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Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

1st Session, 37th Parliament,
Volume 139, Issue 3

Wednesday, January 31, 2001
The Honourable Dan Hays, Speaker


THE SENATE

Wednesday, January 31, 2001

The Senate met at 2 p.m., the Speaker in the Chair.

Prayers.

The Honourable Raymond G. Squires, O.C.

Tributes on Retirement

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I rise this afternoon to pay tribute to the Honourable Senator Raymond Squires. I am very pleased to have the opportunity to speak on his retirement, for we in the Senate, Senator Squires, have been deeply honoured that a person with such generosity and concern for his fellow man has been in our midst.

Senator Squires is a true philanthropist, someone who has worked throughout his lifetime on behalf of his community. His hometown in Newfoundland, St. Anthony, would be a very different place if it were not for Senator Squires. His contributions to numerous endeavors have made him a special member of his community. He has given unsparingly in donations of both time and financial assistance to the local Lion's Club chapter and to his church.

If not for Senator Squires, I think it could be said that St. Anthony would not have been able to participate in the great Canadian pastime of hockey, as Senator Squires was patron of his hometown team and for many years their sole financial support.

Senator Squires also served his community in a very public capacity. As mayor of St. Anthony, he demonstrated unusual leadership. He made a lasting contribution by initiating significant improvements in the town's water - something about which we have heard quite a bit in towns throughout this country recently - but the also in the field of road and sanitation infrastructure.

As recognition for his lifelong dedication to the welfare of his fellow citizens, Senator Squires was awarded the Order of Canada in October of 1997. As a member of the Order of Canada, Senator Squires has brought honour to the country and honour, I believe, to this institution during his tenure here.

On behalf of my Senate colleagues, I should like to thank you, Senator Squires, for your contribution to the standing committees and to this chamber. I know that though Senator Squires will be leaving us and will no longer be able to make a contribution in this chamber, he will continue to make a contribution to his community, to his native Newfoundland and to the young people of that province, who can look to him and say, "That is an example I wish to follow.''

Hon. Gerald J. Comeau: Honourable senators, along with another senator we will mention later, Senator Squires is retiring from the Senate and, as well, from the Senate Fisheries Committee. We will be losing a valuable member whom we have come to appreciate. I did not get a chance to know Senator Squires as well as I would have liked, but I do know that we have lost a member from the Fisheries Committee who was deeply interested in advancing the interests of his beloved Newfoundland and the coastal communities in which he took an active interest.

Senator Carstairs talked about Senator Squires' career a few minutes ago, so I shall not dwell on that, but I do wish to say that his very short stay in the Senate did give us a opportunity to know Senator Squires a bit better. I very much appreciated his keen interest in fisheries issues and his love of nature and the great outdoors.

Senator Squires is what Atlantic Canadians fondly like to refer to as the salt of the earth. This is meant as a compliment in that he is a humble man with no pretensions. His ready smile is quite genuine. Like most Newfoundlanders, he has the gift of recounting stories, and he does that extremely well. As we can tell from his youthful appearance, he respects good health and lives accordingly, with a proper diet and exercise. His friends tell me that he not only has a healthy heart but also a very kind one.

Senator Squires and his wife, Linda Grace, take much pleasure in regular matches of darts, Scrabble and the card game Flinch, and they are very avid travellers to the southern climes. I have learned that, as a birthday present, his seventy-fifth, his daughter Sharon and her partner Bill will be sending Senator Squires and his wife up the Mississippi for the weekend to visit the casinos. We wish you both well at the tables, Senator Squires, and we wish you well in your retirement in the years to come. Thank you for having served with us.

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Hon. B. Alasdair Graham: Honourable senators, it seems that we have spent far too short a time in the company of Senator Raymond Squires. It is unfortunate because this very proud and dedicated Newfoundlander has cast a bright light in his home community and his province over the course of a respected and highly successful career.

Senator Squires is a great believer in cooperation and partnership. He has worked hard to support families and communities and the deep traditions of Newfoundlanders in his exemplary commitment to community service. As has been mentioned by our leader, Senator Carstairs, he was admitted to the Order of Canada. His volunteer service included years as mayor of St. Anthony and president of the St. Anthony Chamber of Commerce, along with innumerable other volunteer activities in his beloved town.

As we say goodbye today to our friend Senator Squires, we have a chance to reflect upon the kind of spirit that makes this world a better place. We remember that generosity and responsibility are not someone else's concern; they are the concern of all of us. Those qualities must come from all of us. It is in our communities and in all the ordinary places that the wonderful values that make us Canadian are

shaped and honed and revitalized. Senator Squires has dedicated his life to moulding the values that are the anchor of our national identity.

Ray, as we wish you, your wife, Linda Grace, and your family much success and good health in the future, we thank you for the example that you have set for all of us.

Hon. Jane Marie Cordy: Honourable senators, it is my pleasure to be able to say a few words today about Senator Ray Squires, a man who has to say goodbye at a time when many of us are just beginning to know him.

Senator Squires and I were appointed to the Senate at the same time, amidst the Clarity Bill debate in June. He embodies many of the attributes for which the Senate stands. He is a man who has devoted much of his life working for the betterment of others. An experienced municipal politician and administrator, Senator Squires served the people of St. Anthony with honour and distinction, bringing to the town such amenities as running water, a sewer system, electricity and paved streets. These, along with other tremendous accomplishments, earned Senator Squires the Order of Canada in 1997, but, most important, it earned him the undying respect of the people of St. Anthony.

Honourable senators, I should like to congratulate Senator Squires on his time in the Senate and wish him and his wife, Linda Grace, all the very best in his retirement.

Hon. Bill Rompkey: Honourable senators, I am reminded of the Civil War song Johnny, we hardly knew ya, because it is about a person who was untimely plucked from our midst, and that is the case with Ray Squires. The regrettable thing about that is that he is being plucked away as a man of wisdom. We need more men and women of wisdom in this chamber and in this country.

Senator Squires' wisdom began in not an unusual way in Newfoundland, because for two years he fished. That is the beginning of wisdom. When your hands are cold from hauling in those nets and ropes and being out in the middle of the North Atlantic in those gales and all that wind and that sea, you begin to learn wisdom and what life is all about. That is where it begins because that is the foundation of our culture. We are a fishing people, and Ray is fundamentally a Newfoundlander because he started that way.

However, Ray very quickly learned that there were other challenges and things to be accomplished, and he quickly built one of the most successful General Motors dealerships and garages in Newfoundland on the northern peninsula. He knows what it is to reach a bottom line, to defend that bottom line, and to serve the people and build a relationship with people.

I think Ray is most proud, however, of his time as mayor of St. Anthony because in those days, after we joined Confederation in 1949, we had a lot of building to do to bring ourselves up to, as many other Atlantic provinces did, the standards of other Canadians. That, I think, is Ray Squires' chief accomplishment. He brought fundamental services to his community, such as water, sewer and electricity that other Canadians took for granted.

Ray would want me to mention today that it was the partnership that he built with Ed Roberts that made that building of St. Anthony possible. Ray was the mayor and Ed was a powerful provincial minister. Ray had the agenda and Ed had the access; together, they made a terrific team for a very long time, a team that I was glad to join in 1972.

If Ed were here today, honourable senators, he would want me to tell you that he regards Ray and Ray's first wife, Emily, more like a father and mother than anything else because Ray's home in St. Anthony became a home away from home for Ed Roberts, as it did for myself. I know that Ed would want me to say that, and I know that Ray would want that to be recorded in the public record.

I first met Ray in the early 1970s. I first ran in 1972. Those of us who run for office know that you do not get yourself elected but that the people elect you. You depend so much on people. I owe so much to Ray Squires and his family who opened up to me his contacts, his wisdom, his garage, his house, his kitchen, his washer and his dryer. I probably even borrowed a shirt or two from time to time, as we all do when we are on the road and run out of clean clothes. I appreciated that.

Ray and I have a lifelong friendship that began in 1972 and continues today. I have been proud to serve with him in this chamber, although for too short a time, but the relationship between us will continue.

Ray, we wish you and Grace all the best in the years ahead.

Hon. Raymond G. Squires: Honourable senators, like my old daddy used to say, "If you want to hear something good about something that somebody did not do, always go to their funeral. That is where you will hear it.''

First, I should like to thank all of you wonderful people. I have learned a lot since I have been here. I do not think I have done that much because I was appointed to the Senate at a busy time. After a few weeks, the Senate recessed for summer holidays, came back for two or three weeks, and then we closed for the fall election. I did not have much of a chance to get my feet wet, really.

I will tell honourable senators, however, that I have a far different feeling about the Senate today than I did when I came here. I have learned a lot. Seeing how you do your work, with dignity and honour, serving Canada, makes me feel so proud to be among you. You are great people, and I thank you all very much.

I will go back to what Senator Rompkey said. Yes, I was a very young man when I got involved in local politics in St. Anthony. We had no running water, no sewer, no electricity and few telephones. We had no roads. We walked around town on footpaths. We had no cars. I got involved with my good friend Ed Roberts and, of course, Senator Rompkey, who was there in the later years. Together we built St. Anthony, and Senator Rompkey helped to put us on the map. Now we have all the modern conveniences, and I should like to thank individuals such as Senator Rompkey and Ed Roberts, as well as the Liberal government.

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Honourable senators, I woke up this morning with the Ottawa flu. Yesterday, I waited on a corner for an hour and 25 minutes for a taxi before I finally waved one down. I had nothing on my head, only a pair of shoes on my feet, and when I got to the hotel I was soaking wet. The first thing I had to do was jump into a hot shower. When I woke up this morning, I was not well.

I should like to thank the Honourable Senator Sharon Carstairs for her guidance. I enjoyed meeting with her on at least three or four occasions. She gave me instructions and guidance, which I greatly appreciated. It was a big help.

I should also like to thank Senator Rompkey and his office staff. Senator Rompkey took me under his wing when first I came here, like the old hen with her chickens, and led me down the straight and narrow path.

Again, honourable senators, I wish to thank you for everything. I enjoyed my stay here. May God bless you, everyone.

The Honourable Raymond J. Perrault, P.C.

Tributes on Retirement

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, it is with a great deal of sadness that I deliver this speech on the retirement of the most Honourable Raymond Perrault, a man who has been a beneficial influence in my life, not just here in the Senate but in another life to which I will make reference in a few minutes. It has been a great honour to serve with him in the Senate and be able to go to him for advice when I was one of the new kids on the block.

During his long life in public service, Senator Perrault has been elected to the British Columbia legislature three times, serving as Liberal leader. It would take Senator Nick Taylor and myself to fully understand that particular role in Western Canada. It is not easy to be a Liberal and a provincial Liberal leader in a western province, but he did it and he did it well. I am proud to say that it is an honour that I share in common with you, Senator Perrault.

Senator Perrault was elected to the House of Commons in 1968, defeating the very respected and eminent Tommy Douglas. He served as parliamentary secretary to two ministers and was a minister on two occasions. In 1973, he was appointed to this chamber by the late Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau. He was twice Leader of the Government in the Senate and has served on many of our standing committees and almost as many special committees. In recent years, for example, he served on committees studying post-secondary education, transportation safety and Canada's foreign policy.

As leader of the government in the Senate, Senator Perrault promoted a more rigorous code of ethics for members of this chamber and also for the other place, feeling very strongly that public servants should be "beyond reproach'' on matters that could be construed as a conflict of interest.

As a patron to the Canada Pacific Russia Trade Centre in Vancouver, he has encouraged multilateral economic development and believes that Canada has a strong role to play on the world stage. He has voiced an ongoing concern for the environment and has worked to mitigate the effects of industrialization and nuclear technology, not only in British Columbia but in the rest of Canada.

Honourable senators, I believe - and perhaps this is because of the school teacher in me - that one of Raymond Perrault's most significant achievements was when, still in school, he won a merit award for his contribution to student life. This was indicative of the path that he would follow in his adult life; that of service to the public and of not seeking glory for himself but, rather, reaching out and seeking to help those who needed his assistance.

[Translation]

Raymond Perrault's roots in Canada go back more than 350 years, and they are Acadian roots. He descends from a long line of hard-working people; his ancestors came to this new country very early in its history. He had to help support his family from the age of nine, upon the death of his father. The sympathy he feels for those in need of his help is a sincere one, the outcome of the difficulties and opportunities that have marked his own life.

[English]

Honourable senators, Senator Perrault has held the Senate in high esteem since he has been here, and he has been extremely quick to defend it from half-truths and inequities reported in the media. He has consistently attempted to raise the profile of the Senate in the minds of Canadians, especially to those in his home province, British Columbia. He has promoted the idea of more federal representatives for British Columbia, believing that much of the dissatisfaction Western Canada harbours for our federal government could be remedied by increasing understanding instead of focusing on points of divergence.

Senator Perrault has spoken out many times in order to preserve unity - both party unity and, of far greater importance, national unity. When he was serving under Mr. Trudeau, it was no secret that our former Prime Minister was frustrated by the position of the western provinces, especially British Columbia. Senator Perrault, however, was patient and sympathetic to both sides of the problem and has always believed that conciliatory gestures are far more effective than decisive and divisive ones. He worked for mutual understanding and respect, believing that resolution is a two-way street, not only between British Columbia and the federal government, but between British Columbia and Quebec, asserting that regionalism and separatist movements arise when there is "a problem of communication.''

Raymond Perrault, honourable senators, has been a supporter of the disenfranchised, not only on a national level but on an individual level. In 1966, he delivered a speech in which he said that he could foresee the day when Canada would have a woman prime minister. This earned him a story in the The Vancouver Sun, and we thank men like Senator Perrault for his outspoken support for social equity and equality.

Raymond Perrault is, in my estimation, a selfless and consistent man, arguing for equality and impartial treatment. He has never let loyalty to a party interfere with progress that would benefit the majority of Canadians, and he has made many attempts at renewing his own Liberal Party. He is known for his independent thought as well as for judging ideas based on their merit, not on partisan preferences. His ideals are based on exclusiveness of service to others. What more could we ask of a human being than that he has dedicated his life to the service of others?

Senator Perrault, I should like to thank your son, your daughter and, above all, your wife for sharing you with us. Thank you for your contribution to this chamber, to the other place, to your native province, British Columbia, and to all of Canada.

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Hon. Gerald J. Comeau: Honourable senators, it is somewhat of a coincidence that we are today saying goodbye to two senators from the "bookend'' provinces of Canada - Newfoundland and British Columbia - and what great bookends.

Senator Perrault is a great British Colombian and a great Canadian, and I am very sorry to see him leave. Although we sat on opposite sides of this chamber, we sat on the same side of most issues dealing with Canada's coastal communities.

As Senator Carstairs alluded to earlier, Senator Perrault and I have ties dating back to 1635 when our colonial ancestors - in his case the Belliveau family and in my case the Comeau family - settled the fertile lands of the heart of old l'Acadie in what is now known as the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia.

If my memory serves me correctly, I believe that Senator Carstairs' ancestors, the Martels, also resided in that part of the country.

Working together, our early Acadian ancestors developed a love of the land and the sea that they passed on through the generations to us.

Senator Perrault is never at a loss for good conversation and his interests are varied. They include sports, in particular hockey. That may have to do with the Belliveau gene that he carries. In random order, his interests also include art, dogs, politics and fisheries. His love of the great outdoors is evident in the countless photos that he has taken on his travels. Ray is never seen without his camera.

Senator Perrault and I were part of a Canadian inter- parliamentary delegation that travelled to Malaysia several years ago for a meeting of ASEAN parliamentarians. The tradition at such meetings in Asian countries is that at the closing banquet each country's delegation sings karaoke. I am told that former External Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy dreaded this custom. Our group included our capable leader, Senator Finestone, the late Shaughnessy Cohen, and Barbara Reynolds, advisor to the group. We were a small group compared to the much larger Asian delegations. However, for crown and country, our small delegation did its best, and we found hidden talents in our own Senator Perrault.

Although shopping is not one of Senator Perrault's great talents, he and I dutifully found a market that sold formal Malaysian shirts - a pyjama-type, colourful, loose-fitting garment that we were expected to wear for our performance. Unfortunately, we did not bring Senator Finestone with us as a wardrobe consultant. The shirts, which we bought and wore at the banquet, mysteriously disappeared upon our arrival home, but that is another story.

Even though his taste in Malaysian clothing may not shine, Ray's musical talents did. He composed a song to the tune of This Land is Your Land, changing the words to "This world is our world,'' and he went on to glory from there. In his fabulous bass voice, in front of an audience of about 250 people who, fortunately, drowned out our feeble attempts to sing along, Senator Perrault, without even the benefit of a microphone, sounded wonderful.

Senator Perrault was very helpful to the Senate Fisheries Committee when we recently travelled to the Far North, to which I believe the committee had never previously travelled, and to many coastal communities in British Columbia, where we had not been in some years. Witness after witness spoke warmly of his strong voice on their behalf and welcomed him as an old friend.

Senator Perrault was always willing to give advice and guidance to other members of the committee in what are sometimes very complicated fisheries issues.

You have been a good teacher to many of us, Ray.

The Senate Fisheries Committee, of which Senator Perrault has been a loyal member, will miss him very much. He fully understands that the mandate of the Fisheries Committee is much more than just studying fish. He taught us that the fisheries issue has to do with people, their problems, and how the fisheries can make coastal communities much better. He taught us about the importance of the environment, the necessity to care for it, and the importance of ensuring that Ottawa-based bureaucrats not take over this important resource. Most important, Senator Perrault worked to protect this precious resource for generations to come.

Honourable senators, Senator Perrault has served his province and his country with great dignity, pride and honour.

Senator Perrault, you have worked very hard. Your colleagues in the Senate, as well as the Senate staff, will miss you.

Thank you, Ray, for everything you have done. On behalf of all honourable senators, I wish you and your wife, Barbara, a good retirement and many years of good health and happiness.

Hon. Jack Austin: Honourable senators, paying tribute to Senator Perrault, my political colleague and friend for 43 years, is bittersweet. It is bitter because I hate to see him leave the Senate; it is sweet because it gives me and this chamber the opportunity to recognize publicly the many successes and accomplishments of Senator Perrault in an unparalleled career of service to Canada, British Columbia and this chamber.

Honourable senators, I met Senator Perrault - or Ray, as he then was - in the darkest days of the Liberal Party in Canada and even darker days, if you can imagine, for the provincial Liberal Party in British Columbia. The year was 1958. The Right Honourable John Diefenbaker had just won an enormous victory to form a majority government in Ottawa. At the same time, Premier W.A.C. Bennett had earned a sizeable majority in the provincial legislature and reduced the Liberals there to a handful.

In 1958, Ray was executive director for the Liberal Party, which was one organization for federal and provincial politics at that time. Seeing the great opportunity that lay ahead, or perhaps it was with the reckless courage of the charge of the Light Brigade, Ray decided to run for the provincial leadership in 1959. I had joined the Liberal Party in 1958 and, admiring Ray's political courage, or judgment - I have never been sure which - I supported him in a successful campaign to succeed the Honourable Arthur Laing as provincial leader.

Frightened of this new player on the provincial scene - in my view, at least - Premier Bennett called an election in 1960. "Ray the Brave'' became "Ray the Successful,'' winning his North Vancouver seat against the Social Credit Minister of Agriculture and the Conservative Party leader and keeping it until his resignation to run federally in 1968.

For the federal Liberal Party, 1968 was a vintage year. The Trudeau era was beginning, but even for "Ray the Brave'' the challenge of winning a federal seat in North Vancouver-Burnaby must have looked daunting. The incumbent was, as Senator Carstairs has said, the famous Tommy Douglas, former NDP Premier of Saskatchewan and leader of the federal NDP group in the House of Commons. Tom Kent, Prime Minister Pearson's senior policy advisor, had broken his sword in an attempt to beat Tommy Douglas in 1965.

In commenting on Ray's candidacy, Mr. Douglas told the public that he was out to "get grizzlies, not jackrabbits.'' Some jackrabbit! Ray won by a landslide of just over 200 votes.

In training for his later cabinet career, Prime Minister Trudeau put Ray in a hard school - parliamentary secretary to the Honourable Bryce MacKasey, Minister of Labour and later Minister of Manpower and Immigration. In 1972, the Liberal tide receded somewhat and Ray's 200-vote victory turned into a 200- vote loss.

Not wanting to lose Ray's talents and contribution, the Prime Minister elevated Ray to the Senate in 1973. In 1971, Ray Perrault, MP as he then was, and I as Deputy Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources accompanied the Honourable Jean-Luc Pepin, Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce, to China.

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We were part of the first official exchange of visits after the diplomatic relationship had been established in October, 1970. I doubt either of us will forget visiting China in the middle of the Cultural Revolution or the talks between Premier Zhou En-lai and the Honourable Jean-Luc Pepin during which Premier Zhou spoke in excellent French.

The federal election in 1974 brought Mr. Trudeau's third mandate and with it Senator Perrault as Government Leader in the Senate to assist in representation in the cabinet for British Columbia, which had been reduced in the other place to only four members. Senator Perrault served as government leader for five years, until the 1979 federal election, then served a brief term as opposition leader, not one he tells me he particularly enjoyed, and then - happy day - government leader again in 1980.

From 1981 to 1983, he held the portfolio of Minister of State for Fitness and Amateur Sport.

One area of Senator Perrault's life, well known in British Columbia if not here, involves a lifetime passion for both professional and amateur sport that rivals in intensity his passion for the Liberal Party and his home province of British Columbia.

When Ray Perrault acted as B.C. car driver for the Right Honourable Lester Pearson in the 1958 federal election, they talked baseball and the Liberal Party in equal measure. Impressed, Mr. Pearson invited Ray to join his official opposition staff. As we know, Ray opted for the provincial leadership.

In his sports career, Senator Perrault spent 10 years on the board of the Vancouver Canucks NHL team, several years on the board of the B.C. Lions CFL team, and nearly forever as president - and now Honorary Chairman - of the Vancouver Canadians Triple A baseball club.

The combination of politics and sports was a natural. Senator Perrault shared Prime Minister Pearson's passion for sports and the realization that Canadians who love sports would trust politicians who did likewise.

While Senator Perrault took as many risks as anyone could in politics, he took no risks in marrying Barbara in 1962. She married a career politician, and worked and supported him every step of the way. She had such a strong affinity for politics herself that she has won four elections over 12 years as a municipal councillor for North Vancouver. You can see they have made a great team.

Senator Perrault's contribution to Canada stands high. He is easily the best known and best liked politician in British Columbia. He has travelled everywhere in that province and spoken to nearly every person at one time or another.

His political life has stood for integrity and the strongest personal moral standards. He has been a role model for everyone in political life.

Senator Ray and Barbara, many thanks for your work and contributions. Keep up the good work.

Hon. B. Alasdair Graham: Honourable senators, as we gather in this new Parliament, we do so in a new dawn of hope and promise. We gather in this historic chamber with a wealth of talent and the confidence that there are no limits to the power of people to make change happen. In our own individual ways, we are all assembled in the Senate of Canada to make a difference. Today we say goodbye to another one of our colleagues who has spent a lengthy career in public life doing just that.

Senator Ray Perrault, over four decades in public life, has brought a dynamic style and energetic spirit of conviction to the service of his province and his country. Always a conscientious and trusted colleague, always a man who put matters of conscience and the interests of people first, Ray Perrault has never failed to fight for what was right.

Someone once said that the perfect political mentality can be compared to the persona of a winning football coach. The combination of the will to win, with the belief that the game is important, is as much the key to success on the playing field as it is in political life.

As someone who has often sought his counsel and enjoyed his friendship and his leadership, I can say that Ray Perrault always had that winning combination.

Others before me, including the leader and Senator Austin, have well enunciated his many offices, both here and in British Columbia.

Senator Perrault is one of the most eloquent speakers ever to grace this chamber. As Senator Comeau indicated, whether singing or speaking, he does not need a sound system. He can speak on any subject, without notice, at any time, and for any length of time. There have been many occasions when, on this side, we would need a speaker at the last minute. Inevitably, Ray won the draw. All he would ask was, "How long?'' Just wind him up and let him go.

Senator Perrault also possesses, in my opinion, the greatest of all virtues, which is sometimes found in short supply in some legislative assemblies around the world, and that is modesty. I recall when Ray was first asked by Prime Minister Trudeau to take on the onerous challenge of Leader of the Government in the Senate. It was shortly after the election of 1974. Mr. Trudeau was having a small dinner at 24 Sussex to mark the occasion. Our former colleague Keith Davey and I arrived in the same taxi. Ray was walking up and down all by himself outside the residence, head down, deep in thought, hands plunged to the bottom of his pockets. "Congratulations, Ray,'' we both shouted as we got out of the cab, to which he gave us a little grin and a polite nod and said, "One of you guys should really have gotten the job.''

I have been wondering to this day: Did you really mean that, Ray?

Keith Davey always made it clear that he was not interested in a cabinet position. I, of course, was too young and far too naive to have such lofty ambitions. That was in 1974. The passage of time proves that whatever road you travel, it inevitably has many unpredictable twists and turns.

Robert Kennedy once said that moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle. In Ray Perrault's outstanding presence in this chamber, moral courage has always been his raison d'être, the engine of his commitment to public service.

That is the principal reason why, in the dawn of this new Parliament, Senator Perrault's outstanding career stands as a model to all of us who really love this place.

We know, too, that Ray and his wife, Barbara, have contributed mightily to their respective successes together.

To you, Ray, and to Barbara, we wish a very fond farewell. We will sure miss you around this chamber and in these halls.

Good health, much happiness, many, many thanks, and God bless.

Hon. Gerry St. Germain: Honourable senators, it gives me pleasure to say a few words about Raymond Perrault.

[Translation]

Senator Perrault often spoke to me of his family, particularly his cousins, the St. Germains. Are we really cousins? What do you think, honourable senators?

[English]

(1450)

We have always said in jest that, possibly, Ray Perrault and I are related because of the fact that his family saw the wisdom of marrying into the St. Germain clan.

Most of what I wanted to say has been said by others who have served with the honourable senator. There is no question of his greatness as a Canadian and as a British Columbian. I have lived in British Columbia since 1953. I know the work, the commitment and the dedication that Ray Perrault has shown our province.

He fought many causes in the B.C. legislature where he was leader of the Liberal Party. He followed men like the great Gordon Gibson who also made great contributions to the province of British Columbia when he was leader of the Liberal Party. It was only fitting that a man of Ray's stature would follow someone like Gordon Gibson.

Ray, as I stand here today as a one-member party in the Senate, I know what loneliness is. I never really realized the loneliness you must have experienced at times in the B.C. legislature. However, as has been pointed out, you always made your voice heard. It was often compared in jest, of course, to the sound of a ship entering Vancouver Harbour. Believe me, honourable senators, it was an effective voice for the people of British Columbia.

I hope that I can emulate in some small way the great contributions Senator Perrault has made to British Columbia. He always fought for British Columbians while maintaining the party line, and at times he had to do it by looking sideways, giving some of us encouragement as we fought against some of the legislation that was not washing well with British Columbians.

You will be missed, Ray. As we go forward, we must face the problems of Western Canadian alienation. I am sure you will continue to fight for the interests of Western Canada, as you often did in the past in your diplomatic but effective way.

It is true that you married a fine young lady by the name of Barb Walker from the city of Mission, which I was honoured to represent as a member of Parliament. Barb and her family are known to many of my friends.

Barb, we thank you for the contribution that you have made to the province and to the community in which you live. I am proud to have been able to serve the constituency from which you came.

In 1983, I was elected a member of Parliament. Ray, the only thing I can say about you is that since that time you have been one of the nicest people with whom I have had to travel back and forth across this country. My tribute to you, Ray, is that you are a decent and nice man.

Hon. Ross Fitzpatrick: Honourable senators, as Senator Austin has just said, it is curious how occasions such as this can summon up two entirely contrasting emotions. On the one hand, I am sad to see the departure from this chamber and from public life of one of Canada's most willing servants. On the other hand, looking back at the career of Ray Perrault, I am very happy to have served with him. Both these emotions, happy and sad, I am sure are shared by members on both sides of this chamber without distinction of partisanship or political philosophy.

We are here because we desire to be of use to our country and to our fellow citizens. Many of us have come here after careers in private life during which we lent our efforts, from time to time, to the political process. However, there are others of us who have devoted their entire lives to public service, who have never asked anything more than an opportunity to contribute to the best of their ability to the well-being of this unique and precious place we call Canada. Ray Perrault is one of those lifelong contributors. Our country is in his debt and we in this chamber will be poorer for his departure. On that, I think we can all agree.

Honourable senators, I would surely be remiss if I did not take notice of the fact that our honourable colleague chose to focus his contribution through the Liberal Party of Canada. It was through the Liberal Party that I first came to know the man who would become my friend and colleague, which I believe was in 1958 when I was a student at the University of British Columbia. Ray was in his early thirties, not yet the polished, extemporaneous speaker he eventually became. I noted that even then he had a certain gift for the phrase and a knack for striking the exact tone to enliven a roomful of Liberals. It was an ability that would be frequently called upon in the years to come, when Ray won the leadership of the Liberal Party of British Columbia.

For years, he was ground between the twin millstones of the provincial NDP and W.A.C. Bennett's Social Credit Party. However, Ray Perrault strove to preserve our party, serving three successive terms in the British Columbia legislature, ensuring that the Liberal perspective remained a vital component of our own province's political life.

His departure from provincial politics to seek a federal seat in 1968 brought him to the electoral fight of his life. He went up against one of the giants of Canadian politics, Tommy Douglas, in a riding that had voted NDP since time out of mind, and he won.

In October 1973, he was named to the Senate of Canada. Within a year, he was appointed Leader of the Government in this chamber. He served with energy and distinction until the end of that government's mandate and was ready to take up those responsibilities again in 1980.

Honourable senators, Ray Perrault's life has been a map of accomplishment, all of it devoted to the public good. We have all been enriched by his presence among us. Though we do not begrudge him his well-earned rest, I know there will be days to come when many of us here will wish to hear him add a few words to the debates of this chamber.

Though his official duties will have been completed, I know that, from time to time, when I am in some gathering back home in British Columbia, I will see my old friend rise. I will hear him begin with the same two words that are his invariable opening whenever he speaks to the members of our party. He will say, "Fellow Liberals...'' and I will feel just as included in his warm regard as I did when I first heard him say those words more than 40 years ago.

I beg honourable senators to allow me to speak directly to my departing friend and colleague so that I might say: Fellow Liberal, it has been an honour to have served with you. May the years be long and well filled, with rewards for both you and your wife, Barbara, rewards which you have so deservedly earned.

Hon. Joyce Fairbairn: Honourable senators, having listened to the remarks of farewell to Senator Ray Perrault, I have to say that, in the almost 17 years that I have been here, I cannot remember such genuine fondness being expressed in the kindest of terms from senators on both sides of the house. In itself, that is, perhaps, the highest tribute you could take home with you, Senator Perrault.

I join with all my colleagues in a sense of very real sadness. I have been dreading the day that I would say farewell to you. You have been a friend, a real pal, a seatmate for many years, and a colleague of true distinction.

As others have said, there are two words that describe the length and the breadth of this great career. Those words are "public service,'' and they are meant in the finest way possible.

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Senator Perrault has been a bit of a daredevil, as those from British Columbia know best. This goes back to 1959, when he chose politics as his particular route for public service and had the honour - and I am quite sure a searing experience - to serve as leader of the Liberal Party of British Columbia in the legislature, and then in 1968 came down to Ottawa and the House of Commons.

Senator Perrault then moved on to this chamber in 1973 and took on eight long years as leader of both the government and, for a short period, the opposition, then the government again, here in the Senate. Those were at times rollicking and at other times extremely difficult years for a person holding that responsibility. He ended his time in the cabinet fittingly, as the Minister of Fitness and Amateur Sport.

With this background, it is not surprising that Senator Perrault was proud to be known as a very dedicated partisan - in fact, a fierce partisan in the political world. My B.C. colleagues may correct me, but I doubt that anyone can challenge his record of covering just about every square inch of British Columbia, from top to bottom and all around, to carry his message constantly and passionately.

Having said all of that, at the same time, Senator Perrault used this career to connect. The basis of his political and public life was to connect in a personal way with individuals, their problems and their hopes, all along that lengthy trail. There is no doubt at all in my heart where his heart lies, and it is not in the upper echelons of power, privilege and perks. It is with people on the ground, who are making the best possible effort to contribute to their families, to their communities, to their province and to the country that our colleague has served with such strength and affection.

Honourable senators, Ray Perrault has used this chamber and its committees to reflect the concerns and the aspirations of those British Columbians whom he has represented for so long. I have no doubt he will continue to represent them in many ways as he leaves this place. Here in the Senate, whether it has been committees on fisheries, post-secondary education, transportation and communications, euthanasia and assisted suicide, or banking, trade and commerce, he has been there both to enhance our understanding of these issues and always to carry the views of British Columbians.

Right from the beginning, as Senator Austin said, Senator Perrault has also maintained an active interest in foreign affairs. He has served extensively on missions abroad, both as a government representative and with a variety of parliamentary delegations.

In terms of our own relationship, I first met Ray Perrault when I was a young member of the Parliamentary Press Gallery back in the early 1960s. Among the newspapers for which I wrote were the Vancouver Sun and the Victoria Times Colonist, in which, as a good member of Parliament, he had a special interest. He was a true dream for a journalist. He always had something to say at length. He never refused an interview and he always returned phone calls, which is something that many in current political life do not do. I always gave him a gold star for that.

We stayed in touch later when I was working with former Prime Minister Trudeau. Many things I did for him were exclusively centred around Parliament, the House of Commons and the Senate. At that time, there were no strong, regular, intricate ties between the two chambers. In fact, there were often remarkable blockages. Senator Perrault, however, because he is who he is, took a different attitude. That is when he and I became friends. I was the conduit for a constant connection between he and the Prime Minister, and I believe that signalled a different way, within our party, of having a regular and meaningful relationship between the two chambers. I credit Senator Perrault's patience and good humour for keeping that relationship alive because it certainly helped out in some difficult times.

When I came to the Senate 17 years ago, Senator Perrault was one of the first to offer me a welcoming hand.

Ray, I have never forgotten that.

I am particularly grateful for the advice and support that he gave to me in the years when I served as government leader in this chamber, during what I thought was a rather challenging minority period with vigorous interest from my friends and colleagues on the other side. It was pretty nice to have a rock like Senator Perrault to lean on at that time.

We also share a love of sports, particularly baseball. The senator has toiled on bravely all these years to try and bring a major league team to Vancouver. I should like to wish him well. Keep on fighting. The job is not over yet and hope still remains alive.

Senator Perrault: Hear, hear!

Senator Fairbairn: As he is leaving this place, honourable senators, I have many memories of Senator Perrault. Much has been made of the volume that he maintains sometimes when he is speaking, and it really is quite extraordinary. Senator St. Germain used a foghorn comparison. I can remember listening in amazement to him in the House of Commons. His colleagues would listen in awe and joy when he fired up, and those on the other side would quake as they became targets of his rhetoric.

One point has not been mentioned. Ray's enthusiasm did not stop. He is full of joy for political life. In terms of enthusiasm, it was said that as a member of Parliament, Ray Perrault pounded his way through more desktops in support of his colleagues than anyone else in the history of the House of Commons.

Personally, though, my memory will always be of Ray's kindness, of his humour, of his generosity and of his loyalty to those whom he has tried to help throughout a wonderful life. His enthusiasm for public service is not lost on his wife, Barbara, who continues a remarkable career as a city councillor for North Vancouver. She told me yesterday after the opening of Parliament that because her partner is who he is, she is guaranteed to have the best campaign manager in the business. May she keep on winning and may the manager keep on doing his job. I wish them both many more years of happiness with their family and with their beloved dog, Kaleigh, of whom I am an honorary aunt.

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I know that, in one way or another, Senator Perrault will maintain his interest in the people he has always served and in the country he loves so much. I will miss him.

Thank you so much, Ray. The Senate will miss you.

Hon. Lowell Murray: Honourable senators, I had not intended to intervene in these tributes, knowing that there would be so many of them from British Columbia and from the government side of the house. I now do so only because Senator Doody insisted that one of us had to speak.

Senator Doody and I are the only members on this side of the house who were here in the days when Senator Perrault was a minister of the Crown in the Trudeau government. As a matter of fact, our memories go back even beyond that, to the period in 1979-1980 when Senator Perrault was Leader of the Opposition in this place.

Senator Perrault was a remarkably placid, even passive, Leader of the Opposition in those days. I came to the conclusion that he was so surprised in 1979 to find himself on the opposition side of the house that it rendered him speechless, if you can believe that.

He certainly recovered his voice in the period 1984-93 when he was back on the opposition side. He was relentlessly on the attack against the Mulroney government and its unfortunate leader in this place.

I recall one occasion on which he telephoned me about a bill that was making, shall we say, slow progress through the Senate. He said, "I am calling you Privy Councillor to Privy Councillor.'' This was heady stuff. I knew that I must listen up. "What are you going to do about that bill,'' he asked. I confided in him the modest, even feckless, strategy that Senator Doody and I had worked out, more in hope than in expectation, for the bill. We discussed it for a while and Senator Perrault rang off, I thought quite satisfied and on good terms.

Needless to say, the next day I expected some reciprocal gesture from the opposition side of the house. Imagine my consternation when Senator Perrault rose to denounce the bill, the government, and me, in that order.

On another occasion he excoriated me and the government for days on end for having dealt in such an unjust manner with poor Ben Johnson - the runner, not the poet. He accused us of having been complicit in a kangaroo court that had tried and convicted poor Ben Johnson in the absence of any evidence, and on and on and on. I was so infuriated by this attack that I seriously contemplated sending to Senator Perrault not only the results of the urine test on which the decision was based but the raw material on which it was based as well.

It was very difficult to stay cross at Senator Perrault. The other day I heard Bill Clinton on television referring to someone as "a person with a good heart.'' That can be said fully of our friend Senator Perrault. He has been a good person to deal with. He has always been a sound judge of public opinion in British Columbia. We will miss him around here. I wish him good health and good fortune in the days ahead.

Hon. Jean-Robert Gauthier: Honourable senators, it may surprise you to hear me speaking about Senator Perrault. I recall that in 1976 he was the minister responsible for a delegation of parliamentarians to a UN conference in Mar del Plata, Argentina. Provincial ministers from Canada were present at the conference. The separatists had just been elected in Quebec and Minister Léger from that province asked me whether Minister Perrault spoke French. I said, "Of course. His name is Perrault.'' He said that he had been told that he did not speak French. I said that he had been misinformed, although I did not know what I was talking about.

Knowing that I was caught, I went to see Ray and said, "I am sorry, I may have got you into some difficulty. I told Léger and his delegation that you speak French.'' He said, "I will.'' I said, "How will you do that?'' He responded, "You will do it for me. Have you ever heard of phonetics?''

With the assistance of my wife, who was a translator, we translated into phonetics the entire speech that he was going to give to the UN conference. The next day, Ray rose before the assembly and delivered his speech. He made not one mistake. I think Ray was as surprised at the result as the rest of us.

Senator Perrault is a very good ambassador for Pacific smoked salmon. On one occasion he had some in his luggage, which became lost in New York. You can imagine what happened to the clothes in that luggage after it had spent two weeks in 30-degree temperatures in a warehouse.

I have appreciated Senator Perrault's contribution to this country. He is a great friend.

Goodbye and God bless.

Hon. Nicholas W. Taylor: Honourable senators, I had intended not to speak on this occasion because I knew that there would be many others wishing to do so. However, Ray and I have a long history together in the Western provinces.

I recall Ray coming to talk to us Alberta Liberals in the 1960s. At that time, I was promoting something we called "people's capitalism.'' Ray and I were both from social credit provinces. As a matter of fact, I think those are still the only two provinces in Canada where they feed the lions to the Christians, rather than the other way around.

Ray was the sole Liberal member of the legislature in B.C. The Speaker once accused him of having a foghorn voice. I was the only member of my party in our legislature for a while, and when you are surrounded by 60 to 70 howling government members you need to develop a good voice because every time you pull their chain they all come after you. That is where Ray learned how to get the speaker's attention and how to silence a pack of ravenous wolves, a talent which comes in very handy.

I have a few stories that I could tell about Ray but time does not allow.

I wish Ray the best of health and a long and interesting retirement.

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Hon. Jerahmiel S. Grafstein: Honourable senators, I would be remiss as a Liberal from the most populous province of Canada, Ontario, and the most populous city, Toronto, if I did not add some words of tribute to Ray Perrault, because Ray has such a reverence for both Ontario and Toronto.

Ray's career has always reminded me of the movie, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. I shall not repeat the accolades so eloquently made by our colleagues on both sides. I first met Ray in the early 1960s when I travelled as a young Liberal representative to British Columbia and Ray was one of the first people in the group that I met.

Three singular attributes struck me then and they remain with him to the present day. The first is Ray's voice. You will hear it in a few moments. It is a voice that you will never and can never forget. His signature has always been his voice. When Ray leaves this chamber we will lose I believe the best voice in the Senate.

The second attribute is Ray's joy of politics. I remember in the early 1960s and 1970s the man in the United States who best exemplified the joy of politics, who had a great voice and was a great speaker, Senator Hubert Humphrey. He could speak endlessly on any topic at any time in a wonderful way. He had a marvelous sonorous voice that one could never forget. He was a small-L liberal. For me, Ray had all of those talents in abundance.

Finally, honourable senators, we will all miss Ray's modest demeanour. The word "honourable'' is a rich, wonderful- sounding word. I cannot think of another senator who so exemplifies the words "honourable senator.''

Ray, we will miss you. As the Bible says, "Go from strength to strength,'' with your lovely wife, Barbara.

Hon. Raymond J. Perrault: Honourable senators, I am sorry that I have laryngitis - suddenly, my voice has come back!

Colleagues, friends, fellow Canadians, wherever you sit in this chamber, I am deeply moved by the tributes that you have paid to me, undeservedly, this afternoon because so much of what you have done contributes to the careers of every one of us in the chamber.

The day has almost arrived when I will have served my time. I think it is February 6. I have been searching assiduously for a certificate which will prove that I am younger than I actually am. I regret my failure in the search; I have not been able to locate it.

When I was Leader of the Government in the Senate, I had a senator come to me who said, "Ray, miracle of miracles.'' I said, "What is the miracle?'' He replied, "The nursemaid who helped usher me into the world is living. She came to see me the other day and she says that I am two years younger than the official documents show, and she has a wonderful, lucid memory.'' Well, I thought this might be a precedent for me, but it is not.

It has been a wonderful experience hearing anecdotes from the past and listening to the information about other parties and by other politicians. I became involved in politics when I was about 7 years of age. My grandfather, George - who fell off a ladder at the age of 92 when he was attempting to paint the house and thereupon died - it was a good way to go, I think - took over my political education upon the death of my father when I was eight. George had two passions: One was baseball and the other was politics. He would take me to a baseball game and then we would go to a rally with Mackenzie King. I will never forget Mackenzie King's dry voice. It just crackled. My grandfather listened in awe to him, and he was not an awesome orator, was he?

In any case, I became involved at that time, just as many of you were involved at a similar age, and would run messages for election campaigns. When I reached my early twenties I joined the Liberal Party. My grandmother was a Tory and my grandfather was a Liberal; they never got along well at election time. Both stopped voting when they made a pact that if one refrained from voting, the other would as well. That is how that situation was resolved.

The first meeting of politics that I attended was, as I mentioned, a meeting with Mackenzie King. My experience in my party has been fabulous, just as it has been for you, when I think of all the great leaders who have served this country, and I can go back to Mackenzie King and Louis St. Laurent.

Let me tell you how I first came to know Lester Pearson, who was, as you know, an avid sports fan. I had come to Ottawa to deliver a speech to the National Young Liberals convention. Mike Pearson called me on the morning of the game. He said, "Ray, I do not want to offend you, but the Ottawa team is playing this afternoon. It is a critical game. I promised to come to listen to your speech, but I am pleading with you, is there some way we can work it out so that I can see the game and then listen to part of your speech?'' I said, "Mr. Pearson, if I had known there was a football game on, I would never have accepted this speaking invitation.'' He said, "This is what I have in mind. Can we work out an agreement? I will have a taxi cab available, if you can keep your speech short.'' I said, "That has always been a problem with me.'' He said, "You get to that car as quickly as possible. We will go up to Lansdowne Park and we will see the game.'' We did. It was the shortest speech on record, as far as I am concerned. I got the cab out to Lansdowne Park and got properly seated. At halftime, a chap came up to us, a little the worse for wear, and said to Mr. Pearson, "Say, buddy, haven't I seen you around some place?'' His wife said, "Clarence, that is the Prime Minister and that is an insulting thing for you to do.'' That was a great game and a great experience.

I will never forget Mike Pearson when we were driving to a political meeting on the lower mainland. I was driving and listening to the conversation in the back seat. He was talking to Senator Syd Smith. He said that in the First World War, a day after one of the major battles, I believe it was near the Somme, he looked at the battlefield and there were hundreds of dead from both sides. They were Canadians and Germans and many others. He said that he said to himself then that mankind was created for something much better than this. Even in those days, it was Mike Pearson who was interested in peacekeeping and in building a better country and a better world.

The political system as I have observed it down through the years needs still further reform. The potential for change in this chamber is enormous. What I would like to see as a westerner - and I know the matter of alienation is before the minds of all of us - is equal or near-equal representation of the provinces in the Senate of Canada. I think we need that. It is vital. If people think this is not possible to achieve because of constitutional difficulties, at least there should be a public statement to the effect that this is a goal that will be achieved as quickly as possible.

There is a sense of alienation in Western Canada. We have to do something about it and we have to work at it. We have to tackle alienation, too, in other parts of the country. That is why I believe it to be essential, as one of the first reform measures, to establish a Senate committee on regional aspirations. It should spend most of its time in the field, not here in Ottawa, travel into the regions of Canada and talk to the people on a human level about such topics as the difficulty in getting jobs and how to attract new industry to make an economic area viable.

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It seems to me this would be a marvellous thing to do. I suggested it many years ago when I was Leader of the Government in the Senate. To be frank, honourable senators, it was opposed by some members of cabinet who took the view that they did not want a group of snoopy senators to come into their ridings and criticize that which may be underway.

There are many ideas, and they are not all just Liberal ideas. We have had many outstanding leaders in this chamber and in the other place. They were respected, able, conscientious and dedicated people of all persuasions, including John Diefenbaker.

I will never forget John Diefenbaker when I first came to Ottawa. I met him at the cash register in the restaurant one day. I do not know how we got talking about it, but some of his ancestors came from the same area as some of my ancestors. I recall the afternoon I received a telephone call from the Liberal organization in Ottawa and was told, "We have a great speaking opportunity for you, Ray. This is a real opportunity for you.'' I asked where it would be. I was told that a guest speaker was needed by the Prince Albert Liberal Association annual meeting. I replied, "Do they - that's real Diefenbaker territory?'' The man at the other end of the phone said, "Listen, this is a career maker for you. The old man's in trouble, you know. You get in there and you speak.'' I asked how many people would be there and was told, "It is Saturday afternoon. There will be at least 300 people. They take their politics seriously down there. They even bring lunch.'' I knew that there was trouble when, in about two weeks, I received another call asking about that meeting "you offered to come to.'' I asked how many people would be there and was told that there would be at least 200. I said, "You said 300 people last time.'' The reply came back, "Well, we have some competition.'' The following week, I received another phone call in which I was asked if I was still coming down to the meeting. I said, "Yes. How many people will be there?'' The answer this time was, "Well, about 100.''"

I was picked up the evening of the meeting at the bus station and told by the chap who picked me up, "This is not the best time you could have chosen to speak. There is bingo on and a brier curling tournament.'' I said, "Really. You chose the date, I didn't.'' I went into the hall and there, at the annual meeting of the Prince Albert Liberal Association, were six people.

I met Mr. Diefenbaker two days later. He said, "I understand you have been speaking in my constituency.'' I said, "Mr. Diefenbaker, that is absolutely correct, and you are in no trouble.'' He said, "I heard that the attendance was not what you might have wished.'' I said, "That is right, Mr. Diefenbaker.'' He replied, "You know they all vote for me up there, even the Grits. Even those whom I have defended unsuccessfully in the courts have assured me that they will vote for me when they are released.''

Honourable senators, all sorts of great people in Canada have made a huge contribution to the building of this country, and they sit as representatives of many parties. I ran against Tommy Douglas. It was a "landslide'' victory of less than 200 votes. The tide was with us on that occasion.

Public life has given me so much in the way of opportunities. I have had the chance to observe a world in agony. Some 45,000 youngsters have died, and others are dying today, mostly because of polluted water.

Here we are, honourable senators, the fortunate Canadians. Every one of the leading philosophies of the world emphasizes that if one has been given certain treasures, one is required to pay back. We Canadians have a great responsibility in this world. We are respected throughout the world and have such an opportunity to assist in great initiatives. Of those who have received much, much shall be required.

Some honourable senators visited the United Nations a few months ago. There they were told that Canadians are by far the best peacemakers the world has ever seen. That is the kind of reputation that should inspire Canadians in all of our nation's regions.

I know that what I am about to say might be considered controversial. However, I would take the paintings that we see hanging on the walls of this chamber and move them to a splendid national war museum of the kind there is in Canberra, Australia. We could then have a tribute to peacekeeping somewhere in this chamber. Many people will say that this might offend veterans, but I do not think it will at all. There are so many things we can build in order to do better things.

Another fact of public life is that it offers the opportunity to meet those in other parties in every province and territory. There are useful initiatives in many areas. I remember the wild days of the GST. Thankfully parliamentary decorum has improved. We have achieved a new civility in this chamber, and I hail it because it helps to get things done.

The Senate will never be treated warmly by the media. We must realize that, on slow days, it is easy for the Senate to be attacked. Some honourable senators may recall that during the GST debate, that a 75-millimetre cannon could have been fired through this press gallery and not hit anyone because most of the press did not bother coming to the Senate. The Senate has a marvellous opportunity for initiatives that will help people.

Is there need out there? Many people say that Canada is doing very well; yet, there are communities in Canada where some homeless families keep all their earthly possessions in a grocery cart. This is true in many communities, not just in one part of Canada or the other.

In my view, honourable senators, the resources of the Senate could help to eliminate many of these problems. It always amuses me to hear people talk about the do-nothing Senate.

Honourable senators may remember the great senators who have served here in this place. Senator Croll was one of them. This was the only chamber in Canada to take on the study of poverty, senior citizens and the legal system. The Senate of Canada has always had an excellent conscience about its work and the subjects it chooses to study and report upon.

I wish to thank everyone here, especially those honourable senators who have made such generous and undeserved tributes to me. It has been a pleasure working with you. I have enjoyed it thoroughly. This is a chamber with enormous potential in growth and new initiatives.

Honourable senators, I thank you for everything. If you ever need any advice, suggestions or ideas, please give me a call.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!


SENATORS' STATEMENTS

International Year of the Volunteer

Hon. Sheila Finestone: Honourable senators, the United Nations General Assembly has designated 2001 the International Year of the Volunteer. A total of 123 countries have adopted the resolution and look forward to the opportunity to publicly express their thankfulness to all volunteers for their invaluable contribution.

In general terms, this activity is perceived as not carrying a financial reward, but as one containing elements of exchange and reciprocity. Above and beyond the general perception, I believe that the core characteristic of volunteer activity is the lack of coercion. Free will is, indeed, the main component, as well as the common identifier needed for a shared understanding of this activity.

When we look at Canada, we can see that our country holds a strong and well-proven tradition of volunteerism. Today, we count more than 7.5 million volunteers who give their time and talents to help some 175,000 charities and non-profit organizations around the country.

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To celebrate the Year of the Volunteer, provincial and federal departments are working on a series of programs of encouragement, support and engagement. As we all know, the value of one is the power of many.

At this point, I could offer honourable senators thousands of examples of volunteerism, and I am sure you could add to them. Certainly I could point out how volunteering for election campaigns remains one of the highest expressions of democracy, as often the support of volunteers can help guarantee the best government to Canadians. We are perfectly obvious examples of that today.

However, I have chosen to focus on the philanthropic activity of an organization located both in Montreal and Toronto by the name of Mazon Canada. Founded in 1986, it distributes funds to food banks on a non-sectarian basis. Every year Montreal Mazon organizes the Kosher Food Fest, which this year drew 1,000 patrons and raised $240,000. They have raised millions over the last few years.

I pay tribute to the tireless, dedicated and committed work of all the volunteers, and to one in particular who possesses the spirit, foresight and altruism to make Mazon's achievements truly exceptional. Her name is Dodo - Mrs. J.A. Lyone Heppner - and she has played a pivotal role in the volunteer sector, particularly in health services and in the recruitment and development of community leadership.

Honourable senators, just a few years ago the concept of the global village touched us all. We hoped that globalization would bring forth a more equitable world and that sustainable economies would improve the lives of many, alleviating hunger, illiteracy, poverty and disease.

Today we are still struggling to bring our dream into reality, with thousands of volunteers helping reinforce the notion that the human condition can indeed be improved, if not altogether changed. By so doing, volunteer men and women are responding not only to this call for help but to an inner desire and profound belief that go beyond necessity, circumstance, the acquisition of material possessions or worldly pursuits. Their acts are acts of free will.

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable Senator Finestone, I regret to advise you that your three minutes have expired.

The Senate

Application of Amendments to Rule 94

Hon. Jack Austin: Honourable senators, on October 19, 2000, the Senate adopted amendments to rule 94. At the outset of this new parliament, I thought it might be useful to say a few words about how I understand the Standing Committee on Privileges, Standing Rules and Orders intended these amendments to be applied.

Rules 65(4) and 94(1) have long prohibited senators from voting on matters or sitting on committees dealing with matters in which they have a pecuniary interest. Traditionally this term has been narrowly construed. As the new House of Commons Procedure and Practise explains, "The pecuniary interest must be immediate and personal, and belong specifically to the person whose vote is contested.'' These rules remain in force.

The new rules 94(3) to 94(10) contain a broader concept. It is not just the issue of personal money interest but the public right to know what influences are at play or might be at play in the exercise of judgment by a Senate committee member. These new rules provide an opportunity for committees to have their members disclose private financial interests relevant to an order of reference. The new provisions expressly do not apply to public bills or to an amendment to the Constitution of Canada.

It is important to note that this disclosure is invoked by the individual committee when it considers it would be in the public interest to do so. Where invoked, senators will be asked to disclose the source and nature but not the value of their private financial interests. This is consistent with the public disclosure regimes of most Canadian legislatures.

It should also be noted that this regime of disclosure applies only to financial interests and not to other types of interests. It covers those held directly and indirectly, but, as I said in the Senate on October 17, "indirect'' means that the senator has a vested beneficial ownership of interest, for example, through a private company. There is no obligation to disclose the interests of spouses or other family members under these rules unless an interest is held in common with the spouse or family member.

The committee, when it decides to invoke these provisions, should set a time frame for present and future members to file declarations. All members of the committee, including substitutes and ex officio members, will be required to comply with the order. In my opinion, it is open to a committee to restrict the disclosure to financial interests relevant to matters that are actually being studied rather than to the whole order of reference, which may be very broad.

The letters or declarations are to be filed with the clerk of the committee. The clerk is merely a repository for the information. No judgment is made with respect to its adequacy or sufficiency. It is up to individual senators to decide what private financial interests need to be disclosed. I would assume, however, that most senators would make their declarations on the basis of an abundance of caution.

The declarations and updates that are filed with the committee clerk will be available to the public. In my view, reasonable and timely requests for these documents can be met, although presumably the committee could direct otherwise.

It was the belief of the Rules Committee that it was important to have a system such as this. It establishes our willingness to be transparent and accountable and takes the Senate beyond anything that is currently in place in the House of Commons.

[Translation]

The Senate

Preparation of Chamber for Speech from the Throne-Congratulations to Staff

Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I would just like to point out the huge amount of work that was done in recent days to prepare this Chamber for presentation of the Speech from the Throne.

This is an event of great interest in this country and elsewhere as well, judging by the number of distinguished visitors we had among us. To all the team of the Usher of the Black Rod and all the others who contributed to the success of this event I proffer my congratulations and thanks.

Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, my colleagues in the opposition and I want to add our voices to the congratulations expressed by Senator Robichaud.

I also want to take this opportunity to congratulate my colleague from New Brunswick on his new mandate as Deputy Leader of the Government, as well as the Honourable the Speaker and the Leader of the Government on theirs.


[English]

ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

Marine Liability Bill

First Reading

Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government) presented Bill S-2, respecting marine liability, and to validate certain by-laws and regulations.

Bill read first time.

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

On motion of Senator Robichaud, with leave of the Senate and notwithstanding rule 57(1)(f), bill placed on the Orders of the Day for second reading later this day.

Motor Vehicle Transport Act, 1987

Bill to Amend-First Reading

Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government) presented Bill S-3, to amend the Motor Vehicle Transport Act, 1987 and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.

Bill read first time.

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

On motion of Senator Robichaud, bill placed on the Orders of the Day for second reading on Tuesday next, February 6, 2001.

[Translation]

Federal Law-Civil Law Harmonization Bill, No. 1

First Reading

Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government) presented Bill S-4, to harmonize federal law with the civil law of the Province of Quebec and to amend certain Acts in order to ensure that each language version takes into account the common law and the civil law.

Bill read the first time.

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

On motion of Senator Robichaud, bill placed on the Orders of the Day for Tuesday next, February 6, 2001.

Blue Water Bridge Authority Act

Bill to Amend-First Reading

Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government) presented Bill S-5, to amend the Blue Water Bridge Authority Act.

Bill read the first time.

The Hon. the Speaker: When shall this bill be read the second time?

On motion of Senator Robichaud, bill placed on the Orders of the Day for Tuesday next, February 6, 2001.

[English]

Public Service Whistle-blowing Bill

First Reading

Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition) presented Bill S-6, to assist in the prevention of wrongdoing in the Public Service by establishing a framework for education on ethical practices in the workplace, for dealing with allegations of wrongdoing and for protecting whistle-blowers.

Bill read first time.

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

Senator Kinsella: Honourable senators, with leave, I move that Bill S-6 be placed on Orders of the Day for second reading later this day.

The Hon. the Speaker: Is leave granted, honourable senators?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Motion agreed to and bill placed on the Orders of the Day for second reading later this day.

Broadcasting Act

Bill to Amend-First Reading

Hon. Sheila Finestone presented Bill S-7, to amend the Broadcasting Act.

Bill read first time.

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

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

Bill to Maintain the Principles Relating to the Role of the Senate as Established by the Constitution of Canada

First Reading

Hon. Serge Joyal presented Bill S-8, to maintain the principles relating to the role of the Senate as established by the Constitution of Canada.

Bill read first time.

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

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

Bill to Remove Certain Doubts Regarding the Meaning of Marriage

First Reading

Hon. Anne C. Cools presented Bill S-9, to remove certain doubts regarding the meaning of marriage.

Bill read first time.

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

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

Parliament of Canada Act

Bill to Amend-First Reading

Hon. Jerahmiel S. Grafstein presented Bill S-10, to amend the Parliament of Canada Act (Parliamentary Poet Laureate).

Bill read first time.

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

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

[Translation]

The Senate

Notice of Motion to Change Rules Regarding Standing Joint Committee on Official Languages

Hon. Jean-Robert Gauthier: Honourable senators, I give notice, pursuant to rule 57(1)(a), that, on Thursday next, February 8, 2001, I will move:

That rule 86(1) of the Rules of the Senate be amended:

1. by deleting paragraph (e);

2. by adding immediately after paragraph (q) the following new paragraph:

The Senate Committee on Official Languages, composed of seven members, four of whom shall constitute a quorum, to which may be referred, as the Senate may decide, bills, messages, petitions, inquiries, papers and other matters relating to official languages; and

3. by relettering the paragraphs accordingly.

That, notwithstanding rule 85(3), the Senate membership on the Standing Joint Committee on Official Languages lapse; and

That a message be sent to the House of Commons acquainting that House thereof.

(1600)

Review of Anti-Drug Policy

Notice of Motion to Establish Special Senate Committee

Hon. Pierre Claude Nolin: Honourable senators, pursuant to rule 57(1)(d), I give notice that two days hence, I will move:

That a Special Committee of the Senate be appointed for a period of three years to thoroughly examine Canada's anti-drug legislation and policies, to carry out a broad consultation of the Canadian public, and finally, to make recommendations for a national strategy on illegal drugs developed by and for Canadians;

That the Committee, in pursuing this mandate, give particular importance to issues relating to cannabis and prepare an interim report on cannabis:

That without being limited in its mandate by the following, the committee be authorized to:

- review the federal government's policy on illegal drugs in Canada, its effectiveness, and the ways in which it is implemented and enforced;

- study public policy approaches adopted by other countries and determine if there are applications to Canada's needs;

- examine Canada's international role and obligations under United Nations conventions on narcotics and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other related treaties in order to determine whether these treaties authorise it to take action other than laying criminal charges and imposing sentences (at the international level);

- examine the social and health effects of illegal drugs and explore the potential consequences and impacts of alternative policies;

- examine any other issue respecting Canada's anti-drug policy that the Committee considers appropriate to the completion of its mandate.

That the Special Committee be composed of five Senators and that three members constitute a quorum;

That the Honourable senators Kenny, Molgat, Nolin, Rossiter and (a fifth senator to be named by the Chief Government Whip) be named to the Committee;

That the Committee have the power to send for persons, papers and records, to examine witnesses, to report from time to time and to print such papers, briefs and evidence from day to day as may be ordered by the Committee;

That the briefs received and testimony heard during consideration of Bill C-8, An Act respecting the control of certain drugs, their precursors and other substances, by the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs during the Second Session of the Thirty-fifth Parliament be referred to the Committee;

That the papers and evidence received and taken on the subject and the work accomplished by the Special Committee on Illegal Drugs during the Second Session of the Thirty-sixth Parliament be referred to the Committee;

That the Committee have the power to authorize television, radio and electronic broadcasting, as it deems appropriate, of any or all of its proceedings;

That the Committee be granted leave to sit when the Senate has been adjourned pursuant to subsection 95(2) of the Rules of the Senate; and

That the Committee submit its final report not later than three years from the date of its being constituted.

French-Language Broadcasting Service

Notice of Inquiry

Hon. Jean-Robert Gauthier: Honourable senators, I give notice that, on Thursday next, February 8, 2001, I will call the attention of the Senate to the measures that should be taken to encourage and facilitate provision of and access to the widest possible range of French-language broadcasting services in francophone minority communities across Canada.

[English]

Deferred Maintenance Costs in Canadian Post-secondary Institutions

Notice of Inquiry

Hon. Wilfred P. Moore: Honourable senators, I give notice that Tuesday next, February 6, 2001, I will call the attention of the Senate to the emerging issue of deferred maintenance costs in Canada's post-secondary institutions.


QUESTION PERIOD

The Senate

Leader of the Government--Representation of Views Expressed in Chamber to Cabinet

Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, we welcome the new minister in her position and wish her every good wish as she carries out the duties of that high responsibility. I have three questions that I should like to address to the government. First, to the minister, will she, unlike her predecessor, represent the views of this house to the government table, as well as bring from the government table its views to this house?

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I thank Honourable Senator Kinsella for his question. Clearly, I see my role as representing both sides of this chamber in terms of bringing views expressed in this chamber, or to me privately, to the cabinet table. It is not quite so easy to bring information back from cabinet, unless of course it is public information. If it is cabinet information then it must stay at the cabinet table, as the honourable senator knows, and remain at the table in the discussions therein.

Senator Kinsella: Honourable senators, we thank the minister and welcome her declaration that the views that are expressed in this honourable house will be brought forward, and hopefully advanced and defended vigorously around the government table.

Foreign Affairs

India-Aid to Earthquake Victims

Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, two tragedies befell neighbours of ours, one in this hemisphere and one in India. The one in this hemisphere was in El Salvador. I would like to commend the Government of Canada for the speedy response to the plight of the people of El Salvador when the earthquake struck. As honourable senators know, a minister of the Canadian government happened to be on the trembling ground in El Salvador when that tragedy occurred. I happened to be in Chile at the time, and was quite pleased to watch it reported on Chilean television that Canada was the first country to respond with concrete aid, money, and that the first Hercules to arrive with aid came from Canada. That made one proud to be in that part of the world and see the Canadian response.

My question relates to the other tragedy in India. Could the minister apprise this house as to the general policy of the government and any particular aid that the government is granting, giving or lending to India?

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I thank the deputy leader for his question. Obviously these tragedies had enormous impact on the citizens of those two countries. Minister Minna, as Senator Kinsella indicated, was in El Salvador at the time of the earthquake, felt the tremors, and immediately alerted the department. Like Senator Kinsella, I was very proud that the first real foreign aid that arrived was from Canada.

In terms of the India tragedy, the day that this horrendous earthquake was announced, and I do not think we know the full extent of it even today, the government indicated it would be giving $1 million. When it was realized within several days that the damage was far more extensive than was originally thought, the aid went up to $3 million. At this time, the government is monitoring the situation carefully to see what else can be done by the people of Canada for the people of India, who have suffered so very much.

United States-Missile Defence System Proposal-Government Policy

Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, my final question to the minister relates to the proposal by the new administration of the Government of the United States to go forward with its national missile defence system program. I am wondering whether the minister would be able to advise this house of the grand lines of the policy of the Government of Canada with respect to the American administration's national missile defence system proposal?

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I thank the honourable senator for his question. It has been clear since the days of the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Lloyd Axworthy, that our primary concern was whether China and Russia would think of this program as an escalation and, in fact, a violation of the terms of the treaties now in force and effect.

When Minister Manley went to Washington recently, he reiterated that if Russia did not see that proposal as a particular problem and China did not see it as a particular problem, then it would be given a second look.

(1610)

To this point in time, our primary concern has to be with respect to whether this is an escalation and a violation of present treaties we have signed.

Senator Kinsella: I found somewhat curious that statement of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Manley. The quote I have is that if we - referring to President Bush - can persuade the Russians and the Chinese, then we can persuade Canada.

I find it rather curious that we would base our foreign policy decisions on what might persuade the Russians and the Chinese. Surely, the Government of Canada would have its own fundamental principles. Is our policy based upon attempting to be a middle power or to be an honest broker? Is it associated with our NORAD commitments or associated with our NATO relationships? Surely, there must be more substance to our decision-making than to say that if something satisfies the Russians and the Chinese, it will then satisfy the Canadians.

Senator Carstairs: Our primary concern, again, honourable senators, is the protection of the treaties presently in place. Those treaties remain paramount.

Prime Minister's Office

Appointment Procedure for Ethics Counsellor

Hon. Marjory LeBreton: Honourable senators, may I begin by also congratulating the Leader of the Government in the Senate and wishing her well as she embarks on this new challenge.

My question is one I have asked before, and it is even more urgent now in view of the ongoing controversy surrounding the Auberge Grand-Mère, the Grand-Mère Golf Course in Shawinigan and the Business Development Bank.

As we know, there were new allegations during the course of the last federal election campaign when the Prime Minister did in fact acknowledge that he had personally intervened.

In 1993, honourable senators, seven and one-half years ago, the Liberal Party in Red Book 1, chapter 6, page 95 - when the Red Book was quite a substantive document - stated:

In particular, a Liberal government will appoint an independent Ethics Counsellor to advise both public officials and lobbyists in the day-to-day application of the Code of Conduct for Public Officials. The Ethics Counsellor will be appointed after consultation with the leaders of all parties in the House of Commons and will report directly to Parliament.

The question is simple and requires a simple answer, yes or no. Will the Leader of the Government in the Senate ask the Prime Minister if, first, the government will consult with all party leaders in the House of Commons, and then, two, appoint an ethics counsellor who will be responsible to and report to Parliament and only to Parliament?

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I thank Senator LeBreton for her question. The Prime Minister has appointed an ethics counsellor who has been in place since Mr. Chrétien became the Prime Minister. He made the decision that Howard Wilson would report directly to him. His view, quite frankly, is that he is ultimately responsible for the integrity of his ministers. He, and he alone, has the power to put them in office and to remove them from office. They, therefore, have their integrity to respond to him. That is the basis on which the ethics commissioner is in place. I see no change in the immediate future.

Senator LeBreton: Honourable senators, I have a supplementary question. In view of the minister's response, might it then be appropriate for Parliament to at least be apprised of what these rules and guidelines are because, as it presently stands, no one knows what guidelines and rules are to be followed. The purpose of my question is not about what the Prime Minister decided, which was to appoint an ethics counsellor reporting only to him. Rather, my question is whether it is the government's intention to revisit the promise it made seven and one-half years ago to consult with all leaders in the House of Commons and have this person report to Parliament? The question requires a simple yes or no answer. Will the government bring in that promise that it campaigned on in 1993?

Senator Carstairs: The simple answer is, not at this time. The standard that the Prime Minister has set on integrity in this government since 1993 is extraordinarily high and could stand up to the reputation of any preceding government.

The Senate

Government Reply to Report of Social Affairs, Science and Technology Committee Entitled "Quality End-of-Life Care: The Right of Every Canadian''

Hon. Eymard G. Corbin: Honourable senators, I have a question for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Surely, the leader will have fresh in her memory the work we did on the committee over which she presided, the five-year review on palliative care. I presented an amendment to the report in the last session of Parliament. That amendment was adopted along with the report, which read that we requested the Minister of Health to respond within six months to the committee recommendations. Usually, when an election is called, everything falls, lapses or disappears. I wish to ascertain today from my honourable leader whether we can expect a response from the Minister of Health and other government departments with respect to the recommendations contained in that report.

Of course, if I did not say it previously, Senator Carstairs presided over that committee very effectively.

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I thank Senator Corbin for his question.

First, let me say that I have spoken to the Minister of Health about this matter. I have not received a firm response as to whether we will be getting a fulsome reply. However, we did receive a reply in the Speech from the Throne. I should like to quote it because I think senators of this chamber should congratulate themselves for having made a significant impact on the Speech from the Throne. It reads:

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.

That is a first step, honourable senators. It is not the complete answer to our report, but I was delighted to see it in the Speech from the Throne. I hope that all senators, particularly those who worked with me on the committee, are as pleased as I am that those words found their way into the Throne Speech.

[Translation]

Official Languages

Speech from the Throne-Sustaining Official Language Minority Communities

Hon. Pierre Claude Nolin: Honourable senators, we are into the eighth consecutive year of Liberal government. Yesterday, we heard the fifth Speech from the Throne of the Liberal government, and we think an extra word slipped into the speech.

This is the first time we have heard the government make a commitment with respect to the growth of minority francophone communities in Canada. On page 21 of the French version of the Speech from the Throne, there is the following:

Le gouvernement renouvellera son engagement à l'égard des communautés minoritaires de langue officielle viables...

The extra word, in my opinion, is the word "viables.''

The English version of the same speech provides at page 18, and I quote:

...sustainable official language minority communities...

You will agree, honourable senators, that the use of the word sustainable is not reassuring to francophones living in minority communities across Canada.

The Petit Robert dictionnaire de la langue française, found on the Clerks' table, defines "viable'' as, and I quote:

Qui présente des conditions nécessaires pour durer...

Given the high rate of assimilation of a number of francophone communities across the country, this commitment is all the more vague.

(1620)

My question is as follows. Since yesterday, the use of the terms "viable'' and "sustainable'' have led to a number of negative interpretations of the federal government's commitment to the growth of francophone communities. Could the Leader of the Government in the Senate therefore tell us what "sustainable francophone minority communities'' means?

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): I thank the honourable senator for his question.

[English]

It is important to put the words "sustainable'' and "viable'' in the context of the entire paragraph. The paragraph reads:

Canada'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 next sentence reads:

The Government reaffirms its commitment to support sustainable official language minority communities.

However, one must put that phrase in context of the first two sentences, which is a clear affirmation of our commitment to both the French and English languages in this country.

[Translation]

Senator Nolin: I applaud the government for that statement and I fully agree. What is the definition of "viable''? If you use that term - or the word "sustainable'' in English - it means that some official language minority communities are not "viable,'' or sustainable, and that is why it is important to know the definition of the word.

[English]

Senator Carstairs: As Senator Nolin knows, I am not as familiar with both official languages as he. Thus, the nuances of "sustainable'' in one and "viable'' in the other are not as clear to me as to him. However, I am convinced of the government's commitment, and I am convinced that we should regard the nuance of the word within the context of the entire paragraph.

Senator Nolin: I hope that all the minority communities of both official languages in this country are viable. If we are to spend money, we need to spend money everywhere.

[Translation]

Hon. Eymard G. Corbin: When we read that paragraph, are we to conclude that the term "viable,'' or sustainable, has the same meaning as the expression used in the past, "where numbers warrant,'' or are we talking about a totally new concept in this Speech from the Throne? Could the Leader of the Government clarify the use of these terms?

[English]

Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, I cannot clarify that issue today. However, I will endeavour to obtain that information and report back.

Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, I have a supplementary question. The question is this: In light of what has been stated in the Speech from the Throne, will the government be adding to the official languages budget in the Department of Heritage, given the cuts that it has made to that program in past budgets?

Senator Carstairs: I have been advised that a Department of Heritage official has stated this morning that the qualified word, in either official language, must not be misunderstood or misinterpreted and that the government, through the department, will continue to fund all official language groups.

That is the clarification I have received. However, I believe we need further clarification and I shall seek to obtain that further clarification.

Hon. Jean-Robert Gauthier: Honourable senators, I have a supplementary question as well. I understand the difficulty, as the linguistics here are not very clear to me.

[Translation]

In French, the word "sustainable'' is translated by the term "viable'' and that is why this is confusing. Will the Leader of the Government undertake to obtain a definition of the term "viable''?

[English]

Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Speech from the Throne-Commitment to Resolve Aboriginal Issues-Dissolution of Department

Hon. Gerry St. Germain: Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. First of all, I wish to congratulate her on her recent promotion to the position of Leader of the Government

My question relates to the Speech from the Throne, and in particular to our aboriginal peoples. Much was made of what the government will do for our aboriginal youth, and the whole thing seems to be driven by events, rather than necessity. The event that I refer to is the unfortunate situation in Labrador. The government seems to offer remedial solutions instead of preventive ones in the process of dealing with our young aboriginal peoples. The inference being that $2 billion will be thrown at this problem.

My question to the Leader of the Government in the Senate is as follows: Are we to continue to throw good money after bad in the same manner as we have, or are we prepared to totally restructure the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, and possibly disband the department, in order to get away from the paternalism that has led to this horrific situation year after year, government after government?

The situation is degenerating in this country. I say that, not only from the experience of what I have witnessed, but from what I have been told by numerous people in the aboriginal community.

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I thank Senator St. Germain for his question. However, it is clear that nothing should be done with respect to our aboriginal people without consultation with our aboriginal peoples.

Following the Speech from the Throne yesterday, I was delighted to hear the comments of the Grand Chief. He was pleased with the commitments in the Speech from the Throne, which call for accountability, a responsiveness from our aboriginal people, and also recognize that they must be consulted in order to design programs to meet their needs.

Honourable Senator St. Germain, the government believes that this is a problem in our nation and that it must be given first priority. It was clearly given a first priority in the Speech from the Throne. As someone who lives in a part of the country, as does the honourable senator, where there are large numbers of people of aboriginal origin, I thank the government for that initiative.

Senator St. Germain: Honourable senators, I, too, welcome the words of the Grand Chief. There is a question of accountability here and paternalistic behaviour on the part of the department. The Grand Chief even brought into question the accountability of certain chiefs who are responsible for funding going to certain tribes which funding is not getting through to the people who really need the help.

(1630)

This is the problem. Are we to continue on, run roughshod over the real problem and not deal with the core of the problem? The core of the problem is that DIAND and many of the administrations that run these bands do not generate the benefits to the people within the communities themselves. This is where the problem lies. Are we prepared as a country to restructure DIAND completely and take a completely different approach to this issue? I am asking the government if it is prepared to do this. Are we to continue with people being unfairly critical of our natives, because it is unfair to criticize natives in general, or will we really do something this time to rectify the horrific problem that exists amongst our aboriginal people?

Senator Carstairs: I think that there is great goodwill in the government to do something, but fostering good governance and strong accountability should be a message that not only gets to our aboriginal people but one to which the government also must respond. If we can get those accountability measures going both ways and if we can get good governance going both ways, Canada can only benefit, and that includes our aboriginal people.

Church Community

Financial Support for Settlement of Lawsuits by Former Students of Residential Schools-Government Policy

Hon. Douglas Roche: Honourable senators, as an Alberta senator, I want to express my pleasure at His Honour's appointment as Speaker of the Senate. Before he rules that comment out of order, I now change the subject.

I congratulate the new Leader of the Government in the Senate. She has my support, as does the deputy leader, Senator Robichaud.

My question regards the residential schools issue that I have previously raised in the Senate. The Honourable Herb Gray has been meeting with church leaders to resolve the issues surrounding the lawsuits launched by former students of residential schools. The gravity of this situation has been growing. A total of 7,200 lawsuits have been launched, and that number is increasing. The potential liability of these cases is $2.1 billion.

Can the leader confirm that the government now recognizes that it bears primary financial responsibility? In the main, the churches involved - Catholic, United, Anglican and Presbyterian - were implementing government cultural education policies in the administration of the residential schools.

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): I thank the honourable senator for his question. So that honourable senators are aware of the scope of the negotiations, there have now been three meetings between the Deputy Prime Minister and Ecumenical Council officials from the churches represented in these particular lawsuits. No agreement has yet been reached. No division on funding has been reached. In fact, no recognition of any liability has been discussed at this point. However, the churches have been asked to provide financial data regarding their capacity to contribute to the compensation programs that hopefully will provide some relief to our aboriginal people who were damaged in this way.

I assure the senator that negotiations are ongoing. This is an important matter that the government wants to see come to a conclusion in a relatively short period of time.

From my own perspective, we need a package that not only provides compensation but also provides the counselling support that is so needed by the victims of violence in our aboriginal communities.

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I regret to advise that the time for Question Period has expired. I have a request for a supplementary, and Senator Gauthier is on my list; however, the time has expired.

Point of Order

Hon. Jean-Robert Gauthier: Honourable senators, I rise on a point of order concerning the operations of this house. I think you all know what I am talking about. I wanted to put a question today to the Chairman of the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration, who is absent. I would like to put the same question to the deputy chairman, Senator Nolin. It is a question of importance to me because it relates to a use of this place by outside interests.

On January 30 last, the CBC broadcast a program with five members of Parliament and Peter Mansbridge talking about the Throne Speech that was pronounced yesterday.

[Translation]

I have a question for the honourable senators who sit on the Committee on Internal Economy. The Senate is not, in my opinion, a place for media attention, but a serious place. I cannot see how you can have allowed such a use of this place as I know, for having spent 22 years there, that it is forbidden in the House of Commons to let cameras in to produce a television program. Does the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration intend to review the issue so as to come to a solution and forever prohibit the use of this place for media purposes?

[English]

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I hope that I have your patience on my first full day on the job. I have listened to Senator Gauthier rise and speak on a point of order. However, the best advice I have, in my own view, is that it is a grievance. There will be an opportunity to deal with this matter properly in accordance with our proceedings, either under Question Period as a question to the chair of Internal Economy or, perhaps, to the Leader of the Government in the Senate.

I will now ask that we continue on with our Orders of the Day.

Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, I wonder whether I could ask if there is unanimous consent of the house to revert to Question Period so that Senator Gauthier could ask one question to the deputy chairman of Internal Economy.

The Hon. the Speaker: I will put the question to the house, honourable senators, as I have been requested to do by Honourable Senator Kinsella.

Is leave granted to revert to Question Period for purposes of Senator Gauthier putting his question with respect to the grievance he raised a few moments ago?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Hon. the Speaker: Please proceed, Senator Gauthier.

Hon. Pierre Claude Nolin: We have already heard the question.

The Hon. the Speaker: To keep our business in order, Senator Gauthier should put the question properly. This is the only question we have leave to deal with, and I now call on Senator Gauthier to put his question.

[Translation]

The Senate

Use of Chamber for Media Interviews

Hon. Jean-Robert Gauthier: Honourable senators, my question is for the Deputy Chair of the Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration. Can the Senate Chamber be used for interviews or media events such as were held here on January 30? The CBC used the floor of the Senate Chamber to bring together five MPs but no senators to discuss a subject of importance, the Speech from the Throne. Do the Rules of the Senate allow the Senate Chamber to be used for such events?

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Hon. Pierre Claude Nolin: Honourable senators, I am definitely going to look into this question. This is not the first time the Committee on Internal Economy has authorized televised activities within the Senate Chamber. It has been done several times already for instructional purposes.

We, the members of the Committee on Internal Economy who make such decisions, were most definitely in good faith when we granted the CBC reporters' request to use the floor of the Senate on the eve of the Speech from the Throne. If we made a mistake, we are going to ask to be forgiven and assure you that, unless there is a proper change to the rules, this could not happen again.

[English]

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I have a request for a supplementary question. Only Senator Nolin can respond. Senator Poulin, supplementary?

Hon. Anne C. Cools: Your Honour, I have a question, too.

The Hon. the Speaker: I will deal with the senator whom I first saw standing, Senator Poulin, who wishes to ask a supplementary question.

[Translation]

Hon. Marie-P. Poulin: Honourable senators, the question raised by Senator Gauthier is very important and forces us to take a second look at the guidelines that allow us, in the Committee on Internal Economy, to make decisions affecting the institution as a whole. I do not think the decision was taken lightly. I believe Senator Nolin could describe the exceptional circumstances surrounding this decision on the occasion of the Speech from the Throne.

Senator Nolin: Honourable senators, when the Senate transforms itself in order to welcome distinguished visitors or to hear Her Excellency the Governor General read the Speech from the Throne, there is no doubt that the spotlight is on the Senate.

I will say this again in all good faith. The three members of the Committee on Internal Economy who made this decision did so in the interests of the institution without ever asking themselves whether a Senate rule prevented them from doing so.

As to the discussions held when the decision was taken, you will understand that I am not in a position to inform you of them today, since they occurred during an in camera meeting of the Steering Committee of the Committee on Internal Economy.

The fact that members and senators were to participate in the broadcast was discussed. In the final analysis, we felt it more important to have the institution properly presented to all Canadians on the occasion of this broadcast.

I repeat, honourable senators. We will look at our decision, and if we have made a mistake, we apologize for it now and will ensure it is not repeated.

[English]

Senator Cools: Honourable senators, the central issue before us transcends the particular question, so I wish to support Senator Gauthier in his question. I should like to ask the Senate - perhaps not at this moment, but at some time in the future - to give this matter the kind of consideration and the study it properly deserves. The larger question is the appropriate and proper use of the Senate chamber, the Senate facilities and the precincts of Parliament, in particular. That question must be asked.

I happened to be here during the days leading up to election day. The entire first and second floors of this building were occupied and taken over by the media. I would love to know, for example, who made those decisions, how those decisions were made and what were the criteria applied to making all those decisions? If one was a senator and had wanted to, one could not have moved between those two floors.

Senator Nolin was saying that members of the Internal Economy Committee took a decision. If we took the wrong decision, then maybe we will turn around and apologize. The larger question, however, is this: How are these decisions taken and by whom? What is the Senate and senators' involvement in these important questions? The Parliament of Canada - and, in particular, the Senate of Canada - is not supposed to be a prop for a television show, especially when one may be looking at a huge profit of billions of dollars, which are currently involved. I understand Senator Nolin and his sincere works and efforts in this regard, but perhaps it is time for us to bring forward this question.

Senator Nolin: Honourable senators, I will not answer the last question because I do not know the answer. That question is up to either the chamber or the Rules Committee to decide, not me.

How the decision is made is very simple. A request is made to the Black Rod. The Black Rod then examines the request and it is sent to the Clerk of the Senate. It is either rejected or supported. After that, it is signed by the chair of the Internal Economy Committee and myself.

With respect to election coverage being televised from the foyer, this practice did not begin with this election. It began with the last election. We use criteria such as the public interest and the dignity and the openness of the institution. I am sure the honourable senator is not implying that we should keep the lid on our institution. We want to be open and to present our institution and its beauty, including our foyer, to Canadians. This chamber has never been used during election night, ever.

Senator Cools: Honourable senators, this matter should be debated. I am absolutely convinced that it is entirely possible to be very open, to be democratic, to serve the public interest and to still honour and respect the proper and appropriate use of the precincts of Parliament.

I extend an invitation to you, Senator Nolin, that perhaps the entire chamber, as a whole or a committee, should look at the question. It is very important.


ORDERS OF THE DAY

Speech from the Throne

Motion for Address in Reply-Debate Adjourned

The Senate proceeded to consideration of Her Excellency the Governor General's Speech from the Throne at the Opening of the First Session of the Thirty-seventh Parliament.

Hon. Jane Marie Cordy, seconded by the Honourable Senator Setlakwe, moved:

That the following Address be presented to Her Excellency the Governor General of Canada:

To Her Excellency the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, Chancellor and Principal Companion of the Order of Canada, Chancellor and Commander of the Order of Military Merit, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada.

MAY IT PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENCY:

We, Her Majesty's most loyal and dutiful subjects, the Senate of Canada in Parliament assembled, beg leave to offer our humble thanks to Your Excellency for the gracious Speech which Your Excellency has addressed to both Houses of Parliament.

She said: Honourable senators, the priorities for the Government of Canada have been laid out before us, and before all Canadians, by Her Excellency the Governor General of Canada. I am honoured to support this motion and to have the opportunity to express some views with respect to the Speech from the Throne.

(1650)

I would first like to take the opportunity to formally congratulate our new Leader of the Government in the Senate, the Honourable Senator Sharon Carstairs. Senator Carstairs is a woman with a strong mind and even stronger convictions, but what else would one expect? She was born in Nova Scotia.

More than that, Senator Carstairs has been a political pioneer, having been the first female leader of the opposition elected in Canada in 1988. As was the case when she was leader of the Liberal Party in Manitoba for nine years, I know that she will perform her duties as Leader of the Government in the Senate with the same tenacity and skill. My only regret is that Senator Carstairs will no longer have the time to have her Senate school for new senators on this side of the house.

Senator Carstairs, I want to take this opportunity to thank you publicly for the time you gave to help us, particularly me, with our transition to the Senate.

As well, I should like to congratulate Senator Fernand Robichaud on becoming our new Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate. Senator Robichaud brings an enormous amount of experience to this position, having served in the House of Commons and in the cabinet of Jean Chrétien for many years. I look forward to serving with you both.

As I look across this historic chamber, I wish to extend my sincerest congratulations to the leadership of the opposition in the Senate. Senator Lynch-Staunton, Senator Kinsella and Senator DeWare have served the Senate well. I wish them success in their continuing roles.

Finally, I should like to say a few words about our newly appointed Speaker, Senator Dan Hays. His friendship and advice have helped me to better understand my role and obligations in the Senate. I know His Honour will excel in his new position.

Honourable senators, I am pleased today to have the opportunity to talk to you about a community in my home province of Nova Scotia, the community of Glace Bay. Yesterday, January 30, was the one-hundredth anniversary of the incorporation of the Town of Glace Bay. The Glace Bay Centennial Committee and the Glace Bay Heritage Museum Society hosted a special celebration yesterday to commemorate this joyous occasion.

Honourable senators, Glace Bay has the distinction of being the first town in the British Commonwealth to be incorporated under the reign of King Edward VII. In the 1940s, it was the largest town and the largest coal-producing centre in Canada. The mining industry supplied the fuel that was vital during world conflicts and added to the provincial and national economies for many years. This history has developed an unmistakable sense of pride and togetherness within the community.

While the community has recently had its challenges, I have no doubt that the strong will of the people and the generosity of spirit which are so prevalent within the community will bode well for Glace Bay as it begins its next 100 years.

Honourable senators, the people of Canada have made a clear choice. The people of Canada have decided to stay with the team they know, the team they trust, the team that delivered them from the brink of financial disaster to the forefront of economic opportunity. The people have chosen the team of Jean Chrétien for a third consecutive majority government.

Honourable senators, the election of 2000 was very different in many aspects from elections fought in this country over the last number of years. In 2000, the people of Canada had to decide how they wanted their surplus spent, not which services would have to be cut because of an out-of-control deficit. What a wonderful contrast this was to elections past. I hope we are not faced with difficult deficit-cutting decisions again.

Canadians have chosen a balanced approach to investing their surplus. Canadians have chosen to make health care their number one priority. Now, in the Speech from the Throne, the government of Jean Chrétien has set the course to further strengthening our health care. It is well known throughout the world that Canada has one of the best - perhaps the best - system of health care. At the foundation of this system is the Canada Health Act.

More than simply a piece of legislation, the Canada Health Act defines who Canadians are and what they stand for. The Canada Health Act puts before all lawmakers in this country a set of guidelines, the principles that we use to deliver health care to those in need. They are the principles of universality, public administration, comprehensiveness, portability and accessibility for all, not just for those who can afford it.

Honourable senators, this government recognizes the need for a patient-centred national health care system. They have listened to the concerns of Canadians and they will continue to respond to their needs. The team of Jean Chrétien was the one to stand up and defend the principles of health care, and the people have responded.

Honourable senators know that we in Canada have been very fortunate. We have been guided through a storm into a sea of prosperity, prosperity which has not been seen for many generations. Unfortunately, not all regions of Canada have benefited equally from this prosperity. I speak, of course, of my home in Atlantic Canada.

Atlantic Canadians are not looking for a free ride in our society. However, they are looking for a signal that their government has not forgotten them. The government of Jean Chrétien has delivered that signal. It started with "Catching Tomorrow's Wave,'' a group effort inspired by Liberal caucus members from Atlantic Canada. "Catching Tomorrow's Wave'' proposes that we build on our existing strengths and initiatives in Atlantic Canada. It puts forward a strategy to add value to existing industries and to attract new investment to the region. The Prime Minister followed that up with the announcement of the Atlantic Investment Partnership. The $700-million, five-year federal initiative is a balanced mix of strategic investments and initiatives designed to build new partnerships that will strengthen the capacity of all Atlantic Canadians to innovate and compete in the global, knowledge-based economy.

Yesterday, the Government of Canada went one step further. It has renewed its commitment to economic development and its commitment to Atlantic Canada.

Honourable senators, the people of Canada have made a resounding choice. They have entrusted Prime Minister Jean Chrétien with the responsibility of continuing the work he began back in 1993, only this time the decisions are much different. This time, we are seizing the opportunities provided by our hard work. This time, we are building a better, stronger society, where everyone is a full partner and no one is left behind.

Yesterday's Speech from the Throne was only the first step in this journey. It was a statement to Canadians that their government is listening to them and that their priorities are one and the same.

[Translation]

(1700)

Hon. Raymond C. Setlakwe: Honourable senators, the very timely motion by my colleague the Honourable Jane Marie Cordy, in her speech in reply to the Speech from the Throne, gives me the opportunity to deliver my maiden speech in this august institution, where so many illustrious men and women before me brilliantly demonstrated their attachment to Canada and their desire to improve the lot of their fellow countrymen.

[English]

I am especially pleased to have the honour to second the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne and thereby to have an opportunity to participate more directly in the far- reaching debate over the issues of the day that are fundamental to the democracy of our country and its democratic life. I feel extremely privileged to be able to speak in this chamber, wherein I am discovering and appreciating a bit more each day my colleagues' sincere commitment to our country. Allow me, therefore, to begin by expressing my gratitude to those who deemed me worthy to sit in this assembly.

[Translation]

As we begin this session, I first want to point to the exceptional work done by the Honourable Sharon Carstairs and to congratulate her on her appointment to cabinet as Leader of the Government in the Senate. I also congratulate our new deputy leader, the Honourable Senator Fernand Robichaud. I also wish to salute the Honourable Gildas L. Molgat, who welcomed me here, and I wish his successor, the Honourable Senator Dan Hays, the same success at the helm of our assembly. Let me also take this opportunity to salute the Honourable Lise Bacon, my sponsor, for her unwavering friendship.

[English]

I would be remiss if I did not mention at the outset the leadership qualities of the Prime Minister of Canada. He has, once again, shown his ability to communicate with Canadians and, in particular, his perceptiveness, his intimate knowledge of Canada and Canadians, and the energy that he applies not only to keeping this great country together but equally to maintaining the economic and social programs put in place by the Liberal Party that have brought prosperity and security to his fellow Canadians.

I also think the choice made by the electorate reflects, to a large extent, an ideal - a shared vision that is informed by Liberal values. No party can embody those values more effectively than the Liberal Party of Canada, which, through generations, has managed to retain these values while allowing them to evolve.

It appears to me that our party's position in the centre of the political spectrum is oddly similar to the idea of the "radical middle'' put forward by Judith Maxwell for the Canada of tomorrow. This eminent economist will be soon be publishing a paper entitled "Toward a Common Citizenship,'' and she discussed it recently with Shelagh Rogers on the CBC Radio program This Morning. Ms Maxwell says:

It is possible to adapt our sense of the rights and responsibilities of citizens in the radical ways or the dramatic ways that are necessary to be in tune with the knowledge-based economy in the globalized world, without having to go to the left or to the right; that we can do that within the principles of the middle which basically has been what Canadians have followed for a long time.

[Translation]

The recent rapid evolution of the western world, with all its resulting uncertainty and questioning, has led Canadians back to basic values, Liberal values, in order to face and manage the changes that are looming on the horizon.

Indeed, Canadians are finding that respecting rights and freedoms, protecting democracy and the rule of law, justice, the right to equal opportunities, the right to work and the involvement of each and everyone in the advancement of individuals and society are at the core of their success as citizens, people, ethnic or civil community.

[English]

In reality, Canadians are extraordinarily lucky to live here in social peace and cohesion, founded on these values, the sources of their commitment to the greater well-being of society. I also believe that Canadians hope and trust that these values will come to predominate throughout the world, in part through the actions of their government.

Compared with many other countries, our frames of reference for judging the common good may, in this regard, be broader, more flexible, more tolerant, more pragmatic and more open to the world. Clearly, we are increasingly aware of the real challenges, as well as the obstacles to be overcome in the coming years to meet those challenges. We are not only more conscious; we are also more conscientious.

[Translation]

Canadians have traditionally searched for balance and harmony, both among themselves and in their relations with other nations. Whenever they have had the odd dispute, they have invariably opted for negotiation over confrontation.

This explains why Canadians have always been somewhat suspicious of right-wing or left-wing ideologies in their notion of the public interest, both in the expression of the vision they have of themselves and as a state or nation, because their country, from an ethnic point of view, is not monolithic but was built with the input of various cultures, including the aboriginal culture.

Speaking of aboriginal people, we now have an opportunity to get the whole country to join them this summer in celebrating the tricentennial of the Grande Paix de Montréal. This a major event in the relations between aboriginal nations and the first settlers in what has become Canada.

I should point out that long before Confederation in 1867, the aboriginal nations already had a federation. Their memories in this respect are still very vivid and we have everything to gain in launching initiatives as generous and as meaningful as those of the Grande Paix de Montréal of 1701.

I have the good fortune to live in one of the loveliest regions of Canada, in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. This is an essentially francophone area, but there are a goodly number of anglophones as well. As we know, out of loyalty to the British Crown, their ancestors fled there from what was becoming the United States. As a person whose parents came from another culture, being of Armenian origin, I have always had the impression, seeing these two languages coexisting, that this was what gave each much of their originality and dynamism. In the end, this coexistence introduced many resemblances into the two languages, compensating in large part for what distinguished one from the other.

[English]

It is my impression that we live in an open and tolerant country. Like many other regions, the Eastern Townships are living through a difficult transition, from an economy based on natural resources, as in my town of Thetford Mines, to a knowledge- based economy. I now understand that our openness, tolerance and respect for others are assets for this region. We see clearly the reality and the expression of cultural pluralism, broadly based and highly adapted to the interdependence towards which we are being led by the new economy, itself a source of extremely varied exchanges, development and progress.

Quebecers, particularly the younger generation for whom nationalism in the least pejorative sense reflects pride, want to turn the page and accept the challenges of the modern world. Unfortunately, some of my fellow citizens in Quebec are still looking back with nostalgia to ethnic nationalism, as though its concrete expression could truly represent the interests of francophones. Their quest for liberty, autonomy and prosperity involves the attainment of independence for Quebecers, even though interdependence in itself constitutes an even greater fount of autonomy, freedom and prosperity.

[Translation]

In Alain Minc's recently released book, the author, who has much knowledge of Europe and of the designs of our Quebec secessionists, minces no words on their illusions in this connection. He writes:

The comparisons the Quebec sovereignists are trying to establish between their Utopian project and the economic and monetary association concocted by the members of the European Union are incongruous and without basis. Their thinking is wrong.

Rather than fully experiencing cultural solidarity in order to empower and enhance the French language and culture, rather than exploiting the full potential of the advantages and wealth of cultural diversity, the nationalists are dividing the francophones of Quebec, first and foremost, and then the francophones and anglophones, and finally the assimilated and non-assimilated immigrants.

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This narrow approach to building social solidarity against those who do not speak the same language or against other provinces is costing our society a lot.

We pay the cost daily, more often insidiously than not. Neither economic nationalism nor the preservation of the so-called Quebec model nor the creation of a Quebec diplomatic corps will lighten the weight.

Romain Gary said that to be a patriot was to love one's fellows and to be a nationalist was to detest others. Before him, Einstein said that nationalism was patriotism stripped of all its nobility.

By drawing from the well of ethnocentric nationalism, which makes the other a threat, sovereignists are confirming the remarks of both sides, while failing to hide the fact that their rhetoric is aimed first at mobilizing and legitimizing their search for power in order to govern only through quarrel and antagonism, something that brings to mind what Albert Schweitzer said about nationalism, that it is an infantile disease, the measles of mankind.

[English]

Honourable senators, there are more and more French- speaking Quebecers who wish to assert themselves and face the challenges, bearing in mind their specific character, but also with all the openness and tolerance required for solidarity.

Quebec is my real home, the one that my grandfather chose, and that means a lot to me. I hope that my sovereignist compatriots, and particularly young people, will find within themselves the generosity to be Canadian and to be proud not only of their language and culture but also of Canada, their country. Our country is the envy of the entire world. Every year hundreds of thousands make Canada their new home. These people are not coming here just for the weather, but so that they and their families can join other Canadians in sharing these Liberal values and finding new ways to be Canadian.

Another reason they come here is to find what Tennyson, speaking in the 19th century about his own country, described as "a land of settled government, a land of just and old renown, where freedom slowly broadens down from precedent to precedent.''

[Translation]

It makes no sense to hear sovereignists talking about their proposed nation state, when governments the world round are feeling the need, in the face of globalization, to sign countless continental and international agreements, to share their concerns and their responsibilities, giving up their prerogatives in many regards and even some of their sovereignty in the greater interests of their respective populations.

[English]

In the decades to come, Quebecers and other Canadians will be called upon to live every day as citizens of the world. Being a Canadian is clearly a substantial asset and a means of resisting cultural levelling, strengthening our social security net and becoming regionally integrated in an expanded universe of porous borders. Furthermore, faced with the expansion of a kind of neo-liberalism, Canada can play an important role in the international community in limiting its most perverse effects. If, as a society, we wish at this point in our history to embrace a cause that is truly worthy, there is plenty there to absorb our talents.

The more these barriers are broken down, honourable senators, the more obvious it becomes that we cannot separate economic factors from other aspects of life in society, such as democracy and social, cultural and environmental life. The more governments seek to provide a framework for trade, the more they are obliged to realize that the law of the jungle, imposed as the standard, will send humanity hurtling towards disaster. The world economic order needs moral standards and a moral authority.

Honourable senators, as a Canadian citizen, I am concerned - concerned for peace and democracy in the world, concerned for the people of the poorest countries condemned to human anguish, concerned that child poverty throughout the world and in Canada is not declining.

[Translation]

I am concerned by the disastrous effects of global warming as the result of pollution and the destruction of the flora and fauna of my country, among others, concerned by the absence of means to effectively stop international financial speculation, concerned about the unregulated increase, contrary to a humanist ethic, in the genetic manipulation of living organisms.

Honourable senators, I thank you for your patience with me, but I would be all the more grateful if, in the coming months, you would consider with an open mind and solely out of a concern for the common good the political program the government is putting before us in an effort to reduce Canadians' concerns, ensure balanced development in all regions, provide solutions to the challenges facing us, be they internal or external, and, finally, keep this great country we are so attached to whole for future generations.

On motion of Senator Kinsella, on behalf of Senator Lynch- Staunton, debate adjourned.

[English]

Marine Liability Bill

Second Reading

Hon. George J. Furey moved the second reading of Bill S-2, respecting marine liability, and to validate certain by-laws and regulations.

He said: Honourable senators, I am pleased to rise today for the second reading of Bill S-2, respecting marine liability. This legislation is essentially the same as Bill S-17, which died on the Order Paper when the writ was dropped in October 2000. There are two exceptions by way of housekeeping amendments that I will discuss later.

The proposed legislation introduces the concept of shipowners' liability for the carriage of passengers and new rules for the apportionment of liability in maritime cases. At the same time, this bill consolidates existing marine liability regimes into a single statute.

I should like to take a few moments, honourable senators, to briefly review Bill S-2. Because this bill has already been discussed at great length in committee and at great length in this chamber in its previous life as Bill S-17, my comments will be brief.

The introduction of a new regime of shipowners' liability to passengers is the key substantive element of the bill. This regime set out in Part 4 is an initiative born out of concern for those passengers who may be involved in an accident during maritime transport.

There are currently no statutory provisions in Canadian law that establish the basis of liability for loss of life or personal injury to passengers travelling by ship. The intent of the regime of liability to passengers is to ensure that in the event of a loss, particularly a major one, the claimants have a guarantee of a set level of compensation and, at the same time, to provide to shipowners a means for determining their potential exposure to passenger claims.

There appears to be no basis for maintaining the contractual freedom currently enjoyed by water carriers. The new regime of liability for passengers will therefore specifically prohibit such practice. This will harmonize Canadian legislation with that of other maritime nations.

Honourable senators, the second policy objective of this bill is new legislation for the apportionment of liability in maritime cases. This legislation is needed to deal with important aspects of liability in situations where the claimant has been partly responsible for his or her loss. This is a very difficult, complicated and confusing area of Canadian law due to the absence of legislation relating specifically to maritime cases.

In the past, two rules of common law have been the source of serious concern to the entire maritime community. First is the common-law defence of contributory negligence that prevents a claimant from recovering anything if the defendant can prove the claimant's own negligence, even in the slightest degree, contributed to the damages. Second, a defendant who is required to pay damages to a claimant cannot turn around and claim a contribution from others who may have contributed to the claimant's loss.

I should note as well that a number of maritime industry groups, among which were the Canadian Maritime Law Association, the Shipping Federation of Canada and the Canadian Board of Maritime Underwriters, appeared before the Transport Committee on the previous Bill S-17 and expressed their general support for this legislation.

In conclusion, honourable senators, the key features of the proposed Marine Liability Act include a new regime of shipowners' liability to passengers, a new regime for apportionment of liability, and consolidation of existing liability regimes. This is no different than the form of its predecessor, Bill S-17.

There are, however, as I mentioned earlier, two technical amendments. One involves the definition of the word "dependant.'' The definition contained in Bill S-17 as passed by the Senate in the last session was not consistent with Bill C-23 as enacted in the last session. The bill introduced today has been modified slightly so that the definition of "dependant'' is consistent with Bill C-23. Bill C-23 received Royal Assent and is now an act to modernize the statutes of Canada in relation to benefits and obligations.

The second amendment pertains to a repeal of section 578. This provision in the bill passed by the Senate in the last session contained a date that was incorrect. In fact, the repeal took effect on March 17, 1999. The old bill mistakenly contained a date March 30, 1999, because that was the date on which the repeal was published in the Canada Gazette. The bill introduced today as Bill S-2 corrects that date. This correction was recommended by the Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations.

Honourable senators, we have before us a bill that will modernize and improve our legislation for maritime claims to ensure that it meets current Canadian requirements in the area of shipowners' liability, in particular passenger liability.

I wish to thank all senators for their support when this bill came to this chamber before as Bill S-17. I humbly seek your support for its twin legislation, Bill S-2. I urge all honourable senators to join with me in supporting this bill.

Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, the opposition in the Senate supports Bill S-2 at second reading. I would, however, make a few comments.

First, I thank Senator Furey not only for his explanations today, including the explanation of the two technical amendments that have been brought to this bill from what was contained in the previous bill, but also for his work in the committee. I also thank our colleague on this side, Senator David Angus, who worked very assiduously on this bill.

This bill has been thoroughly studied, honourable senators, and the quality of that study is worth noting on the record. All honourable members of the committee examined the bill carefully. Senator Angus, who was our critic on the bill, brought to the work of the committee his 30-some years of experience in maritime law and his standing in the maritime law community, not only nationally but internationally.

I remind senators that Bill S-2 also incorporates the Athens convention into Canadian law. That convention was adopted by the International Maritime Organization with Canada's full approval, back in December of 1974, as a uniform convention. It was amended in 1990 by a protocol updating its limits of liability.

The committee in the previous Parliament thoroughly studied the bill. Because of the work that has gone on in relation to the Athens convention, even beyond the scope of the bill, this legislation frankly is long overdue. The substance of the bill, as far as we have heard from our own committee, is non-controversial and unopposed by any group. In the recorded proceedings of the committee from the last Parliament, it seems the legislation is eagerly awaited by all elements of Canada's marine industry, including shipping, shipowners, cargo, passenger, insurance and maritime law interests. The government has circulated discussion papers, consulted with stakeholders and received wide approval from the affected maritime community.

Honourable senators, Bill S-2, before us now at second reading, creates a new framework for Canadian marine liability. It is a single statute devoted exclusively to issues of marine liability, present and future. It will help all members of the marine community to better understand the responsibilities and the rights of those who are or will be affected by the laws in question.

As mentioned by Senator Furey, clause 4 of the Bill S-2 is a little different from clause 4 in the previous bill. I am satisfied that the change is purely technical. As Senator Furey has explained, it simply brings the definition into line with the former Bill S-23, which is now part of the statutory law. The date change in clause 122 is also appropriate.

For our side, we support the bill at second reading.

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I see no other senator rising to speak. It is moved by the Honourable Senator Furey, seconded by the Honourable Senator Gill, that this bill be read the second time. Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Motion agreed to and bill read second time.

Third Reading

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

Hon. George J. Furey: With leave, now.

The Hon. the Speaker: Is leave granted?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, with leave of the Senate and notwithstanding rule 58(1)(b), it is moved by Honourable Senator Furey, seconded by Honourable Senator Gill, that this bill be read the third time now.

Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Motion agreed to and bill read third time and passed.

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Public Service Whistle-blowing Bill

Second Reading

Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition) moved the second reading of Bill S-6, to assist in the prevention of wrongdoing in the Public Service by establishing a framework for education on ethical practices in the workplace, for dealing with allegations of wrongdoing and for the protection of whistle- blowers.

He said: Honourable senators, the motion for second reading later this day was put and adopted. This bill had been adopted unanimously by the Senate in the last Parliament and was before the National Finance Committee. The objective is to have it returned there today.

I should like to remind honourable senators what the bill is about. It is to provide a legislative framework within which the issue of whistle-blowing can be dealt with in the Canadian public service. The work that was well in progress in the National Finance Committee in the last Parliament included first-class testimony on the subject. There was full recognition that we are fortunate in Canada to have a highly ethical and highly professional public service. This bill is part of the modernization which I believe was referred to in the broad sense in the Speech from the Throne read by the Governor General yesterday.

Honourable senators, I thank you for your support.

Hon. Sheila Finestone: Honourable senators, I support a quick referral of Bill S-6 into committee. The previous hearings were excellent. It is an important bill.

I remind honourable senators of the whistle-blowing decision of the Supreme Court concerning rBST and its impact, or lack thereof, on beef.

Therefore, I suggest that this bill move forward without further delay.

The Hon. the Speaker: Seeing no other honourable senator rise, is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Motion agreed to and bill read second time.

Referred to Committee

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

Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, I move, seconded by Senator Finestone, that the bill be referred to the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance, when that committee is struck.

The Hon. the Speaker: It is moved by the Honourable Senator Kinsella, seconded by the Honourable Senator Finestone, that the bill be referred to the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance, once this committee is established.

Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Point of Order

Hon. Nicholas W. Taylor: Honourable senators, I rise on a point of order.

The Hon. the Speaker: The motion to refer a bill to committee is not a debatable motion.

Senator Taylor: I rise on a point of order on that motion.

I do not think the motion can be considered since no senators have yet been appointed to the committee. The honourable senator covered himself by saying "when it is struck.'' I believe that, later, we will be having a debate as to how to put the committees together. Perhaps the honourable senator would amend his motion to say something to the effect of, "if and when appointed.'' That might be better.

I know this is a rather picky item, but it could be used to destroy the bill later. We might as well do it right the first time.

The Hon. the Speaker: Are there any further comments on the point or order?

Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, I accept Senator Taylor's suggestion. I think that, indeed, was the formula we used in the past when we were in a similar situation. Therefore, I would amend my motion to include the words "if and when the National Finance Committee is struck.''

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, it seems that we have done this before. With the modification of Senator Kinsella, I think even Senator Taylor is happy.

Accordingly, I put the question in that form, with the word "if'' added. Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

On motion of Senator Kinsella, bill referred to the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance, if and when it is established.

[Translation]

Adjournment

Leave having been given to revert to Government Notices of Motions:

Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, with leave of the Senate and notwithstanding rule 58(1)(h), I move:

That when the Senate adjourns today, it do stand adjourned until Tuesday next, February 6, 2001, at 2 p.m.

Motion agreed to.

The Senate adjourned to Tuesday, February 6, 2001, at 2 p.m.