Hon. Joyce Fairbairn: Honourable senators, with great regret I was
unable to be here for the wonderful send-off tributes for our colleagues
Senators DeWare and Cohen. I should like to add a few words of my own today.
I am tremendously sad that both of them are leaving us. I honestly cannot
think of two finer senators on either side of this chamber. Their departure will
be a loss of excellence, wisdom, humour and tremendous heart for the Senate of
Canada and their beloved province of New Brunswick.
Senator DeWare and I met during the storm clouds of the GST. What a beginning
that was for her, but with all the turmoil and angst, one side against the
other, it did not prevent us from becoming connected on a personal level. That
was when the humour came into play.
Senator DeWare has made a tremendous contribution to the work of this house.
I have been so grateful for Mabel's support of literacy in this country. Her
outstanding background in the field of education was invaluable. She has also
broken new ground as the first woman whip in the Senate. I am well aware that
that is one of the roughest and toughest tasks in our system, and Mabel, with a
grin on her face, has certainly kept her troops marching.
When I checked the biography of Senator Cohen, I was struck that her middle
name is "Joy," and that is exactly what she has brought to the Senate and to
our friendship. Senator Cohen has given passionate voice to all of those who
care about poverty, children, domestic violence, human rights and literacy. Her
report, "Sounding the Alarm: Poverty in Canada," is a legacy to the Senate and
the country. We think alike on these issues, which are not always in the
headlines but go to the heart of the well-being of our nation.
Both of these honourable senators have served the women of Canada well. Their
work and example has taught us all, and I am grateful that the spirit of this
institution enables us to cross party lines and build the kinds of alliances we
have enjoyed as friends. They leave with my constant admiration and best wishes
for happy and active years ahead with their families and always in continued
service to their country.
Hon. Mabel M. DeWare: Honourable senators, when we come into this
chamber, among the things we notice first are the Table officers and the pages.
They have a prominent presence and important role to play, but with the passage
of time they almost acquire a cloak of invisibility. I suspect that is not
The fact that they are able to move around the chamber virtually unnoticed is
a sign that they are doing their jobs very well indeed. There may be a tendency
to take for granted the smooth and efficient operation that surrounds us.
Nevertheless, I should like to draw the attention of honourable senators to
their presence today as a reminder that their unheralded contribution is a
As our work draws to a close for the summer, I should like to take this
opportunity, on behalf of all of us here, to offer our sincere thanks to the
Table officers and pages who are literally and physically among us. I should
also like to express our thanks to the Hansard reporters, interpreters,
researchers and security officers and all the others who are so helpful to us
throughout the year.
They certainly help to make our lives more enjoyable in this place. Though it
may not be said often enough, we really appreciate their efforts and I hope they
all have a wonderful summer.
Hon. Willie Adams: Honourable senators, today is a great day for the
Territory of Nunavut and the Senate of Canada, as we unveiled the new coat of
arms for Nunavut which will appear on the doors outside our chamber.
The colours blue and green symbolize the sea and sky. The inukshuk symbolizes
the stone monuments that guide the people on the land and mark sacred and other
special places. The qulliq, or Inuit stone lamp, represents the light and warmth
of family and community. The star is symbolic of the North Star, and the Inuit
use this star as a traditional guide for navigation.
I wish to thank all honourable senators and guests for taking the time to
attend, in particular the Speaker of the Senate who provided us with such a warm
reception following the ceremony this morning. If honourable senators have any
other questions, I should be happy to expand further.
I also wish to especially thank Mr. Kevin O'Brien, the Speaker of the
Legislative Assembly of Nunavut, for attending the ceremony this morning.
Speaker O'Brien comes originally from Nova Scotia and has been living up north
for the past few years. He is a great man. Perhaps someday he will retire in
Hon. Jane Cordy: Honourable senators, on June 10, I had the most
wonderful opportunity of speaking to "Youth Speaks Up" in Sydney, Nova Scotia.
This is an organization of grade six students in the Cape Breton area. It is
designed to help children prepare for the changes that will happen in junior
high school. The students have a motto of saying "No" to drugs, alcohol,
smoking, violence, peer pressure and racism. These students have chosen to be
role models for their peers and leaders in their school communities.
This program "Youth Speaks Up" promotes positive lifestyle choices for
young Nova Scotians. The students learn to develop public speaking skills and
self-confidence. These students are given the advantage of sharing their
experiences and of listening to guest speakers on such topics as communication,
peer mediation, drugs and alcohol, smoking and leadership. One cannot talk about
"Youth Speaks Up" without talking about their founder, Mr. Jack Yazer. Jack is
an extraordinary citizen who has dedicated his life to community service. As a
14-year-old boy, Jack Yazer immigrated to Canada from Poland knowing only a few
English phrases. He worked hard and along with his brother opened a clothing
store in Cape Breton in 1934. In 1940, Jack left his business and joined the
Canadian Armed Forces where he served Canada until the end of 1944.
After returning to Canada, Jack re-entered the clothing business and managed
his own store in Sydney until he sold it in 1976. Jack has been a strong
advocate for Nova Scotia's youth and was the pioneer of the "Yazer graduated
licence two-point merit plan," which gives new drivers an incentive to earn a
safe driving record.
Along with many other distinctions, Jack is a Member of the Order of Canada,
a leader and an inspiration to young people from all over Nova Scotia.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, before going to the next
item on our Order Paper, it is no surprise to you that I draw to your attention
the presence in our gallery of the Speaker of the Nunavut Legislature, the
Honourable Kevin O'Brien.
The Hon. the Speaker informed the Senate that a message had been
received from the House of Commons with Bill C-11, respecting immigration to
Canada and the granting of refugee protection to persons who are displaced,
persecuted or in danger.
Bill read first time.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, when shall this bill be
read the second time?
On motion of Senator Robichaud, bill placed on the Orders of the Day for
second reading two days hence.
The Hon. the Speaker informed the Senate that a message had been
received from the House of Commons with Bill C-24, to amend the Criminal Code
(organized crime and law enforcement) and to make consequential amendments to
Bill read first time.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, when shall this bill be
read the second time?
On motion of Senator Robichaud, bill placed on the Orders of the Day for
second reading two days hence.
Hon. Marcel Prud'homme: Honourable senators, I give notice that on
Wednesday next, June 20, 2001, I will call the attention of the Senate to the
latest public report for the year 2000 from the Canadian Security Intelligence
Hon. Marcel Prud'homme: Honourable senators, I give notice that, on
Wednesday next, June 20, 2001, I will call the attention of the Senate to the
way in which, in the future, honorary Canadian citizens should be named and
national days of remembrance proclaimed for individuals or events.
Hon. Lorna Milne: Honourable senators, I give notice that two days
hence I will call the attention of the Senate to the recent trip by the
Canada-Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Group to Taiwan from May 18 to 25 and to
the issues which were raised and discussed by the delegation with
representatives of the government of Taiwan.
Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable
senators, I have the honour to table in this house the responses to five
questions, namely the questions raised on May 16 and 17, 2001, by Senator
Forrestall concerning the Maritime Helicopter Project; the question raised by
Senator Kinsella on May 17, 2001, concerning the Maritime Helicopter Project;
the question raised by Senator Carney on May 29, 2001, concerning the Maritime
Helicopter Project, and the question raised by Senator Stratton on April 24,
2001, concerning the Winnipeg floodway.
(Response to questions raised by Hon. J. Michael Forrestall on May 16,
The draft Basic Vehicle Requirement Specification and the Maritime
Helicopter Requirement Specification which includes the integrated mission
systems were posted on the Maritime Helicopter Project Web site May 18, 2001,
for industry review and comment.
In order to complete the Interface Requirement Specification, information
is required from the potential prime contractors. This information will be
sought in the coming months and the Interface Requirement Specification will
be ready prior to the pre-qualification process.
To date, no potential prime contractor listed on the Maritime Helicopter
Project Web site for the supply of the Basic Vehicle has communicated an
intention to withdraw from the competition.
The Maritime Helicopter Statement of Operational Requirement (SOR) approved
by the Department of National Defence in July 1999 remains unchanged.
(Response to questions raised by Hon. Noël A. Kinsella on May 17, 2001)
The Eurocopter helicopter assembly plant is located in the Erie-Lincoln
electoral district (south of St. Catharines). Mr. John Maloney is the Member
of Parliament for the Erie-Lincoln district. Minister Gray is the Member of
Parliament for the Windsor-West district.
All bids received will be evaluated in accordance with the terms and
conditions set out in the Request for Proposal and Letter of Interest posted
on the Maritime Helicopter Project web site.
(Response to question raised by Hon. Pat Carney on May 29, 2001)
No changes have been made to the Statement of Operational Requirements
since it was released in August 2000. The range and territory requirements
Search and Rescue is a secondary requirement of the Maritime Helicopter and
the range and territory requirements were determined accordingly. The
operational requirements for the Maritime Helicopter are based on supporting a
task group at sea on either coast. Accordingly, there are no east coast or
west coast specific performance criteria.
(Response to question raised by Hon. Terry Stratton on April 24, 2001)
The federal government, through the Manitoba Infrastructure Program, has
cost-shared construction of an additional passage way to the floodway. This
was completed in time for the flood peak this year which reduced upstream
To deal with the matter on a long-term basis, the International Joint
Commission (IJC) has presented two plausible options for the protection of
Winnipeg and upstream communities:
an expanded floodway; or
a detention dam at Ste. Agathe.
The socio-economic analyses of these options is expected to be completed in
July 2001. Following public review of these options, a decision will be
reached as to which option is more feasible, at which time, federal-
provincial-municipal partnerships will be sought in order to fund the flood
Attached is the Minister of the Environment's response to Dr. Robert
Stewart's letter dated April 9, 2001. The letter outlines the Minister's
current position with respect to the Rules of Operation for the existing
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Finnerty, seconded
by the Honourable Senator Sibbeston, for the second reading of Bill C-29, for
granting to Her Majesty certain sums of money for the public service of Canada
for the financial year ending March 31, 2002.
Hon. Lowell Murray: Honourable senators, I regret that I was not in my
seat yesterday when our friend Senator Finnerty opened debate at second reading.
I have taken the time to read her remarks, and I thank her for her thorough
exposé and overview of the material covered in this supply bill and, in
particular, of the Main Estimates.
She will know, being Deputy Chairman of the Standing Senate Committee on
National Finance and a faithful and active participant in its work, that the
committee has had the Main Estimates for the fiscal year which began on April 1
before us for some time. We have studied various items arising from those
Estimates. We have reported thereon, most recently earlier this week.
As honourable senators know, we will keep those Estimates before us until the
very last moment of March in the year 2002. We will have opportunity to discuss
other matters as they arise.
My friend said in opening debate on the bill that the Main Estimates reflect
the expenditure plan set in the Minister of Finance's October 2000 economic
statement and budget update. To that I say yes and no. As the honourable senator
will recall, that very point was a contentious one before the Standing Senate
Committee on National Finance when we had the officials of Treasury Board before
us. The Estimates were tabled several months ago based on the minister's
statement of last October.
However, in May, the minister made a further statement, an economic update to
Parliament, which in our view overtook the October statement and, in some
respects, the Estimates. For example, in the May update, Parliament was told
that we could pretty confidently reduce the debt servicing item by about $800
million. That was good news or so we thought. It obviously related to decreasing
interest rates. However, when the officials were before us and we asked them
whether we should not therefore subtract $800 million from the amount set out in
the Estimates, which is something like $41 billion, they said, "No, no, you must
accept the October figure, not the May figure. You must not accept the figure
put out in the minister's May statement."
This raises the question as to the relevance of the May statement in some
respects. Is it to be considered only some kind of rhetorical exercise without
any particular significance? It would so appear. It is a very peculiar situation
we are in, partly due to the fact that the minister and the government chose not
to present a full budget in February, as recent tradition would have it.
We covered a number of other matters in the interim report of the National
Finance Committee and I will return to those matters and to the Senate process
before I sit down.
Honourable senators, a supply debate traditionally is an opportunity for
parliamentarians to ventilate various grievances on any and every subject. I do
not know whether my comments today can properly be described as grievances, but
I can tell you in advance that I have a wide variety of matters to touch on. I
do so mainly for the purpose of setting out some markers, if you will, or giving
notice that these are matters important enough to require our renewed attention
when we return here after the summer holidays.
The first matter I raise was the subject of a brief exchange between the
Leader of the Government in the Senate and me on May 29. It was also the subject
of a delayed answer that was tabled in this place by the Deputy Leader of the
Government on June 12. This matter concerns the constitutional convention of
collective cabinet responsibility.
I raised this matter during Question Period because two ministers of the
Crown — Mr. Manley and Mr. Tobin — seemed to be freelancing with unauthorized
advocacy of major constitutional change; that is to say, the abolition of the
monarchy. When I say major constitutional change, a change of this kind was
considered so fundamental in 1982 when the Constitution was patriated, that any
change in those constitutional provisions would require the unanimous consent of
all provinces and of the federal government.
It is one thing for the federal government as such to advocate a particular
change and to try to persuade the provinces and the Canadian public of the
desirability of such a change. That has not been done with respect to the
monarchy. The government has not taken any position with regard to changing our
status as a constitutional monarchy. Yet two ministers felt free to go out and
advocate the abolition of the monarchy.
I therefore asked a question about the convention of collective cabinet
responsibility. What I received earlier this week in a delayed response is
really a very careful and, if I may say so, well- stated definition of what the
convention entails. I will not take honourable senators through the reply
because it is to be found in the Debates of the Senate of June 12.
The reply points out that conventions are unwritten rules, that they are
essentially political rather than legal but they are binding on all those who
participate in public life. I will give you one sentence:
Conventions are essentially political and the sanction for failure to
respect them is also political rather than legal.
The reply goes on to quote from Sir Wilfrid Laurier on March 18, 1903, in the
House of Commons Debates, where Prime Minister Laurier says that, first,
individuals will obviously hold different opinions but that the cabinet sits for
the purpose of reconciling those differences.
...the Council sits for the purpose of examining the situation and, having
examined it, then to come to a solution, which solution then becomes a law to
all those who choose to remain in the Cabinet. It would be a mere redundancy
for me to affirm that the necessity for solidarity between the members of the
same administration is absolute; that the moment a policy has been determined
upon, then it becomes the duty of every member of that administration to
support it and to support it in its entirety.
As I read that, there has been a serious breach of collective cabinet
responsibility and cabinet solidarity in the case of Messrs. Manley and Tobin,
who advocate fundamental constitutional change, unauthorized by the government.
I think we can be pretty confident that this document, before it was tabled in
the Senate, will have been carefully vetted by the Privy Council and other
advisers to the government who are concerned about these matters. I take the
quotation from Sir Wilfrid Laurier and the statement "conventions are
essentially political and the sanction for failure to respect them is also
political rather than legal" as a shot across the bow of Messrs. Manley and
Tobin, that they should be quiet and refrain from advocating major
constitutional change unless authorized to do so by the government.
It remains only for the Prime Minister to answer the question I asked,
whether, in respect of the advocacy by Messrs. Manley and Tobin, the convention
of collective cabinet responsibility has been suspended for some members. I
think it has not been suspended. I think that if the government makes clear that
it has not been and will not be, we can move on from here.
Honourable senators, I do not want to take too much of your time on this
issue, but it is a matter of crucial importance for the proper functioning of
our system of government. It will become more important as we get into an
eventual leadership contest for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada.
Assuming that takes place while the Liberal Party is still in government,
various ministers of the Crown will be contesting the leadership. They will be
tempted, while remaining ministers of the Crown, to take different positions on
important matters of public policy; therefore, to breach cabinet solidarity and
collective cabinet responsibility. The easy way to resolve the problem is for
any candidate for the leadership to leave the cabinet, to resign from the
cabinet during the —
Senator Graham: There wouldn't be any cabinet!
Senator Murray: — campaign for the leadership.
In any case, I noticed in today's newspaper that Mr. Chrétien has already
issued a certain admonition to ministers that they must attend to their own
departments first and foremost and not campaign for a job that is not now open,
at the expense of their other duties. I think that is a timely enough reminder.
However, at the same time, he or someone should remind ministers again of what
collective responsibility and solidarity entails and, with a leadership campaign
in the offing, ensure that those conventions are respected by all concerned.
The second matter I wish to raise was also the subject of a delayed answer.
It concerns the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. I had asked the Leader of the
Government on May 17 about reports appearing in the media to the effect that the
CBC was about to enter into a "partnership" with The Toronto Star for
some unstated, journalistic purpose. I wondered aloud what is going on with our
public broadcaster. What is going on? I said that I thought this was a matter of
legitimate interest and concern on the part of the government and on the part of
Parliament. Senator Carstairs seemed to agree with that position. She sent
forward my question, and I received a delayed answer a while later.
Let me say a word about the protocol here, honourable senators. There is no
minister, as we know, who is responsible for the CBC in the same way that
ministers are responsible for their departments. Traditionally, there has been a
minister who reports to Parliament on behalf of the CBC, and this rubric is to
protect the proper autonomy of the public broadcaster. When one of us asks a
question concerning the CBC, it is forwarded to the management of the CBC. They
prepare an answer, and usually the minister brings it to senators. Here it is.
I put my question about this so-called partnership, and I received an
answer that, while it does not say so, clearly has been prepared by the CBC.
The CBC indicates partnership arrangements can enhance its ability to fulfil
its mandate and to get the most out of its resources. Strategic alliances are
now a formal part of the way the CBC operates.
The reply goes on to state that the CBC had announced in January:
...that it had reached agreement with La Presse to take advantage of
— that wonderful word —
— resulting from complementary activities, notably with the Internet,
special events and promotion.
The CBC is said to be discussing similar arrangements with The Toronto
Star, but no agreement has yet been announced.
The CBC has stated that any such agreement will be non- exclusive and will
have no impact on the editorial independence of the CBC or any of its
partners. The CBC has also indicated that it will also continue to have full
control of its content.
For several years now, the CBC has cooperated with private sector media in
Canada such as: The National Post...The Globe and Mail...Maclean's...La
Presse and The Toronto Star...
That answer does not in any way reassure me, and I think it will not reassure
many people who are concerned about the integrity of the public broadcaster.
Further, while I appreciate the protocol here in which the minister simply
brings in a reply prepared by the management of this Crown corporation, I want
to say this: There is the proper autonomy of the CBC. There is also the
legitimate interest and responsibility of the government and of Parliament for
the public broadcaster, and I do not think that the CBC should be allowed to go
off on its own concluding "partnerships" with other media in the private
sector. I think they are going too far with their autonomy. That is one
autonomous step too many.
My friend Senator Banks laughs, I do not know whether in agreement,
disagreement, or in scorn, ridicule or contempt.
Senator Taylor: Don't be so sensitive.
Senator Murray: It is getting to be that time of year, honourable
senators. Perhaps I am getting too thin-skinned. I always appreciate people
laughing at my jokes, but when I have not made one, naturally I wonder what they
are laughing at.
Senator Taylor: It is hard to tell sometimes.
Senator Murray: I must say that I was encouraged. I thought the new
management of the CBC, who are still relatively new, got off to a pretty good
start. I was quite pleased with the way Mr. Rabinovitch took on the CRTC when
they tried, as I thought, to micromanage that Crown corporation. I thought he
stood up very well. However, I think that this kind of "partnership" or
arrangement on the part of the public broadcaster should be a matter of
legitimate concern first to the government but ultimately to Parliament.
Honourable senators, I am sure the management will plead that this is an
economic way of doing things. Many people think that selling the shop would be
an economic way of doing things. I do not. I am of the view that the CBC budget
should be assured, over a period of years, in such a way as to reinforce their
autonomy and their ability to plan cogently for the future. However, these
"partnerships" should not be allowed to go ahead without the government and
Parliament having something to say about the matter. I do not like it and we
should return to this matter in the fall. That is all I wish to say on that
The third matter, honourable senators, is a rather delicate question I raised
several times with the Leader of the Government, which concerns abortion and the
Canada Health Act. My questions were asked in this place on February 6, 7 and 8,
2001. They arose out of reports in the media that the government had warned four
provinces, that is, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Quebec and Prince Edward Island,
that they were violating a rule of medicare — the Canada Health Act, in effect —
by not ensuring the fees charged to patients at private abortion clinics.
I asked the Leader of the Government what principles of the Canada Health Act
were being violated. In particular I took the case of New Brunswick. New
Brunswick, like some other provinces, funds abortions in its public hospitals.
That is the way it regulates abortions in that province. They choose not to fund
abortions in private clinics. On February 6, 2001, after a series of questions
and answers back and forth, the leader concluded:
...I would suggest that, perhaps, up to three of the principles are being
violated, namely, universality, accessibility and, in cases involving women in
Prince Edward Island, portability.
The next day, February 7, 2001, when I asked some further questions, the
leader said, reporting obviously on some communication she had had with the
Minister of Health:
The Minister of Health does not agree entirely with me on the portability
issue, but he totally agrees with me on the accessibility and universality
Honourable senators, I have my doubts about that, frankly; but whether or not
my doubts are well-founded is not the question. If the minister has come to the
conclusion that the principles of the Canada Health Act are being violated by
New Brunswick, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, or any other province,
then he knows what must be done. There are sanctions provided for in the law.
Let him try his hand. If provinces feel that what is being done is beyond his
authority, or that he is wrongly interpreting the act, then they will take him
to court. However, none of that has occurred, so far as I can tell. The answer
that I finally received from the government said:
New Brunswick's and Manitoba's policy on abortion services is to pay, on a
publicly insured basis only for those that are carried out in a hospital. The
Government of Canada has concerns about this approach. The Canada Health Act
applies to insured hospital and physician services. The Act requires that all
medically necessary hospital and physician services be provided on uniform
terms and conditions...
Federal and provincial officials are engaging in bilateral discussions to
reach a resolution of this issue.
As I said, I have grave doubts that the federal government is on solid ground
in saying, as Mr. Rock apparently said to Senator Carstairs, that at least two
provisions of the Canada Health Act are being contravened by the Province of New
Brunswick. The regulation of the health care system is within the constitutional
jurisdiction of the provinces. While we have the Canada Health Act, I do not
believe you can interpret that act to say that a province that funds abortions
in public hospitals is also required to fund them in private clinics. I do not
think you can do that.
Whether I am right or wrong is not the point. My point is that the government
has been backing away from its position and this is too serious a matter. They
ought to either "fess up" that their warnings were a lot of hot air in the
first place, or if they think they are on solid ground let them impose the
sanctions and we will see where that leads them and us.
The fourth matter I want to raise, honourable senators, is that hardy
perennial, the Cape Breton Development Corporation. Before all your eyes glaze
over completely, I assure you I will not regale you with a history of the Cape
Breton Development Corporation. There are a few people here who know it and who
have lived it. Rather, I ask you to look at this as a parliamentary issue.
Parliament set up this corporation in 1967. Exactly one year ago the Senate
was faced with a bill, which was passed, permitting the assets of the
corporation to be sold. Honourable senators were led to believe that there was
not only a willing seller, but a willing buyer to be found somewhere.
Negotiations went on. For whatever reason, those negotiations collapsed. It
appears there is not a satisfactory buyer at hand. The government made the
announcement that they were shutting down the coal industry and, in effect, as
far as Parliament is concerned, they have walked away.
Honourable senators, I simply make the point that Parliament should concern
itself with this matter, if only to have the Minister of Natural Resources come
before the appropriate committee to tell us what has happened. Further, we
should have him or another minister tell us what their plans are for the future,
and submit these plans to Parliament so that we can pass judgment on them. At
the same time, we will be providing some assurance to the people of Cape Breton
that Parliament has not entirely forgotten about them.
There was a time when serious matters affecting the Cape Breton economy were
the subject of fairly frequent discussion in the House of Commons and the
Senate. When the Honourable Allan J. MacEachen was in the House of Commons, or
the Senate, when our former colleague Bob Muir sat in either House, when Donald
McInnis was an MP, when our friend Senator Graham was spokesman in opposition
and government, when Mr. Dingwall and others were around, Cape Bretoners could
be sure that at the very least their problems were being discussed in
Honourable senators, I do not want to cast reflection on anyone. There are a
couple of rookie Liberal MPs from Cape Breton sitting in the other place, but
one hears nothing. No one is challenging the minister or demanding that the
minister come forward to explain what is happening. I have raised this matter on
several occasions in the past. I put it forward now. It is a grievance of mine.
It is a grievance, as much from a parliamentary point of view as from any other
perspective. We should do our job and bring the responsible minister or
ministers before some committee of the Senate. There should be a full accounting
of what has been happening in the year since we passed that bill and it received
Royal Assent. Surely, we can do that much if we take ourselves seriously.
That leads me to my final point, which has to do with the supply process. I
should like to draw the attention of honourable senators to the way this whole
matter has evolved in the last couple of days in the other place. I will draw
the attention of honourable senators to one of the standing orders of that
place. Rather than read it to you, I think I can accurately explain it as
follows: There is a standing order there that provides that a minister of the
Crown can stand and ask for unanimous consent of the Commons in order to make a
motion dealing with the business of that House. If the minister does not receive
unanimous consent, the minister may then bring in the same motion without notice
and, unless 25 members stand immediately to object, the motion is deemed debated
That is a standing order. Let me acknowledge a little something of the
background of that standing order. Although I cannot put a precise date on it,
it came in in the early 1990s. It is not a bad example of that old saw about
hard cases making bad law. I will tell honourable senators why it was brought
It was shortly after the creation of the Bloc Québécois — a political party
that we know is dedicated to the dismantling of Canada's confederation. There
was a fear on the part of the government and its advisers that that new party
might do what the Irish tried to do many generations ago in the British
Parliament, that is, systematically obstruct parliamentary business from going
forward. While the House of Commons, since 1867, has managed to get along and
rise to surpass many challenges, this was the first time there was any
significant body within Parliament that was dedicated to separation. This rule
was brought in to enable the government, with the assistance of a majority, to
ensure that the business of Parliament would go forward.
As it turned out, the Bloc Québécois did not try to systematically obstruct
the business of Parliament. Whatever other effect they had over there, they
pretty well played by the rules, as I understand it. The Tory government, of
which I was a part, I cheerfully acknowledge, used that provision three times.
It used it on December 12, 1991 to authorize travel by the Defence Committee —
what else? Also on December 12, 1991, it was used to authorize travel of the
Public Accounts Committee, and on December 10, 1992 it was used it to authorize
travel by the External Affairs Committee. Senator Prud'homme will remember that
as he was probably chairman of the committee at the time.
The Tories used the provision three times. Mr. Boudria has had recourse to it
at least three times, and I think more than that, most recently to get the pay
bill through the other place. On Tuesday of this week, under that standing
order, Mr. Boudria got up and proposed the following motion:
That at 5.15 p.m. on June 13, or when the business of supply in the present
supply period is concluded, whichever is later, any proceedings before the
House shall be interrupted and all questions necessary to dispose of
Government Order, Government Bills (Commons), Number C-11 and Government
Order, Government Bills (Commons), Number C-24, and Government Order,
Government Business Number 7 shall be put without further debate or amendment,
provided that no division requested thereon may be deferred and provided that,
if the House is not sitting at that time, a special sitting shall be convened
for the purposes of this Order.
I am told that all those bills were at third reading. The following is the
paragraph I wish to draw to the particular attention of honourable senators.
That, during the consideration of the business of supply this day, if a
division is requested on any motion to concur in any item or items in the Main
Estimates, immediately after the taking of the said division, the questions on
all subsequent motions to concur in any item or items in the Main Estimates
shall be deemed to have been carried on division.
Even if the opposition prevailed on the first item and managed to reduce or
to delete the first item under consideration, all the others would be deemed to
have been passed with no vote.
I have had previous occasion here and in other places to comment on this
system. We all remember the problems that existed way back when, when every
minister had to bring his or her Estimates into Committee of the Whole. The
opposition and government backbenchers would concentrate on a few. They would
have their day and, at 10 minutes to midnight, or even after that, on the very
last day, the Estimates of all the other departments would go through in a big
hurry. However, at least in the Committee of the Whole the Estimates of a number
of departments got very serious examination.
Under Mr. Trudeau's government, the Honourable Donald MacDonald and others
decided that this was not rational enough and that a much more rational system
would consist of sending all the Estimates to standing committees and providing
for a series of opposition days on which members of the opposition could bring
forward sometimes votable motions having to do with various aspects of
What about the actual Estimates? If they are not back in the House of Commons
from the standing committee by a certain drop-dead date, they are deemed to have
been reported. Then, of course, there are votes in the House of Commons, except
that Mr. Boudria had recourse to Standing Order 56(1), which provides for no
votes at all on most of the Estimates.
This year, I am told, the following departments actually had their Estimates
opened. I cannot say whether much time or effort was taken, but at committee the
Estimates of the Auditor General — no surprise there, they wanted to show him
who is boss — the Estimates of the House of Commons — no surprise there — the
Estimates of the Chief Electoral Officer — no surprise there — and the Estimates
of Official Languages, HRDC, Health, Fisheries and Oceans, CIDA and Indian and
Northern Affairs were examined. In most of these cases, if not all, I am told
that one 90-minute meeting was devoted to looking at those Estimates.
The Estimates of all other departments of government were "deemed" to have
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, it being 2:30 p.m.,
pursuant to the order adopted by the Senate on Wednesday, June 13, 2001, it is
my duty to interrupt the proceedings for the purpose of putting the deferred
vote on the motion in amendment of the Honourable Senator Lynch-Staunton.
Pursuant to agreement, the bell to call in the senators will be sounded for
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Sibbeston, seconded
by the Honourable Senator Milne, for the third reading of Bill C-4, to
establish a foundation to fund sustainable development technology,
And on the motion in amendment of the Honourable Senator Lynch-Staunton,
seconded by the Honourable Senator Cochrane, that the Bill be not now read a
third time but that it be referred back to the House of Commons for further
Motion in amendment negatived on the following division:
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Finnerty, seconded
by the Honourable Senator Sibbeston, for the second reading of Bill C-29, for
granting to Her Majesty certain sums of money for the public service of Canada
for the financial year ending March 31, 2002.
Hon. Lowell Murray: Honourable senators, before we broke for the vote,
I was describing the supply and Estimates process in the House of Commons. The
government, with the assistance of a Standing Order dating back to 1991,
expedited the consideration of supply and Estimates. When the motion was put, it
would have taken 25 MPs to stand and object. Only the Tories, who are not 25 in
that place, stood. The Bloc Québécois did not stand. The Canadian Alliance did
not stand, either because they did not know what was going on or because they
were so anxious to leave and remove the spotlight from their own problems that
they were willing to go along with anything. I do not know what the reason was
for the NDP silence. Mr. Boudria's motion was considered a done deal. Therefore,
on Tuesday night, there was a standing vote on motion number one. Motion number
one was carried, 157 to 111.
Pursuant to that order, by which all the other items for which concurrence
was sought, all the other orders were deemed to have been passed.
We then came to the following statement by the Speaker of the House of
Commons. At page 5057 of the House of Commons Debates of June 12, 2001,
I declare the motion carried.
Pursuant to order made earlier today, Motions Nos. 2 through 190 relating to
the main estimates and standing in the name of the Hon. President of Treasury
Board are deemed moved and seconded, the questions are deemed to have been put,
and the motions agreed to on division.
Thus it was, honourable senators, that $166 billion of the taxpayers' money
was approved in the House of Commons for the current fiscal year.
Is that place an empty shell or is it not?
Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!
Senator Murray: It is an empty shell; it is all form and no substance.
Sound and fury signifying nothing over there.
One can hear them demanding a greater role for individual members of
Parliament, and then they weakly comply with an initiative such as that.
Senator Bolduc: Shame!
Senator Murray: They demand more power to review appointments to the
Supreme Court. They seek the power to hobble the legitimate prerogatives of the
Crown. Yet they do not exercise their own prerogative — the ancient prerogative
of the power of the purge — to examine the Estimates.
By the way, where were those great guardians of the public weal in the
parliamentary press gallery while all this was going on? Has anyone seen, heard
or read anything about it in any of the media? I have not.
Some Hon. Senators: No!
Senator Murray: It is deplorable that Parliament has come to the sorry
pass in which we now find ourselves.
I tell you that in the Senate, goodness knows, we do not do a line-by-line
study of the Estimates, but we have already started with the Estimates for the
current fiscal year. We have had several meetings. By the time we are finished,
at the end of March, we will have subjected at least some aspects of federal
government policy to close scrutiny and examination. We will have called
ministers and officials to account.
Honourable senators, what is happening in the House of Commons? Nothing is
happening. For the record, so that you know, I did table a report here the other
day on behalf of the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance. We reported
to you on some of the things we had been discussing in the context of the
Estimates. We had heard from the Transportation Safety Board, because a number
of senators, Senator Ferretti Barth principally, had expressed concern about the
exposure of Canada to bearing an unfair share of the costs of rescue and
recovery operations involving international flights because there are so many of
them over our territory. We had the officials in and had a very considerable
discussion around examination of that problem.
We heard from the President of the Treasury Board, Madam Robillard, and we
spent a good morning in her company discussing both policy and technical aspects
of the Estimates. We pressed her very much on Senator Kinsella's Bill S-6, the
public service whistleblowing act. There is a serious difference of opinion
between some honourable senators and the minister on that matter. She believes
that a policy decision is sufficient. Senator Kinsella has put forward a bill
that has not only wide parliamentary but wide public approval in this country.
We discussed the obvious discrepancy, if you wish, between the Estimates and
what we were told in the most recent economic and financial update by the
Minister of Finance in May. We discussed the matter that has come to the floor
here several times, Bill C-4, the establishment of the Canada Foundation for
Sustainable Development Technology, and we condemned the process by which an
agency was created and funded to the extent of $100 million without prior
The Chairman of the Public Service Commission appeared before us. We
discussed such problems as the practice of limiting competition for federal jobs
to only select areas of the country. We discussed official languages and
Senators, especially Senator Bolduc, were concerned about the merit principle
in the selection and promotion of public servants. In particular he had in mind
such new quangos of federal agencies as Parks Canada and Canada Customs and
Revenue Agency, which by a previous law passed in Parliament a year or two ago
have been put at some remove from parliamentary oversight.
We discussed all those matters and we have many more to discuss as the fiscal
year continues. I simply make the point that we in this place do a much better
job than our friends and counterparts in the House of Commons, although it is
our job and their ancient prerogative to wield the power of the purse.
Hon. Jim Tunney: Honourable senators, in an excellent address the
previous speaker briefly mentioned the CBC. I should like to follow on with that
and refer only to CBC radio. I am a rather reluctant fan of CBC radio. In my
area, it is the best we have. It comes out of Toronto to my farm and home. I
would like to remind honourable senators and the CBC that the grammar in
programming and news reporting is becoming atrocious.
The so-called control room is out of control much of the time in that the
volume goes up and goes down, depending on whether the program coming across is
live or taped .
In many interviews and in programs that are taped the language is foul. I
suppose it is intended to be entertaining, but it is not. It seems that we must
tolerate this foul language, as nothing happens, regardless of how many times I
phone CBC in Toronto and complain.
Hon. Tommy Banks: I wish to assure the honourable senator opposite, in
spite of my laughing, that first of all I am in awe of the performance just
given. Second, I wish to assure Senator Murray, as he well knows, that I was
never laughing at him in derision, and never would.
Hon. Edward M. Lawson: In view of the criticism of the House of
Commons, is Senator Murray suggesting it might be timely to change the House of
Commons from an elected body to an appointed body so it may attract those people
who take their job more seriously?
Senator Murray: Perhaps we should abolish the place and keep the
Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!
The Hon. the Speaker: Is the house ready for the question?
Hon. Senators: Question!
The Hon. the Speaker: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to
adopt the motion?
The Hon. the Speaker informed the Senate that the following communication had
June 14, 2001
I have the honour to inform you that the Right Honourable Adrienne
Clarkson, Governor General of Canada, will proceed to the Senate Chamber
today, the 14th day of June, 2001, at 17:00, for the purpose of giving Royal
Assent to certain bills of law.
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
Senator Robichaud, P.C.).
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I have been asked under
this order to make a ruling. I have no ruling, but I have a statement I wish to
You will recall that earlier this month, on June 5, Senator Joyal raised a
point of order with respect to the possible requirement for Royal Consent in
relation to Bill S-20. This bill, sponsored by Senator Stratton, seeks to
establish a particular process within the Privy Council for the appointment of
individuals to certain government positions.
In presenting his case, Senator Joyal urged me as Speaker to take the time
necessary to study this matter, since it involved an important constitutional
question. For his part, Senator Stratton suggested that the matter of Royal
Consent could be discussed in the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and
Constitutional Affairs together with the bill after second reading.
This was followed by a proposal by Senator Kinsella, who asked that I not
consider this to be a point of order "in the ordinary sense that would hold up
debate on the principle of the bill." At the time, I expressed to the Senate my
view that the debate would be allowed to continue while I considered the point
As I have tried to come to grips with the issue, I have found it more
difficult than I had anticipated to identify the scope of the Royal Prerogative
that might require the signification of Royal Consent when it is to be affected
by a bill. Even the standard procedural authorities that are normally useful
guidelines to parliamentary practice have not been fully satisfactory. Nor have
the Canadian and British precedents that I am reviewing helped me to resolve all
the questions that I have about the purpose of Royal Consent. I will need more
time to look into this surprisingly complex question more thoroughly.
With the indulgence of the Senate, I intend to continue my study into the
matter and report back to the Senate with a ruling at the earliest opportunity.
In the meantime, I would remind all honourable senators that it remains proper
to continue the debate on Bill S-20. There is no absolute requirement to secure
Royal Consent, if it is considered necessary to the bill, before third reading.
Should consideration of this bill be referred at some point to a committee, I
would be very interested to see if expert testimony could be heard with respect
to Royal Consent in general and with specific regard to its possible application
with respect to Bill S-20.
The Senate proceeded to consideration of the second report of the Special
Senate Committee on Illegal Drugs (budget — release of additional funds)
presented in the Senate on June 12, 2001.—(Honourable Senator Nolin).
Hon. Pierre Claude Nolin moved the adoption of the report.
Resuming debate on the inquiry of the Honourable Senator Andreychuk calling
the attention of the Senate to the seventh report of the Standing Senate
Committee on Foreign Affairs: The New NATO and the Evolution of Peacekeeping:
Implications for Canada.—(Honourable Senator Prud'homme, P.C.).
Hon. Anne C. Cools: Honourable senators, I notice that this item today
is at day 15. I am also very aware that we are running short of time today and
that there is Royal Assent pending and many other pressing matters. I should
like to take the adjournment and speak to this inquiry at some point in the
future when there is more time.
Leave having been given to revert to Notices of Inquiries:
Hon. Sheila Finestone: Honourable senators, I give notice that two day
hence, I will call the attention of the Senate to three diseases which are
sweeping the developing world and which draw many to ask whether intellectual
property rights over patented medicines have not taken precedence over the
protection of human life.
Hon. Sheila Finestone rose pursuant to notice of June 5, 2001:
That she will call the attention of the Senate to the Islamic Emirate of
Afghanistan's May 22nd decree that would force non-Muslims in that country to
wear special identification on their clothing. She believes it is important
that this distinguished Chamber not remain silent on this question but go on
record in expressing its 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.
She said: Honourable senators, on Tuesday, June 5, 2001, I drew this
chamber's attention to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan's decree of May 22
that would force non-Muslims in that country to wear religious symbols on their
clothing to denote a person's faith.
On May 24, our Minister of Foreign Affairs, John Manley, also condemned the
Taliban's decision to identify religious minorities. He said that Canada is
disturbed by reports of the Taliban's proposal that would force religious
minorities in Afghanistan to wear special identification. He said:
I am shocked by these reports — discrimination on the basis of religion is
abhorrent and is an affront to values held by all Canadians. I hope that the
Taliban will come to its senses and not implement this terrible edict.
On May 30, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and
International Trade tabled its third report, in which it considered the
situation of Afghanistan. The committee's report —
...condemns the recent actions of the Taliban in Afghanistan and recommends
that the Government of Canada actively co-sponsor resolutions within the
United Nations system which advocate the promotion and protection of religious
freedom and respect of international humanitarian law in Afghanistan.
Honourable senators, I have attached to my statement the reports of the
United Nations, which are quite fulsome and bring to our attention the dramatic
As well, on February 10, 2001, Senator Poy rose in this chamber to describe
her genuine concern about the desperate plight of women in Afghanistan. Among
the circumstances described, my colleague mentioned that women were not
permitted to leave their homes without a male relative, that windows were
painted black so outsiders could not peer at the women inside, and that women
were not allowed to work except as health care workers. Male doctors may not
treat female patients; foreign aid agencies could not offer aid to women, and
schools for girls were closed. These attacks against women and their living
conditions are simply unacceptable in our global culture. I have been following
this issue since it was raised at the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
In April of this year, IPU met for its 105th conference, where it adopted a
consensus resolution that called upon Afghanistan's Taliban to comply with the
United Nations Security Council's resolutions 1267 and 1333, as well as the
United Nations General Assembly's resolution 55/243 of March 9, 2001.
In particular, the IPU called upon the Taliban to respect human rights in
accordance with relevant international declarations, covenants and conventions,
to end the grave violations of human rights of women and girls and to guarantee
them unrestricted and equal access to health care, education and employment
outside the home.
Whether there has been real improvement flowing from the Security Council and
the General Assembly resolutions of March 9 and that of the Economic and Social
Council of April 18 of this year, it did appear, honourable senators, that some
progress is being made, even though it is far from what I would consider enough.
In a recent issue of the Journal of Humanitarian Assistance, in an article
entitled "Making a Difference for Afghan Women," Paul Barker, Director of CARE
in Afghanistan, reports the following: First, a Taliban edict prohibiting women
from directly receiving humanitarian assistance has been nullified; second,
25,000 widows in Kabul are now able to receive monthly rations of food from CARE
and the International Red Cross without fear of reprisal; third, a Taliban edict
restricting all female health care to one dilapidated hospital in Kabul was
resisted by international aid agencies. The Taliban amended their policy and now
allow women to be seen in special sections of all hospitals.
In at least five provinces controlled by the Taliban, provincial authorities
have given permission for girls to be educated and women to work in schools.
Thirty-five per cent of the students in CARE-supported schools in the Taliban
areas are girls, and 14 per cent of the students in Swedish Committee schools
There are numerous examples of women being allowed to work both inside and
outside of the health care sector. Over 50 women work as clerks, distributors,
monitors, community development agents, teachers and teacher trainers in CARE
In response to queries from NGOs and the Taliban Ministry of Mines and
Industry, the Taliban Ministry of Justice issued a judicial decision declaring
that widows are allowed to work outside the home as long as they observe modesty
in clothing, and married women can work if they have the permission of their
Mr. Barker went on to say, and I quote:
...building on what is known about the values and beliefs of the Taliban,
their organizational structure, and the positive lessons learned by relief and
development agencies...we can find a way forward for a brighter future for
Afghan women...by using a strategy of positive engagement.
That is all very well and good, and although I am encouraged by some of this
report, I certainly do not think it is enough to say that they are not
continuing to behave badly.
The leadership by CARE, perhaps, had an impact on bettering the lives of some
women, but have things really changed that much when we hear, on May 22, the
Taliban decree requiring non-Muslims to wear some form of identification? Anyone
from the West who grew up knowing the history of what occurred in Nazi Germany
will have legitimate reasons for concern in this regard. None of us want to see
a repetition of that horrific episode in history.
While the Taliban regime has claimed that the measure was introduced to
safeguard the Hindu and other religious minorities living in Afghanistan, the
thinking is worrisome, for it opens people to extremes. If this is how the
moderates in that society believe they can protect their citizens, it is truly a
sorry state indeed.
I also spoke with my colleague Senator Poy, who has been following these
matters as well. She tells me that she has not heard of any significant change.
I also spoke with our colleague Senator Andreychuk, who agrees that there has
been very little change. There are significant grounds for being sceptical, and
I, for one, am concerned.
What should we be doing as a chamber? Should we condemn the Taliban regime?
That would be my choice. Should we recommend that the federal government deny
any form of assistance it may be sending to Afghanistan at present or in the
future? Should we encourage the Security Council of the United Nations to
undertake another fact-finding mission in that state to learn what is going on
and to recommend a course of corrective action, if using Mr. Barker's CARE plan
strategy of positive engagement has had some substantial effect?
Honourable senators, I ask our government to encourage the United Nations to
investigate the situation further so that we can make a balanced decision on
what position this chamber can and should take in relation to the Taliban.
Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!
Hon. Marcel Prud'homme: Honourable senators, very often in the past I
have had occasion to disagree profoundly with Senator Finestone on such topics
as Canada's policy in the Middle East or Israel's treatment of the Palestinians.
It is clear that I am in complete agreement with the speech Senator Finestone
has just given.
On this occasion, since I strongly, totally and unconditionally share Senator
Finestone's opinion, I am pleased to say so publicly.
On motion of Senator Prud'homme, debate adjourned.
Hon. Pierre De Bané rose pursuant to notice of June 7, 2001:
That he will call the attention of the Senate to Mr. Faisal Husseini, one
of the great leaders of the Palestinian people, who died on May 31.
He said: Honourable senators, I rise to pay tribute to a great man, Mr.
Faisal Husseini, who passed away all too soon, on Thursday, May 31, in Kuwait.
It is impossible to fully comprehend the depth of the sorrow felt by the
Palestinian population following the untimely passing of this great leader from
one the oldest and most famous Palestinian families. He was one of the most
prominent figures of his people, but he also took part in every battle: military
battles during the exile, political ones and street battles following his return
to Jerusalem. As a leader of all kinds of protest against the occupant, he was
roughed up, injured and jailed like others. He knew each and every part of
Jerusalem but, above all, he had established exceptional ties with the
The huge cortège accompanying the body of this illustrious person showed the
unique place that he had in the heart of every Palestinian. The funeral
procession left Ramallah, in the independent territory of the West Bank, with
Mr. Arafat and other leaders of the Palestinian Authority in attendance, and
made its way to Orient House, in East Jerusalem, the unofficial headquarters of
the Palestine Liberation Organization, which was under the responsibility of
Faisal Husseini. In fact, Orient House is located in a building that had
belonged to the Husseini family for generations.
Over 20,000 Palestinians accompanied the body of Faisal Husseini to the
mosque compound, where it was laid to rest next to Abdel Kader al-Husseini, the
father of the deceased, who was killed in 1948 in the battle of Kastel, near
Behind a sea of Palestinian flags, it was truly a show of independence such
as had not been seen since 1967, when Israel conquered the eastern part of the
city. People symbolically regained control of the area in an atmosphere of joy
and warmth, singing slogans and raising their flag over the Damascus Gate, on
the walls of the Old City. This was also a peaceful event, without any
confrontations, as law enforcement services were kept some distance away. In the
evening, when the last participants calmly left the compound, each side was
pleased with how the day had gone.
Faisal Husseini was born in Baghdad, in 1940, after his father, Abdel Kader
Husseini, the scion of an illustrious Jerusalem family, had been expelled from
Palestine for leading, along with others, the great Arab revolt of 1936.
Abdel Kader Husseini came back secretly to Palestine in 1947, where he took
part in the nationalist struggle before being killed in 1948, with a gun in his
hands, in Kastel, a small village close to Jerusalem. Palestinians, who had
managed to win the battle, demobilized to attend his funeral, thus leaving the
town to the Jews. It was on the following day that the Deir Yassin massacre took
place, when 250 Palestinians were killed by extremist Jews of the Irgun.
After being expelled from Iraq, Kader Husseini's family went to Saudi Arabia,
and then to Egypt, where Faisal graduated from the military academy, before
joining Fatah's military school for officers, for which he became responsible,
in Syria and then in Lebanon.
In 1967, when East Jerusalem was occupied, he secretly made his way to the
West Bank, by the Jordan River, for a first reconnaissance mission, and then
travelled to the East Bank to ask his friends to do the same before Israelis
shut the border. After their refusal, he committed his first act of disobedience
and made his way back to Jerusalem.
He was then imprisoned for a year by the Israelis because of the discovery in
his home of a weapon apparently handed over to him by Yasser Arafat during his
clandestine stay on the West Bank after the war. In 1979, along with a number of
Palestinian intellectuals, he founded the Arab Studies Society in East Jerusalem
which went on to become Orient House, considered the unofficial headquarters of
the PLO in Jerusalem. During the 1980s, Faisal Husseini was placed under house
arrest on a number of occasions for his activism, and subjected to
administrative detention without a trial. This was the case particularly in July
1988 when Jordan's King Hussein broke all ties with the West Bank, and Faisal
Husseini drafted a declaration of independence for Palestine within the borders
set by the UN territorial division of 1947.
Faisal Husseini was one of the key figures behind the first Palestinian
Intifada, from 1987 to 1993, and one of the handful of Palestinian
"representatives of the population of the occupied territories" whom the
Jewish State deemed suitable participants in the peace process. As such, along
with certain others, Hanan Ashrawi in particular, he met on a number of
occasions with then U.S. Secretary of State, James Baker, the key architect of
the peace process.
Neither Faisal Husseini nor any of the other Palestinian negotiators ever
agreed to give in to Israeli demands that they break ties with the PLO. It
remained their point of reference, and Yasser Arafat their mentor. In fact, it
was the latter who designated Husseini to dialogue with James Baker and who
entrusted him with the selection of the other members of the Palestinian
He was respected by Palestinians of all backgrounds, because of his
distinguished lineage and his elegance of manner, coupled with great discretion
and humility that were only equalled by his unshakeable political determination.
That respect is what lies behind the unanimous tributes they are paying to him
Faisal Husseini was a man of audacity and independent spirit. As an example
of this, in 1967, he refused to obey his leaders, who wanted to continue the
battle against Israel "from outside," and instead infiltrated Palestine in
order to continue to work "internally" within the occupied territories.
For all these reasons, and also because of his remarkable success in making
the transition from military to political life, he was able to get away with
almost anything. In 1987, when contacts with Israel were still viewed as high
treason by most Palestinians, he did not hesitate to take the initiative of
meeting on several occasions with a member of the Likud, Moshe Amirav, to
discuss the idea of making Jerusalem the capital of both nations. This got him
thrown in jail by then Prime Minister Itzhak Shamir.
Having fiercely opposed the Israeli occupation, Faisal Husseini will play a
key role in the peace process, driven by his belief in a peaceful resolution to
In 1991, he headed a Palestinian delegation at a meeting with then U.S.
Secretary of State, James Baker, to pave the way for negotiations between Israel
and Palestine. He was also appointed head of the Palestinian delegation at the
Madrid conference, which launched the peace process, despite Israel's objections
to the fact that a resident of Palestine was being allowed to play a key role in
In the eyes of the world, Mr. Husseini had become the spokesman in the
Palestinians' battle to claim the eastern part of the city as the capital of the
nation they hope to create.
The descendant of a family whose roots in Jerusalem go back eight centuries,
Faisal Husseini had such a close and powerful tie with that city that it is
difficult to overestimate:
My family has lived in Jerusalem for eight centuries. My connection with the
city is rooted in culture, religion, and family, and does not stop there. It is
a city like no other: here, the region becomes the world; the microcosm, the
macrocosm. I even turned down a job as minister so that I could continue to live
Mr. Husseini believed strongly that Jerusalem was destined to become, in his
words, "one city, two capitals."
If the problem of Jerusalem were to be resolved, he said, last December, in
The Palestinian, Israeli, Jewish, Christian and Muslim factions must be taken
into account. The solution is a city open to everyone, with freedom of
circulation, and two capitals, East Jerusalem for the Palestinians, and West
Jerusalem for the Israelis. This idea of East Jerusalem as the capital of
Palestine, a solution we find reasonable and one we favour, is gradually winning
Like some of his Israeli friends, he urged that Jerusalem become an open city
that both Israelis and the Palestinians could call their capital. He often
described the first time he visited West Jerusalem in 1967 and saw the Israelis
"as people and not only as soldiers." He talked about seeing "weak people,
strong people, intelligent people, stupid people, children and even an old man
and an old woman sitting together holding hands." That was when he began to
think of coexistence, he said.
Husseini, the champion of coexistence with Israel, dedicated his life to
cementing the Palestinians' claim to East Jerusalem as their capital. Husseini
was beloved by Palestinians and viewed by many Israelis as a moderating force. A
welcome guest on Israeli TV and radio programs, he explained the Palestinian
view in Hebrew, which he learned in Israeli jails.
He never attained the lofty status of prime minister or president, but that
would be hard to believe from the tributes that poured forth after his death.
Perhaps no one else has as much respect among the range of Palestinians,
Israelis and foreign diplomats alike.
Husseini was at the same time a peacemaker and a nationalist, a visionary and
a pragmatist. His probity was unquestioned.
For me, having been born in Haifa, Palestine, my discussions with him at
Orient House are among the most intense and most moving moments of my life.
This in April 2000, while I was accompanying the Prime Minister of Canada on
a visit to the Middle East with, among others, Senator Marcel Prud'homme. Prime
Minister Chrétien, the first foreign head of government to visit Nazareth since
1947, the headquarters of the Arab-Israeli community, had asked me to meet with
Mr. Husseini officially, on behalf of the Government of Canada. I will never
forget this meeting. Mr. Husseini radiated a gentle strength and had an immense
capacity for listening I will not soon forget.
As soon as his death was known, tributes to this very great man have flowed
in from all over.
In New York, Secretary-General Kofi Annan extended "heartfelt condolences to
his family and to the Palestinian people for the loss of one of their most
distinguished and principled leaders."
On the day after his death on June 1, the Security Council observed a moment
of silence in his honour.
In Gaza City, Palestinian Cabinet Secretary Ahmed Abdel-Rahman said:
The Palestinian people lost a great hero and leader. He devoted all his
life to Palestine and Jerusalem and to challenging the Israeli occupation.
Azmi Bishara, an Israeli Arab member of the Knesset who visited the Canadian
Parliament a few months ago where he was the guest speaker of the Middle East
Study Group, said:
He symbolized the continuity of Arab leadership in Jerusalem. He combined
steadfastness in the struggle against Israeli occupation with a rational
political sense. This combination is unique.
Mr. Émile Jarjoui, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council has said:
This is a catastrophe for all of Jerusalem. We have lost a hero and a
fighter. Faisal Husseini devoted his life to Jerusalem and to Palestine.
The President of the French Republic, Mr. Chirac said that he had left France
...the image of a man of conviction, dialogue and tolerance.
French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin said he was moved by his passing.
Claire Bertrand, a member of the Amnesty International group that had adopted
Faisal Husseini during his detention by Israel, said of him:
He was a most honourable man, a man of profound moral fibre.
On his death, praise from the Israeli left read like carbon copies of
Palestinian leader Hannan Ashrawi's description of Husseini as a "leader of
integrity and vision and dignity."
Israel's left wing also spoke out. Former Justice Minister Yossi Beilin, an
architect of the 1993 Oslo accords said:
We lost a partner today, somebody who was a Palestinian nationalist and who
had his own principles and preferred to stick to them, but who was also a
On CBC, Mr. Beilin praised Mr. Husseini in these terms:
Faisal Husseini was the voice of sanity, and he was ready to negotiate with
us in a pragmatic way.
Meron Benvenisti, an Israeli writer and a former Israeli Deputy Mayor of
Jerusalem, was to describe him as "a man who had his family's sense of pride but
was someone we could talk with and who understood us better than anyone else.
The idea of peace, the hope for peace, has been dealt a heavy blow."
"He was a man of peace," said Menahem Klein, an Israeli professor who has
worked to draft solutions to the issue of Jerusalem's future status. "His death
is a great loss and leaves a leadership vacuum that I don't know who will
fill," said Mr. Klein. "Faisal Husseini stayed quite a bit in Israeli prisons in
the 1980s. But he was a diplomat, not a fighter. He was the most prominent
leader in the Jerusalem area."
Dr. Moshe Amirav, one of the first Israelis to hold secret talks with
Palestinians, told Israel Radio that he had been the host at a dinner last year
with Mr. Husseini and a senior adviser to former Prime Minister Barak. "He
talked about Jerusalem as a city of peace, a city of two capitals," said Dr.
Amirav. "He had a very specific plan."
At the funeral of Husseini, Dr. Amirav was asked to address the crowd as one
of several speakers. "I had the great honour to know a man who was a gentleman
and a fighter for Jerusalem," Amirav later said of Husseini.
Opposition leader Yossi Sarid, head of the Meretz party, said:
Palestinians have lost one of their highest sons, who represented their
cause with honour, courage, responsibility.
The Hon. the Speaker: I regret to advise the honourable senator that
his 15 minutes have expired.
Senator De Bané: I ask leave to continue.
The Hon. the Speaker: Is leave granted, honourable senators?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
Senator De Bané: I thank my dear colleagues. I have almost finished.
The U.S. State Department expressed, on Thursday, its "sorrow" at the loss
of "a man who worked for peace."
In Washington, U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the
United States was:
...very saddened by his passing. He's a man who has worked for peace in
this region for many, many years. And I think all of us who knew him and who
worked with him...extend our most sincere condolences to his family and to the
In 1988, George Shultz, who was Secretary of State of the United States,
suggested that Husseini would be an ideal partner in peace talks, but the then
Prime Minister of Israel, Yitzhak Shamir, refused to allow it.
Enough quotes from the famous. I would point out that the tears of the people
who were with him regularly bear witness to the strength of the ties Faisal
Husseini had formed with the Palestinian people. Witness the following comments:
"What can I tell you, we never noticed that Faisal Husseini was a
Palestinian official, he was like a father to us," said Fatima Abu-Quse,
standing outside the headquarters of Orient House in tears.
"It's a big loss, not only for the Palestinians but for the rest of the
world," said Ahmed Shoukry, 40, a family friend who was among about 100
people who had gathered outside Husseini's East Jerusalem home. "It's a loss
Faisal Husseini epitomized the Palestinian leader whose courage and loyalty
to the ideals of his people had earned him the deep love of his compatriots.
Because of his ability to understand the aspirations and hopes of his Israeli
neighbours, Faisal Husseini had also become a leading spokesperson.
On motion of Senator Prud'homme, debate adjourned.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, before proceeding to
motions, I wish to take a moment of the chamber's time to advise that we have
certain pages who will be leaving the Senate this year. I should like to
recognize them now.
First, Donald Bouchard just completed his second year in the Senate. He will
pursue a Master's degree at the University of Ottawa, in September.
Joshua Griffin has completed his second year as a page in the Senate and will
go on to complete his degree in English Literature at the University of Ottawa.
Pierre Lambert-Bélanger just completed his second year as a page in the
Senate. He will be completing a B.A. in Common Law at the University of Ottawa
Daniel Mercer has completed his first year as a page in the Senate. He will
be completing his Political Science degree at Memorial University this fall.
Laura Payton has completed her second year as a page in the Senate. Next fall
she will become the news editor for the University of Ottawa students paper The
Jason Pearman has completed his first year as a page in the Senate. In the
fall, he will be going back to the University of Guelph to pursue his studies in
Chloe McAlister has completed her second year as a page in the Senate. In
September, she will be completing her degree in Biochemistry at Dalhousie
We say goodbye to you. We wish you well. We sincerely thank you for the good
service that you have provided to us during your time here.
Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government), pursuant to
notice of May 16, 2001, for the Honourable Michael Kirby, moved:
That, notwithstanding the Order of the Senate adopted on March 1, 2001, the
Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, which was
authorized to examine and report upon the developments since Royal Assent was
given during the Second Session of the Thirty- sixth Parliament to Bill C-6,
an Act to support and promote electronic commerce by protecting personal
information that is collected, used or disclosed in certain circumstances, by
providing for the use of electronic means to communicate or record information
or transactions and by amending the Canada Evidence Act, the Statutory
Instruments Act and the Statute Revision Act, be empowered to present its
final report no later than December 31, 2001.
Hon. Anne C. Cools, pursuant to notice of June 12, 2001, moved:
That this House, recognizing the great moral leadership provided by Nelson
Mandela to South Africa and to all humanity, agree that he be declared an
honorary citizen of Canada.
She said: Honourable senators, this exact resolution was adopted in the
Commons two days ago, on June 12. It had been moved by John McCallum, the member
for Markham. This resolution is not my initiative. In point of fact, John
McCallum asked me on his behalf to move his very same motion here so that we
could have a state of affairs where both Houses agreed and both Houses
concurred. Obviously, I am pleased to assist Mr. McCallum.
I have just been informed, honourable senators, that the High Commissioner
from South Africa is present with us today and sitting in the gallery. I thought
that this fact should be noted on the record. I am told his name is His
Excellency Mr. André Jaquet.
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!
Senator Cools: Honourable senators, I shall be very brief because I
know many senators wish to speak to this resolution today, and I also know that
it is the wish of the chamber to vote on it, to pass its judgment and opinion on
Honourable senators, Mr. Nelson Mandela needs no introduction to anyone here.
In point of fact, his greatness needs very little explanation because Mr.
Mandela has touched the entire world because of his own personhood and his own
Honourable senators, this man is a phenomenon. In point of fact, Mr. Mandela
himself by his own personhood, averted civil and political catastrophe in South
Africa, and allowed, by his very existence, a transformation of South Africa to
a universal franchise, electorally based democracy, without carnage.
Honourable senators, on July 6, 1994, I spoke in this chamber. I was one of
those Canadians who went as a United Nations observer to observe the South
African election. At that time, I recorded a fair amount of the more interesting
aspects of the history between Canada and South Africa. For example, I spoke
about Mr. Diefenbaker's profound interest in the question of South Africa. I had
also spoken at the time about the unique relationship and the expectation that
was held at the turn of the century that the Boers in South Africa would find
resolutions to their problems in pretty much the same fashion as the French
Canadians had been accommodated in Canada.
On July 6, 1994, I made this particular statement and I should like to repeat
it. I said in my speech:
This stupendous event —
— obviously the elections —
— in South Africa was made possible by the social and political collapse of
the U.S.S.R. and the personal and political character of two men, Mr. Frederik
Willem de Klerk and Mr. Nelson Mandela. I think that this South African
election is the single most impressive political event of the decade, possibly
the century. It is certainly an enormous testimony to human endurance, to
political will, and to political skill.
I believed that then, and I still believe that now. Only God will ever know
what was truly averted.
Honourable senators, I wish to close by adding an anecdote now that I am
aware that the high commissioner is with us. Historically there are some very
unique and interesting relationships between South Africa and Canada. As
senators know, South Africa and Canada were two of the gems, so to speak, of the
dominion of Britain abroad. What I am referring to here is the particularly
cordial relationship that existed between our own then Prime Minister William
Lyon Mackenzie King and the then Prime Minister of South Africa General Smuts,
who in particular issues at the various Imperial conferences were able to give
each other support.
This is an anecdote, and it should be looked into at some point in time, but
I was told that the current residence of the High Commissioner from South Africa
to Canada was personally chosen and identified by Mr. William Lyon Mackenzie
King. It was an interest of Mr. Mackenzie King to know the architecture of
Ottawa. Apparently, he had wanted a certain kind of residence for the Government
of General Smuts.
Having said that, honourable senators, I shall yield the floor to senators
whom I know are eager to speak.
Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable
senators, on behalf of the opposition, we enthusiastically support this motion.
I draw to the attention of honourable senators the title of Nelson Mandela's
autobiography, which was Long Walk to Freedom. Some of the early partners
holding hands with Nelson Mandela, as he began that long walk, were a number of
distinguished Canadian Prime Ministers. First, the Right Honourable John
Diefenbaker, who was the first to walk with the people of South Africa as they
struggled to deal with the scourge of apartheid. In more recent times, it was
the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney, who took the leadership, not only within
the Commonwealth but also within the G7. All Canadians were probably surprised
at the time to see them cross swords with the then Prime Minister of Great
Britain and insist, as Prime Minister Mulroney spoke for Canadians, that the
practice of freedom must always triumph over historical practices, over material
considerations, over economic, social and cultural bondage.
Honourable senators, it is noteworthy as well that when former Prime Minister
Joe Clark, now Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, was
foreign minister, he visited Lusaka shortly after Nelson Mandela was liberated
from prison. Nelson Mandela had gone to Lusaka to meet with the members of the
African National Congress. It was at that time that our national leader, then
Minister of External Affairs for Canada, was able to form the same assessment as
many freedom fighters in Canada and around the world were able to form: It is
not always necessary to struggle for freedom by use of the sword; it is not
always necessary to kindle or to give oxygen to the fires of community memories.
Honourable senators know that the bonded peoples of South Africa certainly
had many collective memories. Mr. Mandela's approach, which has been singled
out, was one of moving forward and not flaming the injuries of the past.
I had my own opportunities, honourable senators. Nelson Mandela was still in
prison on Robben Island when I visited that most beautiful country. For
honourable senators who have yet to visit South Africa, a treat awaits you. It
is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. All the peoples of South
Africa, in my experience, are the most hospitable and warm people; from the
indigenous peoples to the Afrikaner community.
I shall close by saying that the Government of Canada, having heard a similar
motion in the other place and recognizing that we are debating a motion today,
would issue the appropriate Order in Council that there be a minute of the Privy
Council of Canada naming Dr. Mandela an honorary citizen of Canada. Perhaps at
some point we might wish to examine the process of how we would go about
extending the honour that we, as Canadian citizens, feel it is. In the fall, we
may wish to study whether we want to see a provision in the Citizenship Act.
Let me close by simply saying, in the words of one of the great peoples of
South Africa, the Zulu, ngiyabonga. Thank you.
Hon. Marcel Prud'homme: Honourable senators, it is rare for me to
reveal my sources, but I must admit that I took the initiative earlier today to
call His Excellency the Ambassador to inform him that we would be discussing
this matter around four o'clock this afternoon. I am delighted that he is here
and I wish him the most cordial of welcomes.
His Excellency will realize that the honourable senators wanted to
particularly honour this extraordinary man as one of their final acts this
In the past, when I chaired the House of Commons Committee on External
Affairs and National Defence, I was often invited to visit South Africa. For I
do not know how many years, I refused out of principle.
That may have been a mistake. Perhaps I could have gone and tried to alter
the course of history, but I doubt it.
If I reflect on my university time, I remember that as president of the
students at the University of Ottawa, it was very a difficult event for me and
for my future. I ended up at the University of Montreal. In my younger years, I
had the honour of burning in effigy Governor Orville Faubus, during initiation
week, for his anti-Black policy. Over the years, I repeated that very legitimate
performance, which showed the disgust that the university students had for the
policy of the day.
Honourable senators, I wish to join with Senator Kinsella in reminding the
Senate of the actions taken by the Right Honourable Prime Minister John
Diefenbaker, with whom I was very close. I never missed a speech of his. He
would inform my office, through his secretary, of when he would be speaking in
the House. I would be there, sometimes almost alone, facing him and applauding
him, or disagreeing with him. I wish also to pay the same courtesy to Mr. Brian
Mulroney, as Senator Kinsella said so well.
I will not speak long on this great hero. I am well prepared, but sometimes a
few words are much better.
I draw the attention of honourable senators to a book signed by Mrs. Aline
Chrétien recently. It is a book by Daryl Rock entitled Making a Difference,
Profiles and Abilities. I believe it was published here. It speaks of the
disabled, who have showed the way to live, even though they may be handicapped.
The quote I wish to comment on reads:
I can honestly say that I was never affected by the question of the success
of an undertaking. If I felt it was the right thing to do, I was for it
regardless of the possible outcome.
I thought this was fabulous. It is signed, Golda Meir.
I was very disturbed when I arrived on a Monday night in 1985 and saw
something very unusual for that hour — over 60 members present at Private
Members' Business to debate a motion to proclaim Raoul Wallenberg the first
honorary Canadian citizen. The motion had not been announced and we were not
prepared. I had to give my consent four times: I gave consent to Reverend Roland
de Corneille, whom some of you may remember: I gave consent to Mr. Ricard, a
Conservative member, who sponsored a bill to send this question to the committee
on immigration; I consented to not sending these two bills to committee for
further study but to withdraw them.
There was a new motion put that night to proclaim, that very night, Raoul
Wallenberg as our first honorary Canadian. The press is always comparing the
two. The first honorary citizenship was given posthumously, although we claimed
then that he was still alive in a Soviet jail. The press today, unable to do
their homework, said that we gave it to a dead body. According to the Senate and
the House, he was not.
On a Monday night in December of 1985, some people wanted to kill the bill. I
made sure they did not, even though I was not knowledgeable about the bill. A
few minutes before six o'clock, we passed that bill and it came to the Senate. I
do not want to embarrass any senators but it was one of the wildest days in the
Senate. When the resolution was introduced, one very gentle senator said that he
wanted to seek some advice, and withheld his consent. That was the end of the
session on Tuesday, December 10, 1985.
My friend Guy Charbonneau was the Speaker at that time. He was almost in
Montreal when he was called back urgently for a second sitting that day, to pass
the resolution that was refused passage at the first sitting. We had never seen
that happen before in the history of the Senate, and I hope never to see it
again. It happened because people were not part of the decision-making process —
people did not know.
If you want to know more, read the Debates of the Senate of Tuesday,
December 10 and Wednesday, December 11. The debate continued at the end of
December and in January, February and March. You know how Allan McEachen was
when he started to scrutinize. He continued to ask questions of Mr. Roblin.
Honourable senators, I believe the time has come for due process. As an old
parliamentarian with 38 years of experience and an institutional memory, I do
not want to face again such an embarrassment as we are facing now, where one
I will remind you of how Raoul Wallenberg became an honorary citizen in the
United States, and you will understand. The United States of America has only
two honorary citizens — Winston Churchill and Raoul Wallenberg. Mr. Wallenberg
was given this honour because of the great support of a Jewish Hungarian who was
saved, as were many of my friends in Montreal, by Raoul Wallenberg. The
resolution to grant this honour went through the appropriate committees in the
Senate and in Congress and was signed by Mr. Reagan. That is the way it was done
then and that is the way it should be done in the future.
I regret the way it was done here, even though we all agree that this man was
one of the great lights of hope for people who believe that you can have peace
and justice with pride and reconciliation.
That is what Mr. Mandela believed in. Mr. Mandela answered to the United
States by saying, "I take no lesson from anyone. If I so decide, I will go to
Cuba to thank the Cubans for their support in my struggle." One of his first
visits after his release from prison was to Libya, to thank Mr. Gaddafi.
Whatever you think of Gaddafi, he takes no lesson for having supported the
Palestinian just cause.
The man we are honouring today is a man of courage, a man who is so
reasonable and understanding. He was put in jail for 27 years, where he
reflected. When he came out, he could have put fire in the blood of all of
Africa. Instead, he said that even though he had spent 27 years in jail, even
though he was falsely accused, even though he suffered for his people, he would
preach reconciliation. He came out to build a new Africa. He came out and became
an example for the people of the world who suffer today. There are other places
in the world where people suffer because we are afraid to stand up for them.
The inspiration of my life is to have seen Mandela slapped back and forth,
insulted by his own colleagues and his own friends, yet remain calm and joyful.
Look at him.
He is a man with an aura of serenity, believing that more progress can be
made by experiencing what he has experienced, and reflecting to the rest of
humanity serenity and goodness, but determination as well; the determination not
to fear solitude. The determination to speak out for justice, to say: I will act
even if it brings me suffering. His is an example the young pages here in the
Senate should always keep in mind.
To give an example, the other night there was a big reception in
reconciliation with Saudi Arabians. On my way out, I saw a man whom I
recognized. He did not know that I campaigned for him in Vancouver with
students. He was with a young gentleman in his thirties who said, "You don't
know me but I know you." This for us, senators, who receive so much from the
people of Canada by being here, shows us that we should never be afraid to share
our feelings with the young people of Canada. However, we need examples.
That young man said, "I remember you. You said one word to us in the
chamber. You said `dare'." René Lévesque used to say "osez." This same young
man told me that today he is chief of staff of the new minister. That is luck
for me, but I do not need it.
Senators, convey to young people that people such as Mandela, who will be
honoured today, are that kind of inspiration. But please, government of today,
governments of tomorrow, parliamentarians of tomorrow, let us get our act
together. Let us stop the practice of having surprise motions for honouring
people without following the due process of Parliament. In that way we will
avoid the immense embarrassment that we went through last week.
Let us forget the past. Let us take it as inspiration for the future, to put
our house together so that this never happens again, and to convey to His
Excellency and his people the strong feeling of the people of Canada.
We live in a democracy. In the United States there was a vote for Raoul
Wallenberg, of 396 to 2. Let these two swallow their pride. That is democracy. I
do not want Canada to be a steamroller. You know what I am talking about,
senators. Some people seem to know more than others. I am talking to you,
I will conclude. I do not want to be ruled out of order and need to make a
request to continue.
I am happy that you are here, sir. You are South Africa for us. I am happy
that Senator Cools asked us to give unanimous consent for this motion. I shall
give my consent.
Hon. Vivienne Poy: Honourable senators, I rise to speak in support of
Senator Cools' motion to declare Nelson Mandela an honorary citizen of Canada. I
feel privileged to speak about Nelson Mandela for, throughout his life, he has
served as an inspiration to people around the world.
Through his patience and endurance in the face of great oppression, he taught
us the value of forgiveness and reconciliation. He showed us that a people's
will to achieve freedom and democracy can triumph over all the weapons of an
oppressive regime. He fought for the freedom of the human spirit, so Blacks and
Whites could live together in peace, and he was prepared to die for his beliefs.
After 27 years in prison, Nelson Mandela was without bitterness or anger.
Instead, he was filled with hope for the future of his country. It was hope and
love, rather than hatred and revenge, that allowed for an end to Apartheid in
South Africa. Despite his many experiences of human brutality, Nelson Mandela
has faith in the fundamental goodness of humankind.
Canada has a close and abiding relationship with Nelson Mandela. Long ago, we
recognized the injustice that was Apartheid and actively fought for its end. In
1990, when he visited Canada's Parliament, he spoke about the great friendship
between our peoples. At that time, he was still denied citizenship in his own
country. In 1998, he returned to Canada as the elected representative of South
This fall, we hope that he will have the opportunity to come to Canada, as a
citizen of our country. It is one of the greatest honours that we can bestow,
and it is a fitting tribute to such a giant of humanity.
The Hon. the Speaker: Is the house ready for the question?
I must advise honourable senators that if Senator Cools speaks now, her
speech will have the effect of closing the debate.
Senator Cools: Honourable senators, I should just like to complete the
debate, to close it, and to thank those senators who participated and, as well,
to point out to all that I believe there is significant support here for this
As other speakers have said, and as I have said at different times in this
chamber, the accomplishment of bringing the Black people of South Africa into
the governance of South Africa, and of bringing the vote to all those millions
of people, is an enormous, extraordinary, even superhuman achievement.
Honourable senators, I should like to close by saying two little things only,
one of them on the question of bloodshed and carnage in South Africa. Sir
Laurens van der Post, a very great South African author, once wrote about a
particular South African tribe of people, the bushmen. He said the following
words, which I think articulate the reason that Mr. Mandela has been able to
garner the personal support that he has:
You cannot eliminate something precious in life without killing something in
Honourable senators, as I said before, when I witnessed that election in
South Africa, I felt exposed to danger and I felt very vulnerable, but I truly
felt at that point in time that I had witnessed an appointment with destiny.
Senator Prud'homme: Honourable senators, I rise on a point of order.
We know we may leave now. Would His Honour indicate to us if the government of
the day could be informed of what took place here today? We are leaving, as is
certainly the wish now of both Houses. I do not know if it is regular. Even if
it were irregular, I ask unanimous consent that the comments of Senator Kinsella
and the wishes of the Senate be brought to the attention of the government so
that the appropriate action could be taken right away. They know what went on in
the House. They should know what went on here, and the wishes we are expressing.
If someone can help me in this, I would only say that we wish His Honour the
Speaker to inform the government. Someone who knows the rule better than I could
do it, but the message of today should be brought to the attention of the
The Hon. the Speaker: I am not sure, honourable senators, if that is a
point of order. I think, Senator Prud'homme, our next item of business is
instructive in this matter in terms of the difference between the executive and
legislative branches of government.
Is the house ready for the question?
Hon. Senators: Question!
The Hon. the Speaker: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to
adopt the motion?
The Hon. the Speaker: I would draw the attention of honourable
senators — and perhaps this has already been done — to the presence in our
gallery of the High Commissioner to Canada from South Africa, His Excellency,
On behalf of all honourable senators, I bid you welcome.
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I wish to draw to your
attention the presence in the gallery of 50 presidents of senior citizens'
clubs. These clubs are under the umbrella of the regional council of
Italian-Canadian seniors, who represent 10,000 Italians from Montreal, and whose
founder is one of our colleagues, the Honourable Marisa Ferretti Barth.
On behalf of all senators, I welcome you to the Senate of Canada.
Hon. Mabel M. DeWare, pursuant to notice of June 13, 2001, moved:
That the Senate endorse and support the following statements from two of
its Standing Committees in relation to Bill C-4, being An Act to establish a
foundation to fund sustainable development technology.
From the Fifth Report of the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the
Environment and Natural Resources the following statement:
"The actions of the Government of Canada in creating a private sector
corporation as a stand-in for the Foundation now proposed in Bill C-4, and the
depositing of $100 million of taxpayers' money with that corporation, without
the prior approval of Parliament, is an affront to members of both Houses of
Parliament. The Committee requests that the Speaker of the Senate notify the
Speaker of the House of Commons of the dismay and concern of the Senate with
this circumvention of the parliamentary process."
From the Eighth Report of the Standing Senate Committee on National
Finance, being its Interim Report on the 2001-2002 Estimates, the Committee's
comments on Bill C-4:
"Senators wondered if this was an appropriate way to create such agencies
and crown corporations. They questioned whether the government should have
passed the bill before it advanced the funding. The members of the Committee
condemn this process, which creates and funds a $100 million agency without
prior Parliamentary approval."
And that this Resolution be sent to the Speaker of the House of Commons so
that he may acquaint the House of Commons with the Senate's views and
conclusions on Bill C-4, being An Act to establish a foundation to fund
sustainable development technology.
Hon. John Lynch-Staunton (Leader of the Opposition): Honourable
senators, I do not have anything prepared because I think the motion speaks for
itself. It is a natural follow-up to the concerns expressed by two of our
standing committees to the effect that the financing of the sustainable
development foundation, which we have just approved today, was done in a most
irregular manner, to use a careful word.
The Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural
Resources felt that these concerns should be brought to the attention of the
House of Commons through a message from our Speaker to its Speaker, to the
effect that the form of financing and the sequence of events are a circumvention
of the parliamentary process, while the Standing Senate Committee on National
Finance condemned the process because funds were created without prior
The Leader of the Government in the Senate yesterday tried to justify the
transfer of funds by invoking Vote 5, which Treasury Board can use when an
existing program of Paraliament lacks funds for legitimate reasons that prevent
it from carrying on its program. Funds through Vote 5 are then advanced to that
department and recovered through the Supplementary Estimates. In this case there
was no program to justify the use of Vote 5. In addition, the Estimates of two
departments show each $50 million to be advanced to the foundation, but the
Estimates have yet to be approved. The supply bill was only given third reading
today and has yet to be given Royal Assent. Thus, nowhere can we find prior
authorization for the funds to justify advancing any amount of money to a
private corporation whose objective had yet to be approved by Parliament. This
is a problem for many of us on both sides, because the evidence was discussed
and questioned by members of both sides. This was a Senate effort, not a
Let me also state that no one in the other place, diligent as they are, as
Senator Murray told us a few moments ago, ever picked up on this blatant disdain
for the parliamentary process. Nowhere at second reading, in committee or at
third reading was it found, was it discussed. However, thanks to the good
efforts of the Senate Energy Committee and the Finance Committee, ministers were
questioned. The answers given were not at all satisfactory, while the statements
made here by the Leader of the Government are also not at all satisfactory.
I think it behooves us to alert the House of Commons that, once again, they
have failed in their duty; that this house has been able to do what they should
have done. It seems that we are becoming the chamber of sober first thought
rather than second thought, because more and more over there, as Senator Murray
so accurately explains, the Estimates for $165 billion go through in a matter of
minutes without any serious examination whatsoever. At the time, on television,
I watched the proceedings that Senator Murray has described, and it was pathetic
to see what happens in their so-called Committee of the Whole. Nothing happens.
Senator Bolduc: And that is their primary function.
Senator Lynch-Staunton: As Senator Bolduc points out, their primary
function is to oversee the purse, and in the case of the Estimates and Supply
they failed. In this particular case, they also failed.
The least we can do through this motion is to alert them to their delinquency
by quoting the conclusions of both committees. We could also have added the
great concern shown by the Auditor General designate, but since there is no
formal report by her, it would have been imprudent to include her remarks, which
were based on only partial fact, but I think enough for her to realize that what
has been said here is more than accurate.
By including the conclusions of both committees, this resolution instructs
the Speaker of this house that he acquaint the House of Commons of the Senate's
views and conclusions on this bill. I think that that is quite in order, and I
urge all senators to support the motion that Senator DeWare has put down.
Her Excellency the Governor General of Canada having come and being seated
upon the Throne, and the House of Commons having been summoned, and being come
with their Deputy Speaker, Her Excellency the Governor General was pleased to
give the Royal Assent to the following bills:
An Act to amend the Judges Act and to amend another Act in consequence
(Bill C-12, Chapter 07, 2001)
An Act to implement an agreement between the Mohawks of Kanesatake and Her
Majesty in right of Canada respecting governance of certain lands by the
Mohawks of Kanesatake and to amend an Act in consequence (Bill S-24, Chapter
An Act to establish the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada and to amend
certain Acts in relation to financial institutions (Bill C-8, Chapter 09,
An Act to amend the Patent Act (Bill S-17, Chapter 10, 2001).
An Act to amend the Budget Implementation Act, 1997 and the Financial
Administration Act (Bill C-17, Chapter 11, 2001)
An Act to amend the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) Act (Bill S-16,
Chapter 12, 2001)
An Act to amend the Motor Vehicle Transport Act, 1987 and to make
consequential amendments to other Acts (Bill S-3, Chapter 13, 2001)
An Act to amend the Canada Business Corporations Act and the Canada
Cooperatives Act and to amend other Acts in consequence (Bill S-11, Chapter
An Act to amend the Excise Tax Act (Bill C-13, Chapter 15, 2001)
An Act to amend the Customs Act, the Customs Tariff, the Excise Act, the
Excise Tax Act and the Income Tax Act in respect of tobacco (Bill C-26,
Chapter 16, 2001)
An Act to amend the Income Tax Act, the Income Tax Application Rules,
certain Acts related to the Income Tax Act, the Canada Pension Plan, the
Customs Act, the Excise Tax Act, the Modernization of Benefits and Obligations
Act and another Act related to the Excise Tax Act (Bill C-22, Chapter 17,
An Act to amend the Eldorado Nuclear Limited Reorganization and Divestiture
Act and the Petro-Canada Public Participation Act (Bill C-3, Chapter 18, 2001)
An Act to amend the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act (Bill C-18,
Chapter 19, 2001)
An Act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act, the Members of Parliament
Retiring Allowances Act and the Salaries Act (Bill C-28, Chapter 20, 2001)
An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and the Electoral Boundaries
Readjustment Act (Bill C-9, Chapter 21, 2001)
An Act to amend the Farm Credit Corporation Act and to make consequential
amendments to other Acts (Bill C-25, Chapter 22, 2001)
An Act to establish a foundation to fund sustainable development technology
(Bill C-4, Chapter 23, 2001)
An Act to amend the Act of incorporation of the Conference of Mennonites in
Canada (Bill S-25)
An Act to authorize The Imperial Life Assurance Company of Canada to apply
to be continued as a company under the laws of the Province of Quebec (Bill
An Act to authorize Certas Direct Insurance Company to apply to be
continued as a company under the laws of the Province of Quebec (Bill S-28)
The Honourable Bob Kilger, Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, then
addressed Her Excellency the Governor General as follows:
May it please Your Excellency.
The Commons of Canada have voted certain supplies required to enable the
Government to defray the expenses of the public service.
In the name of the Commons, I present to Your Excellency the following bill:
An Act for granting to Her Majesty certain sums of money for the public
service of Canada for the financial year ending March 31, 2002 (Bill C-29,
Chapter 24, 2001)
To which bill I humbly request Your Excellency's assent.
Her Excellency the Governor General was pleased to give the Royal Assent to
the said bill.
The House of Commons withdrew.
Her Excellency the Governor General was pleased to retire.
The sitting of the Senate was resumed.
Hon. Bill Rompkey: Honourable senators, before we depart, on behalf of
all of us, I wish to thank those who have served us so well over the past
session. I include the Clerk of the Senate, the Table officers and those who
work with them, the Black Rod and her staff, including those who serve us the
food that we get in the back of the chamber from time to time. I include as well
the Hansard reporters, the staff in all our offices, including both whips and
their staff, the pages, who have already been thanked, the interpreters, the
security staff who serve us so well, and those who keep these buildings on our
behalf. I thank them all on behalf of honourable senators at this time.
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!
Hon. Mabel M. DeWare: Honourable senators, at the beginning of our
sitting today, I did what Senator Rompkey has just done. However, I want to say
that we will do it again now.
The Senate adjourned until Tuesday, September 18, 2001, at 2 p.m.
Dr. Robert Stewart
North Ritchot Action Committee
35-2855 Pembina Highway
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2H5
Dear Dr. Stewart:
Thank you for your letter of April 9, in which you express concern with
respect to revisions proposed for the rules of operation for the Winnipeg
Floodway and the process by which the revisions are being made and approved.
As you are aware, the 1962 agreement between Manitoba and Canada assigns
responsibilities to both parties with respect to the control and operation of
the Winnipeg Floodway, including approval of revisions to the program of
On December 28, 2000, Manitoba requested that Environment Canada review and
grant approval of the revised rules of operation. Environment Canada has
carefully considered the technical soundness of the proposed rules of operation,
which incorporate changes that will assist in protecting Winnipeg from dike
failures and extensive storm and sewer backup. As you may already know, the
proposed rules of operation are supported by the Red River Floodway Operational
My department has taken into account concerns that the operation of the
floodway could lead to artificial flooding of upstream communities, and also the
desire of those communities to be engaged in the development of the rules of
operation. On the basis of this review, I have granted approval of the proposed
rules of operation, with a strong recommendation that Manitoba undertake
consultations with its citizens on the rules of operation and other measures, as
advocated by the International Joint Commission, at the earliest possible
Mr. Jim Vollmershausen, Regional Director General, Prairie and Northern
Region, is available to discuss this decision with you further. Mr.
Vollmershausen may be reached by telephone (780) 951-8869 or by fax at (780)
I appreciate your taking the time to write, and trust that you will find this
Original signed by
David Anderson, P.C., M.P.
cc: Mr. Jim Vollmershausen
North Ritchot Action Committee
35-2855 Pembina Hwy.,
9 April 2001
Hon. D. Anderson
Minister of the Environment
Government of Canada
House of Commons
Dear Minister Anderson:
The North Ritchot Action Committee (NRAC) represents residents living
immediately upstream of the Winnipeg Floodway in matters arising from the 1997
Red River Flood. In addition to direct communication, we have previously
provided you with copies of related correspondence (Attached). I write now to
renew your attention on the very real and legitimate concerns of our residents
with respect to revisions proposed for the Rules of Operation for the Winnipeg
Floodway and the process by which those revisions are being made and approved.
Specifically, NRAC and upstream residents areconcerned about your
department's participation and support for the Red River Floodway Operating
Rules Review Committee and your Departments apparent intent to approve the
operating rules without due regard to the interests of upstream residents. This
is, of course, contrary to NRAC's position that there should be open and public
discussion of the Rules of Operation; a position soundly endorsed by both the
Manitoba Water commission and the International Joint Commission.
In your correspondence to NRAC of February 23, 2000 you stated:
"Environment Canada committed to working with the Manitoba government to
fulfill obligations arising from the 1962 agreement. The knowledge gained ...
will form a basis for developing the rules of operation for the floodway and
will also take into account the protection of the City of Winnipeg and
upstream communities [emphasis added]"
In an attached E-mail, Mr. Jim Vollmershausen of your department stated:
"On December 28, 2000, Environment Canada received a revised rules of
operation from the Province of Manitoba. The province has requested that
Canada review and grant approval of these rues of operation in accordance with
the original agreement between Manitoba and Canada. It is Environment Canada's
intention to address this request as appropriate in the coming months."
NRAC has two obvious concerns with the above comments. The first of these is
that the Province of Manitoba is currently seeking approval for a condition in
the 1962 agreement that reads, in part:
20.(1) The Province will submit to the Federal Minister for approval
prior to completion of the floodway [emphasis added]
(a) a program for the control and operation of the floodway under
routine conditions and emergency conditions, and
It is not clear to NRAC how the proposed rules of operation recently
submitted to your department for approval can satisfy the original agreement
when they were not submitted prior to completion of the floodway. In fact, the
original 1970 rules of operation were drafted 2 years after completion of the
floodway. They were not approved at that time and revisions made to them in 1984
were never submitted by the province. It appears that your Department is
considering approval of revisions for rules that were never approved, under a
schedule which violates the original federal-provincial agreement to authorize
your pending approval. Perhaps it is time for a new federal-provincial agreement
that reflects the needs and requirements of this century.
Our second concern is that there is no indication from your Department that
your approval process will include public consultation or "will take into
account the protection of the City of Winnipeg and the upstream communities" as
stated in your letter of February 23, 2000. NRAC's previous correspondence to
you (August 3, 2000) documents the absence of any consideration of upstream
interests in the development of the current rules of operation along with the
absence of any meaningful public consultation. Indeed, the Province of Manitoba
actively excluded public discussion. It did receive over 80 written submissions
from residents objecting to some of the proposed changes and asking for public
meetings but refuses to indicate how it acted on those requests.
NRAC's view has always been, and remains, that informed and involved
stakeholders are critical to the development of the flood protection measures in
the Red River basin. This view is supported by recent assertions in the IJC
report Living with the Red. The report states:
"Clearly, the protection of Winnipeg must be given a high priority. But
it is equally clear that proposals for additional protection for the city or
alterations to the operating rules for the Winnipeg Floodway must take into
account of the full economic, social and human costs for other areas that
would be affected by such measures. A transparent process of open
consultations must be established to ensure residents of such areas have an
opportunity to be an integral part of any decision-making process."
The IJC incorporated this philosophy into its Recommendation #3.
NRAC's position that the concerns of upstream residents have not been
considered is further supported by observations of the IJC:
The Commission knows from its many visits with local residents, public
hearings, and study of the flood that the human toll is high and is real.
There is no way to assign an economic benefit to the value of knowing one is
relatively sage from future floods or the economic cost of the trauma of
knowing that you can once again be flooded. Uncertainty about the amount and
timing of compensation from governments still are important issues in many
people's minds. Many residents upstream of the Winnipeg Floodway who were
harmed by increased water levels caused by the way in which the Winnipeg
Floodway was operated to save Winnipeg feel that the matter still has not been
satisfactorily addressed by the government of Manitoba." (p. 36).
It is the very issue of "security" addressed by the Commission that residents
upstream of the Floodway have enunciated to the Manitoba Water Commission, the
IJC and all levels of government. Our security remains threatened by the lack of
consideration for compensation attributable to the Floodway operation, the
absence of public consultation or dialogue, and theabsence of meaningful
representation of upstream residents. The only compensation presently available
is through the Disaster Financial Assistance Agreement (DFAA) which is subject
to the political whims of the government of the day and the availability of
funding by Parliament. By its very nature the DFAA cannot contribute to the
security that upstream residents are entitled to.
Over the course of our correspondence with you, NRAC has advocated that full
and meaningful representation by upstream residents in an open and transparent
consultation process, consideration of compensation for future damages arising
from the operation of the floodway, and an analysis of the social and economic
impacts of the floodway operation are necessary pre-requisites to any meaningful
review of the floodway operating rules. Both the Manitoba Water Commission and
The IJC have supported this position. We trust that after careful consideration
of the facts that you too will arrive at the same reasonable conclusion and take
the necessary actions to restore die rights and security of residents living
upstream of the floodway.
We look forward to hearing from you soon and would be pleased to meet with
you and Departmental representatives to further discuss our mutual positions and
the significance of this matter. Please do not hesitate to contact me at
(204) 261 6218 or by fax (204 261 8156).
Original signed by
Dr. Robert Stewart
North Ritchot Action Committee
Cc w/o attachments
R. Duhamel, Minister of Veterans Affairs, Secretary of State (Western
L. Vanclief, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
J. Manley, Minister of Foreign Affairs
M. Spivak, Senator
S. Carstairs, Senator
T. Stratton, Senator
L. Legault, International Joint Commission
R. Stefaniuk, Reeve of Richot
R. Loudfoot. Association 768
V. Baird, Ste. Agathe Economic Development