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Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

1st Session, 37th Parliament,
Volume 139, Issue 35

Thursday, May 10, 2001
The Honourable Rose-Marie Losier-Cool, Speaker pro tempore


Thursday, May 10, 2001

The Senate met at 1:30 p.m., the Speaker pro tempore in the Chair.


Distinguished Visitor in the Gallery

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Honourable senators, I draw your attention to the presence in our gallery of a distinguished guest: Mr. Mitchell Sharp, former parliamentarian, one of Canada's most outstanding parliamentarians.

On behalf of all honourable senators, I bid you welcome to the Senate of Canada and wish you a happy birthday tomorrow.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!


The Honourable Mitchell Sharp

Congratulations on Ninetieth Birthday

Hon. Richard H. Kroft: Honourable senators, I rise today to recognize an important milestone in the life of a truly great Canadian: The Honourable Mitchell Sharp. I do so from a very personal perspective; over the past 35 years, I have been proud and privileged to have him as my employer, mentor and friend.

Tomorrow, Mitchell Sharp will celebrate his ninetieth birthday. I believe it is fair to say that he is unique among the public figures of our time. While he had the great advantage of being born, brought up and educated in Winnipeg, with a bit of additional time in England, it has been here in Ottawa that he has made his place in Canadian history.

Time permits only a brief summary of Mitchell Sharp's career. He came to Ottawa in 1942 to join the wartime administration. He went on to a distinguished career as a public servant, most notably as Deputy Minister of Trade and Commerce, as it was then called, in the Department of Finance.

In 1962, he entered electoral politics and began another remarkable career, including service as the Minister of Finance, Secretary of State for External Affairs, and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons.

Following his retirement from political life, Mitchell Sharp opened yet another chapter, which included heading the Northern Pipeline Agency and various important studies and commissions. Today, his service continues as personal adviser to the Prime Minister.

At the same time, he is an imaginative and devoted supporter of the arts, with a special love of music. He is a driving force behind the National Arts Centre, its orchestra and much else.

Honourable senators, while the foregoing accomplishments are extraordinary, they do not in themselves constitute the most important contribution Mitchell Sharp has made to Canada. Beyond the facts of his record, he stands for something very special to Canadians in every part of our country. In his long life of service, he has identified the highest standards of integrity, conduct and judgment. He has provided a benchmark that is unequalled in contemporary public life.

Finally, Mitchell Sharp has made another contribution, less known but treasured by those who have been the beneficiaries. Throughout public and private life, in Canada and abroad, are people whose lives he has touched, people he has tutored, mentored and befriended. Our Prime Minister is certainly the best known of these, but there are many more whose lives are richer and more productive because of him. As one of those, I am ever grateful.

Honourable senators, I take great pleasure in voicing the thanks and congratulations of all members of this chamber and of Canadians everywhere on this wonderful occasion.

Happy birthday, Mitchell!

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!


National Capital

Resolution by Ottawa City Council on Bilingual Status

Hon. Serge Joyal: Honourable senators, last night, at a City of Ottawa council meeting, the elected officials of the new City of Ottawa returned by a vote of 17 to 5, to the bilingualism policy in effect prior to its amalgamation with 10 other municipalities of the National Capital Region.

The resolution passed provided that the City of Ottawa would ask the government of the Province of Ontario to amend the 1999 law on the City of Ottawa in order to require that the government of the City of Ottawa and the delivery of municipal services be in French and English, in accordance with the policy on bilingualism adopted by the city council.

The democratic decision by the council must be recognized, and tribute paid, and the qualities exhibited by Mayor Chiarelli and the majority of the members of council applauded.

The Senate spoke on two occasions of the importance of having the national capital, the seat of the Government of Canada, reflect the bilingual nature of our country as defined in the Constitution Act. Further to the decision by the Ottawa city council, it will be up to the Ontario legislature to enshrine the current policy, which, although desirable and appropriate, does not make the country's capital city a bilingual city under the meaning of the Constitution Act, either in its effect or in its scope or in terms of guarantees.


I will quote, if I may, from a letter from the Mayor of Ottawa, sent to me personally last November 27 in response to my letter of November 14:

As for the question of institutionalizing bilingual status, I will try to be as clear as possible in a debate that occasionally lacks clarity and lucidity...I too am distrustful of any status that lacks a definition in law, because it paves the way for court challenges by those interested in constantly challenging the justification and the exact extent of official bilingualism before the courts.

It is clear that the law that might be passed by the Ontario legislature will only give legal protection, not constitutional, for the guaranteed delivery of certain services in French. Past decisions by the Ontario government in the Montfort Hospital - Lalonde v. Ontario, November 29, 1999 — and Simcoe County School Board — Marchand v. Simcoe County Board of Education et al — cases illustrate the limitations inherent in legislative rather than constitutional protection.

Having thoroughly reviewed the legislation and legal precedents, honourable senators, I am still convinced that, with section 91, the Parliament of Canada has, through the general power to enact legislation for peace, order and good government, the required jurisdiction to recognize the National Capital Region as having bilingual status under Canada's Constitution.

I believe it would be desirable to first give the Ontario government the opportunity to comply with the City of Ottawa's request and to reserve any exercise of our jurisdiction and political and constitutional responsibility concerning the capital of our country until the decision of the Ontario government is known.

We should, however, make known to the municipal authorities our appreciation of the decision reached at their meeting last night.

Hon. Jean-Robert Gauthier: Honourable senators, I am wholly behind my colleague Senator Joyal, body and soul.

Yesterday, the first step was taken by the new Ottawa city council. I am, as my colleagues can see, very pleased with the decision, supported by a very heavy majority of council members, to designate the City of Ottawa, the capital of our country, a bilingual city in which both official languages of this country will have equal status.

This is an important step in the right direction, after much hard work by the mayor and a significant number of councillors.

This linguistic policy will mean that all Canadians can receive municipal services in both of the country's official languages, English and French. In order to ensure that this linguistic policy remains in place permanently, the government and the legislature of Ontario will have to designate Ottawa an officially bilingual municipality. I have already explained on several occasions — as has Senator Joyal — the advantages of such a designation.

On December 16, 1999, the Senate unanimously passed the following motion:

That, in the opinion of the Senate of Canada, Ottawa, Canada's capital city, should be officially bilingual.

I moved this motion. Senator Kinsella seconded it and it was unanimously passed. The senators of this chamber played an important role in this debate. They reached a unanimous decision over 18 months ago on the issue. I thank all senators today for their participation and their unconditional support for this initiative of several months ago.

As a native of Ottawa, having lived here all my life, you will understand how very pleased I am at this declaration welcoming all Canadians to their national capital, which will be able to receive and serve them in the official language of their choice.

Ottawa, Canada's capital, has a momentous future ahead of it. I dream of the day when Canadians will be as proud of Ottawa, their capital, as the French are of Paris or the English of London.

City of Montreal

Tribute to Civility of Citizenry

Hon. Marie-P. Poulin: Honourable senators, today I want to pay tribute to the city of Montreal and to the humanism of its citizens. Last week, I fell badly when I was downtown. Within seconds, I was surrounded by people who were offering me their help. My pain was so intense that I could no longer move or talk. All of a sudden, I heard someone say: "I am a nurse. Can I help you?"

That professional, who was driving by, stopped and stayed by my side until the paramedics arrived. A store even sent a security agent to help me. All these people, including the paramedics, the nurse at the reception of the Royal Victoria's emergency room and the members of the medical team on duty, displayed flawless professionalism and genuine empathy.


Honourable senators, all of us here read articles about the indifference of people on the streets of larger cities and about the lack of caring in our health care system. I stand today as a senator from Northern Ontario to pay tribute to Montreal. We, as Canadians, can be proud not only of her beauty, her vitality and her diversity but, above all, her humanity.

United Nations

Displacement of United States on Human Rights Commission

Hon. Jerahmiel S. Grafstein: Honourable senators, next week Parliament is co-hosting the forty-second annual meeting of the Canada-U.S. Interparliamentary Group in Western Canada. As Canadian co-chair, I have pondered the role of the United States with respect to Canada. Yet who can fail to consider the United States' paramount role in the evolution of international rule of law and American leadership in projecting a human rights agenda around the globe in the last century? Therefore, it came as no small shock when we discovered two weeks ago that the European bloc, led by France, and the Asian bloc, led by China, were successful in displacing the United States as a sitting member of the UN Commission on Human Rights for the first time since its creation in 1947.

Honourable senators may recall that it was due to the efforts of Eleanor Roosevelt that this commission was first established. Now, instead of the United States, we have France, Sweden and Austria representing the North American and European bloc. Other nations, those exemplars of human rights nations, include Algeria, China, Saudi Arabia, Uganda, Armenia, Pakistan, Syria and Vietnam.

It is regrettable that the staunchest promoter of human rights around the globe has been displaced, not because of its failure to promote a human rights agenda but, rather, primarily because it has forced the international community to confront human rights in a way that no other region, bloc or nation has been prepared to project so singularly and so consistently. Only the United States publishes annually a region-by-region analysis of nations that fall below international human rights norms.

Honourable senators, may I recommend that you read a very short book entitled On the Law of Nations by former U.S. Senator Daniel Moynihan. It gives an extraordinary account of the role that international law has played in the foreign policy of the United States. It is a primer for all those who are interested in the rule of law in international relations.

Returning to the exclusion of the United States from the United Nations Human Rights Commission, I can best sum up by quoting these words from another antique senator that express for me the current situation: O tempora! O mores!

Mr. Stan Darling

Congratulations on Ninetieth Birthday

Hon. Jim Tunney: Honourable senators, it was a delight to hear the tribute to an illustrious Canadian, the Honourable Mitchell Sharp. I should like to pay tribute to someone who was a confrère of his for many years in the other place, who was dean of that place and who belonged to the party of Sir John A. Macdonald.

I rise today because Stan Darling also is celebrating his ninetieth birthday. The very unique aspect of this is that he lives in Parry Sound–Muskoka, which riding he represented for many years.


Yesterday morning he drove himself from Muskoka to Toronto to attend a prayer breakfast. Yesterday afternoon he drove himself to Ottawa to attend the prayer breakfast at the Château Laurier this morning; a tribute to what I would call the determination and credit of the longevity of some of our politicians.


Kanesatake Interim Land Base Governance Bill

Report of Committee

Hon. Thelma J. Chalifoux, Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples, presented the following report:

Thursday, May 10, 2001

The Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples has the honour to present its


Your Committee, to which was referred the Bill S-24, An Act to implement an agreement between the Mohawks of Kanesatake and Her Majesty in right of Canada respecting governance of certain lands by the Mohawks of Kanesatake and to amend an Act in consequence, has examined the said Bill in obedience to its Order of Reference dated Thursday, April 5, 2001, and now reports the same without amendment.

Respectfully submitted,



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

On motion of Senator Chalifoux, bill placed on the Orders of the Day for third reading at the next sitting of the Senate.

Tobacco Youth Protection Bill

Report of Committee

Hon. Nicholas W. Taylor, Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources, presented the following report:

Thursday, May 10, 2001

The Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources has the honour to present its


Your Committee, to which was referred Bill S-15, An Act to enable and assist the Canadian tobacco industry in attaining its objective of preventing the use of tobacco products by young persons in Canada, has, in obedience to the Order of Reference of Thursday, March 1, 2001, examined the said Bill and now reports the same without amendment.

Respectfully submitted,



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

On motion of Senator Taylor, bill placed on the Orders of the Day for third reading at the next sitting of the Senate.


Budget and Request for Authority to Engage Services and Travel–Report of Committee Presented

Hon. Gerald J. Comeau, Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries, presented the following report:

Thursday, May 10, 2001

The Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries has the honour to present its


Your Committee, which was authorized by the Senate on March 13, 2001, to examine and report upon the matters relating to the fishing industry, respectfully requests, that it be empowered, to engage the services of such counsel and technical, clerical and other personnel as may be necessary, and to adjourn from place to place within Canada for the purpose of such study.

Pursuant to section 2:07 of the Procedural Guidelines for the Financial Operation of Senate Committees, the budget submitted to the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration and the report thereon of that Committee are appended to this report.

Respectfully submitted,



(For text of report, see today's Journals of the Senate, Appendix "A", p. 532.)

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Honourable senators, when shall this report be taken into consideration?

On motion of Senator Comeau, report placed on the Orders of the Day for consideration at the next sitting of the Senate.


Illegal Drugs

Budget and Request for Authority to Engage Services and Travel–Report of Special Committee Presented

Hon. Pierre Claude Nolin, Chairman of the Special Committee on Illegal Drugs, presented the following report:

The Special Senate Committee on Illegal Drugs has the honour to present its


Thursday, May 10, 2001

Your Committee, which was authorized by the Senate on March 15, 2001 to reassess Canada's anti-drug legislation and policies, respectfully requests that it be empowered to engage the services of such counsel and technical, clerical, and other personnel as may be necessary, and to adjourn from place to place within and outside Canada.

Pursuant to Section 2:07 of the Procedural Guidelines for the Financial Operations of Senate Committees, the Budget submitted to the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration and the report of said Committee are appended to this report.

Respectfully submitted,



(For text of report, see today's Journals of the Senate, Appendix "B", p. 542.)

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Honourable senators, when shall this report be taken into consideration?

Senator Nolin: Honourable senators, with leave of the Senate and notwithstanding rule 58(1)(g), I move that this report be now adopted.

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

Some Hon. Senators: No.

Senator Nolin: Honourable senators, I move that this report be placed on the Orders of the Day for consideration at the next sitting of the Senate.

On motion of Senator Nolin, report placed on the Orders of the Day for consideration at the next sitting of the Senate.


Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration

Fifth Report of Committee Presented

Hon. Richard H. Kroft, Chair of the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration, presented the following report:

Thursday, May 10, 2001

The Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration has the honour to present its


Your Committee recommends that the following funds be released for fiscal year 2001-2002.

Banking, Trade and Commerce (Legislation)

Professional and Other Services    $ 13,000
Transport and Communications       $ 2,500
Other Expenditures                         $ 4,000
Total                                             $ 19,500

Human Rights (Legislation)

Professional and Other Services    $ 3,000
Transport and Communications     $      -
Other Expenditures                       $ 1,500
Total                                            $ 4,500

Legal and Constitutional Affairs(Legislation)

Professional and Other Services    $ 8,200
Transport and Communications     $ 3,160
Other Expenditures                       $ 1,000
Total                                           $ 12,360

Respectfully submitted,



The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Honourable senators, when shall this report be taken into consideration?

On motion of Senator Kroft, report placed on the Orders of the Day for consideration at the next sitting of the Senate.


Sixth Report of Committee Presented

Hon. Richard H. Kroft, Chairman, of the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration, presented the following report:

Thursday, May 10, 2001

The Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration has the honour to present its


Your Committee recommends that, effective April 1, 2001, pay scales of unrepresented employees be increased by 2.5 per cent.

Further, your Committee recommends that parental leave provisions equivalent to those accorded the Public Service, as stipulated in Bill C-32, be granted to Senator's staff as well as to Senate unrepresented employees.

Respectfully submitted,



The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Honourable senators, when shall this report be taken into consideration?

On motion of Senator Kroft, report placed on the Orders of the Day for consideration at the next sitting of the Senate.

Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association

Parliamentary Assembly of Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe—Standing Committee Meeting, February 22-23, 2001—Report of Canadian Delegation Tabled

Hon. Jerahmiel S. Grafstein: Honourable senators, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian delegation of the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association, OSCE, to the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly, OSCEPA, Standing Committee meeting in Vienna, Austria, February 22-23, 2001.


United Nations

Displacement of United States on Human Rights Commission

Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, during Senators' Statements, Senator Grafstein drew our attention to a situation at the United Nations Human Rights Commission. As honourable senators will recall, shortly after the signing of the UN Charter in 1945, the first functional commission of the United Nations was the commission on human rights. As indicated in Senator Grafstein's statement earlier, last week the United States was voted off the Human Rights Commission, which is made up of 53 countries. The membership is by country and the country capacity, not by individuals in their individual capacity.

My question to the minister is how did Canada vote in that election?

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I must inform the honourable senator that I do not know how Canada cast its vote at that particular session, but I will attempt to obtain the information for him.

Senator Kinsella: Honourable senators, I appreciate the minister making that inquiry. As well, could she find out what was the foreign policy principle upon which the Government of Canada was acting as they concluded the vote the way they did? What is important is why they voted the way they voted.

Second, could the minister also find out the position of Canada's representative during the informal lobbying period, which extends over a considerable period of time? The United States is in the group of countries that includes Western Europe and Canada, and it would be of great interest to this house if we knew what position the Canadian representatives took during the lobbying efforts.

Finally, could the minister ask her informants as to which other countries in the Western European-North American bloc were also candidates?

Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, the honourable senator has put forward some interesting questions. If it is possible to determine what was the foreign policy principle, what was the position of our representative during the informal lobbying period, and who were the other countries in the western bloc to which he refers, I will try to obtain that information and get it to him at the earliest possible time.

National Defence

Possible Sale of Portion of CFB Shearwater

Hon. J. Michael Forrestall: Honourable senators, I have a few questions for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. One has to do with a matter raised earlier with the Leader of the Government.

Could I ask the minister whether she has had any luck in dealing with her colleagues in cabinet with respect to blocking the transfer of the Shearwater north-south runway to the Canada Lands Company and through them to the Halifax regional municipalities, if for no other reason — and there are certainly a number of reasons, not the least of which is NATO — than to save the Shearwater Air Show, the largest air show in eastern North America?

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I am sure the honourable senator is not asking me to divulge cabinet confidences. I can assure him that those concerns have been taken forward. I hope that the honourable senator will get his answer shortly.

Status of Disaster Assistance Reaction Team

Hon. J. Michael Forrestall: Honourable senators, can the Leader of the Government confirm that the Canadian Forces Disaster Assistance Reaction Team, known as DART, is a hollow shell with no assigned airlift equipment or personnel and, certainly, no funding?

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I cannot inform the senator this afternoon what the particular Canadian Forces team he referred to as DART has as its present capacities. If that information is available, I will bring it to the honourable senator with the greatest dispatch.


Efforts of Government to Establish Shipbuilding Policy

Hon. Donald H. Oliver: Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. It relates to Canada's shipbuilding policy.

I have received a communication from the Trade Director General of the European Commission. It indicates that the European Commission will recommend taking a case against South Korea through the World Trade Organization dispute settlement procedure if there is no amicable solution to address the unfair trade practices in its shipbuilding industry by June 30. That situation arises from the commission's investigation which established that South Korean shipyards have benefited from substantial subsidies, contravening the WTO 1994 subsidies agreement.

My question is: What is the Canadian government doing in relation to establishing a new shipbuilding policy for Canada?

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, as the honourable senator knows, there have been discussions as to the evolution of a Canadian shipbuilding policy in this country. As to the particular position with respect to South Korea that he indicated in his question, I will attempt to find the information for him.


Delayed Answers to Oral Questions

Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I have the honour to table in the Senate the delayed answers to four questions: the questions raised by Senator Comeau on May 1 and 3, 2001, regarding the census questionnaire; the question raised on April 25, 2001, by Senator Forrestall regarding the replacement of Sea King helicopters; and the questions raised on April 24, 2001, by Senator Carney regarding the Summit of the Americas and the formulation of the North American Energy Working Group, and on May 3, 2001, regarding the West Coast hake fishery.

Statistics Canada

Census Questionnaire—Omission of Acadians as Cultural Group

(Response to questions raised by Honourable Gerald J. Comeau on May 1 and May 3, 2001)

Respondents can report the ethnic origin they feel best applies, whether or not it is listed as an example.

The question gives 25 examples of ethnic origins. Examples are provided only as a guide on how to answer this question. People living in Canada have many different ethnic origins and it is not possible to list all of them on the census questionnaire.

The groups generally listed as examples on the question are based on responses to the 1996 Census, beginning with the largest. The last three examples (Lebanese, Chilean and Somali) have been included to represent various geographic areas while terms such as Cree, Métis and Micmac have replaced the term Aboriginal.

Acadian was not among the most frequently reported ethnic origin. In 1996, there were 57,000 persons who reported Acadian origins. Acadian responses will be published with all other ethnic origins in January 2003.

Statistics Canada will review this issue as part of its plans for the 2006 Census.

National Defence

Replacement of Sea King Helicopters—Independent Legal Advice on Dispute between EH Industries and Government

(Response to question raised by Hon. J. Michael Forrestall on April 25, 2001)

The Government of Canada did not retain independent legal counsel in regard to the EH Industries complaint regarding the Maritime Helicopter Project.

Summit of the Americas

Formulation of the North American Energy Working Group—Request for Information

(Response to question raised by Honourable Pat Carney on April 24, 2001)

Terms of Reference

Canada is currently working with the Governments of Mexico and the United States to develop terms of reference for a trilateral working group on energy. The terms of reference will require approval from all three governments.

With regards to the issue of a continental energy policy, it is important to distinguish between that and the better functioning of energy markets in North America. The Working Group will not be developing a common policy for the region. Rather, it will be a valuable means of fostering communication and co-ordinating efforts in support of efficient North American energy markets that help our governments meet the energy needs of our peoples.

Canadian Interests

From a Canadian perspective, goals for the working group should be to:

foster communication and co-operation among the governments and energy sectors of the three countries on energy-related matters of common interest; and

enhance North American energy trade and interconnections consistent with the goal of sustainable development, for the benefit of all.

It is our expectation that the Working Group will exchange views and share information on factors affecting North American energy. Such areas of exchange may include discussions on:

policies and programs;

market developments and anticipated demand and sources of supply; and

regulatory structures, interconnections, technical specifications, and technology research and development.

We will ensure that Working Group co-operation will fully respect the domestic policies, divisions of jurisdictional authority, and existing trade obligations and that it will complement existing bilateral programs and relationships.


Natural Resources Canada, the Mexican Secretariat of Energy, and the U.S. Department of Energy will jointly chair and provide leadership for the Working Group.

The U.S. has offered to host the first meeting of the Working Group, probably in late June.

Fisheries and Oceans

British Columbia—Collapse of Hake Fishery

(Response to question raised by Honourable Pat Carney on May 3, 2001)

The 2000 hake fishery, which opened last May, turned out to be atypical. The fish did not show up in normal areas off Vancouver Island near Ucluelet, where they had been found for the past 20 years.

As a result of this anomaly, the major processors were forced to shut down plants in Ucluelet and Port Alberni, because there was insufficient fish to process.

It is too early to determine whether the hake distribution will be the same in 2001. A triennial survey will be conducted this summer and it may help explain the change in hake distribution.

The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans is currently reviewing options for setting the 2001 TAC. As well, to help processing plants, the government is considering granting port access to US hake vessels.


Marine Liability Bill

Message from Commons

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore informed the Senate that a message had been received from the House of Commons returning Bill S-2, respecting marine liability, and to validate certain bylaws and regulations, and acquainting the Senate that they have passed this bill without amendment.

Royal Assent


The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore informed the Senate that the following communication had been received:


May 10, 2001

Mr. Speaker,

I have the honour to inform you that the Honourable Ian Binnie, Puisne Judge of the Supreme Court of Canada, in his capacity as Deputy of the Governor General, will proceed to the Senate Chamber today, the 10th day of May, 2001, at 4:00 p.m., for the purpose of giving Royal Assent to certain bills.

Yours sincerely,

Anthony P. Smyth

Deputy Secretary Policy, Program and Protocol

The Honourable
  The Speaker of the Senate


Business of the Senate

Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, under "Government Business," we would like to begin with Item No. 2, second reading of Bill C-3, and then come back to Item No. 1.


Eldorado Nuclear Limited Reorganization and Divestiture Act
Petro-Canada Public Participation Act

Bill to Amend—Second Reading

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Banks, seconded by the Honourable Senator Ferretti Barth, for the second reading of Bill C-3, to amend the Eldorado Nuclear Limited Reorganization and Divestiture Act and the Petro-Canada Public Participation Act

Hon. J. Trevor Eyton: Honourable senators, the purpose of this bill, as Senator Banks pointed out the other day, is twofold: to allow greater foreign ownership of Petro-Canada and Cameco and to provide these two companies with better opportunities for strategic management of their assets within their respective industries.

As many honourable senators know, I am not a great fan of state interference in the economy. I am opposed unless it can be clearly demonstrated that it will be beneficial. In the case of Petro- Canada, for example, I did not agree when the government created it in 1975, and I was happy in 1991 when the subsequent government finally began the process of privatization.

I believe this bill is a good one, if long overdue. Petro-Canada is a good solid company, and the same can be said about Cameco.

I realize that those of us who support the free market system have critics, in fact perhaps many critics. I imagine for the NDP that this must be a pretty unpopular bill, representing the death rattle of a national dream and so forth. However, in these days of global competition, reality has to prevail over ideology in any rational discussion of business and commerce. The bottom line here is quite simple: Companies hoping to grow and survive in a marketplace, be they in Canada, North America or the world, need access to capital, and capital comes from investment.

In addition to investment, companies must be able to decide for themselves how best to allocate the funds and assets at their disposition. These decisions have to be based on their own interests and priorities. What is more, these decisions are made transparently and so must be accounted for.

Unfortunately, we are not quite there today with either Petro- Canada or Cameco. Both companies are operating under share- ownership restrictions imposed by their charter legislation - restrictions, by the way, that do not apply to their competitors.

Petro-Canada and Cameco have proven they are viable, sound entities run by competent managers, so I cannot see why they should not be allowed to get on with their businesses free of government interference and fully accountable to their shareholders, including the one or more significant shareholders permitted by this bill.

There are some national interest considerations that have to be taken into account in the case of Cameco. I am referring here to Canadian control of our supply of uranium. However, even with this, I see no reason for any more federal control than is absolutely necessary.

The Government of Canada presently holds 18 per cent of Petro-Canada's shares. If, as I am told, the government has no public policy imperative for holding these shares and if it plays no management role of any kind, it seems to me the next logical move is to sell the 50-odd-million shares the government still holds.

I might add that the proposal in this bill to hold the aggregate non-resident ownership component for Cameco at 25 per cent is still unnecessarily restrictive. I do not see why, for example, it could not be raised to a level of some 40 per cent.

Honourable senators, Canada is first and foremost a trading nation. One quarter of our collective wealth is generated by the sale of goods and services abroad, and one of the most important commodities we trade is natural resources. Resource companies such as Cameco and Petro-Canada are not mom-and-pop operations. They employ thousands of people in every community. They pay millions of dollars in taxes each year and invest millions more in research and development in areas such as sustainable development.

It is a tough, demanding world. These companies need flexibility if they are going to compete successfully. In the past few years, there has been some major restructuring in the Canadian energy industry and in the world energy industry for that matter. Because of the constraints imposed by the present law, both Petro-Canada and Cameco have been prevented from taking advantage of this trend as fully as they may have. Their ability to engage in things like share exchanges, asset pooling and strategic alliances, just like their competitors, has been impaired. This has been to their disadvantage and to that of their shareholders.

Honourable senators, this bill will lay to rest one of the last vestiges of the National Energy Policy, to which all of us, I think, can say "Thank God." This is no longer 1975 or even 1991. Canadian business and Canadian public policy need to focus on the future. This is especially true of our trading relationships. It has been over a decade now since we entered the free trade agreement with the United States, and it has been almost seven years since NAFTA came into effect.

By any financial measure, free trade has been a great success. Our cross-border trade with the U.S. alone runs in excess of $400 billion a year. That is over $1 billion a day. This massive increase in trade has brought an equally substantial number of jobs along with it. In the case of Mexico, our trade relationship has grown steadily since NAFTA was signed. As free trade expands through the southern hemisphere in the coming years, so our relationship with Mexico will grow accordingly.

Honourable senators, the nations of the world exchange an estimated $3 trillion in goods each year. Canadian firms want to be, and in some cases are, major players in the market, but they must be able to compete on an even footing. The professional naysayers in this country seem to think that trade and competition are dirty words.That is nonsense. Trade is our lifeblood. Canadian companies face competition 24 hours a day at every level and in every market. They cannot hide from this competition. In fact, I would argue that they actively seek it out. However, if these companies hope to win and keep their fair share of markets, they will have to be allowed to function using the same advantages as their competitors. They cannot, as is now the case with Petro-Canada and Cameco, be expected to compete with one hand tied behind their backs.

All things considered, I think this bill is a step forward. It will help Petro-Canada and Cameco to attract additional investment capital to compete on a more even playing field, and it will give them the greater flexibility they need to manage their assets properly. This benefits them and it benefits Canada. Remember that the assets in question all remain in Canada and remain subject to Canadian control.

I urge all honourable senators to support this legislation both when it goes to committee and thereafter.

Hon. Nicholas W. Taylor: Honourable senators, would the Honourable Senator Eyton permit a question if there is time?

Senator Eyton: Certainly.

Senator Taylor: When the two entities the honourable senator talks about were created, the government gave a combination of loans and share conversions. Could the honourable senator tell me whether the loans were all converted to equity, or was only a portion of the loans converted to equity? Could the honourable senator tell me if any outstanding loans were written off by the government? In other words, what do they still owe the taxpayers, if not legally, then morally?


Senator Eyton: Honourable senators, I thank the honourable senator for his question. I will confess that I do not know the answer to the question, but I can find out. I do believe that with the ownership permitted by this bill, the two companies will be in a better position to service all of their obligations, including the debt to which the honourable senator refers.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Is the house ready for the question?

Hon. Senators: Question.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Motion agreed to and bill read second time.

Referred to Committee

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

On motion of Senator Robichaud, bill referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources.


Motor Vehicle Transport Act, 1987

Bill to Amend—Third Reading

Hon. Marie-Paule Poulin moved the third reading of Bill S-3, to amend the Motor Vehicle Transport Act, 1987 and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.

She said: Honourable senators, Bill S-3, to amend the Motor Vehicle Transport Act, was introduced this past January 31. Second reading was on February 6 and it was then referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications.

The committee, headed by the Honourable Senator Lise Bacon, has carried out a thorough study of this bill. As a result of their discussions with a handful of witnesses from the transport industry and interest groups, following on a discussion with the Minister of Transport, two major concerns surfaced.

First, all witnesses voiced concerns about tractor-trailer safety in Canada. Second, they had concerns about the more or less uniform application across Canada of national commercial vehicle safety standards.

Honourable senators, it is a fact: tractor-trailers are involved in a large number of highway fatalities in Canada, in fact some 500 of the total of 3,000 in Canada every year. This is why highway safety, and especially tractor-trailer safety, remains a very important question for our governments.

I would point out that, in 75 per cent of accidents involving tractor-trailers, the rig or the driver was not at fault. It is obvious, therefore, that highway safety has improved over the situation 30 years ago when there were more than 7,000 fatalities a year. Moreover, the number of serious accidents involving trucks has dropped while, at the same time, there has been a marked increase in the number of tractor-trailers. Trucking activities have increased by about 9 per cent yearly for the past 10 years.

Honourable senators, trucking is vital to economic growth. The versatility of highway shipping is of inestimable value to cost- effective manufacturing operations. Although progress is obvious, new approaches are still needed to improve safety.


Honourable senators, the bill provides a new framework for comprehensive national safety standards to be applied consistently across Canada to local, national and international motor carriers. After a thorough review of the bill with witnesses from the industry, the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications agrees with this bill and has reinforced its key objective with amendments concerning the time frame and a comprehensive review. Therefore, I urge all honourable senators to support Bill S-3, as amended.

Hon. Mira Spivak: Honourable senators, I commend and thank the Chairman of the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications, Senator Bacon, for enabling the committee to conduct a thorough and revealing study of Bill S-3. It was a very productive meeting of the minds on matters of highway safety. Again, the Senate demonstrated the benefits of focusing on the public interest, both in our debate and in our amendments.

I think that the committee has produced a better bill than the one that was sent to it. That being said, I have one further amendment that I should like to propose at this stage of the bill.

On the face of it, Bill S-3 is primarily about creating regimes throughout the country, not a national regime, to issue safety certificates and safety ratings to bus and truck companies that operate within our borders and internationally. These safety ratings would be publicly available. What better incentive for a company to do what is right and what is in the public interest? It is to everyone's benefit to have a system in place to assess companies from the standpoint of safety and to make safety ratings publicly available. It would benefit trucking companies that operate safely; it would help shippers select safe carriers; it would benefit drivers who work for these companies; and it would benefit motorists who share the nation's highways with large trucks. To oppose this measure would be like opposing motherhood. In fact, we did not hear from any witness who opposed the concept, nor did we hear that there were devils in the details.

So what is the problem, honourable senators? Why did the committee see fit to amend the bill and to comment on it? The problem, as we repeatedly heard, is that the proposed safety rating regime is just one of 15 mandatory standards and one voluntary standard that comprise the National Safety Code. Implementation of the code was to be an insurance policy. It was to ensure that safety would not be compromised by the 1987 deregulation of extra-provincial trucking.

In fact, federal and provincial governments signed a memorandum of understanding to have the safety code in place by 1990. The provinces were to have put in place the required regulations for all but two of the standards. The federal government retained the right to regulate drivers' hours of work through hours of service regulation. This last standard for safety rating systems, which Bill S-3 addresses, was put in abeyance. Fourteen years later, it would be reasonable to assume that those 16 standards, with the exception of the safety ratings, are in place across the country, but that reasonable assumption would be incorrect.

In February, before we began our committee work, I placed a question on the Order Paper to determine exactly where we stood. I asked of Transport Canada: What is the current status of the implementation of each of the 16 standards of the National Safety Code for motor carriers by each of the provinces and territories?


Many weeks later, I received a surprising response. It referred not to the current status of the implementation but to something described as the Fifth Annual Report to Parliament on Commercial Vehicle Safety in Canada. The Motor Vehicle Transport Act, 1987, which Bill S-3 is amending, required the minister to report annually from 1988 to 1993 on the progress of implementation and on the trends in highway accidents.

The so-called fifth annual report to Parliament was five years late. It was tabled in this chamber on September 24, 1998. In other words, the department did not consider it a priority to meet its obligations to Parliament laid out in section 35 of the existing act. Bill S-3 would have eliminated any reporting requirement on these matters. The committee's significant amendment restores the requirement for annual reports.

The fifth report to Parliament detailed progress in implementing the code to January 1997. It contained a chart of standards on such matters as vehicle maintenance, trip inspection, security of loads, medical standards for drivers and hours of service. Half of the 16 standards were not implemented at all across the board; that is, in every province and territory. All of the remaining standards, save one, the voluntary standard for first aid training for drivers, were implemented inconsistently. In some cases, the provincial deviations from the national standards were minor. In many cases, there were significant deviations.

The report contains descriptions of these deviations that fill three pages. For example, on vehicle maintenance, Prince Edward Island had not implemented the standard; Ontario and Quebec had not implemented parts of the standard; and Saskatchewan had applied it only to trucks weighing more than 22 tonnes.

As Mr. David Bradley, head of the Canadian Trucking Alliance, the chief industry association, has said:

The National Safety Code upon which the ratings system would be based is neither national, nor is it a code. Indeed, not one of the 16 safety code standards, agreed to by the provinces in 1988...has been adopted across the country.

The CTA and highway safety advocacy groups such as CRASH often do not see eye to eye. They certainly do, however, on the matter of code implementation. Bob Evans, the Executive Director of CRASH, posed a rhetorical question to the committee. He stated:

If we cannot agree on trucking safety standards within Canada, how can we meaningfully expect to regulate safety of trucking operations here by our NAFTA partners?

It is a good question.

Honourable senators, I have said that the department's response to my Order Paper question was surprising. It was surprising because it summarized the findings of the fifth report to Parliament as follows:

According to the last report, each of the 16 standards have been substantially implemented in each of the jurisdictions, with few exceptions.

Perhaps I could use a word other than "surprising." I did question an official in committee about it and was told that the status of implementation could be open to interpretation. I do not think there is sufficient "wiggle room" in the department's own document or in the clear opinion of the industry and safety advocates to conclude that the standards have been substantially implemented with few exceptions. Even the minister agreed. He said he wants to "move further and be bolder as the months progress."

I also found the response to the Order Paper question surprising because I had clearly asked for the current status of implementation, not that of four years ago. The same official, when asked whether we would receive the information, replied that it would require surveying the provinces. In other words, even the department does not know.

The committee's amendment to restore the requirement for annual reporting should solve that problem, but the larger problem persists: how to make the provinces live up to the promises made 14 years ago. The federal government clearly has the constitutional authority over extra-provincial trucking, which constitutes 80 per cent of all trucking. The federal government exercises that constitutional authority when it regulates a driver's hours of work in accordance with the NSC hours of service standards. All else it chooses to delegate to the provinces.

There was considerable testimony and debate at the committee about hours of service. We heard about the long hours that the drivers can legally be required to work. We heard how fatigue relates to safety, and we heard in some detail about the last publicly available proposal to change the standard of federal regulation to dramatically increase the hours that drivers can be forced to work. This change would require truckers on our highways to work 84 hours a week. The majority of Canadians surveyed on this issue are opposed to that.

I wish to place on the record something the committee heard from a former trucker regarding road rage. He said:

Most of the anger out there is because we are not getting enough rest. I do not know where they came up with the idea that we can drive for 14 hours and then take eight hours off...I talked to three guys in their trucks with my CB while coming here. None of the drivers know that this law will come through. When they hear it, they cannot believe it.

Honourable senators, federal-provincial consultations on a new hours of service code have been taking place for years through the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators. A CCMTA committee advanced the 84 hours a week maximum more than a year ago. Public consultations were promised, but the provinces refused and the federal government is not proceeding.

No sooner had our committee agreed to proceed to clause-by- clause study on this bill that the minister requested the Commons committee to hold hearings on drivers' hours of service. This was the extent of the public consultation.

Honourable senators, I take exception to the officials' decision not to share the substance of a document, which is a brand new proposal for revisions. They were not shared with our committee when we were clearly asking questions on the matter.

The new report includes new matters that come as a surprise to some members of the CCMTA project group that authored it, but the basics remain the same: 70 hours of driving, followed by 36 hours off, followed by 14 hours of driving. This means that companies can require drivers to be behind the wheel 84 hours in seven days. This does not mean full public consultation, however.

To return to the main difficulty in Bill S-3, nothing in it requires or even encourages the federal minister to assert authority over safety of extra-provincial trucking when provinces continue to be recalcitrant about implementing the standards.

This is a serious matter, honourable senators. In 1993, the National Transportation Act Review Commission issued two strong recommendations. It urged the minister to appoint a senior representative to chair a working group to resolve the inconsistencies of regulation expeditiously. It also urged the minister to deal with jurisdictions not in compliance by March 31, 1994, by withdrawing the delegation of federal authority to administer extra-provincial trucking and/or to withhold federal contributions to highway infrastructure.

In June of that year, the Commons committee concurred. It reported that prior assurances that the code would be uniformly and fairly administered across the country had not been fulfilled. It also urged the federal government to take unilateral action.

The Canadian Trucking Alliance told our committee that Bill S- 3 is premature until there is greater consistency across the country. It urged delaying the coming into force of the bill until there is more evidence of consistency.

I should like to make another suggestion, honourable senators. I am proposing an amendment that is essentially a compromise between exerting federal authority everywhere and doing nothing in those provinces that simply have not acted after 14 years. It would authorize the minister to act on a province-by-province basis wherever a provincial regulation is not in place or a provincial regulation is not equivalent to the National Safety Code standard.

As I said, this is a serious matter. Every year more than 500 Canadians lose their lives in accidents involving large trucks. Fourteen years is long enough to wait for the provinces to honour their pledges to highway safety.

Motion in Amendment

Hon. Mira Spivak: Therefore, honourable senators, I should like to propose an amendment. I move, seconded by the Honourable Senator Forrestall:

That Bill S-3 be not now read a third time but that it be amended in clause 6, on page 6,

(a) by replacing line 27 with the following:

"er undertakings;"; and

(b) by replacing line 32 with the following:

"ings; and

(j) implementing, with respect to extra-provincial motor carrier undertakings, the standards set out in the National Safety Code for Motor Carriers, in every province where there are no provincial regulations implementing those standards or where there are no provincial regulations considered to be equivalent to regulations implementing those standards.".


The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion in amendment?


Hon. Lise Bacon: Honourable senators, I think the absence of Senator Spivak yesterday meant she missed my remarks on the amendment she had proposed at the meetings of the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications. I understand that the amendment she has just tabled differs from the one she tabled in committee.

I do not have a copy of the new amendment, but I should just like to alert Senator Spivak and point out that the federal and provincial ministers of transport have formed a bond. As I said yesterday, the provinces have already agreed on implementing a national safety code provincially. They are aware of the merits of doing so.

When Senator Spivak introduced her amendment in committee, we had discussed the fact that the introduction of an amendment might be seen by the provincial ministers as the federal government meddling in their affairs.

I refer Senator Spivak to the Council of Ministers for Transport, which meets regularly. I would point out once again the sensitivity of the provincial ministers to meddling by the federal government in provincial jurisdictions.


Senator Spivak: Honourable senators, I am sorry but I did indeed send a copy of the amendment to the office of the Honourable Senator Bacon. I regret that she did not see it because I knew that it would be difficult to look at it today.

I understand the position of the honourable senator. I should like to point out that it is the federal government that has delegated to the provinces. This amendment is merely saying that where there are no provincial regulations, or where there are no equivalent regulations, the federal government would implement those regulations.

The review that was done suggested that process. The recommendations were much stronger than that. It impressed me strongly, as well as every one else, that the provinces have had 14 years to put in place this National Safety Code. Since the National Safety Code is not in place, even the Canadian Trucking Alliance, the industry association, has said that it is premature to proceed. The trucking alliance and the people of Canada would like to see this national code in place.

If this amendment is not acceptable, and I understand the point of view of the honourable senator, I hope that there is some other method whereby the federal government can ensure that the provinces live up to their promises. They all signed the code, and said they would implement it. It was supposed to be implemented by 1990. Here it is 2001, and it is not yet implemented.

Senator Bacon: Honourable senators, I want to tell Senator Spivak that our suggestion in the third report of the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications is that the minister should be told to be vigilant on Bill S-3 and its application.

I stress again the importance of the council of ministers and the sensitivity of the provincial ministers. I do not think that we should interfere and perhaps complicate the life of our federal minister.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Is the house ready for the question on the amendment?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Would those honourable senators in favour of the motion in amendment please say "yea"?

Some Hon. Senators: Yea.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Would those honourable senators opposed to the motion please say "nay"

Some Hon. Senators: Nay.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: In my opinion, the "nays" have it.

Motion negatived on division.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Is the house ready for the question on the main motion?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Motion agreed to and bill read third time and passed.

Recognition and Commemoration of Armenian Genocide

Motion–Debate Continued

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Maheu, seconded by the Honourable Senator Setlakwe:

That this House:

(a) Calls upon the Government of Canada to recognize the genocide of the Armenians and to condemn any attempt to deny or distort a historical truth as being anything less than genocide, a crime against humanity;

(b) Designates April 24th of every year hereafter throughout Canada as a day of remembrance of the 1.5 million Armenians who fell victim to the first genocide of the twentieth century.—(Honourable Senator Bacon).

Hon. Consiglio Di Nino: Honourable senators, this particular item stands in the name of the Honourable Senator Bacon. I hope that she will allow me to speak. She could then take the adjournment, if she so wishes.

I rise today to participate in the debate of Senator Maheu's motion. The senator, along with our colleagues Senator Setlakwe and Senator Wilson, have been spirited in their support of this motion. Today, I will restrict my comments to the first part of Senator Maheu's motion. I should add that I do not believe, as the honourable senator proposes in the second part of the motion, that the Senate has the authority to designate a particular day of remembrance for anyone or any group. Senator Maheu's motion would perhaps be better served by removing the second part by way of an amendment. In that way, it would not take away from the main purpose of her motion.

Honourable senators, Senator Maheu's motion asks us to consider condemning acts of barbarism and atrocities of unspeakable magnitude committed against Armenians many decades ago.


What happened during those dark days has been the subject of opposing and strongly held views since the events first occurred. However, one unaltered fact remains - uncountable numbers of men, women and children were killed during the period in question.

Honourable senators, the conflict between the Turks and the Armenians, which resulted in so many deaths, was yet another of the many manifestations of man's beastial tendencies toward his own race. The human animal, it seems to me, is the only one capable of seeing its own kind as vermin to be exterminated - the only inhabitant of the animal kingdom that is capable of killing for sport, killing for trophies and killing for revenge.

This atrocious behaviour is nothing new. It has been happening since the dawn of time and continues today in many parts of the world. Honourable senators, some of us were reminded of this today at the prayer breakfast, when General Dallaire pointed out this great failing that we have, as human beings. A cynic would say that it is part of our makeup as human beings, particularly when madness invades our hearts - a condition from which none of us is totally immune.

Honourable senators, to be more precise, Senator Maheu's motion asks us to recommend to the Government of Canada that it recognize that the Armenians were victims of genocide. "Genocide," as all honourable senators are aware, is one of the strongest words in the English language. It conjures up unspeakable images of ovens, trenches, killing fields and mass graveyards. Whether or not we agree with Senator Maheu's motion, it behooves us to take it seriously.

Honourable senators, support for the Armenian cause has been widespread. Recently, Pope Paul expressed a favourable opinion. I understand that many Turks, including some eminent scholars, have also taken up the cause. They are urging their government to acknowledge the events and apologize to the Armenians for the atrocities committed against them. Some are even demanding that a full and open public inquiry be held. These people have been joined by a group of Turks in Germany, said to number in the thousands, who have also condemned the Turkish government for its refusal to acknowledge the behaviour of its predecessors.

Honourable senators, I should say a word or two about this issue from the Turkish point of view. In a nutshell, the Turks place the event in the larger context of a crumbling empire under siege. For 700 years, the Ottoman Empire ruled over significant parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. At the time in question, the Ottoman Empire was besieged and contested by both enemies from without and nationalist independence movements from within. Within this context, the Armenian community, or parts of it at least, took up arms against the Ottoman Empire to further its particular cause. The Turkish response to this led to the events that we are discussing today.

Honourable senators, if history has taught us anything, it is that no race, nationality or creed has an exclusive hold on evil. None of our ancestors are blameless or free of the blemish of guilt. Indeed, I wonder if we will ever eradicate that pernicious trait that is the desire to do ill to our fellow humans.

Honourable senators, perhaps our saving grace will be the fact that as humans, we at least have the ability to reason, to feel pain and pleasure, and to recognize the value of a sincere expression of regret. We are able to express sorrow and forgiveness.

Unfortunately, sorrow and forgiveness in the case of the Armenians and the Turks appear to be in very short supply. I find it difficult to accept the stubbornness of governments to apologize for wrongs committed by them or their predecessors. Such intractability seems nonsensical and an obstacle to social harmony. Such harmony is one of the highest goals of any national government.

A wonderful recent exception to this apparent rule occurred in South Africa, where, under the leadership of Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, they created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Honourable senators, this commission made brave and commendable efforts to foster forgiveness. In so doing, it made the transition between apartheid and real democracy less painful than might otherwise have been the case.

I wonder, honourable senators, if the Senate could not play a more useful role by recommending a similar process to the Turks and the Armenians to help them resolve their differences.

There was an article on the weekend in The Globe and Mail that contained one particular quote that I would like to read to you dealing with forgiveness. Forgiveness, Tutu said:

...requires opening up wounds that you thought had been closed. When you nurse a grudge, you're allowing yourself to continue in victimhood. When you get to a point when you're able to forgive - even if the other person maybe doesn't want or doesn't ask to be forgiven - you have moved out of the situation of being a victim, you're no longer held to ransom by that person.

Unquestionably, the Armenians suffered at the hands of the Ottoman Empire. Undeniably, many hundreds of thousands or more were murdered or forced to emigrate. These things happen. Nothing we can say or do now will alter that fact.

Honourable senators, where do we go from here? Perhaps the best message that we can send to the Turks is that the actions of those days deserve some formal recognition and some expression of contrition. To the Armenians we might say equally that perhaps, as Archbishop Tutu forgave, it is time for them to forgive and to look to the future. That is my personal opinion.

It is in this spirit, honourable senators, that I support Senator Maheu's motion. I am cognizant that this motion is largely symbolic and of limited value. However, the point that needs to be made is that it is not the Government of Canada or, indeed, any other government, but rather it is the Turks and the Armenians alone, who can truly bring closure to this matter. For this, I wish them Godspeed.

Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

On motion of Senator Bacon, debate adjourned.

The National Anthem

Inquiry—Debate Continued

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the inquiry of the Honourable Senator Poy calling the attention of the Senate to the national anthem.–(Honourable Senator Pépin).

Hon. Thelma J. Chalifoux: Honourable senators, it gives me great pleasure to address you regarding this most interesting issue of gender neutrality in our national anthem. If we go back into the history and the times when our anthem was written, women were not even recognized as persons. We had no voice and we had no vote; yet women had the roles of working the land alongside their husbands; hunting and gathering of food so that the family could survive; and bearing and raising the children, while the men were away at wars or working.

Honourable senators, throughout the history of our anthem, certain words have been changed. In my opinion, it is now time to consider that our anthem should be gender neutral. O Canada! was proclaimed the national anthem on July 1, 1980, 100 years after it was first sung on July 4, 1880. The music was composed by Calixa Lavallée, a well-known composer. The French lyrics were written by Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier. Many English versions have appeared over the years. The official English lyrics were written in 1908 by Mr. Justice Robert Stanley Weir. This version includes changes recommended by a special joint committee of the Senate and the House of Commons in 1968. On June 14, 1984, Mr. Howard Crosby submitted a private member's bill to amend the anthem to make it gender neutral. Then, on June 21, 1994, another private member's bill was submitted on the very same amendment to the national anthem.

In my opinion, it is long past due that our national anthem recognize all Canadians. Therefore, I support the purpose of Senator Poy's motion to amend our national anthem and have it reflect the pride of all Canadians and suggest that, if amended, it be gender neutral.

On motion of Senator Pearson, debate adjourned.

Historical Importance of Proclaiming February Black History Month

Inquiry—Debate Continued

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the inquiry of the Honourable Senator Oliver calling the attention of the Senate to the historical importance to Canadians of February being proclaimed Black History Month.–(Honourable Senator Cools).

Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, I should like to make a few comments on this inquiry. I believe that the Honourable Senator Oliver has done a service to Canadian society by calling the attention of the Senate to Black history, and in particular Black History Month.

In the preface to W.A. Spray's book The Blacks in New Brunswick, Joseph Drummond wrote:

Down through the ages the educational institutions of the Western World have been intentionally remiss in not teaching Black People about their culture and their historical traditions.

On page nine of the same book, Joe Drummond is further quoted as holding that:

White people have been in complete ignorance of the contributions of their fellow Black citizens and of their strivings and heartbreaks and soul-searching frustrations...

I believe that research into Black history in Canada will demonstrate how wrong H.H. Potter was when, in the foreword to a report presented to the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism entitled "Negro Settlements in Canada, 1628- 1965: A Survey," it was written:

Except for Negro settlements in southwestern Ontario and in parts of Nova Scotia, no historical continuity worth mentioning lies waiting to be discovered.

Honourable senators, that view is dead wrong and Senator Oliver's inquiry is, therefore, so very important to help us combat such ignorance.

At a later time, I should like to speak to the rich history of the Black community of my province of New Brunswick, a history that is long, exciting and multivariate. It is the story of remarkable men and women who trace their ancestors to many parts of the world, and much before the American revolutionary war. They lived in New Brunswick before our province was even established as a province in 1784.

Honourable senators, it is interesting to find that the first record of a Black man living in New Brunswick is recorded in W.O. Raymond's book History of the River Saint John 1684-1784. Reference is made to a man, a native of Marblehead, Massachusetts, who was carried to the Saint John River by the French forces who captured him during a raid down into New England. That Black man was freed in 1696. Therefore, the history of the Black community in the province of New Brunswick is a long one, and one on which I should like to speak further.

Therefore, I move the adjournment of the debate.

On motion of Senator Kinsella, debate adjourned.

Issues in Rural Canada

Inquiry—Debate Adjourned

Hon. A. Raynell Andreychuk rose pursuant to notice of February 22, 2001:

That she will call the attention of the Senate to issues surrounding rural Canada.

She said: Honourable senators, I have put the issue of rural Canada on the agenda as it is an emerging issue with which the Senate and the Government of Canada must deal.

I was born on a farm and I spent many of my summer holidays in rural Canada and celebrated many events there. I see disturbing changes taking place in rural Canada that are not being addressed in a manner appropriate for Canadians.

I move the adjournment of the debate today in order that I can speak to this matter at length at the next sitting.

On motion of Senator Andreychuk, debate adjourned.


Situation of Official Languages in Ontario

Inquiry—Debate Adjourned

Hon. Jean-Robert Gauthier rose pursuant to notice of Tuesday, May 8, 2001:

That he will call the attention of the Senate to current issues involving official languages in Ontario.

He said: Honourable senators, the intent of this inquiry is to remind you of the difficulties francophones in Ontario experience in obtaining services in French. Last week, I spoke of the area of education. Today, I should like to talk to you about health care, where serious problems are occurring in Ontario.

Montfort Hospital is a current matter. It is the only French- language teaching hospital in Ontario. The Government of Ontario had asked a provincial commission to restructure hospitals, but this commission decided to close the Montfort Hospital. To have only one French-language teaching hospital at the university level in Ontario was to me unusual, even unacceptable.


Some people undertook negotiations to keep Montfort Hospital — not because they wanted something extraordinary and not because Montfort Hospital was not a good hospital. On the contrary, it was one of Ontario's best hospitals. It even won first prize two or three times.

The only reason given was that the restructuring commission felt that Montfort Hospital was not necessary to meet the region's needs. A campaign organized largely by volunteers was launched. I was asked to chair the fundraising campaign, so that we could hire lawyers to go before the courts. We francophones launched legal proceedings to fight this decision by the commission. After hearing the lawyers, the Ontario Divisional Court sided with us. It ruled that the hospital must continue to serve the population of Ottawa and Eastern Ontario. Of course, the provincial government was not pleased with this ruling and, a few weeks later, it appealed to the Ontario Court of Appeal.

We were forced once again to organize and to motivate our troops after a rather tough and costly campaign. We continued to defend before the courts our right, in Ontario, to have access not only to health care services in French, but also to a training hospital for our francophone doctors.

The issue is now before the court. It will be heard around May 15. I felt it would be a good idea to have the federal government, the Commissioner of Official Languages and others go before the courts to defend our point of view. In August of last year, I personally wrote to the Prime Minister and to Mrs. McLellan, the Minister of Justice, and asked them to take a stand regarding this appeal. I was told: "Maybe, we will see. We do not know. It is not customary for the federal government to get involved in provincial issues. We always wait until the matter is heard by the Supreme Court."

Given the circumstances and the importance of this issue, the government asked to be heard and the case will — if I can put it this way — be argued before the courts by organizations such as the federal government, the Commissioner of Official Languages, Ontario's Association des communautés francophones and many others.

Each of the factums presented must be different. The federal government is drawing on Bill 8, which in Ontario permits certain services in the fields of health care, social services and certain government services in the regions to be delivered in French. This is an Ontario bill, not a federal one. The federal government intends to use this bill, because it is a quasi constitutional bill. It is key legislation that concerns a very important matter, one of the official languages of the country, French, in Ontario.

I have been criticized. We have been told we should not get involved in these matters. This has appeared in certain articles signed by Norman Spector. I will quote him because it is not nice to say such things. I do not understand that it is permitted.

The article appeared May 8.


Ottawa River marks the line for two sets of language policies.

The article says, in part:

So, here's the poop: Official Languages Commissioner Dyane Adam has asked the Supreme Court to block closure of the French-language Montfort Hospital. Francophone groups, financed by the federal government, are asking the same. The Ontario government, which says there is no right to minority language hospitals in the Canadian Constitution, says that the courts should not invent one.


I will stop there, because what follows will really upset you.

There are a lot of such comments. We need to understand each other, to listen to each other, to see one another and to talk to one another in both official languages. I do not know Mr. Spector, but the article is signed —


— by Norman Spector, who served as Secretary to the Cabinet for Federal-Provincial Relations from 1986-1990.


I am going to read you the article. I skipped over one paragraph because it involved me. He attacks Montfort Hospital as an exception, as unwelcome if it is not in the Constitution of Canada. Obviously it is not in the Constitution because health is a provincial jurisdiction. However, there is a Franco-Ontarian community in Ontario. There are anglophones in Quebec and they have the right to receive services in their mother tongue in Quebec. We in Ontario have a hospital and people want to take it away from us. This is not right. We should have access to services in French in Ontario. We have this service now. Why take it away from us? Is there any reason? Is it a matter of money? No! Ontario is one of the richest provinces in Canada. Is it a matter of inefficiency? No! The hospital is very efficient. Why is it being taken away? Because Mr. Spector says there is no requirement for it under the Constitution. There are provincial laws which we must comply with and which must be taken into consideration.

The federal government is going to intervene in the Montfort Hospital case and I hope that we will win on appeal. If we lose, we will take the case to the Federal Court and the Supreme Court of Canada! I believe in this cause and so do Ontario's francophones. People are writing to the newspapers. On March 5, 2001, Bob Philips wrote a lengthy article in the Ottawa Citizen, in which he said:


Montfort lobby hurts bilingualism by its cosy bonds with separatists.



That interested me. I am no separatist! I will read you something written by Bob Philips on March 2, 2001.


Quebec's linguistic minority has not a single English-language hospital, nor would it press for such a costly boondoggle.

This is ridiculous. It is not true.


I have the complete list of Quebec's English-language hospitals. There are 17 of them. There is a university health centre where both English and French are used. Montfort Hospital is not a unilingual French hospital; it is a hospital where French is the working language, no more and no less than at the Royal Victoria Hospital, the Montreal Neurological Institute, the Montreal Chest Institute, the Montreal General Hospital or the Montreal Children's Hospital. We are not asking for more or less in terms of health services than what Montfort Hospital is currently providing. It is not that complicated.

I hope that this issue will be settled. Yesterday, the issue of bilingualism in Ottawa was settled, and the case of Montfort Hospital will also be settled. If things keep going like this, I will no longer have anything to say in this chamber.

I would now like to discuss the Contraventions Act passed by Parliament in 1997. That act allowed the federal government to reach agreements with the provinces to allow them to apply the Dominion Lands Act on federal lands, such as at Toronto's Lester B. Pearson airport and Ottawa's Macdonald-Cartier airport. These airports use English as the language of communication. That is fine, except that by transferring to the provinces the responsibility of implementing the Dominion Lands Act, the federal government was required to comply with the Official Languages Act and issue contraventions in both official languages.

The Association des juristes d'expression française de l'Ontario filed a complaint with the Commissioner of Official Languages, who was Mr. Goldbloom at the time. The commissioner sided with the association and the case was heard by the courts.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: I am sorry to interrupt you, Senator Gauthier, but your time is up. Are you asking for leave to continue?

Senator Gauthier: Yes.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Senator Gauthier: Application of the law was dismissed by Justice Blais. He found that the francophones and the commissioner were right and that the Official Languages Act had been contravened. The federal government would have to correct its error. In his decision, the judge gave the federal government a year to do so, to ensure that the Toronto and Ottawa airports gave out tickets in both official languages. It is not a big deal; that is all we wanted!

Hon. Joan Fraser: With leave of honourable senators, I should like to make a brief comment on Senator Gauthier's speech.

Honourable senators, I wholeheartedly support Senator Gauthier's project on Montfort Hospital. It must be kept open and it must remain the centre for Ontario francophones that it has always been.

I would just point out that Quebec, according to the law, has no English hospitals. Not any longer. According to Quebec law, all hospitals now operate within a regime where the language of work must be French but some have the right to provide services in another language, generally English.

Hospitals can lose their bilingual status, and this has caused problems for certain anglophone communities in Quebec. This is regrettable, just as the actions of the Harris government with respect to Montfort are regrettable.

Hon. Marcel Prud'homme: Honourable senators, I will speak to this when the time is right, but I do not subscribe to Senator Fraser's comparison. It is not part of the same debate. I will explain carefully in a future debate why I do not agree with what Senator Fraser has said.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Do you wish to move adjournment of the debate, Senator Prud'homme?

Hon. Eymard G. Corbin: Honourable senators, I move that the debate be adjourned.

On motion of Senator Corbin, debate adjourned.


Food and Drugs Act

Bill to AmendMotion for Withdrawal from Social Affairs, Science and Technology Committee and Referral to Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources Committee Adopted

Hon. Jerahmiel S. Grafstein, pursuant to notice of May 8, 2001, moved:

That Bill S-18, An Act to Amend the Food and Drugs Act (clean drinking water), which was referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, be withdrawn from the said Committee and referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources.

Hon. Eymard G. Corbin: Explain!

Senator Grafstein: Honourable senators, I shall be brief. When we were debating this bill, I spoke to Senator Kirby, Chairman of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, who advised me that his committee would undertake the study of this bill. Concurrent with second reading, which was unanimous, I was advised by him in writing that his committee could not get to the study of the bill until later this fall.

In the interim, Senator Taylor indicated that his committee had a clear agenda and as such would undertake to conduct the study as soon as possible, once government business was out of the way. There was agreement that he would undertake it on behalf of his committee, hence the rationale for this wonderful motion.

Hon. Nicholas W. Taylor: Honourable senators, I have a short comment to make. When I agreed to put the bill before the committee, I thought I had an agreement that the honourable senator would not speak to it any more.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Motion agreed to.


Human Rights

Committee Authorized to Study Issues Related to Human Rights

Hon. A. Raynell Andreychuk, pursuant to notice of May 8, 2001, moved:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights be authorized to examine issues relating to human rights, and, inter alia, to review the machinery of government dealing with Canada's international and national human rights obligations; and

That the Committee report to the Senate no later than Wednesday, October 31, 2001.

Motion agreed to.



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, May 15, 2001, at 2:00 p.m.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Motion agreed to.

The Senate adjourned during pleasure.


Royal Assent

The Honourable Ian Binnie, Puisne Judge of the Supreme Court of Canada, in his capacity as Deputy Governor General, having come and being seated at the foot of the Throne, and the House of Commons having been summoned, and being come with their Acting Speaker, the Honourable the Deputy Governor General was pleased to give the Royal Assent to the following bills:

An Act to amend the Blue Water Bridge Authority Act (Bill S-5, Chapter 03, 2001)

A first Act 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 S-4, Chapter 04, 2001)

An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act and the Employment Insurance (Fishing) Regulations (Bill C-2, Chapter 05, 2001)

An Act respecting marine liability, and to validate certain by-laws and regulations (Bill S-2, Chapter 06, 2001).

The House of Commons withdrew.

The Honourable the Deputy Governor General was pleased to retire.

The sitting of the Senate was resumed.

The Senate adjourned until Tuesday, May 15, 2001, at 2:00 p.m.