Debates of the Senate (Hansard)
1st Session, 41st Parliament,
Volume 148, Issue 107
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, Speaker
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
The Senate met at 2 p.m., the Speaker in the chair.
Hon. Pana Merchant: Honourable senators, it is with sadness, great
respect and the best of memories that I rise to mark the passing of our esteemed
colleague, the Honourable Herb Sparrow, Member of the Order of Canada, Honorary
Doctor of Science McGill University, who died on September 6, 2012. He was 82.
The gratitude and pride of the overflow crowd in the city of North
Battlefield, his city, was on display during the celebration of his life of
service: alderman; Kinsmen; Mason; Shriner; co-founder of the School for
Retarded Children; co-founder of the Battlefords Sheltered Workshop for
physically and mentally challenged citizens; honorary life Rotarian; Junior
Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Young Man of the Year; United Nations
Environmental Leadership and Certificate of Distinction for Soil Conservation
recipient, whose leadership and dedication have brought about significant change
to farm practices not only in the Canadian farming context but to world
agricultural farming practices; Battlefords and District Citizen of the Decade
for the 1980s; strong supporter of the Battleford Boys and Girls Club, the
Salvation Army, the Battleford's Indian and Metis Friendship Centre and the
North Battleford Homeless Shelter; founder of school meal programs to ensure
that students from poor families got enough nutrition to learn properly;
successful businessman; farmer-rancher; long-serving senator; caring
philanthropist; and good-natured, humorous friend and proud Canadian.
The prairie experience and prairie people played a pivotal role in shaping
his soul, character and way of life. Senator Sparrow was a staunch defender of
the Senate and the importance of its independence from the other place. He
regretted the politicization of this place because he felt that this impaired
our capacity and our value as a chamber of sober second thought.
Senator Sparrow was a valued friend of my family for three generations. He
offered me welcome advice and assistance through the benefit of his long
experience, and I was particularly grateful to him.
I ask honourable senators to join me in conveying our sincere condolences to
his wife Lois, his six children, their spouses, and his children and great
Hon. JoAnne L. Buth: Honourable senators, I rise today to pay tribute
to former Senator Herb Sparrow. Senator Sparrow was a remarkable man. He made
significant contributions to the Senate and good governance of our country, but,
true to his roots as a farmer and businessman, Senator Sparrow's greatest impact
was undoubtedly in the field of agriculture, particularly in the advancement of
sustainable farming practices and the prevention of soil degradation.
While chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, he helped author the
highly influential study, Soil at Risk: Canada's Eroding Future, which
focused attention on the seriousness of soil degradation. It is widely credited
for increasing government programming for soil conservation and driving changes
in farming practices. As a testament to its authority, Soil at Risk
remains one of most requested publications produced by the Senate.
Senator Sparrow later founded and became the first president of Soil
Conservation Council of Canada, where he pioneered the Save our Soils Program.
For his decades of tireless work educating Canadians and the world about the
problems of soil degradation, he received many accolades, including induction
into the Canadian Conservation Hall of Fame, an honorary doctorate from McGill
University and the Order of Canada.
Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to meet Senator Sparrow, but his
work has made a considerable and lasting impact on me and many other
agricultural professionals. His efforts brought much-needed attention to not
only the issue of soil erosion and sustainability but also the importance of
Canadian agriculture as a whole. The words of a farmer interviewed in Soil at
Risk certainly echo the sentiments of Senator Sparrow:
This is soil that belongs to our children and its loss guarantees they
cannot be as prosperous as we are.
I am pleased to say that Senator Sparrow's diligence has contributed greatly
to the ability of Canadian farmers to prosper today and into the future.
Honourable senators, please join me in saluting this exceptional Canadian.
Hon. David P. Smith: Honourable senators, I also rise to pay tribute
to the late Senator Herb Sparrow. He was a long-time friend, a colleague, a
fellow Liberal and a fine senator.
I was born in Toronto and I guess I am thought of as a Toronto guy, but,
believe it or not, Herb Sparrow and my sister Cay, my only sister, who has lived
in California for over 60 years, were born 16 days apart in Saskatoon.
I really got to know Herb in the fall of 1964 when I went with Prime Minister
Lester B. Pearson to the annual convention of the Saskatchewan Liberal
Association at the Bessborough Hotel. Herb was elected president of the party.
Of course, four years later, Prime Minister Pearson appointed him to the Senate.
I got to know him really well. I was, of course, very young in 1964, 48 years
ago. I was just a kid, but I was out there as the National Director of the Young
Liberals and Keith Davey's right-hand guy. I spent the next couple of years
helping to organize for the 1965 election, and I spoke to Herb Sparrow all the
I will never forget being in Mr. Pearson's suite when Ross Thatcher walked
into the room, but I will not go into that now as it is not that relevant. There
are some memories that one will never forget, and that is one of mine.
Herb Sparrow and I kept in touch over the years. We were friends. When I came
to the Senate, we were seatmates. Regardless of who was speaking, Herb would
make a joke every two or three minutes. His jokes were always witty and funny,
and he would poke me in the ribs as he told them. I will never forget one time
when I asked Herb whether he had heard the story about the Saskatchewan farmer
who retired to B.C. Some of his neighbours went out to visit him the next summer
and asked how he liked the mountains. The man replied, "I do not; they block the
view." Herb must have laughed for five minutes over that. I think he stole that
joke from me.
Ironically, Herb Sparrow lived for many years on Walker Drive in North
Battleford. Believe it or not, Walker Drive was named after my wife's
grandfather, who was a lawyer in Saskatchewan and the mayor of North Battleford.
After he died in 1928, they named Walker Drive after him. I guess Herb thought
so much of him that he moved to that street. I have very fond memories of Herb;
and we will miss him. I wanted to rise and pay my respects.
Hon. Gerry St. Germain: Honourable senators, I also rise to pay
tribute to the late Senator Herb Sparrow. I will not repeat what has been said
of his accomplishments because I hate repetition. Herb and I had a lot in
common. He was a rancher, and I was a rancher for a while. I was a chicken
farmer, and he was the Mr. Chicken of Saskatchewan and North Dakota because he
owned a Colonel Sanders Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise in that area. My first
business was Brownies Recipe Fried Chicken, which was a takeoff of Colonel
Sanders. Herb always called me a phoney. He was a great guy.
I remember that Herb was a great Liberal, but more than that, he was a great
Canadian. He was principled, honest and decent, and he espoused integrity. As
well, he had a genuine sense of humour that would last forever.
We roasted Senator Lawson in Vancouver at the Bayshore Inn, where all the
downtown folks were spiffed up. When Herb walked in, one person asked, "Who the
heck is that?" I said that he was Herb Sparrow, one of the roasters. Someone
said, "Really? How did we pick him?" I said, "Just wait." Herb rose to speak and
blew the entire crowd away. The people were in tears. They recently did an event
for me. They asked whether I could find Herb Sparrow. I said, "Yes, I can, but I
do not want to find him right now. He is up there, and I do not want to go up
there right now."
Politicians from all parties could learn from a man like Herb Sparrow. I
recall Herb establishing in his mind what was right and what was wrong with this
place. He took a stand on various issues, and I will mention two of them. The
first was the gun registry, which he thought was ridiculous. He stood his ground
and voted the way he thought. The second was the Toronto airport deal whereby
the process would deny people access to the courts. I can remember Herb saying
that this would never happen in his lifetime. He stood up and voted the way he
saw the entire issue.
Senator Mercer: I remember that.
Senator St. Germain: I learned from him a little bit; and, more
important, we should all learn from him because he was a decent and good human
being. He will be missed by thousands of people who knew him right across this
country. I thank honourable senators for giving me the opportunity to say a few
words about Herb Sparrow, not only a great senator but also a good friend.
Hon. Wilfred P. Moore: Honourable senators, I wish to be associated
with the remarks of my colleagues and to touch on one of the items that Senator
St. Germain mentioned. The government bill in respect of the Toronto airport had
a little clause in it that, as mentioned, denied due process to the parties and
the opportunity to have their case heard under the rule of law. That Liberal
bill was defeated by one Liberal vote against; and the voter was Herb Sparrow, a
man of deep integrity, who was making sure that Canadians would have due process
available to them. I was not here at the time, but I remember reading about the
When I came here, I got to know Herb and his fabulous sense of humour. For
me, who better was there to go to for advice, to try to emulate and to have as a
mentor? He was a mentor to me, and that comical, full and robust relationship
continued after he left this place. He was a dear friend and a stalwart
Canadian. I shall miss him. I offer my deepest sympathy to his family.
Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.
Hon. David Tkachuk: Honourable senators, the last time Herb Sparrow
and I talked was after the Conservative government put an end to the gun
registration program. It was a celebratory phone call over a program that saw
Herb on the same side as many of us on this side of the chamber. He was joined
by others on the Liberal side, of course. He represented the best interests of
the province of Saskatchewan, be they farm interests on the treatment of
animals, the gun registration or, most important, the rights of Canadians to
take their issues to court. He defended it even when he believed his party did
not. He was always a Liberal — no question about it — but at least this side got
to adopt him once in a while.
He was accorded accolades from the Chamber of Commerce and the Kinsmen Club;
and he was awarded the United Nations Environmental Leadership Medal for his
work on soil conservation. He was inducted into the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall
of Fame and the Saskatchewan Agricultural Hall of Fame; and he was awarded the
Order of Canada in 2009.
Herb was my friend. There were many people at his funeral. At funerals, there
are people who are sorry to see you go and people who are happy to see you go.
However, honourable senators, I knew that Herb Sparrow was well-liked when I
went to a roast for him after his retirement. I was sort of the token Tory
speaking at that roast, and we had the most wonderful time. There were more
people there than at the funeral. It was a fabulous event, and we had a
He was a good man who represented all in our province. I express my deepest
condolences to his wife, Lois, and to his wonderful sons, daughters and
grandchildren. Our province is a better place because he lived among us. Rest in
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, before proceeding with
other senators statements, I wish to draw your attention to the presence in the
gallery of a distinguished delegation from the People's National Congress of
China led by the Honourable Ma Wenpu, member of the China-Canada Legislative
Association and Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs of the
National People's Congress of China, accompanied by colleagues from the People's
Republic of China and His Excellency Zhang Junsai, Ambassador of the Peoples'
Republic of China to Canada.
On behalf of all honourable senators, welcome to the Senate of Canada.
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!
Hon. Marie-P. Charette-Poulin: Honourable senators, I rise to pay
tribute to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, who has chosen to step down after
leading our province with a quiet strength for 9 years and after 16 years at the
helm of the Ontario Liberal Party. Premier McGuinty is a man whose strong family
values are reflected in the legacy he leaves for Ontario families and future
generations. He has strengthened our education system by reducing classroom
sizes and bringing in full-day kindergarten. He has responded to Ontarians'
concerns about health care and has worked hard to reduce hospital wait times.
Our province now boasts greener energy generation. Its economy is well
positioned and its deficit is in decline.
On September 25, we celebrated Le Jour des Franco-Ontariens et des
Franco-Ontariennes, another significant part of Premier McGuinty's legacy. When
this day was first celebrated in 2010, the premier proudly declared:
This unique day is a reminder of the inclusive character of the province
and also serves to pay tribute to all Franco-Ontarians and francophones of
all origins, who, for 400 years, have been contributing to Ontario's
Honourable senators, under Premier McGuinty's leadership, the Ontario
government has been committed to making improvements to francophone services and
to recognizing the francophone community's numerous contributions to the quality
of life in Ontario. Amongst the many enhancements made is the Office of the
French Language Services Commissioner, which was created to ensure the
continuity of these improvements.
I wish to thank you, Premier McGuinty, for your vision and for your
leadership. Dalton, on behalf of all Ontarians, I want to thank your wife Terri
and your family for the many sacrifices they have made as you served the people
of Ontario selflessly, with strength, compassion and conviction.
Hon. Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu: Honourable senators, I rise today to mark
a happy event, even though we have lost a great Canadian.
On September 27, at the Salaberry Armoury, in the presence of guest of honour
Rob Nicholson, Minister of Justice of Canada, and Senators Jean-Guy Dagenais and
Vernon White, we awarded 50 Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medals.
The medals were awarded to people in four specific categories: those who
stand up for the rights of victims of crime, police officers recognized for
their social commitment outside work hours, members of the military working
abroad, and individuals who toil anonymously to improve the quality of life in
I would first like to thank Minister Nicholson for being so generous with his
time and for honouring the people who attended the awards ceremony with his
presence. Minister Nicholson is greatly appreciated for his attention to and
concern for the victims of crime, which he has demonstrated from his very first
day on the job as the Minister of Justice of Canada.
Personally, I hold the minister in very high esteem for the great empathy he
has always demonstrated for families who experience unspeakable tragedies such
as the murder of a family member or the disappearance of a loved one as a result
As I said in my introduction, my colleagues, Senator Jean-Guy Dagenais and
Senator Vernon White, honoured me with their presence and joined my team in
applauding the outstanding contribution made by these Canadians, who have moved
us with their courage, their dedication and their involvement. I would like to
thank my colleagues once again for attending the event.
Honourable senators, this ceremony was our way of commending the
extraordinary and largely unrecognized contribution made by these 50 individuals
to Quebec and Canadian society and the meaningful action they have taken in this
country and around the world. We chose these individuals easily and without
compromise, taking into account the extent of their commitment because, in our
minds, they had all distinguished themselves in some meaningful way. Whether
police officers, military personnel, victims' rights advocates or just ordinary
engaged citizens, they are excellent role models for us and for those in their
communities, in their workplaces and in their families.
In closing, I would be remiss if I did not underscore the wonderful job done
by the two individuals who were mainly involved in organizing the event and who
were responsible for its success, since all of the recipients invited to attend
on September 27 accepted our invitation to be recognized.
Such tremendous organization required near-perfect logistics, and I would
therefore like to commend the excellent job done by Chief Petty Officer Second
Class Mario Richard, who coordinated the Canadian Forces resources put at our
disposal. The professional quality of the ceremony was unanimously applauded by
all the participants and their guests.
I would also like to thank my Senate communications officer, Isabelle
Lapointe, who served as master of ceremonies for the evening. I applaud her
professionalism in planning and organizing the event and her consistent efforts
to make the ceremony a success.
In conclusion, one of parliamentarians' most gratifying jobs is recognizing
Canadians for their dedication to making our world a better place. Clearly, the
awarding of the Queen's Jubilee Medal goes beyond the mere political and happy
symbolism surrounding it. This medal is much more meaningful to recipients, who
are received in this way with all the honours conferred upon them by their
outstanding professional and social commitment. To them, on the evening of
September 27, 2012, Canada and its Governor General thanked them.
Thank you to the recipients for helping to make Canada the best country in
which to live.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I wish to draw your
attention to the presence in the gallery of Senator Benjamin Nwandibe Obi of
Nigeria. He is the guest of the Honourable Senator Segal.
Senator, on behalf of all honourable senators, I welcome you to the Senate of
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear
Hon. Pierre De Bané: Honourable senators, I would like to add my voice
to those of my colleagues in honouring the late Senator Sparrow. Senator Sparrow
played an extremely important role. The report that he produced as the chair of
the Senate Committee on Agriculture is by far the most printed and widely
distributed report in Canada, with over 50,000 copies. This report has become a
standard work on the development of agricultural policy throughout the entire
Most of us knew Senator Sparrow. He was a very generous and sincere man. He was
truly in touch with ordinary Canadians.
Honourable senators, I wish to emphasize that point. Herb Sparrow really
wanted to be close to the people, to feel their problems and their experiences.
I will remind senators that one day he went undercover as a homeless man, with
$1.50 and some food stamps, and lived with the street people on skid row in
Vancouver for a full week. This is the type of man who really wanted to feel
what homeless people, poor people, are living through.
If it is true that sincerity really is reflected in one's actions, what he
did in his province for the poor people, for the students who were handicapped
and for others proved how much that man was really one of the most inspiring
senators we have had. I want to add my voice to those of my colleagues to pay
tribute to him and to offer to his family my sincere condolences.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I have the honour to table,
in both official languages, the 2011-12 annual reports, pursuant to section 72
of both the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I have the honour to table,
in both official languages, the 2011-12 annual report, pursuant to the Official
Hon. Claude Carignan (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable
senators, I have the honour to table the answer to the oral question asked by
the Senator Jaffer on May 8, 2012 concerning international cooperation and the
United Nations Millennium Development Goals.
Honourable senators, I have the honour to table the answer to the oral
question asked by the Honourable Senator Dallaire on May 17, 2012, concerning
the RADARSAT Constellation Mission.
I have the honour to table the answer to the oral question asked by the
Honourable Senator Chaput on September 26, 2012 concerning the rural
municipality of Taché.
Honourable senators, I have the honour to table the answer to the oral
question asked by the Honourable Senator Eggleton on June 21, 2012, concerning
Statistics Canada—Information on Income and Labour.
I have the honour to table the answer to the oral question asked by Senator
Jaffer on June 6, 2012 concerning women's rights in Afghanistan.
(Response to question raised by Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer on May 8, 2012)
Canada has committed and made important contributions to global efforts
to achieve the Millennium Development Goals particularly through the
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). CIDA's mission of leading
Canada's international efforts to help people living in poverty relates to
all of the Millennium Development Goals.
CIDA supports the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals through
its three program channels — bilateral, multilateral and Canadian
partnership. The Agency is especially active in the areas of food security;
education and gender equality; and, health, including maternal, newborn and
It is important to note Canada's role, under the leadership of Prime
Minister Harper, in mobilizing global action to reduce maternal and infant
mortality and improve the health of mothers and children in the world's
poorest countries. In June 2010, under Canada's Presidency, the G8 launched
the Muskoka Initiative on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, which
aims to save the lives of women and children in developing countries. In
cooperation with select non-G8 nations and organizations that joined the
Muskoka Initiative, the G8 committed a total of US$7.3 billion in new
and additional funding over five years (2010-2015).
Canada committed $1.1 billion in new and additional funding to the
Muskoka Initiative, while maintaining existing Maternal Newborn and
Child Health programming at $1.75 billion over five years, for a total
commitment of $2.85 billion. CIDA is working with bilateral and multilateral
partners and Canadian civil society to implement the Muskoka Initiative.
Canada is proud to have used its G8 Presidency to champion the Muskoka
Initiative, which helped pave the way for the UN Secretary-General's
Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health, which is a
multi-stakeholder effort launched in September 2010 that has raised
approximately US $60 billion. In addition to contributing to reducing child
mortality and improving maternal health, these two initiatives also
contribute to the achievement of combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other
diseases, as well as reducing the proportion of people who suffer from
Canada's contribution to the Muskoka Initiative is achieving
results. For example, in Mozambique, Canada supported a nation-wide campaign
in 2011, which vaccinated nearly 4 million children against measles and
resulted in an 80% reduction in measles cases compared to the same period in
2010. In Haiti, Canada is contributing to the development of new maternity
and paediatric wards and providing equipment for maternity clinics and
community health centres. These institutions will serve a population of 1.4
million people. In Ethiopia, Canada supported community health days for
nutrition, which resulted in 1.5 million children under five years receiving
regular vitamin A supplements and 1 million children aged two to six
receiving regular deworming treatments.
For more information on how Canada is contributing to the achievement of
the Millennium Development Goals, please consult Annex 1.
As part of the Government's Aid Effectiveness Agenda, CIDA undertook a
comprehensive review of all its multilateral programming to ensure that its
funding to multilateral institutions remains focused on the most effective
institutions, is linked with clear objectives to make a real difference on
the ground, and is aligned with Government of Canada and CIDA priorities.
Consistent with this, CIDA works with multilateral partners that have
endorsed the Goals, ensuring that Canadian aid dollars support their
The Management Accountability Framework provides national governments and
other development stakeholders with a systematic approach to identify and
analyze bottlenecks, and recommend collaborative solutions. This framework
has now been applied in 37 countries with the support of national
governments, including in four Sahel countries where the frameworks
specifically address food and nutritional security. CIDA supports this
effort, as well as work being done by United Nations Development Program to
help develop a global consensus on a new development framework for 2015 and
CIDA's disbursements for the fiscal year 2011-12 to multilateral partners
involved with addressing the Millennium Development Goals were as follows:
United Nations Women
$ 14.32 million
The United Nations Children's Fund
$ 175.49 million
United Nations Population Fund
$ 38.34 million
United Nations Development Program
$ 91.8 million
United Nations High Commission for
$ 61.5 million
World Health Organization (WHO)
$ 146.86 million
World Food Programme (WFP)
$ 402.61 million
As part of Canada's aid effectiveness agenda, the Government also
announced in 2009, that 80 percent of CIDA's bilateral programming would be
focused on 20 countries, which were chosen based on their real needs, their
capacity to benefit from aid, and their alignment with Canadian foreign
policy priorities. CIDA's bilateral programming towards the achievement of
Millennium Development Goals is concentrated in the Agency's 20 countries of
focus, which are: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Colombia, Ethiopia,
Ghana, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Mali, Mozambique, Pakistan, Peru,
Senegal, Sudan, Tanzania, Ukraine and Vietnam, as well as the Caribbean
region and West Bank and Gaza.
(For Annex 1, see Appendix, p. 2601.)
(Response to question raised by Hon. Roméo Antonius Dallaire on May 17,
The RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) is designed to provide complete
coverage of Canada's land and oceans at least once per day, up to four times
daily in the high Arctic, as well as provide greatly improved operational
capability and reliability.
The Government of Canada remains committed to the RADARSAT Constellation
Mission (RCM) and maintaining Canada's leadership and expertise in Earth
observation and radar technology.
The Government recognizes that Canada has niche capabilities in synthetic
aperture radar (SAR) technologies, and that a mission like the RCM requires
the work and dedication of highly skilled scientists and engineers.
The Canadian Space Agency continues to work with its Prime Contractor
Macdonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) to complete the design phase of
At this time, the Government is reviewing options for completing the RCM.
This review requires careful due diligence, so as to ensure the project is
completed in a cost effective manner.
(Response to question raised by Hon. Maria Chaput on September 26, 2012)
On August 1st, 2012, the Rural Municipality of Taché sent a letter to the
Minister of Fisheries and Oceans concerning the Experimental Lakes Area and
enclosed a resolution of the Rural Municipality acknowledging their
continued support. On August 15th, 2012, the Minister of Fisheries and
Oceans responded to the letter.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada believes universities and non-government
research facilities are better suited to conduct the type of research that
has been done at the Experimental Lakes Area, and the Department is working
to transfer operations to an organization that is better positioned to do
studies based on fundamental ecosystem manipulation.
Departmental officials are working diligently to find another operator
for the facility, so that this important work can continue by another party
better suited for this type of research.
(Response to question raised by Hon. Art Eggleton on June 21, 2012)
The Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics (SLID) was designed to provide
national-level data on family and individual financial well-being. To track
Canadians' labour market activity and income, SLID produced two types of
information: static measures for a particular moment in time
(cross-sectional) and transitional measures over a period of time
(longitudinal). The vast majority of uses of and products derived from SLID
were released through an annual publication called Income in Canada and were
based on the point-in-time measures (or cross-sectional information). This
information is what allows the monitoring of overall trends among specific
subsets of the population. There were, however, some uses based on the
longitudinal information, for example the monitoring of the persistence of
Statistics Canada published the last release of the longitudinal
component of SLID in 2012. To replace SLID, Statistics Canada will develop
and conduct a new survey in early 2013 to produce annual (cross-sectional)
estimates on income. This new data series will continue to provide year-to-year trends in income over time. Approximately 90% of the current data
tables from the Income in Canada publication will still be available.
However, there will be less information, particularly on the labour market
Statistics Canada is investigating possibilities to provide longitudinal
information to its users, in a different way than what was produced in SLID.
Before making the changes to its programs, Statistics Canada conducted a
thorough review of its activities to manage resources while maintaining a
balanced national statistical program that accurately measures the economy
and society. By focusing resources where they are most needed, Statistics
Canada continues to provide high-quality, reliable and timely information at
a lower cost to Canadians that is sustainable into the future.
(Response to questions raised by Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer on June 6, 2012)
Question #1: Investing in the future of Afghan children and youth
through development programs in education and health is one of Canada's four
priorities in Afghanistan. How much time, money and resources have we
invested in achieving this priority? What are our plans for the future?
From 2006-2012, CIDA provided $125.9 million to support education
initiatives, some of which are funded solely by CIDA, and others which
are multi-donor with results at the national level. The majority of our
support to education initiatives directly targeted access and quality of
girls' education. Key results include:
- Over 4,000 CIDA-funded community based schools across Afghanistan
have provided education to approximately 125,000 students - more than 84
percent of whom are girls;
- CIDA has trained over 3,000 community based education teachers, the
majority of whom are female;
- CIDA has helped to raise the quality of teaching in the classroom by
supporting training opportunities to more than 130,000 teachers,
including almost 40,000 female teachers;
- Almost 100 community-based preschools have been established to
support early childhood development for hundreds of young children, the
majority of whom are girls;
- Over 2,000 girls have entered Teacher Training Colleges;
- CIDA has implemented 561 small-scale physical school improvement
projects, such as boundary walls and latrines, to support girls' access
to education; and,
- More than 1,600 school construction/rehabilitation projects have
been completed or are in progress across the country to enhance access
to education, particularly in remote areas.
In addition to the $125.9 million spent on education initiatives, CIDA
also supports the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund - Recurrent Cost
program. This support provides for wages, benefits and other payments for
government employees, most notably teachers and principals, and operating
costs of schools.
CIDA overall support for health from 2006-2012 was $169.35 million
— the majority of which has been targeted for maternal and child health
initiatives, some of which are funded solely by CIDA, and others which are
multi-donor with results at the national level. Key results include:
- The percentage of children 12-23 months who receive routine
diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus (DPT) vaccination has increased from
34.6% in 2006 to 85% in 2011;
- The percentage of pregnant women aged 15-49 years that received at
least one antenatal care visit by a skilled health provider has
increased from 32.3% in 2006 to 74% in 2011;
- The proportion of births attended by a skilled health worker
increased from 18.9% in 2006 to 34% in 2011;
- Since 2008, CIDA funding to tuberculosis control activities has
contributed to the detection of 113,062 cases (64% of which were women),
thus helping to control the spread of the disease. As a result, 87% of
detected women (62,953 cases) were treated successfully;
- The distribution of multiple micronutrient powder to 230,000
children aged six months to five years to help prevent diarrhea,
blindness and death;
- The distribution of iron and folic acid supplements to 127,000
pregnant or lactating women for 180 days to ensure healthy pregnancies,
deliveries and babies; and,
- The training of more than 100 health facility personnel and nearly
900 community health workers on the administration and benefits of
Key results in Kandahar Province include:
- The construction of a maternal waiting home equipped with basic
supplies, including patient beds and office equipment;
- Maternal and neonatal health care training for health care workers;
- The delivery of a safe motherhood information campaign;
- The training of 264 health workers on Integrated Management of
Childhood Illnesses and the administration of essential vaccines and
medication to women and children under-five; and,
- The provision of Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care supplies and
What are our plans for the future?
In November 2010, the Government of Canada announced the parameters for
its engagement in Afghanistan for the period of 2011 to 2014. Canada's
non-combat role for that period focuses on four areas: investing in the
future of Afghan children and youth through education and health; advancing
security, the rule of law and human rights; promoting regional diplomacy;
and delivering humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people. Women and girls
were identified as a specific area of focus for Canada's development
Education: CIDA's current programming in education is focussed on
improving the quality of and access to basic education for Afghan children
and youth, with a particular focus on women and girls. Key objectives
- Supporting community-based education (CBE) to increase access to
education, especially of girls;
- Investing in the formal system for the long-term benefit of all
- Getting qualified teachers, especially women, into schools.
Health: Improving maternal, newborn and child health is a key
commitment announced by the Prime Minister at the G-8 meeting in Muskoka
(2010). CIDA's current programming in health focuses on:
- Increasing equitable and gender-sensitive health services to
mothers, newborns and children;
- Continuing to be a leading donor to polio eradication; and,
- Enhancing healthy nutritional practices by mothers, and for the
benefit of newborns and children under five.
More recently, at the July Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan, Canada
announced it will continue to maintain a significant development presence in
Afghanistan by building on the priorities, experiences and successes of our
current engagement. This pledge included an additional $227 million for
continued CIDA programming between 2014-2017, including programming in
education and health, as well as the Canadian Government's unwavering
long-term support for Afghan women and girls.
Expectations of accountability and reforms in areas such as governance,
anti-corruption and advancing the rights of women and girls represented an
important component of Canada's announcement. These expectations were
formally captured in the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework signed
between the International Community and the Government of the Islamic
Republic of Afghanistan.
Question #2: What steps are we taking to ensure that the small
advances we have made in the education of girls are not destroyed when we
At the July 2012 Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan, the Canadian Government
announced a commitment to development programming in Afghanistan until 2017.
This included a pledge to continue to offer programming in education,
especially as this sector supports the advancement of women and girls. This
demonstrates a long-term Canadian commitment to girls' education and enables
CIDA to adopt a long-term programming focus rather than a limited focus on
In order to maximise the potential for CIDA's projects to generate
benefits for Afghans beyond the timeframe of specific investments, CIDA
ensures that key determinants of sustainability are factored into the
education projects that it funds. The following section illustrates how some
of these key determinants have been taken into account in CIDA's support for
Support provided by CIDA and other donors to the education sector, as
well as direction coming from the highest levels of the Afghan Government,
have helped entrench a clear commitment to girls' education into a number of
Afghan Government policy documents and action plans. In addition to
supporting the development of these policy frameworks, CIDA has also helped
build the institutional capacity of the Ministry of Education to implement
and oversee the policies and action plans that promote girls' education.
This is another key determinant to ensuring a long-term return on our
investments in girls' education, i.e. (i) ensuring that functional
institutions (from the national level down to the community level) are
reinforced during the lifespan of our projects and (ii) self-sustaining
after our projects end. To this end, CIDA works closely with the Afghan
Ministry of Education to ensure that each education project aligns with the
Ministry's own plans and priorities, and that future budgets are made
available in the Government's plans and budgets to absorb the long-term
operating costs of our projects (e.g. infrastructure maintenance, salaries).
CIDA's partners on the ground also work with community groups to ensure that
initiatives are sustainable beyond the lives of specific projects. This can
be achieved when projects are implemented by communities themselves (e.g.
Another successful approach has been the engagement of communities
themselves in girls' education. For example, the CIDA-supported Education
Quality Improvement Program has established more than 10,000 School
Management Committees. These committees give communities a platform to
advocate for education (including the education of girls) at the community
level, while at the same time holding their government accountable for
effective education service delivery.
Another successful example has been CIDA's support for Community-Based
Education (CBE). CBE has not only been successful in increasing girls'
access to education, but also in empowering girls and their communities to
take ownership and responsibility over the issue of girls' education.
Through this focus on community ownership, CIDA-supported programming has
taken root, and processes have been put in place to transfer the
responsibility for CBE to the Ministry of Education to in order to ensure
quality, sustainability and oversight.
Our experience in Afghanistan has shown that the creation of a strong
institutional base at the national level and at the community level, backed
by full cooperation and involvement, reflecting local needs and aspirations,
and consistent with Afghanistan's wider development strategy, are keys to
ensuring that gains reached through CIDA investments are sustained.
Question #3: Information on Resolution 1325
CIDA has made a firm and unwavering commitment to women and girls in
Afghanistan and will continue to build on our common commitments under UN
Security Council Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security. This includes
close monitoring of the impact of the security situation on women and girls,
and working to address the threat of gender-based violence.
Under Canada's Action Plan for Women, Peace and Security (WPS Action
Plan), CIDA is obligated to support projects in fragile and
conflict-affected states, deliver training for staff sent to the field,
ensure our humanitarian partners have codes of conduct, support women in
management positions at CIDA, and engage in policy dialogue.
CIDA's Afghanistan Program focuses on promoting increased participation
and representation of women, including through protection measures such as
supporting women's human rights and reducing gender-based violence. During
the last five years, CIDA has been supporting 8 projects for a total of
$20.99 million that directly (but not exclusively) supports women's
participation and addresses protection issues through promotion of women's
rights and protection from gender-based violence.
As per the WPS Action plan, CIDA is required to track the number of
projects in fragile or conflict-affected states that address the four areas
of Prevention, Protection, Participation and Representation, and also
includes Relief and Recovery.
CIDA supports women's right to protection including support to raising
awareness and strengthening of various policies, programs and legislation,
which aim to reduce gender-based violence in the country. For example:
- Multi-year core funding to the Afghan Independent Human Rights
Commission (AIHRC) has been pivotal in preventing the back-sliding of
women's rights in the country and was key to supporting changes to the
Shi'a Personal Status Law and the drafting of the 2009 Elimination of
Violence Against Women (EVAW) law. AIHRC is also supporting the
reconciliation agenda to address victims of violence and women's rights.
- CIDA's Responsive Fund for the Advancement of Women (RFAW) has
supported over 30 Afghan community service organisations. Sub-projects
have supported awareness of violence against women (including the EVAW
law and elimination of family violence), women rights awareness, the
development of shelters, and initiatives to support women's leadership
and participation in the political process.
Participation and Representation:
- Through the Responsive Fund for the Advancement of Women, CIDA also
supported the Afghan Women's Network's (AWN) participation at the Bonn
2011 and the Tokyo 2012 international conferences on Afghanistan, which
was instrumental in enhancing awareness and understanding of Afghan
women's priorities and concerns. AWN members noted that they felt that
their voices were finally heard.
- Specific to women's political participation, CIDA has supported 4
projects before, during and after the 2009 provincial and 2010 national
parliamentary elections. In Afghanistan's past Wolesi Jirga Election,
406 female candidates competed for the 249 seats in Parliament. Through
CIDA, Canadian support provided training to nearly 80% of women
candidates and elected officials in both provincial council and
parliamentary electoral processes.
Relief and Recovery:
- Basic needs must be met in order for women to meaningfully engage in
decision-making and peace processes, and for their rights to be upheld.
To this end, CIDA funds a number of projects that address enhanced
access to, and quality of, girls education, and
initiatives in the area of maternal and child health.
Policy and Programming:
The Afghanistan Program supports Canada's Action Plan, and Security
Council Resolution 1325 through a mix of programming and policy dialogue.
- The Program includes reference to Canada's National Action Plan for
the Implementation of the United Nations Security on Women, Peace and
Security (WPS), which provides guidance to support planning and Agency
compliance with the Government of Canada. In addition, the Program is
supported through the assistance of gender equality technical service
both in Ottawa and in the field. Field support includes a local Gender
- CIDA continues to play a key role in liaising with the Afghan
government, donors and civil society organisations to promote greater
coordination and programming in support of women, peace and security
- CIDA continues to support the decision-making capacities of women
and girls in partner communities to take ownership and promote their
engagement in both development and peace processes;
- CIDA continues to support key, respected local organisations such as
the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission and the Afghan Women's
Network. These partners are setting and supporting the pace of change
for women through their community level work, and via their links with
the Afghan government;
- CIDA has recently undertaken a Humanitarian Assistance review to
examine CIDA's humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan, and how to best
meet changing needs in the evolving Afghanistan context. The review
includes an assessment of the Afghan humanitarian context which
addressed two primary issues: accessing people in greatest need
(including women and girls); and, opportunities to support local Afghan
humanitarian organizations; and,
- The design of the Afghanistan Program's human rights pillar is
underway and will have a focus on women's rights. Both the Humanitarian
Assistance and the Human Rights sectors will take into consideration
Canada's Action Plan on Peace and Security, and how to best support it.
The Senate proceeded to consideration of the seventh report of the Standing
Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry (Bill S-11, An Act respecting food
commodities, including their inspection, their safety, their labelling and
advertising, their import, export and interprovincial trade, the establishment
of standards for them, the registration or licensing of persons who perform
certain activities related to them, the establishment of standards governing
establishments where those activities are performed and the registration of
establishments where those activities are performed, with amendments), presented
in the Senate on October 4, 2012.
Hon. Percy Mockler moved the adoption of the report.
He said: Honourable senators, as chair of the Standing Senate Committee on
Agriculture and Forestry, it is my duty to outline the nature and the purpose of
the two proposed amendments in the report before us.
First, I would like to take this opportunity to thank members of the
committee for their work on this file, which began in June 2012. Over the course
of these past months, we heard from the minister and his officials, as well as
from numerous stakeholders who have an interest in this particular piece of
legislation in order to improve the quality of life of Canadians.
Honourable senators, the committee heard from 22 witnesses in total, and we
spent approximately 12 hours reviewing Bill S-11, entitled the Safe Food for
As a committee, we have done our due diligence and have come to agreement
that this is a good bill and a fair bill.
Members of the committee did not always agree on the specifics, but we do
agree that it is a good bill, a real, positive step in the right direction.
I would like to thank members of the committee for their hard work, their
dedication and their support as we worked with the witnesses and the
stakeholders. I would also like to take this opportunity, honourable senators,
to thank Senator Plett, in particular, who, as sponsor, did an admirable job in
representing the government's position with respect to Bill S-11, the Safe Food
for Canadians Act.
Honourable senators, I would be remiss if I did not mention the role that
Senator Peterson played in the study of Bill S-11, the Safe Food for Canadians
Act. Senator Peterson took his responsibility very seriously.
Honourable senators, it is also fitting to pay tribute in a special way today
to Senator Peterson who acted as the critic to the bill and who has been a
valuable member of our committee.
Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.
Senator Mockler: Yes, this bill is a step in the right direction
because we all participated in it. Bill S-11, the Safe Food for Canadians Act,
aims to consolidate food provisions now administered and enforced by the
Canadian Food Inspection Agency under four statutes into one act and to
strengthen oversight of food commodities being traded interprovincially and also
It is fair to say that, in the spirit of the bill, we collectively have the
same objective, namely, food safety and security for Canadians.
However, the committee did find the need for two amendments. Honourable
senators, please bear with me in informing Parliament that the first proposed
amendment is technical in nature and corrects the English version of the bill in
clause 51, line 34, on page 21. Clause 51 of the bill prescribes the regulatory
authority of the Governor-in-Council to bring into effect the legislation.
Subclause 51(c) permits the government to prescribe inspection marks and
grade names and currently refers to "any food company" when in fact it should
refer to "any food commodity." The French version of the bill is correct. It is
only the English version that must be corrected. The committee unanimously
agreed that this change was necessary.
Honourable senators, the second proposed amendment deals with clause 68 of
the bill. Subclause 68(1) requires the minister to undertake a review of the
provisions and operations of the act every five years, while 68(2) requires him
to provide Parliament with a report on the review.
Honourable senators, a majority of the members of the committee agreed that
it would be beneficial to provide some greater specificity with respect to the
nature of the review that is to take place and also to ensure that the minister
assesses the resources that CFIA provides for its administration and
enforcement. The proposed language in the amendment would achieve that purpose.
I should say, honourable senators, that there was some disagreement. However,
due diligence and great discussions happened for this area of the bill. Some
senators felt that it would be better for someone other than the minister — and
I want to repeat this — some senators felt that it would be better for someone
other than the minister to be responsible for the review of the legislation. To
that end, Senator Peterson proposed an amendment that would mandate the Auditor
General to conduct a resource audit of the CFIA.
Honourable senators, Bill S-11, the Safe Food for Canadians Act, will
consolidate into one law the food provisions from four statutes currently
enforced by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the CFIA. The objective of the
bill is to improve oversight of food commodities being traded interprovincially
In the end, the majority of members felt that the Auditor General already has
broad authority to conduct audits, including at the CFIA, and that it would be
inappropriate to direct the Auditor General in this way because he already has
the authority and the jurisdiction to conduct any audits. Therefore, honourable
senators, that proposal failed and the amendment before us now, which was
proposed by Senator Plett, was adopted by the committee.
I would like to thank members of the committee again for their thorough
examination of this report, which is an important piece of legislation for all
Honourable senators, the majority of members felt that the Auditor General
already has broad authority to conduct audits, including at the CFIA, and that
it would be inappropriate to direct his work in this way.
Before closing, I would like to thank all members of the committee again for
their thorough examination of this important piece of legislation, which
permitted our witnesses and stakeholders to be heard.
Honourable senators, I understand that Senator Peterson also wishes to speak
to this bill at third reading before his retirement at the end of the week. I
would therefore hope that all senators would adopt this report today to allow
him to have that opportunity.
Honourable senators, thank you very much.
Hon. Grant Mitchell: Honourable senators, I would like to make a few
comments about this report. Before I begin my substantive comments, I would like
to thank our colleague Senator Mockler for his recognition of the great work of
Senator Peterson. I know that all of us on our side are going to miss him
tremendously, deeply and greatly, and I am sure that most of our colleagues on
the other side will as well. I think it is a testimony to how we rise above
partisanship every once in a while in this place that Senator Mockler would have
recognized him as kindly as he did. The rest of my speech will probably not
demonstrate that particular element of the Senate, because I have a couple of
things on my mind.
Senator Mockler made the point that the report was comprehensive, that 22
witnesses had been called, one of whom I understand was the minister and the
first witness, and that many questions were answered. I am sure that is the
case. However, as I consider the state of this issue currently, there is the
state of E. coli issue, which is a reflection of the need for this kind of
legislation and this debate. It strikes me that even after the appearance of the
Minister of Agriculture, there is one huge question that remains unanswered.
Clearly, the Minister of Agriculture was unable to answer that question. That
question is: How could it be that a government that has been in government for
seven years; that has a responsibility to the people of Canada for food safety;
that has a responsibility to the agricultural industry and certainly to the beef
industry to sustain its credibility nationally and internationally; was not
surprised, it would seem, by this kind of issue, when the listeriosis issue
occurred on their watch? How is it that this E. coli issue could have arisen,
given all of those observations? That question has yet to be answered.
There are two views of what might have happened. One belongs to some critics
of both the minister and the government who would say that the minister did not
have enough resources and that the government cut funding and did not have
enough inspectors. I think one can make a relatively good case, if not an
excellent case, that the government has cut funding — it certainly is cutting it
now — and that perhaps there are not enough people, because, some would say, a
very small portion of those people whom the government has hired has been
applied to this particular area of meat review.
If it is the case that the government does not have sufficient resources to
do this adequately, then one could argue that it might not be the minister's
fault because the minister simply could not get the money from the government.
However, that would underline a problem with the government's competence in
dealing with this important issue. Mr. Harper happens to be from a riding that
is probably within an hour of the XL plant. If the government requires more
resources, why could it not figure out how to get adequate resources to manage
this issue, to manage this process, properly? That would be a logical conclusion
from the observation that the government did not apply enough resources, so
maybe it is an overall incompetence conclusion of the government, the Prime
Minister and all those who would tell Mr. Ritz whether or not he could have
extra money and extra resources. That, in itself, would be a conclusion that
would be very disturbing, given the consequences of this issue, for Canadians,
the Canadian beef industry and any of us who want a piece of beef on our plate
and some sense of certainty that it will not make our children sick. But that is
not the government's answer.
The government's answer to that accusation was no, they have actually put
hundreds of millions of extra dollars into food processing since 2008 and the
listeriosis problem where 22 people died on this government's watch. They have
hired hundreds of new people, 700 new people. That makes the issue of
competence/ incompetence even worse, even more significant, because if, in fact,
the minister has had experience with the listeriosis issue, which was much the
same kind of problem as the E. coli issue, so it was not a surprise and he has
had experience; and if the minister actually has put tens of millions of dollars
more into it, he certainly has the financial resources, which is the
government's case; and if he has hired hundreds of more people — and certainly
that was Minister Ritz's reaction, that clearly he has all the people he needs —
then what would be the reason that he cannot deliver on a proper process that
gives us a sense of security that our beef, is safe to eat, not just for
Canadians but for the world?
That raises directly the question of the minister's incompetence. It was not
a surprise because he has dealt with it before with listeriosis; he has all the
money that he says he needs because he says he has put tens of millions of
dollars more into it, apparently, we are to take him at his word; and he has 700
more employees. If one gives a manager all of the things that they would
probably need in order to do a job and they still do not do that job, then whose
fault is that? It certainly bears upon the competence, the incompetence, of the
minister. Then one starts to question up the line, the person to whom he
reports. That is, of course, the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister knows that
something went wrong with listeriosis; otherwise, why would he have given the
minister extra money and people? Now that he has done that, the minister still
Therefore, we have an incompetent minister. Logically, that is the conclusion
that we are driven to. We have to question those up the line, namely the Prime
Minister, to whom that minister reports and, ultimately, at whose desk the buck
stops, if I can stay that.
That question has not been answered. How could it be? It was not a surprise,
but it is a huge responsibility to Canadians and people around the world who eat
the meat and to the agriculture industry, which is reeling from BSE, which is
just barely recovering and has to deal with this.
The government has the money and has the people, but it cannot deliver. When
it comes to leadership, leadership must get results. It is not enough to give
excuses. It is not enough to spin. Leadership must produce results. In this
case, two times in four years they have not produced the kind of results that,
at a very basic level, Canadians and the beef industry should be able to expect.
Absolutely, as a matter of course, they should be able to expect that our meat
would be safe and would be properly reviewed.
If it is not that the government cannot deliver with the resources, one must
ask: Why is it? What is it about this government that has rendered it
incompetent in this process? I will talk about this more when we get this
omnibus bill, but I think we have to start to ask what this government has ever
done that demonstrates competence almost anywhere. It cannot build a pipeline in
Canada — in six years and nine months — to diversify our projects, diversify our
markets for energy. One cannot fathom that that would be the case and that a
government that would claim to be competent cannot do critical things for two of
our most critical industries. It cannot build a pipeline to diversify our
products and it cannot get safe meat that we would feel safe about on our
Why is that? I think it may be the nature of the ideology that drives them.
That ideology, at a fundamental level, says the private sector can do everything
better than the public sector, better than government, except maybe war and
Let us investigate that. Either it can or it cannot, but when one looks at
the problems we have with the pipeline and with adequate consultation with
Aboriginal peoples, for example — which is the constitutional responsibility of
the Government of Canada and which has been, one would say kindly, delegated to
the private sector, although I would say abdicated to the private sector — then
one begins to see a pattern. It has been borne out with lack of government
review of the meat processing process. Somehow they have put the onus more and
more on the industry, on the private sector, on these companies to do it. The
government has abdicated their responsibility; and it might just be that the
evidence is that as powerful an incentive as economic forces, markets and
meeting demand and supply considerations are on the private sector, perhaps
there are just some things the private sector cannot do as well as they would do
if they were properly monitored by government.
It may not be, although I think it is, that in fact the minister is
incompetent or that Mr. Harper is incompetent, although there is a building case
to make that point. It is certainly the case that the ideology is incompetent to
meet at least this particular consideration. I ask the question: Where is it
that we see evidence that this ideology has made a society better, made an
economy stronger or made people's lives better? I ask that question and I do not
get an answer. It certainly has not made people's lives better in Brooks when
they work at the XL plant. It has not made people's lives better if they have
been sick or in the beef industry, in particular. Ask whether being driven by
this ideology the way that this government is driven has resulted one way or
another in an incompetent management of this particular process, the meat
processing monitoring case.
I wanted to make that point, and I think it is the elephant question in the
room, if I might put it that way. It would be really interesting to hear from
Mr. Harper and from Mr. Ritz on why it is they cannot do this basic, fundamental
thing that the people of Canada, or at least 33 per cent of them, support them
Hon. Jane Cordy: Is the senator willing to take a question?
Senator Mitchell: Yes.
Senator Cordy: I know in Nova Scotia people are concerned about E.
coli, and the sales of beef have gone down, which is of concern to a number of
people in the area. This is ironic because the contamination has taken place in
Alberta and should not affect Nova Scotia. However, if one travels anywhere in
Canada they will find people are very concerned about E. coli and the safety of
It was under the same minister's watch that we had the listeriosis crisis. We
know that at that time the minister spoke somewhat lightheartedly about death by
a thousand cuts and also that, on hearing that someone had died, he said he
hoped that it was Wayne Easter, who was the agriculture critic. I think that was
a horrid thing for anyone to say, let alone the minister.
When the honourable senator was speaking about the E. coli crisis we are in
now, it made me nervous for many of the reasons he spoke about. I wonder if he
would share that concern because when questioned about it, the minister in the
house and certainly the Leader of the Government in the Senate spoke about
having done all these things, including putting millions of dollars into extra
monitoring and hiring hundreds of people and hundreds of inspectors. Yet, that
makes me even more nervous because if the money has been spent — millions of
dollars extra into the Department of Agriculture and into the inspection process
— and if we have hired hundreds of extra inspectors, my first question would be
what else could be the problem? Could the honourable senator answer that? That
answer from the minister makes me more nervous than saying we will put more
money into it and we will hire more inspectors. That has already been done, so
why are we having another crisis? Of course we are concerned about the health
aspect, but we should also be concerned about people in the beef industry. It is
decimating the industry and the trust in the beef industry from the province of
My second question is that part of this bill, I understand, is that the
minister will now be responsible for monitoring how well the system is working
and, as Senator Mockler said, it is not the Auditor General who will be doing
that. I wonder if the senator would comment on that.
Senator Mitchell: I thank Senator Cordy. The issue of trust is
extremely important. I am hearing stories of people going to grocery stores and
there is no chicken. There is lots of beef but no chicken. It is purely
anecdotal, I grant you that, but I was on Air Canada this week and they were
handing out the menu and they crossed off beef and in handwriting they put on
salmon. Is that not an indictment of this government's ability to deliver clean,
safe meat that we can have a sense of security about?
It is unbelievable that this is happening again four years later. If the
Prime Minister was any kind of manager and leader he would call in Mr. Ritz and
say, "You are fired." He would put someone in there who can do the job, or at
least try again. How many times does this have to happen before Mr. Ritz gets
fired? Will he get a third and fourth chance? Twenty-two people died the first
time. Could I have five more minutes, please?
Twenty-two people died of listeriosis. No one apparently has died of E. coli,
but it is up to 15 people, and a young girl in Calgary had kidney failure and
they operated and saved her. Who knows what the long-term consequences are. This
is not some political spin issue. This is not just saving the government's skin.
This is about fundamental health and safety for Canadians so they can put a
piece of meat on their child's plate and have a sense of security that they will
not get sick from it, and this government cannot deliver that most basic of
services. They will say it is not our fault; it is the private sector. It is
your fault. You have to make sure the private sector can deliver on that. They
did not in the listeriosis case, so why did the government not pick their socks
up and get tougher and more specific and stringent?
In answer to the second question, which was the question of throwing money at
the problem, it is amazing to me that that is really what their answer amounted
to. If the government cannot deliver with all the resources, and they keep
saying we have the resources, then de facto, it is saying we just threw money at
the problem. That raises another fundamental question, not just an ideological
problem, because your ideology does not work; we know that.
The fact is that it is a question about management. I have often said this
and I will ask this question rhetorically again. If the President of Toyota
hated cars, what kind of company would Toyota be? The Prime Minister of Canada
hates government and now we are seeing what kind of government we get. If you
hate government, you do not listen to your public servants; you do not have
faith that they can give you advice and that you might just want to follow it;
and you do not have a sense of how to manage that organization. If you hate your
organization, how could you ever begin to inspire the people to do what needs to
be done, to listen to them and to manage them effectively? That is another
problem because this government hates government, and it cannot manage it.
We see it over and over. We see it with record deficits. We see it with
skyrocketing debt. We see it with a pipeline they cannot get built. We see it
with food safety, which is now the second time.
My point is their ideology problem: They hate government and they cannot
manage it. It is very clear that a real, fundamental level of incompetence is
running this government.
Finally, there is this idea that the minister, coming out of all of this,
having been an absolute abject failure twice in critical areas, now will be
charged with monitoring, managing and reviewing himself. It is almost
incomprehensible. Who came up with that idea? Which genius thought of that? Let
us take this fellow who clearly cannot do his job and have him monitor and
assess how he is doing his job. I wonder what his answer would be.
Senator Mockler: Honourable senators, I have heard the honourable
senator opposite saying that it is not just political spin. With what we have
witnessed here, there is no doubt in my mind that if he were to go back to
Webster's Dictionary, Mr. Webster would have a different view of his comment
about it not being political spin.
I listened carefully when the honourable senator mentioned cuts and cutting
funding on resources and inspectors. I think there is too much fear mongering in
what I have just heard. For the record, I need to bring to the attention of
Parliament what our government says — and it is easy — on the question. It is
also very easy to use the word "incompetent."
I would like to answer the honourable senator's two or three questions. Our
government ordered an independent investigation of the Canadian food safety
system following the listeria outbreak in 2008. The government committed to
addressing each and every one of the 57 recommendations from the investigation
led by Ms. Sheila Weatherill.
In September of 2009, we announced an initial investment of $75 million to
respond to all of these recommendations. Among other things, we are providing
Canadians with the information they need to reduce the risk of food-borne
illness through a new food safety web portal and national public information
In 2010, the Speech from the Throne reaffirmed the government's commitment to
Some Hon. Senators: Oh, oh!
Senator Mockler: I will answer the question; please listen. It was a
good question, and here is the answer.
In Budget 2010, we delivered an additional —
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, the 15 minutes of Senator
Mitchell's time has been exhausted, as has the extra five minutes. Is there
Some Hon. Senators: Question.
The Hon. the Speaker: Are honourable senators ready for the question?
Some Hon. Senators: Question.
The Hon. the Speaker: It was moved by the Honourable Senator Mockler,
seconded by the Honourable Senator Wallace, that the seventh report of the
Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, Bill S-11, An Act
respecting food commodities, including their inspection, their safety, their
labelling and advertising, their import, export and interprovincial trade, the
establishment of standards for them, the registration or licensing of persons
who perform certain activities related to them, the establishment of standards
governing establishments where those activities are performed and the
registration of establishments where those activities are performed, with
amendments, be adopted.
Those in favour of the motion will signify by saying "yea."
Some Hon. Senators: Yea.
The Hon. the Speaker: Contra-minded will signify by saying "nay."
Some Hon. Senators: Nay.
An Hon. Senator: On division.
(Motion agreed to and report adopted, on division.)
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, when shall this bill be
read the third time?
(On motion of Senator Carignan, bill placed on the Orders of the Day for
third reading at the next sitting of the Senate.)
On the Order:
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Harb, seconded by
the Honourable Senator Poy, for the second reading of Bill S-210, An Act to
amend the Fisheries Act (commercial seal fishing).
Hon. Mac Harb: Honourable senators, I am very proud to rise today to
continue debate on Bill S-210, An Act to amend the Fisheries Act, which would
prohibit the commercial fishing for seals and disallow the issuance of
commercial licences for seal fishing.
I would like once again to thank honourable senators for supporting the
debate of this important national and international issue. I look forward to a
debate that leaves behind emotion and focuses on the facts, facts that will be
more closely examined when the bill moves on to committee.
A poll done in June of this year by Environics Research tells us that 69 per
cent of Canadians support the passing of this bill. Seventy-one per cent of
Canadians oppose using tax dollars to promote the hunt and 85 per cent of
Canadians would approve the use of tax dollars to put a program in place to
transition sealers into other employment opportunities. This is the reality that
we, as politicians, have been ignoring for far too long. When it comes to the
commercial seal hunt, the government needs to face this reality and accept the
There are no viable markets for commercially hunted seal products. The
majority of Canadians have called on their government to stop propping up the
commercial seal hunt with their tax dollars.
The government should support Canada's Inuit and other First Nations whose
seal products are exempt from the European seal trade ban and who can benefit
from their unique access to the EU market.
Seals are not responsible for the lack of fish. Scientific evidence shows it
was government inaction and misguided action on the fishery that was responsible
for the depletion of the cod stocks and its continuing struggles to recover.
Finally, Canada's $5 billion commercial fishery needs the government to step
up and meet its national and international commitments to establish sustainable
ocean management practices.
Honourable senators, the commercial seal hunt is clinically dead and has
effectively ended. Although there are 14,000 issued commercial sealing licences,
only a few hundred sealers took part in the 2011 hunt. The 2011 landed value of
the seal hunt was just over $730,000. Sealers earned an average of $3,000 that
year, before deducting costs such as fuel, food and ammunition.
The commercial seal hunt accounted for only 0.002 per cent of the provincial
GDP of Newfoundland and Labrador in 2011.
Prior to the opening of the 2012 hunt, the largest seal fur buyer in Canada
closed its doors to seal products.
In February of 2012, the Newfoundland government "loaned" $3.6 million to a
Norwegian-owned company operating in the province to buy and stockpile pelts.
Due to that loan, almost 70,000 seals were killed in this year's hunt and the
pelts were dumped in warehouses. What will they do next year — another $4
million taxpayer-funded loan?
Honourable senators, the markets are gone. More than 34 countries, including
Canada's number one and number two trading partners, the United States and the
European Union, have banned the trade in commercial seal products. Last winter,
Russia also banned trade in seal products. Switzerland and Taiwan are now
working on bans. This trend reflects the growing international concern,
supported by a new landmark report published just this fall in the international
journal Marine Policy, which concluded that the commercial seal hunt is
inherently inhumane given the conditions under which it operates.
Honourable senators, the government misled sealers in early 2011, saying they
would soon start shipping seal products to China. However, the Chinese have not
and may never open markets for these products. A few weeks ago, more than 50
Chinese organizations, representing tens of millions of supporters, sent an open
letter to each honourable senator, saying that Canada's push to send seal
products to China has caused "irreparable damage to Canada's reputation in
China" and that the Canadian government is "out of touch with the latest
developments in China."
The government is also out of touch with how Canadians want their tax dollars
spent. Remember, 71 per cent of Canadians are opposed to using their tax dollars
to promote the commercial seal hunt and 67 per cent of Canadians are opposed to
any tax dollars being spent to support the commercial seal hunt, but their money
keeps on pouring down the drain.
Along with funding million-dollar loans to a foreign-owned company with no
customers, Canadians will be on the hook for $10 million spent on a futile
challenge of the EU ban at the World Trade Organization. The European General
Court dismissed a 2011 attempt to have the ban overturned, and legal experts
agree that the ban respects international protocols for banning trade. There is
no doubt in my mind that the WTO challenge will fail — and it should.
Canada has routinely carved out exemptions from trade agreements to protect
our cultural industries and our values. Should we now tell the 27 EU member
states that while we maintain the right to protect our values, we deny them the
right to protect theirs? It may also be worth stating the obvious: The EU is not
ordering Canadians to stop the hunt; it is simply respecting the democratic
choice of its own citizens not to have these products brought into their
As many as 100 European parliamentarians are now calling on Canada to
withdraw its challenge of the EU seal ban prior to the upcoming vote on the
multi-billion dollar Canada-Europe trade agreement. Remember, this agreement
could boost Canada's gross domestic product by $12 billion annually and increase
bilateral trade by 20 per cent. The government is risking it all for an industry
with no visible life signs. It is unbelievable.
The fact is that even these futile efforts are not helping the sealers. The
sad reality is that sealers are being abandoned by their government. They are
being let down and deceived. Sealers are the victims of this government's lack
The proposed medical use of seal heart valves has failed clinical tests.
Canadians are not buying the product. Canadians are not eating the meat and, not
surprisingly, the rest of the world is not, either.
To quote John Furlong of the CBC, who writes on the fisheries:
How much experimenting can we do to market seal meat? Only a handful of
Newfoundlanders can gag it down. Why do we think there's a broader market
It is a good point.
Honourable senators, the old days of the seal lamp oil markets are gone. The
commercial seal hunt will never be what it once was. We have to move on to an
industry buyout. Sealers are facing hard times and all they are getting is lip
The government has to sit down with the stakeholders in the industry and talk
realistically about an industry-wide buyout. I am talking about the formal end
of the commercial seal hunt, while allowing subsistence hunting to continue.
Fishermen who hold sealing licences would receive financial compensation and
economic alternatives would be developed in the communities most affected. This
solution was used to end the commercial whale hunt in Canada, and it worked.
The good news is that a buyout would cost less than the subsidies required
now just to prop up the sealing industry.
I believe these sealers themselves will be supportive. A survey done by
Environics Research last year indicated that two thirds of Newfoundland sealers
holding an opinion were in support of a sealing licence buyout. The people
interviewed were not just sealing licence holders; they were active participants
in the commercial seal hunt. While polling shows that most Canadians do not want
tax dollars used to subsidize the sealing industry, Canadians overwhelmingly
support funding a transition program for sealers.
Let us put it in perspective. In 1992, after the collapse of the northern cod
fishery, the Canadian government provided nearly $4 billion to help fishers and
plant workers adjust to the closures. Before the 1992 moratorium, the cod
fishing industry was worth $250 million a year. The funds needed for a buyout of
the sealing industry is far less in comparison to what the government has spent
on other buyouts.
The government could turn its relationship with animal rights groups from a
problem into a solution. Humane Society International (Canada), IFAW, PETA, and
Canada's various environmental groups are more in touch with national and
international opinions on these issues than politicians will ever be.
There is a way to take advantage of this plentiful natural resource in a
different, sustainable way. Just this week, we learned of a new initiative in
the United Kingdom where tourists can pay to tour Britain's largest seal colony
during breeding season for the first time in its history. The non-profit sector
can help. Let us draw on their expertise, research and broad bases of support to
find meaningful investments into viable initiatives in lieu of the commercial
Let us now turn to the situation facing Inuit and First Nations hunters.
Canada's Inuit are experts at living off the land in a very challenging
environment. I would like to take a moment to explain how the government's
action — or should I say inaction — has made their challenges that much more
difficult. Inuit and First Nations people in Canada have been hunting seals for
thousands of years to survive. They have an inherent right to do so. The
European Union acknowledged and respected this right when drafting its
commercial seal products ban.
The government knew the EU ban was coming and it had a responsibility to
ensure that Northern hunters' access to the market remained open. Instead, it
opted to take a back seat as communities in the North struggled to cope with
these changes. The Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami was pressured into an appeal of the
EU ban because the government did nothing to make the Northern exempt status
work in their favour. The Inuit problem with marketing their product is not
their problem or an EU problem; it is the Canadian government's problem. The
problem here is not the market but the lack of government marketing support,
plain and simple.
When the EU ban went into effect, Minister Leona Aglukkaq, Member of
Parliament for Nunavut, said in a statement, "in these difficult economic times
. . . northern sealers need our support now more than ever." However, where was
that support? Where is it now?
The federal government chose instead to use the Inuit hunt as a decoy to
defend the failing, larger commercial seal hunt. Our Inuit communities have been
badly used by the government as the public relations face for the commercial
hunt, despite the fact that their traditional subsistence hunt bears no
resemblance to the relative new kid on the block, the commercial seal hunt. That
strategy has certainly not saved the commercial hunt and it has caused great
harm to the Northern hunters.
Unlike the commercial sealers who get a fraction of their annual income from
the commercial hunt, for some Inuit and Aboriginal hunters, the sale of seal
products is the only source of income in a region that is going through
Let us look at the situation. The unemployment rate in July 2012 for Nunavut
was 14.8 per cent compared with the national rate of 7.3 per cent. Half of Inuit
adults earn less than $20,000 per year. They face serious issues involving lack
of housing, poverty, illiteracy, poor health and food insecurity.
The EU exemption created a unique opportunity for the government to work with
the hunters and their communities to create a viable and value-added industry.
This could have led to widespread economic development creating lasting jobs in
Canadians are asking now: Why did the government not use this exemption to
promote economic development in these struggling communities? Why did the
government not facilitate the labour training programs, processing plants,
training programs, certification facilities, labelling processes, marketing
initiatives and shipping facilities, taking concrete action that could generate
real jobs and real export opportunities for these hunters?
Now, honourable senators, let me move to dispel the myth of the cod and the
Despite overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary, the government
stubbornly defended and fueled the myth that seals are responsible for the
depletion of the cod stocks. It set higher quotas than the DFO scientists
recommended and considered sustainable. It called for the slaughter of seal
populations in direct contradiction to best practices and scientific expertise,
and why? Because it was politically expedient to do so.
As honourable senators know, the Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and
Oceans has undertaken a study into the grey seal population on Canada's East
Coast. I am concerned that the reason for the study was to justify the
minister's predetermined desire for a cull, but I appreciated the opportunity to
hear wide-ranging testimony from those involved in the fishery, both scientists
We heard from many expert scientific witnesses who have spent their entire
career studying these complex marine ecosystems. I am here to tell honourable
senators frankly that they would be hard pressed to find a single scientist
appearing before the committee who would agree with the premise that seals are
responsible for the low number of cod in our waters. Despite the overwhelming
scientific evidence, sadly, fishery legislation gives broad discretionary powers
to the ministers who can make decisions irrespective of science-determined
guidelines, targets and principles, a matter I will discuss at more length in a
Honourable senators, it is widely acknowledged that overfishing and poor
fisheries management brought the cod to the brink of extinction in this country,
but still the current government curries political favour by ignoring the
science, even lifting the moratorium on cod fishing in some areas, despite the
fact that it remains endangered. Then they blame the seals.
However, seals are not to blame. New research coming out of a 2011 study by
the Department of Fisheries and Oceans scientist Kenneth Frank showed that the
collapse of the cod in the 1990s was caused by human overfishing, resulting in a
population explosion of plankton-eating forage fish, such as herring and
capelin. The forage fish population exploded by 900 per cent after the cod
collapse. At these levels, they competed with cod and sometimes ate cod eggs and
baby cod, hampering the cod recovery. It was not the seals.
Eventually, the overpopulated forage fish ran out of food and their
population started to decline. Around 2005, the ecosystem went into a
"recovering" state, where cod populations began rising again. Now, honourable
senators, the cod are recovering on the Scotian Shelf and on the Grand Banks,
despite or perhaps because of the abundance of grey seals and harp seals in
You can see that seals and fish can live side by side peacefully.
Scientists like Ken Frank and Boris Worm concluded that changes in forage
species could explain both the failure to recover and the subsequent recovery of
cod stocks. And, given that seals feed primarily on forage fish, one can
reasonably conclude that the reduction in the number of seals will lead to
another increase in forage fish populations, which could have a negative impact
on the recovery of cod stocks.
However, in order to score political points, the government continues to
increase seal hunting quotas and dismiss evidence that shows that the steady
rise in the commercial hunt and targeted slaughter is definitely not in the best
interest of our fisheries and oceans.
Honourable senators, Canada has one of the world's most valuable commercial
fishing industries, worth more than $5 billion a year and providing more than
130,000 jobs. It is the true economic mainstay of approximately 1,500
communities in rural and coastal Canada. Unfortunately, the government is
failing to manage responsibly this precious resource and important industry.
The Royal Society of Canada Expert Panel on Sustaining Canada's Marine
Biodiversity released a report this past February that called the government to
task. In fact, they said:
Despite pledges on conservation and sound policies, Fisheries and Oceans
has generally done a poor job of managing fish stocks, planning for whole
ecosystems and protecting marine biodiversity.
Honourable senators, this report accuses the government of failing to protect
our oceans, leaving the nation's ocean species at risk. Its chair, Professor
Jeffrey Hutchings, who has appeared before the Standing Senate Committee on
Fisheries and Oceans, said that the government has failed to meet national and
international commitments to sustain marine biodiversity. He is not the only one
to think so.
Allow me to quote Ecology Action Centre's Marine Conservation Coordinator,
Dr. Susanna D. Fuller:
Canada is one of the few countries in the world that has failed to have
enforceable rebuilding targets. . . . We do not have timelines, targets or
recovering harvest rules for commercially fished species. . . .
Two decades following the cod collapse there has been no meaningful
rebuilding of cod and the northern cod stocks are considered endangered . .
. . . the failure of fisheries management is the primary reason for stock
collapses in Atlantic Canada. . . . Efforts to improve fisheries
productivity should first look at the human impacts rather than seek other
explanations that would not require us to change fishing practices.
Ironically, honourable senators, the Royal Society report singled out the
excellence of the work done by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans scientists
in their efforts to meet Canada's commitments on marine biodiversity. Now these
scientists and their work are on the government's chopping block. This is what
this government does when science gets in the way of political ideology. It
shuts down the science and fires the scientist.
The Royal Society report found that the 1996 Oceans Act, which would have
helped move Canada towards sustainable ocean management and provide some checks
and balances on the minister's discretionary powers, has not been effectively
implemented. This delay has led to the politicization of the fishery
decision-making process. A broad management plan might have prevented the
reopening of the cod fishery in these areas, and we might be seeing the results
today with stronger cod numbers.
The Royal Society report tells us that other developed countries facing the
same pressures as Canada have done much better. For example, in Australia,
Norway and the United States, it is science, not politics, that determines key
decisions about fisheries.
It is not just this expert panel calling on the government to fulfill its
obligations. In fact, the Newfoundland Minister of Fisheries, Darin King, in a
letter submitted to the Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans,
called on the government to take steps. Minister King pointed out that
Newfoundland Premier Dunderdale had written to the Prime Minister in April 2011,
reminding him that her province has long advocated that fisheries management
decisions, particularly those pertaining to the setting of total allowable
catches, be based on scientific evidence.
He is right. The cod reopenings and the fact that the federal minister
ignored his own scientists' warnings about the vulnerability of the harp seal
herd in 2011, setting the total catch 25 per cent higher than the scientists
recommended, tell us all we need to know about decisions being made based on
Honourable senators, because of a lack of management protocols, policies have
been created based on hypotheses, public perception and, of course, political
expediency. For instance, since the number of seals has increased since the
1970s and since it has taken some time for cod stocks to recover, the government
is assuming that those facts are related and is therefore calling for more seals
to be hunted and slaughtered.
However, scientists tell us that seal populations are currently only a
fraction of what they were 100 or 200 years ago, before the advent of the modern
commercial hunt, when, incidentally, there was an abundance of cod.
Marine scientist Dr. Heike Lotze told Fisheries Committee members that 100 to
200 years ago, most populations of seals and other marine mammals were much more
abundant than they are today — a lot more — and, as a result, I believe it is
not correct to assume that we have a problem, as some would point out.
When we talk about seals and fish populations, we have to realize that both
have been much higher and that they have both been negatively affected by human
activity. Commercial seal hunts or culls are not and should not be used as
population management measures. Frankly, honourable senators, it is a waste of
taxpayers' money and simply irresponsible.
We need a science-directed approach to fisheries policies, and we just are
not getting it. While this government holds press conferences and throws good
money after bad searching for non-existent markets for the seal hunt, our
oceans and the multi-billion dollar fishery industry that depends upon them are
being put on the back burner.
It does not have to be this way. According to Dr. Hutchings, DFO scientists
have been working for years to incorporate a precautionary approach to identify
target limits and reference points. It is part of the sustainable fisheries
framework of DFO to do this, but it has not yet been done.
We also need to address a serious problem identified by the Royal Society
report, namely, the major conflict of interest at Fisheries and Oceans Canada
between its mandate to promote industrial activities and its mandate to conserve
marine life and ocean health. We know all too well which mandate takes
precedence when push comes to shove with this government. Short-term gain leads
to long-term pain.
Canada can no longer claim to be a world leader in ocean and marine resources
management. We have lost our international credibility when it comes to our
environmental policies. Scientists are being silenced and facts are being
ignored in the interests of short-term economic and political gains.
Sealing no longer provides a livelihood in East Coast rural communities. The
commercial hunt has been dealt a mortal blow by the changing demands of the
marketplace. However, the government continues to misdirect scarce public
resources trying to conjure markets out of thin air and futile battles against
our major trading partners. Our international reputation takes a beating every
spring as the boats head out to the seal herds and Canadians join millions of
people around the world calling for an end to a hunt that has no modern
The seal population is also facing climate change challenges in declining
numbers. This is a one-way evolution, and it will not turn around tomorrow or
five years from now. This government cannot allow nostalgia or political
expediency to cloud the facts. The conversation has started. The topic is no
longer taboo, even here on Parliament Hill.
It is time for real leadership that recognizes its responsibilities to
support sealers and to transition those left high and dry by the end of the
commercial seal hunt; its responsibilities to Inuit and First Nations hunters
with viable markets to develop; and its responsibilities to the majority of
Canadians who have been calling for a formal, dignified and proactive end to the
commercial seal hunt.
Along with this, and perhaps most importantly, it is time that the government
take its responsibilities as the steward of an ocean nation seriously and
fulfill its national and international commitments to sustain marine
biodiversity and to ensure that we have healthy, safe and prosperous oceans now
and in the future.
Honourable senators, I am asking you, in the same spirit and courage in which
we came together to support second reading of this bill, to show the same
courage by supporting the motion to send this bill on to the Fisheries Committee
for an open and in-depth public hearing. We owe it to the sealers, we owe it to
Canadians, and we owe it to the international community to explore this issue
with the help of informed experts and with the help of Canadians from coast to
coast to coast.
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Further debate? Will
Senator Harb accept a question?
Senator Harb: Yes.
Hon. Céline Hervieux-Payette: Honourable senators, I will come back
with a speech of my own after hearing the speech today about the great economic
concerns of the honourable senator.
Is the honourable senator aware of whom we are serving by banning seal
hunting and not fighting for these hard-working people? European
parliamentarians have in fact exploited our fish off the coast of Canada and, of
course, none of this is mentioned. If we are living this experience, there are
two predators: the fishermen from other countries and, of course, the seals.
We must also take notice that we now have a population of nearly 10 million
seals. Yesterday I was watching a Suzuki video about bears that are nearly
extinct from of a lack of food, because they do not have access to seals any
longer. In fact, the seals have no predators and that is the problem.
We are talking about control of our resources and about an industry that is
limited but necessary to the coastal population. How does the honourable senator
reconcile the fact that he would like to put these people out of work and have
some respect for the European parliamentarians who are now in the process of
adopting a policy at the European Parliament to start killing seals because the
seals are consuming all of their fish?
Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.
Senator Harb: I thank the senator for the question. Let me put it this
way: This is not about us and them. This is about us, collectively. We cannot
have it both ways. We live in a global community. We have had poll after poll
across the country showing that the majority of Canadians do not want the
commercial seal hunt to continue.
By the same token, our number one trading partner, the United States, in 1974
banned the importation of commercial seal products. Our number two trading
partner, the European Union, with 27 countries, has also told us they do not
want our product. Now we have Russia, which used to be a very big proponent of
the commercial seal hunt, saying no.
On an annual basis, honourable senators, we have millions of people — and my
office has received in excess of 700,000 to 800,000 emails in support of this
bill. These are people. We have to listen to them. We cannot just turn around
and say that because Europeans have killed a few hundred seals, we will not
support this bill. No. On the contrary, we have to listen to our own people who
are telling us that the time has come to end the commercial seal hunt.
Another result is there is no market. The market is dead, finished. Why are
we putting our heads in the sand? Why do we not tell the sealers the truth? Why
are we being so obnoxious and rude to our trading partners, our own people and
the sealers, Newfoundlanders, who expect better?
We have the minister who went to China and came back saying we have a trade
agreement with China to sell seal products, so sealers in Newfoundland started
packing seals and waited to start shipping them to China. What happened to that
agreement? We found out there was never an agreement. In fact, 50 organizations
from China have written an open letter to each and every honourable senator
saying that they are insulted.
Not only that, not long ago, someone in one of the provinces said it is okay
if Europe shuts down; we will sell to the Chinese because they eat anything.
What an incredible insult to a population of 1.2 billion people who know better
and are telling us they do not want it. Where is it? Who is there? Tell me, who
wants this product? Name them.
Senator Hervieux-Payette: I did not expect a very clear answer. I want
to point out to all honourable senators that there was a call to the commission
of the European Union on October 13, 2012, to investigate the reduction of fish
stocks owing to natural predators, such as sea lions, seals and cormorant. They
will draw up and implement management plans to regulate the population in
cooperation with the affected member states. The parliamentarians in Europe
voted for that study to control the population: 461 voted for, 141 voted against
and 42 abstained. In Europe, when the problem is at their door, they act and
take the decision. I do not know if my colleague is serving the interests of the
Chinese or the Europeans, but we are here to serve the Canadian people.
Senator Harb: It is a false notion that if one kills the sea lions or
the seals then the fish will recover. In fact, honourable senators, the United
Kingdom has done that, has culled the population, and the result is still
unknown. They do not know whether or not the fish recovered. Norway did the same
thing in 1980, 1990 and 2003. They do not know the result. Iceland did the same
in 1982. They said there was no formal evaluation and culled biomass fluctuated
without trend. Namibia did that in 1993; South Africa did it in 1993 and 2001.
California did that with the sea salmon in 2005 and 2007. I will name the rest
for the record.
The Baltic States did that to try and save the cod, as did California.
British Columbia did so, as well as Alaska.
In each situation where they went after the seals or sea lions in order to
save the fish, there is no proof whatsoever that the fish came back. We have to
let this out of the way. Killing the seals does not ensure that the fish will
come back. In fact, the opposite is happening in some areas.
Hon. Dennis Glen Patterson: I find it ironic that Senator Harb talks
about debating without emotion when in fact it is emotion based on
misinformation that drives the animal welfare movement and that is behind this
Anyone who knows anything about seals — I have hunted and eaten seals, along
with many of the people in my constituency — knows they eat fish. Scientists
told the Fisheries Committee that a mature grey seal eats a tonne to a tonne and
a half of fish a year, yet Senator Harb talks about an illusory world where fish
and seals live in perfect harmony. If these huge predators do not eat fish, what
does he think they eat? Does he think they are vegetarians?
Senator Harb: There has been a study, which I would be happy to make a
copy of and deposit in this chamber, showing that the grey seals are not
responsible for the cod depletion. I would be happy to table that study. I know
the committee did not have a chance to see that report, but I will table it in
order to prove the point based on science, not emotion.
When the Department of Fisheries and Oceans appeared before the committee,
they told us that the diet of the seal in terms of cod is 1 per cent to 24 per
cent. That is a major variation. That could be almost nothing or it could be up
to 24 per cent. Rather than turn it around and say they want to slaughter every
single seal in the ocean because they might be able to save the cod, why do they
not first try and figure out the reality of it, which is the minister's
mismanagement of his department when it comes to the fisheries policies, the
fisheries strategies, the national strategies that have to be put in place but
that are not there? Forget that. Every civilized country in the world has a
proper management plan. We are one of the very few countries without a proper
management plan for our fisheries.
Why were the fisheries opened when they should not have been? The decision
was not based on science. It was based purely on politics. Remove politics from
the decisions and allow the bureaucrats and the scientists to make those
decisions, and I assure honourable senators that we would not have to beat up or
club any harp seals.
Senator Patterson: I think my question was answered: They do eat fish.
Does Senator Harb understand that the Inuit depend on selling meat and
high-quality leather to make their subsistence hunting viable? Does he
understand that the European ban and the animal welfare movement have combined
with devastating effect on the income of the Inuit from this renewable resource
economy they have practised for thousands of years? The bill will finish the job
started by the animal rights groups, and I would like to ask whether Senator
Harb recommends that Inuit should be on welfare rather than pursuing their
traditional way of life. That is where they have been driven by the animal
rights movement, of which he is a spokesman, and by this bill, which will finish
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: I regret to inform the
senator that the time for his speech is over. Is he prepared to ask the chamber
for an extension in order to reply to Senator Patterson?
Senator Harb: Yes, please.
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Is time granted,
An Hon. Senator: Five minutes.
Senator Harb: I do not know where my colleague received his
information. Obviously it is completely wrong and is based on false fact. The EU
Regulation 14, and I quote it for the record, specifically deals with Inuit
The fundamental economic and social interests of Inuit communities
engaged in the hunting of seals as a means to ensure their subsistence
should not be adversely affected. The hunt is an integral part of the
culture and identity of the members of the Inuit society, and as such is
recognised by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous
Peoples. Therefore, the placing on the market of seal products which result
from hunts traditionally conducted by Inuit and other indigenous communities
and which contribute to their subsistence should be allowed.
The honourable senator needs to get his facts straight. That is what this
government is doing, trying to use the Inuit as a decoy in their fight at the
WTO, trying to muddy the water.
If this government is serious about helping the Inuit, they will put programs
in place to help them in the certification of product, training, and processing
facilities. The government should do all that because the EU has said they will
buy the product from the Inuit. All they want is for someone to certify that the
product comes from Inuit communities. What is the honourable senator doing to
lobby his government so they will get off their rear ends and do something to
help the Inuit people? What is he doing?
Hon. Ghislain Maltais: Honourable senators, I know that Senator Harb
is a good person. In his zeal to defend this cause, he stated at the beginning
of his speech that a few people in Newfoundland eat seal meat. Yet, these few
people to whom Senator Harb is referring are full-fledged Canadians. I am from
the north shore of Quebec. The few people in Eastern Canada and the Atlantic
regions who eat seal meat should be treated the same as all Canadians.
I would therefore like to give Senator Harb the opportunity to say that the
few people in Newfoundland who eat seal meat are full-fledged Canadians. I
submit this respectfully.
Senator Harb: Honourable senators, I am not the one who said that. It
was Mr. Furlong, who was a CBC reporter at the time. If the honourable senator
wants Mr. Furlong to change his opinion, then he can always ask him to do so.
However, if I am being asked whether the people of Newfoundland are Canadians,
then the answer is yes, of course, they are Canadians.
In the end, the question that must be asked is as follows: if seal meat is a
delicacy that everyone loves, why is it not on menus across the country? Why are
we trying to force Europeans to eat something that we refuse to eat ourselves?
Senator Maltais: Honourable senators, that was not the question.
Senator Harb quoted a CBC reporter. However, he was aware that those words could
be hurtful to people in Newfoundland and the Atlantic region.
Therefore, I would like to ask the honourable senator to apologize on behalf
of this man, whom I do not know but whom the senator knows very well, and not to
quote him in this chamber anymore. I also very humbly ask Senator Harb — and I
know he is a good person — to simply get his facts straight about people in the
Senator Harb: Honourable senators, I would just like to say that Mr.
Furlong is a great Newfoundlander and a great Canadian.
He is a stauncher supporter of seals than many of my colleagues here. I will
just quote what Mr. Furlong, a well-known journalist in Canada, said on CBC:
How much experimenting can we do to market seal meat? Only a handful of
Newfoundlanders can gag it down. Why do we think there's a broader market
Senator Maltais, I do not understand what the problem is.
Senator Maltais: Senator Harb continues to repeat comments that I find
to be insulting to the people of Atlantic Canada, especially those he mentioned
who are from Newfoundland and Labrador.
I believe that when a wise senator makes an unwitting error, he will do the
right thing, and that takes care of the matter. I do not wish to discuss the
seal hunt today because, believe me, we will do so in due course. However, as a
Canadian, I am offended by what Senator Harb has repeated.
I concur that they are not your words, but I would ask that you please do
right by the people of Atlantic Canada.
(On motion of Senator Carignan, for Senator Manning, debate adjourned.)
On the Order:
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Chaput, seconded
by the Honourable Senator Hubley, for the second reading of Bill S-211, An
Act to amend the Official Languages Act (communications with and services to
Hon. Gerald J. Comeau: Honourable senators, I still have some research
to do in order to put together my notes. I know that Senator Chaput would have
liked me to speak to this issue today. However, for that reason, it is not
possible. Therefore, I move the adjournment of the debate for the remainder of
(On motion of Senator Comeau, debate adjourned.)
Hon. Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu moved second reading of Bill C-293, An
Act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (vexatious
He said: Honourable senators, I am honoured to rise here today as the sponsor
of Bill C-293, An Act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act
This bill was the initiative of my colleague, Roxanne James, the Member of
Parliament for Scarborough Centre, who originally sponsored the bill in the
other place. We are at second reading stage of this bill.
I would like to highlight in this chamber the wonderful work of my colleague
Roxanne James who introduced her bill in the House of Commons in September 2011.
Ms. James' efforts will help to improve the complaints system in the
correctional system of Canada. Her bill will not only help to save taxpayers'
money, but it will also add another stone to the reform of the federal
Bill C-293 makes three major changes to the corrections and conditional
release systems. First of all, it amends the legislation by adding subsection
91.1, which allows the Commissioner of the Correctional Service of Canada to
prohibit an offender who constantly submits complaints and grievances that are
vexatious or frivolous from submitting any more such complaints. Once an
offender is designated as a vexatious complainant, that individual will have to
justify their complaints more rigorously.
Second, subsection 91.1 requires the Commissioner to review each prohibition
annually and give the offender written reasons for any decision to maintain or
Third, subsection 91.2 allows the Governor in Council to make amendments as
needed to the Corrections and Conditional Release Regulations concerning the
complaints and grievances regime with respect to offenders who are subject to a
prohibition under subsection 91.1.
Lastly, the bill amends the heading before section 90 to add the word
Why are these changes needed? First of all, as a Conservative government
representative of victims of crime, I, like many Canadians, was shocked to learn
how much some inmates abuse the complaints and grievances system at the
Correctional Service of Canada.
When I visited Canadian prisons, I was told by the managers of these
institutions that many of the complaints filed are vexatious, frivolous and made
by a small group of criminals. Complaints include an omelette that is too small;
ice cream that is too cold; and not being allowed to buy a pedicure set.
Pedicure sets include razor blades that are prohibited in Canadian prisons.
I also learned that one inmate complained when the shirts were changed from
white to blue. He alleged that the Correctional Service of Canada made this
decision to hide dirt on the clothing provided in order to avoid washing the
clothes and to spread disease.
Another inmate complained that a washing machine was making too much noise.
After the machine was repaired, the inmate complained that he was not informed
of the repairs. He filed another complaint, demanding a copy of the repair
Honourable senators, in light of these frivolous and obviously vexatious
complaints, you can see how Bill C-293 would strengthen the foundations of the
complaints and grievances system at the Correctional Service of Canada, by
targeting four objectives.
First, reducing the number of vexatious complaints will make it easier to
manage well-founded complaints. This will ensure that criminals have fair, quick
and consistent access to the complaints and grievances system. When inmates
abuse the system by making dozens or hundreds of frivolous complaints, they
paralyze the system for processing complaints made by other criminals.
In committee on March 27, 2012, the Commissioner of the Correctional Service
of Canada, Don Head, said the following in this regard:
Last year 25 inmates submitted over 100 grievances each. They are the
frivolous or vexatious grievers who are the focus of this bill. Within this
group of 25 there are a small number who submit many hundreds, as in more
than one per day.
Some inmates submitted between 500 and 600 complaints each in the past year
alone, which represents 15 per cent of all the complaints filed.
Second, this bill would allow the Correctional Service of Canada to prevent
an unacceptable waste of taxpayers' money.
The Commissioner of the Correctional Service of Canada was very clear about
the savings that could be achieved. Don Head told the same parliamentary
In grosso modo terms, in looking at the 25 individuals filing more than
100 complaints a year, in terms of following the process defined in this
bill, I would say it's between $250,000 and half a million dollars a year,
just with those 25 individuals.
I would like to point out that there has been a steady increase in the number
of complaints every year. In 2009, 25,000 complaints were filed, and in 2011,
29,000 complaints were filed for approximately 14,500 incarcerated criminals.
The increase in the number of complaints is spiralling out of control and it
must be stopped. These criminals who are creating an unacceptable backlog in the
complaints management system must be stopped.
Third, Bill C-293 targets vexatious, frivolous complaints that lead to the
poor use of resources in Canada's correctional system.
The Office of the Correctional Investigator's 2012-13 Report on Plans and
Priorities indicates that, for this year, 36 people are employed by the
Correctional Investigator to analyze these complaints and grievances. Yet,
according to Justice Canada's 2012-13 Report on Plans and Priorities, the Office
of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime has only 10 employees to serve all
victims of crime in Canada. As a responsible government that is dedicated to
striking a balance between the rights of criminals and the rights of victims, we
are acting diligently in this matter.
Vexatious complaints are disruptive to inmates who have begun a
rehabilitation process, because the correctional system must focus its resources
on a minority of criminals who abuse the system. It is time to put an end to
I think that the fourth objective of Bill C-293 is the most important one. It
seeks to put accountability back at the centre of the criminal's rehabilitation
Like MP Roxanne James and the members of our government, I believe in
rehabilitation. A prisoner has a duty to use the resources that are provided to
him to become a responsible citizen. It is the responsibility of the
correctional system to support the inmate in his efforts to take charge of his
life. Nonetheless, a release is earned and requires a strong commitment by the
inmate. Abusing a complaints system by burdening it with hundreds of frivolous
complaints that are not made in good faith does not contribute in any way to a
Take the example of Valery Fabrikant, who killed four of his colleagues at
Concordia University in August 1992. Since the first day of his incarceration,
he has deposed thousands of unfounded complaints. The result of the situation is
that a full-time employee has been assigned just for the administration of his
complaints — a full-time employee for one inmate.
I want to point out that once the prohibition comes into effect, a criminal
who abuses the system will no longer be able to submit any complaints or
grievances without the Commissioner's consent.
Under the bill, the Commissioner of the Correctional Service of Canada will
conduct an annual review of the situation in order to ensure that the
prohibition is still justified.
Honourable senators, Bill C-293 is effective, fair, tough legislation. It
will help reduce the abuse of the grievance system by a handful of criminals.
This bill will allow the Correctional Service of Canada to free up resources
in order to better meet its legal obligations and to ensure that responsible
criminals have access to a fair, quick grievance process, which will give our
correctional institutions credibility.
I will close by thanking Member of Parliament Roxanne James for standing up
for honest citizens and victims.
I also want to thank the Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety, who
voted in favour of this bill.
I would like to mention that Liberal MP Francis Scarpaleggia publicly
supports this bill by declaring that with the savings, we will be investing in
long-term rehabilitation programs for inmates and that is a very wise decision.
Honourable senators, I ask you to support Bill C-293, because the money that
is saved and reinvested will further facilitate the rehabilitation of criminals
who have made the decision to take charge of their lives and become responsible
(On motion of Senator Tardif, debate adjourned.)
The Senate proceeded to consideration of the fourth report of the Standing
Committee on Conflict of Interest for Senators, (five year comprehensive
review of the Conflict of Interest Code for Senators, pursuant to section
53 of the Code), presented in the Senate on October 2, 2012.
Hon. Terry Stratton moved the adoption of the report.
The Hon. the Speaker: Are honourable senators ready for the question?
Hon. Senators: Question.
The Hon. the Speaker: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to
adopt the motion?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
(Motion agreed to and report adopted.)
Hon. Grant Mitchell, for Senator Neufeld, pursuant to notice of
October 4, 2012, moved:
That the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural
Resources be authorized to examine and report on emerging issues related to
(a) The current state and future direction of production,
distribution, consumption, trade, security and sustainability of
Canada's energy resources;
(b) Environmental challenges facing Canada including responses
to global climate change, air pollution, biodiversity and ecological
(c) Sustainable development and management of renewable and
non-renewable natural resources including but not limited to water,
minerals, soils, flora and fauna; and
(d) Canada's international treaty obligations affecting
energy, the environment and natural resources and their influence on
Canada's economic and social development.
That the papers and evidence received and taken and work accomplished by
the committee on this subject since the beginning of the Second Session of
the Fortieth Parliament be referred to the committee; and
That the committee submit its final report no later than June 27, 2013
and that the committee retain all powers necessary to publicize its findings
until 180 days after the tabling of the final report.
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, October 17, 2012, at 1:30 p.m.)
ANNEX 1: THE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS AND CANADA'S
(See page 2583.)
Millennium Development Goal 1: Eradicate Extreme Poverty & Hunger
Despite the setbacks caused by the recent food, fuel and financial crises,
the world is poised to surpass the target of halving extreme poverty by 2015.
Based on United Nations projections, the global rate of extreme poverty in 2015
will be 15%, well below the Millennium Development Goal target of 23%. In spite
of this achievement, children who belong to families at the bottom of the
economic ladder are still facing slow progress in reducing hunger and in
receiving adequate nutrition. For this reason, CIDA investments in basic
nutrition have more than tripled since 2006-07, reaching $205 million in
2011-12. CIDA's efforts to make sufficient and nutritious food more available
and to strengthen food assistance and nutrition programs are achieving
.As the world's largest provider of vitamin A supplementation since 1998,
CIDA has contributed to doubling the number of children receiving two doses
of vitamin A supplements each year from 41% in 2000 to 86% in 2010,
resulting in a global reduction in child deaths.
.In 2011, with the support of Canada and other donors, the World Food
Programme helped reach 99.1 million people in 75 countries with 3.6 million
metric tonnes of food.
.As of May 2012, CIDA provided supplementary feeding to 328,000
beneficiaries in Ghana through projects targeting vulnerable children under
five and pregnant and lactating women, as well as people living with
HIV/AIDS. Also in Ghana, a CIDA-supported project aimed at training
community based volunteers and trainers in Community Management of
Malnutrition has trained over 5000 community-based agents in 14 priority
districts during 2010, resulting in an increased number of children admitted
to in-patient or out-patient community malnutrition care facilities within
the three northern regions of the country.
.In addition, Canada is currently taking an active role in the G8 New
Alliance on Food Security and Nutrition, which is designed to stimulate
greater private sector investment and engagement to increase agricultural
productivity and reduce poverty in Africa. Canada's support for the New
Alliance includes substantial investments in Ghana, Ethiopia and to
multilateral agricultural development organizations and mechanisms.
Millennium Development Goal 2: Achieve Universal Primary Education
The past 10 years were marked by an impressive advancement toward universal
primary education (UPE). The poorest countries in sub-Saharan Africa have made
the most progress in primary school enrolment, with the region's primary
enrolment ratio increasing by 31% to approximately 77% in 2008, in spite of the
large increase in the population of school age children since 1999.
Progress towards universal primary education has been impressive in some
countries where CIDA invests heavily in the education sector. For example,
thanks to the contribution of Canada and other donor countries, Mali has seen
its primary enrolment rate increase from 44% in 2002 to 73% in 2010, while it
has increased in Mozambique from 55% in 2002 to 80% in 2010, and in Tanzania
from 77% in 2002 to almost 100% in 2010. CIDA's bilateral aid to education in
Africa reached $165 million in 2010-11, exceeding our commitment to provide $150
million annually by 2010-11.
Millennium Development Goal 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women
While global progress has been made on Millennium Development Goal 3, the
target of eliminating gender disparities in primary and secondary education by
2005 has been missed. In the developing regions as a whole, 96 girls were
enrolled in primary school for every 100 boys in 2008, compared to 91 in 1999.
Eliminating gender disparity at all education levels by 2015 may still be
possible, but other indicators for Millennium Development Goal 3 show slow
progress. For example, women in developing countries still do not enjoy the same
opportunities for full and productive employment as men. As well, in
parliamentary representation, while global proportion of seats held by women
continues to rise slowly, averaging 19% as of January 2010, a third of
developing countries still have less than 10% or no female representation in
CIDA has been a key player in promoting gender equality in international fora
through the development and delivery of joint statements, focused on gender
equality issues, at executive board meetings with multilateral institutions. The
Agency was instrumental in facilitating the creation of UN Women in 2010,
through negotiating the founding resolution for the new agency and developing
and supporting their strategic plan and budget. CIDA has also provided analysis
and strategic direction to the World Bank in the development of their Gender
Equality Action Plan and World Development Report on Gender and Development.
In the Philippines, the CIDA-funded project, Gender Responsive Economic
Actions for the Transformation of Women (GREAT Women), is promoting a
gender-responsive enabling environment for women's economic empowerment from the
national to the local levels. This includes a combination of policies, programs
and institutional mechanisms that facilitate the growth of women's
micro-enterprises to become small and medium enterprises. Through this project,
eight national and 18 local policies were adopted to economically empower women.
Gender analysis tools were developed by seven of 11 National Government
Agencies. In addition, 33 Local Government Units (LGUs) have used gender and
development and women's economic empowerment tools for the formulation of
policies and review of programs, projects and services. These measures have led
to some important results: 710 new women-owned micro-enterprises; provision of
approximately $1 million by Local Government Units to women-owned micro-enterprises; and, up to 40% increase in income for some women's businesses.
Millennium Development Goal 4 and 5: Reduce Child Mortality & Improve
Global data suggests substantial progress has been made to reduce child
mortality and improve maternal health since 1990. As of 2010, the number of
maternal deaths has declined by almost half and the number of child deaths has
declined by over a third. However, progress in most developing countries still
falls short of the rate of decline required to reach Millennium Development Goal
4 and 5, unless progress is accelerated in the next three years.
This remains particularly true for sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, which account
for 95% of maternal deaths each year. The two regions also bear the highest
rates of child mortality: in sub-Saharan Africa 1 in 8 children dies before age
five, and in Asia the ratio is 1 in 15.
According to the World Health Organization, two-thirds of child deaths are
preventable, as the main causes of under-five child mortality include pneumonia,
diarrhoeal diseases, malaria, measles, and HIV. Malnutrition is also estimated
to contribute to more than one-third of all child deaths. Research and
experience show that most of the children who die each year could be saved by
low-tech, evidence-based, cost-effective measures, such as vaccines,
antibiotics, micronutrient supplementation, insecticide-treated bed nets,
improved family care and breastfeeding practices, and oral rehydration therapy.
The major direct causes of maternal morbidity and mortality include
haemorrhage, infection, high blood pressure, unsafe abortion, and obstructed
labour. Reducing maternal mortality requires a focus on strengthening health
systems, including increasing the number of skilled health workers (e.g.,
midwives, skilled birth attendants, nurses, obstetricians, etc.); access to
emergency obstetric, antenatal, intrapartum, and postpartum care; and access to
voluntary family planning services.
In June 2010, under Canada's Presidency, the G8 launched the Muskoka
Initiative on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH), which aims to save
the lives of women and children in developing countries and accelerate progress
towards achieving Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5, as well as contributing
to Millennium Development Goals 6 and 1. Along with other non-G8 nations and
organizations that joined the Muskoka Initiative, a total of US$7.3
billion was committed in new and additional funding over five years (2010-2015).
The Muskoka Initiative served as a catalyst for the United Nations
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Global Strategy for Women's and Children's
Health, a concerted, multi-stakeholder effort that aims to meet
health-related Millennium Development Goals. The Global Strategy has raised
approximately US$60 billion in financial, policy, and service delivery
commitments since its launch in September 2010.
Under the Muskoka Initiative, Canada committed $1.1 billion in new and
additional funding between 2010 and 2015, while maintaining existing Maternal,
Newborn and Child Health programming at $1.75 billion over five years — for a
total contribution of $2.85 billion.
Canada's support focuses on strengthening health systems, reducing the burden
of disease, and improving nutrition to deliver integrated and comprehensive
health services for mothers and children at the local level, where the need is
greatest. CIDA is delivering Canada's Muskoka Initiative in a number of
partner countries with high maternal and child mortality (80% of programming is
focused on sub-Saharan Africa), with a focus on ten countries and complementary
support to multilateral, global and Canadian partners.
For example, in Tanzania, Canada is helping over 43 million people access
primary health care and Maternal Newborn and Child Health services, through
4,600 local health facilities, increasing the percentage of births in a health
facility attended by a skilled birth attendant from 46% in 2004 to 51% in 2010.
By supporting the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, Canada is
improving access to immunization in Africa, Asia and South America, preventing
more than 5 million deaths since 2000. Immunization coverage in eligible
countries for three doses of the diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine increased
from just over 65% in 2000 to almost 80% in 2011.
Millennium Development Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Other Diseases
The rate of new HIV infections is declining and fewer people are dying from
HIV/AIDS due to the 13-fold increase in access to anti-retroviral treatment
(ART) between 2004 and 2009. Malaria rates have declined due to the use of
insecticide-treated bednets and combination therapies. Tuberculosis rates, too,
are declining due to the implementation of focused interventions.
Canada continues to be an active player in global efforts to address HIV/AIDS
pandemics. CIDA's contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis
and Malaria is $1.58 billion since 2002. Their programs are estimated to have
saved 7.7 million lives, which includes results from the distribution of 230
million insecticide-treated mosquito nets to prevent the spread of malaria.
As a result of a CIDA project in Ethiopia supporting the distribution of
health commodities and equipment such as mosquito nets, birthing kits, and
obstetric equipment, Canada has contributed to an increase in the proportion of
children vaccinated against diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus (DPT3) to 88% in
2011-12 (compared to 86% in 2010-11 and 73% in the base year 2007). The project
has also contributed to an increase in the proportion of children vaccinated
against measles to 86% (compared to 82% in 2010-11 and 65% in the base year).
The cumulative number of anti-malaria bed nets distributed to Ethiopian
households in malaria prone areas rose to 37 million, maintaining a rate of 100%
coverage of malaria prone areas (versus 91% in 2007).
Millennium Development Goal 7: Ensure Environmental Sustainability
Progress on environmental sustainability targets, including biodiversity,
improving water and sanitation, and the living conditions of slum dwellers, is
significantly lagging behind. Although the target for access to clean drinking
water is likely to be met, it is estimated that 1 in 10 people will still not
have access. Forest cover and wildlife populations are declining in many
regions, while greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase.
Canada is a key supporter of the Global Environment Facility (GEF). Results
achieved since the inception of the Global Environment Facility, through the
support of CIDA and other international donors, include: support for more than
30 climate-friendly technologies for energy efficiency, renewable energy,
sustainable urban transport, and methane reduction; environmentally sound
disposal of at least 38,000 tonnes of waste related to polychlorinated biphenyls
(PCBs) and 20,000 tonnes of obsolete pesticides; phasing out 296,000 tonnes of
ozone-depleting substances; and, protection of 30 river and lake basins, five
ground water basins, and 20 of the planet's 64 large marine ecosystems. These
important developments support efforts to address the protection of biodiversity
and international waters, climate change, land degradation, the ozone layer, and
persistent organic pollutants.
In Ethiopia, CIDA's Managing Environmental Resources to Enable Transition
project (MERET), achieved the following results: 149,122 farmers having
rehabilitated agricultural land; and, 96% of participating households creating
and maintaining farm and community physical and natural resource assets such as
terracing and water sources. Overall, the project was successful in supporting
natural resource management, increasing productivity in food-insecure
communities, and building household and community resilience to shocks.
Following favourable results achieved during the period 2007-2011, Managing
Environmental Resources to Enable Transition project activities have been
incorporated into the natural resource management component of the World Food
Programme Country Programme for Ethiopia 2012-2015.
Complementary to these activities, CIDA is playing an important role in
shaping the Government of Canada's $1.2 billion contribution to Fast-Start
Climate Change Financing over three years (2010-2012). Almost $1 billion has
been allocated to date, of which $651.8 million is through CIDA programming. The
majority of these funds ($450 million) have gone to repayable contributions,
while $201.8 million has been disbursed to select multilateral and bilateral
adaptation activities that help reduce poverty and decrease vulnerability in the
countries that need it most.
Millennium Development Goal 8: Develop a Global Partnership for
It is estimated that aid will increase at 2% per year between 2011 and 2013,
as compared to the average of 8% per year over the past three years. Aid to
Africa is also expected to rise by just 1% per year in real terms, compared to
the average of 13% over the past three years. Canada doubled international
assistance by 2010-2011 from 2001-2002 levels, bringing Canada's total
international assistance to
$5 billion by 2010-2011. Canada has met its commitment to double aid to
Africa by 2008-2009 from 2003-2004 levels. In April 2008, Canada untied 100
percent of Canadian food aid, and in September 2008, the Government announced
its plan to fully untie Canada's development assistance by 2012-2013 — we are
99% there. Canada has also provided debt relief to highly indebted poor
countries and contributed to building trade capacity for least developed
countries through the Enhanced Integrated Framework for Trade-related Technical
Assistance. Canada is also a leader in improving access to essential medicines
in developing and least-developed countries, such as through advanced market
access and support for child immunization.
The international community is collaborating to increase the effectiveness of
aid and development cooperation as demonstrated by the launch of the Global
Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation. The Global Partnership is a
multi-stakeholder forum mandated to facilitate knowledge exchange, monitor
progress of aid effective commitments, and seek out opportunities for effective
Canada, through its CANZ alliance (Canada-Australia-New Zealand) actively
engaged with the international community to firmly establish the Global
Partnership by June 2012. Most notable is the inclusive approach broadening the
effective development cooperation dialogue to include the private sector, and
emerging economies alike. Moving forward, Canada will continue to engage with
all of its development partners to improve the effectiveness of its development