attending this particular meeting will be young people who have
won science fairs in their high schools, and they will be putting their displays
on. They are very excited about being in the Senate to display their science
projects. Members of the Intellectual Property Institute will also be there. I
do hope honourable senators will take the time to drop by, congratulate them and
meet with some of our intellectual property practitioners. That is from five
until seven o'clock this evening in Room 256 next door.
Hon. Carolyn Stewart Olsen: Honourable senators, last Saturday I
presented my first Diamond Jubilee Medal. For some honourable senators who are
old hands at this, it probably comes easily. For me, it was a rite of passage.
The very essence of our role as senators seems embodied in this small ceremony,
serving the people of our region with a bit of ceremony, a great deal of
humility and an even greater appreciation of those who serve.
I gave my first medal to Ms. Lilian Stright. Ms. Stright is 107 years old.
She is one of the people I serve. She has lived in New Brunswick for 101 years
of her life, and she taught school on our Cape for many years until she retired.
She tells stories of her one-room schoolhouses and her students with a great
deal of humour.
In listening, you have a small sense of the dedication with which she did her
job. She worked for years to provide an education to the children of small
communities along our Northumberland shore. Cape Tormentine, Cape Spear, Murray
Corner, Bayfield and Port Elgin are all richer because she chose to serve all
her working years as a teacher.
She now lives in a nursing care facility and has lost much of her sight, but
she walked with some assistance into the room to meet me. Flanked by her family
and friends, she accepted her medal with great appreciation.
She showed me that, even though I am not personally a medal and ceremony
person, she and many Canadians are honoured by being the recipients of these
awards. She helped teach me my duty. She has shown me that these ceremonies are
appreciated and that I am lucky to be able to do this.
I try my best to give these medals to those who, perhaps, have not received
recognition before. I want to honour the people who have given of themselves to
their communities with no thought of recognition. You know these people,
honourable senators. They are the ones who have always been there when they are
needed. They bring food and comfort when there is a death or an illness. They
drive the sick to the hospital for their treatments. They spend hours coaching
our youth, baking for local bake sales and collecting money for local youth
charities. You all know who I mean. They are the backbone of our communities.
They know how things got done, they know why they got done and, probably, they
were instrumental in the change.
Without these community-minded people, we would be so much poorer in spirit.
They keep our communities alive. They are the keepers of our history. They are
the ones deserving recognition and I am honoured to be the vehicle honouring
Hon. Nicole Eaton: Honourable senators, before a parliamentarian takes
their seat, the member or senator must make a solemn affirmation of allegiance
or loyalty to Canada. In other words, we must all make a pledge to conduct
ourselves in the best interests of this country. Breaking the oath of allegiance
is a serious offence.
Parliamentarians come together in both Houses of Parliament to debate, to
innovate and to act in the best interests of Canada and all Canadians. That
includes healthy criticism, together with suggestions for viable solutions and
directions. In fact, it is our obligation and responsibility.
However, the Leader of Her Majesty's Official Opposition continually
demonstrates a disturbing willingness to put the interests of a narrow band of
activists ahead of the interests of ordinary Canadians. From calls for a
moratorium on oil sands development to attempts at pitting region against
region, Thomas Mulcair and the NDP have become a major threat to Canada's
economy, to our job creation and to our unity.
The very public, very anti-jobs and anti-Canadian junket to Washington by NDP
MPs Megan Leslie and Claude Gravelle to protest against our energy resources
crossed the line. The NDP is all too willing to abandon Canada's interests and
sacrifices — over 700,000 jobs across Canada, as well as some $65 billion in
projected revenues. The NDP is clearly putting the good of special interests
groups ahead of that of their own members and their country. Otherwise, how
would one justify this treasonous, contemptuous display by Leslie and Gravelle,
or the latest salvo from the leader of the NDP decrying the oil sands as the
root of all evil, "Canada's Dutch disease"? Clearly, this is the continuation of
a 700-word rant in the March 2012 issue of Policy Options where he
referred to tar sands and dirty oil and offers up a cap-and-trade solution.
Why is the NDP's answer to everything to kill it with taxes? One can only
conclude that the NDP oppose creating jobs and are attacking Canada with
reckless abandon and alarming regularity. After all, the oil sands hold the
potential of billions of dollars of revenues that could be used to enhance
social programs at all levels of government — municipal, provincial and federal.
Is this not the demographic that precipitated the birth of an ideology, the
principle to shelter the blue-collar worker from unfairness and to protect the
union member rather than the union boss? Yet this new team in Ottawa is doing
everything it can to kill the very lifeline of their unionized comrades. They
are betraying their supporters and their country, a dangerous trend.
There is a fundamental ethos here that needs exposing. This persistent,
unhealthy, anti-Canadian rhetoric is very damaging. It undermines our reputation
and the respect with which we are held internationally.
Honourable senators, how often do foreign legislators come here with the sole
purpose of denigrating their government, harming their economy and devaluing
their position internationally? My guess is about as often as we see a blue
At least we can count on one thing: Our government will continue to promote
Canada and the oil sands as a stable, secure and ethical source of energy in the
Hon. Nancy Greene Raine: Honourable senators, I rise today to talk
about another iconic Canadian product. No, I will not talk about maple syrup,
although I would like to thank all of you for passing my motion last Thursday.
Today my subject is Cheezies. First, I have to tell you that every week I look
forward to getting a bag of Cheezies from the vending machine at the Kamloops
airport to snack on as I drive home. I always felt a bit guilty indulging
surreptitiously in my favourite salty snack.
It was with interest that I read recently that the inventor of Cheezies, Mr.
Jim Marker, had passed away in Belleville at the age of 90. I was fascinated to
learn of the development of Cheezies by a young Iowa farmer who built an
extruder to mould corn grain into porous sticks to feed his cattle year round.
Chicago confectioner W. T. Hawkins heard about the unusual invention and sent
his son to check it out. As they were one of the largest snack food companies in
North America, producing and marketing everything from potato chips to popcorn,
they recognized the potential of the new process. Soon Mr. Marker left the farm
to work for Hawkins on the new product, now fried in vegetable oil and coated
with cheddar cheese. It was named "Cheezies" and sold in the distinctive red and
Shortly after, Mr. Marker was sent to Ontario to open a branch plant in the
small town of Tweed, where land was less expensive than in the city and where
the small town suited Mr. Marker's rural upbringing. Within a few years of
opening their Canadian operations, the American operation of W.T. Hawkins
Confections went bankrupt and Mr. Hawkins and his son moved to join the Canadian
operation. In the mid 1950s, after a fire at the plant in Tweed, the company
built a new plant in Belleville, where they have stayed ever since, with a staff
of fewer than 100, many of whom have been with the company for decades.
Mr. Marker was vice-president of Hawkins Confectionery, involved in
everything from purchasing the ingredients to getting down on the factory floor
and maintaining the machines. He never married, telling people that he was
married to the company. He was a wonderful mentor to young workers. In the words
of one of them:
As a student, you were almost afraid of him. . . . But once he saw you
were hard-working, he would be patient and teach you.
That student is now the vice-president of finance for the company, I believe.
Mr. Marker was also very active in the community, serving as president of the
Rotary Club in the 1960s and staying involved for many years. When he passed
away in his home in Belleville at the age of 90 two weeks ago, he left behind a
real legacy. In paying tribute, Kent Hawkins, grandson of the founder and now
president of the company, had this to say:
The Cheezie has held up over all these years. . . . Jim used to say,
"It's the best snack food that's ever been created."
I salute this Canadian icon.
Hon. Claude Carignan (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable
senators, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the Annual
Report pursuant to the Agreement concerning Annual Reports on Human Rights and
Free Trade between Canada and the Republic of Colombia.
Hon. Maria Chaput, Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Official
Languages, presented the following report:
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
The Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages has the honour to
Your Committee, which was authorized by the Senate on Wednesday, October
5, 2011 to examine and to report on the use of the Internet, new media and
social media and the respect for Canadians' language rights, respectfully
requests funds for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013, and requests, for
the purpose of such study, that it be empowered to engage the services of
such counsel, technical, clerical and other personnel as may be necessary.
Pursuant to Chapter 3:06, section 2(1)(c) of the Senate Administrative
Rules, the budget submitted to the Standing Committee on Internal Economy,
Budgets and Administration and the report thereon of that committee are
appended to this report.
Chair of the Committee
(For text of budget, see today's Journals of the Senate, Appendix,
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, when shall this report be
taken into consideration?
(On motion of Senator Chaput, report placed on the Orders of the Day for
consideration at the next sitting of the Senate.)
Hon. James S. Cowan (Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators,
my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. This government
likes to claim that it is tough on crime. However, it was recently brought to my
attention by the Canadian Police Association that the government has decided not
to renew funding for the Police Officers Recruitment Fund. This fund was created
in 2008 by this government, not by the previous government, and had the goal of
supporting provinces and territories in "recruiting additional front-line police
Parliament, as we all know, recently passed the Safe Streets and Communities
Act, and I am sure the leader would agree that the best way to keep our streets
and communities safe is to put more front-line officers on the street. Since
this government claims to be tough on crime and styles itself as the law and
order government, will the government support provincial and municipal
governments and law enforcement agencies by renewing the funding for the Police
Officers Recruitment Fund which is set to expire next year?
Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators,
I do not have the information that the honourable senator speaks of before me,
but obviously the government embarked upon many programs to meet an immediate
need, and once that need is met, a program ceases to exist.
Since I can only imagine that this is the case in this instance, I will take
the honourable senator's question as notice in order to seek clarification.
Senator Cowan: I appreciate that. I would also appreciate if the
leader would find out how many police officers have been recruited pursuant to
that plan, because I have heard different numbers and would be grateful for the
Senator LeBreton: I would be most happy to add that additional
Hon. Céline Hervieux-Payette: Honourable senators, my question is for
the Leader of the Government in the Senate. You have certainly heard the recent
news of JPMorgan posting over $2 billion in losses in two weeks after
speculating on credit derivatives.
After that debacle, U.S. President Barack Obama said that this incident only
underscores why it was so important to reform the rules that apply to Wall
Street and all financial sectors, and why those rules need to be fully enforced,
not just on an ad hoc basis.
A few weeks ago, I asked a question about the fact that Canadian banks had
received secret loans totalling billions of dollars in order to prevent some of
them from going bankrupt at the beginning of the crisis in 2008.
When will the Prime Minister work with President Obama — for once, I believe
that we, on this side, agree that they should work together — in order to
regulate the financial system and prohibit Canadian banks from making any
speculative investments, considering that the banks are funded for the most part
by Canadians' pension funds?
Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators,
as was the case in the past and is still the case, the situation with regard to
the banking system in the United States is quite different from the situation in
Canada. It would not be prudent for the Prime Minister to interfere with a
situation that is clearly the responsibility of the United States government.
The honourable senator did question me a few weeks ago about so-called secret
bank bailouts. I did point out, I believe, that despite the conspiracy theories
of left-wing think tanks like the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, there
was no secret bailout. The government took timely and effective action to
support lending and to Canadian households and businesses through the
Extraordinary Financing Framework. This was made clear to Parliament. This was
publicly and repeatedly laid out for all to see. It was very clear from the
beginning that this is what it was intended for, including as recently as Budget
As the honourable senator knows, and this has been acknowledged by business,
this support ensured that the global credit crunch did not cripple Canada or the
Canadian economy, allowing credit to flow to Canadians and Canadian businesses
when they needed it most.
Honourable senators, it was very clear, despite the misinformation being
perpetrated by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, that there were no
bank bailouts in Canada.
Senator Hervieux-Payette: The honourable senator must remember that
some banks lost billions of dollars on sub-prime loans, and this money has never
been recovered. This comes mostly from pension funds. I speak with concern
because $40 billion were lost by the Quebec pension fund, the one that provides
us with a pension.
If things were so good, first, I question why the government wants to raise
the retirement age from 65 to 67. On one side we have experts saying that the
pension system is well funded. On the other side we are told that we have to
raise the age of retirement. We will see from your evidence what side you are
on, but there is a strong correlation between the stability of pension funds and
What measures has the Conservative government taken to ensure that our banks'
high-risk investments are separated from their regular operations so they can
continue to lend to Canadian entrepreneurs, who stimulate economic growth? As a
correlation, I must say that not long ago — and they just stopped this practice
— some European governments prevented their banks from operating with hedge
funds. In fact, this prevented them from going deeper into debt and lowered
Is the government prepared to look at this? I am sure the members of our
committee would be happy to look at this. If the serious problems in Greece have
a domino effect in Europe, will our banks be protected by investing their money
in the right places?
Senator LeBreton: Honourable senators, I think it is obvious that
Canada is not Greece, Canada is not Europe and Canada is not the United States.
As I mentioned a moment ago, there were provisions in Budget 2012 with regard to
the extraordinary financing framework.
The honourable senator mentioned Old Age Security and pensions. The
opposition parties — and I include the opposition here in the Senate as well —
are missing the point with regard to the government's plans for Old Age
Security. This is not about savings. These changes are about the future and will
put Old Age Security on a sustainable path so that it will be there when it is
needed by those Canadians in the future.
Of course, we all know, and it is clearly stated in the budget and in the
Budget Implementation Act, that these changes — which are changes that are
happening all over the world, by the way — do not come into effect until the
year 2023, which is 11 years from now, and are phased in over the following six
years, from 2023 to 2029.
Hon. Robert W. Peterson: Honourable senators, my question is for the
Leader of the Government in the Senate.
Last week, Canada was honoured with the rather dubious distinction of being
the first wealthy nation in the world to face a probe by the United Nations
Special Rapporteur on the right to food. We now rank alongside Cuba and Lebanon
as countries to have been inspected for inequality of access to food.
The rapporteur, Professor Olivier De Schutter, travelled across the country
visiting major urban centres like Toronto, as well as remote Aboriginal
communities in Manitoba and Alberta. The probe investigated Canada's food supply
chains and government policies and programs affecting Canada's legal obligation
to the right to food.
As a signatory to both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Canada has a
legal obligation to "respect, protect and fulfil the right to food." Despite
this legal obligation, Food Secure Canada estimates that almost 2.5 million
Canadians currently live without secure access to food. This has particularly
devastating effects on Canada's youth, as research shows that food banks and
food programs are drastically underperforming due to a lack of government
This is a serious issue. People's very lives are at risk. Would the Leader of
the Government in the Senate please explain to me why no one from the cabinet
accepted to meet with the UN official? Why did the government not take this
opportunity to assess some of the very serious problems facing communities at
risk instead of just dismissing the issue out of hand?
Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators,
the senator has clearly been misinformed. The government is helping specifically
First Nations communities to expand their economic opportunities and realize
their full potential through skills training and employment initiatives.
With regard to the UN Special Rapporteur, we are pleased that representatives
from the federal government met with Mr. Olivier De Schutter on May 7 to talk
about our significant investments in First Nations' access to healthy and
affordable food. Senator Peterson is quite mistaken when he says that we did not
take it upon ourselves to meet with this gentleman; we most certainly did.
Senator Peterson: Is the leader then saying that the rapporteur was
quite satisfied with the government's answer and that the 2.5 million Canadians
who live without access to secure food are satisfied as well?
Senator LeBreton: Honourable senators, I cannot answer for the UN
rapporteur; I can only answer for the government. As I just reported, the
government did meet with the gentleman and pointed out the significant
investments the Government of Canada has made — especially with regard to First
Nations, as that is the primary area of interest of this individual — and the
various programs we have embarked upon to ensure that they have access to
healthy and affordable food.
Hon. Mobina S.B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, my question is directed
to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. I asked this question last March,
and I ask it again: Every single year, 1 million children are exploited in the
global sex trade. Last month, a troubling article published in the Vancouver
Sun stated that Canadians are among those who travel across borders to
engage in commercial sex acts with children. More specifically, this article
profiled Cambodia, a country where one third of the population lives on less
than $1 a day. It stated that it is Canadian men who frequent brothels and rape
In 1996, Bill C-27, which dealt with child sex tourism, passed through both
houses. This bill made all sex crimes against children extraterritorial.
Unfortunately, in the 15 years that this law has been in effect, only five
people have been prosecuted.
I had earlier supplied my question to the leader's office, and I will ask it
again: What resources has the government invested to ensure that Bill C-27 is
Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators,
I appreciate the notice of the question. As the honourable senator correctly
stated, she did ask this question a month and a half ago, and I do not believe
we have provided a written response. I will look into that.
As the honourable senator knows, since she is a lawyer, prosecution of such
matters falls under provincial jurisdiction; and of course she would know that
I, as the Leader of the Government in the Senate, cannot comment on specific
matters before the courts or that may be at the moment the subject of police
Our criminal law allows for Canadian prosecution of Canadians who engage in
any prohibited sexual activity with children while abroad. Canada's sex tourism
law, to which the senator made reference, reflects international consensus that
those who sexually abuse children must be held accountable. Where the state in
which the transgression has taken place does not proceed with prosecuting these
individual Canadians, our own sex tourism provisions enable Canada to undertake
As the honourable senator knows, our efforts to protect children from sexual
exploitation extend far beyond our borders, and Canada has fully endorsed and
continues to support several international agreements on this issue, including
the G8 Strategy to Protect Children from Sexual Exploitation on the Internet.
With regard to the specific question about the amount of funds allocated to
this, I will ask that when we get around to providing the written response, that
will be included in it.
Senator Jaffer: I thank the leader and I appreciate her giving me a
I, of all people, know that prosecutions are provincial; however, the
honourable senator and I both know that the investigation has to happen in the
country where the offence is taking place, the investigation resources have to
be provided by the federal government, and enforcement people have to be
embedded in the foreign offices abroad.
In her search, could the leader please tell us specifically how many officers
are employed in areas that we know Canadian men — and women, too — are
frequenting so that we can find out what is happening?
I would also ask that the leader find out what investigative steps Canada is
taking to ensure that our men who travel outside of Canada to sexually exploit
children are brought to justice in the same way as if they had exploited a
little girl in Canada.
Senator LeBreton: I thank the honourable senator for the question and
for her ongoing interest in this very serious matter.
As she will know, at the May 2007 meeting of G8 Justice and Interior
Ministers, Canada reiterated its commitment to work with other G8 countries to
combat sexual exploitation, including sharing best practices related to the
investigation and prosecution of child sex tourism offences. I realize that this
extends far beyond G8 countries, although G8 countries do have a lot of
influence in effecting changes in these countries.
I will, of course, honourable senators, ask Senator Jaffer's specific
question about where these organizations are operational and what kind of
resources have been allocated to them to deal with, as she quite rightly stated,
a very serious and reprehensible crime.
Hon. Claude Carignan (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable
senators, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the answers
to the oral questions raised by Senator Tardif on April 26 and May 2, 2012,
concerning official language minority publications.
I also have the honour to present the answer to an oral question raised by
Senator Callbeck on April 24, 2012, concerning the future of commercial
fisheries in Canada.
Lastly, I have the honour to present the answers to the oral questions raised
by Senator Chaput on April 26 and May 2, 2012, concerning official language
(Response to questions raised by Hon. Maria Chaput and Hon. Claudette
Tardif on April 26 and May 2, 2012)
Introduction to the Canada Periodical Fund
The objective of the Canada Periodical Fund (CPF) is to ensure that
Canadians have access to diverse Canadian magazines and non-daily (or
community) newspapers, including official language minority publications.
In 2010-2011, the CPF replaced the former Publications Assistance Program
(PAP), which had subsidized postal costs, with a funding formula that
rewards the performance of periodicals at reaching readers. Since the new
program is not simply a rebate of postal costs, publishers now have the
flexibility to spend funds as they see fit.
Under the new formula, the entire annual budget of the Aid to Publishers
component is distributed to all eligible publications according to their
annual paid circulations. However, since one of the main policy principles
of the new program is to favour small and mid-sized publications, the
formula results in small publications receiving more funding per copy than
large publications and has a limit on the largest ones.
Treatment of official language minority publications
Official language minority publications form key parts of the
communications infrastructure of the communities they serve. In
consideration of their importance and specific needs, they benefit from
special eligibility requirements that improve their access to the CPF. These
- Need to sell a minimum of only 2,500 paid copies during the
financial year, instead of 5,000.
- Are exempt from the criterion of having sold 50% of their
- Are exempt from the minimum prices of $12 for a subscription and $1
per copy for a magazine and 50 cents per copy for a newspaper.
- Are exempt from providing a circulation report from a circulation
Similar eligibility conditions existed under the PAP.
The transition from the PAP to the CPF and the impact on official
language minority publications
Even though the CPF was launched in 2010-2011, the program's new funding
formula was not implemented until 2011-2012. The amounts received in
2010-2011 were the result of a one-time measure to ease the transition to
the CPF and are not representative of what should be expected in the future.
Under the CPF, almost all of the nearly one thousand recipients will see
changes to their funding levels compared to the PAP. Recognizing the degree
of the changes, a three- year transition plan was implemented in 2011-2012
to help publishers gradually adjust and plan accordingly. All industry
associations, including the Association de la presse francophone,
received full briefings on the new formula and the transition plan in August
2011. Furthermore, complete details about the formula and the transition
plan are published on the program's Website for anyone to see.
The CPF is a new program, having been operating for only two years and
the Aid to Publishers funding formula for only one year. We are monitoring
its performance and gathering feedback from clients and stakeholders,
including official language minority publications.
(Response to question raised by Hon. Catherine S. Callbeck on April 24,
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) received a significant amount of
feedback from stakeholders and Aboriginal groups over the course of the
national consultation which was conducted from January 12, 2012 to March 14,
2012. Information collected — both in writing and at face-to-face meetings —
is currently being reviewed and analysed. As in the past, stakeholder input
will be considered as DFO works to continually improve fisheries management
DFO has a long history of consulting and working with stakeholders and
Aboriginal groups. Indeed, it is important to note the department has
long-established formal consultative bodies, such as regional advisory
processes that meet on a regular basis, and these will remain the primary
tool for commercial fish harvesters to communicate their views to DFO.
The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans has met with hundreds of individuals
and groups over the past year to hear their views and to communicate the
department's priorities to them. Looking ahead, the Minister will continue
to regularly meet with stakeholders and provincial counterparts from all
On the Order:
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Di Nino, seconded
by the Honourable Senator Wallace, for the second reading of Bill C-26, An
Act to amend the Criminal Code (citizen's arrest and the defences of
property and persons).
Senator Tardif: Question!
Senator Carignan: Question!
The Hon. the Speaker: Are honourable senators ready for the question?
Some Hon. Senators: Yes.
The Hon. the Speaker: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to
adopt the motion?
Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.
Senator Tardif: On division.
(Motion agreed to and bill read second time, on division.)
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, when shall this bill be
read the third time?
(On motion of Senator Carignan, bill referred to the Standing Senate
Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs.)
On the Order:
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Boisvenu,
seconded by the Honourable Senator Braley, for the second reading of Bill
C-310, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (trafficking in persons).
Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, I rise today to speak
at second reading of Bill C-310, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (trafficking
Before I begin, I would like to thank MP Joy Smith for introducing this
private member's bill and drawing attention to this very important issue. I have
been working with Ms. Smith for several years now and have always admired her
commitment to issues of trafficking of persons, especially women and children.
Honourable senators, according to the United Nations Palermo Protocol, "human
trafficking" is defined as follows:
The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of
persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion,
of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position
of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving payments or benefits to
achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the
purpose of exploitation.
Honourable senators, 2.5 million people are in forced labour as a result of
being trafficked. The majority of the trafficking victims are between 18 and 24
years of age. Furthermore, 43 per cent of victims are used for forced commercial
exploitation; 98 per cent of those victims are women and girls. In 2006, for
every 800 people trafficked, only 1 person was convicted. Every year this trade
generates upwards of $12 billion.
Honourable senators, I am confident that regardless of our political
affiliations we can all come together and agree that the issue of human
trafficking is one that urgently demands our attention. Bill C-310 is an
important step toward combatting human trafficking.
Having worked on this issue for a number of years, I have heard countless
stories of Canadian men who have travelled abroad to countries such as Thailand,
Cambodia, Kenya and Romania where they have committed barbaric acts, sexually
exploited girls as young as four and have not been punished or held accountable
for their actions.
I have met girls in Mombasa, Kenya, who have been brought from Ethiopia and
Somalia by Canadian men to be trafficked to the Middle East. The girls were
promised a better life and were led to believe they were going to be working and
studying. Instead, they were subjected to an incredibly unfortunate fate and
were exploited and treated as slaves.
This is because, under the current law, a Canadian national who recruits,
transports, transfers, receives, holds and controls victims abroad does not fall
within Canadian jurisdiction and, therefore, cannot face charges on Canadian
soil. Bill C-310 acknowledges this injustice and helps to ensure that this is no
longer the case as it extends Canadian extraterritorial jurisdiction to the
offence of human trafficking.
There are three primary reasons why we must designate the trafficking of
persons as an extraterritorial offence. First, an extraterritorial human
trafficking offence would allow Canada to arrest Canadians who have left the
country to engage in human trafficking in an effort to avoid punishment. Second,
an extraterritorial trafficking offence would ensure justice in cases where the
offence was committed in a country without strong anti-human trafficking laws or
strong judicial systems. Finally, an extraterritorial human trafficking offence
would clearly demonstrate that Canada will not tolerate its own citizens
engaging in human trafficking, inside or outside of Canada.
By passing this piece of legislation, Canada will be joining countries like
the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia and
Cambodia, all of whom have already extended extraterritorial jurisdiction.
In terms of the law, the bill introduces three important changes to the
Criminal Code. First, Bill C-310 adds the current trafficking in persons
offences, namely, sections 279.01 and 279.011, to the list of offences, which,
if committed outside Canada by a Canadian or permanent resident, can be
prosecuted in Canada. Section 279.01 deals with trafficking in persons, while
section 279.011 deals specifically with trafficking in children; that is, minors
under the age of 18.
Second, after being amended in the House Committee on Justice and Human
Rights, Bill C-310 now includes two other sections of the Criminal Code. Dealing
with human trafficking could also result in criminal prosecution in Canada, even
if the acts are committed abroad. These are sections 279.02 and 279.03. Section
279.02 refers to cases in which a person receives a financial or other material
benefit knowing that it results from a human trafficking offence. Section 279.03
refers to cases in which a person conceals, removes, withholds or destroys any
travel document, such as a passport, that establishes another person's
Third, Bill C-310 will amend the definitions of "exploitation" and "human
trafficking" to include an interpretive tool for the courts when determining
whether or not a person suffers from human trafficking. This change will also
help the definition of human trafficking in the Criminal Code to complement the
definition used in the Palermo Protocol which I referred to earlier.
Honourable senators, for many years I have been working on the issue of human
trafficking. In 2005, I had the honour of sponsoring Bill C49, the very first
bill ever introduced in Parliament which dealt with human trafficking. While
preparing for this bill, I had the opportunity to visit Nigeria. When I was in
Abuja the High Commissioner, David Angel, arranged for me to visit a detention
facility where they were holding a group of 12 young Nigerian girls from Kaduna,
which is located in northern Nigeria. The youngest was nine years old and the
oldest was 13. These girls were about to be trafficked into Europe, but were
intercepted at the airport. They had been told that they were going to receive
an education and a better life. Their real destination was a brothel in Europe.
These brothels thrive on human trafficking, constantly bringing in young
girls to subject them to rape and exploitation. It was truly sad to look into
the innocent eyes of these young girls who were now left with nowhere to go but
a detention facility. Their lives were left in limbo as a result of the lies
they had been told. These girls were lucky, though. For every one of those
girls, thousands elude the notice of authorities.
Honourable senators, at the beginning of my speech, I shared some extremely
troubling statistics. The difficulty is that when we hear numbers in the
millions, we often have difficulty remembering that each one represents a
child's life. Who are these trafficking victims? They are the marginalized, the
disenfranchised and the vulnerable persons in our society. Let me share a story
of one of those victims with you.
I am proud to represent my province of British Columbia in the Senate. When
the Winter Olympics were taking place in my province, the other five senators
from my province were just as proud as I was. In fact, Senator Nancy Greene
Raine had a special role in the games, and we are all proud of her hard work. As
you know, whenever there is a big sports event, women are trafficked into a host
city as the market demand for sexual labourers increases. In fact, when Germany
hosted the World Cup of soccer, thousands of girls were trafficked into Germany.
The women's movement, with the help of Scandinavian governments, was able to
stop many of those girls being trafficked into Germany at the time of the games.
In British Columbia, we did not even want one girl trafficked into our
province. I am very pleased to report to you that the federal, provincial and
municipal authorities worked very hard with women's groups, and we did succeed
in implementing a zero- tolerance policy for people being trafficked into our
country. While we all witnessed the coming together of British Columbians,
Canadians and the international community, many evenings I would walk on the
east side of our city to see first-hand if we had succeeded in stopping women
from all over the world from being trafficked into our province.
Unfortunately, I was very sad to see that although we had made great
progress, trafficking was still a sad reality of the Olympic Winter Games. While
most of us, when thinking of trafficking, picture young girls and women from
exotic places like Thailand and Cambodia, we do not realize that many of the
women who are being trafficked live right in our backyard. Human trafficking is
not something that happens only in brothels in Thailand or slums in Africa.
Human trafficking is an issue that is prevalent in our country, in our provinces
and in our communities.
One night, during the Olympics, I met Grace, an Aboriginal girl. She was 12
years old. She had a very innocent, childlike face, so I approached her. She was
just a child. She told me she had been brought to Vancouver. She was not a
Canadian but was born not too far from our border. A Canadian boyfriend in the
United States had run out of the money, so she was helping him out. He told her
that she could make money fast at the Olympics and then return to him. Just
then, a car stopped for her, and she ran away before I could say another word.
Her childlike, innocent face will always stay with me. Whenever I walk in that
area, I look for her. That young girl was robbed of not only her innocence but
also her childhood.
That is what Bill C-310 wants to change — to stop Canadian people from
trafficking people, mostly women and children, around the world. The purpose of
this bill is to help girls like Grace, innocent children whose lives are
destroyed by traffickers. The reality is that this crime disproportionately
affects women and children. They are the ones who routinely face the greatest
legal, social, economic and political inequality around the world. Human
trafficking is very much a crime that exploits inequity and inequality.
Although the majority of human trafficking is closely linked with sexual
exploitation, we must remember that forced labour is also considered a form of
trafficking, one that is occurring in our own backyard. For example, in October
2010, the RCMP arrested 10 people who were running what was referred to as a
Hungarian slavery ring. The RCMP in Hamilton, Ontario, described the case as
The allegations were that the individuals were recruited from their home
in Hungary to work. These victims were generally poor and unemployed in
their home country. They were brought to Canada and promised steady work,
good pay and a better life. However they quickly became aware of their fate.
The traffickers controlled their victims, including who they spoke with,
where they lived and even what they ate. The victims typically lived in the
basement of their traffickers and were sometimes fed scraps and leftovers,
often only once a day. The victims further alleged that they were taken to
construction work sites daily and made to work long hours without pay.
Unfortunately, according to current Canadian law, a Canadian citizen or a
permanent resident could set up shop abroad in a country like Hungary and
traffic individuals onto Canadian soil with little threat of prosecution. Bill
C-310 would ensure that this is no longer the case.
Mr. Robert Hooper, the Chairperson for Walk with Me, when appearing before
the House of Commons Committee on Justice and Human Rights, shared with the
members a testimony offered by a police officer at a bail review regarding the
case of the Hungarian labour trafficking. He stated:
Well, place yourself in their shoes. They come to a country . . . they
don't speak the language. They've lost contact with their families. You have
an individual who has offered them a better life. They are grasping at that.
They are hopeful of getting a better life in this country. And someone
graciously pays their way here only to find out that they are here to be
used, that the money they are promised they will never receive. They come
from a country where the relationship with the police is not particularly
good; as a matter of fact they are very fearful of the police back in
Hungary. And they come here, not speaking the language, and all of a sudden
they are embroiled in this horrendous drama.
Honourable senators, this is but one of the many examples of the harsh
realities many individuals are facing right in our country. I am very sad to say
that, in my own province, many Mexican labourers face very harsh working
conditions. Every summer I spend time with them, talking to them to find out how
we can change their harsh conditions. When I go to the Fraser Valley and speak
to these migrant workers, I am very ashamed that in my province of British
Columbia, a wealthy province, workers are treated so shabbily. They work hard to
provide British Columbians with fresh fruit and vegetables, but they face such
harsh working conditions. Mexican-Canadians, such as Raúl Gatica, the
agriculture support centres and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union are
trying to stop these shameful practices. I believe this is also a form of
trafficking. This should never happen on our Canadian soil.
Although I strongly stand behind this bill in principle, I also believe that
this is a feel-good bill. I applaud Joy Smith for introducing this bill.
However, I would like to point out to all parliamentarians that unless proper
resources are allotted to the implementation and enforcement of this bill, it
will fail to serve its purpose.
As I mentioned earlier, a number of countries have strong anti- human
trafficking laws in place, and one of the countries that I have the greatest
respect for on this issue is the United States of America. Unlike Canadian laws,
American laws take into account the rights of victims. Even in the event that
Bill C-310 is passed, the victims of trafficking are neglected as our approach
is based around perpetrators. In contrast, American law states that trafficking
victims must be housed, provided with legal assistance and given proper medical
treatment. In addition, American law gives foreign trafficking victims the right
to stay lawfully in the country with protection. These are the kinds of
revisions we need in Canada to protect victims and not force them to be deported
and leave our great country.
Professor Amir Attaran, who appeared before the House Committee on Justice
and Human Rights, shed light on this issue when he gave the following example:
Put yourself in the shoes of those trafficked. When you're on your back
being sexually exploited, you are probably hoping for someone in uniform to
kick in the door and slip handcuffs on your trafficker. Now, imagine how
easily that can turn into a nightmare when it happens because the men and
women in uniform come into the room and slip handcuffs on you. Why? Because
the trafficker tore up your passport and you don't have a valid visa to be
Honourable senators, I believe that we can all agree that this legislation is
important as it will help address the very urgent and prevalent issue of human
trafficking. However, this legislation has to be worth more than the paper it is
written on. In order to really tackle this issue and to protect vulnerable men,
women and children in Canada and abroad against this grave offence, resources
must be put in place to ensure that these laws are properly enforced.
For example, every year over 1 million children are exploited in the global
sex trade. Unfortunately, every year many Canadians travel outside Canada and
engage in sex acts with children. In response to this, in 1996 Bill C-27, which
dealt with child sex tourism, passed both houses. The bill, which is similar to
the one before us today, made all sex crimes against children extraterritorial.
Although Bill C-27 received an abundance of support and was strong in principle,
it unfortunately has not been effective.
In 15 years, there have been five successful prosecutions in Canada of child
sex tourists, most of which were by happenstance and not because of our
investigative work. One of the five successful prosecutions was of Mr. Kenneth
Klassen, an art dealer from Burnaby, British Columbia. A mere 48 hours after
landing in Cambodia, Mr. Klassen had assaulted and videotaped almost a dozen
young girls, the youngest of whom was eight years old. After unsuccessfully
making the claim that Canada's sex tourism laws were unconstitutional, Mr.
Klassen pleaded guilty and received the same charge he would have received had
he assaulted and exploited a Canadian girl.
Unfortunately, there are many men like Mr. Klassen who are not held
accountable for their actions. The fact there have been only five prosecutions
in one and half decades demonstrates this. This is largely due to the fact that
proper resources have not been put in place to enforce the legislation.
Honourable senators, if we are really going to take a stand against the
trafficking of persons, we must put forward an honest effort to ensure that this
bill is accompanied by the necessary resources.
Another example of legislation that was honourable in principle but lacked
the resources to be effective was the one that criminalized female genital
mutilation. In 1995, in the Second Session of the Thirty-fifth Parliament, Bill
C-27 was passed making female genital mutilation a criminal act; therefore, in
Canada this practice is considered a criminal offence. Those who perform this
procedure can be charged under the Criminal Code of Canada. Unfortunately, over
the past 17 years not one conviction has been made, even though there is
evidence indicating that this practice still takes place in Canada.
We have learned from the child sex tourism legislation and the legislation
criminalizing female genital mutilation that we must be ready to put forward
resources to ensure that the legislation is enforced and that vulnerable men,
women and children are no longer robbed of their basic human rights and dignity.
Until this is done, this legislation will be no more than words on a piece of
Bill C-310 is about making sure that Canadians can be stopped from
trafficking children from around the world. It is a very good first step, and
now we need the will to provide the resources to really stop trafficking so that
12-year-old Grace's childhood will not be robbed from her by Canadian nationals.
I know that most honourable senators will support this bill. I encourage
honourable senators to support Senator Boisvenu, sponsor of the bill in the
Senate. This is the first step in stopping human trafficking. We must provide
the resources so that the victims can find refuge after they report the
The Hon. the Speaker: Are honourable senators ready for the question?
Some Hon. Senators: Question!
The Hon. the Speaker: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to
adopt the motion?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
(Motion agreed to and bill read second time.)
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, when shall this bill be
read the third time?
(On motion of Senator Carignan, bill referred to the Standing Senate
Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs.)
On the Order:
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Runciman,
seconded by the Honourable Senator Di Nino, for the second Reading of Bill
C-290, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (sports betting).
Hon. Norman E. Doyle: Honourable senators, I have a few words to say
on this bill. I want to put a few concerns on the record that I feel are valid.
Bill C-290 is sponsored by Mr. Joe Comartin of the NDP. The bill is an act to
amend the Criminal Code. Because it involves the gambling industry and amending
the Criminal Code, and because the gambling industry has an obvious social
impact on so many people generally, discussion is not only warranted but also
Whenever I see an amendment to the Criminal Code, I sit up and take notice
because amending the Criminal Code generally, but not always, can signal a
positive or a negative change to some sector of society.
The bill is known as, for want of a better term, "the sports betting bill."
This bill will legalize single event sports betting in Canada. To put it more
clearly, currently gamblers must bet on a minimum of three games simultaneously,
but with the passage of this bill, that law will be expanded to allow a person
to bet on just one event. I am a little concerned about that, and I want to
I have heard two or three speeches on this bill in the Senate and a couple
from the House of Commons as well. No one seems to have any great concern, on
the record at least, with respect to this bill, so it is not outside the realm
of the possible that my concerns are simply my concerns.
I say that these concerns are not on the record, but I hear a lot of concerns
off the record from people on the street or in the mall. I am sure honourable
senators are aware that a recently publicized Harris Decima research poll on
single event sports betting showed that 35 per cent were against it, 35 per cent
were for it and the rest had no opinion. It is on behalf of the 10 million or so
people in Canada who have some concerns about the bill that we should speak
Through the Criminal Code, the federal government will determine what forms
of gambling, if any, will be legal in Canada and what forms of gambling will not
be legal. The provinces, as honourable senators are very much aware, manage
those forms of gambling that the Criminal Code deems legal. Since 1969, and
correct me if I am wrong, the Criminal Code has been amended — so many different
times that I have lost track — to remove the restrictions on what forms of
gambling will be legal in Canada.
What has been the result of removing these barriers to easy gambling? There
has been quite a high increase in gambling. As a matter of fact, Statistics
Canada indicates that gross revenue from government-run gambling operations has
increased five-fold between 1992 and 2007. In 1992, gross revenues from gambling
were $2.7 billion, and today they are up around $14 billion.
Honourable senators, the question we could ask is, why should we be
concerned? After all, "freedom of choice" are the buzzwords today and, if I want
to gamble, then I can gamble. That is fine, but gambling revenues, we are told,
come at a very high cost to society. Research shows that government-sponsored
gambling has dangerous social consequences. I am really surprised that none of
the speakers I have heard on this so far have bothered to mention a few fairly
For instance, a study by the Boston College Law Review found that
children of lower-income families and people with compulsive personalities are
among those who suffer most. Why? In 1998, they started to do some work on this
and the Quebec coroner's office linked about 27 of the province's 1,200 suicides
to problem gambling. By 2004, that number had increased to 32 out of 1,200. A
similar trend in Ontario was then noticed. A report by the Ontario Chief Coroner
revealed that gambling-related suicides more than tripled between 1998 and 2007.
In addition, of course, many provinces do not have a formal reporting system
for gambling-related suicides, so these numbers would probably be a whole lot
higher if all gambling-related suicides were reported. People tend not to report
gambling-related suicides because of the obvious shame involved. I know
honourable senators will be very interested in this, because the Senate recently
adopted a national suicide prevention program.
In fact, the Canada Safety Council estimates that over 200 gambling-related
suicides take place in Canada every year. It could be more. It could be 300 or
400, because of the non- reporting. Can honourable senators imagine the trail of
broken homes, ruined lives, broken families and broken children because of the
number of suicides that occur every year that could have been prevented?
Honourable senators, if we are not concerned about that, we should probably
remember that gambling is a very inefficient way of raising revenues. For every
dollar of revenue that is collected by the various forms of government,
government has to spend fifty cents to collect that dollar. In other words,
governments across Canada are spending about $7 billion a year to collect $14
billion in gambling revenues. There was a $7-billion revenue stream — and not
$14-billion — that went into government coffers at the provincial and federal
One has to ask if raising $7 billion in revenue through traditional means
would not have been more effective and more efficient for the people of this
country. On top of that, the number of broken lives, broken homes, broken
families and broken children would have been so much less. Bringing in further
legislation to enhance gambling revenues through single-sport betting, in my
opinion at least, will only add to the adverse social costs of gambling.
One will often hear people talk about the employment that is created because
of casinos and gambling generally. However, gambling does not create good
employment. Data from Statistics Canada indicates that workers in the gambling
industry were more likely to be hired by the hour and at a lower hourly rate
than workers in non-gambling industries.
Honourable senators, I think we should call a spade a spade here. There is
nothing, in my opinion at least, about this NDP bill that is of any value to
society at all. In fact, it would hurt society. Its only aim is to add further
problems and further social consequences to an already bad situation.
The Lethbridge Herald recently made a good point and a good comparison
as to what we can actually compare to single-event betting. They said legalizing
yet another form of gambling is like an addict searching for a new vein. Robert
Williams, a research coordinator for the Gambling Research Institution and a
health sciences professor at the University of Lethbridge, said the idea may be
a boon for professional sports bettors, but not for Canada. He said the addict
analogy is a very good one here, because gambling revenues have stabilized or
gone down in many jurisdictions and that is why they are seeking any other
avenue for trying to raise money. He is talking about provinces which are very
often in deficit positions and trying to raise as much money as they can.
However, we have to ask if they should be raising these revenues on the backs of
the people who can least afford to pay.
I personally wonder about someone involved in betting on a specific event who
may have access to the player and encourage underperformance through bribery. Is
there a higher probability of fraud when one gets involved in single-sport
betting, as opposed to having people bet on a minimum of three? Obviously,
people will be more inclined to gamble now because of the so-called higher
probability of winning. That will certainly increase the temptation to gamble
and it will definitely increase the temptation for compulsive gamblers. Through
this bill, are we simply pushing the gambler closer to the edge and helping them
to find a vein?
I am also told that with single-sport betting debts will be larger — they
will be massive — and what kind of threat will that present to the compulsive
and unsuspecting, especially when it will be easier to bribe or commit fraud?
It might be of interest to honourable senators to know that in the United
States they have almost no single-event betting. Yes, they do in Nevada, but,
for the most part, they do not have single- event sport betting in the United
I am also told unofficially that Windsor would stand to earn $70 million in
the first year. What is wrong with that? I do not know, except to say the
government had a rule of a minimum of three games to discourage people from
betting too much and from going too far, and to discourage them from getting
involved in gambling at all. That change is going to encourage more people.
There will probably be more social problems and more broken lives, and do we
want that? Would the $7 billion the government spent to collect the $14 billion
not be better spent on families and people who have these addiction problems? I
think they would be.
Honourable senators, we have to ask ourselves one basic question about
additions and addictive people. The question that has been bouncing around with
me is this: Is it not strange that we are throwing people into jail today
because of the crimes they are committing through addictions when, at the same
time, we are passing laws to help feed those addictions and create more havoc in
society by the laws we pass? I think Mark Kelly would say, "Hey — that's my
Hon. Gerry St. Germain: Would the honourable senator accept a
Senator Doyle: Yes, of course.
Senator St. Germain: Honourable senators, I have to agree with Senator
Doyle. I was in law enforcement when gambling came in years ago, as many
honourable senators know. I saw what gambling did at that time. Now we have
gambling addicts, but the biggest addicts of all are the provincial governments.
They are the addicts; they are addicted to this money. I cannot quote verbatim,
but it has been said that when a society has to resort to gambling as a source
of revenue, the society is bankrupt.
I never agreed with this from the beginning. I have had family members that
have been victimized as a result of gambling addiction, and I will bet others
here have had the same experience. We live in this hypocritical world that we
will do this, that and the other thing, and yet many of those are contradictory,
as Senator Doyle so adeptly pointed out.
I would only hope that governments would come to their senses and realize the
damage they are doing. As Senator Doyle pointed out, the people gambling in
these places are those who can least afford to gamble. They are there hoping for
the dream that will never happen.
The honourable senator mentioned something about 200 suicides a year, and
there are possibly many more. Are there any statistics regarding what it was
prior to our getting into this provincial gambling addiction as a source of
revenue in our country? Was the honourable senator able to find any statistics
prior to this as to whether the severity of it has really increased with the
advent of legalized gambling?
Senator Doyle: Yes, it has increased substantially. The figures that I
have been using and doing some research on are the Statistics Canada estimates
that have come out over the last couple of years. They indicate that it is very
difficult to come up with an accurate figure for how many people commit suicide
each year because of gambling-related activities. Police really do not have any
accurate statistics on it. Statistics Canada feels that what has been reported
so far is grossly underestimated, given the fact that gambling
addictions-related suicides are not reported on a regular basis.
I am very well aware that the whole area related to the social consequences
of problem gambling is complex. I think it needs much more study. However, I
think Statistics Canada is doing whatever it can to try to come up with accurate
figures on this. It is very difficult to do. I do not believe police accurately
report the number of suicides that occur.
I think we have a real problem coming to us here. Over a period of 15 years,
we started —
The Hon. the Speaker: If the honourable senator is seeking an
additional five minutes, the house would be disposed to grant it.
Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.
Senator Doyle: Back in 1997, gambling revenues were around $2.7
billion. Now we are up to about $15 billion or $16 billion a year. It seems that
the number of suicides has increased with the amount of gambling that is
occurring, and that is only quite natural.
We need to have a very sober look at all this.
I think the question I asked was a valid one. We are throwing people in jail
every day because of their gambling addictions, the crimes they commit due to
gambling addictions, and so on. Yet we amend the Criminal Code almost on an
annual basis to make gambling much more accessible to people. The social
consequences of all this are very high.
I think we have to have a second look at this bill and try to determine
accurately whether we are doing society any favours by passing it.
Hon. Michael Duffy: Will the honourable senator take another question?
I know time is rushing on so I will try to be brief. Gambling is an insidious
sort of thing. Some remember when it first came down the pike. I believe Mayor
Jean Drapeau had a thing called the Voluntax, the voluntary tax. Some honourable
senators may remember that. "Oh well, we will give into that because it is an
easy thing," and then we saw the voracious provinces convince Prime Minister
Clark to turn it all over to them.
Something struck me through all those early years. I wonder if Senator Doyle
remembers this. I was surprised to see this private member's bill coming from
the New Democrats. Back in those days when Tommy Douglas was leader of the NDP
and its forefather the CCF, they had a policy. I remember Stanley Knowles in the
other place talking about this. They were opposed to gambling; they called it a
tax on the poor. The NDP drew a hard line when it came to all forms of gambling,
despite even the benign stuff that started off early on — "Oh, it does not hurt
anybody; it is a voluntary tax."
Could Senator Doyle enlighten us on when the NDP gave up their principles to
adopt this kind of a scheme?
Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.
Senator Doyle: I think that is a leading, loaded question. I dare not
criticize a particular party here in this relatively non-partisan chamber.
Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.
Senator Doyle: I think the federal government is having a really rough
time with the provinces. The provinces are continually coming to the federal
government, begging, cajoling and doing whatever they can to have the Criminal
Code amended to allow for easy gambling. Every time you see a province,
especially the larger ones, coming out in a deficit, they are always looking for
ways to increase revenues, and rightly so.
However, it is a sad thing to be looking to the federal government to amend
the Criminal Code to collect revenues on the backs of people who can least
afford to pay, people who wind up in broken homes. I saw one individual in
particular who gambled away his home. He had six beautiful children who were in
a social service housing unit a couple of months after he did it.
We cannot pass laws to protect every individual, but we can look at the trend
that is developing over the years, the amount of money that is coming in from
gambling, and the inefficient way that we have to collect gambling revenues.
Can honourable senators imagine the number of good social programs that could
be put in place to help families and addicted people get over this problem that
It is not an efficient way to use money or spend money. I think the
provincial governments and any governments that engage in this kind of thing
should be taken to task.
(On motion of Senator Carignan, debate adjourned.)
On the Order:
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Chaput, seconded
by the Honourable Senator Mercer, that the third report of the Standing
Senate Committee on Official Languages entitled: Air Canada's Obligations
under the Official Languages Act: Towards Substantive Equality,
tabled in the Senate on March 13, 2012, be adopted and that, pursuant to
rule 131(2), the Senate request a complete and detailed response from the
government, with the President of the Treasury Board being identified as the
minister responsible for responding to the report.
Hon. Andrée Champagne: Honourable senators, our committee recently
tabled a new report concerning Air Canada's obligations under the Official
Languages Act. Since the privatization of the company in 1988, we have all hoped
that substantive equality between the use of both French and English would
become a reality.
Our committee had studied the matter twice and had submitted a number of
recommendations. For his part, the Commissioner of Official Languages recently
conducted a comprehensive audit and some of his observations encouraged us to
continue the work. We wanted to determine how and to what extent the various
recommendations had resulted in improvements, and if progress had been made. We
wanted to know if real equality was still a long way off. We believed that it
was important to also ascertain the timelines established by Air Canada for
implementing our recommendations and those of the Commissioner. The opening
sentences of our report clearly explain the situation: "Undertaking to serve
clients in the language of their choice is one thing. Undertaking to provide
service of equal quality in both English and French is another."
It was obvious that a great deal of effort was made throughout the Vancouver
Olympic Games. Air Canada's Linguistic Action Plan for 2011-2014 states that
Linguistic Affairs is one of the few departments at Air Canada that has not
sustained budget cuts or a reduction in its programs over the years.
Our committee was pleased and duty bound to point this out in our report.
Steps are being taken in the right direction to ensure that the corporation
fulfils its obligations under the Official Languages Act.
The fact remains that a number of us have had very unpleasant experiences,
especially at different airport gates across the country, when unilingual
employees have made remarks that I would say were very impolite at times when we
dared ask a question in French. In places outside Quebec, naturally.
Problems arise primarily with regard to entities that are bound to Air Canada
by a service contract. Part IV of the act (communications with and services to
the public) is often ignored and dismissed. Has your departure gate changed at
the last minute? If you do not speak English, you had better hope you can find a
monitor and be able to read it.
I always think of my dear mother, a former school teacher who knew how to
read, of course, but who, having lived in small towns in rural Quebec her whole
life, never learned a word of English. She would have definitely missed her
Not all that long ago, I heard someone very openly expressing their fears
that one of the requirements of getting a job at a Canadian airline would be
bilingualism. This person added that many young people, and competent young
people at that, who are from Western Canada would not be able to work for an
airline if it landed occasionally in Montreal, Quebec City or Moncton. My
response was immediate and straightforward, "Would it make sense to hire a
unilingual Francophone to work on a route that stops in Ottawa, Toronto,
Winnipeg or Vancouver?"
Another sore point is, of course, the issue of employees' language of work.
If we are talking about carriers operating under the Air Canada banner, such as
Air Canada Express and others, located in unilingual regions, we need to
recognize that their employees have absolutely no rights when it comes to
language of work.
If, for any reason their work location were to change, for instance, if they
were transferred somewhere else in Canada, employees who once worked in a region
designated bilingual for language of work purposes, such as Montreal, could
easily find themselves in a unilingual English region like Toronto. Thus, they
would not have any rights in terms of language of work, because those companies
are not subject to Part V of the Act.
Part VI is also quite often overlooked in Air Canada's operations. Yet this
part of the Act requires corporations to ensure that English- and
French-speaking Canadians have equal opportunities for employment and
advancement. Those who have had the opportunity to learn both official languages
over the years and can function well in both will have a clear advantage in
terms of opportunities for advancement.
Honourable senators, in closing, I would like to strongly encourage you to
read this report from cover to cover. By so doing, you will see that, over the
years, our concerted efforts have paid off. Air Canada has made a great deal of
progress in improving the way it meets its obligations under the Official
Languages Act. The committee's task was to find out where the company should be
encouraged and congratulated, and also to make the company aware of the
complaints that Canadians are still filing with the Commissioner of Official
Languages. I believe that, together, we have succeeded, and I earnestly hope
that you will tell us so.
Thank you. I wish you all good reading of this report and I urge you to adopt
(Motion agreed to and report adopted.)
On the Order:
Resuming debate on the inquiry of the Honourable Senator Dallaire,
calling the attention of the Senate to Canada's continued lack of commitment
to the prevention and elimination of mass atrocity crimes, and further
calling on the Senate to follow the recommendation of the United Nations
Secretary General in making 2012 the year of prevention of mass atrocity
Hon. Hugh Segal: Honourable senators, I rise today to speak in broad
support of Senator Dallaire's inquiry relating to the prevention and elimination
of mass atrocities. Let me state at the outset that I support the main proposals
put forward by my good friend and also firmly believe that we can do even more.
As he outlined so eloquently, genocide, mass atrocities and ethnic cleansing
are with us and occurring too often, and it seems that the civilized countries
of the world treat each instance on a discrete case-by-case basis, having
protracted discussions on whether or not to intervene as deaths and atrocities
continue, stepping in only when the situation has become dire. Acting after
genocide begins is better than not acting at all. Preventing genocide to begin
with must be our goal as Canadians, as proponents of the responsibility to
protect and as compassionate, caring and decent human beings.
Our foreign service representatives in the field, our key political officers
and military attachés are very often on the front lines in countries where the
risk of atrocities are real. They are the ones reporting back regarding the
tensions and powder-keg risks. These people should get annual technical
briefings by experts like Dr. Frank Chalk of the Will to Intervene Project at
Concordia University and others who can update them on both the new risk areas
for genocide and the different approaches used to kill people because of their
ethnicity, religion, gender or political affiliation.
Full Canadian security establishment and electronic eye in the sky
intelligence must be used to identify where preparations, troop assemblies and
orders regarding ethnic cleansings emerge. Rape is a tool of war, and the
kidnapping of children to turn them into child soldiers and mass arrests and
executions are rarely done under the radar, at least not easily. We need to look
into new techniques for intelligence gathering that include working with the
local population, networking NGOs on the ground and having a human and
electronic early-warning genocide system in place.
As Senator Dallaire pointed out through his own experiences, because of the
UN's incapacity to act with any speed in a preventative or responsive way, this
produced the death of hundreds of thousands in Rwanda. We must learn from that
and look beyond the UN to other organizations, such as ASEAN, NATO, the
Commonwealth, the Economic Community of West African States, the AU and La
Francophonie, in order to build a new anti-genocide intelligence and response
network, a global anti-genocide network between these organizations. This should
be a Canadian diplomatic priority and national security responsibility.
Genocides abroad rarely fail to impact on diaspora groups here at home and on
our own national security.
Several recommendations from the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group report
that was tabled in October 2011 at Perth, Australia, relate to the subject, such
as having political observers on the ground well before elections who remain
after an election; the strengthening of the Commonwealth human rights mandate;
and the oversight on member states' adherence to the rule of law, democracy and
human rights. These need to be adopted by the Commonwealth as real standards
going forward. I am proud that Canada supports that report and its adoption in
every way. Becoming a signatory to such recommendations may not put a complete
stop to violations, but it would give administrations pause, should violations
be the subject of scrutiny by other members of the Commonwealth, if they would
then be facing possible suspension or expulsion if they do not comply with
The 2008 Albright-Cohen report on the prevention of genocide sums up the art
of the possible in its executive summary, which says in part:
We conclude in this report that preventing genocide is an achievable
goal. Genocide is not the inevitable result of "ancient hatreds" or
irrational leaders. It requires planning and is carried out systematically.
There are ways to recognize its signs and symptoms, and viable options to
prevent it at every turn if we are committed and prepared. Preventing
genocide is a goal that can be achieved with the right organizational
structures, strategies, and partnerships — in short, with the right
As I have stated on numerous occasions, the responsibility to protect is
completely meaningless without the will to deploy.
This past March, Senator John McCain of the United States made a passionate
speech wherein he compared the situation in Syria to that in the Balkans under
Milosevic and asked the U.S. to partner with our Arab League allies to stop
Assad's slaughter of his own civilians. I made the same argument in Canada in
this chamber at the time. Our collective failure to act has contributed directly
to thousands of deaths. Inertia, honourable senators, is never cost-free.
What is going on in Syria now may not be genocide in the classic sense as we
know it; people are not being targeted for their ethnicity, religion or social
class. However, they are being targeted for their audacity to speak out against
the current regime and to seek democracy. The random violence against
demonstrators, children, women and thousands killed and tortured only sets up
the situation for a major backlash after Assad is gone. That will put the
Alawite minority at genuine genocidal risk. This is why intervention now is so
At the end of last week, Senator John Kerry, Chair of the U.S. Senate
Committee on Foreign Relations and a proponent of holding talks with Assad to
stop the violence in Syria, stated publicly that it is now time to consider safe
zones within Syria and for the U.S. and its allies to consider arming the
opposition, putting more pressure on the Assad regime.
Honourable senators, our friends in Russia and China need also to engage.
They cannot allow perpetual and insecure angst about questions relating to their
internal affairs to drive their destructive authoritarian opposition to UN
action and global engagement on this file. The requirement that authorization
from the UN Security Council is necessary prior to taking any coercive action
and the necessity of the consent of the five permanent members of the Security
Council is a barrier that has and will continue to cost thousands of lives. The
unwillingness to meddle in the state sovereignty of any one nation has resulted
in tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths. I seriously doubt that the families
of the dead can understand what the avoiding-to-meddle argument is all about.
Canada, NATO, the EU, the AU and Arab League foreign policy goals should
reflect our collective preoccupation with the need to step up before the bodies
are piled like cordwood, or at least step back and let others do what is
necessary. Genocide and mass atrocities need to be confronted and dealt with.
The civilized world needs to stop reacting with surprise and shock each time new
evidence proves that genocide and ethnic cleansing are occurring somewhere far
away. In the century that we share together, no place on the earth is too far
away to be ignored when this kind of problem exists.
Establishing an early-warning group on genocide jointly between DND, DFAIT
and CIDA, headed by a senior appointee, would be a superb first step. Seeking to
build a Canadian-led global anti-genocide network between key intergovernmental
organizations would be a compelling second step. Building a specific curriculum
on genocide for Canadian Forces, the Royal Military College and whatever
mid-career training exists for Canada's foreign service officers would be a
However, honourable senators, taking no steps at all and settling for the
status quo is simply abdication, no more, no less. It is inhuman, it is
unacceptable, and Canadians deserve better.
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Further debate?
(On motion of Senator Tardif, debate adjourned).
On the Order:
Resuming debate on the inquiry of the Honourable Senator Eaton calling
the attention of the Senate to the interference of foreign foundations in
Canada's domestic affairs and their abuse of Canada's existing Revenue
Canada Charitable status.
Hon. Robert W. Peterson: Honourable senators, I rise before you today
to speak on the inquiry launched by Senator Eaton on the interference of foreign
foundations in Canada's domestic affairs and their abuse of Canada's existing
Revenue Canada charitable status.
I would like for the debate to remain adjourned in the name of Senator Duffy
after I have finished my remarks.
It is apparent that on the one hand the government is intent on cutting the
legs out from charities that contribute to conservation and environment, while
on the other hand the government warmly embraces foreign corporations, foreign
lobbyists and foreign money that funds right-wing think tanks, the same
right-wing think tanks sheltered under charitable status, which this government
purports to be making transparent.
Let me be clear from the start. I agree, as most honourable senators in this
chamber do, that funding for charities needs to be transparent and accountable.
I agree that the public should have access to the identity of foreign donors,
and I am in agreement that foreign donors should not infringe upon Canadian
sovereignty. However, the amendments to the Income Tax Act are not intended to
be universal applications of the law, so let us set the record straight, put all
the cards on the table, and get to the bottom of issue.
The issue, as stated by the honourable senator opposite, was to call the
attention of the Senate to the interference of foreign foundations in Canada's
domestic affairs and their abuse of the existing Revenue Canada charitable
status. I would add to this that the issue is any foreign influence in
government affairs, full stop. This would also include think tanks, foreign
lobby groups and foreign corporations.
However, it is clear that the government is far more concerned with anyone
out of line with their own agenda than in actually determining the scope of
political activities of all charities, nor is the government actually concerned
about the infringement of Canadian sovereignty. Senator Larry Smith asked this
question: What is sovereign about allowing an American foundation to use its
money to harm our own fishing sector? That is a fair question, but I would ask
this: What is sovereign about American tobacco and oil corporations funding
special interest reports to groups like the Fraser Institute? Charitable think
tanks are supposed to be apolitical; however, the Fraser Institute openly
supports the government's agenda.
These are the same think tanks and corporations that benefit from tax
exemptions which are being challenged for environmental groups. Compared to
funding by big American tobacco and oil corporations, which lobby through groups
like the Fraser Institute, money for environmental issues is minimal. Compared
to the hundreds of millions of dollars pouring into Ottawa from industry and
major corporations lobbying the government, "lobbying by the environmental
sector is meagre."
The Income Tax Act clearly states that a charity must devote substantially
all of their resources to a charitable purpose. Charities are, however,
permitted to dedicate part of their resources to political activities, the
so-called 10 per cent rule. This is true as long as the political activities are
non-partisan and not directed at a specific political party or candidate for
public office. Let me just note that reporting political activities has thus far
been left to the discretion of the charity.
The Fraser Institute is a think tank registered as a charitable organization.
Unlike the Suzuki Foundation and Sierra Club, the Fraser Institute claims it
does not engage in any of the 10 per cent of political activity permitted for
Honourable senators, is publicly calling on the government to change election
spending laws considered political activity? Is pushing provinces to adopt
right-to-work legislation considered political activity? Is producing
unsubstantiated "scientific" reports attempting to delegitimize climate change
after receiving funds from ExxonMobil considered political activity?
Not to be outdone in the 2011 federal election, the Fraser Institute's
president criticized aspects of both Liberal and NDP budgets, calling them
economically damaging, while at the same time pointing out the merits of the
Conservative budget. Remember, honourable senators, this is a group that
receives charitable status on the very basis that their research be politically
The institute has also been receiving funding from questionable foreign
sources for some time. One group that funds the institute is the Koch brothers,
two American billionaire brothers who own the second-largest privately held
company in America. Their combined wealth of $35 billion is surpassed in the
United States only by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. The Kochs operate oil
refineries in Alaska, Texas and Minnesota, and control over 4,000 miles of
pipeline. They have given tens of millions of dollars to Republican candidates,
as well as helped fund projects undermining work on climate change, destroying
environmental legislation, taxes, trade unions, and anything related to health
As heads of the oil-and-gas-based Koch Industries empire, the brothers have
poured hundreds of millions of charitable dollars into lobby groups, advocacy
organizations, education institutes and conservative campaigns across North
America, including in Canada. They have also been called the financial engine
behind the Tea Party movement, a group whose radical libertarian roots they can
easily relate to.
A recent lawsuit in the United States filed against the Cato Institute by the
founders of the institute, the Koch brothers, reveals the group's ambitions in
think tank culture. The Koch brothers filed their complaints because the Cato
Institute was attempting to sell the group. Cato's president and co-founder
released a short written statement in response, saying that he sees the lawsuit
as an attempt at a hostile takeover by Charles Koch and an effort to transform
Cato from an independent, non-partisan research organization into a political
entity that might better support his partisan agenda.
These allegations have prompted officials to urge the IRS to look into these
questionable practices. It is interesting that since 2007 the Koch brothers have
donated over half a million dollars to the Fraser Institute, and prior to 2008,
the institute received funding from the Claude R. Lambe Foundation, an umbrella
Koch family foundation. Add this to the fact that the foundation's tax records
show that grants to the Fraser Institute are among the highest amounts donated,
and the pattern begins to develop.
In fact, funding from foreign sources amounted to nearly 16 per cent,
according to the Fraser Institute's 2010 tax return. These foreign donations,
totalling more than $1.7 million in 2010, are significantly higher than both the
David Suzuki Foundation and the Sierra Club of Canada's foreign funding put
together. I say again, that foreign funding was $1.7 million in 2010 and $2.9
million in 2009 alone. Compare that with $550,000 for the David Suzuki
Foundation and $140,000 for the Sierra Club.
When federal statistics show that only 2 per cent of the country's charities
receive funds from outside Canada, funding from political operatives like the
Koch brothers actually make up a big chunk of that foreign funding, not money
for environmental lobbying, as this government is suggesting.
Documents released from the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library at the
University of the California in San Francisco also list no less than 209
documents involving the Fraser Institute. They reveal years of lobbying and
donations totalling in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. While the Fraser
Institute claims their funding is not tied to work they produce, it is
interesting that after receiving funding from big tobacco the institute
published a report questioning conclusive evidence between second-hand smoke and
lung cancer. They also railed against anti-smoking legislation in Canada.
Letters released from the library also show correspondence from the president of
the institute indicating that Imperial Tobacco, JTI-Macdonald and Benson &
Hedges were all aboard the Fraser gravy train.
Yes, I am in favour of making charitable funders transparent. I would even go
a step further and suggest that the institute release all of its documents from
the last 10 years. As I said before, let us put all the cards on the table. Let
us let the public decide who is truly attempting to influence our government.
The real losers in this matter could be the international development
charities, religious organizations, universities and environmental charitable
organizations, all of whom receive legitimate donations from international
donors. These groups should be worried that their funding could be cut off
because of a ruthless, misguided agenda. They should be worried that their
charitable activities could be labelled as "political activities" or, worse yet,
"money laundering," and axed by a government that chooses winners and losers.
They should be worried that their group could be the next on the Conservative
Will church groups be able to discuss health choices? Will a grassroots
environmental organization trying to protect local wetlands be squeezed out of
the charitable sector? Who knows.
Notable charitable experts commented on the government's action in this
week's Standing Committee on Finance, stating that the government measures would
most likely backfire on charitable organizations conducting legitimate
activities. At a minimum, the experts noted that there would most likely be a
chill on charitable giving as both donors and recipients across all charitable
sectors will be worried that their funding will be implicated in legitimate
Most recently, comments from charities have indicated that the chill has
turned into a deep-freeze. When funding for charities is at an all-time low, a
slowdown in funding can be catastrophic, especially for small- and medium-sized
Last week my colleague Senator Cowan put forward the following inquiry:
That the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance be authorized to
examine and report on the tax consequences of various public and private
advocacy activities undertaken by charitable and non-charitable entities in
Canada and abroad . . .
This will provide a fullsome opportunity to study this matter in great detail
and determine what is defined as political activity and charitable donations.
I would strongly support the Senate granting approval for this study to
proceed. It could hopefully resolve the uncertainties beginning to surround this
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Are there question or
comments? If there are none, this matter will be adjourned in the name of
Honourable Senator Duffy, as agreed.
Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
(On motion of Senator Duffy, debate adjourned.)
On the Order:
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Raine, seconded
by the Honourable Senator Wallin:
That the Senate of Canada urge the Government of Canada to encourage
local governments from coast to coast to coast to collaborate in choosing
one day annually to make their health, recreational sports, and fitness
facilities available to citizens at a reduced or complimentary rate, with
the goals of promoting the use of those facilities and improving the overall
health and well-being of Canadians for the reasons that:
(a) although Canada's mountains, oceans, lakes, forests, and
parks offer abundant opportunities for physical activities outdoors, an
equally effective alternative opportunity to take part in physical
activities is offered by indoor health, recreational sports, and fitness
(b) despite its capacity to be a healthy and fit nation,
Canada is experiencing a decline in participation rates in physical
activities, with this decline having a direct consequence to health and
(c) local governments operate many public facilities that
promote health and fitness, and those facilities could be better
utilized by their citizenry;
(d) there is a growing concern in Canada over the rise in
chronic diseases, which are attributable, in part, to inactivity and in
turn can cause other impediments to achieving and maintaining a healthy
(e) health and fitness should be promoted and encouraged by
all levels of government, to Canadians of all ages and abilities; and
(f) we aspire to increase participation by Canadians in
activities that promote health, recreational sports, and fitness.
Hon. Jim Munson: Honourable senators, I had just mentioned to Senator
Raine that I had intended to speak to this matter tomorrow, but I am happy to
speak to it now.
This is regarding childhood obesity, and we talked about Senator Raine's
motion to establish a national health and fitness day. Every year, on the first
Saturday in June, she would like to see — and I think we would all like to see —
sporting facilities, from coast to coast to coast, offering their services at a
reduced or complimentary rate. This initiative will allow families to get to
know and be motivated by what these facilities have to offer. I applaud Senator
Raine's motion and what she is doing.
Fitness facilities are located in communities across the country and
encourage lifestyle choices to prevent obesity. Canada provides its citizens
with so many different opportunities for an active lifestyle, be it outdoors or
in sporting facilities. A particularly good example of this is the Canada Games
Centre in Whitehorse. I had the pleasure of visiting it with Senator Lang, who
invited me and Senator Demers in 2010 to a Special Olympics event, and I found
that this is a classic example of where a community can really be together. It
was the heart of the community and much more than a fitness centre. It was
culturally pleasing. It was a day where people were swimming in the pool and or
playing hockey on the rink or playing indoor soccer. There were so many things
going on, and one could feel how a centre like that was the centre of attention
for the people of Whitehorse. Can my honourable friends imagine having a day or
more than just one day in a centre like that for free, where people,
particularly those whose incomes are not that big, could come in and appreciate
what is going on inside these facilities? Perhaps this motion can encourage
communities to lower their rates, whether it is a municipal centre a centre run
by the private sector.
Growing up in northern New Brunswick in the 1950s, I remember running around
playing ball hockey in the summer, pond hockey in the winter or river hockey on
the Restigouche. Those are tremendous memories. It seemed to be a simple thing
to do outside, playing under the little light bulbs at the academy rink, in the
cold. Parents wanted you to come home but you refused to go because you could
not get your mittens off of the hockey stick; they were frozen there. It was a
simple thing to do, and it was a wonderful "Canadian way." I am sure, for many
senators here, that those memories resonate with you as well.
Sadly, too many young Canadians today are more likely to sit in front of a
screen, a big screen, a bigger screen or a bigger, bigger screen than to play
outdoors or in a gym.
In the early 1970s, the Trudeau Government introduced the Participaction
program to motivate and educate Canadians about getting fit. Some of us talked
about still having the big pink sneaker on the front of a T-shirt. The idea was
to get Canadians moving again. It was a simple and direct response to address a
general lack of physical fitness within the population. Many senators might
remember one of the program's more popular long-running television spots, with
the statement that the average 30 year-old Canadian is in about the same
physical condition as the average 60 year-old Swede. If Daniel Alfredsson keeps
playing, it may end up being the same since he is almost 40, and there are young
Canadian kids who cannot keep up with that great Ottawa Senators' hockey player,
who is a Swede.
Participaction ended about 10 years ago but has recently returned with public
awareness campaigns, including messages aimed at parents to help them realize
that their children are probably not as active as they should be. We need
programs like this to make us recognize that we are in pretty terrible shape and
that it is time we do something about it.
The establishment of a national health and fitness day comes at a crucial
time, as 25 per cent of Canadian adults are considered obese and we have one of
the highest levels of childhood obesity in the world. Childhood obesity is a
multi-faceted issue. Without proper nutrition, children and adults are more
likely to become overweight or obese. For people who cannot afford to
participate in sports programs, the situation is worse.
Because of a lack of access to fitness programs and nutritious food,
compounded by poverty and inequality, adults in First Nations communities are
more likely to be overweight or obese than non-Aboriginal adults. Fitness
programs need to be made available for all communities, no matter their economic
Lifestyles that are increasingly lived just hanging around not doing very
much, a lack of exercise and fitness programs in schools, and poor diets are
among the main reasons children today are more likely to develop obesity-related
chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers at younger
ages than any other generation. Not only is this difficult for children and
families, it also increases stress on our already overworked health care system.
Let us start addressing this issue now so that our young people can go back
to simply being children. What Senator Raine is proposing is a very good start
on the long road toward the eradication of obesity in this country. We, as
senators, have the responsibility to encourage Canadians to remain physically
active and to advocate for an everyday commitment to fitness. This motion
proposes dedicating one day to fitness — just one day — that for many Canadians
could well be the beginning of new healthy habits and routines. I strongly
believe that a commitment to fitness has to become a lifelong, 365-day-a-year
Our government needs to step up its commitment to helping children become
more healthy and active. As all honourable senators know, healthy children are
more likely to live rewarding lives and fully participate in society and,
thereby, contribute to a healthier country.
(On motion of Senator Plett, debate adjourned.)
Hon. Rose-Marie Losier-Cool rose pursuant to notice of May 10, 2012:
That she would call the attention of the Senate to the current state of
French language education in New Brunswick.
She said: Honourable senators, you will recall the history of French
education in New Brunswick that I presented in January. Today, I would like to
speak to you about the struggles and the successes, which are a source of pride
for me, of French education in my province.
Right now, French-language elementary and secondary school education in New
Brunswick falls under the French half of the Department of Education pursuant to
section 4 of the 1997 Education Act. The French sector covers five of the 14
school districts in the province. As of summer 2012, the government's budget
cuts will decrease the number of districts by half — three French districts and
four English ones will be cut.
The department's French sector programs are developed completely
independently. Each district has school boards made up of members who are
publically elected at the local level. Each school board is responsible for
establishing the school district's direction and priorities and for deciding how
the district and the schools within it will operate.
Until 1999, education was compulsory for young people in New Brunswick from
the age of 6 to 16. In 1999, in order to address the issue of school dropouts,
education became compulsory until the age of 18, and I am proud to tell you that
over 90 per cent of students in my province now continue to go to school past
the age of 16 and graduate from high school. A high school diploma is a
prerequisite for any post-secondary education, whether it be college or
The Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour is
responsible for professional development and post- secondary education in New
Brunswick. This department covers the 11 community college campuses in New
Brunswick, including the Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick's five
francophone campuses, and the three campuses of the Université de Moncton, the
only francophone university among the eight universities in my province. This
department is also responsible for two specialized colleges, not community
colleges, including one for forestry, which has a francophone campus in
In New Brunswick, 42.8 per cent of the people speak French and French is the
mother tongue of 31 per cent of New Brunswickers. Most people live in the south,
which is predominantly English, while 54 per cent of the francophones live in
the north and northeast of the province, 33 per cent live in the southeast, and
13 per cent in the rest of New Brunswick.
Because of population aging, the number of students decreased by 14 per cent
between 2001 and 2009. In addition to the demographic challenge is the
geographic challenge. The northern part of the province, which is predominantly
francophone, including my corner of the country, the Acadian peninsula, is
slowly depopulating as people move to the three major cities in the south and
southeast, namely Moncton-Dieppe, Fredericton, the capital, and Saint John.
These two challenges combined create an interesting situation: there are
starting to be too many empty schools in the north and not enough French schools
in the south. That is why the French school district in the Acadian peninsula is
considering closing schools with low enrolments, while in the south of the
province, there is not enough room in the schools.
A combination of an aging population, migration and linguistic assimilation
is surely what is behind the drop in enrolment of francophone students in French
schools. From 2000 to 2007, enrolment had dropped by 16 per cent in primary and
The drop in the number of elementary and secondary school students and the
southward migration of francophones is beginning to affect university enrolment
because the Université de Moncton and its regional campuses are reporting a drop
in enrolment again this year.
Speaking of students, let us not forget their growing debt load. University
tuition in my province is the highest in Canada, and graduates in my province
have the highest debt load in the country. Community college students have not
been spared either; their tuition fees will go up this fall.
More and more New Brunswickers are talking about whether such an extensive
school, college and university infrastructure is the best option for our small
population of approximately 753,000. That is why the community college and the
Université de Moncton have started a process to better target program offerings
on specific campuses. The college and the university are also looking at ways to
share space and resources on their campuses where possible.
There is no denying that New Brunswick is still facing challenges in the
French-language education sector. But there are also success stories.
Is there any other Canadian province or territory that, like New Brunswick,
automatically requires all students in the school system to be taught the other
I have long believed that all Canadians should speak both of our country's
official languages as a way to open twice as many doors and to experience twice
as much culture. If the rest of Canada followed New Brunswick's example, all
Canadians would be much more engaged with the rest of the country and the whole
The fact that communities in my province can be very far apart has led to
innovation in education. The New Brunswick Community College and the Collège
communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick offer online courses to students enrolled in
several of their programs, such as library science, office automation and
medical secretary. I am very proud to say that the CCNB's placement rate is very
high: 87 percent of graduates are employed after graduating.
The Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick is also innovating on another
front: international partnerships. For the past several years — I brought this
up in December 2006 — the CCNB has fostered close relationships with several
developed and developing nations, including members of la Francophonie. The CCNB
trains students from its partner countries in certain disciplines, both in New
Brunswick and in the students' home countries. For example, in 2003, the CCNB
partnered with the Institut supérieur des technologies et du design industriel
in Douala, Cameroon, a partnership that enabled 455 Cameroonians to receive CCNB
training in Cameroon.
At both the primary and secondary levels, it is a question of granting the
school boards and francophone communities of my province greater powers to
manage our schools. A bipartisan committee will propose amendments to the
Education Act that will ensure greater compliance with the Canadian Charter of
Rights and Freedoms and with recent case law regarding education in minority
I would like to conclude on a more personal note, so I will leave you with a
list of a few great Acadians who are the pride and joy of my province and are
the product of our French-language education system: former Supreme Court
Justice Michel Bastarache; well-known singer Édith Butler; multidisciplinary
artist and former Lieutenant-Governor Herménégilde Chiasson; Radio-Canada's new
Director General of News Programming, Michel Cormier; a lawyer who specializes
in language rights, Michel Doucet; boxer Yvon Durelle; former Governor General,
the Right Honourable Roméo Leblanc; the very first winner of Star Académie,
Wilfred LeBouthillier; President and CEO of Assumption Life, Denis Losier; the
internationally acclaimed author and only Canadian recipient of the Prix
Goncourt, Antonine Maillet; my former provincial premier and our former Senate
colleague, the Honourable Louis-J. Robichaud; and last but not least, the
handsome and charming renowned singer, Roch Voisine.
It is always dangerous to name people. I hope to be forgiven if I have missed
Hon. Hugh Segal: Honourable senators, I would respectfully like to add
someone to Senator Losier-Cool's list: Donald Savoie, the esteemed writer on
Canadian public administration and academic leader at the Université de Moncton.
I only raise this point because I know she does not wish to forget anyone.
Senator Losier-Cool: I thank Senator Segal for raising this point. I
am sure I would have heard from Donald Savoie!
New Brunswick's Acadia and its French education system have produced and
continue to produce many successful citizens. I will soon retire from the
Senate. During the 17 years that I have spent with you here in this august
chamber, I have always placed a great deal of importance on the issue of French
education in minority communities. I hope that other representatives of Acadia
and New Brunswick will continue my efforts after I leave. As for me, I do not
have a choice; I will continue to fight for this issue as an ordinary citizen.
In conclusion, honourable senators, I wish French education in my province
continued success. Long live our Acadia of which I am so proud. I will say it
and even sing it: come and see Acadia, Canada's Acadia.
Hon. Jim Munson: Would the honourable senator accept a question?
Senator Losier-Cool: I would be happy to.
Senator Munson: Honourable senators, here is a story from a long time
ago. Back in the 1960s, my wife Ginette and I had a little apartment in Senator
Losier-Cool's house. Who would have thought all these years later that she would
be a senator and I would be a senator? Here we are.
Of course, Senator Losier-Cool knows many of my wife's family. There was one
name there and it is Ginette's second cousin — even though Quebec likes to lay
claim to Roch Voisine sometimes — and her name is Natasha St-Pier. She is an
incredibly big star. Of course, she was on Radio-Canada the other night and is a
big star in Quebec and in France. Now that I am adding her to the honourable
senator's list, can she add to it to her list as well? That is the question.
Senator Losier-Cool: Yes, I will add her to my list.
The apartment Senator Munson was renting was just an in-law apartment. When
he was appointed to the Senate, I was the whip and responsible for offices. He
came to see me and he said, "You better give me a decent office. I lived in your
little cupboard apartment in Bathurst, New Brunswick." I do not remember what
kind of office he had.
However, as I said, there are lots of names I could add to my list and I am
sure they will remind me. Thank you.
(On motion of Senator Robichaud, debate adjourned.)
Hon. Claudette Tardif (Deputy Leader of the Opposition) rose pursuant
to notice of May 10, 2012:
That she would call the attention of the Senate to Justice in French in
Francophone Minority Communities.
She said: Honourable senators, I rise today on a very important issue to
which I would like to call the attention of all those who believe in a justice
system that is more accessible and fair for all Canadians, particularly for
francophone minority communities across the country.
I would like to share my concerns about access to justice in French and about
the French services offered by our legal system and tell you about access to
justice in certain provinces, particularly Alberta.
Since the 1980s, members of francophone minority communities have made
important gains in education. Today, French-language schools and school boards
managed by francophones are an integral part of the education system in every
province and territory.
I would like to point out, honourable senators, that it is evident that most
of the progress made in education can be attributed to the claims by francophones that their language rights be recognized and to more liberal
interpretations by the courts.
This is how the Honourable Michel Bastarache, an esteemed citizen of New
Brunswick and a former justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, interpreted the
evolution of our language rights:
Canada's courts recognized the vision of francophone minority communities
and their interpretation of history. Our acquired rights are not based on
intolerance and accommodation, but on recognition of our status as
francophones and our right to maintain and develop our language and our
culture. By their very nature, they are fundamental rights. For that reason
these rights, both individual and collective, are subject to a progressive
and generous interpretation.
However, as for the right to access to justice in French, which is as
fundamental as the right to education, I wonder why, despite the recognition of
our rights by the Constitution, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, our laws and
the jurisprudence, there are still too many obstacles and gaps that make it
difficult for members of francophone minority communities to have fair access to
justice in French.
Across our country, access to justice for francophone minority communities is
I would like to draw your attention to some results from a survey of 900
lawyers outside Quebec conducted by the Department of Justice in 2002 on the
subject of access to justice in both official languages.
This survey shows that for the jurisdictions where francophones represent a
small proportion of the total population, there are very few lawyers able to
practise law in French and the demand for legal services in French is very low.
Conversely, in jurisdictions where francophones are more organized from a legal
perspective, the demand for services remains limited, but is more frequent.
This study also shows that the choice of whether to proceed in French or not
is influenced by perceptions whereby proceeding in French might cause additional
delays and that this choice would have negative repercussions on the possible
ruling and even on the possibility to appeal. We see that lawyers and judges do
not always inform accused persons of their linguistic rights even though doing
so is a clearly defined requirement in the Criminal Code.
A real policy of active offer of judicial and legal services in the minority
official language is rather rare in the majority of the provinces and
territories other than Manitoba and Ontario. Even in New Brunswick, an
officially bilingual province, there are predominantly anglophone regions where
legal services in French leave something to be desired.
In most of the provinces, it is very hard to obtain services in French from
officers of the provincial and superior courts and from support staff in
courthouses. There is also a glaring lack of bilingual judicial and
It is clear that access to justice in French is not great
even though, honourable senators, our linguistic rights are enshrined in the
Constitution, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Criminal Code, the
Official Languages Act and even in some provincial laws.
Section 133 of the Constitution Act, 1867, guarantees that English and French
may be used equally "in any Pleading or Process" before the courts of Canada or
Quebec, and provides that the acts of the Parliament of Canada and the
legislature of Quebec shall be printed and published in both languages.
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms reiterates the obligation set out
in section 133 by granting the right to the assistance of an interpreter in
section 14, by establishing that English and French are the official languages
of Canada and including the principle "to advance the equality of status or use
of English and French" in section 16, and by establishing that "either English
or French may be used by any person in, or in any pleading in or process issuing
from, any court established by Parliament" in section 19(1).
And finally, section 530 of the Criminal Code guarantees that the accused has
the right to be tried in the language of his choice. The accused must be
informed of that right. Subsection 530(1) sets out the circumstances warranting
a bilingual trial.
In 1999, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on the application of this
Criminal Code provision in Beaulac:
Section 530(1) of the Code creates an absolute right of the accused to
equal access to designated courts in the official language that he considers
to be his own, providing the application is timely. The courts called upon
to deal with criminal matters are therefore required to be institutionally
bilingual in order to provide for the equal use of the two official
languages of Canada.
Consequently, a criminal trial may be conducted in either language, which
imposes the obligation of institutional bilingualism on federal courts. I would
remind you that in Beaulac, the Supreme Court recognized that language
rights are based on the principle of substantive equality between the two
official languages. With respect to the courts, the Court ruled that:
Where institutional bilingualism in the courts is provided for, it refers
to equal access to services of equal quality for members of both official
language communities in Canada.
In reality, substantive equality therefore supposes an active offer of
judicial and legal services in both official languages, which, unfortunately, is
lacking across the country.
Ten years later, in Desrochers in 2009, the Supreme Court ruled that:
Substantive equality, as opposed to formal equality, is to be the norm,
and the exercise of language rights is not to be considered a request for
Despite the legislative and constitutional requirements in place, there are
numerous limitations to accessing justice in French in federal courts.
The insufficient number of bilingual judges being appointed remains one of
the major obstacles to access to justice in French. Pursuant to section 96 of
the Constitution Act, 1867, and the Federal Courts Act, the federal government
is responsible for appointing judges to federal courts, superior courts and the
provincial and territorial appeal courts. Appointing chief justices and
associate chief justices is the Prime Minister's prerogative.
In the Report on the Institutional Bilingual Capacity of the
Judiciary for Superior Courts in Nova Scotia and Ontario published in June 2011,
the Commissioner of Official Languages concluded that the current process for
appointing judges does not guarantee the appointment of a sufficient number of
bilingual judges to superior courts.
Furthermore, the commissioner suggested that the Department of Justice could
play a greater role in evaluating the linguistic capacity of superior courts and
making a regular determination as to whether these courts have sufficient
linguistic capacity to respond to the needs in each of the targeted
In 2010, Bill C-232, An Act to amend the Supreme Court Act (understanding the
official languages), introduced a new requirement for judges appointed to the
Supreme Court to understand English and French without the assistance of an
interpreter. The fundamental issue was one of equity and justice for all
Canadians. This bill was a logical extension of the recognition of the
substantive equality of French and English in our federal institutions.
Unfortunately, Bill C-232 died on the Order Paper here in the Senate in 2011.
Another obstacle to access to justice in French is the lack of necessary
measures to promote respect for and the application of section 530(1) of the
Criminal Code, which guarantees the accused the right to stand trial in the
language of his or her choice. According to the participants in a round table on
access to justice organized by the Association des juristes d'expression
française de l'Alberta on June 30, 2011, it is very difficult to obtain legal or
judicial services in French in Alberta.
Many francophones do not know that there is an offer — albeit a virtually
non-existent one — of legal and judicial services in French or where to find
them. The justice system in Alberta is perceived as being reluctant to provide
services in French. Legal experts are not familiar enough with French legal
terminology. People have to wait longer to obtain services in French, which
discourages francophone clients and prompts them to obtain services in English.
Too often, a person who claims his right to stand trial in French in an
Alberta court is told — in English, of course — "We are not in Quebec." or "This
is not France."
On top of all that, the instruction manual for preparing transcripts of
Alberta court proceedings says that any statements made in a language other than
English in an Alberta court must be replaced by one of the following statements:
"Other language spoken" or "Foreign language spoken." French is thus considered
a foreign language, despite the obligation to recognize the language rights of
Albertans who want to speak in French.
The round table participants were also of the opinion that it is important to
take prompt action to improve the language skills of people in the justice
system, develop an active offer of service, increase the number of defence
lawyers who speak French, and increase awareness of the rights conferred by
section 530 of the Criminal Code.
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Honourable senators,
Senator Tardif's time has expired.
Senator Tardif: Honourable senators, may I request an additional five
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Is it the pleasure of
the Senate to grant Senator Tardif another five minutes?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
Senator Tardif: It is important that the defendant be informed of his
or her linguistic rights, informed in French of the charges against him or her
and that he or she obtain a transcript of the hearing in French.
The Fédération des associations des juristes d'expression française agrees.
It stresses the importance of raising awareness about access to justice in
French both at the community level and within the machinery of justice.
In 1988, Alberta passed legislation making English the only official language
and making section 110 — which made Alberta officially bilingual when it entered
into Canadian Confederation in 1905 — inapplicable in its provincial
Subsection 4(2) of the language law alludes to regulations that give effect
to the right to use French or English in Alberta's courts. In 1988, a
regulations committee was created to develop regulations for exercising
linguistic rights before the courts in Alberta, including the right to use
French. Unfortunately, no procedure or policy has been implemented to guarantee
To that end, it is important to recall that the ruling in Beaulac, in
1999, specifies that the very existence of language rights requires the
government to comply with the provisions of the law, and I quote:
I wish to emphasize that mere administrative inconvenience is not a
relevant factor. The availability of court stenographers and court
reporters, the workload of bilingual prosecutors or judges, the additional
financial costs of rescheduling are not to be considered because the
existence of language rights requires that the government comply with the
provisions of the Act by maintaining a proper institutional infrastructure
and providing services in both official languages on an equal basis.
Recently, on March 4, 2011, in R. v. Pooran, Judge Anne Brown of the
Provincial Court of Alberta reminded Alberta's justice minister that the
language rights in section 4 of Alberta's Languages Act are in no way diminished
by the fact that the provincial government failed to pass regulatory provisions
necessary to implementing it.
According to the ruling, it is clear that the Government of Alberta's failure
to enact regulations limits the right of litigants to speak French before the courts.
Regardless of case law, the Alberta legislature has done very little to
eliminate obstacles to the use of French in Alberta courts.
On January 12, 2012, an Ontario Superior Court ruling charted a course for
improved access to justice for Ontario francophones, including those who do not
reside in one of the province's 25 designated bilingual regions. According to
the ruling, the basic right of access to justice in French takes precedence
regardless of whether the litigant resides in a designated bilingual region or
In my opinion, this decision reinforces the fact that access to justice in
French is a basic right. The highest court in the land having recognized
substantive equality, litigants have the right to a hearing in the language of
their choice, regardless of where they live.
At the federal level, the government allocated $4 million over five years in
its Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality to develop language rights training
tools for Justice Canada's legal advisors; to encourage young people who speak
both official languages fluently to pursue careers in justice; and to offer
language training to court clerks, stenographers, justices of the peace and
mediators. Those are good intentions.
However, I am sceptical about the results of such initiatives. How would the
language training taken by legal staff be of benefit and put into practice if,
at the top, there are not enough bilingual judges appointed and trials therefore
cannot be held in French?
The federal government does not just have a responsibility to provide access
to justice in French; it has legal obligations in this regard. In my opinion,
since language rights are legally recognized, litigants should have the right to
stand trial in French, the right to a representative of the Crown who speaks
French, the right to have legal transcripts that reflect statements made in
French and the right to legal and judicial resources in French.
Honourable senators, each of us aspires to a society in which everyone's
rights are respected. There are good intentions and efforts worthy of
recognition, but political will is often lacking. Litigants have the right to
have, or to have access to, a trial in the language of their choice.
Honourable senators, I would like to remind you that the Canadian legal
system is a source of inspiration around the world. I would like to end this
inquiry with this last thought: respect for language rights cannot be separated
from a concern for the culture associated with the language. Former Chief
Justice Dickson recognized this fact in Mahé when he said:
Language is more than a mere means of communication, it is part and
parcel of the identity and culture of the people speaking it. It is the
means by which individuals understand themselves and the world around them.
Ensuring that all Canadians have access to justice in both official languages
is an issue that a society that cares about respect for rights must immediately
Hon. Pierre Claude Nolin: Would the honourable senator take a
Senator Tardif: Of course.
Senator Nolin: If there is time.
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Honourable senators,
regretfully, the extended time has expired.
Is there further debate?
(On motion of Senator Chaput, debate adjourned.)
Hon. Irving Gerstein, pursuant to notice of May 9, 2012, moved:
That, notwithstanding the order of the Senate adopted on Tuesday, January
31, 2012, the date for the presentation of the final report of the Standing
Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce in relation to its review of
the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act
(S.C. 2000, c. 17) be extended from May 31, 2012 to June 21, 2012.
The Hon. the Speaker: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to
adopt the motion?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
(Motion agreed to.)
(The Senate adjourned until Wednesday, May 16, 2012, at 1:30 p.m.)