Debates of the Senate (Hansard)
1st Session, 37th Parliament,
Volume 139, Issue 86
Tuesday, February 5, 2002
The Honourable Dan Hays, Speaker
Tuesday, February 5, 2002
The Senate met at 2:00 p.m., the Speaker in the Chair.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I have the honour to inform
the Senate that the Clerk has received a certificate from the Registrar General
of Canada showing that the Honourable Ronald J. Duhamel, P.C., has been summoned
to the Senate.
The Hon. the Speaker having informed the Senate that there was a
senator without, waiting to be introduced:
The following honourable senator was introduced; presented Her Majesty's writ
of summons; took the oath prescribed by law, which was administered by the
Clerk; and was seated:
Hon. Ronald J. Duhamel, of Winnipeg, Manitoba, introduced between Hon.
Sharon Carstairs and Hon. Richard H. Kroft.
The Hon. the Speaker informed the Senate that the honourable senator named
above had made and subscribed the declaration of qualification required by the
Constitution Act, 1867, in the presence of the Clerk of the Senate, the
Commissioner appointed to receive and witness the said declaration.
Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators,
it is with a great deal of pleasure that I rise today to welcome a new colleague
and a very good friend to the Senate, namely, the Honourable Ron Duhamel.
I have known Senator Duhamel both professionally and personally for a long
time. We both have the privilege and pleasure of representing the people of the
province of Manitoba. The Senate will now have the privilege of benefiting from
his vast store of knowledge.
Honourable senators are, no doubt, aware that he was elected to the House of
Commons for the first time in 1988. He has held a number of positions, including
several as parliamentary secretary. More recently, he held three portfolios
simultaneously: Minister of Veterans Affairs, Secretary of State responsible for
the Francophonie, and Secretary of State for Western Economic Diversification.
Senator Duhamel is well known for his exceptional service to the people of
St. Boniface, Winnipeg and Manitoba as a whole. In 1994, he was made a
chevalier, or knight, of the Ordre de la Pléiade, and in 2000, appointed an
officer of the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie, Canadian division. We
are certain that his senatorial duties will have no effect whatsoever on his
devotion to his province.
Honourable senators, Senator Duhamel and I have had some interesting
experiences together — I as a critic of education in the province of Manitoba,
and he as the deputy minister of that same department. I think one of our
funniest experiences occurred when I was giving a speech on his behalf in the
St. Boniface constituency.
My husband is a bit of a wiggler, and the stage had been set up in such a way
that there was a space between the backdrop and the end of the platform. I had
begun my speech and was talking about how wonderful my friend was, how eloquent
he was and how he deserved to be the member from St. Boniface, at which point my
husband, John, disappeared off the stage and jack-knifed himself between the
display at the back and the platform. Senator Duhamel and I were not sure what
we should do at that particular point in time, so we left John hanging there
while we completed our speeches. He and I have been through many positive
experiences, and I am delighted to have him here in the chamber with me.
Hon. John Lynch-Staunton (Leader of the Opposition): Honourable
senators, those of us who knew the late and sorely missed Gildas Molgat well,
both here and elsewhere, were extremely anxious to learn who would be taking
over from him.
Even though Senator Duhamel might well have preferred to remain in his
elected position and his ministerial duties, we cannot help but rejoice at his
coming to the Senate. It will benefit greatly from his long political experience
and particular knowledge of the ins and outs of government. Manitoba can rejoice
that it will continue to be as ably represented as it was by his predecessor.
In a note accompanying his Christmas card, Senator Duhamel spoke of the past
year as one of challenge "for some of us personally," as he put it, and that "the measure of an individual or of a nation is not so much tested by
prosperity as it is by adversity." Such a positive
attitude under difficult conditions speaks well of our new colleague and
certainly augurs well for this institution. All on this side join with me in
wishing Senator Duhamel the very best as he assumes his new responsibilities.
Hon. B. Alasdair Graham: Honourable senators, many of us are aware
that the International Organization for Standardization sets very high
standards. An ISO designation means that customers can be assured that the
business they are dealing with has achieved a very high level of product quality
and service and is fully qualified to compete in the global market economy.
Most Canadians do not think of ISO designations when they think of our First
Nations and indigenous peoples. We tend to think about unemployment and children
in crisis; we tend to think of inordinately high health and social challenges.
Until six years ago, some of those descriptive phrases might have been
applied to a small Cape Breton Mi'kmaq band known as Membertou. The fighting
spirit of this talented community located within the city of Sydney has been
personified over time by their best-known resident, Donald Marshall Jr. Behind
the scenes of the dramatic Marshall case, the community was retooling and
revitalizing to build an entrepreneurial economy uniquely poised to score big
victories in the international marketplace. Through the fine leadership of
people like former Bay Street lawyer, now Membertou CEO, Bernd Christmas and
Chief Terrance Paul, the community said no to debt, got their financial house in
order and jumped into a host of joint ventures. With an exceptional ability to
attract private partners and investment, the community signed deals with the
likes of Sodexho Canada, Clearwater Fine Foods, SNC-Lavalin and major U.S.
mining firm Georgia-Pacific.
Last week, in a historic ceremony, this remarkable Mi'kmaq community became
the first native government in North America to become ISO compliant. In
Membertou, traditional indigenous values and the values of the global
marketplace now live as one.
I might add that the name Mi'kmaq derives from the term "nikmaq," a word in
the language that means "my kin-friends," which was used as a greeting in the
early 1600s to French and Basque fishermen. The French, in turn, would greet the
First Nations people by saying "nikmaq," or "my brothers." May I do the same
today and salute you, nikmaq, my fellow Cape Bretoners, my fellow Nova Scotians,
my fellow Canadians from Membertou, and offer you my heartiest congratulations
for a job well done.
Hon. Donald H. Oliver: Honourable senators, this is February again,
Black History Month. It is a time to read, reflect, listen and dream — yes, to
dream, like Martin Luther King, dream that someday we could all sit at the same
table, as equals, and not be judged unfairly just because of the colour of our
skin. Unfortunately, today's reality is very different.
We cannot be free unless we are treated as equals. Black people must have the
same career opportunities as white people. Unfortunately, honourable senators,
we have not made much progress in this respect in Canada. Black people are not
free and they are not white people's equals.
Let us begin by looking around here, in the Senate of Canada, and ask
ourselves if we truly represent Canada's diversity. We know that in our own
public service racism still prevents members of the black community and visible
minorities from holding positions of importance and authority. For example, how
many of you have met with a black deputy minister? No one, because there are
We know that our universities are rife with racism that acts imposingly to
prevent the advancement of blacks to senior academic and administrative
positions. The same is true on Bay Street.
Honourable senators, the day will come when you may be called upon to speak
out against racism against blacks, and I remind you of words of Martin Luther
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort
and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
Honourable senators, I will be happy when I do not have to stand here in my
place to remind Canadians why we need a month to remind others of our
contribution to this country, and why we have a right to be treated as equals.
As you know, it was the educator Carter Woodson who thought of the idea for
Black History Month. It was his view that the knowledge and dissemination of
African history would, besides building self-esteem among blacks, help to
eliminate prejudice among whites.
Honourable senators, I will be giving some eleven speeches across Canada in
connection with Black History Month, and I hope you will take advantage of the
opportunity to learn more about the exciting history and culture of blacks in
Hon. Jean-Robert Gauthier: Honourable senators, I want to thank all
those who helped us get justice in the case of Montfort Hospital. This hospital
is very important and is a symbol for Ontario's French-language community.
Montfort will continue to welcome all Canadians in the official language of
their choice. The important thing is that Montfort will remain the only Ontario
hospital to work and teach in French. Doctors, nurses, physiotherapists — the
whole caregiving staff will be bilingual in that hospital — will be able to get
quality training at Montfort.
That hospital was built in 1953 by the Soeurs de la Sagesse. Believe it or
not, I was present at the hospital's inauguration. I was not surprised by the
government's decision not to seek the opinion of the Supreme Court of Canada.
What a relief! It took two majority decisions issued by two higher courts in
Ontario to convince the government of the merits of the case and to have the
Montfort Hospital recognized as being essential to the existence of Ontario's
Many, many thanks to all of you who tirelessly supported these appeals
through the courts. Congratulations to the S.O.S. Montfort team.
The rallying cry of the region's francophone community was: "Close the
Montfort? Never!" Today, I would echo this with "Montfort open? Forever!"
Hon. Serge Joyal: Honourable senators, last Friday, February 1, the
Government of Ontario announced that it was bowing to the unanimous decision of
the province's Court of Appeal confirming the Divisional Court's ruling of two
years ago that the Montfort Hospital was protected under the constitution.
Franco-Ontarians will now benefit not only from health services wholly in
French, but the institution will be able to continue to serve as a training
centre for health professionals, the only one of its kind in Ontario.
We must pay tribute to the convictions, the courage, indeed the heroism of
Gisèle Lalonde, who, against all the odds, succeeded in putting together a large
coalition and leading a legal battle against the political stubbornness of the
largest provincial government in the country. This is quite an achievement.
How is the future of the Montfort, as an essential French-language
institution, henceforth assured? The answer is simple. It is assured because the
courts provided protection when the political will of the majority failed and it
decided to reduce the institution to a sort of large regional clinic. The
strangest thing of the entire saga is that, just as the survival of the Montfort
is being guaranteed by the courts, there are people who are questioning the
usefulness of legal challenges in the protection of minority rights. What use is
the constitutional protection of rights and freedoms if these same linguistic
rights, which are recognized for minorities in this country, are not protected
against the political arbitrariness of the governments of the day? Is this not
the fundamental purpose of the Charter? Yes, it provides minorities with real
protection against the whims and changes in mood of majorities, which need
neither charters nor courts for protection.
It was for this reason that, in 1983, as Secretary of State of Canada, I set
up a program to fund court challenges based on the Charter of Rights and
Freedoms, particularly those having to do with the protection of language
rights. For the past 20 years, if people had not turned to the Canadian courts
to have their language rights recognized, for example, anglophones in Quebec
would not see their language on public signs in the province. The right of
francophones elsewhere in the country to manage their school boards would not
have been recognized. The francophones of Summerside, Prince Edward Island,
would not have been able to enter their new school and community centre this
week after 12 years of court battles. Franco-Manitobans, one of whom we welcomed
to this place today, would not have access to legislation and services in French
in their province.
Yes, it was George Forest's 1984 court challenge of a parking ticket that
repaired 100 years of injustice in Manitoba. The Federal Appeals Court decision,
which the President of the Privy Council complained about last week, did not
really focus, per se, on the issuing of bilingual tickets. In fact, the decision
forbids the Government of Canada from transferring responsibilities to the
provinces, which has the practical effect of denying minorities access to
services in their language. This is significant.
Let us applaud and support minorities that fight for their rights before the
courts when the political powers of the day do not live up to their
constitutional responsibilities and maintain the ideal of the equality of
linguistic rights that guarantee the future of Canada.
Hon. Laurier L. LaPierre: Honourable senators, I should like to read
to you, in part, a letter that I wrote to the Ottawa Citizen that was
published on January 11, 2002:
Like everyone else in our country, I am disturbed by the imposition of a
"national editorial" on the Ottawa Citizen and the other Southam
newspapers. I am even more distraught by the decision made by your owners that
you are not allowed to editorially contradict the holy writ. I have no doubt
that in a short while, columnists, op-ed writers, reporters, et cetera will be
subject to the non-contradiction rule. In no time, as well, the public affairs
and news departments of the Global Network will be so dictated too.
This is a most dangerous situation, a situation that imperils the
fundamental right of Canadians to a diversity of information.
In the light of this development, I have decided to act.
When the Senate returns from the Christmas break, I intend to propose the
undertaking of a special study on the impact of the concentration of ownership
in the media upon the quality and diversity of information and of
It is my wish that honourable senators will agree with me that this is an
important matter that deserves to be looked into by the Senate. Much has changed
since the Kent report.
Hon. Gérald-A. Beaudoin: Honourable senators, former Justice of the
Supreme Court of Canada, Justice Willard Zebedee (Bud) Estey, passed away on
Born in Saskatchewan in 1919, Bud Estey studied at the University of
Saskatchewan and at Harvard Law School. He practiced law for some thirty years
before being appointed to the Ontario Court of Appeal in 1973 and becoming Chief
Justice in 1976.
He sat on the Supreme Court of Canada from 1977 to 1988. He drafted the first
major judgment on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Skapinker
judgment, in 1984. In this unanimous judgment, he stated:
The Charter comes from neither level of the legislative branches of
government but from the Constitution itself. It is part of the fabric of
Canadian law. Indeed, it "is the supreme law of Canada."
With the Constitution Act, 1982 comes a new dimension, a new yardstick of
reconciliation between the individual and the community and their respective
rights, a dimension which, like the balance of the Constitution, remains to be
interpreted and applied by the Court.
Over the course of his lengthy career, he also distinguished himself by
chairing a number of royal commissions.
More recently, he appeared before the Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples
to comment on the agreement between the Nisga'as of British Columbia, the
government of that province and the Government of Canada.
Honourable senators, Canada has lost an excellent legal mind. I offer my
sincere condolences to the Estey family.
Hon. Michael Kirby: With leave of the Senate, I should like to table a
letter from the Minister of Health and the Minister with Special Responsibility
for Palliative Care.
The Hon. the Speaker: Is leave granted, honourable senators?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
Senator Kirby: Honourable senators, I have a letter signed by the
Honourable Allan Rock, Minister of Health, and by the Honourable Sharon
Carstairs, Leader of the Government in the Senate and Minister with Special
Responsibility for Palliative Care. This letter was received in my office in
The purpose of the letter is to provide an update of federal activities in
the area of palliative care and end-of-life care, since the tabling of the
report entitled "Quality End-of-Life Care: The Right of Every Canadian," in
June, 2000, by the Subcommittee to Update "Of Life and Death," of the Standing
Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology.
Hon. Michael Kirby: Honourable senators, pursuant to the order adopted
by the Senate on Thursday, March 1, 2001, I have the pleasure to inform the
Senate that on Tuesday, January 29, 2002, the fifteenth report of the Standing
Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, which is an interim
report on the study of the state of the health care system in Canada entitled:
"Volume 2: Current Trends and Future Challenges," was deposited with the Clerk
of the Senate.
As well, honourable senators, pursuant to the order adopted by the Senate on
Thursday, March 1, 2001, I have the pleasure to inform the Senate that on
Tuesday, January 29, 2002, the sixteenth report of the Standing Senate Committee
on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, which is an interim report on the
study of state of the health care system in Canada, entitled: "Volume 3: Health
Care Systems in Other Countries," was deposited with the Clerk of the Senate.
Hon. Shirley Maheu: Honourable senators, I have the honour to table
the tenth report of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association, which
represented Canada at the meeting of the Subcommittee on Future Security and
Defence Capabilities of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, held in Romania and
Bulgaria from December 9 to 13, 2001.
Hon. Michael Kirby: Honourable senators, I give notice that on
Thursday, next, February 7, 2002, I will draw the attention of the Senate to the
status of palliative care in Canada.
Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable
senators, I have a question for the Chairman of the Standing Senate Committee on
Social Affairs, Science and Technology, the Honourable Michael Kirby. Is it the
senator's intention to have the fifteenth and the sixteenth reports tabled with
the Clerk of the Senate placed on the Orders of the Day for consideration and
adoption by the Senate?
Hon. Michael Kirby: I thank the honourable senator for the question. I
would be happy to do that. However, they are essentially background documents.
Volume 2 describes the factors that are driving health care costs in Canada, and
volume 3 describes the nature and structure of health care systems in other
countries. The committee will issue, shortly after Easter, a report that I am
hopeful will be debated and ultimately adopted by the Senate. That report will
deal with both Senate principles and a series of specific recommendations in
respect of how the health care system should be reformed.
Honourable senators, it would make more sense to have a debate over specific
recommendations than over useful but, nevertheless, background documentation.
Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): My question
is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Honourable senators, this
house and the other place, in the not-too-distant past, adopted legislation
limiting the extradition of a person in Canada or in Canadian custody to a
United States jurisdiction that imposes the death penalty. Clearly, that is the
principle by which the Parliament of Canada operates.
Did the Government of Canada seek an assurance from the Government of the
United States that any prisoners captured by Canadian forces in the war on
terrorism and turned over to the United States would not be subject to
Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators,
to the best of my knowledge that assurance was not sought because we are dealing
with a situation whereby some definitions make these detainees prisoners of war
and other definitions, particularly in the United States, make them unlawful
combatants. We do not know what procedures will be employed.
As the honourable senator knows, most of the prisoners are still in
Afghanistan. They have not been taken to the United States, and certainly, those
that we had anything to do with are still in Kandahar. Those prisoners are not
in Guantanamo, and they are not in the United States.
Senator Kinsella: Honourable senators will also recall that this house
and the other place passed legislation repealing the provision in the National
Defence Act that made the death penalty possible. Consequently, the Canadian
value is clear. One therefore has to ask: Did the Government of Canada seek or
receive any assurance prior to the JTF2 group landing in Afghanistan, which had
captured the detainees and then turned them over to the United States?
Senator Carstairs: As the honourable senator may know, the Geneva
Convention does not prohibit the death penalty. It has been the principal
concern that the Geneva Convention be followed in this particular instance.
Senator Kinsella: Honourable senators, this brings us to the quick of
the issue: the question of Canadian values. The work of Mr. Henri Dunant and the
complete array of international humanitarian law, whilst helpful on the
international plane, is a minimum standard. I am speaking to a value that has
been adopted by this house and by the other place that proscribes capital
Is there a way for Canadians to receive assurance from this government that
our Canadian values will guide us when a terrorist is apprehended, or member of
al-Qaeda or the Taliban, whether in the Afghanistan forum or elsewhere, as this
struggle against terrorism, which we all support, continues?
Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, one of the values that
Canadians hold high is that the Geneva Conventions will be followed throughout
the course of these efforts. One of the issues, of course, upon which there is a
disagreement between Canada and the United States is the way in which the
detainees are to be defined. If the term "unlawful combatant" is to be used,
should we have a tribunal that would determine whether the detainee is to be
deemed a prisoner of war or an unlawful combatant? We have continued to pressure
the United States on that file, and we will continue to seek assurances that
there will be independent tribunals of this nature. I will raise with my cabinet
colleagues the further question with respect to the death penalty.
Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable
senators, several of our colleague countries in NATO have already indicated that
citizens or nationals of their country who are in detention as suspected
al-Qaeda or Taliban terrorists and are being held by the United States ought to
be turned over to those respective countries for trial pursuant to the judicial
system of those countries. What is the position of the Government of Canada with
respect to a Canadian citizen who becomes a prisoner? Will Canada seek to have
those prisoners turned over to Canada by the United States and tried pursuant to
Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators,
I do not have the details on the specificity of the honourable senator's
question. I will seek that information and return it to the chamber as soon as
Hon. David Tkachuk: Honourable senators, the federal government
currently limits the amount of foreign investment Canadians can hold in their
investment portfolios. The limit is now 30 per cent, which was increased last
January from 20 per cent. There have been many calls to change this limit by
having it either increased or abolished. The Senate Banking Committee, as well
as the managers of large pension funds, has called for its abolishment.
Recently, Thomas Gunn of the Ontario Municipal Employees' Retirement Fund,
which manages $35 million on behalf of municipal employees, police officers and
firefighters in Ontario, said in the Financial Post that foreign investment
limits have actually encouraged foreign ownership of Canadian companies rather
than the opposite. Mr. Gunn also said that the original rationale for the
foreign investment limit was to encourage investment funds to stay in Canada to
offset the flow out of the country created by government deficits, which have
now disappeared. Could the minister explain why the government refuses to change
Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): As the honourable
senator indicated in his own question, the rate has been changed. It was at 25
per cent and now is at 30 per cent, in no small part due to the excellent work
of the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce, which on a
number of occasions urged those very changes. In response to various reports
from the Senate Banking Committee, those changes were indeed made. However, the
government is now of the view that the correct balance has been achieved and
there is no plan to change that 30 per cent limit.
Senator Tkachuk: Honourable senators, does the government believe that
if it lifted the limit, Canadians would invest elsewhere?
Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, one would presume that the
reason for lifting the limit would be the expectation that Canadians might
invest elsewhere. The reality is that the government has made the decision that
the correct balance has now been achieved, and it has no intention of changing
that position at the present time.
Senator Tkachuk: Honourable senators, considering the efforts of the
Governor of the Bank of Canada, the Minister of Finance and the Prime Minister,
who have been running around New York and other American cities talking to the
media and others saying that Canada is a wonderful place to invest, that we are
a wonderful country and that our dollar is undervalued, does the leader not
think that the restrictions on RRSPs are a signal that Canadians, given the
opportunity, would do the same as the rest of the world and invest elsewhere?
Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, the very fact that Canadians
have the opportunity to invest up to 30 per cent of their funds in foreign
content is a clear signal that the government has no objections to them
investing elsewhere. However, the government feels that the balance has been
struck and that this is what it should stick with, at least in the short term
and for some time in the future, since it has made changes over the last two
Hon. Jean-Robert Gauthier: Honourable senators, you will remember that
in 1996 the federal government delegated to certain provinces the administration
of contraventions on federal land.
Ontario delegated that responsibility to Mississauga, where Pearson airport
is located. There have been complaints to the effect that these contraventions
were written only in English.
In a decision issued on March 23, 2001, the Federal Court of Canada ruled
that the federal-provincial agreement did not comply with the Criminal Code and
the Official Languages Act.
Mr. Justice Blais set a one-year time limit to review the agreements with the
provinces and ensure that they comply with the Official Languages Act.
In a recent speech, the Honourable Stéphane Dion, the federal minister
responsible for intergovernmental affairs and the minister mandated by the Prime
Minister to coordinate the government's actions in the area of official
— before considering any new investment for official languages, the costs
entailed in implementing the Blais decision had to be taken into account.
In other words, we had to pay for the mistake of the federal government,
which had forgotten to warn the Province of Ontario that this delegation
required the provincial administration to comply with the Official Languages Act
in implementing the agreement. Some say that it will cost upwards of $10 million
to compensate the province.
Could the minister obtain for us a breakdown of the costs related to this
delegation authorized by Parliament in 1996 with respect to the Contraventions
Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): I thank the
honourable senator for his question, and more particularly, because of the
detailed nature of it, for providing a written copy to my office.
Unfortunately, we have not been able to obtain an answer for the honourable
senator today, but hopefully we will have it within the next few days. As
someone who comes from the province of Manitoba, where we have had rather large
constitutional discussions and debates about fines in one language only, I know
where the honourable senator is coming from and I hope to get him that
information as quickly as possible.
Senator Gauthier: Honourable senators, there are only about six weeks
left before Justice Blais' decision will nullify the act passed by Parliament.
Since there are five other provinces involved, namely Quebec, Manitoba,
Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, could the minister ask the
Minister of Justice or a responsible authority to outline the federal
government's position regarding the changes required pursuant to the ruling by
Justice Blais, of the Federal Court?
Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, I can only repeat what I said
a few minutes earlier. I do not have that information at my fingertips at
present. I will seek to obtain that information and share it with the honourable
senator as soon as possible.
Hon. Janis G. Johnson: Honourable senators, the new Secretary of State
for Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Stephen Owen, is reported in the
papers and everywhere else comparing the young natives of Canada with
Palestinian militants in Israel, stating that our reserves and native
communities are tinder boxes that will lead to violence if progress is not made
in treaty talks. Could the Leader of the Government in the Senate please tell us
the government's position on his alarmist comments and whether his views will
help to accelerate treaty negotiations in our country?
Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators,
like the Honourable Senator Johnson I read with interest what the minister was
purported to have said in our newspapers. He has identified the problem that
there are a certain number of very frustrated Aboriginal young people in this
country. They are frustrated for a number of reasons. In many cases, they have
not received adequate education and many of them are disheartened.
The Aboriginal people in this nation have a higher suicide rate than any
other group of individuals in our country. That applies particularly to young
men in our Aboriginal communities.
As to what Mr. Owen said exactly, we must wait until we learn more, I
suspect, from Question Period in the other chamber. However, I do not hold the
view that such positions will accelerate treaty negotiations. Nonetheless, it is
important to take these issues into consideration.
Senator Johnson: Honourable senators, I agree with the Leader of the
Government, and I wait with interest to hear what the minister will say in the
days to come. Hopefully, Mr. Owen will appear before the Standing Senate
Committee on Aboriginal Peoples during our study of urban Aboriginal youth as
soon as possible to discuss his views. Perhaps at that time we will find some
rationale for his inflammatory remarks.
Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, Mr. Owen has served as an
ombudsman in the Province of British Columbia and has taken part in negotiations
on treaties. I recommend him to honourable senators as a witness. Mr. Owen's
evidence would make an invaluable contribution to the study being undertaken by
the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples.
Hon. Gerry St. Germain: Honourable senators, my question is for the
Leader of the Government in the Senate. In regard to recent meetings with the
Americans, Mr. Pettigrew, the Minister for International Trade, told us that he
demanded that the Americans bring to Ottawa, on February 4, a counterproposal to
the negotiating table of the softwood lumber dispute.
Mr. Rock, the Minister of Industry, indicated that he laid the groundwork for
future deals involving Canadian companies. He said that there is a plan in
place, a good plan, a smart plan, but that the implementation is slower than we
The Prime Minister does not seem to want to approach the President of the
United States. Perhaps that is because the Prime Minister inferred during the
last presidential election that he would have preferred the presidency to go to
Al Gore rather than to George Bush.
Can the minister give us the current status of the softwood lumber issue?
This is a most important issue to my home province of British Columbia and to
the entire region of Western Canada, not to mention Ontario, Quebec and the
Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): As the honourable
senator has indicated, this is an issue of great importance to Canadians from
coast to coast to coast, and particularly to British Columbians.
I know that on at least three occasions the Prime Minister has spoken to the
President of the United States about softwood lumber. Rather than being
reticent, the Prime Minister has been extraordinarily bold on this matter and
has raised it in phone conversations between the two leaders as well as at
The provinces have been very positive in putting forward proposals to the
United States government. For the first time, the provinces have said that they
are prepared to make changes and that they want a long-term settlement of this
Minister Pettigrew said last week in no uncertain terms that he expected a
counterproposal from the United States, and that we, up to this point, have been
making the proposals. United States companies and the United States government
have been urging us to come forward with proposals. It is now time for the
United States to act on this issue.
Senator St. Germain: Honourable senators, if the Prime Minister has
spoken to the President of the United States on three occasions, something is
obviously wrong with that communication. One would think that all Canadians are
giving in to the Americans, and that there is something askew on this particular
file if he is not responding.
Honourable senators, we have in excess of 20,000 unemployed people in the
lumber industry in the province of British Columbia. As a result of the events
of September 11, tourism has taken a beating. I blame no one for that other than
the terrorists. Teachers and health care workers are being forced to accept wage
decreases. These are all symptoms of the problems in the British Columbia
Premier Gordon Campbell is doing an excellent job under extreme conditions.
This is an urgent matter. The word "urgent" does not adequately describe the
horror stories being told on the streets of British Columbia, stories about
workers, their families, and the total impact on our economy. It appears that
the politicians have been unable to solve the problem. Why are we not seeking
some other method of proceeding?
The Leader of the Government in the Senate is correct in saying that the
Americans were supposed to return with counterproposals. In mid-January, I spoke
with the British Columbia Minister of Forests, the Honourable Michael de Jong,
who told me that he was expecting a response from former Governor Racicot of
Montana and that that response had not yet been received. There must be
something wrong with the file. Perhaps we need somebody with more influence with
the President of the United States to intervene since I do not think that the
message has arrived at the White House. Would the minister suggest to her
cabinet that we seek other help if the political side is failing?
Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, with the greatest respect to
Senator St. Germain, the Prime Minister has raised this issue on at least three
occasions that I know of with the President of the United States. It is
difficult to imagine that one can be at a higher communication level with the
United States than that.
There is certainly a disagreement in the United States between producers of
softwood lumber and the building community that has been expressed in the public
venue south of the border.
I would suggest that there is a certain lack of communication between their
representative, Mr. Racicot, and the industry. That is exactly why the
Government of Canada is not only pursuing that avenue, but is also pursuing the
WTO route. We want to ensure that we pursue every possible route to finding a
resolution of this matter.
Senator St. Germain: Honourable senators, with all respect, the WTO
route is a path to disaster for British Columbia. By the time we resolve this
dispute through the WTO, the party will be over in British Columbia. As the
Leader of the Government in the Senate is well aware, our economy is driven by
our lumber industry. Tourism, our second largest industry, has taken such a
beating that I do not think it can be part of the solution.
During the free trade negotiations, special people were brought in to effect
that agreement. There are people out there who would be more effective than the
ministers who are handling the file at the present time.
Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, I happen to believe that the
minister handling the file and the Prime Minister are doing an excellent job.
However, I will certainly bring representations from the honourable senator to
my cabinet colleagues and inform them he does not think they are doing a good
job. If my colleague would give me names to put forward, I would be pleased to
pass those on to the Prime Minister as well.
Senator St. Germain: Brian Mulroney is the right one.
Hon. Brenda M. Robertson: Honourable senators, I wish to return to the
issue of farm salmon dumping by Chile, which was raised in December. On December
10, in a response to a question from my colleague Senator Comeau respecting
Chile dumping salmon on the U.S. market, the government had little information
to pass on at that particular time. I believe the government deserves full marks
for its attention to this situation that threatens the jobs of about 4,000
Atlantic Canadians, including more than 3,000 jobs in New Brunswick.
The minister informed the Senate in December that discussions about the
situation were ongoing. Since then, press reports indicate that the government
sent officials to Chile in an effort to resolve the dispute. When he was at
ACOA, the new Minister of Fisheries and Oceans said that he was willing to
Since those positive interventions, my first question is to the minister.
When might ongoing discussions result in concrete measures to help the region's
fish farmers survive this trade dispute with Chile?
The minister might answer my second question at the same time. The Atlantic
fishery industry is looking for a support package or some form of insurance
program, such as exists in agriculture, against future price devaluation. Could
the minister confirm that the government is considering such a safety net? She
might want to comment on my first question.
Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators,
I must apologize to the honourable senator, as we certainly did have that
dialogue in the Senate. I should have pursued that matter and have not. However,
when I leave the chamber this afternoon, I will see if there is an update on
what has been happening with respect to the negotiations with Chile.
As to a support package, I have heard nothing to date about that. I will
inquire of the Minister of Fisheries to see if he is making any changes in that
Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable
senators, it is my pleasure to table three delayed answers. The first one is in
response to a question raised in the Senate on December 13, 2001, by Senator
Corbin regarding the facilities of the National Library; the second one is in
response to a question raised in the Senate on October 24, 2001, by Senator Di
Nino regarding equipping and training staff of the Canada Customs and Revenue
Agency to deal with hazardous materials; and the third one is in response to a
question raised in the Senate on December 5, 2001, by Senator Lawson regarding
the relief for heating expenses issued to deceased persons.
(Response to question raised by Hon. Eymard G. Corbin on December 13, 2001)
The Department of Canadian Heritage is working with Public Works and
Government Services Canada, the National Library and the National Archives to
resolve the accommodation pressures on the National Library in both the
short-term and the long-term.
In the past five years, Treasury Board has approved almost $3 million to
restore damaged Library material and to take preventative measures. Further,
beginning in the spring of 2001, parts of the Library's collections have been
moved into ideal environmental conditions made available by the National
Archives in their Gatineau Preservation Centre. In addition, Public Works and
Government Services Canada will continue with repairs to currently-occupied
facilities, such as installing air-conditioning for the Newspaper Collection
in spring 2002.
To address the long-term accommodation needs of the National Library,
options are being explored to construct joint facilities for the National
Library and the National Archives for both collections storage and public
We are committed to giving Canadians continued access to our national
collections and to preserving them for future generations while at the same
time being fiscally responsible, recognizing the financial pressures facing
the country at this time.
(Response to question raised by Hon. Consiglio Di Nino on October 24, 2001)
The Government recently injected $100 million towards the implementation of
the five-year Customs Action Plan.
In addition, the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA) announced, in
June 2001, a further investment of $12 million in people and technology to
counter threats to the security of Canadians.
Starting on September 11, 2001, in response to the crisis, the CCRA:
- increased its use of overtime and part-time staff,
- cancelled leave, and
- reassigned resources from less critical activities to all ports of entry.
On October 11, 2001, the Government announced additional funding of $9
million for the CCRA, which will be used to hire approximately 130 Customs
Officers to respond to new and emerging security threats.
At the same time, $12 million was announced to buy new technology (such as
X-Ray machines) to facilitate screening of goods, and leading-edge technology
to better connect front-line officers to Customs intelligence data bases and
those of other law enforcement agencies.
In October of 2001, the CCRA issued the following internal communications
dealing with potential biological threats:
- October 18 — Interim Guidelines on Mail processing issued to all CCRA
mail operations in the regions and at headquarters (HQ);
- October 24 — additional information on potential biological threats
specifically addressed to Customs staff;
- October 25 — HQ Mail and Courier Services — Special Measures: centralized
mail processing for all external mail destined for the National Capital.
In the Federal Budget of December 10, 2001, $433M of the more than $600M
dedicated to border security and facilitation will be set aside for Customs to
- expansion and acceleration of the Customs Action Plan initiatives,
- procurement of state of the art detection technology,
- new secure internet-based technology to ease compliance for small
- other security related issues, e.g., Customs Controlled Areas.
These steps demonstrate the Government's desire to support the efforts of
its Customs personnel and provide for the security of all Canadians.
We are taking all necessary steps to mitigate any real or perceived
(Response to question raised by Hon. Edward M. Lawson on December 5, 2001)
The Auditor General has observed that there were anomalies in the payment
of Relief for Heating Expenses (RHE) and I quote: "These anomalies occurred
because of the rules related to the GSTC." [Goods and Services Tax Credit]
Of the 8.6 million recipients there was a small percentage of clients who
died during January 2001. These clients were entitled to the Goods and
Services Tax credit payment and therefore also received the RHE. The Auditor
General estimated this at 7,500 people.
When a payment is issued to a deceased person, the client's estate contacts
the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA) to advise of the client's date of
death and the payment is reissued to the estate.
The Hon. the Speaker informed the Senate that a message had been
received from the House of Commons returning Bill C-7, in respect of criminal
justice for young persons and to amend and repeal other Acts, and acquainting
the Senate that they have agreed to the amendment made by the Senate to this
bill without further amendment.
On the Order:
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Banks, seconded by
the Honourable Senator Ferretti Barth, for the second reading of Bill C-10,
respecting the national marine conservation areas of Canada.
Hon. Gerald J. Comeau: Honourable senators, Bill C-10 is to authorize
the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Parks Canada Agency to establish
so-called national marine conservation areas in the Great Lakes and in tidal
waters up to 200 miles. The objective is to set aside and zone representative
marine areas for visitor enjoyment and to encourage understanding.
Essentially, the act will authorize the creation of 29 marine parks similar
to terrestrial parks now in existence under the mandate of the Parks Canada
The policy to create national marine parks began in 1986 under a Progressive
Conservative government. I am pleased to see that the current government
supports the leadership and principles that we established at that time. Also,
those who know me will know that my personal interest in marine issues is no
The title of the bill — Marine Conservation Areas — for those who have not
actually read the contents, may mislead some to believe that the object of the
bill is to protect fisheries and marine habitat environment. At the outset, it
must be understood that this bill should not be about habitat and marine
environmental protection. We have other government ministries mandated by
federal statutes to accomplish these objectives. Adding another minister into
the business of marine habitat and environment protection, as some of the
provisions of this bill propose to do, would duplicate statutory mandates, blur
responsibilities, and cause confusion, interference and conflict among
departments. Worse, it will make it impossible to hold responsible ministries to
account for failures.
Section 35(2) of the 1997 Oceans Act states that the Minister of Fisheries
and Oceans will lead and coordinate the development and implementation of a
national system of marine protected areas on behalf of the Government of Canada.
Certain provisions of this current bill are, therefore, in direct conflict with
the Oceans Act. This becomes apparent as one reads through the bill.
The authors seem unaware that the residents of our coastal communities are
sensitive to the marine environment and the need to protect fragile ecosystems
and habitat that nurture marine life. It is forgotten that they have been
dependent on the resources of the sea for many centuries — that it is more than
a way to earn a living; it is, in fact, in those areas a way of life.
Coastal communities have worked with and have pressured the federal
Departments of Fisheries and Oceans and Environment to enact strong laws and
regulations to protect our marine environment. In response to these concerns,
the government added the Oceans Act, which provides the DFO with the authority
and responsibility to designate marine areas for special protection.
As is often the case with initiatives such as Bill C-10, the devil is in the
details. I should like, therefore, to point to specific clauses that illustrate
the faults in the bill and how the bill will actually work against the
principles of the Oceans Act.
In clauses 5 and 6 of the bill, there is no clearly defined process or
criteria for stakeholders to consider in the designation or amendments of marine
parks and reserves. There is no provision to oblige the minister to consult
those most affected by the designation of marine parks. The only requirement is
to report the list of those who were consulted, the date, and a summary of their
comments. Stakeholders could, therefore, suddenly discover that their areas of
work, in their marine backyard, have been designated without their involvement
and that the Minister of Heritage will eventually tell them what is to become of
their place of work. This is a radical departure from the consensus-building
principles of the Oceans Act, which solicit public and stakeholder support as a
key assessment principle.
Under the bill's flawed process, marine parks could well be designated based
on pressure by politically connected lobby groups close to the minister of the
day. This is especially troubling if the minister should happen to be a
Clause 7 provides that each House of Parliament has 30 sitting days to reject
the designation. This hardly constitutes a proper control over the process. We
should also be concerned that many legislators may not understand the
implications of the bill or that they may not pay enough attention because it
does not impact their constituencies directly.
How many parliamentarians truly understand the natural, social, cultural and
economic complexities of the marine environment? The reality in Canada today is
that the vast majority of backbench government members are from urban,
non-coastal communities. Why would they bother to understand a bill that impacts
far-off coastal communities, more so when they are under the mistaken impression
that they are contributing to the protection of the marine environment?
No one can deny that there has been an increasing trend in recent years for
the urban majority members to impose their values and beliefs on less
politically connected coastal and rural communities in Canada. Such communities
are seen as irrelevant. Even worse, some members who promote initiatives such as
this often do not understand the bill. The chair of the Commons committee that
studied the bill in the other place stated in reference to this bill that "it
is vital to the conservation of our aquatic resources." If the chair of the key
Commons committee that studied the bill does not understand the nature of the
bill, do the residents of coastal communities not have cause to be alarmed?
Each proposed marine park should be viewed as unique and should be given the
type of public scrutiny as outlined in the Oceans Act. Bill C-10 does not trust
stakeholders to be fully involved.
Unlike the Oceans Act, which requires a management plan before the
designation, clause 9 of this bill requires a management plan of the
conservation areas to be established within five years of the designation. This
should, in fact, be the other way around. A plan would alert the stakeholders to
what is in store and reduce the uncertainty of waiting five years to find out
what the Minister of Heritage has in store for the stakeholders.
Clause 9(3) involves the Heritage Minister directly in the business of marine
ecosystem environment protection. Here and elsewhere, the bill strays into truly
treacherous waters. As noted earlier, the business of marine environment
protection is already well covered by other statutes, and the involvement of the
Minister of Heritage will create duplication, interference, confusion, conflict
and a dilution of accountability.
To illustrate the confusion, the preamble of the bill states that the
government is committed to adopting the precautionary principle, and clause 9(3)
states that the principle will be applied. A problem here is that the government
is currently consulting on the proposed guiding principles to seek the views of
Canadians on this subject. The government is not yet fully committed to the
precautionary principle, and for good reasons.
The consultation will supposedly inform the government's thinking on whether
the guiding principles on the precautionary approach are appropriate, would
improve consistency, provide appropriate balance of flexibility and
predictability and be adaptable. Canadians have until March 31, 2002, to submit
their views on whether Canada should adopt the precautionary principle. The
consulting documents state that:
- as references to the precautionary approach increase, the possibility for
misuse and abuse has been highlighted. For example, there are concerns that it
could be applied to perceived risks for which there is no scientific basis.
In fact, the precautionary principle is not even the principle adopted by the
government, yet it becomes a part of this bill. It is even in the preamble.
Clause 9(3) states that this principle will be applied. This implies that
either the government has secretly adopted the precautionary principle's guiding
principles and that the consultative process is just a sham, or that the
drafters of this bill were ignorant to the fact that the precautionary principle
is still a work in progress.
Clause 9(4) provides for the Minister of Heritage to get involved with the
activities covered by DFO and provides the Heritage Department with a veto over
certain activities, such as fishing, aquaculture, marine navigation and marine
safety. If such is the case, be prepared for jurisdictional turf battles.
This bill would create a parallel or dual fisheries management structure and
may compromise the ability of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to
effectively manage the marine resources and the marine habitat of Canada.
DFO management and enforcement provisions are already very complex and
confusing as they currently exist, based on a multiplicity of divisions,
including inland and maritime, fishing zones, marine protected areas, nursery
and spawning zones, shipping lanes, oil and gas activities, aquaculture,
provincial jurisdictional interests, divisions by seasons, fleet sectors by gear
types, vessel sizes and vessel types, fish species and Aboriginal and
non-Aboriginal fisheries, to name but a few.
As if the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans did not have enough on the plate
with dwindling enforcement resources, habitat degradation, judicial intervention
and so on, this adds another new fish to fry. He will now have to deal with
duplication and overlap in the management resources and the marine environment.
The ministers of fisheries and the environment will now have to deal with a new
ministry with legislated mandated management and enforcement authority in this
already overcrowded marine environment. It will certainly make our job as
parliamentarians more demanding and make it more difficult for Canadians to
attach responsibility for failures to protect our valuable marine resources.
Resources are inadequate at present, and conflicting priorities and mandates
will create added pressures on already underfunded staff resources.
Clause 11 calls for the establishment of management advisory committees to
advise the minister on the management plan for each marine conservation area,
but these advisers are appointed by the minister. The minister would consult
with stakeholders on the composition, but can still appoint whoever the minister
wants — another costly and useless committee on which to place political
friends. Rather than ministerial appointees, such advisory committees should be
made up of stakeholder representatives who have the trust and confidence of
Clause 13 is an absolute legislated prohibition of exploration and
exploitation in all designated marine parks. This should be an area of concern
to all our colleagues on both the East and West Coasts. I know Senator St.
Germain will want to expand further on this.
I find this clause somewhat surprising. Should this kind of activity, similar
to provisions for controlled fishing activities, not be examined in the overall
management plan in a manner consistent with the Oceans Act? There may well be
representative areas that Canadians would like to designate as marine parks, but
where some activity could be permitted under controlled conditions. Both East
Coast and West Coast residents, especially British Columbians, have just cause
to be alarmed by this absolute prohibition. It breaches the spirit of good
faith, consensus and agreement established by the Oceans Act to attain the
overall objective of sustainable development. It will set back the goodwill and
progress made possible under the Oceans Act.
Clause 14, similar to clause 9(3), again involves the Minister of Canadian
Heritage in the business of marine environment protection. The Department of the
Environment already has the authority and responsibility to deal with the
disposal of any substance in the marine environment. Adding the Parks Canada
Agency to this activity will create another new needless and costly bureaucracy.
Clause 15 provides for the authority to be given to parks superintendents to
issue, amend, suspend and revoke permits and other authorizing instruments that
are consistent with the management plan. What this means is that the management
plan could allow for fishing licences to be issued by the parks superintendent
to fish in marine parks. The authority provides no criteria or rationale for the
issuance or revocation of licences.
Experience with the Fisheries Act has demonstrated that this power can be and
has been subject to abuse. For those who doubt the possibility of abuse, you do
not need to take my word for it. I invite you to speak with our fishermen. They
know the history and would be pleased to provide honourable senators with the
instances of abuse.
Clause 16 provides for sweeping and wide-ranging regulatory powers to the
Clause 16(5) provides that this bill's regulations prevail over regulations
made under other relevant statutes, including the Fisheries Act, the Coastal
Fisheries Protection Act, the Canadian Shipping Act, the Arctic Waters Pollution
Prevention Act, the Navigational Waters Protection Act and the Aeronautics Act.
These are all sobering prospects.
Areas designated under this bill may be foreclosed to fishermen, or they may
seek special permission to carry out this work. What does special permission
mean? This is not limited to mineral and fish resources. The Governor in Council
has the right, by way of recommendation by the ministers of Transport and
Canadian Heritage, to limit transportation in marine conservation areas as well.
Clause 18 provides for the creation of a brand new enforcement body, even
though this government has cut DFO enforcement resources to the bone. How can
this be rationalized to fishing communities that have implored the government to
provide more enforcement resources, only to receive the response that the
government could not afford it?
There is no name for this new Heritage police force, but I would like to call
them the "Copps' cops." Whatever their name, clause 21(1) shows this is no
cheap rent-a-cop operation. The officer will be provided with the powers to
arrest, without warrant, any person whom the officer believes has committed, or
is about to commit, an offence under this act.
Furthermore, in clause 22(1), the warden, with a warrant or without a warrant
if it is not practical to obtain one, will be provided with the authority to
enter and search any place and open any package or receptacle at any time, day
or night, and to seize anything that the warden believes is a thing prescribed
by the warrant, if he has one.
This will surely add further confusion in marine parks. An example of this is
the recent public controversy about arming park wardens and the decision of the
Parks Canada Agency to hire RCMP officers to patrol national parks. Will the
RCMP be added to police the marine parks, thereby adding another new player to
It is no secret that empire building takes place and that departments
aggressively protect their turf. The addition of another federal agency in
federal waters will aggravate and create further confusion, duplication and
conflict in an already overcrowded marine environment.
Ministers are already tripping over one another as it is and the addition of
a Heritage bureaucracy will add to the Alice-in-Wonderland seascape. If nothing
else, pity the poor stakeholders who have to navigate through this confusion and
conflict. Perhaps we should ask that NAV CANADA be called in to direct the
bloated marine traffic.
Heritage Canada, with this bill, intends to create marine conservation areas.
The Department of the Environment already has marine wildlife reserves, and the
Department of Fisheries and Oceans has already created marine protection areas
under the Oceans Act.
What will happen when the Ministry of Indian Affairs and Northern Development
pursues proposals respecting native fishing zones, as put forward last year by
the negotiators in the lobster fishing dispute?
To add to the confusion, ACOA is now getting into the act by funding research
into climate change and shoreline development on marine ecology. The research
may indeed be worthwhile, but should such funding not originate from the lead
fishery and oceans ministry?
Fishermen may have to lay off crew members and replace them with lawyers.
Pity the poor marine animals and fish with these federal statutes all claiming
authority over them. In fact, this bill is so confusing that it has to
incorporate provisions for consultations between the Minister of Heritage and
the other ministers. The same territory could conceivably be zoned in various
ways and subject to various federal regulations.
The Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans has the expertise, experience and
contacts with stakeholders to implement and administer the proposed marine
parks. DFO already has a well-established consultation process and regularly
meets with interested stakeholders on a vast range of issues. This is not to
suggest that the process is perfect and that the Department of Fisheries and
Oceans is a perfect body. Honourable senators have often heard me suggest
changes that should be made to the DFO. However, even though it is not perfect,
at least fishermen and stakeholders are familiar with DFO staff, and they do
meet on an ongoing basis. As the old saying goes, it is sometimes better to deal
with the devil you know than the devil you don't. Government seems ignorant of
the fact that fishermen have to earn a living, and meeting with officials takes
valuable time. Parks Canada will now add another new player to the scene, adding
to the already busy, non-productive workload of fishermen.
Stakeholders have a right to be concerned about the proliferation of
legislation and programs that give departments other than DFO a role in managing
marine resources. Will the cost of this new Canadian Heritage administration be
off-loaded on the fishing industry, or will the cost be absorbed by taxpayers?
Is Canada so cash rich that it can afford to create new non-essential
government bureaucracy? I suggest to you that the answer is no.
Our Fisheries Committee hears numerous requests from many coastal communities
for urgent action in many areas. Its recent aquaculture study outlined the
urgent need for research on the impact of fish farms on wild fish and habitat.
Last year we heard testimony that Lake Winnipeg was approaching a state of
deterioration that may affect ecosystem sustainability. In September, 2000, a
joint task force on northern research established by the Natural Sciences and
Engineering Research Council, NSERC, and the Social Sciences and Humanities
Research Council, SSHRC, reported that Canada's research in the North was in a
state of crisis. The report warned that, if action is not taken, Canada would
not be able to meet its international science and research obligations,
contribute to issues of global importance, or meet basic national obligations to
monitor, manage and safeguard the northern environment or respond to emerging
It is our responsibility as parliamentarians to wisely use taxpayers' dollars
and direct those dollars to tackling urgent problems needing attention. The
creation of another new layer of bureaucracy on the marine scene is not only a
waste of ever-decreasing federal resources, but it may also be
counterproductive. The government already has the legislative tools, personnel
and expertise to accomplish our goal to protect marine heritage areas. Former
Prime Minister the Right Honourable John Turner recently reported in The Globe
and Mail that the federal Oceans Act, passed in 1997, provides both the mandate
and the powers to establish marine protected areas. He pointed out that the
Canadian Wildlife Act, passed more than 40 years ago, also permits protection of
marine sites as national marine reserve areas. He also pointed out that the
entire marine protected area, including cores and buffers, should be co-managed
by local residents who, after all, have the greatest stake in conservation
The important point is that the establishment of representative marine areas
can be done with current legislation and without the creation of a brand new
bureaucracy, as proposed by this bill. A simple one-line amendment to subsection
35(1) of the Oceans Act can accomplish everything that Bill C-10 proposes.
Consultative bodies are already in place, as are environmental protection and
enforcement. More important, there is public support to create more marine
conservation areas. Furthermore, the Oceans Act has a built-in requirement for
socio-economic impact studies to be completed before designation of marine
It is important that the Department of Canadian Heritage be involved in the
establishment of these areas because of the department's expertise in heritage
matters. However, it is imperative that the DFO minister be the lead minister
because of the close and ongoing relationship with costal communities, and the
minister already has the legislative tools to do that.
When the bill goes to committee for assessment, the committee should invite
stakeholders' groups to review the complex proposed provisions of this bill. I
would suggest that the committee travel to the East and West Coasts of Canada
and hear from the people who will be affected by what is proposed in this bill.
Many Canadians in those areas will be asking that the committee take the
provisions of this bill seriously.
Coastal communities, fishermen, Aboriginals, shipping interests, mining and
other interested groups should be consulted on this and they should be visited.
They have earned that right, and they deserve that right. To quote the previous
Minister of Fisheries, Herb Dhaliwal, in a speech to the Global Conference on
Oceans and Coasts at Rio +10, given in Paris on December 3, 2001:
Our Oceans Act gave us the tools we needed to understand, protect and enhance
our oceans and their resources for a long time. It has given a wide range of
Canadians the opportunity to get involved in the decision-making process of our
Oceans, and play a positive and meaningful role in Canada's oceans heritage.
I could not have said it any better.
Hon. Gerry St. Germain: Senator Comeau raised a question regarding
clause 13, which is terrifying to British Columbians. There is no question that
prohibition of any exploration for any resources would have a tremendous impact
on the future of British Columbia. Today Hibernia is operating successfully. I
believe that Senator Watt and others would express this same concern as it
relates to the Arctic.
The most disturbing aspect of the honourable senator's speech, and perhaps he
can comment further on this, are his comments as they relate to the danger of
duplication in its greatest form. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the
Department of the Environment are already involved, and now we want to involve
the minister responsible for the Department of Canadian Heritage. This will
create the danger of ministers trying to establish their turf. I have
experienced that, so I know how it works. That is worrisome because bigger is
better in the minds of certain people.
How does one overcome the urban person's lack of understanding and knowledge
of what is required in these rural coastal communities? I do not want to be
partisan, but Bill C-68 impacted the rural communities negatively and the rural
communities voted aggressively against that measure. We ended up with a program
that was supposed to cost $80 million, but cost $600 million. What we have,
honourable senators, is a situation where the majority is going to impose its
will unfairly on the minority. How can we convince the government to get travel
into this program and achieve real understanding? Premier Campbell of my
province of British Columbia is concerned about this. Would the honourable
senator elaborate on that, please?
Senator Comeau: First, I should like to refer to the Oceans Act, which
I supported. It was a proposal from the other side. I think Senator Robichaud
will remember. I was one of the great boosters of the Oceans Act because of the
great promise it held for our coastal communities. Bill C-10, in my view, does
not contain the great opportunities that we find in the Oceans Act. The Oceans
Act created a balance in that it provided for consultation with coastal
communities and brought them into the process. Senator St. Germain referred to
the fact that a large number of urban people do not understand what is happening
in the coastal communities, and why should they? Why would someone in an inland
city care all that much for a far-away coastal community in Northern B.C. or off
Newfoundland? The Oceans Act gave a chance for those coastal communities to be
involved in the initial stages as the plan was being made. This bill takes
another approach. It establishes an area first and then creates a plan, which is
completely contrary to what the Oceans Act provided.
Clause 13, to which the honourable senator refers, is an absolute prohibition
of any kind of exploration in the area of undersea mineral rights and is
contrary to what the Oceans Act wanted to do. It will create a system whereby
people will resist trying to protect those areas because they will not want a
Under the Oceans Act, the provisions provided for certain controlled
activities in those areas but at the same time protected those areas for
environmental purposes, for conservation purposes and, I suggest, for heritage
purposes. Bill C-10 says absolutely no — in perpetuity. It runs contrary to what
we have been suggesting that the government should do when dealing with coastal
communities, which is to consult and then act, rather than act and then consult.
I hope that Senator St. Germain will expand on this issue in days to come.
Senator St. Germain: The Honourable Senator Comeau has given an
excellent speech and I hope the government is listening. This is not partisan
behaviour. These remarks go to the heart and the core of economic viability and
development in our country. Senator Comeau, who spent the majority of his time
in the House of Commons and in this place studying the oceans and the impacts of
various pieces of legislation, has a great amount of knowledge in this area, as
there is a large amount of knowledge on both sides. However, we need to share
our knowledge and do what is right for these urban coastal communities.
The Hon. the Speaker: It was moved by the Honourable Senator Banks,
seconded by the Honourable Senator Ferretti Barth, that Bill C-10 be read the
second time. Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?
Motion agreed to and bill read second time.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, when shall this bill be
read the third time?
On motion of Senator Robichaud, bill referred to the Standing Senate
Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources.
Hon. Marie-P. Poulin moved that Bill C-23, to amend the Competition
Act and the Competition Tribunal Act, be read the second time.
She said: Honourable senators, as we debate the amendments to the Competition
Act and the Competition Tribunal Act before the Senate today, it is important
that we take into account the ensuing benefits to all Canadians. Competition is
essential to an effective market economy. It encourages businesses to work more
efficiently and allows Canadians to benefit from competitive pricing, a choice
of products, and improved services.
As consumers, each one of us benefits from effective competition legislation.
Bill C-23 includes amendments to the Competition Act. It has six objectives:
first, to allow Canada to obtain evidence from other countries with respect to
civil cases involving competition in Canada; second, to prohibit deceptive prize
notices; third, to broaden the scope under which the tribunal may issue
temporary orders; fourth, to improve procedures with respect to matters to be
presented before the Competition Tribunal and to allow it to award costs; fifth,
to allow individuals and corporations to apply directly to the tribunal for an
order against anti-competitive behaviour; and, sixth, to deal with
anti-competitive behaviour in the airline industry.
Honourable senators, let me deal first with the issue of evidence gathering
and international cooperation among competition authorities. Canadian
competition authorities can currently ask their counterparts in more than 30
countries, pursuant to the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act, to
collect evidence related to anti-competitive conduct. The conduct must fall
under the provisions of the Competition Act that deal with criminal offences. No
requests may be made to gather evidence concerning conduct that falls under the
act's provisions dealing with non-criminal matters. The subject matter under
such provisions includes review of major merger cases, abuse of dominant
position, and other types of potentially anti-competitive conduct such as market
restriction or tied selling.
Yes, honourable senators, Bill C-23 provides for the possibility of making
requests to obtain evidence through agreements. These amendments to the
Competition Act and the Competition Tribunal Act are essential because in
today's increasingly global economy the ability to obtain evidence in other
countries is crucial to administering and enforcing domestic competition laws.
Naturally, if Canada asks foreign states to collect evidence on Canada's behalf,
it will also agree to collect evidence on anti-competitive conduct for other
Moreover, the amendments set out basic requirements that must be met before
entering into an agreement with another country. They establish procedures for
approving and handling requests for evidence from other countries. For example,
before an agreement is entered into, the Minister of Justice must be satisfied
that competition laws of the foreign state are substantially similar to those of
Canada, that confidentiality of information is preserved and that the
information is used only for the purpose for which it was requested.
The Minister of Justice must approve all requests for evidence. Additionally,
the process provided for dealing with such requests will be subject to judicial
authorization. To protect and maintain competition at home, Canada needs the
ability to ask other countries to collect evidence for cases involving civil
competition matters. Bill C-23 provides an important and essential tool for
facilitating this requirement. For this reason alone, I would urge speedy
passage of Bill C-23.
There are, however, other reasons to support this bill, honourable senators.
For example, it contains amendments specifically relating to deceptive prize
notices, which mislead people into thinking that they have won a prize but
demand a payment in order to receive it, which invariably exceeds the value of
There is, however, no likelihood of these changes affecting companies
presenting legitimate contests. An offence is not committed if the following
conditions are met: the sender makes adequate and fair disclosure of the number
and approximate value of the prizes or benefits, the areas to which the prizes
have been allocated, and any facts that "materially affect" the chances of
winning; the prize or benefit is distributed without unreasonable delay; and
participants are selected or the prizes are distributed randomly or on the basis
of participants' skill.
In other words, the amendments to Bill C-23 help consumers to make informed
decisions. These amendments deserve our support. They will help put an end to
the rackets offering prizes in order to snare victims and will enable Canada to
adopt a position similar to that of the United States and the United Kingdom.
Honourable senators, Bill C-23 also contains amendments that will broaden the
scope under which the Competition Tribunal may issue interim orders. Except
under certain circumstances, such as merger reviews, the tribunal cannot
presently issue an interim order until the commissioner has applied to the
tribunal under Part VIII of the Competition Act.
Collecting all the necessary evidence required for such an application can
take time. For this reason, it may become necessary to implement procedures that
may help to prevent irreparable harm before an investigation can be completed.
The proposed amendments, therefore, include provisions that would allow the
tribunal to issue interim orders upon findings that if such an order were not
issued there would be injury to competition, a competitor likely would be
eliminated or a person likely would suffer significant loss of market share,
revenue or other harm that could not be later remedied by the tribunal.
Honourable senators, Bill C-23 also contains certain amendments to help
simplify certain procedures of the Competition Tribunal. For example, certain
clauses would enable it to grant summary judgment while others could award costs
— an effective way of discouraging strategic litigation.
Honourable senators, there was an important amendment added during the review
of Bill C-23 by the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology in
the other place. This amendment would allow individuals and businesses to apply
directly to the Competition Tribunal rather than go through the Commissioner of
Competition on matters involving refusal to deal, market restriction, tied
selling and exclusive dealing.
At present, if the Competition Bureau decides not to proceed on a matter, the
complainant has no other recourse under the Competition Act. This amendment
provides an alternative that can complement the bureau's enforcement of
procedures under the Competition Act.
Moreover, amendments respecting private access to the tribunal were
originally proposed in a discussion paper prepared by the Competition Bureau in
response to private members' bills aimed at the Competition Act tabled in the
Consultations were undertaken by the Public Policy Forum, a non-partisan,
non-profit organization. The consultations revealed diverse views among
stakeholders on this proposal but found that a balanced solution might be
possible if appropriate safeguards were added to protect against strategic
litigation. The Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology heard
witnesses on this issue and decided that private access should be included in
Honourable senators, permit me to summarize the specific safeguards added to
Bill C-23. First, the tribunal can act as a gatekeeper through its power to
grant leave to apply for an order. Second, cases cannot proceed if the
Commissioner of Competition is on inquiry or has settled the matter. Third, no
damages may be sought, but the tribunal has the discretion to award costs.
In brief, the addition of private access to the Competition Tribunal is a
balanced approach. It will enhance competition law enforcement in Canada. It
will contribute to building a more efficient and competitive marketplace. As a
result, it will benefit Canadian consumers and businesses alike.
Finally, honourable senators, this bill includes new provisions to address
specific important issues facing Canada's airline industry. First, the
Competition Tribunal will have the power to extend a temporary order made by the
Commissioner of Competition. This will give the commissioner time to receive and
examine the information required to determine whether or not he will apply to
the tribunal under the legislation's abuse of dominant position provisions,
section 79. These amendments will also allow the tribunal to impose an
administrative monetary penalty of up to $15 million with respect to an air
carrier which has abused its dominant position in a relevant market. I am not
suggesting that the fact of having a carrier with such a large share of the
national market is because of anticompetitive conduct. However, we must
recognize that Canada has a highly concentrated airline industry right now. The
new monetary penalties would therefore provide a powerful incentive to ensure
compliance with the Competition Act.
Honourable senators, I close my remarks by saying that the amendments in Bill
C-23, to amend the Competition Act and the Competition Tribunal Act, will
collectively lead to a Canadian marketplace that functions more effectively for
consumers and businesses alike. This is why the Senate should act with dispatch
and pass this bill.
Hon. Donald H. Oliver: Honourable senators, I rise today to speak to
Bill C-23, to amend the Competition Act and the Competition Tribunal Act.
Before speaking to the bill, I wish to make a few general remarks about the
Competition Act. The purpose of this legislation is to maintain and encourage
competition in Canada. It therefore plays a central role in the Canadian
economy. This role is more important because the economy is becoming globalized,
the number of mergers is increasing, and many sectors of activity are
The Competition Act sets out the parameters between acceptable and
unacceptable business behaviour. The Competition Bureau's enforcement of the act
must be flexible and must take account of the business environment. Today,
dwindling numbers of companies are operating in various sectors of the Canadian
economy and there are near monopoly situations in some sectors, such as the
airlines. It is important for the bureau to look at all rules that can have an
adverse impact on competition. Restrictions on foreign ownership and foreign
investment in some sectors of the Canadian economy, for example, can be
significant barriers to market entry and impediments to effective competition.
Government creates these barriers. In most situations, competition policy does
not address such government-created barriers. However, I believe it is incumbent
upon the Competition Bureau to draw the government's attention to the impact of
these barriers on competition and work towards their reduction and eventual
elimination where competition is adversely affected.
Honourable senators, my remarks today will focus on three issues: private
access to the Competition Tribunal, already addressed by the honourable senator,
the need for regular parliamentary reviews of the Competition Act, and, finally,
the interface between the Competition Bureau and the Canadian Radio-television
and Telecommunications Commission, CRTC.
Bill C-23 introduces a right of private access to the Competition Tribunal.
Private parties who have been directly affected by certain anti-competitive
practices would be able to initiate an action under the Competition Act. This
amendment, as you have already heard, was introduced at committee stage in the
House of Commons.
Let me begin by stating that I fully support a right of private access to the
Competition Tribunal. I can find no valid public policy reason why access to the
tribunal should be limited to the Commissioner of Competition, as is presently
Discussion of the right to private access in connection with practices
leading to an action under the Competition Act has been going on for years. This
is a controversial amendment. Some feel that this is a long overdue measure,
while others feel that allowing businesses to bring private action before the
tribunal would have terrible effects.
The arguments for and against private access are well known. Among other
things, proponents argue private access will deter firms from engaging in
anti-competitive practices, free up Competition Bureau resources and allow the
bureau to focus on other anti-competitive conduct, complement public enforcement
by the Commissioner of Competition, and, finally, produce judicial decisions to
guide the business community on its responsibilities under competition law.
Opponents, on the other hand, maintain that private access will encourage
costly strategic litigation, place a litigation chill on certain pro-competitive
business activity, such as vertical contractual arrangements and altering
distribution arrangements, and result in the government declining to initiate
cases it might have previously pursued on the belief that the private sector
should do so and lead Canada down the road to an American-style litigation
As a proponent of private access, I would add two equally important and
compelling reasons for supporting the right of private complaints to gain direct
access to the Competition Tribunal.
First, the Commissioner of Competition is not always right not to initiate a
case. He may occasionally misjudge. Under the present legislation, the injured
party has no recourse. Private access provides the plaintiff with an alternative
solution when the commissioner decides not to intervene.
The head of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission confirms this
view of how competition law operates in Australia.
Speaking before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science
and Technology last November, Professor Alan Fels noted that there were cases in
Australia where his commission failed to take action when it should have and had
been proven wrong after private claimants brought a successful case. He also
noted that cases started by private clients would have produced important legal
Second, private access will increase accountability of the Competition
Bureau. A respected authority on Canadian competition law, Professor Michael
Trebilcock, recently made the point that there was little accountability in
relation to the commissioner's decision not to bring cases forward. Private
access, then, becomes an important check on the commissioner's power and
In discussing the benefits of private access under Australian competition
law, the chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission stated:
— having a private right of action makes the law far more effective and
achieves much better compliance, and ultimately achieves better results for
consumers and for many business customers who may otherwise be on the
receiving end of anti-competitive behaviour. That factor is especially
important at times when there are budgetary cutbacks.
Many agree that the Commissioner of Competition under-enforces the
Competition Act. Clearly, the competitive environment in Canada would benefit
from more scrutiny of anti-competitive behaviour.
As for the issues raised by opponents of private access, the most persuasive
is the concern about so-called strategic litigation. However, I believe that
these concerns can be and have been addressed by a number of features in the
bill. Moreover, the arguments about private access leading to American-style
litigation are specious. There are just too many significant differences between
the Canadian legal system and the competition law system and the United States
antitrust system for this argument to hold water.
Now I should like to address the various components of the private access
system as set out in Bill C-23. My analysis is based on the conviction that
private access should be an effective means of improving competition, dissuading
businesses from engaging in anti-competitive practices and redressing the wrongs
caused by anti-competitive activities, all characteristics of proper competition
According to Bill C-23, a private party may file a complaint before the
Competition Tribunal only in connection with four types of anti-competitive
These are: refusal to deal, exclusive dealing, tied selling and market
restriction. However, private access does not apply to abuse of dominant
Private complainants would not have automatic access to the tribunal. They
must apply to the tribunal for leave to bring a case. The tribunal will not
grant leave to bring a private action if the Commissioner of Competition has
started an inquiry already or has settled the matter, and in order to obtain
leave, the tribunal must believe that the complainant's business was directly
and substantially affected by the relevant anti-competitive practice in sections
75 and 77. Private complainants cannot be awarded damages. Finally, the tribunal
has discretion to award costs against a private complainant.
Many of these provisions have been included to address concerns about
so-called strategic litigation where private parties use litigation and the
courts for tactical business purposes. I understand the need to address these
concerns and the possible impact of litigation chill, but I believe that some of
the conditions set out in Bill C-23 are too restrictive. They will emasculate
private access. In the end, the regime is likely to be ineffective.
Consider the requirement, for example, of a complainant having to obtain
leave of the tribunal in order to bring forward a case. This is an unnecessary,
time consuming and costly hurdle that will prevent meritorious cases from
proceeding. The Competition Bureau expects that private access will be used
primarily by small- and medium-sized businesses to deal with local or limited
private matters. If this is the case, the requirement to obtain leave may just
be too onerous and inhibit the use of private access by the very businesses it
was intended to benefit.
Also, I can think of no good public policy reason to prevent a private
complainant from being awarded damages. The possibility of a damage award would
be an important deterrent to anti-competitive behaviour. Without a damage
provision, Bill C-23 falls short of the goal of fostering the competitive
Opponents of private access argue that damage awards will bring us too close
to the American antitrust system where private complainants can be awarded
triple damages. However, I am not suggesting that triple damages are appropriate
in private access cases, only that the Competition Tribunal should have the
ability and the authority to award ordinary damages where anti-competitive
behaviour has been injurious to the business of the private complainant. In my
view, this is reasonable, fair and appropriate.
Under Australian competition law, damage awards are allowed. This has not
created a wave of strategic litigation on the part of private complainants, and
it has not been an issue of great concern to the business community. Indeed, the
Chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission recently noted
that even though private complainants can obtain damages, their main emphasis
has been on stopping anti-competitive behaviour rather than on monetary
I firmly believe that Bill C-23 also includes safeguards against strategic
litigations, in the form of costs and the application restricted to sections 75
and 77 of the Competition Act. The absence of conditional fees is another
The fact that complainants must first get leave, and the fact that no damages
are awarded are useless restrictions, which, in my opinion, will make private
access ineffective and contribute to a less than full application of our
I now want to talk about the need for regular parliamentary reviews of the
Competition Act. The Competition Act is an important legal framework for the
economy, just like the Canada Business Corporations Act. It is an essential
ingredient of competition. This legislation is a tool to increase Canada's
economic prosperity. We must have an excellent competition law, which must be
enforced in an excellent manner.
Competition law applies in a context of globalization and rapid
transformation of the economy. These conditions require a modern competition law
that works optimally.
Clearly, then, it is important for the Competition Act to be examined
regularly and updated to reflect domestic and international legal and business
developments. Unfortunately, there is nothing in the act to ensure that regular
examination takes place. Significant amendments to Canada's competition laws
were made in the mid-1980s. There were also amendments in 1999 to revamp
misleading advertising provisions and in 2000 to deal with the airline industry.
The House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology has
done and continues to do excellent work in studying the Competition Act, but
there needs to be a continuous and timely process for examining and amending the
I am convinced that Parliament should review the Competition Act on a regular
basis. This means that the government must commit to having this legal framework
for the economy remain up to date.
It is also very important for Parliament to be able to examine the
effectiveness of the new provisions relating to privacy, because they represent
a major change that has not garnered unanimous support.
Periodic reviews of the Competition Act by Parliament would accomplish four
objectives. First, the act would keep abreast of new developments in legal and
business practice. Second, periodic reviews would bring the act into a wider
audience and heighten awareness of the act among the public. Third, such reviews
would allow Parliament to play an important continuing and, in my view, long
overdue role in the development of competition law and policy. Fourth, periodic
reviews would increase accountability of the Competition Bureau and the
Commissioner of Competition. Parliamentarians would develop the needed expertise
in competition policy issues that would enable them to more effectively
scrutinize the Competition Act and the work of the bureau. I therefore intend to
seek an amendment to Bill C-23 to ensure that the Competition Act is
periodically reviewed by Parliament.
Finally, honourable senators, I should like to make a few closing remarks
about what I think is important in terms of the interface between the
Competition Bureau and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications
Commission. The Canadian communications industry is in the throes of change.
International competition, new technologies, mergers, takeovers and media
convergence are blurring the boundaries between specific communications sectors.
Mergers and convergence raise questions about corporate concentration and
competition in the communications industry. These developments also raise issues
around the roles and interplay of the Competition Bureau and the CRTC in
addressing competition in the communications sector. The Competition Act is a
broadly framed statute applying to all businesses. The CRTC is a sectoral
regulator with a different mandate from that of the Competition Bureau.
Under section 125 of the Competition Act, the Commissioner of Competition can
make representations in relation to competition before any federal board,
commission or other tribunal. The Competition Bureau has made a number of
representations before the CRTC.
In 1999, the Competition Bureau and the CRTC outlined their respective roles
and authority in relation to the broadcasting and telecommunications sectors.
Mergers, for example, come under the jurisdiction of both agencies. They also
define areas where each has exclusive jurisdiction. Clearly, there are legal and
institutional differences between the Competition Bureau and the CRTC. The CRTC
has to balance a wide range of policies and interests. The Competition Bureau is
focused on maintaining and encouraging competition.
Competition rules and remedies have an important role to play in the
communications sector. In a climate of convergence, commercial distinctions are
being eroded. The rationale for oversight by two agencies comes into question.
It may be time to consider replacing industry-specific regulation with general
competition law or combining competition rules with the CRTC's sectoral
experience. These issues, I submit, are worth studying.
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?
Motion agreed to and bill read second time.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, when shall this bill be
read the third time?
On motion of Senator Poulin, bill referred to the Standing Senate Committee
on Banking, Trade and Commerce.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, on Tuesday, December 11,
2001, the Leader of the Opposition, Senator Lynch-Staunton, raised a point of
order to object to certain procedures that had been followed in relation to Bill
C-44, which amended the Aeronautics Act. The substance of the senator's
complaint had to do with the fact that the Department of Transport of Canada
seemed to anticipate a decision of the Senate with respect to the second reading
of this bill, and did not prepare its documents adequately.
In making his case, Senator Lynch-Staunton noted that the briefing material
on the bill had not been written to reflect the fact that it was to be used by a
committee of the Senate rather than of the House of Commons. Even the copy of
the bill distributed to committee members was not the usual "as-passed"
version but the first reading copy presented to the House of Commons, together
with a page appended to it indicating the amendments that had been made to the
bill in that House before final passage. Senator Lynch-Staunton was also
disturbed by the fact that the Library of Parliament had prepared for the
benefit of committee members questions that could be posed to witnesses in
advance of the second reading of the bill in the Senate. All this, according to
Senator Lynch-Staunton, seemed symptomatic of a malaise that has slowly crept
into this place and, if allowed to continue unchecked, will push us even further
down that slippery slope to irrelevance.
The Leader of the Government in the Senate, Senator Carstairs, expressed
sympathy for some of Senator Lynch-Staunton's complaints. Senator Carstairs
shared Senator Lynch-Staunton's annoyance with the fact that the department's
briefing material had not been properly prepared for Senate use. Nevertheless,
Senator Carstairs took note of the fact that the bill is an important piece of
legislation that had been hived off from Bill C-41 to deal with the urgent
matter of air security. Given this importance, Senator Carstairs did not find it
too surprising that the department would have sought to anticipate events to the
best of its ability and would have prepared briefing materials for distribution
to all members of the committee as expeditiously as possible following second
reading. For their part, as Senator Carstairs observed, senators would have been
upset had they not received this documentation in time.
Senator Bacon, the Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and
Communications, then spoke to explain how the steering committee had agreed to a
standing committee meeting Tuesday morning in order to hear the testimony of a
list of witnesses in connection with Bill C-44, in anticipation of its adoption
at second reading by the Senate.
Also sharing the misgivings of Senator Lynch-Staunton, Senator Cools proposed
that a committee, or perhaps the Senate itself, should study the issue of the
relationship of the Senate, the House of Commons and the executive, given the
nature of the events surrounding consideration of Bill C-44 and other instances
of a similar kind that have occurred in recent years.
I wish to thank honourable senators for their interventions. I have
investigated the matter and I think that I have a proper understanding of what
happened. I am prepared to make my ruling now.
Let me begin by stating at the outset that I do not believe there is a point
of order in this particular case. The legitimate complaint that Senator
Lynch-Staunton raised has to do with a certain carelessness, if I may put it
that way, on the part of the department with respect to preparation of briefing
material. Even Senator Carstairs recognized that the documentation had not been
suitably prepared for the use of the Senate. While the specific instance
complained of may not seem important on its own, it is because it is part of a
growing pattern that it has now become disturbing. Nonetheless, it is not
properly a point of order over which I have any authority. The offended
committee can raise a complaint with departmental officials when they are
present before the committee. In this particular instance, however, I heard
nothing to suggest that members of the Transport Committee raised this problem
with the officials when reviewing Bill C-44.
As to the matter of the printed version of the bill that was used by the
committee, an "as-passed" version should have been distributed. I have been
informed that an "as-passed" printing of Bill C-44 was available as of Friday,
December 7, 2001. However, I am uncertain who has the responsibility of
distributing the copy of the bill to the members of the committee. It is unclear
to me why this task should be the responsibility of the officials of the
department rather than our own staff. I suspect that the rush with which the
bill was considered by the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and
Communications was a relevant factor.
With respect to the other issues mentioned by Senator Lynch-Staunton — the
preparation of questions by the Library of Parliament and the scheduling of
witnesses for a committee meeting even before the Senate had approved Bill C-44
— these are matters that are determined by the committee itself. They do not
normally involve the Speaker and, so far as I can determine, there is no basis
for my intervention. As I understand from what Senator Bacon stated, the
steering committee approved these arrangements as a way to expedite the
consideration of a bill it deemed to be urgent.
Even Senator Lynch-Staunton, in recounting the chronology of events
surrounding the consideration of this bill, acknowledged that the notice of the
meeting and the distribution of the documents in the form complained of occurred
only after second reading. Based on my experience in the Senate, this is not
really an uncommon practice, especially when the legislation is recognized to be
urgent. In the end, it is the membership of this chamber that sets the pace, not
I hope that this explanation in some way answers the understandable complaint
raised by the Leader of the Opposition.
On the Order:
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Finestone, P.C.,
seconded by the Honourable Senator Rompkey, P.C., for the second reading of
Bill S-21, to guarantee the human right to privacy.
The Hon. the Speaker: Is this item to stand on the Order Paper,
Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable
senators, no one has informed me of their intention to speak on this item under
consideration, which has been on the Order Paper for 15 days. Under the usual
practices, this item would simply be struck from the Order Paper.
Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): I wonder,
honourable senators, whether the situation is not more complicated. We have, on
the Order Paper, the thirteenth report of the Senate Committee on Social
Affairs, Science and Technology on the subject matter of this bill.
My question is as follows: If the bill is not on the Order Paper, how are we
supposed to consider the report on the bill? Could the Speaker or an honourable
senator please explain this complicating factor to me?
Senator Robichaud: Honourable senators, if I understand this properly,
the Senate committee report dealt with the subject matter of the bill, and not
with the bill itself. These are two separate elements. The consideration of the
report is not directly related to the bill. It can be considered on its own
merits, without being linked to the bill.
Senator Kinsella: Honourable senators, the difficulty I see is that if
no one on the government side speaks to Senator Finestone's bill, then the bill
is gone. The thirteenth report, which is on our Order Paper and which will be
called subsequently, is a report that deals with the subject matter — and here I
agree with the honourable senator — of Bill S-21 and not Bill S-21 itself. Will
we be obviated from considering the report of a committee that has addressed the
subject matter of a bill that is no longer in existence?
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, if a step is not taken to
further this bill today, the 15-day expiry period under our rule means that it
drops off the Order Paper. If I understand the rules correctly, that does not
mean that the matter cannot be brought back by a senator. In any event, it is up
to this chamber. If honourable senators wish it to stay on the Order Paper,
senators have the power, through the unanimous consent of all present, to extend
Although I am not sure, Senator Robichaud may have provided an adequate
answer in that the report to be considered subsequently deals with the subject
matter of the bill; and, accordingly, the fact that the bill is not on the Order
Paper does not take away from that report.
I am, perhaps, not helping. However, I thought I should attempt to invite
honourable senators at least to leave this item on the Order Paper by taking the
appropriate step to request consent that it remain on the Order Paper, or that
we proceed. If we proceed, it will drop off the Order Paper.
Senator Kinsella: Honourable senators, we have here a question of the
orderly procedure in this house. Perhaps I should raise this matter as a point
of order. The question is: Will this item, which deals with the subject matter
of a bill, drop off the Order Paper should the fifteenth day pass with no
movement taken? My understanding is that the bill will cease to exist. If it
ceases to exist, how can we have a debate on a report of the subject matter of a
bill that does not exist? Perhaps His Honour could take this point of order
under consideration for fear that this situation might present itself again.
Perhaps the matter could be stood in the Speaker's name until he has had an
opportunity to examine it.
Hon. Anne C. Cools: Honourable senators, what is happening here is
dramatic and somewhat unusual. It seems to me that if a senator who is no longer
with us and who recently retired would have anticipated this moment, the proper
thing to have done would have been to have motivated a senator to be in a
position either to continue the debate or to carry the debate forward. That has
not happened. One has to accept the will here, which is that no one seems
interested in continuing the debate.
What Senator Kinsella seems to be suggesting is that His Honour should
somehow move the adjournment himself and show some interest in this particular
measure. That is very much in order, except that His Honour will have to leave
the Chair and go to his seat to move such a motion to adjourn. It would be quite
out of order for His Honour to sit in the Chair and to follow the suggestion
that Senator Kinsella has made.
I think all senators are aware that the Speaker of the Senate is quite a
different creature from the Speaker of the House of Commons. The Speaker of the
Senate is free to vote in debate and is free to participate and to speak in
debate. However, those ordinary features of the Speaker's role when he functions
as an ordinary senator are supposed to be conducted from his other chair, from
his own seat in the Senate, and not from the Chair of the entire Senate.
Perhaps His Honour should be allowed to do that. Perhaps that is His Honour's
wish, if he accepts Senator Kinsella's suggestion.
The Hon. the Speaker: Do any other honourable senators wish to comment
on Senator Kinsella's point of order?
Hon. Herbert O. Sparrow: I wish to adjourn the debate.
The Hon. the Speaker: Senator Sparrow, I think this item requires more
than adjournment. Adjourning debate would simply leave us where we are now — 15
days with no action on the matter and the bill would drop off the Order Paper.
Does the Honourable Senator Sparrow wish to speak to the bill?
Senator Sparrow: No, I should like to adjourn debate for another 15
The Hon. the Speaker: Is the honourable senator asking for leave to
have the matter stand on the Order Paper?
Senator Cools: No, Your Honour.
The Hon. the Speaker: I am asking Senator Sparrow.
Senator Sparrow: No.
The Hon. the Speaker: Does the Honourable Senator Cools wish to
Senator Cools: It seems to me that the entire problem would have been
resolved if a senator had risen and indicated that he or she was interested in
advancing the debate on this bill. It was my clear understanding that Senator
Sparrow did just that. Senator Sparrow has just indicated his interest in taking
the adjournment so that he may speak to Bill S-21. As such, all procedural
concerns would be properly satisfied.
Senator Kinsella: Honourable senators, with the unanimous consent of
the house, I would be prepared to withdraw my point of order so that we might
proceed as Senator Sparrow is suggesting with a motion to adjourn the debate.
The Hon. the Speaker: Is there unanimous consent, honourable senators?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
The Hon. the Speaker: Once again I invite Senator Sparrow to take the
Senator Robichaud: Just say a few words.
Senator Sparrow: Honourable senators, I have been advised to say a
"few words," and that is enough. That is all I want. It seemed to me that I
was endeavouring to get the house out of a perceived procedural jam by moving
the adjournment of the debate so that any honourable senator who might want to
speak and who is not present at the moment would have the opportunity to speak
to the motion.
On motion of Senator Sparrow, debate adjourned.
On the Order:
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Austin, P.C.,
seconded by the Honourable Senator Callbeck, for the adoption of the seventh
report of the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of
Parliament (official third party recognition) presented in the Senate on
November 6, 2001.—(Honourable Senator Corbin)
Hon. Eymard G. Corbin: Honourable senators, I do not intend to pursue
this matter any further.
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?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
Motion agreed to and report adopted.
On the Order:
Resuming debate on consideration of the third report (interim) of the
Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries entitled: Aquaculture in Canada's
Atlantic and Pacific Regions, deposited with the Clerk of the Senate on June
29, 2001.—(Honourable Senator Robertson)
Hon. Brenda M. Robertson: Honourable senators, I rise to speak to the
report entitled "Aquaculture in Canada's Atlantic and Pacific Regions," which
was tabled in the Senate by the Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries on June
Canada has a very long coastline. In fact, it has the longest coastline of
any country in the world. However, not all of its coasts are suitable for fish
farming and this may explain why Canadian production represents only a very
small percentage of the world's total supply, about 2 per cent in terms of
volume. The climate, of course, is another limiting factor.
In Canada, salmon is the most important species cultivated, representing
approximately 81 per cent of the total value, which is around $611 million,
generated by aquaculture in 2000. In my own province of New Brunswick, salmon
farming is a big success, with production worth $190 million in 2000, with the
sector being the province's largest agri-food sector.
Honourable senators, people in my province refer to the miracle of Charlotte
County, a rural area with previously high levels of unemployment that has been
transformed into a major sector for aquaculture production and research. As many
honourable senators are undoubtedly aware, these days the Atlantic region salmon
growers are facing low market prices in the United States, their main market.
They blame the Chilean producers, who are said to be engaging in dumping in the
United States, selling fish at below production costs. The Chilean companies in
question are said to be very large, diversified, and able to sustain large
losses. Canadian salmon growers have asked the federal government to investigate
and for a $50-million support package.
This issue, honourable senators, is a difficult one to resolve because it
involves the United States domestic market. The Atlantic industry supports the
federal government's direct efforts with Chile to resolve the issue before local
companies go under, which would affect some 4,000 people employed in aquaculture
in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, with 3,000 in my province.
Chile produced 218,000 tonnes of Atlantic salmon in 2001, and its production
is expected to reach between 230,000 to 260,000 tonnes this year. Total world
production could reach 1 million tonnes this year. As you can see, this amount
excludes coho and rainbow trout, which are sold mainly in Asia. Large quantities
of frozen salmon are reportedly waiting to be sold, but you can see by the
comparison of numbers that we have a major problem, and it will get worse.
In comparison, last year New Brunswick produced about 25,000 tonnes and
British Columbia came in at slightly under 50,000 tons. One only needs to look
at a map of Chile, with its very long coastline, the second largest farm salmon
producer in the world after Norway, to see why that country has the capacity for
even more production. According to a recent Chilean news report, eight years
from now production in one region alone may increase from 30,000 tonnes to
300,000 tonnes. As each year passes, the problem becomes larger.
The president of the B.C. Salmon Farmers Association reportedly favours an
international cooperative marketing push to promote farmed fish. On this point I
should like to mention that, 10 years ago, when I chaired the Senate Fisheries
Committee, the Atlantic lobster industry found itself, for the first time ever,
in a similar situation of market uncertainty. There was an oversupply of product
on the world markets, which led to drastic price reductions. This proved to be a
very sobering experience for the Canadian industry. Markets improved largely
because of an industry focus on markets, new products, generic marketing and the
creation of a generic industry marketing association that was then called the
Canadian Atlantic Lobster Promotion Association, or CALPA. That no longer exists
because the problem with respect to lobster has been solved. However, it could
be useful for the industry to look at a similar course of action with respect to
farmed salmon. Of course, that decision should be made by the industry.
Honourable senators, a major theme of the committee's aquaculture report was
that of cooperation and the need for the various coastal interests to build on
common interests. In respect to cooperation, senators may be interested to learn
immediate and positive results arose from one of our committee meetings in New
Brunswick. In St. Andrews, in February of 2000, committee members met informally
with representatives of five government industry groups. Prior to that meeting
the representatives had spent a good deal of time identifying and agreeing on
science-based issues. Subsequent to our visit they met again, and this
eventually led to a proposal for collaborative research in order to better
understand the ecosystem of the Bay of Fundy where most of New Brunswick salmon
More dialogue and cooperative working relationships are needed between the
various coastal stakeholders, including fish and shellfish farmers and the
traditional fishery environmental groups, conservationists and Aboriginal
people. In this regard, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has a critical
role to play, mainly because of its responsibilities for ocean and coastal zone
management under the Oceans Act of 1997.
Honourable senators, I will also state the obvious: The aquaculture sector
must seek the support of communities with which they share space. There must be
more public participation and meaningful consultation with the public in the
site licence approval process. Governments must manage the industry in a
transparent manner to build public confidence, and bad operators should not be
allowed to operate.
Another passing observation is that the executive director of the Canadian
Aquaculture Industry Alliance and a vice-president of the Atlantic Salmon
Federation recently appeared together before the House of Commons Committee on
Fisheries and Oceans on October 30. That is a very good start for two
traditional adversaries, and I congratulate them. While their views differed
regarding the possible adverse impacts of salmon farming on wild Atlantic stocks
on the East Coast, they both agreed on the need to collaborate. They also both
agreed that the federal government should increase the amount of research into
the relationship between wild and farm salmon.
That, honourable senators, was the premise of a major recommendation in the
Senate committee's report, recommendation No. 7. At this point there is much
speculation about the possible impacts that aquaculture may have on wild fish,
and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans will need to put much more money into
its science program. More cooperative research is also needed. Although the two
sides of the salmon aquaculture debate approach issues from different angles,
the Senate committee found that there was some common ground in the form of
shared interests and objectives.
For example, neither side of the debate wants to see the escape of farmed
fish or transmission of disease, and both want a clean environment as well as
more research. In their report, committee members pointed out that there are
also collaborative opportunities between both the traditional "wild" fisheries
and aquaculture. For example, they heard about a sea-ranching pilot project in
place in the Magdalen Islands where scallop fishers are managing their fishery
and seeding their scallop beds with juvenile scallops that are raised using
aquaculture techniques. There are other similar enhancement projects for
scallops on the East Coast. The committee recommended that initiatives aimed at
enhancing or sea ranching indigenous species of shellfish, such as scallops, be
supported by governments. That is our recommendation No. 9.
In his speech of October 23, Senator Comeau described the committee's fish
farming report as a snapshot in time. I agree with Senator Comeau. I should also
like to point out that the aquaculture report is a final report. I mention this
because some people in the media have misinterpreted the words "interim
report" that appear on the front of the document to mean the committee's study
is a preliminary report.
Lastly, honourable senators, I should like to say that fish and shellfish
farming is an industry that is here to stay. Having said that, a number of
issues need to be resolved. Regulatory processes need to be reviewed and
improved to ensure greater transparency and public accountability. Because of
environmental and fish habitat concerns on the East Coast, the committee
recommended that the Auditor General of Canada undertake an audit in the
Atlantic region similar to that conducted last year in the Pacific region. The
audit's objective would be to determine whether the Department of Fisheries and
Oceans is meeting its legislative obligations for fish habitat.
On motion of Senator Mahovlich, debate adjourned.
On the Order:
Resuming debate on the inquiry of the Honourable Senator De Bané, P.C.,
calling the attention of the Senate to certain lessons to be drawn from the
tragedy that occurred on September 11, 2001.—(Honourable Senator Roche)
Hon. Douglas Roche: Honourable senators, as the shock of the terrorist
attacks on September 11, 2001, recedes and the war on terrorism moves into a new
stage, there is a precious but fleeting opportunity, indeed a requirement, to
ensure that the international community's response and Canada's response is the
right one. Senator De Bané is to be congratulated for asking the Senate to
consider the lessons from this watershed moment.
The meaning of September 11 goes well beyond the events themselves and the
response to them thus far. We must realize that the most fundamental of human
rights is now at stake: our freedom to live without fear.
This basic right is under threat from an increasingly complex globalized
system where poverty, environmental disaster and violence loom. Yet our overall
response is still rooted in an outdated, militarist mentality with few
In this context, I should like to offer three important, but by no means
exhaustive, lessons to be drawn. Canada must address the following: first, the
dark side of globalization that fans the flames of violence and extremism;
second, the imperative to work multilaterally through the United Nations system
and the system of law it underpins; third, the need to revitalize disarmament
efforts or risk a far more uncertain and potentially calamitous future.
There is, perhaps, no better way to see the challenge facing humanity than
through the words of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in his millennium report.
The century just ended was disfigured, time and again, by ruthless conflict.
Grinding poverty and striking inequality persist within and among countries even
amidst unprecedented wealth. Diseases, old and new, threaten to undo painstaking
progress. Nature's life-sustaining services, on which our species depends for
its survival, are being seriously disrupted and degraded by our own everyday
The accuracy of this characterization of our world is even more timely in the
wake of September 11.
The first major lesson concerns our approach to globalism. More than the flow
of money and commodities, globalization is the growing interdependence of the
world's people through compressed space, time and vanishing borders.
Unfortunately, we have approached this new reality using the old paradigms of
economic and military power and dominance. Globalization has thus far benefited
only a few in world terms, while producing many losers among and within nations.
According to the UN Human Development Report of 1999, the result is a
"grotesque and dangerous polarization" between the rich and the poor.
Terrorism feeds on the hatreds and resentments that have been built up in the
rest of the world against Western society as it continues to reap much of the
benefits from globalization. The statistics are all too familiar: half the
world's population living in abject poverty and 80 per cent living on less than
20 per cent of global income. Too many people in too many countries lack the
freedom to take advantage of the new opportunities of modern technology and are
consequently left on the sidelines. In the global village, sooner or later,
someone else's poverty becomes one's own problem.
Yesterday, at the World Economic Forum in New York, Secretary-General Annan
drove this point home when he said:
Left alone in their poverty, these countries are all too likely to collapse,
or relapse, into conflict and anarchy, a menace to their neighbours and
potentially — as the events of September 11 so brutally reminded us — a threat
to global security. Yet, taken together, their peoples represent a very large
potential market — and many of their disadvantages could be offset if
international business and donor governments adopted a common strategy aimed at
making them more attractive to investment and ensuring that it reaches them.
I was glad to see Prime Minister Chrétien take a leadership role at the World
Economic Forum in calling for more aid for Africa. The world must shift focus to
the human agenda, not just the military or corporate ones. It means shifting our
spending priorities away from the latest weaponry and toward the latest
development projects, cancelling the crushing debt burdens of developing
countries and building the body of effective international law. These are the
most basic prerequisites for social justice.
The second lesson from September 11 is that we must address globalization
globally. This means working within the United Nations system and giving it the
political and economic resources it needs for the challenges ahead. As important
as the Security Council is, it alone cannot guarantee sustaining peace. Other
parts of the UN, including the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the
International Atomic Energy Agency and UNICEF, to name just three of many
bodies, must be provided with the funding they need if we are to build a lasting
foundation for peace. Instead of strengthening these vital instruments of human
security, the world continues to prepare for war. War and the preparation for
war are the greatest impediments to human progress, fostering a vicious cycle of
arms buildups, violence and poverty.
Governments plead that they have little money for social programs, yet they
are currently spending $800 billion a year on military expenditures, which is 80
times more than the $10 billion they spend on the entire United Nations system.
The largest military increase is happening in the U.S. President Bush has
recently requested $48 billion more for the defence budget, next year alone,
bringing the U.S. up to $380 billion, and signalling the largest defence budget
increase in 20 years. Not content with a military budget that is larger than the
military spending of the next 15 countries combined, and which is even greater
than the entire state budget of Russia, the president and his generals want even
more money in the years ahead. This reckless drive to even more military
dominance is alarming countries around the world, including many of our partners
The United Nations, which won the Nobel Peace Price in 2001, is uniquely
positioned to foster a globalized world of peace and justice. When the UN
millennium summit of world leaders was held, a declaration was adopted
establishing priorities for the UN to overcome poverty, to put an end to
conflict, to meet the needs of Africa, to promote democracy and the rule of law,
and to protect the environment. The UN must be enabled to implement this agenda.
The third lesson deals with reducing the threat of nuclear terrorism. We must
strengthen the global norm against the use or proliferation of weapons of mass
destruction and create a body of international law to ensure universality,
verification and full implementation of key treaties. This is what Janantha
Dhanapala, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs, with whom I
had the pleasure of meeting yesterday, is calling for in saying that our current
weapons-based approach to security is ineffective. What is missing, Mr.
Dhanapala says, is "an emphasis on the need for deeper multilateral cooperation
rooted in binding legal norms and implemented with the assistance of global
It is through strengthening verifiable agreements such as the Anti-Ballistic
Missile Treaty, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the Chemical and Biological
Weapons Conventions and the non-proliferation treaty that we stand our best
chance of preventing these weapons from falling into unscrupulous hands.
Though President Bush's recent announcement of a cut in the number of
deployed nuclear weapons is welcome, the cuts are unilateral and voluntary, not
codified, and most of the weapons will not in fact be destroyed. The Globe and
Mail called this "smoke and mirrors."
Cuts in nuclear weapons outside the framework of international treaties lack
transparency and verifiability, thus raising the possibility of reversion. It is
not unilateral acts, however entrancing, that will secure international peace
and security. Rather, it is negotiations to build a body of law that cannot be
changed by political caprice that will ensure a safer future.
Finally, honourable senators, for Canada there is a special lesson in
considering the lessons I have outlined above. We must do more. It is not enough
to amend our immigration, refugee and anti-terrorist legislation, for we are
living in a time that demands more of us. Where are the thoughtful and
innovative solutions to the world's challenges that have been a hallmark of
Canadian diplomacy? There is a perception that for Canada to maintain
sovereignty over its own affairs it must substantially increase the amount of
money it spends on its military. Militarism is not the answer. If Canada goes
down this road and accepts militarism as the currency of sovereignty, we will be
subscribing to the old, outdated and myopic attitude dominating the
international agenda today. Canada must resist widening the war on terrorism to
include Iraq, North Korea and Iran as President Bush forecast last week when he
characterized these three countries as "the axis of evil."
If Canada is to maintain control over its own policies, it must step forward
and voice its long-held values on the prime issues of human rights and
international law. It is said that Canada's hands are tied because of our
economic dependence on the U.S. I ask: Does this relationship necessarily mean
that our integrity and sense of compassion, equity and justice should be
sacrificed? Canada is caught in a dilemma. Our fundamental values lie with the
United Nations system that we recognize as the guarantor of international peace
and security, but our perceived protection lies with the U.S.-led western
military alliance now prosecuting a war on terrorism. Before September 11, there
was a reasonable compatibility between the two systems, but the resurgence of a
philosophy bent on militarism and the prospect of an enlarged war on terrorism
is forcing Canada to choose with which entity it will align itself.
The U.S. has pulled out of the Kyoto accords on global warming; it has voiced
its disdain for the International Criminal Court; and it is studying the idea of
resuming nuclear testing. It has rejected the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and
given notice of its intention to pull out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty,
which is widely considered a cornerstone of international arms control, and the
Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in particular. It is pushing
ahead with a national missile defence system, thus clearing a path for the
weaponization of outer space. Why is Canada mute on these issues?
Canada has always considered a comprehensive test ban treaty to be essential
to nuclear arms control and to the viability of the nuclear non-proliferation
treaty. Let Canada reaffirm this at the forthcoming NPT meeting at the UN in
Honourable senators, Senator De Bané is right: Canadians must be better
informed on the real meaning of the tragic events of September 11, 2001. If we
are worried about smoothing the rough edges of globalization, if we value
international cooperation, if we desire a future free from the nuclear shadow,
then let us act today to raise up our society and its political discourse and
project out into the international community the values that make Canada
especially equipped to offer a solution.
On motion of Senator LaPierre, debate adjourned.
On Inquiry No. 39 by the Honourable Senator Finestone:
That she will call the attention of the Senate to the importance of moving
towards a Privacy Rights Charter, particularly in these troubled times.
Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable
senators, this notice of inquiry currently stands in the name of the Honourable
Sheila Finestone, who is no longer a member of this house. Does the Senate see
fit to withdraw this inquiry from the Order Paper?
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Is it agreed, honourable
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
The Senate adjourned until Wednesday, February 6, 2002, at 1:30 p.m.