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 David Paul Smith, 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. David Paul Smith, P.C., of Toronto, Ontario,
introduced between Hon. Sharon Carstairs, P.C., and Hon. JerahmielS.Grafstein.
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 an honour to welcome today a new colleague to the Senate chamber, the
Honourable David Smith. Senator Smith was called to the bar in Ontario in 1972
and has most recently served as Chairman and Partner of Fraser Milner Casgrain
LLP; he has also served as Chairman of Fraser & Beatty.
Senator Smith has had a long and varied career in law and politics. He served
as a member of Parliament in the other place from 1980 to 1984 and was also
Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism. He has been elected to Toronto
City Council and served there on the executive committee as president and as
Senator Smith has worked on behalf of many philanthropic organizations,
including the Salvation Army, Toronto General and Mount Sinai Hospitals, George
Brown College and the Retinitis Pigmentosa Foundation, as well as the O'Keefe
Centre for the Performing Arts. He has also, as many of us know, on occasion —
rare occasion — volunteered his services to the Liberal Party of Canada.
I invite all honourable senators to join me in welcoming Senator Smith to the
Red Chamber, the upper chamber.
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!
Hon. John Lynch-Staunton (Leader of the Opposition): Honourable
senators, I am pleased to join with the Leader of the Government in the Senate
in welcoming our new colleague who, as Senator Carstairs has pointed out, brings
to this place a political and parliamentary background that can only be of
benefit to us all. I say this with some confidence and admittedly with a great
deal of bias, as Senator Smith in his public career spent some years in the
1970s in municipal politics in Toronto, where he held a number of senior
offices. With him, we can now count in this chamber eight colleagues who have
had municipal careers and who are amongst the most active here, some perhaps
more active than people would wish. I know that Senator Smith, with that
background, will join them and other senators in contributing a great deal to
the success of this institution.
I am also impressed with Senator Smith's loyalty to his leader, but perhaps
that is a topic best left to another day.
Welcome, Senator Smith. My colleagues and I wish you the very best as you
assume your new responsibilities.
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!
Hon. Marcel Prud'homme: Honourable senators, I merely wish to convince
Senator Smith that independent senators are not necessarily members of the
opposition, just as they are not necessarily members of the government.
There are some here who claim to have known you well. We are hearing that
from all sides, but I know you better than they, because we were Young Liberals
together in Montreal in 1960 and 1961, when Michel Robert, now Chief Justice of
the Court of Appeal, was elected as President of the Liberal Party. To me,
having you here is a step back in time, and one that can predict all manner of
things to come. I do not, however, wish to worry the Leader of the Government in
the Senate by saying that. I am very pleased to have you here in the Senate.
There is one question I will ask myself until the end of my days: had you
known Mr. Chrétien was planning to step down, would you have agreed to come to
the Senate as official spokesperson? That will forever intrigue me! I love that
about the translation process: it always delays the laughs I get. Welcome to the
Senate, Senator Smith.
At 2:20 p.m., Her Excellency the Governor General proceeded to the Senate
Chamber and took her seat upon the Throne. Her Excellency was pleased to command
the attendance of the House of Commons, and, that House being come, with their
Speaker, Her Excellency was pleased to open the Second Session of the
Thirty-seventh Parliament of Canada with the following speech:
Honourable members of the Senate,
Members of the House of Commons,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is a pleasure to greet you in the Jubilee Year of Her Majesty Queen
Elizabeth II, whom we will be welcoming to Canada very shortly.
We also mark this year the 50th anniversary of Canadian Governors
General. To celebrate this, we invited to Rideau Hall an energetic group of
one hundred 17- and 18-year-olds from every province and territory to
participate in a Youth Forum on creating community. In Gaspé, in Nunavut, on
Haida Gwaii, all across the country, we are meeting young people who are
becoming catalysts for change, as they take their place as leaders in the
fields they choose.
It is exciting and encouraging to hear what young people are saying and
what they are doing. Already, they are innovative. They are diverse. And
they will change things. Some of them will do so through journalism, the
arts, business or the labour movement. Others will devote themselves to
civic and public life, perhaps becoming in time your successors, to carry on
the democratic traditions of Parliament to which you are committing your
lives. Nothing is more precious and valuable than our way of creating a
society through the exercise of our democratic rights as citizens.
And the sacrifices that some of our citizens make are deeply appreciated
by their country. My trip in April to Germany, where our fallen and injured
were brought from the tragic incident in Afghanistan, was emotionally shared
by all Canadians, many of whom have expressed how much the sacrifice of
these men has meant tothem.
This kind of contribution, this kind of democratic participation, this
kind of nurturing of young leadership make us what we are as a nation. It is
a very precious life that we share as Canadians. And we must be prepared not
only to praise it, but also to make sacrifices for it.
Canadians today are confident about their personal prospects and Canada's
future. Less than ten years ago, our economy was in decline, our deficit and
debt were rising out of control, our unity was under threat, our confidence
Today, because of our collective efforts, we have new opportunities, new
possibilities and new choices for the Canada we want.
We have established the foundations for great success: fiscal
sovereignty, a unified country and a confident people. We will not put at
risk the accomplishments of the last decade. We will continue to be prudent
and live within our means.
Maintaining our fiscal sovereignty and a dynamic economy allows us to
reach higher. To find new solutions to enduring problems. To set new goals
and ambitious targets. To take responsibility for building the Canada we
want, for ourselves and for future generations.
We now have a generation of Canadians who have grown up in the Internet
world, a generation of Canadians who are global, at ease with change and
diversity, optimistic and eager to create, innovate and excel. And who
believe they can achieve their aspirations in Canada. Canada must tap into
and unleash this energy.
The goal of the government is nothing less than making Canada a land of
ever-widening opportunity. Ensuring that the benefits of the new economy
touch every community and lift every family and every Canadian.
Working together, we can put in place the health care system for the
21stcentury. We can get Canada's children off welfare. We can close the gap
in life chances between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians. We can
tackle the challenge of climate change. We can be a world leader in
innovation and learning, a magnet for talent and investment. We can build
world-class cities and healthy communities. We can strengthen the bonds of
shared citizenship and the partnership between government and Canadians. We
can secure our place in North America and in the world as a mature country,
confident in who we are and where we are headed.
This is the time for Canada.
CANADA AND THE WORLD
We live in uncertain times. The events of September 11 demonstrated that
our progress at home can be affected in a moment by world events. We see
unrest in many parts of the world. We still see far too much poverty.
The government will continue to work with its allies to ensure the safety
and security of Canadians. Canada will continue to work through
organizations such as the United Nations to ensure that the rule of
international law is respected and enforced. At the same time, the
government will remain vigilant and ready to ensure the protection of
Canadians from emerging threats, and will work with the United States to
address our shared security needs.
But there is more we can do. Canada has a long history of contributing
solutions to global problems. We will continue to speak out in every forum
for the values of pluralism, freedom and democracy, and contribute to
reducing the growing global divide between rich and poor. We will double our
development assistance by the year 2010, and earmark at least half of that
increase for Africa as part of Canada's support for the New Partnership for
Africa's Development. As of January1, 2003, Canada will eliminate tariffs
and quotas on almost all products from the least- developed countries.
In the face of rapid change and uncertainty, the government must engage
Canadians in a discussion about the role that Canada will play in the world.
Before the end of this mandate, the government will set out a long-term
direction on international and defence policy that reflects our values and
interests and ensures that Canada's military is equipped to fulfill the
demands placed upon it.
PUTTING IN PLACE THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
No issue touches Canadians more deeply than health care. Our health care
system is a practical expression of the values that define us as a country.
Of the willingness of Canadians to share risk and accept responsibility for
In 2000, all First Ministers reached an agreement on health care that
reinforced our collective commitment to the principles of medicare, to
working collaboratively to reform our system and to measure and report on
our progress. Resources were provided. Work is proceeding. And the first
public report is now available.
Building on this work, Roy Romanow was appointed to lead a commission on
the longer-term future of Canada's publicly funded health care system. He
will report in November.
The Prime Minister will convene a First Ministers Meeting early in 2003
to put in place a comprehensive plan for reform, including enhanced
accountability to Canadians and the necessary federal long-term investments,
which will be included in the next budget.
At the same time, the government will move ahead with an action plan in
health policy areas under its direct responsibility. Under this plan, it
will renew federal health protection legislation to better address emerging
risks, adapt to modern technology and emphasize prevention. The government
will take steps to strengthen the security of Canada's food system and
reintroduce pesticides legislation to protect the health of Canadians,
particularly children. It will work with its partners to develop a national
strategy for healthy living, physical activity and sport, and will convene
the first ever national summit on these issues in 2003. The government will
take further action to close the gap in health status between Aboriginal and
non-Aboriginal Canadians by putting in place a First Nations Health
Promotion and Disease Prevention strategy with a targeted immunization
program, and by working with its partners to improve health care delivery
The government will also modify existing programs to ensure that
Canadians can provide compassionate care for a gravely ill or dying child,
parent or spouse without putting their jobs or incomes at risk.
HELPING CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
OUT OF POVERTY
Five years ago, Canada's governments launched the National Children's
Agenda, engaging Canadians in every part of the country on how to ensure
that all Canadian children have a good start in life; that families with
children have the tools they need to provide care and nurturing.
No investments have greater payoff. No investments do more to break the
cycle of poverty and dependency, and to maximize the potential of every
The government will put in place a long-term investment plan to allow
poor families to break out of the welfare trap so that children born into
poverty do not carry the consequences of that poverty throughout their
lives. It will again significantly increase the National Child Benefit for
poor families, and will work with its partners to increase access to early
learning opportunities and to quality child care, particularly for poor and
lone-parent families. It will also put in place targeted measures for
low-income families caring for severely disabled children, to help meet the
needs of the child and of the family.
The government will take additional measures to address the gap in life
chances between Aboriginal and
non-Aboriginal children. It will put in place early childhood development
programs for First Nations, expanding Aboriginal Headstart, improving
parental supports and providing Aboriginal communities with the tools to
address fetal alcohol syndrome and its effects. The most enduring
contribution Canada can make to First Nations is to raise the standard of
education on-reserve. The government will work with the recently created
National Working Group on Education to improve educational outcomes for
First Nations children, and take immediate steps to help First Nations
children with special learning needs.
Parents have the primary responsibility for providing their children with
the tools to learn and develop. But Canadians also have a collective
responsibility to protect Canada's children from exploitation in all its
forms, and from the consequences of family breakdown.
The government will therefore reform the Criminal Code to increase the
penalties for abuse and neglect, and provide more sensitive treatment for
children who take part in justice proceedings as victims or as witnesses. It
will also reform family law, putting greater emphasis on the best interests
of the child; expand the Unified Family Courts; and ensure that appropriate
child and family services are available.
CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Canadians know that our health and the health of our children, the
quality of life in our communities and our continued economic prosperity
depend on a healthy environment.
On a global scale, the problem of climate change is creating new health
and environmental risks and threatens to become the defining challenge for
As a northern country, Canadians will feel some of the effects of climate
change sooner than will others. As a prosperous country, we must and will do
As part of the Kyoto Protocol, Canada agreed to obligations to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions by 2012. Extensive consultations and preparatory
work followed. The government is now intensifying consultations with
Canadians, industry and provinces to develop an implementation strategy to
meet Canada's obligations over the next ten years. Before the end of this
year, the government will bring forward a resolution to Parliament on the
issue of ratifying the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change. Meeting this
challenge must become a national project, calling upon the efforts and
contributions of all Canadians, in all regions and sectors of the economy—
producers and consumers, governments and citizens.
To conserve our wilderness areas, clean water sources and key habitat,
the government will create ten new national parks and five new National
Marine Conservation Areas over the next five years. It will improve the
ecological integrity in Canada's existing national parks. It will
reintroduce legislation to protect species at risk.
The government will accelerate the clean-up of federal contaminated sites
in Canada. It will work with the United States to further improve air
quality. It will accelerate its work with the provinces on improved national
water quality guidelines, and ensure their implementation in areas of
A MAGNET FOR TALENT AND INVESTMENT
The Canada we want requires a strong economy. The government will
maintain its unwavering commitment to balanced budgets, disciplined
spending, a declining ratio of debt-to-GDP, and fair and competitive taxes.
It will build on its investments in research, literacy and education, and in
competitive cities and healthy communities. It will also adjust its policies
to enhance the climate for investment and talent. The government will
reallocate resources to the highest priorities and transform old spending to
Skills, Learning and Research
The fuel of the new economy is knowledge. The government has invested
heavily in providing Canada's schools and libraries with the information
technology to connect young Canadians with the best information and
knowledge the world has to offer. It has invested in access to universities
and in excellence in university research because Canada's youth need and
deserve the best education possible, and Canada needs universities that
produce the best knowledge and the best graduates.
The government will build on these investments. It will continue to
increase its funding to the federal granting councils to provide young
Canadians greater support for graduate studies and research. It will work
with universities on the indirect costs of research and on strategies for
its commercialization to create opportunities for entrepreneurs and to fuel
innovation. It will continue to work with
small- and medium-sized enterprises in the development and application of
new technologies in traditional and emerging sectors.
It will strengthen government science, integrating its efforts across
departments and disciplines and focusing on the priorities of Canadians.
In November, the Government of Canada will host the National Summit on
Innovation and Learning. This will be an opportunity to position Canada as a
world leader in such areas as health sciences, biotechnology and clean
The economy of the 21stcentury will need workers who are lifelong
learners, who can respond and adapt to change. Canada's labour market
programs must be transformed to meet this challenge. To this end, the
government will work with Canadians, provinces, sector councils, labour
organizations and learning institutions to create the skills and learning
architecture that Canada needs, and to promote workplace learning. This will
include building our knowledge and reporting to Canadians about what is
working and what is not.
The Youth Employment Strategy has been successful in increasing job
opportunities and experience for young Canadians. But the employment needs
of our youth are changing. Government strategies have to keep pace. Working
with youth and other partners, the government will redirect its resources in
this area to develop skills for the future and to help those who face the
greatest barriers to employment. It will also work with the provinces to
fast-track a comprehensive agreement to remove barriers to participation in
work and learning for persons with disabilities.
The government will promote entrepreneurial skills and job creation among
Aboriginal people by increasing support for Aboriginal Business Canada. It
will also tailor and target its training programs to help Aboriginal and
Inuit people participate in economic opportunities such as the development
of Voisey's Bay, northern gas pipelines and similar projects throughout
One of Canada's greatest assets — and a unique advantage in our world —
is our openness to immigrants from every corner of the globe. The
demographic realities of an aging population and slowing labour force growth
place an even greater premium on this immigration advantage. Canada must
continue to be the country that immigrants choose to find hope, hospitality
The government will work with its partners to break down the barriers to
the recognition of foreign credentials and will fast-track skilled workers
entering Canada with jobs already waiting for them. It will also position
Canada as a destination of choice for talented foreign students and skilled
workers by more aggressively selecting and recruiting through universities
and in key embassies abroad.
The knowledge economy requires new approaches to how we regulate. We need
regulation to achieve the public good, and we need to regulate in a way that
enhances the climate for investment and trust in the markets. The government
will move forward with a smart regulation strategy to accelerate reforms in
key areas to promote health and sustainability, to contribute to innovation
and economic growth, and to reduce the administrative burden on business.
As part of this strategy, the government will adapt its intellectual
property framework to enable Canada to be a world leader on emerging issues
such as new life forms. It will speed up the regulatory process for drug
approvals to ensure that Canadians have faster access to the safe drugs they
need, creating a better climate for research in pharmaceuticals. It will
work with provinces to implement a national system for the governance of
research involving humans, including national research ethics and standards.
The government will revise Canadian copyright rules to ensure that Canada
has a progressive regime that supports increased investment in knowledge and
It will reintroduce legislation to amend the Canadian Environmental
Assessment Act. It will also streamline environmental assessment processes,
including implementing a single window for projects such as the northern
pipeline. To pursue its strategy over the
longer-term, the government will create an External Advisory Committee on
Smart Regulation to recommend areas where government needs to redesign its
regulatory approach to create and maintain a Canadian advantage.
The government will implement the recently announced Agricultural Policy
Framework and related measures to promote innovation in that key sector,
which is vital to rural Canada and all Canadians.
The Canada-U.S. Smart Border Declaration contributes to both our national
security and the free flow of people, goods and commerce across our shared
border. The government will build on this work and increase its consular
presence to expand fair and secure trade and commerce, and to brand Canada
in the United States. It will continue to work bilaterally and
multilaterally to resolve trade disputes over softwood lumber and
Recent events in the United States have weakened confidence in capital
markets, not only in that country, but around the world. The government has
been working closely with all parties to bolster investor confidence and
improve the efficiency and integrity of Canadian capital markets. In this
regard, it will review and, where necessary, change its laws and strengthen
enforcement to ensure that governance standards for federally incorporated
companies and financial institutions remain of the highest order.
Many investors and businesses have expressed concern that Canada's
fragmented securities regulatory structure is inadequate and an obstacle to
growth. They have urged reform to ensure that businesses can efficiently
access the financing they need to grow, and to assure Canadians that they
will be treated fairly when they invest. Co-operation among governments will
be necessary. The government will work with all participants to ensure that
Canada has the modern and efficient securities regulatory system it needs.
Competitive Cities and Healthy Communities
Competitive cities and healthy communities are vital to our individual
and national well-being, and to Canada's ability to attract and retain
talent and investment. They require not only strong industries, but also
safe neighbourhoods; not only a dynamic labour force, but access to a rich
and diverse cultural life. They require new partnerships, a new urban
strategy, and a new approach to healthy communities for the 21stcentury.
Modern infrastructure is key to the prosperity of our cities and the
health of our communities. Working with provinces and municipalities, the
government will put in place a ten-year program for infrastructure to
accommodate long-term strategic initiatives essential to competitiveness and
Within this framework, it will introduce a new strategy for a safe,
efficient and environmentally responsible transportation system that will
help reduce congestion in our cities and bottlenecks in our trade corridors.
It will extend its investments in affordable housing for those whose
needs are greatest, particularly in those Canadian cities where the problem
is most acute. It will extend the Supporting Communities Partnership
Initiative to provide communities with the tools to plan and implement local
strategies to help reduce homelessness.
In a number of cities, poverty is disproportionately concentrated among
Aboriginal people. The government will work with interested provinces to
expand on existing pilot programs to meet the needs of Aboriginal people
living in cities.
The government will target its regional development activities to better
meet the needs of the knowledge economy and address the distinct challenges
of Canada's urban, rural and northern communities.
The government will work with Canada's largest cities to develop targeted
strategies to reduce the barriers faced by new immigrants in settling into
the social and economic life of their new communities. It will introduce
targeted measures to help children of recent immigrants to learn French and
English, so that they can realize the opportunities that brought their
parents to this country.
The government will also implement a national drug strategy to address
addiction while promoting public safety. It will expand the number of drug
treatment courts. It will act on the results of parliamentary consultations
with Canadians on options for change in our drug laws, including the
possibility of the decriminalization of marijuana possession.
A NEW PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN GOVERNMENT AND CITIZENS
Canada has a unique model of citizenship, based simultaneously on
diversity and mutual responsibility. This model requires deliberate efforts
to connect Canadians across their differences, to link them to their history
and to enable their diverse voices to participate in choosing the Canada we
The government will ensure that as Canadians take charge of their future,
they will have access to their history by creating a new institution that
brings together the National Archives of Canada and the National Library of
Canada, providing new tools to reach Canadians, young and old. It will also
strengthen key arts and heritage institutions and protect significant
historic sites and buildings.
It will create more opportunities for young Canadians to help clean up
our environment and assist in achieving Canada's global priorities,
particularly in Africa.
It will reform our citizenship legislation to reassert the rights and
reinforce the responsibilities that go with being Canadian.
It will put into action the accord it signed with the voluntary sector
last December, to enable the sector to contribute to national priorities and
represent the views of those too often excluded.
The government will work with provinces toward renewal of legal aid so
that Canadians can have access to adequate legal representation before the
Linguistic duality is at the heart of our collective identity. The
government will implement an action plan on official languages that will
focus on minority-language and second- language education, including the
goal of doubling within ten years the number of high school graduates with a
working knowledge of both English and French. It will support the
development of minority English- and French- speaking communities, and
expand access to services in their language in areas such as health. It will
enhance the use of our two official languages in the federal public service,
both in the workplace and when communicating with Canadians.
The government will reintroduce legislation to strengthen First Nations
governance institutions— to support democratic principles, transparency and
public accountability, and provide the tools to improve the quality of
public administration in First Nations communities. It will work with these
communities to build their capacity for economic and social development, and
it will expand community-based justice approaches, particularly for youth
living on reserves and Aboriginals in the North. The government will also
work with Aboriginal people to preserve and enhance Aboriginal languages and
Canadians want their government to be open, accountable and responsive to
their diverse and changing needs.
Early in this session, the government will provide clear guidance and
better enforcement of the ethical standards expected of elected officials
and senior public servants. The government will strengthen the legislation
governing its relationship with lobbyists. And the government will introduce
legislative changes to the financing of political parties and candidates for
Canadians know the value and importance of the role of government and of
the need for excellence in the public service. The government will introduce
long-awaited reforms for the public service to ensure that it can attract
the diverse talent it needs to continue to serve Canadians well.
The Canada we want cannot happen by government acting alone or by
citizens acting apart.
We know that by pursuing the common good, we pursue our own good; that a
country is more than a collection of narrow interests, it is a common
enterprise to which all can contribute.
The priorities we have outlined today build on the conviction that we
must add to the work of our ancestors, and leave Canada a better place for
May our future, like our past, be a story of achievement.
Respectful of our history, confident in our future, let each of us do our
Members of the House of Commons,
You will be asked to appropriate the funds required to carry out the
services and expenditures authorized by Parliament.
Honourable Members of the Senate and
Members of the House of Commons,
As you carry out your duties and exercise your responsibilities, may you
be guided by Divine Providence.
The House of Commons withdrew.
Her Excellency the Governor General was pleased to retire.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I have the honour to inform
you that Her Excellency the Governor General has caused to be placed in my hands
a copy of her Speech delivered this day from the Throne to the two Houses of
Parliament. It is as follows —
Hon. Senators: Dispense.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, when shall this Speech be
taken into consideration?
Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government) moved:
That the Speech of Her Excellency the Governor General delivered this day
from the Throne to the two Houses of Parliament be taken into consideration
at the next sitting.
Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government) moved:
That, pursuant to rule 85(1), the Honourable Senators Bacon, De Bané,
Fairbairn, Kinsella, Kolber, LeBreton, Rompkey, Stratton and Tkachuk be
appointed a Committee of Selection to nominate (a) a Senator to
preside as Speaker pro tempore and (b) the Senators to serve
on the several select committees during the present Session; and to report
with all convenient speed the names of the Senators so nominated.
The Hon. the Speaker: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to
adopt the motion?