The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I wish to draw to your
attention the presence in the gallery of a parliamentary delegation from Kenya.
The delegation is led by the Honourable Peter Oloo Aringo, Member of the
National Assembly and Deputy Speaker. They are accompanied by the Clerk and
Deputy Clerk of the National Assembly. These parliamentarians are here to
examine internal economy issues.
On behalf of all senators, I welcome you to the Senate of Canada.
Hon. Joyce Fairbairn: Honourable senators, I trust I will not be ruled
out of order today as I draw your attention to a very happy event of great
interest to us all that took place in Calgary last Saturday — the marriage of
our Speaker, Senator Hays, and Kathy Campbell, who has been associated with this
institution even longer than her spouse and myself.
Although Kathy has three real sisters, I also regard her as an honorary one
and will be forever grateful for her support and guidance as an adviser in
recent years, as she also was to Senator Olson, Senator Hays, Senator Graham and
As for Senator Hays, our friendship goes back a very long time to university
years, and we entered this chamber together on the same day in 1984. His
wonderful parents, the late Senator Harry Hays and Muriel Hays, are undoubtedly
here in spirit today enjoying the moment.
As we all know, honourable senators, the role of our Speaker goes far beyond
this chamber, and Senator Hays and Kathy Hays are a formidable team that will
represent the Senate and all of us with dignity, grace and great spirit.
This is truly an occasion of celebration. I know that the senators on each
side of the chamber wish you both good health and great happiness as you build a
new life together.
Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators,
a year ago tomorrow, the Subcommittee to Update "Of Life and Death" tabled its
final report in the Senate, which included 14 recommendations aimed at the
federal government. The main recommendation in "Quality End-of-Life Care: The
Right of Every Canadian" was for the federal government to take a leadership
role in developing a national end-of-life strategy in collaboration with the
provinces and non-governmental stakeholders.
Two and a half months ago, Prime Minister Chrétien asked me to take on the
role of Minister with Special Responsibility for Palliative Care. I welcomed
this opportunity to work with the Minister of Health, the Honourable Allan Rock,
to ensure that the need for quality end-of-life care is given the dedicated
focus it deserves and requires if we are to move forward to ensure that all
Canadians will receive quality care at the end of their lives.
Earlier today, on the eve of the anniversary of the subcommittee's report, I
met with representatives of the Canadian Palliative Care Association and the
Coalition for Quality End-of-Life Care. The coalition, which is comprised of
over 20 organizations led by the Canadian Palliative Care Association, has
delivered Health Canada a blueprint for addressing the Senate's recommendations
for ensuring quality care. I am sure all honourable senators will join with me
in commending the CPCA and the coalition for their contributions toward
initiating the development of a strategy and plan of action.
Minister Rock and I announced this morning the creation within Health Canada
of a secretariat for palliative care, along with the departmental resources
devoted to activities related to end-of-life care. The secretariat will be the
focal point for federal work on end-of-life care and will work collaboratively across federal departments and agencies
with the provinces and territories and with national organizations.
In addition to coordinating and advancing work related to end- of-life care
throughout Health Canada, the secretariat will work horizontally with other
federal departments and agencies on improvements to labour and income security
frameworks. It will work with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the
Canadian Institute for Health Information and the palliative care research
community to further elaborate and support a palliative care research agenda. It
will collaborate with provincial and territorial governments and with
stakeholder organizations to facilitate such initiatives as the development and
dissemination of guidelines in palliative care, training and education measures
for professionals and volunteers, and the raising of public awareness.
Honourable senators, we plan to work collaboratively with the provinces and
territories in their ongoing efforts to ensure quality health care services,
particularly in the areas of home care and pharmaceuticals.
Across this country, in every province and territory, dedicated people and
organizations are developing new ideas and initiatives to improve the care they
deliver to dying individuals. Much is being done; but so much remains to be
done, and we are eager to get on with it.
Canadians everywhere are looking forward to the day when they will be able to
face the final days of their lives or those of their loved ones confident in the
knowledge that they will receive quality care that meets their physical,
emotional, spiritual and social needs and care that supports families and
friends in their caregiving.
Hon. Consiglio Di Nino: Honourable senators, yesterday was the twelfth
anniversary of the one of the world's worst acts of barbarism — the massacre at
Tiananmen Square. On June 4, 1989, Chinese authorities callously and brutally
killed and maimed thousands of their fellow citizens for daring to support the
idea of democracy. For 12 years, these same people have denied the events of
that night. This has become what The Globe and Mail has rightly called "China's
big lie." By refusing to acknowledge what happened at Tiananmen Square, China
denies those thousands of victims the right to rest in peace. They have become
non-persons in their own land, denied and disavowed by their own government.
Honourable senators, the Canadian government's approach to both this issue
and the larger one of China's well-recorded and ongoing human rights abuses has
been invisible. It claims to be doing its best through something called
"bilateral human rights dialogue with China." However, the Canadian NGO Rights
& Democracy, as well as Amnesty International, to name two such organizations,
have both told the Canadian authorities that this so-called dialogue is not
working and that, in effect, the human rights situation in China is
So the "big lie" continues. The Chinese refuse to admit to the murder of
their own people. They harass, imprison, deport and oppress their critics, not
to mention what they have done and continue to do in the case of Tibet and, more
recently, the Falun Gong. All of this goes on while our government, with its
emasculated foreign policy, watches and acquiesces.
Hon. Lucie Pépin: Honourable senators, on May 10, I had the privilege
of attending the launching of the book À la hauteur du défi. This
beautiful anthology, whose English title is Equal to the Challenge,
focuses on an important phase in the evolution of women within the Canadian
As we know, the presence of women in the Canadian Forces is the result of a
long process that goes back over 100 years. From the first contingent of
military nurses during the Northwest Rebellion, in 1885, to the numerous
peacekeeping missions, and not forgetting the two world wars, Canadian
servicewomen gradually found their place in an environment that had
traditionally been a man's world.
This book relates the experiences of about 50 different women during World
War II. It is a story of courage, bravery, challenge, suffering and learning.
Replete with personal anecdotes, this work pays a well-deserved tribute to the
thousands of service women and civilians who contributed to Canada's
participation in the war effort, only to be forgotten afterward.
This book allows us to appreciate the remarkable contribution of these
thousands of women. They made their mark within the Armed Forces or in factories
or farm work. Their contributions were what allowed various sectors of the
Canadian economy to continue operating. By the war's end in 1945, there were
close to 750,000 women working in the Canadian war effort and another 760,000 in
There could never be too much attention focused on Canadian women's
participation in the war effort during World War II. Their presence at that time
did much to alter the common stereotype that women's work was confined to
Honourable senators, I must express my fullest gratitude to the women who
agreed to share their experiences with us in this work. This is a first, and
through it we realize that there are also women war veterans who deserve
recognition at the November 11 ceremonies each year.
Nowadays, women can enlist in any and all occupational groups and any corps
of the Canadian Forces, with the exception of the Roman Catholic chaplaincy. At
present, they constitute over 12 per cent of the military, and a number of them
are involved at the decision-making level, as deputy ministers or senior
officers. Who knows, perhaps it will not be long until we see a woman Chief of
Hon. Joan Cook: Honourable senators, yesterday, June 4, friends of
Margaret Rompkey, together with her sons, Dr. Ron and Senator Bill, Bill's wife,
Carolyn, and his children, Peter and Hilary, and son-in-law, Joel, gathered at
the Anglican Cathedral in St. John's to give thanks for and to celebrate
Margaret's life of 87 years. Mrs. Rompkey passed away quietly on Friday of last
Honourable senators, Margaret Lillian Edith Fudge was born at Balena, a
whaling station on Newfoundland's south coast, moving later with her family to
McCallum and then to Belleoram where she met and married William Rompkey. In
1938, the family moved to St. John's.
In paying tribute to his mother yesterday, Senator Rompkey said it best, that
his mother was a hospitable woman, sharing their home with outport families and
friends, and that their lives revolved around two buildings, namely Bishop Field
College and the Anglican Cathedral. Margaret was an accomplished pianist and
delighted in sharing that gift, especially in those latter years with her
friends at Bishop Meadon Manor. Simply put, he said, "My mother was a woman of
Margaret Rompkey was a woman of quiet strength and purpose. After the death
of her husband some years ago, she returned to work at Memorial University
Library until her retirement.
My memory of her is that of a very gracious and gentle woman, proud of the
achievements of her family and blessed with a wide circle of friends. That was
evident yesterday in a cathedral filled to capacity. Margaret Lillian Edith
Rompkey was the very essence of what it is to be a lady. May she rest in peace.
Hon. Lois M. Wilson: Honourable senators, today, over noon hour, a
gathering was held here on Parliament Hill to celebrate the announcement of
Raoul Wallenberg Day on every succeeding January 17 in Canada. As senators may
know, he was a Swedish diplomat who, in World War II, rescued thousands of Jews
who otherwise would have been murdered during the Holocaust.
A number of the survivors who owe their lives to this courageous man were
present today. Wallenberg is the only person who has been declared an honorary
citizen of Canada for his splendid work on human rights. The people who had been
instrumental over the years in bringing about this significant event today were
also honoured: Minister of Canadian Heritage Sheila Copps, MPs Irwin Cotler and
Clifford Lincoln, Senator Sheila Finestone and Dr. Vera Parnes, President of
Canadian Friends of Raoul Wallenberg. Plans are being formulated to include the
history of this extraordinary man's life in school curricula across the country.
Honourable senators, I was proud to be present at such a moving, historic
event. I was thrilled that our colleagues have seen their hopes fulfilled and
their faithful efforts realized.
Hon. Sheila Finestone: Honourable senators, today I had the distinct
privilege and pleasure to assist at the launching of a day of memory for Raoul
Wallenberg, as my colleague Senator Wilson just outlined. This is a heartening
moment for me and for Reverend de Corneille, who initially brought this issue to
the other place in 1985. The justice of this outstanding token of remembrance
found expression through the understanding of Minister Sheila Copps.
Minister of Canadian Heritage Sheila Copps, along with Dr. Vera Parnes, who
was the motivating force behind this undertaking, Clifford Lincoln and Irwin
Cotler were present for the announcement and declaration that January 17 of each
year will be known as Raoul Wallenberg Day.
Honourable senators, is there anything greater one can do than to save the
life of another? Perhaps one thing greater than saving a life is saving several
lives. Raoul Wallenberg saved thousands of lives. At great risk to his own life,
he snatched approximately 100,000 Hungarian Jews from the waiting jaws of death
during the Second World War, at times almost literally.
Leaving behind a prosperous business career in Stockholm, Mr. Wallenberg
accepted an assignment as First Secretary of the Swedish Diplomatic Mission in
Budapest in 1944. He took it upon himself to do everything in his power to
rescue the remaining Jews in Hungary. He founded safe homes to house those in
danger. He delivered special passports of protection to 10,000 people in order
to guarantee their security. When Hungarian Jews were being transported to
Auschwitz, this compassionate and courageous man, who could have just been
interested in saving himself, climbed onto those trains and passed out official
He then demanded that all passengers with Swedish papers be permitted to
debark and return with him to Budapest. When all those left in the Budapest
Jewish ghetto were about to be massacred, Raoul Wallenberg convinced the general
in charge to call off the attack.
On January 17, 1945, Wallenberg was arrested — for what we do not know — and
taken prisoner by Soviet authorities. Of his subsequent fate we have only
rumours. It could not have been kind.
Honourable senators, Raoul Wallenburg is a hero, and this is why Canada made
him an honorary citizen in 1985, its only honorary citizen.
A number of other countries in the world recognize him and have also made him
an honorary citizen. UNESCO also recognized him in connection with the year
2000, which was proclaimed International Year for the Culture of Peace, and
praised him eloquently as the greatest defender of human rights of all times.
Canada has been in the avant-garde, naming this man honorary citizen in 1985
and today naming Raoul Wallenberg Day every January 17, at which time the
children of this land will be given information and learn about a great man of
courage, about human rights, and about how one man stood up for those kinds of
rights. He became a champion and did so without a single act of aggression.
Hon. Lise Bacon, Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Transport
and Communications, presented the following report:
Tuesday, June 5, 2001
The Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications has the
honour to present its
Your Committee, to which was referred Bill S-7, An Act to amend the
Broadcasting Act, has, in obedience to the Order of Reference of Wednesday,
February 7, 2001, examined the said Bill and now reports the same without
amendment, but with observations which are appended to this report.
(For text of observations, see today's Journals of the Senate, p.
The Hon. the Speaker: When shall this bill be read the third time?
On motion of Senator Finestone, bill placed on the Orders of the Day for
third reading at the next sitting of the Senate.
Hon. Jack Austin: Honourable senators, I have the honour to table, in
both official languages, the fifth report of the Canada- China Legislative
Association regarding the third bilateral meeting held in China in March 2001.
Hon. Pierre Claude Nolin: Honourable senators, I have the honour to
table the third report of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association. This is
the report by the official delegation, which represented Canada at the meeting
of the Standing Committee and the Secretaries of National Delegations of the
North Atlantic Assembly (NATO Parliamentarians) held in Rome, Italy, on March 30
and April 1, 2001.
Hon. Lowell Murray: Honourable senators, I give notice that on
Wednesday next, June 6, 2001, I will move:
That the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance have power to sit
Thursday, June 7, 2001 at 3:30 p.m., even though the Senate may then be
sitting, and that rule 95(4) be suspended in relation thereto.
Hon. Sheila Finestone: Honourable senators, I give notice that on
Thursday next, June 7, 2001, I will call the attention of the Senate to the
Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan's May 22 decree that would force non-Muslims in
that country to wear special identification on their clothing. I believe it is
important that this distinguished chamber not remain silent on this question but
go on record expressing our collective displeasure with that nation's flirtation
with policies that set the stage for events that proved horrific in recent human
history. Let us learn from our mistakes. Let us not repeat them.
Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators,
I realize that this is irregular, but I want to answer a question that I took
under advisement when we last met.
I met with the leadership on the other side yesterday, and it was mutually
agreed that a meeting of the Committee of the Whole to examine the Maritime
Helicopter Project will be held soon after our return in September, the exact
date to be worked out in consultation with the other side.
Hon. John Lynch-Staunton (Leader of the Opposition): Honourable
senators, I should like to give an answer to the leader. Thank you.
Hon. Norman K. Atkins: Honourable senators, my question is directed to
the Leader of the Government in the Senate and concerns the annual report of the
Ombudsman for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces. First,
I congratulate the government for extending Mr. André Marin's term of office for
five more years. Having said that, this report raises certain questions about
the cooperation his office receives from DND. He indicates in his report the
continued need for the Chief of Defence Staff and the deputy minister to support
the functions of the ombudsman. Could the leader tell the Senate what specific
measures the government is taking to impress upon DND and the Canadian Forces
members the need for support and cooperation with the office of the ombudsman?
Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators,
the honourable senator asks a question of great importance to the public as a
whole and I believe also to the military. Clearly, the government strongly
supports the office of the ombudsman and is convinced that the present occupant
is well worthy of having his reappointment announced because he has begun to
build an atmosphere of trust and confidence.
Having said that, the government is looking carefully at the ombudsman's
annual report, particularly the concerns he has raised and the recommendations
he has made with respect to his ongoing responsibilities.
Senator Atkins: Honourable senators, what steps does the Leader think
the government would be taking to amend the National Defence Act so that the
directives that outline the office of the ombudsman are actually turned into
regulations under the act to give the ombudsman clout? It is indicated now that
while he can investigate a number of the inquiries and complaints, he does not
have the authority really to enforce or come to any conclusions that would be
supported by the establishment in the military.
Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, the senator asks what
amendments will be made to the Defence Act. Clearly, we will know in due time if
there are to be any amendments. However, in his report the ombudsman indicated
that most cases are being handled satisfactorily and that he would like to have
an even better relationship with the military. I think that takes time to
develop. That is why I am delighted he has been reappointed so he can build on
the accomplishments he has achieved to date.
Hon. J. Michael Forrestall: Honourable senators, I have a
supplementary question to that posed by the Leader of the Opposition in the
Senate. I join him in expressing appreciation for the quick reaction to his
suggestion about bringing some suitable witnesses before us.
Would the minister entertain some suggestions as to individuals from the
military that we might hear from?
Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators,
I would think that would be a logical follow-up to the announcement that there
would be a Committee of the Whole and the subsequent deliberations as to when
that day is to take place. A suitable witness list will also be determined.
Hon. J. Michael Forrestall: Honourable senators, assuming that that
generous offer does not preclude questions that arise from the concerns some of
us have about the selection of an adequate vehicle to replace the Sea King
through a fair and open competition, might I ask the following question: On
April 24, the Leader of the Government will recall tabling a written response to
a question raised in this chamber by myself on March 29. The written response
states that a thorough risk analysis of the Maritime Helicopter Project was in
fact completed. Last week, we saw the document of contingency costs, which
included an additional $180 million due to the lost economies of scale of a
two-competition approach, and $220 million for the risk, for a total of $400
million. The written response, tabled April 24, also states that the
government's goal is to get the Maritime helicopter at the lowest possible cost
to the taxpayers.
How does the minister explain this contradiction between her written response
to my question tabled in the Senate and the government's own contingency costs
Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators,
I will make it clear to all honourable senators that they are not my written
responses. The responses members receive to the questions they ask come from the
departments. They do not come from me. I clearly receive them and then I make
sure that the deputy leader brings them before this chamber, but I certainly do
not author them.
Honourable senators, I do not see that there is any inconsistency with the
answer that Senator Forrestall received to his March question on April 24. The
government is still desirous of getting the best equipment at the best possible
Senator Forrestall: Honourable senators, it is now easily demonstrated
that the costs of this delay and the costs of the government changing its plans
have risen to somewhere slightly in excess of $1 billion, not the $400 million
we were talking about 10 days ago. It is quite clear that the cost is over $1
billion, a figure that I cited at the time of the cancellation of the program.
I know the Leader of the Government does not write these responses. I know
that she gives them and, believe me, there have been days in this chamber when I
wish she could have emulated her predecessor, and his predecessor and many other
leaders of the government, and said, "Hell of a good question. Damned if I know
the answer. I will see if I can get one for you." That might have relieved some
of the stress on the part of those of us who are concerned about the lives of
men and women who must serve in this somewhat aged equipment.
Against that background, will the Leader of the Government tell us — and if
she cannot that is understandable, but if she could find out that would be
appreciated — when she was told that a risk analysis had in fact been completed
by the government on the split procurement and the associated contingency costs?
Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, the honourable senator has
made some statements and then asked a very specific question. As to his very
specific question, I will try to find out the answer for him.
As to why I answer questions the way I do, I should like the honourable
senator to know that we have, as of this week, replied to 95 questions via
delayed answers since we began this process in late January. A great number of
written responses have been going across the floor in this chamber on a regular
As to whether it can be easily demonstrated that the increased price has gone
up by $1 billion, I do not think it can be as easily demonstrated as the
honourable senator seems to think.
Hon. Terry Stratton: Honourable senators, I, too, would like to thank
the minister for arranging the discussion that we shall have. That is very much
appreciated from this side. I should like to add fodder to the cannon, as it
were, because I am sure she will not be able to answer some of my questions.
They are somewhat technical and neither she nor I are helicopter experts.
The August statement of requirement plans for the new helicopter refers to
operating in sea state conditions of up to six. I must ask what "sea state
conditions of up to six" means. I believe ten is a hurricane and nine is a
storm. It specifies that a helicopter can operate in sea state conditions of
six, but specifies ditching only up to a sea state of three. I did not know what
a sea state of three was, and when I asked I found out it is when there are
whitecaps. A helicopter can operate in sea state conditions of six, but it
cannot be ditched in sea state conditions of six because it will go down right
away. One can only be ditched up to a sea state of three.
I am not expecting an immediate response, but I should like the Leader of the
Government to obtain the answer. Why is it that these helicopters can operate at
a sea state of six and can only be ditched in a sea state of three?
Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators,
I thank the honourable senator for his outline of the definitions of sea state
six and sea state three. He has now acquired more knowledge than I have. I will
attempt to get the answer as quickly as possible for the honourable senator.
Senator Stratton: Honourable senators, as well as asking that question
about sea states, we need to know why that minimum is so low.
If you are able to operate at a sea state of six, why can you not ditch at a
sea state of six? I would be hopeful that you would reach that conclusion.
Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, I spent a couple of hours
watching a vigorous storm on Lake Winnipeg a few weeks ago where there were sea
caps. The lake is not even a sea of extremely high levels. My impression would
have to be that, clearly, one would not want to ditch because one might lose the
equipment and, more important, the lives of the individuals onboard that
helicopter. I am certain that there is a much more professional explanation, and
I will attempt to obtain that for the honourable senator.
Hon. Mira Spivak: Honourable senators, the clean air treaty signed in
December 2000 requires power plants and other industrial sources to cut their
nitrogen oxide emissions by 50 per cent to 70 per cent by 2004. The treaty does
not address issues about increasing the number of power plants.
President Bush's energy plan calls for the creation of 1,300 new power plants
and would grant waivers over environmental standards to states that run older
power plants at peak capacity. Bush's energy plan would render the clean air
treaty, signed by both of our countries in December 2000, ineffective.
Does the Leader of the Government in the Senate know how the government
proposes to ensure that the requirements of the clean air treaty are respected
Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators,
the honourable senator knows that the clean air treaty has been signed by both
governments. One hopes, of course, that the intent and, in fact, the sections of
that treaty will be mutually respected. Obviously, it is of concern when the
President of the United States indicates that he seems to be acting at variance.
I say "seems to be acting at variance" because we have not done the analysis
to date that would indicate whether that is the case.
However, I can assure the honourable senator that in ongoing discussions with
the United States, led by Minister of the Environment David Anderson, that
Minister Anderson will be conscious of the questions that the honourable senator
has raised today.
Hon. Mira Spivak: Honourable senators, one of the good things about
President Bush's recent energy plan is that it calls for tax relief to consumers
who purchase energy-efficient vehicles and who purchase solar panels for their
homes. As senators may recall, the Clean Air Coalition, which includes
industrialists, oil companies and environmentalists, asked for a certain tax
credit to provide some relief.
Honourable senators, does the government have plans to implement similar
incentives to encourage energy conservation in Canada? I am aware of some
announcements about energy conservation, but I am not certain how they will
apply. I would appreciate obtaining that information from the honourable
Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): The honourable
senator raises a question that I know is of interest particularly to Senator
Kenny, who, of course, introduced a private member's bill concerning alternative
fuels. It was one of the few bills that managed to move through both Houses. The
government has been actively encouraging the use of more environmentally
responsible vehicles. Thus, its plans are well underway.
As to whether there will be specific tax relief initiatives, we will have to
wait for future budgets.
Hon. Leonard J. Gustafson: Honourable senators, I, as a visitor,
attended a meeting this morning of the House of Commons Standing Committee on
Agriculture and Agri-Food. In attendance were three provincial Ministers of
Agriculture from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, who testified to the House
of Commons committee, along with their opposition leaders in the same field.
In many ways, there was not much new information on grains and oilseeds and
the problems that exist in that sector. However, one comment was emphasized by
all three ministers: This is now a serious national, Canadian problem, not just
a serious problem for the provinces.
Honourable senators, will there be an industry in grains and oilseeds on a
level playing field? All the ministers said the same thing: We can compete, but
there is not a level playing field. We now face a global economy with respect to
agriculture. Will the government seriously examine this national issue? Our
agricultural industry must be protected for all Canadians.
Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators,
the honourable senator asks, of course, a question that is critical for all
Canadians, particularly for those who live on the Prairies. There is no question
that the grain and oilseed industry is in serious difficulty. I repeat the
honourable senator's statement, which is not due to their inability to grow the
grains and not due to their lack of understanding of international pressures.
They have the appropriate knowledge and expertise. They are able to compete.
Unfortunately, they are currently caught in a difficult situation.
Honourable senators, announcements were made last week by the government
concerning its commitment to rural communities. I make note of the transfers
that have occurred in respect of the grain roads in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and
Alberta. The three provinces received announcements recently of new monies that
would help to ensure the protection of the infrastructure of rural communities.
In addition, I should like to answer a question the honourable senator asked
the other day: Why have the cheques not been received with respect to the $500
million in farm aid to the provinces? Those cheques have been written to the
provinces, at their request, and they have received those cheques. It is now up
to the provinces to ensure that the farmers receive the money, which is now in
the hands of the provincial treasurers.
In response to the honourable senator's questions about whether we need to do
more and whether we need to recognize this as a serious national problem, the
answer is that, absolutely, we need to do more.
Senator Gustafson: When talking to some Manitoba farmers today, I
learned that some of them received the cheques yesterday. The cheques ranged
from a minimum of $3,500 to a maximum of $7,500. When a farmer's income is only
$7,000 for a family to live on, including off-farm income, that is not much
money. However, this money certainly helps and we are thankful for it.
The three ministers raised the question of input costs. Regardless of how
much money the government may put in the farmers' hands, they still must face
fertilizer prices that have been on the increase, the cost of natural gas that
has risen as much as 100 per cent and fuel costs that are up about 35 per cent.
Honourable senators, there is a clear indication that the big oil companies
are not suffering too much. They are expressing the fact that they are reaping
profits that they did not reap before. As long as a farmer's earnings end up in
input costs, there is no solution.
However, the government must bring solutions forward with regard to these
input costs. Most of the farmers I talk to would be pleased if they could
recuperate the money that they spent on input costs this year. Will the
government examine the specifics, such as fuel costs, and possibly some new
regulations? We do not like the word "regulations," but they may be necessary.
Will the government examine those areas?
Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, that is an interesting
suggestion, which I will certainly relay. Since I was not there, I must ask if
the question was actually put to the Ministers of Agriculture of the three
Prairie provinces, all of which receive richer royalties from their natural gas
than the federal government and, if so, if they are prepared to give back some
of those royalties to the farmers.
Hon. Jim Tunney: Honourable senators, my concern is equal to that of
any farmer in any of the Prairie provinces, even though I am an eastern
farmer-producer who does not have the same real concerns as those in the West.
I have a particular concern and it is this precisely: The government has
decided in its wisdom to advance $50,000 per farmer for the purchase of seed,
fertilizer and spray material as an interest-free loan. My concern is that that
interest-free loan must be repaid by December of 2001. When the crop revenue
will not cover the input costs, where will the farmer find the funds to repay
An alternative, in my estimation, might be to not put the crop in the ground,
and the farmer would be better off. It is a horrible situation. Farmers are
living off their equity. The Farm Debt Review Board will be busier than ever
I would ask the minister, in her discussions with cabinet, to relate some of
the concerns that emanate from this body.
Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators,
Senator Tunney has put some very interesting information before the chamber this
afternoon. I assure him that I will take that information to the Minister of
Agriculture and my other cabinet colleagues.
Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable
senators, I have the honour to table in this chamber the delayed answers to
three questions: the questions of Senator Forrestall of May 8 and 15, 2001, and
the question of Senator Kinsella of May 9, 2001, concerning the replacement of
the Sea King helicopters.
(Response to question raised by Hon. J. Michael Forrestall on May 8, 2001)
The Government's Maritime Helicopter procurement strategy was not designed
to favour any particular competitor. It is based on a fair, open and
transparent competitive process.
The company that wins the mission systems/systems integrator contract will
be responsible for the delivery of the Maritime Helicopter to the Government
of Canada. This means the mission system integrator is in effect the prime
contractor for the final helicopter.
(Response to question raised by Hon. J. Michael Forrestall on May 15, 2001)
The company that wins the mission systems/systems integrator contract will
be responsible for the delivery of the Maritime Helicopter to the Government
of Canada. This means the mission system integrator is in effect the prime
contractor for the final helicopter.
(Response to question raised by Hon. Noël A. Kinsella on May 9, 2001)
The Maritime Helicopter Project and the Search and Rescue Helicopter
Project are two separate procurements. There were legal issues that arose in
the Search and Rescue Project that were unique to that project that have not
arisen in the Maritime Helicopter Project.
The Hon. the Speaker informed the Senate that a message had been
received from the House of Commons returning Bill S-24, 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, and acquainting the Senate that they have passed this
bill without amendment.
The Hon. the Speaker informed the Senate that a message had been
received from the House of Commons returning Bill S-25, to amend the Act of
incorporation of the Conference of Mennonites in Canada, and acquainting the
Senate that they have passed this bill without amendment.
Hon. Céline Hervieux-Payette moved the third reading of Bill C-8, to
establish the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, and to amend certain acts in
relation to financial institutions.
She said: Honourable senators, since we have been working on this bill for
some years, I wish to take this opportunity to give an overview.
I would call the attention of honourable senators to the four fundamental
principles that underpin the legislation and guided the government's decision
making on the specific measures in this bill.
The first is that financial institutions must have the flexibility to adapt
to the changing marketplace and to compete and thrive, both at home and abroad.
Upholding this principle is necessary if the financial sector is to maintain
its contribution to economic growth and job creation in a sector employing more
than 50,000 people.
To this end, the bill provides additional flexibility for banks and insurance
companies to organize themselves under a new holding company option that would
be available to them, thus permitting them to explore opportunities to improve
Similarly, the limits on widely held ownership of financial institutions are
being raised from 10 per cent to 20 per cent for voting shares, and to 30 per
cent for non-voting shares. This will permit the exchange of considerable shares
required for the conclusion of strategic alliances and joint ventures.
The bill substantially expands permitted investments financial institutions
can make through the holding company and the parent subsidiary structures.
The financial institutions will thus be able to choose the structure they
prefer to best suit their strategic policies. The new framework of this bill
provides as well for a transparent process for examining proposed amalgamations
of major banks.
The second principle guiding the bill stresses the importance of competition,
since competition is necessary to allow consumers and businesses alike to
benefit from a wide range of choice at the best possible price.
With this objective in mind, the minimum amount of capital required to start
a bank is being lowered to $5 million from $10 million in order to encourage
The bill also proposes a new three-tiered ownership regime that is size based
and allows for the first time on a permanent basis single ownership of small
banks with equity of less than $1 billion.
Banks with equity of $1 billion to $5 billion will also have the choice of
being widely held, provided at least 35 per cent of shares are widely
distributed among the public.
These measures should encourage new companies to enter the banking sector and
lead to the emergence of small local institutions aimed at serving a given
Furthermore, commercial enterprises would also be allowed to establish new
banks. This may be potentially attractive to retail companies that already have
a network of stores or outlets.
Finally, large banks with more than $5 billion in equity would continue to be
widely held, and the prohibition against a single shareholder or a group of
shareholders exercising control over a major financial institution would
continue, more particularly through the establishment of specific standards in
This bill also includes measures to strengthen credit unions. These community
financial institutions play an important role in all the provinces. They are
often the only financial institution in a town or village. However, credit
unions outside Quebec must face a number of challenges. They cannot serve their
members in the other provinces and they feel that there is a lot of duplication
in their support activities, a situation which increases their costs. Moreover,
it is very difficult for them to coordinate and implement national joint
services such as issuing credit union credit cards.
The bill includes measures that should allow credit unions to restructure so
as to reduce the structural fragmentation and increase their efficiency so that
they can be stronger, more competitive and better placed to face the competition
from other financial service providers across the land.
From now on, the Canadian payments system will be accessible to life
insurance companies, securities dealers and money market mutual funds.
Broadening the range of participants in the payments system will foster
competition, because these firms will be able to offer services akin to chequing
accounts, thus helping better serve Canadians.
Moreover, we will implement measures to align access rules for foreign banks
in Canada with those governing domestic banks so as to provide greater
flexibility to foreign banks that wish to settle in Canada. Foreign banks that
provide financial services in Canada will be allowed to have the same types of
investment as Canadian banks, including the possibility of having more than one
bank. The regulatory authorization system was streamlined for foreign banks,
along with the amendments made for Canadian banks. These measures seek a simple
objective, which is to foster a sound involvement on the part of foreign banks
in Canada and to promote competition in our financial services sector.
Together, these measures will promote greater competition in the financial
services sector and Canadians will thus benefit from the best possible offer on
the part of suppliers of financial services.
However, increased competition is not enough to ensure a fair balance between
clients and financial institutions. This is the idea behind the bill's third
guiding principle: consumers, regardless of their income, and regardless of
whether they live in an urban or rural setting, and businesses, whether they are
large or small, must receive satisfactory service of the highest standard.
To that end, this bill gives access to bank accounts. It allows us to specify
in regulation what are reasonable identification requirements for an individual
to open a bank account. The bill also provides regulation-making authority
regarding the provision of a low cost account, and it requires banks to follow a
fair and reasonable process if they decide to close a branch.
Memoranda of understanding have been signed with every bank regarding the
provision of low-cost accounts so that Canadians may have access to a bank
account at a reasonable cost.
There is also provision for two new organizations to represent and defend the
interests of consumers in the financial sector.
The federal government is already devoting resources to the protection of
consumers in the financial services sector, but these resources are dispersed
among various departments and agencies.
It will thus be possible to merge and consolidate these resources into a new
federal body, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.
This new agency will be able to uphold the consumer protection provisions of
financial institution statutes, monitor institutions' compliance with their
pledges to self-regulate, and provide consumer information and promote consumer
education about financial services. I wish to add, in this connection, that a
task force known as the joint forum has been set up by the minister responsible,
and these representatives will be working together to establish a system which
will benefit consumers.
The government will work with financial institutions to launch the new
Canadian financial services ombudsman.
This office will provide an independent, objective and impartial third party
responsible for reviewing complaints from consumers and small business owners
who believe that their financial institution has treated them unfairly and who
have not been able to resolve this problem directly with the management of the
institution in question.
It is important to point out that the new ombudsman will be independent of
the sector and will be only for institutions under federal jurisdiction. For
example, the caisses populaires in Quebec will not be able to have access to the
services of this new ombudsman, without a specific agreement.
The banks will be required to join this new office, but the trust companies
and life insurance companies under provincial jurisdiction but covered by
federal regulations will be subject to a system of third-party dispute
settlement, and we invite them to opt for this new ombudsman for this purpose.
The government also proposes a number of measures aimed at fostering the
adoption of good business practices. This includes enhanced transparency and
improved communication of information on financial services so that customers
have a better idea of what is going on.
Financial institutions with equity in excess of $1 billion have to produce
annual statements describing their contribution to Canadian society and to the
economy in general.
Given the heavy competition to attract customers who are the Canadian
consumer will be far better served under the provisions of this bill. Since
government measures always come with a cost, this leads to the fourth principle,
which constitutes the last underpinning principle of this bill.
The industry's security and integrity will always remain a priority. Any
opportunity to lighten the regulatory burden should be seized where possible.
Moreover, in our discussions with the minister in connection with the three
categories of bank, an effort will be made by the department to ensure that
regulations are appropriate to the category of bank.
Canada's regulatory system is already in large part up to date. In reality, a
number of improvements were made in 1997. There are certain aspects of the
system, however, that need improvement or fine-tuning, and this is what the bill
First, the mechanism for authorizing a large number of operations requiring
the superintendent's approval will be simplified. The superintendent will have
30 days following receipt of an application for approval to express his
concerns, request additional information or call for a report. Otherwise, the
operation is automatically authorized after 30 days.
Second, management of the payments system will be changed. The bill changes
the mandate and structure of the public administration of the Canadian Payments
Association so the public will be more involved in decision-making.
Third, prudential safeguards for the financial system will have to be
consistent with the new reality of stronger competition which we are trying to
bring about. The bill also enhances the powers of the Superintendent of
Financial Institutions to deal with firms that do not meet the regulatory
requirements, and it bolsters the superintendent power to intervene in the
affairs of a financial institution that is heading for trouble. Since we will
have three levels of sales, I think this measure will help head off problems in
Honourable senators, the measures embodied in the bill we are debating today
uphold and advance all four of the guiding principles by forming a complete,
balanced and fair legislative package.
This is why it is time to put this policy framework in place, to give effect
to the spirit of this long process, studies and consultation so that our
financial institutions may take advantage of these opportunities to the benefit
of the sector and Canadian consumers.
Finally, it is important to look to the future and see passage of the bill
not as the ultimate goal but as another step in the evolution of the policy
framework of the financial services sector in Canada.
In fact, the comments made by the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade
and Commerce will provide fodder for the next round of consideration. Likewise,
the avenues of action proposed by the various witnesses at the committee
hearings will provide a starting point for the next review.
The sunset clause included in the legislation governing financial
institutions requires a review of the legislation to be conducted every five
years. This mechanism guarantees that the framework in which financial
institutions operate continues to be dynamic, current and relevant. However,
there is every reason to believe that the speed of the changes in the global
environment of the financial services sector will lead us to review these issues
much sooner, well before the deadline prescribed by the act.
Honourable senators, Canada's financial sector enjoys an excellent reputation
and the framework of this bill will allow institutions that are governed by it
to be successful here as they are abroad, for the well-being of all Canadians.
I will conclude by thanking all those who contributed to this policy,
including the members who sat and produced the MacKay report, the stakeholders
who appeared before the committees, the colleagues who sat on the various
parliamentary committees and the experts from the Department of Finance.
Hon. Nicholas W. Taylor: Honourable senators, with leave of the Senate
and notwithstanding rule 58(1)(a), I move:
That the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural
Resources have power to sit at 5:30 p.m. today, Tuesday, June 5, for the
purpose of hearing the Minister of Natural Resources in its study of Bill C-3,
to amend the Eldorado Nuclear Limited Reorganization and Divestiture Act and
the Petro-Canada Public Participation Act, even though the Senate may be
sitting, and that rule 95(4) be suspended in relation thereto.
The Hon. the Speaker: Is leave granted, honourable senators?
Hon. Landon Pearson moved the second reading of Bill C-7, in respect
of criminal justice for young persons and to amend and repeal other Acts.
She said: Honourable senators, before us today, at long last, is the proposed
new youth criminal justice act, Bill C-7. Let me begin second reading debate by
confirming our shared responsibility as a civilized and humane society to
respect the rights of young people, address their needs, be sensitive to the
developmental challenges that confront them, and provide guidance and support as
they grow into adulthood. This responsibility to all our young people frames the
proposed youth criminal justice act and is described explicitly in its preamble.
The preamble calls on communities, families, parents and others directly
concerned with the development of young people to focus on preventing youth
crime by addressing its underlying causes. Young people at risk of committing
crimes require adult help and direction, and government should do everything it
can to ensure that both are available. In recognition that Canada is a party to
the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the preamble also
signals that young persons have rights and freedoms, including those stated in
the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian Bill of Rights.
However, the reality is that not all protection and prevention measures work.
Therefore, Bill C-7 recognizes that, for those young people who commit offences,
Canadian society should have a youth criminal justice system which commands
respect, takes into account the interests of victims, fosters responsibility in
young people in trouble with the law, and ensures accountability through
meaningful consequences that promote effective rehabilitation and reintegration.
While I have not studied the text of Bill C-7 in depth, a number of
conversations about it have convinced me that, properly implemented, the
proposed youth criminal justice act will provide Canadians with a youth criminal
justice system able to achieve these objectives and ensure a fair and effective
system that will reduce the number of youth going into the formal justice
system. It will reduce overreliance on incarceration in this country and
increase reintegration measures for those returning to the community after a
period in custody. These are desirable outcomes that I believe all senators will
A number of people, however, have argued that the existing Young Offenders
Act is adequate and that the legislation does not need reform because the
problems encountered stem from inappropriate implementation. Is new youth
justice legislation necessary to achieve the outcomes I have listed above? The
answer is yes. The truth is that more than 15 years of experience under the
Young Offenders Act have shown there are substantial inadequacies in the
legislation and the implementation of it.
Let me list some of the problems. First, the Young Offenders Act fails to
reflect a coherent youth justice philosophy. Its principles are unclear, even
conflicting, and they do not effectively guide decision makers in the youth
justice system. Unlike the Young Offenders Act, the proposed youth criminal
justice act provides guidance on the priority that should be given to key
principles. For example, the new legislation makes clear that the nature of the
system's response to an offence should reflect the needs and individual
circumstances of a youth while dictating that the needs or social welfare
problems of a young person should not result in longer or more severe penalties
than what is fair and proportionate to the seriousness of the offence committed.
Other principles of the proposed youth criminal justice act emphasize that,
first, the objectives of the youth justice system are to prevent crime,
rehabilitate and reintegrate young persons into society, and ensure meaningful
consequences for offences committed by young people. Pursuing and achieving
these objectives must be recognized as the best way to promote the long-term
protection of the public.
Second, the youth justice system must address the fact that young persons
have neither the experience nor the maturity of adults. Recognizing this fact
implies an emphasis on rehabilitation, reintegration and ways of holding young
people accountable that are consistent with their level of maturity.
Third, interventions with young people must be fair and proportionate. They
must encourage the repair of harm done and involve parents and others in the
young person's rehabilitation and reintegration.
Fourth, interventions must respect gender, ethnic, cultural and linguistic
differences in response to the needs of Aboriginal young persons and those of
young persons with special requirements.
A second problem with the Young Offenders Act, to the dismay of many
observers, is that it has resulted in the highest youth incarceration rate in
the Western world, including the United States. The sad reality is young persons
in Canada often receive harsher custodial sentences than adults for the same
type of offence. Almost 80 per cent of custodial sentences are for non- violent
offences. Many non-violent first offenders found guilty of less serious offences
such as minor theft are sentenced to custody.
We have to ask ourselves how such a situation has arisen. The high rate of
incarceration for less serious young offenders appears to reflect two quite
different sentencing approaches in this country. One is a "get tough"
philosophy based on the misplaced belief that locking up young persons is the
best way to protect society. The other approach is the paternalistic, needs-based treatment philosophy that bases the level of intervention on the perceived
needs of the young person rather than the seriousness of the offence. The result
has been some young persons have been and are continuing to be incarcerated to
address their child welfare problems, even though the offence itself may be
relatively minor. This is clearly unfair and an inappropriate use of the
The proposed youth criminal justice act is intended to reduce the
unacceptably high level of youth incarceration that has occurred under the Young
Offenders Act. The preamble to the legislation states clearly that the youth
justice system should reserve its most serious interventions for the most
serious crimes and reduce its overreliance on incarceration.
In contrast to the Young Offenders Act, the new legislation provides that
custody is to be reserved primarily for violent offenders and serious repeat
offenders. The Youth Criminal Justice Act recognizes that non-custodial
sentences can often provide more meaningful consequences and be more effective
in rehabilitating young persons.
A third problem associated with the Young Offenders Act is the overuse of
courts for minor cases that can be dealt with better outside the court. The
effect of court consideration of minor cases is delay and an inability of the
courts to focus on more serious cases. Experience in Canada and other countries
has shown that measures outside the court process can provide effective and
timely responses to less serious youth crime. Although the Young Offenders Act
permits the use of alternative measures, over 15 years of experience under the
Young Offenders Act indicates that the act fails to provide enough legislative
direction regarding their use.
The proposed youth criminal justice act is intended to enable the courts to
focus on serious youth crime by increasing the use of effective and timely
non-court responses to less serious offences. These extrajudicial measures are
intended to provide meaningful consequences, such as requiring a young person to
repair the harm to the victim. They also enable early intervention with young
people and provide opportunities for the broader community to play an important
role in developing community- based responses to youth crime.
Some of the provisions in the youth criminal justice bill that encourage the
use of extrajudicial measures in less serious cases include a presumption that
these measures should be used with first-time, non-violent offenders. The
provisions also include specific authority for police and prosecutors to use a
range of extrajudicial measures such as informal warnings, police cautions,
Crown cautions and referrals to community programs.
The Young Offenders Act resulted in inconsistent and unfair sentences for
young people. Sentences imposed under the Young Offenders Act often do not
reflect the seriousness of the offence. There are often significant differences
between the sentences imposed on young people for similar offences under similar
circumstances. As I already indicated, young people regularly get harsher
sentences than those imposed on adults for similar offences. In some cases, the
sentence imposed on young people based on their needs or social problems is
longer or harsher than what would be fair and appropriate given the seriousness
of the offence.
The proposed new bill sets out a clear, consistent and coherent code for
sentencing. It is intended to reduce disparity and therefore reflects a
fundamentally fairer approach.
The new bill therefore provides that the punishment imposed on a young person
must not be greater than what would be imposed on an adult in similar
Similarly, the youth criminal justice bill provides for fair and proportional
responsibility consistent with the dependence of adolescents and their degree of
maturity relative to the seriousness of the offence and their level of
The Young Offenders Act does not ensure rehabilitation of a youth after his
release. One of the shortcomings of the Young Offenders Act is that a youth can
be released without supervision and without assistance in reintegrating into the
The new legislation contains provisions for helping young people achieve
reintegration. The youth criminal custice bill requires that any period of
custody be followed by a period of supervision and assistance in the community.
At the time of sentencing, the judge states the portion of time to be served
in custody and the portion to be served in the community. If the youth does not
respect the conditions of community supervision, he or she could be returned to
The bill provides that, once a young person enters custody, a youth worker
must work along with the young person to develop a reintegration plan. This plan
should set out the best programs for the young person and should provide
continuity between custody and community living.
An important element in preparing for community reintegration is provided by
expanded reintegration leaves. This allows a young person in custody access to
community programs and contacts. The bill's emphasis on assisting a young person
to successfully make the transition back to the community is based on the belief
that all young people can be helped and reintegrated if they are given the
proper support, assistance and opportunities.
I should now move to another issue which constitutes what I consider to be
the sixth problem with the Young Offenders Act. There has been a great deal of
confusion, and consequently a great deal of misplaced controversy, concerning
the age at which, under Bill C-7, a young person can receive an adult sentence.
Let us examine what happens now. For nearly 100 years, under both the old
Juvenile Delinquents Act and the current Young Offenders Act, the law has
allowed young persons who are 14 years of age or older to be transferred to
adult court under certain circumstances. If the young person is convicted in
adult court, the court can impose an adult sentence. Let me assure honourable
senators that the proposed youth criminal justice act will not lower the age at
which a young person may be subject to an adult sentence.
Under the Young Offenders Act, if a 16- or 17-year old is charged with
murder, attempted murder, manslaughter or aggravated sexual assault, it has been
presumed that he or she will be transferred to adult court and, if convicted,
will receive an adult sentence. The presumption does not mean that there will be
an automatic adult sentence. It means that the young person must persuade the
court that he or she should remain in the youth court.
The Senate was very concerned about this presumption when we amended the
Young Offenders Act in 1995, shortly after I joined the Standing Senate
Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs. While there is no change in Bill
C-7 with respect to the age at which a young person can receive an adult
sentence, the bill does allow for a change in the application of the presumptive
offences. The age at which the presumption applies may be 14, or older than 14
and set at 15 or 16, if a province decides to use its authority to set an age
under clause 61. This responds to provincial concerns that the presumption of an
adult sentence for very serious offences should not apply at age 14. This change
provides flexibility for provinces to set the age at 15 or 16.
Other important changes are made in Bill C-7 as well to increase the fairness
of the process for determining whether an adult sentence should be applied.
Experience has shown that the process under the Young Offenders Act for the
transfer of young people to the adult system has resulted in unfairness,
complexity and delay. The process violates basic fairness by providing that a
young person be transferred to an adult court before being found guilty of the
Under the Young Offenders Act, the young person loses age- appropriate due
process protections, including privacy protections, on the basis of an unproven
charge. Also, transfer proceedings have lasted as long as two years, which
impedes access to a speedy trial. It also has resulted in wide differences among
provinces in the number of transfers of young persons to the adult system. For
example, in 1998-99, Manitoba led the country with 29 transfers. Quebec was
second with 23, which was nearly four times the number in Ontario, which had six
transfers, and more than double the number in British Columbia, which had 11
The proposed youth criminal justice act contains significant changes that
address the unfairness of the current transfer process. The transfer process is
eliminated. Instead, the youth court has the authority to impose an adult
sentence in certain circumstances. The hearing on the appropriateness of an
adult sentence will occur only after a finding of guilt. If a young person
receives an adult sentence, it is to be presumed that, if the young person is
under 18, he or she will serve the adult sentence in a youth facility. This is
more consistent with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which is
expressly referenced in the preamble to the proposed legislation.
It is of the utmost importance that the process for imposing an adult
sentence on a young person be fair, and that the youth justice court take into
account the seriousness and circumstances of the offence and the age and
maturity of the youth. This is preferable to automatic adult sentences for
certain youth, which would only serve to undermine the very meaning of a
separate youth justice system.
I will now proceed to the seventh problem with the act.
The Young Offenders Act does not make a clear distinction between serious and
less serious violent offences. This is a fundamental issue underlying a good
number of the other problems posed by the Young Offenders Act, such as the high
rate of incarceration of young people and the too frequent involvement of the
courts for less serious offences.
When a youth criminal justice system cannot make a clear distinction between
serious and less serious violent offences, it should come as no surprise that
the public has less faith in the system.
The youth criminal justice bill consistently makes this important distinction
at key points throughout the legislation. It is reflected in the preamble and
declaration of principles, the extrajudicial measures, the sentencing
principles, the rules on adult sentencing and the provisions regarding release
Unlike the Young Offenders Act, a basic policy of the new legislation is that
serious violent offences are to be treated seriously and less serious offences
are to be dealt with through less intrusive yet still meaningful consequences.
In many cases, these approaches prove more meaningful, for they involve the
victim. In dealing directly with the victim, a youth often comes to understand
the impact of his or her actions better and to accept responsibility for them
and then to undertake to repair the harm he or she has caused.
An eighth and final problem with the Young Offenders Act is the failure of
the act to recognize the concerns and interests of victims. The proposed youth
criminal justice act takes these concerns into account and clarifies the role of
victims in the youth justice process.
Key provisions include the following: the principles of the bill specifically
provide that victims are to be treated with courtesy, compassion and respect for
their dignity and privacy. They should also be given information about the
proceedings and be given an opportunity to participate and be heard. Victims
have a right of access to youth court records and may be given access to other
records. The victim's role in community-based approaches, such as conferences,
is encouraged. If a young person is dealt with by an extrajudicial sanction, the
victim of the offence has a right to be informed of how the offence has been
I would now like to offer a brief review of the major steps that led to the
introduction of Bill C-7. When the most recent amendments to the Young Offenders
Act were passed in 1995, the government committed to conduct a comprehensive
review of legislation, as well as of the operation of the youth justice system.
After a decade of experience with the Young Offenders Act, it was time to step
back and assess how the legislation and the system could be improved in ways
that took account of Canadians' concerns and reflected their values.
The House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights carried
out a thorough review that included holding hearings across Canada. The
committee also considered the results of a separate review of the Young
Offenders Act and the youth justice system that was completed in 1996 by the
federal-provincial-territorial Task Force on Youth Justice. The standing
committee's report, "Renewing Youth Justice," issued in 1997, offered a number
of valuable recommendations for improving the system. The federal government
reviewed the committee's report and released its response, "A Strategy for the
Renewal of Youth Justice," in May 1998. The strategy set out the basic themes
and policy directions that were taken up in Bill C-3 and are now to be found in
Bill C-7. Considerable input from individuals and organizations was also taken
In March 1999, the first version of the Youth Criminal Justice Act was
introduced into the House of Commons. Parliament prorogued in June and the youth
criminal justice bill was reintroduced as Bill C-3 in October of 1999. The bill
proceeded through second reading in the House of Commons, and the Standing
Committee on Justice and Human Rights held hearings during which it heard from
approximately 100 witnesses. Views were varied. Some were very critical, others
constructive, representing the whole spectrum of attitudes and approaches to
young people in trouble with the law characteristic of the Canadian public.
Prior to third reading of Bill C-3 in the House of Commons, the federal
election was called and the bill died on the Order Paper. It was reintroduced as
Bill C-7, strengthened by a number of changes recommended in testimony before
the Commons committee studying Bill C-3. Five other amendments were made in
The following changes were made to the preamble and principles. Adjustments
were made to provide greater clarity, to reinforce the importance of
rehabilitation and to address the needs of youth. Long-term protection of
society remains an overarching principle, but the means to obtain that
protection received much greater emphasis. The importance of timely intervention
is recognized in the principles.
A reference to the needs and level of development of the youth has been added
to the principles. The importance of public education has been recognized in the
preamble. A section on victims has been strengthened in the preamble. Specific
reference to the needs of Aboriginal young people has been included.
Other changes have been made to accommodate some provincial concerns. Quebec
and Ontario have continually criticized the Government of Canada's approach to
youth crime. One province is claiming Bill C-7 is too harsh and the other is
accusing us of being weak-kneed. However, we believe this legislation is not
about being tough or weak; it is about getting the balance right. Quebec has
even asked to be allowed to continue to apply the Young Offenders Act. In
response to political pressures, the youth criminal custice bill now addresses
problems in the youth justice system in a manner that offers more flexibility to
the provinces so they can implement the legislation to reflect local needs and
However, Bill C-7 is founded on federal criminal law and federal criminal
procedural power, so there must be only one youth criminal justice law operating
in Canada. Fundamental legal principles must be respected. Allowing any province
to opt out of federal youth criminal justice legislation would undermine one of
the keystones of the Canadian system. Nevertheless, Bill C- 7 offers the
flexibility that Quebec requires to allow it to maintain its approach to youth
Although the Government of Ontario may believe that punishment alone serves
to protect society, research does not support this point of view, nor is it
reflective of the approach most Canadians support. The informed view is that
real protection is achieved through prevention, meaningful consequences for the
range of youth crimes, and rehabilitation and reintegration. These are the
premises on which Bill C-7 is constructed.
Honourable senators, let me conclude by saying a few words about the broader
strategy of Justice Canada with respect to young people in trouble with the law.
We all have to recognize the limits of legislation. Our expectations about what
legislation can and cannot accomplish must be reasonable. This is why the youth
criminal justice bill is only one part of the government's much broader approach
to youth crime and to the renewal of Canada's youth justice system. Increased
federal funding, crime prevention efforts, effective programs, innovative
approaches, research, partnerships with other sectors such as education, child
welfare and mental health, assistance to Aboriginal communities, and appropriate
implementation by provinces and territories are all part of the broader strategy
for the fair and effective renewal of Canada's youth justice system.
A well-informed and well-trained professional workforce is also essential to
the success of youth justice renewal. The federal government is working
collaboratively with its youth justice partners in supporting better preparation
for those who work in the youth justice system. As it awaits the passage of the
youth criminal justice bill, the Department of Justice is developing explanatory
materials on the legislation that describe its rationale, goals and operation.
The materials are being designed as a resource base for provincial and
territorial officials and other professionals who need to train their members.
The federal government will support this and other aspects of implementation of
the legislation with funding.
Honourable senators, it is now our turn to scrutinize the bill. We should
take all the time we need to ensure that a bill that has elicited as much
controversy as this one has, particularly in its early form as Bill C-3, can
stand up to the challenges it has set itself. I should like to believe that the
best values of a society are reflected in its legislation. For the sake of our
youth, as well as for the safety of the society in which we all live, we need to
get this one right.
On motion of Senator Andreychuk, debate adjourned.
Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government) pursuant to
notice of May 31, 2001, moved:
That the document entitled "Proposals to correct certain anomalies,
inconsistencies and errors and to deal with other matters of a
non-controversial and uncomplicated nature in the Statutes of Canada and to
repeal an Act and certain provisions that have expired, lapsed or otherwise
ceased to have effect", tabled in the Senate on May 30, 2001, be referred to
the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs.
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Stratton, seconded
by the Honourable Senator Cohen, for the second reading of Bill S-20, to
provide for increased transparency and objectivity in the selection of
suitable individuals to be named to certain high public positions.—(Honourable
Hon. Serge Joyal: Honourable senators, I have informed Senator
Stratton, who is the sponsor of this bill, of my intention today to raise a
point of order. I have also informed Senator Beaudoin who was listed on the
Order Paper to speak today.
My point of order relates to Bill S-20, to provide for increased transparency
and objectivity in the selection of suitable individuals to be named to certain
high-profile public positions. I do not want to take part in the debate today on
the merits of the substance of the bill, but I want to raise the formal issue of
the Royal Consent. In my opinion, that issue has to be determined in order to
validly adopt this bill.
If I understand the objective of this bill, it is to provide that, in the
future, the positions listed under Schedule, Part 1 of the bill will be the
subject of compulsory procedures for any minister of the Crown who proposes the
appointment of a person to fill one of those positions. Most of those positions
are covered by the Constitution Act. For instance, the lieutenant governor of a
province is appointed under section 58 of the Constitution Act. Senators are
appointed under section 24 of the Constitution Act. Judges on the second part of
the annex are appointed under section 96 of the Constitution Act.
There is one position that is of a special nature, and that is the position
of Governor General. In the case of the Governor General, nothing in the form of
a statute provides for the appointment of the candidate. It is still the
absolute prerogative of the sovereign to choose and select whomever she or he
wants to appoint to act in her or his capacity.
The objective of this bill would fetter the prerogative, either the way we
know it in terms of the Governor General in Council appointing one of the other
positions listed in the schedule or the prerogative of Her Majesty as it stands
now. As I understand the prerogative of Her Majesty in appointing her
representative to act on her behalf under the Crown of Canada, Her Majesty can
appoint whomever she wishes without giving any reasons or any explanations. She
still has an absolute prerogative in terms of statutes.
Again, I am not pronouncing on the merits or substance of the bill. As I read
clause 9, the minister of the Crown shall first propose the appointment and then
the Senate shall invite the person. It is an obligation. It is not just a
possibility; it is not just a discretion.
I am not pronouncing on the merits of this bill, but its real effect is to
fetter the prerogative of the Crown, either the Queen acting on her own behalf
as the Crown of Canada or a minister of the Crown proposing candidates to the
Governor General in Council for appointment.
If we are to validly adopt this legislation — and, again, I am not
pronouncing against this bill — I think we should make that point clear. It is a
very important element, and I would not like to delay the debate that is to take
place and that has already started in our chamber. I defer to Senator Beaudoin
who allowed me to raise this point of order. I am not asking the Speaker to
delay the debate. That issue could be taken under advisement and the Speaker
could inform this chamber, at the proper time, of his decision. We would be
taking an important initiative that is of a constitutional nature, because all
of these positions are covered by the Constitution of Canada in one way or
If we are to proceed constitutionally with this bill, I would be grateful if
His Honour could enlighten our debates with his ruling.
Hon. Terry Stratton: Honourable senators, the Honourable Senator Joyal
is possibly correct, and I will not argue that. This matter could be discussed
in the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs and a
determination could be made in that committee.
Senator Molgat ruled in relation to the Royal Assent bill. He stated that as
long as the Royal Consent is added to the bill before it is finally passed in
the House of Commons, then we should be okay.
That discussion could take place in committee. The Royal Consent would be
required as to the appointment, and we could carry on.
Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable
senators, Senator Joyal raises an interesting question. If I understand him
correctly, he has indicated that, rather than looking upon this as a point of
order that could impede or indeed cause the suspension of debate on the
principle of the bill, we examine this question and have guidance from the
The point of order having been raised, perhaps it would be better to not ask
that there be a ruling from His Honour but rather that notice be taken of the
question that has been raised. Should His Honour rule that the point of order is
well taken and therefore that the bill is out of order, we could not proceed
with the bill. I do not think that was the intent, as I heard Senator Joyal. My
first point, then, would be that perhaps we ask of His Honour that he take
notice of the question so that he might do some research and that he not
consider this a point of order in the ordinary sense that would hold up debate
on the principle of the bill.
I think that the authority of the executive is not ultimately impeded by the
bill. The executive maintains its authority to make an appointment. My
understanding of the bill is that there may be some advice given, and there may
be some recommendations as to tests for qualification. The pith and substance of
the objection that has been well made and raised by Senator Joyal is whether the
bill would impinge upon the authority of the executive, therefore requiring a
Royal Consent, because it would interfere with the appointment power. I think
the committee will find when it examines Bill S-20 that in actual fact it does
not modify the final executive decision of the Crown. Nowhere does it state that
the purpose of this bill is to impede the authority of the Crown in exercising
its appointment powers but rather to set in place some transparency measures.
Honourable senators, we are dealing with an unusual circumstance. It is like
a point of order, but even the senator who raised the matter, as I have
understood him — and I would concur with him — suggests that we treat it more by
taking note of the concern, such that the progress of the debate on the
principle of the bill and the bill's referral to committee, should that occur,
not be impeded.
Hon. Gérald-A. Beaudoin: Honourable senators, I deliberately left the
position of the Governor General to one side, because there is definitely, as
Senator Joyal has said, a question of prerogative involved. I am not prepared
today to speak to the point of order in general terms because it is a matter
requiring some research.
However, since I have decided not to speak of the Governor General or indeed
the monarchy, I am prepared to speak on two other matters, specifically the
justices of the Supreme Court and the senior officials of government. I think it
possible to take the question raised by Senator Joyal on prerogative under
Honourable senators, if we want to consider all matters of prerogative
simultaniously and adjourn the debate until the Speaker of the Senate provides a
ruling, I would willingly accept this decision. I am ready to speak to
everything except Royal Prerogative.
Senator Joyal: I thank Senator Kinsella for his remarks. I share his
opinion that the Crown can signify Royal Consent at any point before the vote is
taken at third reading. Honourable senators will remember that a year ago, on
Bill C-20, we had an unexpected situation. Notice was given to this chamber by a
member of the Privy Council, on behalf of the Crown, that Royal Consent was
conferred and we finally voted on third reading of Bill C-20.
I have absolutely no reservation about the debate continuing. The bill can be
referred to committee where we can hear witnesses. The committee can report and
we can proceed to third reading debate in the chamber. When His Honour sees fit,
he can inform this chamber of his ruling. The final decision on the question of
Royal Consent is in the hands of the Speaker. We can raise that issue in
committee, but we must leave the final decision on this in the hands of the
proper authority in this chamber.
The Hon. the Speaker: As no other honourable senator wishes to speak,
I will take the matter under advisement. Perhaps I should clarify, however, what
I am taking under advisement.
Senator Joyal has raised an important question on the requirement for Royal
Consent under Bill S-20 specifically as it relates to the appointment of a
Governor General, along with other matters that may be relevant. We have the
precedent from the last Parliament in the ruling of the Chair and in my position
as Speaker, I accept that, according to the authorities, Royal Consent can be
given at any time before third reading of a bill. Accordingly, debate on the
matter can proceed while I have the matter under consideration.
If I understood correctly, Senator Beaudoin indicated that he may wish to
address this point of order later. That would be unusual, although there is
precedent for it. I do not believe that discussion on the point of order should
continue for very long because, until all comment has been received and the
Speaker has indicated that he has heard enough, the matter is open for further
Does Senator Beaudoin wish to comment further at a later date? If he does, I
will rule now on when he may do that. I would not want to wait longer than
tomorrow for that comment.
Senator Beaudoin: I accept that we can continue with our study of the
substance of the bill since, as His Honour has stated, there is precedent for
that. I will not come back to the point of order because this precedent solves
the problem for the moment.
The Hon. the Speaker: I take it there is no request to return to the
point of order. Accordingly, I have heard enough on the point of order and I
will take the question under consideration. I rule that it is appropriate, as we
have in the past, to continue with the debate, because the issue under
consideration is the requirement for Royal Consent, which can be given at a
Senator Beaudoin: Honourable senators, I wish to say a few words on
Bill S-20. The purpose of this bill is to increase transparency and objectivity
in the selection of suitable individuals to be named to certain high public
positions. No one can stand against what is good and right. Bill S-20 generates
a definite interest.
It proposes the establishment of a nominations committee of the Privy
Council. This committee would develop criteria and procedures for identifying
suitable individuals for certain positions.
In this respect, there are two categories. The first one includes the
following positions: Governor General, Chief Justice of Canada, Speaker of the
Senate, lieutenant-governor of a province, commissioner of a territory, judge of
the Supreme Court of Canada and senator. The second category includes the
following positions: judge of the Federal Court of Canada and judge of the
Before recommending an appointment, the minister responsible must announce it
either by giving notice in both Houses of Parliament or by publication in the
Finally, a parliamentary hearing would be held to discuss the incumbent's
eligibility and qualifications for the position and his views on the
responsibilities of the position. In case of an emergency, the hearing could
take place before the Committee of the Whole of the Senate. The appointment
could also, in certain cases, be made without a parliamentary hearing.
In our democratic system, there is always room for improvement. Thus, for
example, we know that a strong, independent and impartial judiciary must be at
the foundation of any democracy. Fortunately, this is the case in Canada. Since
the Act of Settlement, 1701, which comes to us from the United Kingdom, we have
had an independent judicial system. In a recent case, the Supreme Court held up
the preamble to our Constitution as the basis for an independent judiciary.
We have been monitoring the constitutionality of our laws since at least
1865, since the Colonial Laws Validity Act. This monitoring is rigorous. We have
seen it in the way powers have been shared within the Canadian federation since
1867 and, in the case of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, since
1982. The highest court in the land based 450 of its decisions on our Charter of
Rights and Freedoms. This is extraordinary! This legislation is undoubtedly one
of the cornerstones of our democracy.
As we know, there are two other important branches: the legislative and the
executive. The Americans were the first in the modern era to base their
constitution on the balance between the three major branches of government.
Our parliamentary system comes to us from the United Kingdom. We know that we
have three major branches in Canada but, in many cases, the legislative and
executive branches are inter-related. We know that nowadays, if there is a
majority government, the prime minister controls both the executive and
legislative branches. Still, our rules ensure a certain balance between these
Bill S-20 intends to go much further. Legislative power must be bolstered.
Professor Savoie has pointed this out in his writings. I therefore support
having the appointments of certain major servants of the state ratified by the
legislative branch. This was mentioned in connection with Supreme Court justices
and senior public officials.
The United States' system of selecting its justices of the Supreme Court is
well known. The Senate judicial committee must approve the President's Supreme
According to court history, some were not accepted, either wrongly or
rightly, but by far the majority were.
There were such cases in the days of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and again
more recently. The American system merits consideration. I recall that Justice
La Forest of our Supreme Court suggested such a thing when he left the court.
I am not convinced this is the way to go. It is possible that such a system
would politicize the legal system. At this time, I am not in favour of such an
I would, however, suggest that the Prime Minister of Canada consult the
Solicitor General of the province concerned, but I would leave the final
decision up to the head of the executive.
As for the senior officials, this is another case entirely. In the
Beaudoin-Dobbie report, we proposed that the Senate play a role in ratifying
appointments for the heads of such federal institutions as the Bank of Canada,
the CBC, the National Film Board, the Canada Council, the CRTC, the National
Energy Board and the Canadian Transportation Agency.
This would enhance our democratic values and strengthen the legislative
branch of the state. The parliamentary system needs reinforcing in today's
world, and not just in Canada. A number of democracies have addressed this issue
recently, and were right to do so, in my opinion.
This bill should be thoroughly studied, for example, by the Standing Senate
Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs.
In recent months, senior officials of government have been heard in Committee
of the Whole here in the Senate before their confirmation in their senior
positions. I support this approach strongly. We are thus improving the
parliamentary system without having to amend the Constitution. This, honourable
senators, is an approach worth exploring.
Hon. Roch Bolduc: Honourable senators, my remarks may be off-topic, or
very nearly so. I have two concerns. The first, as Senator Beaudoin mentioned,
is a certain balance of power, and, second, is the role of the Senate.
In this regard, I am not convinced senators must have a say in the
appointment of the Governor General, lieutenant-governors or senators.
As concerns the justices of the Supreme Court, I would support having a say
in their appointment. I exclude Senator Joyal's objection. However, as it
concerns having a say in the appointment of the other justices, I am not
certain, because we would have to consider quite a number of appointments. If a
Senate committee decided to examine the appointment of 1,000 justices and had a
say in all of these cases, it would be a cumbersome process.
The government, though, has the discretionary power to appoint deputy
ministers and the presidents of Crown corporations and administrative tribunals.
That amounts to a lot of people. I think the government must be reminded of the
importance of appointments to the senior public service and to similar
positions, including within administrative tribunals and Crown corporations.
In the case of the Supreme Court, it seems to me we would improve the process
if a say were permitted. In interpreting the Charter, the justices of the
Supreme Court continually make value judgements, and the values are often
contradictory, hence the importance of questioning them in order to have their
point of view.
As regards the appointment of deputy ministers, I would not necessarily
agree. I will tell you why. In the American system, the departments are created
by laws that include statutory powers given to the head of the department. This
means that heads of departments in the United States have real powers.
Those like me who are familiar with the history of U.S. administration over
the last 50 or 100 years will know that these people do not represent the
President. They have an act to administer and they administer it. In fact, each
department deals with its own business and the whole administration operates in
In Canada, a minister is part of the cabinet and makes decisions. He is
generally advised by a competent deputy minister. Therefore, I would not subject
deputy ministers to questions relating to the advice that they provide to their
minister. Such advice is based on their profile, training, experience, values
and everything that is part of one's personality. It is up to the minister to
decide and the deputy minister provides advice in confidence.
In the British system, we must leave things at that. I am not saying that I
disagree with the British system. However, as long as we live in a British
system, we must preserve this degree of confidentiality that allows the deputy
minister to freely give his opinion, in private, to his minister.
However, in the case of Crown corporations such as the CBC, it is important
that the Senate have a say since it is, in a way, the guardian of the
representations made by minorities in the country. The fact that the Senate can
examine these candidates will ensure that the government takes great care to see
that the person appointed is beyond reproach. This would provide, even before
the selection process, a degree of seriousness in the appointment process,
something I find reasonable.
I mentioned the CBC because it is made up of two corporations: one in Toronto
and one in Montreal. Some things may be done in English in Montreal while others
may be done in French in Toronto, but that does not matter. The idea is to have
the appointments reviewed by a group that operates at arm's length from the
government. This is also important in the context of the possible definition of
the Senate's role.
Right now, the Senate does not play such a role, but it is one that would
make a lot of sense. We already have important legislative and investigative
roles, and we could be involved in the review of appointments. This would be
entirely appropriate for people whose experiences are diversified and who
represent different cultures and provinces. This would be a good thing for
certain Crown corporations, but not for all Crown corporations. Some of them are
strictly economic, so that is perhaps not the same thing. I am thinking of the
CBC, and there are other Crown corporations that could be interesting. For
instance, it would be good to know what the Chief Statistician thinks. He does
not only have a technical role. When one decides how the census will be carried
out, or how external trade with the United States will be measured, this role is
not just a technical role, but it is also more than that. Appointments should be
reviewed so that we know who would occupy this position.
The same should hold for administrative tribunals. That is perhaps the most
important part. I am thinking of the CRTC for instance, which seems to me to be
a very sensitive body — everyone knows this. It grants broadcasting licences.
There is something very sensitive in terms of cultures. I think it important
that the Senate be able to play such a role with respect to the National Film
Board and other cultural institutions.
That is all I will say for now. I know that I am on the periphery of the
bill. However, I wish to emphasize two points, one of which is the unchallenged
power of the government to make appointments. In the past seven or eight years,
Mr. Chrétien must have made between 2,000 and 3,000. This is a huge number.
These are senior level positions. It seems to me that this discretion should be
tempered by some form of review of certain appointments.
As for the Supreme Court, I am not yet sure, but I am inclined to say yes,
primarily because of the Charter. I would add the Federal Court and certain
positions in certain Crown corporations or other such agencies. This is
important for the Senate, and above all for the Canadian public.
Hon. Marcel Prud'homme: Would Senator Bolduc answer a question?
Senator Bolduc: Certainly.
Senator Prud'homme: Honourable senators, I intend to take part in this
debate, but I have a question in mind already. The senator has referred to the
selection of candidates for senior levels of public authority. In my opinion,
the highest public authority is the Parliament of Canada. Parliament has two
chambers, the elected House of Commons and the appointed Senate. Does the
honourable senator intend his remarks to include Senate appointments?
Senator Bolduc: I avoided this because it will start up a huge debate.
Senator Joyal has written a text in which he says senatorial appointments are a
good thing. When I came here in 1988, I shared that opinion. I felt it was a
good thing for the government to appoint senators, because it appoints good
people. I am here, am I not? However, it has to be admitted that there was a
selection process. I am here as a result of the Meech Lake agreement: My
appointment was recommended by the Government of Quebec and accepted by the
federal government. Honourable senators, you can see that as a former public
servant I came to them more or less unsullied.
I do not want to start that debate today because I now believe that Senate
seats should be elected, for the good reason that it is difficult for people who
are not elected to establish legitimacy. There are plenty of good people here,
but the public has misgivings about us, in my opinion, because we are not
However, if we were to be elected, then we would get into party politics and
we are better off being appointed than getting into that. The solution ought to
be a bit like the French model of indirect appointment through municipal elected
representatives. We could be elected by a body of people a bit larger than the
MPs' ridings. In my case, for instance, three or four ridings could be involved.
That would not be very costly. An election campaign would not be a lengthy
process; a person would just go from village to village. This would be possible.
There has to be some distance from the party system, which already drives the
House of Commons and which is a huge centralizing factor, especially now that
the party leaders are not chosen by caucus but by the party. This approach must
be dropped absolutely if we want to have someone offsetting to some degree the
power on the other side.
This is why I did not want to address the question of senators. I reserve
that for another time when we speak of the role of the Senate and the way
senators should be appointed.
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Spivak, seconded by
the Honourable Senator Meighen, for the second reading of Bill S-26,
concerning personal watercraft in navigable waters.—(Honourable Senator
Hon. Isobel Finnerty: Honourable senators, I adjourned debate on Bill
S-26 because I required time to review it. I now recommend that the bill be
referred to committee.
The Hon. the Speaker: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to
adopt the motion?
The Senate proceeded to consideration of the fifth report of the Standing
Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce (budget-special study on the
present state of the domestic and international financial system) presented in
the Senate on May 29, 2001.—(Honourable Senator Kolber).
Hon. E. Leo Kolber moved the adoption of the report.
The Senate proceeded to consideration of the third report of the Standing
Committee on Privileges, Standing Rules and Orders (budget) presented in the
Senate on May 17, 2001.—(Honourable Senator Austin, P.C.).
Hon. Jack Austin moved the adoption of the report.
Resuming debate on the inquiry by Senator Gauthier, calling the attention
of the Senate to current issues involving official languages in Ontario.
Hon. Eymard G. Corbin: Honourable senators, after listening carefully
to the words of Senator Gauthier on the current issues involving official
languages in Ontario, I though I might want to add a comment. However, after due
reflection and particularly because Senator Gauthier addresses these questions
fairly regularly these days, I have decided not to participate in the debate.
The Senate would perhaps be prepared to withdraw this inquiry from the Order
The Hon. the Speaker: If no other honourable senator wishes to speak,
this inquiry shall be considered debated.
Resuming debate on the inquiry of the Honourable Senator Carney, P.C.,
calling the attention of the Senate to the views of some British Columbians on
the subject of Western alienation and ways to reduce regional tensions.—(Honourable
Hon. Nicholas W. Taylor: Honourable senators, earlier I asked leave
for a committee to meet at 5:30, even though the Senate might then be sitting,
and I was turned down. It is too bad that Senator Tkachuk is not here, as I was
planning to subject him to an hour of listening to me. Rather than walk all the
way back to my office and then return for the 5:30 meeting, I shall make this
speech which has been boiling up inside of me for the last couple of months.
Most speeches are made here when there is a small audience, particularly on
the opposition side, with the hope that our home province newspapers will print
them. However, my home province has nothing but Tory newspapers, so I know that
it will not be printed there. Therefore, I will subject honourable senators to
my speech on Western alienation and comment on Senator Carney's speech. Someone
searching the dusty archives in the years ahead might find it.
One hears much about Western alienation. It is common to group everyone who
lives in the west together. A westerner is seen to be someone who smokes
Marlboros, wears a wide-brimmed hat and goes galloping on a horse across the
prairie. That reality, if it did exist, no longer exists. In Calgary, westerners
drive Lexus cars and are employed in the high tech industry. In Saskatchewan,
westerners have farms large enough that it takes half a day to cross them with a
truck, not because the truck is in bad shape, but because the holding is that
big from border to border. In British Columbia, westerners range from residual
hippies from the 1960s to bright-eyed mining engineers and wine-makers who have
made their move. Now that we can export ice wine to Europe, people with orchards
in the Okanagan are praying for frost in the fall so they can make ice wine
rather be worried about the possibility of an early frost, as they were in the
old days, which would ruin their crops.
The west is not monolithic, although at times it has a tendency to vote as if
it were. One factor common to Western alienation, if one wants to call it
alienation, is the traditional sentiment of hating the tax collector. Whether
you read the New Testament or the Old Testament, the tax collector was pretty
well at the bottom of the social list in biblical times. In the west, that still
Westerners should remember that Alberta and Ontario are probably the main
contributors to the equalization formulas that help to maintain Canada, and
rightfully so. Alberta is rich, as is Ontario. There is one big difference:
Albertans hate the tax collector because they do not have 24 senators and 100
MPs. They feel rather helpless. Ontarians are able to not only contribute to
Confederation, they are in a position to milk the cow first. Ontario is the
province with the most power, both in the Senate and in the House of Commons.
At times, powerlessness is felt by westerners. That is particularly true of
Canadians living in Alberta and B.C., which provinces make up the majority of
the west. Those westerners do not like paying taxes to Ottawa. As a matter of
fact, in my years in politics, I have never found the rich side of the city that
liked to pay taxes to help maintain the roads, sewers and schools of the poor.
The Puritan ethic is quite strong in the west. If you are poor, it may well
be that you or your ancestors sinned. If you are rich, it is because God is
smiling on you. If you are kind to your pets, make sure your children do not
swear too much, your wife has a nice car to drive, then possibly an oil well
will spring up in your backyard to reward you for being good. That attitude is
The thought of sending money east for equalization purposes is bothersome.
Westerners think that equalization would be facilitated by sending a pair of
shoes to everybody, or a ticket so that people can move to Alberta or the west.
The idea of sending money eastward for people to stay where they are bothers
them. Westerners have convenient memories. That is one of the advantages that I
have, reaching the three-quarter of a century mark, and also being born and
raised in Alberta, I remember when the Maritimes donated codfish and apples to
keep us going in the 1930s.
The trouble is that too many westerners have a short-term view of what is
going on. They think that oil will reach $40 a barrel, that eventually wheat
will come back, and that beef will be high priced for a long time. The
frustration that westerners express is that they have no input. In our
democratic process, we will not quickly solve that problem. Steers, barrels of
oil and dollars do not vote. People vote. The solution is to make westerners
feel that they are part of the democratic process.
In recent times, westerners have felt even more frustrated because many of
them put their money on a horse called the Alliance Party.
The horse not only was slow getting out of the gate but fell on its face
before it hit the first quarter pole. Naturally, the westerners who backed that
horse, which was going to do great and wonderful things down here, felt a bit
Distance, of course, is always a factor, but now, with air flights going back
and forth frequently, it is not as difficult as it used to be. Representing
Alberta, I still have a three-hour flight coming to Ottawa and a
three-and-a-half to four-hour flight back home. Most people do not realize that
as the world circulates, west winds are much stronger than east winds. This
might even contribute to the notion that we can get down here much faster that
we can get back because we are flying with the wind.
I do not have any smart solutions. I make the standard comment that we are
not alienated; most westerners have a forefather or relative working in the East
or in other parts of Canada. Westerners support the idea of Canada; they support
equalization payments. However, they want to have more of a say, somehow or
another, in how their money is spent.
One of the ways westerners talk about achieving that goal is through an
elected Senate. Westerners make up roughly 25 per cent of the Senate. The
Maritimes, which is the other area where oil has sprung up, makes up another 25
per cent. The two areas can argue that together they comprise 50 per cent of the
Senate, whereas in the House of Commons the West and the Maritimes are down to
less than 40 per cent. We are not suggesting that Ontario, like China, has
suddenly put restrictions on expanding its families. Nevertheless, the way
Ontario and Quebec are growing, their percentages are widening. We may find
Ontario and Quebec with two thirds of the seats in the House of Commons in the
Ontario needs us; we need Ontario. Ontario and Quebec need the West; the West
needs Ontario and Quebec. Alberta, which I represent and which I represented in
the legislature for many years, is quite pleased to have one of best
French-as-a-second-language school systems in Canada, and many Albertan
families are educated in French. In my own large family, seven out of the nine
members are quite bilingual. The other two went south to learn Spanish instead.
The point is that young, aggressive westerners are learning to speak French.
Every day I meet people from Quebec who hold good jobs in worldwide corporations
that are headquartered in Calgary. They actually have a leg up over the
westerner who is not bilingual. This practice will pay big dividends in the
As to how people in Alberta, B.C. and Ontario, who pay for Confederation, can
feel less overtaxed, I suggest it is out of their hands. I have a feeling that
over the next generation the Maritimes will become a contributor to the
equalization formula. Let us hope that they do it with as good a grace as the
West has done it. Of course, the West has complained and the odd separatist
movement has arisen, but I think that once Nova Scotia's or Newfoundland's oil
production gets up to half a million barrels a day, we might see a separatist
movement in those areas, too. I do not know what it is about oil that makes
people decide that they want to separate from everyone else.
Nova Scotia and much of the Maritimes have assets underneath the sea floor
that far exceed the area and the size of the country itself, whereas Alberta and
Manitoba are restricted only to what is seen on the map. Whether it is
manganese, iron ore or other resources, we must realize that Newfoundland and
Nova Scotia go halfway to Bermuda and halfway to Ireland. Marine geology is my
occupation. The Maritimes and the North will be fabulously rich over the next
generation or two. When they become a plus factor in Confederation, when they
put more money in than they take out, we may well no longer see Western
alienation. Instead, all we will see is provincial alienation. When provinces
feel alienated in a confederation, the confederation may be adjusted. On the
other hand, a confederation that is working properly should possibly have
alienation. It may be impossible to have 10 provinces all saying, "Canada is a
lovely place; aren't we glad we were born here. "Like the planetary system, a
certain amount of centrifugal force is needed to balance the gravitational force
to get a planet in movement.
Honourable senators, I will finish off by saying that, first, Western
alienation is not as great as reported in the newspapers. Second, a certain
amount of alienation may be necessary for a good federation and for good
political debate. Actually, things are not too bad.
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: If no other senator wishes to
speak, honourable senators, this inquiry shall be considered debated.
Resuming debate on the inquiry of the Honourable Senator Moore calling the
attention of the Senate to the emerging issue of deferred maintenance costs in
Canada's post-secondary institutions.—(Honourable Senator Gauthier).
Leave having been given to revert to Inquiry No. 2:
Hon. Serge Joyal: Honourable senators, I should like to thank Senator
Kinsella for his interest in the subject raised by our colleague Senator Moore
on this important issue. Senator Moore has been calling the attention of the
Senate to the emerging issue of deferred maintenance costs in Canada's
Senator Moore is drawing our attention to the important matter of maintenance
costs in Canada's post-secondary educational institutions.
Honourable senators know that, especially in the last four years, there have
been a large number of initiatives stemming from federal and provincial
governments in support of post- secondary education in Canada. I should like to
remind honourable senators of the recent announcement of the increased money in
support of the Centres of Excellence.
I return to that first point about Centres of Excellence in Canadian
universities because it is a program I initiated myself when I was Secretary of
State. This program, which has been in existence now for more than 17 years, has
produced an immense contribution in strengthening the network of Centres of
Excellence in Canadian universities.
Looking into the report, with respect to the number of universities and
researchers involved in the Centres of Excellence, in New Brunswick, there are
two Centres of Excellence; in Quebec, 13; in British Columbia, 14; in Ontario,
seven. That program has more than 5,075 researchers, 98 universities and 563
private sector companies participating in the network. Today, the program
represents more than $77 million of federal money, not counting, of course, the
contribution drawn from the private sector. This federal government program is
just one in support of higher education. To that program we have to add the
Canadian Fund for Innovation that was established in 1997. That program has
diverted $40 million specifically to the universities. It is not a program
addressed only to universities; however, $40 million of its overall budget is
made available essentially to universities. I would like to remind you of the
objectives of that $40 million.
The primary objective of the Canadian Foundation for Innovation is, first, to
fund activities aimed at the discovery of new knowledge and, second, to develop
new knowledge of facts or data, or new applications for existing knowledge.
This program does not cover only social science or scientific research. It
covers the whole spectrum of university activities: social science, natural
science, engineering, health, environment, the whole spectrum of modern science.
This program is used for the infrastructure of universities. In other words, it
is not a program that grants financial support to pay only for the lateral cost
of salaries and administration, but it is also used to improve laboratories, buy
equipment and get the necessary tools for the modern adaptation of universities
to the needs of innovation. The very heading of the program is centred on
innovation. That program is complemented by another important program called Les
Chaires de recherche dans les universités du Canada. In the government budget of
the year 2000, $900 million has been set aside for the establishment by 2005 of
2,000 chairs of research in universities. Some $900 million in four years is an
enormous amount of money. It is more than that of the Centres of Excellence and
the Canadian Funds for Innovation together in a single year. That money coming
from the budget has been complemented by additional initiatives from the federal
government in support of students. I would remind honourable senators of the
announcement of previous budgets in support only of students.
The study credit doubled the credit for advanced studies over two years.
There was the education amount credit on the tax return. This credit is not just
for tuition fees, but also for the additional mandatory fees imposed by
post-secondary institutions. As well, unused credits can be carried over.
There has been a whole set of budgetary measures in support of the students
themselves, but that is not all. Among the other expenses of the federal
government with respect to post-secondary institutions are all the activities
and enrichment of the National Research Council. This chamber, especially, has
written a page of history. You will remember when senators on both sides united
some years ago to defeat a motion that would have joined two national research
councils. I will mention all the research councils that answer the needs of
They are the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the Canadian
Institutes for Health Research, the Canada Council, the Health Services Research
Foundation, the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, and the Canadian Foundation
A plethora of initiatives in the last five years stemming from the federal
government has established and touched a wide variety of initiatives in the
university. However, it does not seem to be enough to answer the needs of
While we were adjourned last week, a report was published on May 25 that said
there is some truth to the notion that Canadians are a somewhat plodding and not
creative people. It suggested the traditional Canadian approach to the problem
is to establish a new commission to come up with a proposal to stimulate
creativity in the universities. One of the recommendations is to oblige Canadian
universities to create more interdisciplinary courses and multidisciplinary
approaches to research problems. In other words, we are faced with a global
world where we have contributed, 20 years ago, to network universities and
faculty among Canada, to network researchers, to give students better access to
universities and especially post graduate studies. Last week we are faced with a
report that calls upon all the groups in the research community in Canada to
review together their overall creativity capacity, and it does not seem to be
enough. As Senator Moore put forward in his motion, there are maintenance costs
that do not appear in any of those programs that do not give to the university
structure the whole of its capacity to face the world competition today.
We learned last week that the white paper on research and development the
government was to publish this month has been postponed to next April. That
white paper was supposed to define the following:
A strategy for research and development, investments in new technologies,
worker training and adult education.
In other words, next fall, both chambers will be called, and, singularly, our
chamber, to discuss and debate that white paper that deals specifically with
research and development. Honourable senators, at that point in the time, we
have to know what the right hand and the left hand are doing in order to have a
global picture in terms of the impact of those expenses. They are made available
with the best intentions, and they had success in the community from the answers
we got from participants. On the other hand, are they enough? Are they well
coordinated enough to be able to meet the objectives of strengthening the
community and covering, as Senator Moore has said, the emerging cost or issue of
maintenance in universities?
We cannot only single out targeted initiatives and not question ourselves
about the status of the whole. If we do, we will jeopardize the overall capacity
of our researchers to ensure that the system develops in a coherent way.
Of course that is inseparable from the responsibility of the federal
government in higher education. We all know that in Quebec in particular this is
a very sensitive issue. Every time the federal government makes a proposal, of
necessity, it implies federal-provincial discussion and agreement. There is no
doubt about that. The objective of the federal and provincial governments,
especially as it relates to research and development, and the development of the
capacity of universities and their competitiveness, is an objective that is
shared on different footings by both levels of government. One government is the
deliverer of services, while the other is the provider of the opportunities.
In that context, the inquiry of Senator Moore and his motion which appears
elsewhere on the Order Paper deal with important issues, because next fall we
will have the opportunity to debate that white paper which is supposed to shape
and frame the overall government agenda for the next four or five years. There
is no doubt that honourable senators on both sides, based on our respective
experiences on this issue, will want to address how to ensure that the whole
system is strengthened in a way that we can face world competition to attract
and keep the brains of this country. That, too, is inseparable from the brain
drain. The brain drain is not essentially a question of dollars, it is a
question of the opportunities given to researchers to do research. A researcher
who wants to complete a project will first ask himself or herself: What is the
quality of the infrastructure that a university provides? What is the
achievement of that university in that domain? What support do colleagues
provide to that university? What are the complementary facilities in support of
their research? What is the receptivity to the research work?
Senator Moore has raised a most important issue. Our debate will help us
better understand all that is involved in the strengthening of the university
system in Canada.
I would thank my honourable colleagues for their attention. This is an
important issue for every Canadian.
Each Quebecer is concerned, all the more so as the academic network is one of
the structuring forces in a society. A high dropout rate, one approaching 48 per
cent, for example, poses a huge problem for a society if it wishes to remain
It is a formidable challenge for a society to attract researchers and develop
research potential. Universities are a structuring force in our society because
they appeal to humanity's most noble feature, its ability to increase its
knowledge, to push back the boundaries of the unknown. This is an extremely
As members of the government we are aware of the role we must play in this
area. We must play that role while maintaining the essential requirements of
this system, what they imply, and scrupulously respecting the jurisdiction of
each level of government.
As we know today, the networks rely on synergy. They can no longer evolve
separately. Universities across Canada are happy to be able to rely on each
other when they share a basic research objective. The success of the Centres of
Excellence over the past 17 years is a striking testimony to this cooperation.
All the researchers we have met in the various areas of research have told us
how happy they are to be able to count on the support of the research community.
This community is not, by definition, compartmentalized. Research and
development know no provincial boundaries. Knowledge seeks out knowledge.
Senator Moore's motion gives rise to a reflection, the purpose of which is to
raise the level of debate in this regard.
I am grateful that honourable senators have allowed me to make my
contribution this afternoon in order that we may move forward with the debate as
proposed by Senator Moore.
Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable
senators, I wish to ask a couple of questions of Senator Joyal. Does the
honourable senator think that we should make an important distinction between
where, under the funding councils, such as NSERC or the Social Sciences and
Humanities Research Council, which fund excellent research —
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Honourable Senator Kinsella,
I am sorry to interrupt, but Senator Joyal's time has expired. Is the Honourable
Senator Joyal asking for additional time to continue his remarks?
Senator Joyal: Yes, Your Honour.
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Honourable senators, is leave
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
Senator Kinsella: Honourable senators, there is an important
distinction to be made between funding excellent research through the funding
councils, and whatever program we come up with to respond to the issue raised by
Senator Moore, which is deferred maintenance of Canadian universities. My
hypothesis is that this deferred maintenance, which has been calculated to be in
the billions of dollars, reflects not excellence in the management of our
universities, but abject failure. They failed to replace roofs when new roofs
were needed. Some universities did not put extra acquisitions in their
libraries, or did not hire an extra professor when they needed a roof. They were
the good managers. Are we to have a program which, effectively, will reward the
poor managers and, in a sense, punish the good managers?
The honourable senator has drawn our attention to what the funding councils
have done. I agree that they have done good work. However, they have been
funding excellence. If we were to have a program to deal with deferred
maintenance costs, we would have to be very careful in the drafting of it so
that we are not rewarding failed managers. Would the honourable senator comment,
Senator Joyal: I thank the Honourable Senator Kinsella for his
questions. He is absolutely correct. We cannot think of creating an elitist
system that will only reward excellence while at the same time leaving the
overall infrastructure in a crumbling state. On the other hand, when the federal
government addresses itself to the specific issue of maintaining, on a sound and
healthy basis, a system of higher education, or post-secondary education, it
must cover many expenses that are not targeted directly by one of the other
programs that I have mentioned.
I have pointed out that the Foundation for Canadian Innovation has, as an
element of its budget, provisions for infrastructure and equipment. Of course,
that addresses itself not only to specific projects but also to the overall
infrastructure. There is no doubt, in the context of the white paper to which I
have referred, that one of its recommendations is to strengthen the overall
capacity of universities, not only the elitist aspects of research and
development. I think universities also have a mission of passing on knowledge
and of educating. Undergraduate university students in the course of completing
their primary degree are exposed to only limited research. It is only when
students are at higher levels of study that research becomes an important and
targeted priority. That has to be addressed, too.
The white paper will deal with the capacity of the Canadian economy and the
Canadian system to meet the challenges of global competition without attempting
to manage the universities per se. We should not aim for that. We should share
knowledge that the universities, in cooperation with the provinces, will give to
the federal government. It is only in that context that we can have a program
that will address the defined priorities.
To draw a parallel, I would compare it to the federal-provincial-municipal
program on infrastructure that deals with priorities defined by the provinces
and administered by the municipalities. We are one-third partners in those
It is possible to devise a program that would meet the concerns of the
provinces about their jurisdiction in higher education and respect the
priorities of the universities while ensuring that the entire country is able to
address the issue of the maintenance costs of universities.
Senator Kinsella: I am glad to hear the honourable senator make
reference to a different model, namely, the federal- provincial-municipal
collaborative process. In the course of his speech, he drew our attention to the
chairs of studies program. I wonder whether Senator Joyal would agree that this
might not be a very good model to follow in terms of funding, for a variety of
reasons. First, in terms of effect, the University of Toronto received around
267 chairs. The University of New Brunswick received 17. The immediate problem
with that is that it does not seem to follow the generalized principle of
equalization contained in section 36 of our Constitution.
Would the honourable senator not agree that we must take into consideration
the availability of private endowment monies in centres such as Toronto? I
believe that the endowment fund of the University of Toronto contains over $1
billion. Universities in some parts of the country have much greater access to
private endowment funds. There are many explanations for why the University of
Toronto has 267 endowed chairs and the University of New Brunswick has 17.
However, I am considering the results. If an infrastructure fund were developed
to deal with deferred maintenance based on the same formula as used for chairs,
the rich will get richer again. Whatever formula is used, it cannot be the same
as that used for chairs of studies.
Is it not true that the chairs of studies were, in part, based upon how many
grants the respective universities received under NSERC, the Social Sciences and
Humanities Research Council and the Medical Research Council? It was almost a
closed shop. When the honourable senator made reference to chairs, was he
suggesting that this is the kind of funding mechanism that may be put in place
to deal with deferred maintenance?
Senator Joyal: Certainly not, honourable senators. I have before me a
list of all the chairs and the projects that have been funded in the various
provinces by the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the chairs of studies
In Ontario, 434 projects have been funded for a total of $311 million. That
is an enormous amount of money. In New Brunswick, 28 projects have been funded
for a total of $5 million. We can see the inequality, which is not only based on
the inequality of population.
In devising a program to specifically address deferred maintenance costs, we
must take into account what is spent in various other programs so that the right
hand knows what the left hand is doing. I am not suggesting that we should use
the same formula as we use for NSERC, the Centres of Excellence, the innovation
foundation or the chairs of studies program. All of those programs have
something in common.
It will probably be stated that through Canadian social transfers, which we
have been debating recently, the federal government already provides provincial
governments with the capacity to deal with maintenance costs. However, we all
know what has happened in past years. We could have a separate debate on the
impact of cutbacks in the last 10 years on the operation of our system. We must
address this issue from the perspective of the overall impact of the various
programs and the inequities of the system because that is a fundamental
principle of our federation, as Senator Buchanan has said. What was the purpose
of entrenching the principle of equalization in 1982? We wanted to ensure that
there was equal opportunity in essential services — education, health and social
services being some that we had in mind at the time. We must keep that in mind
when addressing the inequities currently in the system. This is the fundamental
philosophical principle underlying the intervention of the federal government.
Any program that addresses itself to the inequality of the capacity of the
provinces must be very sensitive to that reality. I am not suggesting that we
deal with the issue by rewarding elitism. Common needs can be answered on common
grounds, but we must go beyond that, which the federal government does in
various ways. However, we know that common needs are not addressed in the same
way in provinces that do not receive equalization payments and those that do and
that rely on them to maintain a comparative level. We all know that.
Next fall, honourable senators, when we discuss the principle on which the
strength of Canadian society is based, that being the higher education system,
that must be taken into account.
On motion of Senator Robichaud, for Senator Gauthier, debate adjourned.
The Senate adjourned until Wednesday, June 6, 2001, at 1:30 p.m.