Committees
 

THE STANDING SENATE COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE AND FORESTRY

EVIDENCE


OTTAWA, Tuesday, October 23, 2001

The Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, to which was referred Bill S-22, to provide for the recognition of the Canadien Horse as the national horse of Canada, met this day at 5:30 p.m. to give consideration to the bill.

Senator Leonard J Gustafson (Chairman) in the Chair.

[English]

The Chairman: Honourable senators, we will call our meeting to order. On the agenda today we have Bill S-22, to provide for the recognition of the Canadien Horse as the national horse of Canada.

We have a couple of new members on the committee, and they are also new senators. We will ask them to introduce themselves, tell us where they are from and give a little of their background.

Senator Phalen: I am Senator Gerard Phalen from Nova Scotia.

Senator Murray: The honourable senator is actually from Cape Breton, to be more precise.

Senator Day: I am Joseph Day, and I am from Kennebecasis, Saint John, in the southern part of New Brunswick. I am pleased to be here.

The Chairman: Welcome.

Honourable senators, I want to direct you to your agenda. The first witnesses on our list have been delayed; therefore, we will now hear from Dr. Kelly Ferguson and Mr. Alex Hayward of the Canadian Horse Breeders of Ontario.

Dr. Kelly Ferguson, D.V.M., President, Canadian Horse Breeders of Ontario: Honourable senators, I will give you some background information on our association, the Canadian Horse Breeders of Ontario, of which I am the president. We are a new group, dedicated to the preservation of the Canadian horse. One of our primary goals is education of the public on the virtues of this breed and promotion of the breed in general.

I would like to read from a text that I prepared that gives a brief history of the horse and the reasons we feel it deserves official status as the national horse of Canada.

The Canadian, a unique breed of horse, evolved from the original horses of King Louis XIV's stables, some of which were shipped to New France between 1665 and 1670. Due to the harsh conditions under which these animals lived in this new world, only the strongest managed to survive and reproduce. Throughout its history, the Canadian horse story has been one of survival. The Canadian horse, affectionately called "the little iron horse," was smaller in stature than the original imports and possessed a hardiness found in no other breed.

These little horses worked side by side with the early settlers as they built this great country. The horses were used for driving, riding and clearing the land in the Maritimes, and later in the Western provinces and the United States. The virtues of this breed so impressed our neighbours to the south that the horses were exported for breeding and used during the American Civil War as cavalry mounts. They provided the foundation stock for the Morgan, Saddlebred and Tennessee Walker breeds. The numbers of purebred Canadian horses dwindled due to their use during the American Civil War and the Boer War, and extensive crossbreeding.

It was through the efforts of two veterinarians, Dr. Couture and Dr. Rutherford, that in the early 1900s, the breed was pulled back from the brink of extinction. Dr. Couture was instrumental in establishing the first Canadian Horse Stud Book and the Canadian Horse Breeders Association. The stud book was re-evaluated, under the direction of Dr. Rutherford, to include only those animals that most closely resembled the Canadian breed. Of the original 2,528 horses evaluated, only 969 were accepted as foundation stock. Breeding farms established by the federal and provincial governments, such as those at Cap Rouge, St. Joachim and Deschambault, worked to preserve and promote this little horse.

Despite their efforts, again, by the late 1970s, the number of registered animals had diminished to less than 400. This time, it was the work of Alex Hayward and Donald Prosperine that rekindled interest in this breed. Today, the Canadian horse boasts over 3,000 registered animals, and it has been removed from the endangered list of Rare Breeds Canada.

Cornelius Krieghoff, a renowned 19th century artist, captured the importance of this horse in early Quebec life through his paintings, providing us with the earliest visual records of this breed. His paintings showed scenes of a little horse stepping lively in front of a cutter filled with brightly dressed people. Later came the black and white prints of a team of horses pulling an enormous sled of logs. These are the images of the Canadian horse that are imprinted on our minds.

Stories of the gentle nature and the grit of these horses have filtered down through the generations. The Honourable Sidney Fisher, minister of Agriculture, said during a 1900 committee meeting:

The horse as a rule is the most kindly, gentile and docile horse I have ever had the opportunity of handling, and he is almost the truest to his work; he never gives up. It does not matter what he is at; if it is on the road he travels on forever, and if he has a load behind him, he will tug at it until he moves it. He never balks and children can handle him with the greatest safety. In every way he is docile and kindly.

This breed deserves recognition as the national horse of Canada. No other animal worked harder alongside our forefathers to build this great country. Twice in the recorded history of this breed, the Canadian horse has hovered on the edge of extinction. Giving the Canadian horse official status would further help to protect the breed. The Canadian horse is part of our heritage. They are versatile, easily taking to all equine disciplines. Just as they played such a vital role in the settlement of this country, they now play an equally important role in Canada's equine industry.

I would like to end my presentation with a final quote taken from a 1997 Canadian Living article.

The Canadian horse has never been officially recognized as our national breed, although efforts to attain this have been ongoing sporadically since 1909. Notwithstanding this lack of official status, these sturdy little horses from Quebec are a symbol of strength, vitality, and gentle perseverance in a country hungry to find its identity.

Mr. Hayward and I would be happy to answer your questions.

The Chairman: Is there no exception to this docile personality of the horse? Are all these horses docile?

Mr. Alex Hayward, Historian, Canadian Horse Breeders of Ontario: I would say that 95 per cent of them are very docile. A 3-year-old girl rode my own stallion through the fields in his younger years.

The Chairman: I know a little about docile animals, but then there is always the odd one in the breed that kicks over the traces.

Mr. Hayward: One of my stallions, which would stand at stud in Quebec at one time, was taken for a pet from the spring until the fall by the daughter of one of the farmers. She would ride him in the fields with just the halter on his back.

Dr. Ferguson: As a veterinarian, I have to add another comment. When we look at breeds in general, we make generalizations, and for sure, there are always exceptions to every rule, but by and large, the Canadian horse does have an exceptional disposition and temperament for all types of work.

Senator Wiebe: Is there anything in this bill with which you do not agree?

Mr. Hayward: No, I pretty well agree with it totally.

Senator Wiebe: Is there anything that you would like to see added to this proposed legislation?

Dr. Ferguson: I would like to see the Canadian horse finally get some recognition for its part in our history. I look around this room and I see pictures of everything but a Canadian horse, and I really believe that this horse deserves official recognition.

Senator Day: I might be touching on a somewhat sensitive subject, but I would like to know, would the people who are familiar with the Canadian horse object to its being called "Canadien" horse, with the French spelling, or would it be interchangeable, depending on whether you were speaking French or English?

Dr. Ferguson: It does not really matter to me which way it is spelled. I understand that the French spelling does give recognition to the horse's French origin. Certainly, spelling it both ways may make the parties happier. I do not have any problem with the spelling.

Senator Murray: If I may intervene at this point, Mr. Chairman, as the sponsor of the bill. My bill refers in both the English and the French versions to the "Canadien horse." I received several letters and some representations on this point, and I have considered them and have looked back through the files carefully.

Interestingly, the horse has been designated by various names in English over the years. I was reading the deliberations of the commons committee on agriculture of 1906, when the agriculture minister in the Laurier government, Sidney Fisher, appeared to discuss this horse, and called it the "French Canadian horse." Later, it was known as the "Canadien horse" and the "Canadian horse" and so forth.

The time has come, therefore, to clarify the situation and to refer to it in the English version of the bill as the "Canadian horse" and in the French version as "le cheval canadien."

[Translation]

Taking the lead from the Quebec National Assembly, which has already enacted legislation decreeing that this animal is part of Quebec's heritage and which uses the expression "the Canadian Horse" in the English version and the expression "le cheval canadien" in the French version, I have already given my assurances that I will have the bill amended to reflect our country's bilingual status.

[English]

Senator Day: I think he just told me that it is no longer an issue.

The Chairman: My understanding from the association that previously appeared before the committee is that they would be satisfied with that type of approach.

Senator Day: I have one other question of clarification. From your presentation, am I to take it that the horse that came from France was a utility horse? Did it do everything, or was it used for one purpose more than others?

Dr. Ferguson: There was no choice; basically, they would have been used to clear the land. The conditions were tough and they had no provisions for horses at that time. In Louis XIV's stables, they had been used as warhorses. In Canada, their job was to help clear the land, get people from point A to point B, and survive under difficult conditions.

Senator Day: You say they adapted to various equine activities.

Dr. Ferguson: Yes.

Senator Day: What do horse lovers primarily use them for these days?

Mr. Hayward: They are versatile in all disciplines. My late partner and I won the North American pair driving championship with them. They make good jumpers on the pony circuits, and they are good horses in dressage. I was once speaking to an author and he asked me what they could do. I said that they could do anything but dance, and a girl from Guelph, Ontario, wrote to me to say that her Canadian horses dance.

The Chairman: I want to thank you for appearing here and giving us a positive view of the Canadian horse. You have delighted the senator who is sponsoring the bill.

Dr. Ferguson: I wish to make one more point. Lawrence Scanlan has just published a book that goes into the details of the Canadian horse. This is the second book that has been written on the subject and it is fabulous. The book gives credit to the part that this horse played in our history. It is called Little Horse of Iron. I will read the statement with which he ends his book.

These sturdy horses, on whose powerful bodies the history of the nation has been etched, are our horses. For that reason alone, they deserve a future and not just a glorious past.

The Chairman: We will now call Dan Wilson of the Woodmont Angus Farm.

Mr. Dan Wilson, Woodmont Angus Farm: Honourable senators, I am sure that you have heard sufficient history of the Canadian horse, much of which appears to have been lost in myths, mystery, passion, hope, and possibly in the archives just down the road. I will spare you repetition of that tonight because I am more interested in the Canadian horse of today and tomorrow.

I am a native-born citizen of Canada residing in British Columbia. I breed Canadian horses for a living. I am an Anglo-Quebecer, and I have lived half my life in Eastern Canada and half in Western Canada. I feel at home anywhere in this country. I am the product of five generations in this country, with two more following me, and more down the road, I hope. My lineage is Scottish, French, English, Quebec French, Spanish and Danish. Although it is sometimes questioned, I like to think that I have inherited the best qualities of these lines.

I use this analogy to introduce you to the Canadian horse, which has evolved over several generations from not one, but a mix of European bloods, much like me and many of you, which makes us, like the Canadian horse, uniquely Canadian.

First, this horse inherited blood from the Andalusian of Spain, the Percheron of France, the Clydesdale of Scotland and the Thoroughbred of England, et cetera. Although I might question some of my qualities as a Canadian, I do not question the qualities of the Canadian horse, which, if it were to survive in upper North America, had to face no prepared fodder or shelter, inclement weather and random breeding, or just die out. They survived under these conditions and evolved over the years into a unique race, much like us.

I am pleased to hear tonight that the Canadian horse has been removed from the domestic animal endangered breed list. They are making a comeback because we are developing them as a pleasure horse that fills a niche in this generation. If we breed them correctly, which is a breeder’s responsibility, and continuously develop them to fit into an ever-changing society, we can save and preserve a truly Canadian symbol.

The majority of the Canadian public does not know much about this exciting bit of history, but when I tell them about their own treasure, their faces light up and they feel great. To make this horse the national horse of Canada is to educate the Canadian people and make them proud of their history.

This horse evolved in Upper Canada, Lower Canada and the Maritimes long before there was a country called Canada. The breed moved south to Illinois, over to Michigan and up to present-day Manitoba, where it became part of the great overland transport system of the Hudson's Bay Company, then to Fort Edmonton, in what is now Alberta, and Fort Steel, in what became British Columbia. Then it went down the Indian trails to Langley, where it was barged over to Fort Victoria. Outside my own post office in Ladysmith, there is a pictorial display of the early city, and in it are two or three Canadian horses.

To recognize its introduction into this country via New France, the Quebec legislature, on December 4, 2000, deemed it the heritage horse of present-day Quebec. This is fitting, since this is part of the horse's early, but not its only, history. Its history is ongoing.

I wish now to quote from the book by Lawrence Scanlan, Little Horse of Iron. On page 21 it says:

The Canadian horse, truly a heritage horse, appeals to those keen to own a living, breathing piece of this nation's history.

I will now get down to the meat of this issue and why I am concerned enough to come all the way from B.C. In 1905, the Honourable Sidney Fisher, federal minister of Agriculture, approved the incorporation of the French Canadian Horse Breeders Association. I have a copy of this with me tonight.

The certificate says:

I certify that the within application is approved for this twentieth day of November 1905, in pursuance of the Act requesting the incorporation of the Live Stock Record Associations.

On page 3, under the constitution and by-laws, section 1, name, it says:

This Association shall be known as "The French Canadian Horse Breeders' Association of Canada."

That is spelled C-A-N-A-D-I-A-N. The next certificate reads as follows:

[Translation]

The organization was known in French as the Société des éleveurs de chevaux canadiens de la Puissance du Canada.

[English]

Therefore, since 1905, when it was incorporated, it has been referred to in both languages. In addition, the breed was officially recognized as a registerable breed by the Canadian National Livestock Records. Even there, it was called "the French Canadian horse" in English and "le cheval canadien" in French.

I will refer to a document from the Department of Agriculture in 1935, when a change came about. The federal minister of Agriculture, the Honourable James Gardner, declared that the word "French" would be dropped from the name and this breed would be referred to in future as the Canadian horse only. At page 8, it says that in 1935, the breeder's association agreed to designate this breed as Canadian -- C-A-N-A-D-I-A-N -- instead of French Canadian, as formerly, and all official records have since been printed accordingly.

Thus, there is original and continuous historical precedent for the English spelling. The constitution of the Canadian Horse Breeder's Association was amended in 1999. In 1905, 1907, 1935 and 1999, it is referred to as the "Canadian horse" when using English, and the "Canadien horse" when using French.

Bill S-22 could be a great aid, not only in the survival of this animal that has helped physically to build this nation, and is part of our history and culture, it can also be the tie that helps unite English and French, East and West, with a Canadian icon that can be the equal of the maple leaf.

Honourable senators, simply amend this potentially great bill to read "Canadian" when using the English language, and "Canadien" when using the French language, to comply with historical precedent, to comply with the intent of official language laws of this country, and to also recognize the dual personality of this nation. With a simple amendment, you will help passage of this bill in the House, which in turn will help to continue to unite this great country of ours. Accept this bill with "Canadien" only and you will help to divide Canada. Further, there is a move to establish a North American version of the Canadian horse, and you risk losing an icon that is solely Canadian.

I leave you tonight as a very proud but determined Canadian, who will fight for equality in this country, including the dual name of this horse. I thank you for permitting me to speak to you as an honest Canadian.

Since the incorporation, this horse has always been identified in both languages. This horse is not just a product of present-day Quebec. This horse has evolved from a mixture of European breeds. This horse started its Canadian journey in New France. This was recognized through naming the Canadian horse the heritage horse of Quebec on December 4, 2000. This horse is a product of all Canada, where it is still evolving in all provinces, and where it can go on to become the national horse of Canada as well as being the heritage horse of Quebec.

The proposed Bill S-22, as it stands, reads "Canadien" only in both the English and French versions. To leave it so is to aid more division in the country, to be contrary to the Official Languages Act, and to be in violation of the Animal Pedigrees Act of Canada. To correct this situation, simply amend Bill S-22 to read "Canadian horse" when using English, and "le cheval canadien" when using French. This will make the Canadian horse the national horse of Canada, and thereby help to further unite this great country.

As a proud Canadian, I am determined to do just that. Who am I? I am from B.C., but I have had 40 years of hands-on experience with Canadian livestock. I am the past president, charter member and present member of the B.C. Canadian Horse District. I am the past managing director of the Chianina Association of Canada, and the past managing director of the Belgian Blue Association of Canada. I wrote the constitution for that association. I am a life member of the Canadian Angus Association and a past director of the B.C. Angus Association.

I am now the president and founding member of the Ladysmith Carcass Cattle Association of Canada. This is a new strain of cattle that has been developed to meet today's changing demand. I am presently trying to retire and breed Canadian horses.

Who do I represent? I represent the majority of the horse breeders of British Columbia. Our president sent you a letter saying that the majority of the members wished the name of the horse to be in both languages.

I also have a document from the Government of British Columbia, from Hansard, May 19, when a Liberal MLA, after visiting the Canadian horse when we invited her to the fairgrounds, stated the following in debate:

They have worked very hard all across Canada to establish this breed and to make sure that it was known -- the part that it played in Canadian history from coast to coast and how integral it was in the development of Canada…

The MLA did not get any rebuttal from the NDP, which was in power at that time. Their speaker said that he supported what the Liberal MLA said, and added:

A private member's bill is before the federal parliament in turning this horse into a truly national -- federal -- breed. I think anybody can claim this as their national horse, and it's open for B.C. to do that. I hope British Columbia does do that at some time.

The Canadian horse is known across Canada, even at the provincial government level.

I have one last thing to say. I took the opportunity of bringing 15 copies of a motion, in which I state the following:

I move that Bill S-22 be amended to read Canadian/Canadien when referring to the national horse of Canada in this proposed bill.

I signed it with today's date. I then had it co-signed by Regent Lalonde, the president of the Ontario association, as seconder.

We did this so you would not forget that we were here and what we had come to do. Thank you.

The Chairman: I want to thank you for a rather subdued presentation. There is no question in my mind that I believe what you say. I wonder if either of the Lalonde brothers wants to say anything now?

Mr. Regent Lalonde: I totally support Dan Wilson and, honourable senators, the transcript will reflect exactly what Mr. Wilson said. As I said last week, my family has been involved with Canadian horses 20 minutes away from here, in Cumberland. My grandfather raised horses, and my father always had Canadian horses. We took over the farm, and we had quite a few horses. My grandfather worked in the lumber camps, my father worked in the lumber camps, and my uncle worked in the lumber camps, always driving Canadian horses.

We got involved in a carriage business, and my brother Gerry went out and bought Standard Bred, Thoroughbred, and every other breed. When we came home with two Canadians, my father told us we did the right thing and we should stick with those horses, because they are the best.

The Chairman: For those members of the Senate committee who were not here, the Lalonde brothers made their presentation some time ago.

Senator Stratton: How many Canadian horses are there in British Columbia, and how prevalent are they out West?

Mr. Wilson: We have approximately 100 in B.C. now. We have probably done more in the last five years in B.C. than has gone on back East for many years.

We are sitting on quality horses and we are promoting those as Canadian horses. The province knows the horse, as you can see from what I have read here. We are busy promoting the Canadian horse as very versatile and capable of performance. Those numbers are not large, but the quality is there.

Senator Stratton: Do you have any knowledge of the situation in Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba, and how prevalent they are in those provinces?

Mr. Wilson: The Alberta-Saskatchewan association was incorporated earlier. They have more horses. They probably have 250. We work well with Alberta-Saskatchewan and move horses back and forth.

Senator Stratton: I have one final question. This came up at the previous presentations. My real concern was that this is the only truly Canadian breed. Will we be at loggerheads with breeders of any other horse that is being promoted as a Canadian horse? Is this a truly Canadian horse in your mind?

For example, the Newfoundland pony is not a horse, but it is truly Canadian. Is there another breed out there?

Mr. Wilson: This is truly a Canadian horse, with true Canadian blood. Quite frankly, the Sable Island pony carries much the same type of bloodlines because there is a connected industry. However, down the road, we might use some of that blood in our horse lines, when we do the DNA on those horses, if we find that they are much the same as our Canadian horse. It is the only truly Canadian horse that has evolved here over the last 300 years.

Senator Stratton: Is there no other horse that has done that?

Mr. Wilson: There are a couple of other horses, such as one in Alberta called the Canadian rustic horse, but those are not well known, nor are they prominent.

Senator Stratton: Are they regional? For example, is the Alberta rustic just in Alberta, or is it across the country?

Mr. Wilson: I do not know too much about them, only that they are smaller horses, so they will be limited in what they can do. This horse survives because of its capacity to endure. Maybe the Alberta rustic will do something down the road that will be purely associated with that breed.

Senator Stratton: I do not want us to run into a situation where we are faced with two horses, Canadian bred: "Why is my breed not being considered as a Canadian horse?"

Mr. Wilson: I do not think you have any worry about that, because I have not met anyone who does not believe these are truly Canadian horses, of 14 hands and 16 hands, and with the type of character they have. I do not see that coming up at all, because it just is not so.

Senator Murray: Of course, they were also the first here.

Mr. Wilson: Yes.

Senator Murray: How are the standards maintained? I take it that the federal law is silent on the question of the standards?

Mr. Wilson: Yes, and thank goodness for that. The standard says that the horse is between 14 and 16 hands. However, the constitution says that if you have a horse that is by a registered sire, then it is registerable. Frankly, it is the buying public who will decide the standards of the horse. If we want this horse to survive, it must evolve to meet the changing society. We are lucky today, because people are moving into pleasure riding and the Canadian horse fits well into that area.

Senator Murray: There is the Animal Pedigree Act.

Mr. Wilson: Yes, but it does not state anything about stock.

Senator Murray: I understand that under the Animal Pedigree Act, you may register your animal, and the Canadian/Canadien horse is registered under that act, I presume.

Mr. Wilson: Correct.

Senator Murray: Are standards listed as part of the registration, or is it just a name?

Mr. Wilson: There are no standards listed under the act.

Senator Murray: No, but I am talking about the registration process.

Mr. Wilson: No, not in the registration. The act says that the breed associations will decide what the standards should be.

Senator Murray: That is right, yes.

Mr. Wilson: Then if it fits under the act, it is accepted for registration.

Senator Murray: You are correct. That is what they told me. Is there one breed association for the Canadian horse?

Mr. Wilson: There is only one officially recognized breed. The pedigrees act says there is one Canadian horse association in this country, and that is the Canadian Horse Breeders' Association.

Senator Murray: I take it you are telling me that they have established what the standard will be?

Mr. Wilson: They have established the standard, but the B.C. Canadian district is part of that association.

Senator Murray: Therefore, you respect their standard?

Mr. Wilson: I have no choice, because they are in command.

Senator Murray: Has that changed very much? I am looking at the testimony of 1909 from Dr. Rutherford to the commons committee, where he said that the standard agreed upon is, as nearly as possible, that of the old French Canadian horse, which I have already roughly described. Stallions must not exceed 15.3 hands in height and mares 15.2 hands. The preferred weight for stallions is between 1100 and 1350 pounds, and for mares, from 1050 to 1250 pounds.

Has that changed very much since 1909?

Mr. Wilson: Dr. Rutherford was called in to clean up a mess and set a standard to follow, and therefore the breed association is allowed to change the standard when it wishes. That was the standard set at that time.

To answer your question, yes, it has changed somewhat, but really I believe it is down between 14 hands and 16 hands, and if it is from a registered animal it is still registerable under the pedigrees act.

Senator Murray: Are you saying that it is between 14 hands and 16 hands?

Mr. Wilson: Right.

Senator Murray: That is about right. He said between 15.3 and 15.2, so it is in the middle. What about the weight? Is that about the same?

Mr. Wilson: It is pretty close to that; it varies a little, but it is still roughly the same.

Mr. Lalonde: Throughout the years, the standards have changed. At one time, they were 15 to 16 hands. Right now, they are 14 to 16 hands, and it is a decision that the association makes at the annual general meeting.

Senator Murray: Does a hand, more or less, make much difference?

Mr. Wilson: Four inches.

The Chairman: We have had before us the rare breeds association, which brought that out. I know the experience in the cattle industry, where it is pretty well up to the association as to what will be recommended, because they cannot check. For instance, in the Maine-Anjou association, whose members breed cattle that came from France, there was a time when they wanted an 1800-pound cow, and now they want a 1200-pound cow. They are breeding according to what they want to produce. They can take one strain of cattle or horses and come up with a certain direction for that breed. In my opinion, if it were in law, it would tie the hands of the breeders' association. That also seems to be the general opinion of the people who appeared before the committee.

Senator Wiebe: I would like to ask a question out of curiosity. I have never bred horses in my life, even though I am a farmer. You say that the breeders' association changed some of the criteria, for example, from 15 to 16 hands to 14 to 16 hands. I see no problem there. What happens if the breeders' association all of a sudden decides to go back to 15 to 16 hands? Does that then disqualify every horse that is only 14 hands from registration?

Mr. Wilson: As the chairman said, the breed association is entitled to make changes, and they make those changes for good reasons. He referred to Maine-Anjou. If you are using a tonne-and-a-half Maine-Anjou bull and you start having dead calves, you quickly change in order to survive in your business.

The same thing applies to the Canadian Horse Breeders' Association. It is up to association to do whatever they wish to do, and their members would be quick to bring them to task for inappropriate changes, because they want to raise horses that the public is willing to buy. The pedigrees act stays away from that, leaves it up to the association to attend to the matter, and the members see that their association directors do whatever is needed to keep the breed alive and going.

Senator Wiebe: I understand that, and that is the way that democracy works in this country. If the majority of the breeders want to change it from 14 to 16 to 15 to 16, that is what happens. What happens to the poor breeder who did not want it changed and has a group of animals that are only 14 hands high? Is he left out in the cold, or is there a grace period allowed for that transition to take place?

I am not thinking now of the majority, I am thinking of the minority who put work into developing a horse that happens to be 14 hands high.

Senator Murray: Can they be grandfathered?

Mr. Wilson: That is an excellent question, and it happens many times, the way things are set up. A person decides on the weight in which he believes. If he waits long enough for a change, which is maybe 12 to 15 years, his product then becomes sought after when the pendulum swings the other way. He goes into the driver’s seat, makes money and does well. It is a wonderful system of supply and demand.

The Chairman: Are you recommending that we write anything into law about size?

Mr. Wilson: No, not at all.

Senator Day: Mr. Wilson, I would like to join honourable senators in thanking you for coming from Ladysmith to give your passionate presentation. Is there an American horse?

Mr. Wilson: There are five American breeds that have been developed in the States. What is the foundation of those breeds -- the Morgan, the Standard bred, the Tennessee Walker and others? It is the Canadian horse. The Canadian horse is the foundation of those breeds in the States. As I said earlier, if we do not watch what we have and protect it, they will do it again. They are great marketers.

Senator Day: Is there a horse called "the American horse"?

Mr. Wilson: There is an American Saddlebred, but it also has a Canadian background.

Senator Day: If I brought a horse from the United States into Canada, I could say it is an American horse, but they might ask the breed.

Mr. Wilson: There is no such thing as an American horse; it is registered as an American Saddlebred.

Senator Day: It might be Morgan or Tennessee Walker, it might be a number of different horses, but someone would ask me, "What is the breed?"

Mr. Wilson: There is no designated breed called "American." We have one in Canada called "Canadian."

Senator Day: When you sell a horse in the United States, how do you distinguish that, so people know that this is "the" Canadian horse, as opposed to "a" Canadian horse?

Mr. Wilson: At one time, they thought it was all horses in Canada, but in the last few years, we have done a good job of promoting this horse as "the" Canadian/Canadien horse. It has been in magazines, on TV, in two books, and we have done a good promotional job. Now people in Canada know it as "the" Canadian horse. The Americans really do not know it as "the" Canadian horse. That is just beginning. Americans are joining our Canadian association. The American membership doubled last year. They are not all that interested in a Canadian horse per se, they want endurance and versatility, they want a horse that does well and gets by on a little less feed. They are looking at our horse, which we are now beginning to promote, as a fairly tame horse that is workable and easy to keep.

Mr. Lalonde: To further explain, Americans will come to Canada and buy a purebred Canadian, take it back to America, and still use the Canadian livestock record incorporation to register their horses. To do so, they must be members of the Canadian Horse Breeders' Association. Even though they own a Canadian horse, the registration of the horses is taken care of by Ottawa.

Senator Day: Over time, will you see this breed expanding and growing, with associations in other countries, and will it be called "the Canadian horse" in those other countries?

Mr. Wilson: If we do our work right, there will be associations in other countries. If we do our work better than that, those countries will have districts that are governed by our people. If we do not get busy and do that, they will do it for us.

The Chairman: Thank you for your presentation. I wish you well.

I now welcome our next panel, the Quebec association for the Canadian horse. I would ask you to introduce yourselves, give us a presentation, and then we will go to questions.

[Translation]

Ms. Darkise St-Arnaud, President, Association québécoise du cheval canadien: My name is Darkise St-Arnaud and I am the President of the Association québécoise du cheval canadien. With me today are Mr. Yves Bernatchez, President of the Front commun des races du patrimoine, and Mr. André Auclair, Vice-President of the Association québécois du cheval canadien.

With your permission, I would like to read the brief that was forwarded to you this week. Mr. Charbonneau has advised me that there were a few problems with the translation, therefore I hope everyone has the same version.

The first part of my presentation is entitled The History of the Canadian Horse.

The first horses to set foot in Canada, along the Saint Lawrence Valley, arrived from the royal stables in France between 1647 and 1670. On June 25, 1647, the Compagnie des Habitants offered a horse as a gift to the then Governor Chevalier de Montmagny. On July 16, 1665, 12 horses arrived and were quickly distributed to the gentlemen and residents of the colony. Two other shipments arrived in New France in 1667 and in 1670, and were distributed according to merit and need.

These horses came primarily from Normandy and Brittany. They were sent by the king to help the development of the new colony. They were also used for a number of other jobs, such as clearing the land, plowing, transportation and riding. They reproduced quickly and lived wherever they were needed by man.

The Canadian Horse is the hardiest, sturdiest and best acclimatized to our climate, as it was subject to a merciless history of natural selection. Harsh winters, the many privations in early colonial days, poverty and hunger made the horse smaller and eliminated the weakest. Over time, they became indispensable to everyday life and a full partner in the activities of families and communities.

Nonetheless, around the end of the 19th century, the Canadian Horse was threatened with extinction. Because of their high quality and the insouciance of their two-legged companions, a number of prime specimens were exported to the United States and were used to establish some American breeds, including the Morgan. After 1816, many foreign horses were imported into Canada.

In 1885, a number of diehards who wanted to keep the Little Iron Horse going set themselves the enormous job of rebuilding this heritage breed. The opening of the breed herdbook on December 16, 1886 was the starting point for the registration of stock horses that had the traits of the breed. Individual horses were registered until 1912.

However, progress was slow until the Canadian Horse Breeders' Association was founded in 1895. Interest then began to grow. In 1913, the federal Department of Agriculture inaugurated a breeding program at the Cap Rouge experimental farm near Quebec City, with the goal of discovering the best lines.

In 1919, the program was transferred to St. Joachim, to continue the work started in Cap Rouge. This far-reaching program continued until 1940 when, with the country at war, the federal government put the elite horses it still had up for sale for breeding purposes. The herd was reconstituted at the Ferme-École provinciale de la Gorgendière under the direction of Quebec's Ministry of Agriculture. Some horses were sent to the experimental farm at Ste-Anne-de-la-Pocatière and the others were purchased by individuals who wanted to preserve the breed.

Thus, the Syndicats d'élevage de chevaux canadiens were born, the first in 1932. These were groups of active breeders who wanted to restore the breed to its former popularity by selecting the best breeders and adopting more effective maintenance and management methods. Official figures show that the syndicates made a significant contribution to the increase in the number of class A stallions. In 1980, the board of directors of the Canadian Horse Breeders' Association decided to revive five regional breeding syndicates, but the only one that was actually set up was the one in the Lower Saint Lawrence. Subsequently, in 1992, it was enlarged to become the Syndicat d'élevage national du cheval canadien-français, with a provincial orientation.

In 1998, the Association québécoise du cheval canadien was founded; our association was established under the aegis of the Canadian Horse Breeders' Association to represent breeders in the Quebec City district within the association. Noting that the Quebec association worked with original breeding standards, the board of directors of the Canadian Horse Breeders' Association decided unilaterally to no longer recognize us. Mr. Guy Paquet, who was the President of the Association at the time, wrote to us saying:

We are convinced that you are still promoting the Canadian Horse according to the standard you have chosen. Our members have identified a different standard and, under the circumstances, we cannot conceive how you can act on our behalf in Quebec [...].

Nevertheless, our association kept its mandate and its original activities, and with even more energy since the different standard that Mr. Paquet refers to literally places the horse in danger of extinction. In fact, at its 2001 Annual General Assembly, and against the wishes that breeders expressed in a survey, and against the votes and resolutions passed in the past 10 general assemblies where two-thirds of the members voted in favour of maintaining the breed's original standard, the current administrators of the Canadian Horse Breeders' Association definitively opened the door to changes in the breed standards. Now the breed, in the opinion of most breeders, is not threatened with extinction, it is threatened with destruction. And the situation is all the more serious, since this approach is coming from the ones who are supposed to be safeguarding the breed. A wave of protest has reached the Department of Agriculture in Ottawa following this latest position taken by the CHBA.

In another vein, in December 1999, thanks to the phenomenal work of a representative of Rimouski, Ms. Solange Charest, supported by Gratien Bélanger, Secretary of the Syndicat d'élevage national du cheval canadien-français, Yves Bernatchez, President of the Front Commun pour la sauvegarde des races du patrimoine du Québec, André Auclair, Vice-Chairman of the Association québécoise du cheval canadien and by a number of others, the Government of Quebec recognized the Canadian Horse as a "race du patrimoine animalier du Québec", along with the Canadian Cow and the Chantecler Chicken.

The second part of my presentation is entitled: Facts About the Canadian Horse

The historian Taillon described the Canadian Horse in the following terms:

Small, but robust, hocks of steel, thick mane floating in the wind, bright and lively eyes, pricking its sensitive ears at the least noise, going along day and night with the same courage, wide awake beneath its harness; spirited, good, gentle, affectionate, following his road with the instinct to come surely home to his own stable. Such were the horses of our fathers.

Today, our needs are not the same, but the Canadian Horse still remains a multi-purpose horse, invaluable for the hobby farmers. It can be used as a work horse as well as a riding horse. Because of its docile nature, courage and resistance to fatigue, it is highly prized for such leisure uses as trail riding. In a speech made when Bill 199 was adopted by the Quebec National Assembly, Dr. Jean-Paul Lemay, an agronomist, pointed out that the past speaks to us: it teaches us that the present and the future do not emerge from a void but are built on a foundation that we should know about. The Canadian Horse has for a long time had many zealous defenders, in all walks of life, in every era. It has been a part of our daily life throughout our history.

Part 3 of my presentation is entitled A Standard for the Canadian Horse

The Canadian Horse Breeders' Association was founded in 1895. From that date to 1905, it registered 1,801 horses, including 628 stallions and 1, 173 mares. Some of the entries were, however, open to question. It was therefore agreed to close the stud book and to open a new one in which the only entries accepted would be those approved by a committee of experts. It was also agreed to establish a standard to which the committee would match entries as closely as possible.

The standard was to be one in which the traits represented as faithfully as possible the ideal original. There was a scale of points to use for comparison. For further information on this, I refer you to the first volume of the Livre de généalogie du cheval canadien published in 1917, pp. XXIII, XXIV and XXV. With these invaluable historical data, Mr. André Auclair drew a visual representation of the standard for the breed. With modern computer technology, he was able to produce a diagram in poster format.

This was in fact the outcome of a decision by members of the head office of the Association québécoise du cheval canadien and the Syndicat d'élevage national du cheval canadien-français to unite their efforts and offer their members a visual representation of the breed standard, in order to improve understanding of that standard. It was translated into English under the supervision of bilingual people familiar with the Canadian Horse and distributed to all breeders via the Bottin des Éleveurs de Chevaux Canadiens. The reaction was for the most part extremely appreciative. A copy of this document is appended to these notes.

The next part of my presentation is entitled The Future of the Canadian Horse. With the Canadian Horse recognized as a heritage animal in Quebec and as the National Horse of Canada, it is important to ensure that it is well identified, well protected, well promoted and well used. It was to this end that the Association québécoise du cheval canadien and the Syndicat d'élevage national du cheval canadien-français distributed the appended document describing the breed standard.

Moreover, for the past three years, we have been working to formulate a classification program for adult horses, in order to improve the breed line and quality of the current herd of Canadian Horses. A classification grid has been developed using the most complete available documents; we started applying it experimentally in the summer of 2001 on about 50 horses in Quebec.

These horses constitute the first databank, which will enable us over time to identify elite examples, both stallions and mares. Given the immense possibilities of improving the stock offered by this work instrument, a number of breeders have already expressed their desire to take advantage of the program as soon as possible.

We hope in the short terms to set up a "virtual stud farm" on the Internet, where horses in the current herd will be listed in gold, silver and bronze categories depending on the classification they obtain. This will enable any horse, no matter how far away it may be, of whatever breeding, known or unknown, to have its place on the "stud farm" while remaining with its masters.

In addition, it will then be possible to select matches and, once arrangements are made with a competent laboratory, to make semen available from different stallions, something which would otherwise be impossible.

Moving on, our Canadian Horse Day is more and more popular with breeders and we are already planning to publicize it more widely in the regions. This is a day where three types of activities are held: futurity stakes, competitions for the Little Iron Horse, and a gala of champions. The event unfolds within the framework of a family day, which includes a picnic.

In conclusion, we felt it was important to share our work with you so that you could be made aware of the tremendous efforts that have gone into promoting and improving the breed known as the Canadian Horse. We firmly believe that it is possible, given a certain amount of good will, to make this breed known to as many people as possible. It deserves as much. Nonetheless, much remains to be done in this regard if we consider what reporter Geneviève Tremblay discovered while researching her report on the Canadian Horse for the television program "Culture Shoc" during the summer of 2000: The Canadian Horse is still virtually unknown to the general public!

Over the last fifteen years or so, the Canadian Horse has spread beyond its native home in the province of Quebec. There are now breeders in other Canadian provinces and even in the United States. The population currently numbers approximately 3,000 horses, two-thirds of which are in Quebec.

Hence the importance of increasing the breed's visibility. We must remind an entire population, so that it will forever remember that it was with the Canadian Horse that our forefathers built this country. It was the only one of its kind from one ocean to the other.

Furthermore, this horse is a breed in its own right. It has very distinct traits, which were shaped by our country and are untouchable. They are clearly recorded in the first herdbook. It is a precious heritage that must be preserved and protected, not a race to be constantly redefined.

Senator Murray: I would just like to thank the witnesses for their presentation. When the Quebec National Assembly debated Bill 199, the sponsor of the bill, Ms. Solange Charest, stated that you spearheaded the drive to establish the Front Commun in 1995. Is that correct?

Mr. Bernatchez: Yes.

Senator Murray: Today, this coalition is reaping the fruits of many years of work. I congratulate you on getting this legislation passed in Quebec and I hope you are satisfied with this federal initiative.

In Quebec, the issue of defining the breed has been addressed. Other witnesses who have come before the committee have told us that this was a matter for the breeders' associations established pursuant to the Animal Pedigree Act. What steps should the Government of Quebec take following this initiative by the National Assembly to have the Canadian Horse recognized as being a part of Quebec's heritage?

Mr. Bernatchez: Basically, three breeds were developed in Quebec and the government adopted legislation to recognize them. Measures to promote the breed have yet to be announced. I have been told that the government is poised to unveil measures which would allow people to invest in the preservation of these three breeds, but no formal announcement has yet been made.

Senator Murray: What kind of efforts could be made to preserve the Canadian Horse?

Mr. Bernatchez: One positive initiative would be to establish a special stable where heritage breeds could be raised and exhibited to the public. Cheeses made with milk from Canadian cows could be developed. The Canadian chicken is said to the tastiest bird in the world.

My colleague André Auclair and I met with experts from Hong Kong who told us the Chanteclerc chicken met the standards of the Asian market and constituted an exceptional breed in North America. The Canadian Horse should be promoted for tourism and cultural purposes. For instance, in Quebec City, the breed should be used for calèche rides and mounted police services should be encouraged to use Canadian Horses from coast to coast.

Ms. St-Arnaud: The Quebec government has awarded us a grant for our breed classification program. Funds will therefore be available to classify the stock with a view to preserving the quality of the breed and to preventing its demise. We are keenly aware of this concern and that is why we have established this classification system.

We have been awarded a grant by the Quebec Ministry of Agriculture which will enable as many breeders as possible to access this classification program.

Senator Murray: How many Canadian Horses are there in Quebec?

Ms. St-Arnaud: They account for two-thirds of the overall Canadian horse population, or for approximately 2,000 horses.

Senator Murray: Earlier, I referred to a statement made in 1909 by a senior official from the federal Department of Agriculture when the Association was first incorporated. He noted the following in reference to standards, and I quote:

[English]

Stallions must not exceed 15.3 hands in height, and mares 15.2 hands. The preferred weight is, for stallions, between 1100 and 1350 pounds, and from 1050 to 1250 pounds for mares.

[Translation]

In you opinion, have these standards remained the same over the years?

Mr. Auclair: They really have not changed, although in 1991, they were redefined somewhat.

Senator Murray: By whom?

Mr. Auclair: By the Canadian Horse Breeders' Association. According to the breed definition, the Canadian Horse must not exceed 15.3 hands in the case of stallions, and 15.2 hands in the case of mares. In 1991, the standard was redefined to state that the Canadian Horse must stand between 14 and 16 hands. This was the only change formally adopted in response to the wishes expressed by two-thirds of the general assembly. As you know, breeds do not change quickly. They have certain set genetic traits and there is an archetype that must be respected. The breed prototype may be traced back 50 generations. This year, there is a proposal to change this to 16.2 hands and who knows, next year someone may request another change. That is not how a breed is defined. The height of the Canadian Horse is not the only determining factor. There is also the breed's morphology and quality of the traits to be considered. All of these must be preserved.

Ms. St-Arnaud: On page 104 of the journal that I distributed to you, you will find a list of the required standards.

Senator Murray: I do no wish to misquote the previous witness, Mr. Wilson, but I understood him to say that standards are dictated by the market.

Mr. Auclair: Do you really believe that if we want to protect a breed, we can allow standards to be dictated to us by the market? Instead, we should be promoting the excellence, quality and well-established traits of the breed. It is in these areas, and not on the demand side, that we must continually strive to improve the breed. Whether we are looking for a race horse or a draft horse, the Canadian Horse has its own unique traits which deserve to be defended and promoted. We must respect the breed's genetic makeup. Our produce is in high demand because it is an excellent product. We cannot ask someone who is buying a Canadian Horse for the first time to set the standards for the breed. From the early days, the breed's historic traits have been defined by climate and natural and genetic selection, with the result being a hardy horse capable of withstanding any hardship.

Thus, the Canadian Horse has managed to survive over the years. It served as the best war horse in North America. The American wars ruined our herd because the horses were neglected and carelessly sold. Now that breeders' association follow more stringent standards, the Canadian Horse herd is flourishing. Each year, many new foals are born and the quality of the stock is good. Steps must be taken to produce good stock specimens, despite the inevitable variations. Indeed, the Canadian Horse ranges on average between 14 and 16 hands.

Senator Murray: And that is the standard for which you are striving?

Mr. Auclair: Each breed has certain standards which must be respected.

Senator Murray: And the animal should weigh between 1,000 and 1,400 pounds?

Mr. Auclair: Yes, that is an acceptable weight for the Canadian Horse. All members of the breed fall somewhere in this range. All quality stallions and mares range from 14 to 16 hands.

Senator Murray: Are you concerned that these standards are being watered down somewhat?

Mr. Auclair: Over the past ten years or so, the Canadian Horse Breeders' Association has from time to time received requests to increase the allowable standard to 16.2 hands, but such requests have been rejected by over two-thirds of the members present at the assemblies. These same questions were raised about four years ago by the boards of directors in attendance. This year, we surveyed the membership and the current board of directors did not deem the findings to be conclusive. Changes to the standards were requested. It was determined that the ideal specimen should stand between 15 and 16 hands, bearing in mind that horses below and above this range were acceptable as well. This would enable us to take certain steps to promote a uniform breed.

If we were to look at a herd of Holstein cows or Arabian horses, we would note a general uniformity of breed. Some visual traits set the breed apart. Why deviate from this standard? A Canadian Horse is recognizable because it conforms to the standards set for the breed. These traits must be preserved in the breeding process. The Canadian Horse has rather short ears and a thick mane. If we accept a horse with longer ears and a Roman nose, even if that horse is registered, it will not stand as a good example of the breed. What we need is a points system to select the best specimens and to establish a portrait of the typical stallion, based on the criteria set out by the committee of experts in 1909.

[English]

The Chairman: If I may ask, just for clarification, are you suggesting that the association sets the standards?

[Translation]

Mr. Auclair: The standards for the Canadian breed are the same as the ones we are requesting. We want to protect the traits of the Canadian Horse.

Mr. Bernatchez: In fact, we are proposing that the standards remain the same. We do not want the CHBA to have an opportunity to modify the standards. The breed does not need to change, as it has already proven its quality. Each year, an Iron Horse competition is held. The Canadian Horse should remain the Iron Horse and should be able to defend itself on all fronts.

[English]

The Chairman: At this point, the association has set those standards, right?

[Translation]

Mr. Bernatchez: Yes.

Senator Day: Thank you for your presentation. You are familiar with the Syndicat d'élevage national du cheval canadien-français. Do you prefer the designation French Canadian Horse to Canadian Horse?

Mr. Auclair: No. The designation "Canadian Horse" has been in use since 1939. Prior to 1939, the breed was referred to as the French Canadian Horse on registration certificates, the purpose being to set it apart from other horses in Canada which were not necessarily Canadian Horses.

At the start of World War II in 1939, an attempt was made to modify the breed standard to allow heavier horses. Over two-thirds of the members voted against this initiative at the general assembly. The designation "French Canadian" was set aside because the authenticity of the breed was no longer in question. However, the Syndicat d'élevage du cheval canadien-français remained faithful to the breed standards.

The breed standards were already being defended in 1939, despite attempts to modify them to allow middleweight horses weighing 1,5000 pounds or more. Mr. Deschambault had made this request, but it was rejected by the majority of members. From that moment onward, the requested changes were not merely for heavier horses, but occasionally for taller or more refined horses. Members refused to modify the breed standard.

The Syndicat kept the designation "French Canadian" because the name guaranteed the authenticity of the breed. People drew a distinction between Canadian Horse and French Canadian Horse. It was really the same animal but through selection, breeders were fine-tuning the breed traits, thereby calling into question recognition of the breed. That is why the Syndicat adopted this name, to remain faithful to the original standards.

This is a breeders' syndicate, not an association. Our aim is to promote the breed in Quebec. While we are affiliated with the association, we uphold the same standards as the Syndicat in terms of the animal's size, type and morphology. Among those who have spoken out on this issue up until this year, two-thirds favour the preservation of the standards. This year, the percentage is only 50 per cent plus one. Some people were dissatisfied and left the assembly. The desire for change has gown, despite public surveys that show people favour the preservation of the breed's original standards.

Mr. Bernatchez: Something Mr. Auclair said illustrates this point clearly. In 1930, when tractors made an appearance on farms, the first horse to disappear was the small carriage horse. Heavier horses like Percherons, Clydesdales and Suffolks remained and began to evolve. Canadian breeders believed that in order to save the Canadian Horse, it needed to become a heavier animal.

When farms became mechanized, heavier breeds faced an even greater threat than light horses. Breeders tried to breed lighter Canadian Horses. The trend then shifted to horses that could jump. Since Canadian Horses possessed certain traits that made then suitable for jumping, breeders concentrated on making the horses taller.

All of which proves that the standards associated with a breed should not be altered because the fashion changes. Every time we stray from the standard, we weaken the breed and it is the breed that we are trying to defend.

I note here the name of Senator Chalifoux. One of Krieghoff's paintings is entitled Chalifoux Inn. Many Canadian Horses are depicted in the painting. We wish to defend this particular breed of horse.

Senator Day: Does the Syndicat d'élevage national still exist?

Mr. Auclair: Yes. It advises people on such matters as Canadian Horse bloodlines and breeding practices. The aim is to preserve the excellent traits of the breed.

Senator Day: Does the Quebec association still exist?

Mr. Auclair: Yes, it works to promote the breed.

Senator Day: Do you agree with the designation "Canadian Horse", rather than "French Canadian Horse"?

Mr. Auclair: Yes.

Ms. St-Arnaud: Most certainly.

Mr. Bernatchez: We have no objections to this whatsoever. On the contrary, we think it would be a mistake to use this other designation. When I was the President of the Canadian Horse Breeders' Association, I was told by the Quebec Minister of Agriculture that if we wanted any funding from the government, the first thing we needed to do was to change the designation to "Quebec horse". We rejected that suggestion en masse.

Ms. St-Arnaud: Would you be prepared to support this cause, so that the standards of the breed are not constantly called into question? After all you are prepared to make this horse a national symbol. Correct?

Senator Murray: Unfortunately, what we are proposing to do here is symbolic. We are calling on Parliament to recognize the Canadian Horse as the national horse of Canada. You know better than anyone that this would be an important symbolic gesture. We can only hope that those responsible for these standards are concerned about upholding them and respect any action taken by this Parliament.

We do not have any authority, either through this committee or through legislation, to impose standards or to amend existing legislation. It is the responsibility of associations recognized in federal legislation to set these standards. However, I hope that our initiative will carry a certain amount of moral authority.

Mr. Bernatchez: Before we leave, I simply want to let you know that my grandfather Larue incorporated that Canadian Horse Breeders' Association in 1905. Thus, after nearly 100 years, I am continuing my grandfather's mission.

[English]

The Chairman: I want to thank you for appearing and for giving an interesting presentation. I attended the 100th birthday of a man who was a true pioneer, and I draw a parallel here. This is a pioneer horse of Canada, and I am pleased to hear that you support the proposed legislation making this the Canadien horse and the Canadian horse, and I am sure it will work to the benefit of all Canadians.

Honourable senators, we have some other business of the committee with which to deal. I will turn the meeting over to Senator Wiebe.

Senator Wiebe: Honourable senators, as you know, Senator Fairbairn, who was on the steering committee, has been asked to chair the special committee. She has asked to be relieved of her responsibilities here until after her responsibilities on the new committee are over, at which time she will return. However, in the meantime, the steering committee cannot meet because it does not have a third member. Therefore, I should like to move that Senator Chalifoux be made a member of the steering committee.

Senator Murray: A popular choice.

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The committee adjourned.