The Senate met at 2 p.m., the Speaker in the Chair.
The Hon. the Speaker: As there is no business before the Senate, is it
your pleasure, honourable senators, that the Senate do now adjourn during
pleasure to await the arrival of Her Excellency the Governor General of Canada?
The Senate adjourned during pleasure.
At 2:15 p.m., Her Excellency the Governor General having come and being
seated upon the Throne -
The Hon. the Speaker said:
Usher of the Black Rod,
You will proceed to the House of Commons and acquaint that House that it is
the pleasure of Her Excellency the Governor General of Canada that they attend
her immediately in the Senate Chamber.
The House of Commons being come,
Their Speaker, the Honourable Peter Milliken, said:
May it please Your Excellency,
The House of Commons has elected me their Speaker, though I am but little
able to fulfil the important duties thus assigned to me. If, in the performance
of those duties, I should at any time fall into error, I pray that the fault may
be imputed to me, and not to the Commons, whose servant I am, and who, through
me, the better to enable them to discharge their duty to their Queen and
Country, humbly claim all their undoubted rights and privileges, especially that
they may have freedom of speech in their debates, access to Your Excellency's
person at all seasonable times, and that their proceedings may receive from Your
Excellency the most favourable construction.
The Hon. the Speaker of the Senate answered:
Mr. Speaker, I am commanded by Her Excellency the Governor General to declare
to you that she freely confides in the duty and attachment of the House of
Commons to Her Majesty's Person and Government, and not doubting that their
proceedings will be conducted with wisdom, temper and prudence, she grants, and
upon all occasions will recognize and allow, their constitutional privileges. I
am commanded also to assure you that the Commons shall have ready access to Her
Excellency upon all seasonable occasions and that their proceedings, as well as
your words and actions, will constantly receive from her the most favourable
Her Excellency the Governor General was then pleased to open the First
Session of the Thirty-seventh Parliament with the following speech:
Honourable Members of the Senate,
Members of the House of Commons,
Ladies and Gentlemen:
It is my great pleasure to greet you on this first day of the 37th Parliament
since Confederation. The vital relationship that exists between the Canadian
people and Parliament is what we celebrate today through history, custom and
I also have the pleasure of welcoming new members to the House of Commons,
and I want all parliamentarians to know how deeply I appreciate the ideals that
motivate you to serve your country. I also appreciate the sacrifices brought on
by your task and made in the name of the common good and of leadership.
And in a healthy democracy, leadership can come from everyone, because it is
a sense of really knowing what you want and what you can contribute.
A little more than a year ago, I became Canada's 26th Governor General. I set
out as the main objective of my first year in office to visit every province and
territory and to meet as many Canadians as possible, wherever they live and make
their lives - to engage in a true dialogue with them.
I have seen many places that Canadians have decided to call home, from big
cities to small hamlets, from the Island of Montreal to Ellesmere Island.
But what we call home is more than a place name on a map. It is our belonging
to a community of ideas and ideals; it is the knowledge that we can say
something and be listened to, and the conviction that we can respect, rely upon
and help each other.
Meeting Canadians across the country has given me the opportunity to hear
about the different challenges we face. Looking at these issues, we of course
remember that we have demonstrated, time and time again, that we have the self-
confidence to act, and to act successfully. Change does not frighten us - we
have always harnessed it to our advantage.
It is often said that our country's strength lies in its diversity. Why is
this so? Because diversity imposes serious responsibilities. Indeed, if we
accept our place in a rich and successful society, we must also acknowledge and
engage with the parts of our society that are less advantaged.
The Government has been given a third mandate by Canadians. In leading Canada
into the new millennium, its overarching goal will continue to be to build a
stronger, ever more inclusive Canada and secure a higher quality of life for all
Canadians. In pursuing this aim, the Government will carry out the commitments
set out in its election platform.
Canada is proud, optimistic and strong. The Government has achieved the
critical objective of restoring the nation's finances. The economy continues its
longest period of economic expansion since the 1960s. Inflation and interest
rates are low and stable. More than two million new jobs have been created since
1993. Significant new investments are being made in children and youth, in
innovation and skills, in health care, and in the environment.
As we enter this new century, Canada and Canadians face the challenges of
competing in a faster-paced, technology-driven world economy. Of responding to
economic uncertainty among our trading partners. Of continuing to strengthen the
fabric of our society in an era of increasing globalization. And of advancing
our Canadian interests and values in the international arena.
We must ensure that every region, every province and territory, every
community, and every citizen has a strong voice and can contribute to building
our nation. To bring the benefits of our prosperity to all communities, whether
urban, rural, Northern or remote. To promote innovation, growth and development
in all parts of our economy, including our agricultural and resource sectors and
our manufacturing and service industries.
Canadians must rise to these challenges. Success in our more interdependent
and complex world will require the contribution of all Canadians. The Government
of Canada, for its part, will focus on:
building a world-leading economy driven by innovation, ideas and talent;
creating a more inclusive society where children get the right start in
life, where quality health services are available to all, and where Canadians
enjoy strong and safe communities;
ensuring a clean, healthy environment for Canadians and the preservation
of our natural spaces; and
enhancing our Canadian voice in the world and our shared sense of
In fulfilling its responsibilities, the Government of Canada will be guided
by the values of Canadians. It will work with other levels of government, the
private and voluntary sectors, and individual citizens.
It will continue to set bold goals and work toward them in a pragmatic,
step-by-step way. It will continue to be a prudent steward of the nation's
finances as it focusses on the priorities of Canadians. Its efforts will be
affordable and sustainable. The Government reaffirms its commitment to balanced
To assist the Government in fulfilling its responsibilities, Canada must have
a public service distinguished by excellence and equipped with the skills for a
knowledge economy and society. The Government will seek bright, motivated young
women and men to accept the challenge of serving their country in the federal
public service. The Government is committed to the reforms needed for the Public
Service of Canada to continue evolving and adapting. These reforms will ensure
that the Public Service is innovative, dynamic and reflective of the diversity
of the country - able to attract and develop the talent needed to serve
Canadians in the 21st century.
The Government will help to create opportunity for Canadians and ensure that
opportunity is shared by all. This is the Canadian Way for the 21st century.
An innovative economy is essential to creating opportunity for Canadians.
An innovative economy is driven by research and development. It requires a
highly skilled work force and investments in new technology. A business
environment and tax policies that encourage smart risk taking and
entrepreneurship and that reward success. An attractive environment for
investment. And a strong global brand for Canadian excellence.
An innovative economy is one where the benefits of new ideas are shared by
every sector and every region - from East to West to North, from office workers
to farm families.
Canada has laid a solid foundation for success in the new economy. Our
economic fundamentals are among the best in the world. Spiralling debt and
deficits have been replaced by social and economic investments, tax cuts and
debt repayments. On January 1st of this year, most elements of the Government's
comprehensive and broad-based package of $100 billion in tax relief took effect.
We are better positioned than at any time in the last three decades to seize
the opportunities of the global economy and to weather a short-term slowing of
growth experienced by Canada's major trading partners.
To secure our continued success in the 21st century, Canadians must be among
the first to generate new knowledge and put it to use.
Our objective should be no less than to be recognized as one of the most
innovative countries in the world. Achieving this will require a comprehensive
approach and the support and participation of all governments, businesses,
educational institutions, and individual Canadians.
We must strive for Canada to become one of the top five countries for
research and development performance by 2010. This is a challenge for all
Canadians, but in particular for the private sector as the largest research
investor in Canada.
As its contribution, the Government will at least double the current federal
investment in research and development by 2010. In making new investments, the
continue to pursue excellence in Canadian research by strengthening the
research capacity of Canadian universities and government laboratories and
accelerate Canada's ability to commercialize research discoveries, turning
them into new products and services; and
pursue a global strategy for Canadian science and technology, supporting
more collaborative international research at the frontiers of knowledge.
New federal investments will include strategically targetted research that is
co-ordinated with partners. These investments will directly benefit Canadians in
areas such as health, water quality, the environment, natural resources
management, and oceans research. Among its investments, the Government will
increase support for the development of new technologies to assist Canadians
Research in life sciences will benefit all of Canada, particularly our
agricultural and rural economies. The Government will help Canada's agricultural
sector move beyond crisis management - leading to more genuine diversification
and value-added growth, new investments and employment, better land use, and
high standards of environmental stewardship and food safety.
Skills and Learning
Canada will only realize its full potential by investing aggressively in the
skills and talents of its people.
To succeed in the knowledge economy, Canada will need people with advanced
skills and entrepreneurial spirit. Canada's youth are optimistic,
technologically savvy, globally connected and the most highly educated
generation in our history. The Government will continue to help young Canadians
contribute to their country, gain employment, and apply their business and
Building a skilled work force must be a national effort. The Government of
Canada will work with provinces and territories and with non-governmental
organizations to ensure that all Canadians, young and old, can achieve their
learning goals. Canada must see at least one million more adults pursue learning
opportunities during the next five years.
The Government will also help adults who want to improve their skills, but
who may face difficulty in finding the time or resources to do this while
providing for themselves and their families. It will create Registered
Individual Learning Accounts to make it easier for Canadians to finance their
learning. And it will improve the loans that are available to part-time
students, so more workers can learn while they earn.
Some Canadians face particular challenges in upgrading their skills and
enhancing their education. The Government will take steps to make it easier for
them to access skills and learning.
Youth at risk are among the most likely to drop out of school or to have
difficulty in making the transition from school to work. The Government will
work with its partners to ensure support for youth who particularly need help
staying in school or getting their first job.
Today, many Canadian adults lack the higher literacy skills needed in the
new economy. The Government of Canada will invite the provinces and
territories along with the private sector and voluntary organizations to
launch a national initiative with the goal of significantly increasing the
proportion of adults with these higher-level skills.
Persons with disabilities face barriers to full participation in the
economy and society. The Government of Canada will work with the provinces and
territories and other partners toward a comprehensive labour-market strategy
for persons with disabilities.
Increasing numbers of Aboriginal people are developing their business
skills and competing in the new economy. The Government will work with
Aboriginal people to help strengthen their entrepreneurial and business
Immigrants have enriched Canada with their ideas and talents. The Government
will take steps to help Canada attract the skilled workers it needs. It will
also work in co-operation with the provinces and territories to secure better
recognition of the foreign credentials of new Canadians and their more rapid
integration into society. The Government will re-introduce changes to
immigration legislation to streamline and improve the immigration system.
The Government has helped to make Canada one of the most connected countries
in the world, yet the speed of change continues to accelerate. Canada must
continue to develop and strengthen its information infrastructure.
The private sector today is expanding high-speed access to the Internet in
many regions. The National Broadband Task Force will advise the Government on
how Canadians together can achieve the critical goal of making broadband access
widely available to citizens, businesses, public institutions and to all
communities in Canada by 2004.
The Government will continue to support the Community Access Program and
SchoolNet, ensuring that Canadians, their communities and their schools can have
an on-ramp to the information highway. These programs are critical to Canada's
effort to close the digital divide, particularly in rural, remote, Northern and
Aboriginal communities. The Government will also enhance SchoolNet, focussing on
creating more and better learning content on-line.
The Government will continue to work toward putting its services on-line by
2004, to better connect with citizens.
It will also modernize federal privacy law to safeguard the personal
information of Canadians and provide better copyright protection for new ideas
Trade and Investment
The Government's investments in innovation, skills and connectivity, as well
as its reduction of corporate taxes and improved treatment of capital gains, are
making Canada one of the most attractive places to invest and to do business. In
addition, the Government will:
ensure that Canadian laws and regulations remain among the most modern
and progressive in the world, including those for intellectual property and
re-introduce legislation to promote a strong and efficient financial
services sector that will benefit the Canadian economy and all Canadians.
The Government will work closely with the United States, Canada's most
important trading partner, to maintain secure and efficient access to each
other's markets. It will continue the joint work begun to modernize the shared
At the Third Summit of the Americas in Quebec City this April, the Government
will advance work toward creating the Free Trade Area of the Americas.
The Government will also launch a branding strategy to raise awareness of the
advantages of investing in Canada. As part of this effort, the Government will
continue its successful Team Canada trade missions and launch Investment Team
Canada missions to the United States and Europe.
The Canadian Way recognizes that economic and social success must be pursued
together. We cannot build a prosperous society in the absence of economic
growth. We cannot lead in innovation and new ideas without healthy and secure
citizens. We must not pursue our interests in the world without strengthening
our distinct culture and values here at home.
Nowhere is the creation and sharing of opportunity more important than for
Aboriginal people. Too many continue to live in poverty, without the tools they
need to build a better future for themselves or their communities. As a country,
we must be direct about the magnitude of the challenge and ambitious in our
commitment to tackle the most pressing problems facing Aboriginal people.
Reaching our objectives will take time, but we must not be deterred by the
length of the journey or the obstacles that we may encounter along the way.
The Government is committed to strengthening its relationship with Aboriginal
people. It will support First Nations communities in strengthening governance,
including implementing more effective and transparent administrative practices.
And it will work to ensure that basic needs are met for jobs, health, education,
housing and infrastructure. This commitment will be reflected in all the
Children and Families
Securing a good start in life for children is the only way to ensure that
they are ready to learn, to seize opportunity as adults, and to contribute to
the building of their country.
There was a time in Canada when retirement often meant facing a new life of
hardship. A generation ago, Canadians set a national goal to eliminate poverty
among seniors, and we have made significant progress.
There was a time in this country when falling sick meant risking one's life
savings. Working together, Canadians built a national, publicly funded health
care system to ensure access to quality care for every citizen regardless of
There was a time when losing a job also meant immediate loss of income for
workers and their families. And so Canadians created Employment Insurance.
Now Canadians must undertake another national project - to ensure that no
Canadian child suffers the debilitating effects of poverty.
Canadians and their governments have already taken significant steps in this
A strong economy and job creation have been essential to reducing poverty and
ensuring that families have the resources to care for their children. But
economic growth alone is not enough. Governments also have a key role to play in
helping families left behind and in providing support to families and children.
All governments have put in place a range of measures to help families and
children. The National Child Benefit is the cornerstone of our collective
efforts to provide children with a better start. It is the single most important
social program to be introduced in this country since medicare in the 1960s. The
Government of Canada's contribution to the National Child Benefit will continue
to rise over the next four years.
Most recently, the Government of Canada and provinces and territories
launched the Early Childhood Development initiative to expand and improve access
to services for all families and children. The Government of Canada is investing
more than $2 billion in this initiative over five years. As part of this
agreement, governments will begin reporting to Canadians on the outcomes of
their programs and services for children. These reports will give the Government
of Canada and its partners the information they need to take whatever additional
steps are necessary to provide Canadian children with a better start in life.
The Government of Canada will also take immediate action with its partners
where the challenges are greatest.
Single parents and their children often face special challenges
overcoming poverty. The governments of Canada, New Brunswick and British
Columbia have been testing new approaches to help single parents become more
self-sufficient. The Government of Canada is prepared to test innovations with
other provinces and territories, with the longer-term aim of developing new
measures that help these parents overcome poverty.
The Government will work with its partners on modernizing the laws for
child support, custody, and access - to ensure that these work in the best
interests of children in cases of family breakdown.
It will improve the support available to parents and caregivers in times
of family crisis. No Canadian should have to choose between keeping their job
and providing palliative care to a child. The Government will take steps to
enable parents to provide care to a gravely ill child without fear of sudden
income or job loss.
In securing a better future for Aboriginal children, the Government will
work with First Nations to improve and expand the early childhood development
programs and services available in their communities. It will also expand
significantly the Aboriginal Head Start program, to better prepare more
Aboriginal children for school and help those with special needs.
The Government of Canada will also co-operate with Aboriginal communities
and provinces and territories on the measures required to reduce the number of
Aboriginal newborns affected by fetal alcohol syndrome. No child should
experience this syndrome, but Canada's immediate aim must be to significantly
reduce its incidence in the Aboriginal population by the end of this decade.
Good Health and Quality Care
A healthy Canadian society is built on the health and well-being of
individual Canadians and the health of our communities.
Canadians place a high priority on good health and on their health care
system. We know that our system of medicare, which ensures access to needed
services regardless of income or place of residence, is vital to our quality of
life. It is a Canadian advantage and deeply valued by all citizens.
The Government of Canada will uphold the Canada Health Act. It will work with
the provinces and territories to ensure that all governments continue to fulfil
their commitment to the principles of medicare.
Governments in Canada have come together to strengthen and renew Canada's
health care system. Last September, First Ministers affirmed the commitment of
their governments to the principles of the Canada Health Act and endorsed a
health action plan that will enable them to move forward in building a modern,
integrated and sustainable health system for Canadians.
Over the next three years, governments will take concrete action to reform
and support innovation in primary care, to adopt modern health information
technologies, and to purchase needed diagnostic and medical equipment. For its
part, the Government of Canada is committing more than $21 billion in new
funding to the provinces and territories over five years through the Canada
Health and Social Transfer.
The Government will also champion community-based health promotion and
disease prevention measures.
It will strengthen its efforts to encourage physical fitness and
participation in sport, and take further steps to combat substance abuse,
reduce tobacco consumption, prevent injuries and promote mental health.
It will advance progress on disease prevention, focussing in particular
on reducing the incidence of preventable diabetes and tuberculosis -
especially among Aboriginal people, who suffer disproportionately from these
The Government will also provide a further major increase in funding to
the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The new funding will enable the
Institutes to enhance their research into disease prevention and treatment,
the determinants of health, and health system effectiveness.
Building on the health action plan's commitment to public reporting, the
Government of Canada will work with the provinces and territories to create a
citizens' council on health care quality. This council will ensure that the
public's perspective is considered in developing meaningful indicators of health
As public reporting begins on how the health system is meeting the needs of
Canadians, governments will use this information to continue to move forward
with the renewal of medicare.
A Clean Environment
Canada is blessed by the beauty of its vast landscape and the wealth of its
natural resources. But with this blessing comes the responsibility to ensure its
preservation. A healthy environment is an essential part of a sustainable
economy and our quality of life.
The Government's focus will be on the three priorities of clean air, clean
water, and the conservation of Canada's natural spaces.
Last December, the Government of Canada signed an agreement with the United
States to significantly reduce the emissions that cause smog. This agreement
will lead to a 90 percent reduction in smog-causing vehicle emissions by 2010,
bringing cleaner air to millions of citizens in both countries. The Government
will move quickly to implement this agreement and other measures, working with
the provinces and territories to achieve cleaner air.
It is Canada's responsibility, as steward of one of the world's largest
supplies of fresh water, to protect this critical resource. Safeguarding our
water is a shared task among governments, industry and individual Canadians. The
Government of Canada will fulfil its direct responsibilities for water,
including the safety of water supplies on reserves and federal lands.
The Government will also lead in developing stronger national guidelines
for water quality by enhancing scientific research and continuing its
collaboration with partners. Drawing on expertise within the Government and
from across Canada, it will significantly strengthen the role of the National
Water Research Institute.
It will fund improvements to municipal water and waste water systems
through the federal-provincial-municipal Infrastructure Canada program.
It will also invest in research and development and advanced information
systems to enable better land use and protect surface and ground water
supplies from the impact of industrial and agricultural operations.
Canadians are the guardians of a significant percentage of the world's
wilderness and wildlife. The Government will invest in the creation of new
national parks and implement a plan to restore existing parks to ecological
health. It will work with its partners toward more integrated, sustainable
management of Canada's oceans. And it will re-introduce legislation for marine
conservation areas and to protect species at risk.
As part of its efforts to promote global sustainable development, the
Government will ensure that Canada does its part to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions. It will work with its provincial and territorial partners to
implement the recently announced first national business plan on climate change.
To safeguard Canadians from toxic substances and environmental contaminants,
the Government will also strengthen laws, research efforts and other measures
for health protection. This will include the development of appropriate
standards that reflect the special vulnerabilities of children.
Strong and Safe Communities
Strong and safe communities are an essential part of the fabric of our
society. They are critical to providing Canadians with the security to build a
better future for themselves and their families. They are also important to
attracting talented people from around the world to come and make their home
Canadian communities of all sizes - whether urban or rural, Aboriginal or
multicultural - face diverse challenges and have unique needs. The Government of
Canada will strive to ensure that, wherever possible, its actions and programs
are co-ordinated to help build local solutions to local challenges. It will work
with partners across Canada to launch a dialogue on the opportunities and
challenges facing urban centres. It will co-operate with provincial and
municipal partners to help improve public transit infrastructure. And it will
help to stimulate the creation of more affordable rental housing.
Ensuring that Canada's communities are safe is an important element of
fostering and attracting the talented people needed for success in the new
economy. Crime rates in Canada have fallen steadily for almost a decade.
The Government of Canada will continue to work with provinces and
territories, communities, and all its partners to implement a balanced approach
to addressing crime - focussing on prevention as much as punishment,
strengthening penalties for serious crime, and considering the needs of victims.
The Government will focus on safeguarding Canadians from new and emerging
forms of crime. It will take aggressive steps to combat organized crime,
including the creation of stronger anti- gang laws and measures to protect
members of the justice system from intimidation. It will provide enhanced law
enforcement tools to deal with emerging threats to security, such as cybercrime
and terrorism. It will act to safeguard children from crime, including criminals
on the Internet. The Government will take steps to ensure that our laws protect
children from those who would prey on their vulnerability.
The Government will re-introduce legislation to change how the justice system
deals with young offenders. It will encourage alternatives to custody for
non-violent offenders, emphasizing rehabilitation and re-integration into
society, while toughening consequences for more violent youth.
Working with the provinces, territories and communities, the Government of
Canada will strengthen the capacity of local communities to deal with conflict,
prevent crime, and address drug abuse.
It is a tragic reality that too many Aboriginal people are finding themselves
in conflict with the law. Canada must take the measures needed to significantly
reduce the percentage of Aboriginal people entering the criminal justice system,
so that within a generation it is no higher than the Canadian average.
Vibrant Canadian Culture
Canada is defined by far more than its political boundaries or economic
relationships. In these times of rapid change and globalization, it is more
important than ever that we know who we are as Canadians and what brings us
The focus of our cultural policies for the future must be on excellence in
the creative process, diverse Canadian content, and access to the arts and
heritage for all Canadians.
Both the English and French networks of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
have long been cornerstones of Canadian cultural policy. The CBC helps connect
Canadians to each other, their history and their country. It reaches all parts
of Canada, from big cities to small towns to Northern and Aboriginal
communities. It provides a distinctive Canadian voice in both official languages
and important opportunities for our creative people. The Government will
increase its support to help the CBC fulfil its distinct role as a public
broadcaster serving all Canadians.
The Government will assist the book-publishing and sound- recording sectors
to make the transition to the new economy. It will continue to support the
development of digital content for the Internet and other new media in French
and English. And it will work to expand international markets for Canadian
cultural products and services.
Communities across Canada are increasingly recognizing the importance of arts
and heritage for their quality of life and ability to attract talent, investment
and tourism. The Government of Canada will continue to work with the private and
not-for-profit sectors and other governments to strengthen Canada's cultural
infrastructure. It will help communities to develop arts and heritage programs
that are sustainable and relevant to their diverse circumstances and
Creating and Sharing Opportunities Globally
The well-being of Canada and Canadians depends on global human security,
prosperity and development.
The Government of Canada is committed to working with its international
partners to promote international peace and security by enhancing the mechanisms
for conflict prevention and resolution. It will work to strengthen global
governance as well as existing and new multilateral institutions. These include
the G- 20 - a new forum of which Canada is the first chair - which is striving
to enhance the stability of the world economy and ensure that globalization
benefits all its participants.
The Government will increase Canada's official development assistance and use
these new investments to advance efforts to reduce international poverty and to
strengthen democracy, justice and social stability worldwide.
Canadians have become leaders in harnessing the power of technology to build
a more inclusive society. This experience serves as a powerful model for the
world. Through its participation on the Digital Opportunities Task Force
established by the G-8 nations and through its own investments in developing
countries, Canada will contribute to closing the global digital divide.
The Government will continue Canada's proud record of peacekeeping. In Budget
2000, the Government provided funding increases for the Canadian Forces to help
ensure that they are equipped and prepared to respond quickly to calls for help
at home and abroad.
The Summit of the Americas this year presents an exceptional opportunity to
promote a balanced and coherent vision for deepening co-operation among the
nations of the Western hemisphere. The summit declaration and action plan will
support Canada's interest in strengthening democracy and human rights, expanding
commerce through the Free Trade Area of the Americas initiative, increasing
people's access to the benefits of growth, and providing opportunities for all
nations in the Americas to improve the quality of life of their citizens.
At the Summit of the Americas and as chair of the G-8 in 2002, Canada will
work to expand opportunities for more countries to participate in the benefits
of globalization, while pressing for peace and security in the world.
Celebrating Our Canadian Citizenship
Canada was born of a noble vision and an act of will.
Our Canadian citizenship has been built over time through the experiences we
...when together we celebrate the successes of our scientists, scholars,
athletes and artists, our leaders on the world stage, and our peacekeepers.
And when we remember and honour our war veterans.
...when we visit other parts of our country or when we travel abroad and
see ourselves through the eyes of others.
...when every year thousands of new Canadians stand proudly with their
families to take on the responsibilities of Canadian citizenship.
...when we come together to help each other in tough times. And when
millions of Canadians volunteer their time and energy to make their
communities a better place.
The Government will help Canadians to strengthen their bonds of mutual
understanding and respect, to celebrate their achievements and history, and to
exercise their shared citizenship.
wIt will continue to expand exchange programs for young Canadians to reach
its goal of 100,000 exchanges each year.
wCanada's linguistic duality is fundamental to our Canadian identity and is a
key element of our vibrant society. The protection and promotion of our two
official languages is a priority of the Government - from coast to coast. The
Government reaffirms its commitment to support sustainable official language
minority communities and a strong French culture and language. And it will
mobilize its efforts to ensure that all Canadians can interact with the
Government of Canada in either official language.
The institutions of Government will continue to be strengthened. Since 1993,
the Government has taken a range of measures to enable members of Parliament to
more effectively represent the views of their constituents. MPs have
participated in pre-budget consultations, at the end of which recommendations
were made to the Government. Moreover, private members' bills from the House and
Senate have been taken into account more often and considered with greater
attention than at any time in the past.
In this new session of Parliament, the Government will make further proposals
to improve procedures in the House and Senate. Among other measures, voting
procedures will be modernized in the House of Commons and, to assist
parliamentarians in carrying out their duties, the Government intends to
increase the resources of the Library of Parliament to better serve the research
needs of standing committees of the House and Senate.
Every Canadian is called upon to make a contribution to building our country.
To ensure that the promise of Canada becomes an even greater reality in the 21st
century. And to ensure that our Canadian Way remains the best example of what is
possible when women and men of every race and creed come together in community
in search of a better future.
Members of the House of Commons:
You will be asked to appropriate the funds required to carry out the services
and expenditures authorized by Parliament.
Honourable Members of the Senate and
Members of the House of Commons:
May Divine Providence guide you in your deliberations.
The House of Commons withdrew.
Her Excellency the Governor General was pleased to retire.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I have the honour to inform
you that Her Excellency the Governor General has caused to be placed in my hands
a copy of her Speech delivered this day from the Throne to the two Houses of
Parliament. It is as follows -
Hon. Senators: Dispense.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, when shall this Speech be
taken into consideration?
Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government) moved:
That the Speech of Her Excellency the Governor General, delivered this day
from the Throne to the two Houses of Parliament, be taken into consideration at
the next sitting of the Senate.
Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government) moved:
That, pursuant to rule 85(1), the Honourable senators Austin, Corbin,
DeWare, Fairbairn, Graham, Kinsella, LeBreton, Mercier and Murray be appointed
a Committee of Selection to nominate (a) a senator to preside as Speaker pro
tempore; and (b) the senators to serve on the several select committees during
the present session; and to report with all convenient speed the names of the
senators so nominated.