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Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

2nd Session, 37th Parliament,
Volume 140, Issue 9

Wednesday, October 23, 2002
The Honourable Lucie Pépin, Speaker pro tempore


THE SENATE

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

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

Prayers.

SENATORS' STATEMENTS

The Honourable Brenda M. Robertson

New Brunswick—Anniversary of Being First Woman Elected to Legislature

Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, there are special occasions when we rise to salute one of our colleagues, and I am delighted to have the opportunity to bring to your attention a very special thirty-fifth anniversary today.

Thirty-five years ago, history was made in the Legislative Assembly of my Province of New Brunswick when our colleague, the Honourable Senator Robertson, was the first woman elected to that house. Subsequently, as honourable senators will recall, our distinguished colleague became the Minister of Health for the Province of New Brunswick. Senator Robertson brought that experience to this chamber and will demonstrate it once again in an important committee report that will soon be tabled in this place. The Senate has been the repository of this pioneer woman's experience, and I am certain that all honourable senators will join me in recognizing Senator Robertson's accomplishments.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Women's History Month

Hon. Shirley Maheu: Honourable senators, October is Women's History Month, which is drawing to an end. I should like to take this opportunity to reflect upon the battles and challenges that women have faced in the past and continue to face today, as well as their multiple accomplishments.

[Translation]

Canadian women have seen their situation, their civil and political rights in particular, evolve over the years. Obtaining the right to vote, entering the work force during the two world wars, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the women's liberation movement are only some of the milestones along theway.

Quite recently, Canada ratified the optional protocol to the UNConvention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women. Canadian women have had to fight to get where they are today, and will have to continue to rise to such challenges as the difficulty in balancing work and family responsibilities, the wage differential between women and men and getting more women into non-traditional trades.

[English]

This year, the theme for Women's History Month is: Women and Sports— Champions Forever! Although women have not always been encouraged to participate in sports, today more and more girls and women actively participate, compete and succeed in sports. We only need to think back to the 2002 Winter Olympics when our Canadian women's hockey team brought home the gold medal and to the 1992 Summer Olympics when Canadian rower Silken Laumann showed everyone how focused and determined she was by winning a bronze medal a few months after a tragic accident almost ended her career. These are role models that girls and women need in the sports arena. We also need to encourage all women to become more involved in sports so that they are able to maintain good physical fitness and overall health.

Finally, I should like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to one of our Senate pages, Megan Reid. This year, Megan was awarded the youth medal at the presentation of the Governor General's Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case. Megan has been involved in many women's issues, from promoting positive body image in young girls to volunteering her time and raising funds for breast cancer. I believe this young woman deserves our accolades and our recognition.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates

Hon. Douglas Roche: Honourable senators, I would bring to your attention a remarkable meeting that was held last weekend in Rome and which I was privileged to attend. It was the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates. Some one-half dozen Nobel Laureates and representatives of many other organizations, which over the years have won the Nobel Peace Prize, were in attendance.

The meeting was under the direction of President Gorbachev, former President of the Soviet Union, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 and who now heads the Gorbachev Foundation. Mr.Gorbachev excoriated governments for pleading that they do not have enough money to cure poverty, while at the same time spending enormous sums on arms. He especially criticized the development of nuclear weapons. This will go on, he said, until and unless the world community is energized to stop it. Certainly, he said, new weapons are not needed to fight terrorism.

The statement that was issued at the end of the weekend conference stated that, among other things, nuclear weapons are immoral and every use of them is illegal. The statement concluded that a culture of peace must overcome today's culture of war. There were strong recommendations to resolve the present
Iraq-U.S. crisis by resorting to United Nations Security Council resolutions and not unilateral action. Security Council resolutions must be fully adhered to, the statement said, and the rights of the Iraqi people respected. The struggle against terrorism must not become a pretext for unjust constraints on human rights.

Honourable senators, the full report of this remarkable, and one might even say astounding, meeting of world leaders can be found on my Web site at sen.parl.gc.ca/droche.

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Small Business Portfolio

Hon. Donald H. Oliver: Honourable senators, the engine for economic growth in Canada is small business. It is small business that can be relied upon to employ women and men who are needed to serve the needs of Canadians. The Progressive Conservative cabinet of former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney recognized the need for special recognition for this part of the economic sector through the appointment of a cabinet minister responsible for small business. This minister gave voice to the unique concerns of small business at the cabinet table. The concerns of small business were not lost in government. They had a home in their own ministry with their own spokesperson.

Recently, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce has urged the government to return to the cabinet model that saw a minister for small business. It is the bank's contention that such a minister could address key issues faced by small business, such as the shortage of skilled workers, taxation problems and succession planning.

As most small businesses are family owned and operated, these issues loom large when trying to serve the public and register sufficient profits to generate growth in the business. The minister of small business would send a signal to the business world that this government is hearing their concerns and responding in a positive fashion. I urge honourable senators to call upon this government to reinstate this important ministry for small business.

H. Martin Kenney, O.B.C.

Tribute

Hon. Tommy Banks: Honourable senators, I rise to take note of a very happy occasion in which I invite you to join me in sending congratulations to a distinguished Canadian.

In the big band era of the late 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, there were two Canadians who attained not merely national but international success. One was Guy Lombardo who, sadly, has left us, but the other is still with us. His name is Mart Kenney. Mart Kenney and his Western Gentlemen became one of the most successful dance bands during that era. Mr.Kenney is now 92years old and still going 200 miles an hour. He is still playing gigs, which makes all of us in the music business very happy. He has been an inspiration to everyone in the music industry in Canada. Last September 19, he was inducted into the Order of British Columbia as one of that province's most distinguished citizens. I know that all senators will join me in congratulating him on that signal honour.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Closed Captioning

Hon. Jean-Robert Gauthier: Honourable senators, I bear good news. CBC commits to 100 per cent captioning of English television on CBC Newsworld. This is good news for deaf and hard-of-hearing Canadians who must rely on captioning to understand through reading what they cannot hear and comprehend.

Mind you, Mr. Henry Vlug, a hard-of-hearing person, filed a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission in 1997 against the CBC English network and CBC Newsworld because they did not provide him with captioning of their television programming. A tribunal under the Canadian Human Rights Act heard the case, and a settlement was reached last Thursday, October 17.

CBC, as Canada's national public broadcaster, is to be commended for this decision. We were told, in a news release, that by November 1 of this year all programming by CBC television and CBC Newsworld would be regularly captioned, including live-breaking news, promos and commercials produced by the CBC.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, CRTC, ruled in 1995 that large stations, such as CBC, CTV and others, were to caption all news by September1, 1998. They did not. That ruling was made some seven years ago. One learns to be patient when one is handicapped.

The same policy does not apply, by the way, to the French network. I, and many other French-speaking Canadians who have a hearing impairment, would be very happy if it did. Equal access in both official languages in this country is part of the law of the land, after all.

Is it possible to hope that all other major broadcasters in this country, such as CTV, Global, TVA and others will follow the example set by the CBC and offer their viewers, who may be deaf or hard of hearing, the possibility of accessing closed captioning of their programming? The technology exists. The Second Audio Programming option, or SAP, is in all of our TV sets. It is an electronic chip in the TV set. You program it, and you get SAP. Canadians need to be better informed about this option. This would meet the fundamental requirements for receiving closed captions. Hard of hearing and deaf people have as much right to access TV programs as do other Canadians, coast to coast.

There are many things to be done in the field of captioning. Itistime for other national services, such as airlines and othertransportation facilities, to adopt subtitling of their advertisements or security measures so that travelling Canadians who are deaf can read what they do not hear and, therefore, be safer and more comfortable in travelling on public transit.

Fisheries and Oceans

Coast Guard—Withdrawal of Search and Rescue Services

Hon. Pat Carney: Honourable senators, recently, I called the attention of this chamber to the erosion of Canadian Coast Guard services in search and rescue and security on the West Coast. I called for a public inquiry into the proposed cancellation of maritime and aviation aids. At that time, I pointed out that some of the problems we face on the West Coast are the possible further de-staffing of light stations; the removal of foghorns from many mid and north coast light stations; confusion over the role of Coast Guard divers when five British Columbians diedfollowing the capsizing of their fishing vessel, the CapeRougeII; federal cutbacks to Coast Guard voluntary auxiliary units already suffering from insufficient funding for the purchase of rescue equipment; and the decision by NAVCANADA to reduce aviation weather reports provided by staffed light stations to local aviators flying the B.C. coast.

The Union of Canadian Transportation Employees is echoing this call for an inquiry into the cuts to the Coast Guard. They have brought to the public's attention that, in the Maritimes region, the following facilities and services have been slashed: The Saint John Coast Guard base is to close; the Mulgrave Emergency Services Centre is closed and the staff relocated; the Coast Guard base in Dartmouth is to close. Over 75 vessels have been removed from service.

Senator Forrestall: Shameful!

Senator Carney: Vital essential services, such as navigational aids and programs, are to be contracted out to the lowest bidder. Helicopter services are to be removed from Yarmouth and Saint John bases. Coast patrols and security are not funded, leaving our shores open to smuggling of illegal immigrants, drugs and other alien forces.

Fishery patrols are at an all-time low. The safety of the public is being compromised by the lack of funding. There are not enough search and rescue specialists aboard Coast Guard vessels, which compromises safety.

I bring this matter to the attention of honourable senators because, clearly, there is a need for an inquiry into the services of the Coast Guard. Canadians need them on our coasts. The Coast Guard is a highly respected agency and service. Those of us who live in coastal communities, who work and play on the coast, require our safety to be maintained by the Coast Guard.

Question of Privilege

Notice

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Honourable senators, earlier today the clerk received a notice of question of privilege by the Honourable Senator Murray, P.C. I will now recognize Senator Murray for the purpose of giving oral notice of his question of privilege.

Hon. Lowell Murray: Honourable senators, I hereby give oral notice of the question of privilege of which I gave written notice three hours or so ago, copies of which I believe have been circulated to all senators.

[Translation]

Visitors in the Gallery

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Honourable senators, I wish to draw to your attention the presence in the gallery of a delegation of senators from Czechoslovakia. On behalf of all senators, welcome to the Senate of Canada.


(1350)

[English]

ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

Social Affairs, Science and Technology

Report Pursuant to Rule 104 Tabled

Hon. Michael Kirby: Honourable senators, pursuant to rule104 of the Rules of the Senate, I have the honour to table the first report of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, which deals with the expenses incurred by the committee during the First Session of the
Thirty-seventh Parliament.

(For text of report, see today's Journals of the Senate.)

Louis Riel Bill

First Reading

Hon. Thelma J. Chalifoux: Honourable senators, I have the honour to present Bill S-9, to honour Louis Riel and the Metis People.

Bill read first time.

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

On motion of Senator Chalifoux, bill placed on the Orders of the Day for second reading two days hence.

[Translation]

Canada-France Inter-Parliamentary Association

Delegation to Mission on French Presidential Election, April 29-May 6, 2002—Report Tabled

Hon. Lise Bacon: Honourable senators, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the report on the mission by a Canadian delegation of the Canada-France Inter-Parliamentary Association on the French presidential election, in Paris, from April 29 to May 6, 2002.

[English]

Canada-China Legislative Assembly

Fifth Bilateral Meeting, May 2002—Report Tabled

Hon. Jack Austin: Honourable senators, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the seventh report of the Canada- China Legislative Association regarding the fifth bilateral meeting held in Shanghai, Chengdu, Lhasa, Xi'an, Dunhuang and Beijing, in May 2002.

Social Affairs, Science and Technology

Notice of Motion to Authorize Committee to Engage Services

Hon. Michael Kirby: Honourable senators, I give notice that, at the next sitting of the Senate, I will move:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology Affairs have power to engage the services of such counsel and technical, clerical and other personnel as may be necessary for the purpose of its examination and consideration of such bills, subject-matters of bills and estimates as are referred to it.

Notice of Motion to Authorize Committee to Permit Electronic Coverage

Hon. Michael Kirby: Honourable senators, I give notice that, at the next sitting of the Senate, I will move:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology be empowered to permit coverage by electronic media of its public proceedings with the least possible disruption of its hearings.

Banking, Trade and Commerce

Notice of Motion to Authorize Committee to Study the Administration and Operation of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act

Hon. E. Leo Kolber: Honourable senators, I give notice that, at the next sitting of the Senate, I will move:

That in accordance with the provisions contained in section 216 of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and in section 22 of the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act, the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce be authorized to examine and report on the administration and operation of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act; and

That the Committee submit its final report no later than June19, 2003.


QUESTION PERIOD

The Environment

Ratification of Kyoto Protocol

Hon. John Buchanan: Honourable senators, this is more of a follow-up to an important question that Honourable Senator St.Germain asked yesterday pertaining to the Kyoto accord, with reference to the fact that the accord may be very damaging in Western Canada.

I have probably not been the environmentalist that many people in this chamber may be today. During my 13-year period as the premier of the greatest province in Canada, I signed three successful agreements with the governors of the New England states on the reduction of SO2 and NOx. Since coming here, under the tutelage of Senator Spivak I have become more of an environmentalist than before.

There is a concern about the Kyoto accord in Atlantic Canada. As I said once before here, senators from Newfoundland and Nova Scotia should be concerned about the possible consequences of the Kyoto accord.

Interestingly enough, last week the Halifax Chronicle-Herald reported that Newfoundland could suffer more economically than any other province in Canada after ratification of the Kyoto accord if it is not implemented in a way that would not injure small provinces like Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. Implementation is therefore extremely important. As Senator Graham knows, Nova Scotia generates over 70 per cent of our electricity from coal. With the export of natural gas from Nova Scotia, there should be a plan of credits going to us. So far, no one has mentioned any kind of a credit.

Having said that, honourable senators, I will read something to you. It says, "Federal studies suggest that Canada's major
energy-producing provinces — Alberta, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland— would suffer significant economic damage under the terms of the accord unless we know what the plan of implementation will be." As I mentioned, the recent study by Environment Canada indicated that Newfoundland would suffer more than any of the other provinces.

Knowing that there will be a meeting of provincial ministers to discuss this issue and bring it back to their premiers, I should like to ask the Leader of the Government in the Senate a question.

(1400)

I hope I am right in having said that. I would not want to put words in the minister's mouth. I would never do that. Of course, I learned, long ago, never to ask the question unless you know the answer, and I do know the answer. There will be a meeting.

Having asked that and having answered myself, I just want to know, as a follow up, whether the Prime Minister will convene a meeting of the premiers and himself to familiarize them fully with the consequences of the Kyoto accord and the plan of implementation.

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I thank Senator Buchanan for his question. He took the long way to arrive at the final question, and I have to take an equally long way to get to my reply.

He indicated that Nova Scotia was the greatest province in Canada, and I must say that it is, indeed, one of the greatest provinces in Canada, as are the other nine and the three territories that make up our great country.

As to the very serious nature of his question, as the honourable senator knows, there will be a meeting of the ministers on Kyoto, and that meeting with take place next Monday in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Prior to that, the plan will be released. I believe we can expect that shortly after today. That will outline the way in which the Government of Canada believes it can achieve the targets it has set, and the fact that the pain will be shared not only with the oil producing provinces, but also with other industries and the consumers of this great country.

Senator Buchanan: I thank the Leader of the Government in the Senate for that response. However, it is important to note what has been written recently about the problems the industry is encountering by not having seen an implementation plan of the Kyoto accord. That very much applies to Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. For instance, the EnCana CEO, Gwyn Morgan, said recently in Halifax that the proposed Deep Panuke project off Nova Scotia cannot withstand higher cost structures. He also said that it is very difficult for industries such as EnCana to decide what to do without knowing the exact terms of ratification of the implementation of the Kyoto accord.

As honourable senators know, at present, Nova Scotia is sending approximately 500millioncubic feet of natural gas into the New England states, and that will escalate to about a billion, in a few years, with the Deep Panuke project. It is important for a province like Nova Scotia to secure the future for those and other projects. That also applies to Newfoundland, which has been shipping oil into the United States and where companies have clearly indicated that, although they are not yet putting everything on hold, they may have to put future exploration on hold. In fact, Premier John Hamm of Nova Scotia made the comment that, without knowing the full ramifications of the Kyoto accord, it is like buying a house without looking at it. It is very important.

The Honourable Gordon Balser, the Minister of Energy in Nova Scotia has indicated that there is a lot of concern over comments made to his department by industry, about the possibility of putting these projects on hold. As the Leader of the Government in the Senate knows, being a native of Nova Scotia and loving all the provinces — and her dear father is a good personal friend of mine —

Senator Carney: Is this a question?

Senator Buchanan: I was just about to say, as the Leader of the Government in the Senate knows, a week after I was elected premier of Nova Scotia, I had lunch with her father.

My question is: Will the leader please inform the Prime Minister of the great concern of Nova Scotians and Newfoundlanders about the ratification of the Kyoto accord without them being given details of the full consequences of it and of the implementation plan?

Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, I would assure the honourable senator that my father always spoke with great fondness of him.

As to the Kyoto accord, the industrial sector has been working with departmental officials, literally, on a daily basis for some months now. We have heard many doom and gloom scenarios. They remind me of the scenarios we used to hear of what would befall the entire country if we removed lead from gasoline. We did that, and no doom and gloom scenarios befell us. In fact, we now have cleaner air as a result of that.

The government is meeting with ministers next week. I understand the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Natural Resources will be in attendance, as well as all of their provincial counterparts. Whether a meeting of first ministers will take place is a decision that has not been made. The decision at the present time is to continue the negotiations. The one-week delay is to ensure that the most accurate information is available and on the table for that Monday meeting.

Senator Buchanan: I have a further supplementary question. It is extremely important that the ministers meet, but I think it is probably more important that, after that meeting, when they have had an opportunity to digest what the Prime Minister of Canada has indicated, the Prime Minister call a federal-provincial conference. Having sat around the table with him years ago, I know that he is a person who has great respect for the provinces and for federal-provincial conferences. I believe that he will do the right thing and hold that conference. Does the minister share my belief?

Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, quite frankly, I hope there is such a wonderful accommodation in next Monday's meeting that there will be no necessity for a first ministers' meeting. Following that meeting, there will be another meeting, and that is now being scheduled. The point is that the governments of the provinces are being engaged on this issue as are all aspects of the private sector which would be impacted by this accord. That is because, I believe, the signature of Canada on the Kyoto accord will have not only an impact for Canada, but it will also have a major impact throughout the world.

[Translation]

Hon. Roch Bolduc: Honourable senators, I would like to pursue this line of thought. The Leader of the Government in the Senate seems to be saying that we do not yet know what will happen because the premiers and the Prime Minister of Canada are holding talks. I have nothing against discussions between governments, but in the case of the Kyoto Protocol — and this is the point stressed by Senator Buchanan — Parliament should be involved and there should be a public first ministers' meeting.

The issue must be debated across Canada on television. This is important, because the issue of Kyoto is very complex. People read the newspapers but do not know what to think. Some scientists support ratifying the protocol, while others are against it. Some business people such as Senator Taylor are saying that this will bring prosperity to Alberta, while Albertans think the opposite. This is a very controversial issue. The general public does not know what we are talking about. It is important to have a public meeting of first ministers — as was the case regarding constitutional issues — and to allow the public to follow the proceedings so that everyone can understand what this is all about. This problem does not only affect Canadians, but people around the world. Is this not a valid argument in terms of Canadian democracy?

(1410)

[English]

Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, the honourable senator seems to have more faith in the public's ability to watch and analyze what occurs at first ministers' meetings than I do. A much better way to attract the attention of Canadians would be to have a lively debate in this chamber and in the other place. I anticipate that will happen before Christmas, because it is anticipated that we will move to ratification before the Christmas break.

Having said that, clearly these ministerial meetings are important. They will, it is hoped, bring the partners together to do what is in the best interest of this country.

National Defence

Units on Standby for Deployment to Kuwait or Turkey

Hon. J. Michael Forrestall: Honourable senators, I appreciated very much the responses of the Leader of the Government in the Senate yesterday to some questions she had taken as notice. They were responses to question numbers 19 and 20 that I have on the Order Paper. I am curious as to whether I will get the other 18 shortly, and I will leave the minister to wonder about that.

We know that the Middle East is not really the Prime Minister's forté. However, is the minister able to confirm for us whether any Canadian army unit, or otherwise, has been placed on standby or issued a warning order that deployment may be forthcoming to Kuwait or Turkey and, if so, for which units?

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, to the best of my knowledge, no one has been put on standby or been given a warning order for relocation to Kuwait or Turkey.

Troops on Exchange with United Kingdom or United States Units on Assignment in Persian Gulf—Joint Task Force 2 Troops Assigned to Peacetime Exercises in Jordan

Hon. J. Michael Forrestall: Honourable senators, could the minister confirm whether we have Canadian Forces personnel serving on exchange with any British or American units now moving into the Persian Gulf region in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Turkey or Jordan?

As the former Defence Minister took great pleasure in announcing the deployment of JTF2 to Afghanistan to take part in that war, will the minister take us into her confidence and tell us whether JTF2 has joined the American and British Special Forces in their peacetime exercises in the Jordanian desert?

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I am not able to provide the honourable senator with any information on JTF2 exercises at this time. As far as I know, the only JTF troops that are abroad at present are those in Afghanistan. If I learn otherwise, I will certainly share that information with the honourable senator.

As to whether we have troops serving on exchange, we almost always have troops serving on exchange with a variety of other militaries. Whether any troops are in Saudi Arabia at present, again, I will have to obtain that information for the honourable senator.

Foreign Affairs

United States—Smart Border Plan Agreement to Restrict Asylum Shoppers

Hon. Donald H. Oliver: Honourable senators, it was reported on October9, 2002, that the federal cabinet had given approval to a new refugee policy called "Safe Third Country," as part of a larger agreement with the United States called "Smart Border Plan." This policy is designed to crack down on asylum shoppers, a name given to refugees who do not ask for asylum in the first country in which they land. The new agreement makes refugees ask for protection in the first country in which they land.

Last year, six out of ten refugee claims made in Canada were from people who landed in the United States first. This agreement would compel the United States to take these people back and vice versa. In order for the United States to agree to this deal, we are told that Canada has agreed to take 200 non-American citizens, per year, who have been detained by officials of the United States. Canada will pick which detainees it will permit into the country, from a list provided by Washington. This list may even include some detainees from the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, in Cuba. The reason the United States wants Canada to take these people has not been made public.

Could the Leader of the Government in the Senate tell us why the government has willingly allowed the United States to dictate part of our immigration policy, just to sign an agreement on this matter?

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I am deeply disturbed at the question posed by the honourable senator. Certainly, I am aware of the refugee policy and the safe country being the one in which the immigrant or refugee claimant first arrives. However, I know nothing whatsoever about the so-called agreement in regard to 200detained non-citizens.

I find it remarkable, since we cannot even bring our own Canadian citizens back from the United States at present, that we may have moved into this new venture with the United States. However, I will obtain the information, if it is available, for the honourable senator.

I also wish to thank the honourable senator for having brought a question to my office yesterday. I must say that the document had been lost. Procedures have now been dealt with appropriately. Should he ever deliver another question early in the morning, I assure him that I will know about it at Question Period that afternoon.

Recognition of Hezbollah as Terrorist Organization

Hon. David Tkachuk: Honourable senators, in the Ottawa Citizen of October19, 2002, the Prime Minister seemed to be in the dark about who or what is the Hezbollah. "Who is he?", Mr.Chrétien asked reporters, "I do not know him." That is in reference to Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the Islamic militant group, Hezbollah. The Prime Minister was asked, "Is Hezbollah a terrorist organization?" Mr. Chrétien replied, "I don't know."

Yesterday, during Question Period, the Leader of the Government in the Senate said, according to the copy of the blues that I received:

The Hezbollah organization has many arms, many branches. The branch that provides humanitarian aid and the branch that provides cultural support have not been declared by the United States or by the United Kingdom as a terrorist organization.

Is there anything about this statement that the minister would like to change? I understand that that statement, which was in the blues yesterday that I received in the office, does not appear in the same way in yesterday's copy of the Debates of the Senate.

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I cannot explain why this reference has not appeared in the same way. I certainly did not make any blues correction, nor did any member of my staff. Why there is a difference in what came out in the blues and what came out today, I have no explanation whatsoever.

Senator Tkachuk: Honourable senators, in the Debates of the Senate, the Leader of the Government in the Senate states:

The Hezbollah organization has many arms, many branches. The branch that provides humanitarian aid and the branch that provides cultural support have not been declared by the United Kingdom as terrorist organizations.

In this excerpt "the United States" is left out.

I should like to perhaps correct the minister. I do not know whether she is on the same wavelength as the Prime Minister, but "Hezbollah" appears on the British terrorist list. According to the foreign affairs Web site of the British government, the Hezbollah organization appears on the British list as the "Hezbollah external security organization." It is listed in between the Tamil Tigers, whom Liberals may know about, and the Hamas. On the U.S. terrorist list, the organization is listed as the "Hezbollah party" and in parenthesis "party of God."

Honourable senators, I would be happy to provide information on who and what Hezbollah is. For example, the head of the military wing is a man named Imad Mughniyeh. He is probably the world's most wanted outlaw. Imad has not been seen around this or any town in a while and is believed to be one of the two men who were the operational brains behind the New York attack. He has been on the CIA's most wanted list since 1984.

My question for the Leader of the Government is: How has this government artificially erected barriers between different branches of Hezbollah? All of the military experts I have spoken to will agree that there is no real division between the different branches other than, perhaps, in that the humanitarian side is involved with recruitment or raising funds.

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How did we get all these organizations that no one but the leader seems to know about?

Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, with the greatest of respect, the United Kingdom knows about it, which is why the United Kingdom and Canada have followed the same policy with respect to Hezbollah. Both countries have listed the external security organization of Hezbollah as a terrorist group. They have not listed the other arms of Hezbollah as terrorist organizations.

The United States, on the other hand, has listed the entire Hezbollah organization as a terrorist organization. A differentiation has been made, Canada and the United Kingdom on one side and the United States on the other side.

Senator Tkachuk: Honourable senators, the Hezbollah organizations do not list themselves as different organizations but rather as one organization.

National Revenue

Tax Relief for Hezbollah Organizations

Hon. David Tkachuk: Honourable senators, I would like to know whether the Canadian government issues tax receipts to those who make donations to, as the leader has referred to them, the humanitarian wing of the Hezbollah organization in Canada.

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I do not know at this point whether the government grants tax relief to any charitable organization that Hezbollah may operate. Hezbollah's military wing is not permitted to operate in Canada. However, their social agencies are allowed to raise money for the schools and clinics that they run in Palestinian refugee camps. Whether contributors are given a tax receipt for those monies or not, I cannot answer.

Senator Tkachuk: Perhaps the Leader of the Government in the Senate could table in this chamber documents that indicate how the Government of Canada knows where the money that is being collected in Canada by Hezbollah is going and being spent, who knows where. Obviously it is being spent by the Hezbollah organization, I believe, for terrorism or the recruitment of terrorists who have only one aim in mind, and that is to eliminate Israel.

Could the Leader of the Government in the Senate advise this chamber and table documents in this place as to how the Government of Canada assures itself that the money raised here is spent on humanitarian projects?

Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, with the greatest respect to the honourable senator, I believe that charitable work should be allowed to go on among the Palestinian people.

If there is any hotbed of means to create a terrorist, it seems to me that if you allow someone to go uneducated, to live in abject poverty, to be subjected only to inculcation of cult-like ideas, then you will indeed produce a terrorist. I do not think that is in the best interests of anyone living in this world.

We should not be encouraging the growth of terrorists. I do think we should be educating children and feeding those same children.

The Environment

Report of Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development—Disposalof Toxic Substances

Hon. Mira Spivak: Honourable senators, my question is dealing with the report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development.

The commissioner recently said that the federal government still has a long way to go to ensure that risks that toxic substances pose to Canadians are dealt with effectively. The commissioner also said that the current situation regarding toxic substances is unacceptable.

Can the Leader of the Government in the Senate give this chamber any information about how the government will addressthe concerns regarding toxic substances raised by the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development?

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): I thank the honourable senator for her question. In my response yesterday I indicated that I certainly consider the news brought down by the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development as bad news for the future of our children and our grandchildren, and that the government has to work towards a more positive direction for the future.

There have been increases in the environment budget over the last years. Clearly we have to continue in that direction and find the fiscal resources to make it possible to begin some of this clean up activity. The Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development indicated that at this point it would take decades to do that. I should hope that we will be able to shorten that time frame.

Senator Spivak: Honourable senators, I am glad to hear that in the 1999 report of the commissioner the issue of toxic substances was raised and that it had not been adequately dealt with.

I wonder if the leader can give us any indication about three things: One, the priority status of this issue within the Department of the Environment; two, the part of the department that will be dealing with this matter; and, three, the timeline proposed. Are there any concrete plans in terms of those three questions?

Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, what I found most interesting in my discussions with the commissioner in her briefing to me, and also in my reading of the report, was that some serious choices will have to be made within the Department of the Environment. The commissioner's concern is that we are trying to do too much and, as a result, not accomplishing very much.

Whether that priority setting will take place, senator, I do not know. I can assure the senator that I will urge that that kind of priority setting take place.

There will always be complaints from those who support priorities that are not high on the list. If we do not start setting goals and then meeting them, we will continue in this environmental soup, which is how the commissioner described it.


[Translation]

ORDERS OF THE DAY

Business of the Senate

Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, under Government Business, I would like us to start with Motion No. 1, that is, resuming the debate on the address to Her Excellency the Governor General in reply to the Speech from the Throne, and then revert to the order of business as listed on the Order Paper.

Speech from the Throne

Motion for Address in Reply—Debate Continued

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Morin, seconded by the Honourable Senator Hubley, for an Address to Her Excellency the Governor General in reply to her Speech from the Throne at the Opening of the Second Session of the Thirty-seventh Parliament.—(1st day of resuming debate).

Hon. John Lynch-Staunton (Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, first, I congratulate the Honourable Senator Lucie Pépin on her election as Speaker protempore of this house. I should stress the fact that the vote was unanimous, and enthusiastically so. My colleagues on this side join me in wishing her the best of luck in her new position and ensuring her of our full cooperation, even if, from time to time, some of her decisions may not be received as well as others.

I also want to thank her predecessor, Senator Losier-Cools, who carried out her duties with distinction both in this chamber and elsewhere, bringing credit to the Senate.

[English]

Honourable senators, I want to commend both the proposer and seconder of the motion to adopt the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne for having done so with eloquence, albeit with, at best, but a casual reference to the speech itself. Indeed, Senator Morin did highlight the least controversial elements in the speech with enthusiasm but with no commitment to its urgent and immediate implementation. As for Senator Hubley, she made but one or two rather offhanded references to the speech, preferring instead to extol the Prime Minister in a futile attempt to defend him against his critics.

Like them, after listening to Her Excellency, I too have great difficulty in speaking to it in anything but vague generalities. While they contain some worthy intentions, they are set out in too vague and general a fashion to allow anything but a vague and general reaction.

In addition, the speech ignores many of the pressing issues of the day. It is all very well to promise, and I am referring now to extracts from the speech itself: to put in place a 10-year program for infrastructure, to set out a long-term direction on international and defence policy, to accelerate the clean up of federal contaminated sites in Canada, to adjust policies to enhance a climate for investment and talent, and to implement an action plan on official languages, for instance.

However, what about today's state of the Armed Forces, today's contaminated tar ponds in Cape Breton, today's lack of a national entity devoted to protecting shareholders from self- serving management, today's pathetic state of one official language in the public service, as recently lamented in the recent report of the Commissioner on Official Languages. What about the immediate needs of fisheries, agriculture, students and seniors?

(1430)

To those who object to what appears to them to be a trivialization of the Speech from the Throne, I would point out a glaring omission on an issue of national concern: the Kyoto Protocol. In September, at the World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg, the Prime Minister stated categorically that:

Before the end of the year, the Canadian Parliament will be asked to vote on the ratification of the Kyoto Accord.

Nothing could be more precise.

The Speech from the Throne, less than a month later, interprets this firm and unconditional commitment as follows:

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.

Honourable senators, so much for the pledge before the world of a national vote before the end of the year.

What disturbs me most about the speech is not so much its vague contents or lack of any inspiring vision, but what was originally intended as an outline of the government's priorities over a given period has become the personal position of the Prime Minister, this latest one being what has been generally described— and not denied — as his legacy. It is a legacy, which, if ever acted upon, will severely handicap future governments by committing expenditures to long-term projects, whether endorsed or not by those responsible for implementing them. It is bad enough to have foundations outside the jurisdiction of Parliament, which does not have an oversight on their management, but what is worse is that over $7 billion of public funds have, to date, been entrusted to them in perpetuity. Forcing through programs entailing massive expenditures for years to come by a government which will no longer be in office in 18 months, or perhaps even less, is an even greater affront to Parliament.

Senator Kinsella: Hear, hear!

Senator Lynch-Staunton: The September 30 document resembles not so much a traditional Speech from the Throne as it does a State of the Union address given by the President of the United States before a joint session of Congress. This is but another disturbing development which, left unchallenged, continues to reinforce the authority of the chief executive to the point that ministers have become pawns and Parliament a rubber stamp, all directed by an unelected coterie in the Prime Minister's Office.

While the government will claim that the speech is all inclusive and touches on Canadians' main preoccupations, there is one glaring omission in it which is certainly not accidental, and that is parliamentary reform.

These notes were written before the former Finance Minister raised it, and I am delighted to continue my comments in the same vein.

The concentration of power in the Prime Minister's Office, with a concurrent increasing irrelevance of Parliament, has been deplored for years. Indeed, this is not a recent phenomenon. Having its origins with the first Trudeau government, and having become more pronounced over the years, the result is that, today, the Prime Minister is no longer first among equals, but lord and master of all he surveys.

Senator St. Germain: Shame!

Senator Lynch-Staunton: Ministerial pronouncements are meaningless and generally ignored unless first approved by the Prime Minister. Any public straying from his intention by a caucus colleague usually spells an end to advancement, talent and commitment notwithstanding.

I am all in favour of strong leadership. I enjoyed it for 14 years as a member of the Montreal city council, having spent four years as vice-chairman of the executive committee when Jean Drapeau was mayor. He was constantly criticized for administering with an iron fist, not unlike the criticisms aimed at the Prime Minister today. A mayor of Montreal is answerable to all eligible voters for a fixed period, while a Prime Minister is usually elected in a safe riding by a few thousand friends and neighbours, often with only a plurality and not a majority, with absolute discretion to call a general election at any time within five years.

Surely, this is as good a time as any to seriously consider altering our electoral system so that a candidate for the office of Prime Minister is elected at large and along with all members of the House of Commons for a fixed and not a maximum term, as at present.

I am speaking in a personal capacity and, having made this suggestion many times before, I am aware of most of the objections to it. The main objection is that Canada would end up with a Prime Minister, without a majority in the House. I do not see a problem in that. On the contrary, some of the most productive and far-reaching federal legislation in Canada has been passed during the term of minority governments. As for a Prime Minister subjected to a non-confidence vote when his or her party is in a minority situation, this can easily be overcome by the formation of a coalition government, which is quite common in many European countries and elsewhere.

In the United States, a president more often than not must contend with one or both Houses of Congress, controlled by a party other than his. Yet, significant legislation does get through as a result of compromise and consensus, not of edicts from on high, as is the case in Ottawa. I say better a pizza government succeeding through compromise and consensus than a pizza parliament being instructed by non-elected government officials in the Prime Minister's Office.

In August, 2001, the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia passed Bill 7, an amendment to the B.C. Constitution Act requiring that "a general voting day must occur on May 17, 2005 and thereafter on the second Tuesday in May in the fourth calendar year following the general voting day for the most recently held election." If British Columbia has been able to find a way to significantly improve its own electoral system, surely this can also be done federally, either by amending the Constitution or through legislation. My priority at this point is to gain support. Others, more qualified, can determine the best methodology, should the proposal happily get that far.

The United States has great respect for the separation of powers, particularly between the executive and the legislative. However, in Canada, the legislative has become so subservient to the executive that it is attracting fewer and fewer qualified participants of the likes of those who at one time, much too long ago, focused the country's attention on their representatives in Ottawa, as all — Prime Minister and backbencher alike — first and foremost, showed great respect for the now largely ignored tradition and role of Parliament.

In early 2004, Canada will have a new Prime Minister, chosen by his or her party with Canadians watching from the sidelines, having absolutely no say in the selection of a person with extraordinary powers and authority over them. As Tim Luckhurst, a former editor of The Scotsman, wrote in The New Republic recently:

But it is a rule of British politics that a prime minister's most dangerous enemies are on his own side of the aisle... British premiers are party leaders, after all, not presidents with personal mandates from the electorate.

He might just as well have been writing about Canadian prime ministers.

I like to think that whoever that person, he or she will recognize that parliamentary reform is long overdue, and that the selection of a Prime Minister answerable directly to all Canadians as well as fixed election dates will go a long way towards restoring respect for Parliament and giving democracy in this country a good name again. Indeed, as three federal parties prepare to select new leaders next year, I would like to see every candidate of every party support parliamentary reform not as a pious statement; but in the form of specific recommendations aimed at returning to the elected members of the House; their traditional role as legislators, allowing all Canadian voters the right to indicate their preference to the one who aspires to the highest office in the country.

Parliament also includes the Crown. While the timing of the Finance Minister's musings on the monarchy was deplorable, I, nonetheless, welcome his initiative in stimulating debate on the subject. Questioning the monarchy is not the same as questioning the monarch, it is questioning an institution in a country whose search for its own identity is ongoing, even endless. Of all the members of the United Nations, Australia, New Zealand and Canada are the only developed countries that do not have their own citizen as head of state.

In November, 1999, Australians were asked in a referendum to approve a president appointed by a two-thirds majority of Parliament to replace the Queen and Governor General. The referendum lost. It is generally agreed that many who voted "no" were republicans who disapproved of a president who was not elected directly through universal suffrage and so found the status quo less unacceptable. I doubt that Her Majesty was offended by the debate, as it was about an institution, not an individual, as it should be here.

Evolution has been the story of this country since its origins, and if it really wants to evolve to become a truly recognized, independent nation with an identity of its own, what better way than to modify its national political institutions to reflect more accurately the character of its people? That is what parliamentary reform is all about. The sooner we get on to it, the better.

On motion of Senator Carstairs, debate adjourned.

Pest Control Products Bill

Second Reading

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Morin, seconded by the Honourable Senator Hubley, for the second reading of Bill C-8, to protect human health and safety and the environment by regulating products used for the control of pests.

Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, the Pest Control Products Act, Bill C-8, controls products commonly called pesticides and encompasses a broad spectrum of products including insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, algaecides, insect repellents, wood preservatives, etcetera. Effectively, the bill will replace a 33-year-old act and is long overdue.

In 1990, the Pesticide Registration Review Team, a multidisciplinary task force, was established and recommended that the pesticide management system be completely overhauled. Four years later, in 1994, the government released a proposal for the pest management regulatory system that set out steps that the government proposed to take in response to the recommendations of the Pesticide Registration Review Team.

It took a whole eight years before a bill was finally introduced. Although it has been a long time, I am pleased that this
long-overdue bill is finally before us for consideration. In light of the length of time it has taken to reach this stage, it behooves us to undertake a careful review of the contents of the bill to ensure that it will perform the functions that all Canadians would want it to perform in the years to come.

Honourable senators might recall that the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada actively campaigned during the 2000 federal election for new pesticides legislation, legislation that would take into account exposure levels and toxicity of pesticides on the most vulnerable in our society. I am pleased to be supporting this bill because that principle, as I understand the bill, is embodied therein.

Bill C-8's primary objective is to prevent unacceptable risks to people in the environment from the use of pest control products. In the preamble of the bill we see that the regulation of pesticides is to be "pursued through a scientifically-based national registration system that addresses risks to human health and the environment both before and after registration." Ancillary objectives include supporting sustainable development to enable the needs of the present to be met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own.

The new Pest Control Products Act, according to our analysis, will incorporate modern risk assessment concepts, including special considerations of children and other vulnerable groups. To take into account potential pre- and post-natal toxicity, the margin of safety for children and pregnant women will be tenfold, although it should be noted that, in this proposed legislation, the minister can waive this requirement. I invite the committee to take a special look at that to ensure that such discretion is circumscribed. The bill will also provide for an evaluation of the aggregate exposure and cumulative effects of pesticides.

It appears that the bill will make the registration system more transparent by establishing a public registry to allow access to the detailed evaluation reports. It is critical that that kind of information be made available to the Canadian public.

It is to be hoped that, during the course of our review of the bill in the Senate, we will look into the issue of confidential business information and whether the public is getting as much information on the risks linked to pesticides as it should.

I am also pleased to see, honourable senators, the principle of whistle-blowing being dealt with in the bill. A clause in Bill C-8 allows the reporting of actual or potential contraventions of the act or the regulations to an inspector. Canadians reporting such occurrences would be protected in the workplace against dismissal, harassment or suspension. In other words, there is an anti-retaliation provision, which I find laudatory.

Finally, honourable senators, the bill proposes to improve the post-registration control of pesticides by requiring adverse effects reports and allowing re-evaluations of some older pesticides. The Minister of Health will have the authority to remove pesticides from the market if the data required for a re-evaluation or review are not provided.

The precautionary principle— the principle that lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent adverse health impact or environmental degradation— is in effect in the section of the bill dealing with re-evaluations. It is curious, however, that it is not included in other portions of the bill, including the preambular and the purpose sections. The committee might seek some explanation of this during the course of its study of the bill.

Honourable senators, 90 per cent of pesticide sales in Canada are to the agricultural sector. In the non-agricultural sector, sales are highest in the domestic use sector— about 56 per cent— followed by turf and ornamental uses, such as lawns and gardens.

Farmers use pesticides, as honourable senators know, to improve their crop production, reduce tillage of the land and reduce or prevent soil erosion. We must ensure that farmers have access to the most efficient and safest of pesticides.

The bill does not, however, provide for minor-use products. Croplife Canada and the Urban Pest Management Council of Canada, in a submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health on the predecessor bill on this subject matter, stated as follows:

Canada's fruit and vegetable growers need minor-use product as the small size of Canada's fruit and vegetable market often makes it prohibitive to register minor-use products. The ability of growers to successfully diversify into new crops like chickpeas, lentils and buckwheat depends on the access to minor-use products. These products are critical to the economic security of these growers. Also, minor-use products provide farmers and growers with the tools they need to successfully manage pest resistance.

In sum, honourable senators, the principle of the bill meets with our concurrence, and I would hope that it would be adopted at second reading and referred to committee for detailed analysis.

Motion agreed to and bill read second time.

Referred to Committee

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

On motion of Senator Robichaud, bill referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology.

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[Translation]

Physical Activity and Sport Bill

Second Reading—Debate Suspended

Hon. Francis WilliamMahovlich moved the second reading of
BillC-12, to promote physical activity and sport.

He said: Honourable senators, Parliament has an opportunity to improve the quality of life and well-being of all Canadians.

[English]

Far more than a pastime, sport and physical activity are tools for living a full life in Canada. Not only do they help to deter delinquency and crime among our youth, they also engage thousands of volunteers from coast to coast and bring together Canadians from all walks of life.

Sport and physical activity contribute to the adoption of a healthy lifestyle and prevention of disease and illness. Participation in sport and physical activity at all ages increases resistance to such diseases as cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease and obesity, and to mental health disorders. Physical activity is fundamental to positive human development and contributes to healthier, longer and more productive lives.

Bill C-12 was passed in the House of Commons on June 18, 2002, and has been very well received by our honourable colleagues from that chamber. This bill is a great example of collaboration — collaboration between the orders of government, political parties and the stakeholders. It demonstrates political leadership in order to bring together the conditions most favourable to the advancement of sport and physical activity in Canada.

[Translation]

Bill C-12 responds to the recommendations contained in the 1998 report of the Sub-Committee of the House of Commons on the Study of Sport in Canada.

[English]

Bill C-12 also responds to numerous recommendations following an extensive national consultation process with the stakeholders that took place between 1998 and 2000. Approximately 500 representatives from the sport community were heard and their recommendations recorded. Many innovative ideas were raised during the process.

To reflect on those recommendations, the National Summit on Sport, presided over by the Right Honourable Prime Minister, was held in Ottawa in April 2001. Many of my colleagues in the Senate participated in this historic event and are well aware of how the summit strengthened ties between the Government ofCanada, provincial and territorial governments, and the sport community. It brought together all the players and reached consensus.

With Bill C-12, this Parliament is acting on the initiatives and consultations of the past several years. We are responding to commitments in the 2001 Speech from the Throne where we indicated that we would "promote health and prevent disease" and "strengthen efforts to encourage fitness and participation in sports."

The Government of Canada's commitment to the objectives of Bill C-12 was also renewed in the 2002 Speech from the Throne, which stated that the government 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."

[Translation]

This bill is long overdue. It will replace the Fitness and Amateur Sport Act, 1961, which has served the government well but is no longer adapted to today's reality.

[English]

This Parliament needs to act now because physical inactivity is dangerously gaining ground. The Canadian health system estimates that 24 per cent of Canadian children are overweight. For public health, the impact is disastrous, as physical inactivity incurred $2.1 billion last year on direct health care costs. Even worse, it contributes to the death of more than 21,000 Canadians every year.

Like many other countries, Canada must amend its legislation to adapt it to new realities and to effectively reflect and strengthen the important role the Government of Canada plays with regard to physical activity and sport.

Honourable senators, when the Fitness and Amateur Sport Act was adopted more than 40 years ago, the government was not faced with the current challenges created by globalization, new technologies, advances in medicine, biotechnologies and the importance of broadcast rights, all of which have complicated the participation in and the management of sport.

Starting with the title, very few countries refer to "amateur sport" in their modernized legislation. This concept is increasingly ambiguous since professional athletes compete in the Olympics and so-called amateur athletes collect fees at some competitions. Therefore, Bill C-12 no longer refers to "amateur" sport and "fitness" and is replaced by "physical activity," which refers more to the action of being active instead of one of the end results.

A preamble is included in Bill C-12 to demonstrate the government's commitment to physical activity and sport and has been strengthened recently during the House of Commons committee stage to further guarantee services for francophone and anglophone athletes and participants.

Bill C-12 is about inclusion and this Parliament believes that women should be full and equal partners in the Canadian sport system. This bill is directed toward increasing opportunities for all Canadians. Irrespective of gender, age, culture, language, social or economic status, and physical or intellectual capacity, more people must be given access to a greater number of sports so that each person can practise the sport of his or her choice. Therefore, more inclusive language has been added to the bill in response to the statements of witnesses during the House of Commons committee stage.

The bill entrenches the policies of the Government of Canada regarding sport and physical activity. With respect to physical activity, the government will promote physical activity as a fundamental element of health and well-being, encourage Canadians to incorporate physical activity into their daily lives, and reduce barriers to participate in physical activities.

The Canadian sport policy is based on the highest values and ethical principles, especially with regard to the doping-free practice of sport, the respectful treatment of all participants, and the intention to resolve sport disputes in a fair, equitable, transparent and timely manner. Bill C-12 is consistent with the landmark Canadian sport policy, whose objectives are threefold: increase participation in sport, support the pursuit of excellence, and build capacity in the Canadian sport system.

Bill C-12 clearly demonstrates this Parliament's commitment to encourage and assist Canadians in increasing their level of physical activity and their participation in sport. It also recognizes its commitment to support the pursuit of excellence in sport and to build capacity in the Canadian sport system.

Given today's challenges facing sport and physical activity, the proposed legislation clarifies, along with the title and terminology, the existing ministerial mandate to adequately reflect and strengthen the role of the minister or ministers responsible for sport and physical activity.

Over the past 10 years, the Canadian high performance sport system has experienced a large number of disputes over the selection of athletes to national teams and issues relating to doping in sport.

(1500)

Internal mechanisms of sport organizations are used first for dispute resolutions; however, many have limitations. To respond to the demands of athletes and sport organizations, Bill C-12 provides for the creation of the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada. This centre will provide equitable access to conflict resolution and will serve as an alternative to costly and lengthy court cases.

As requested by the sport community, this centre will not be a federal institution nor a government body but, instead, an independent, not-for-profit organization with the appropriate accountability measures. Board members will be appointed by the minister responsible for sport in consultation with the sport community to ensure that individuals have the expertise and the capacity to enable the centre to fulfil its mission. As recently expressed by witnesses during the House of Commons committee stage, it will be up to the board to nominate the executive director of this centre.

With this centre, the sport community will be able to rely on a national arbitration and mediation service tailored to meet the needs and challenges the sporting world is facing today. The creation of the centre demonstrates the importance given by this Parliament to principles such as transparency, equity and diligence. It will place Canada at the leading edge internationally and will ensure stability, continuity and credibility to the alternative dispute resolution process.

Debate suspended.

Code of Conduct and Ethics Guidelines

Documents Tabled

Leave having been given to revert to Tabling of Documents:

Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I know this is an unusual process. However, the documents I am about to table are being tabled in the House of Commons at the same time.

Honourable senators, it is my honour to table in both official languages two documents. The first is entitled, "Proposals to amend the Parliament of Canada Act (Ethics Commissioner) and other Acts as a consequence. The second is entitled, "Proposals to amend the Rules of the Senate and the Standing Orders of the House of Commons to implement the 1997 Milliken-Oliver Report."

[Translation]

Notice of Motion to Refer Documents to Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament

Leave having been given to revert to Government Notices of Motions:

Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I give notice that at the next sitting of the Senate, I will move:

That the documents entitled: "Proposals to amend the Parliament of Canada Act (Ethics Commissioner) and other Acts as a consequence" and "Proposals to amend the Rules of the Senate and the Standing Orders of the House of Commons to implement the 1997 Milliken-Oliver Report," tabled in the Senate on October 23, 2002, be referred to the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament.

[English]

Physical Activity and Sport Bill

Second Reading

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Mahovlich, seconded by the Honourable Senator Callbeck, for the second reading of Bill C-12, to promote physical activity and sport.

Hon. Leonard J. Gustafson: Honourable senators, will the Honourable Senator Mahovlich entertain a question in regard to his speech on Bill C-12?

Hon. Francis William Mahovlich: Yes, honourable senators.

Senator Gustafson: Honourable senators, lately it has been shown that Haley Wickenheiser, an outstanding female hockey player from Saskatchewan, has worldwide fame. She is touted as the best female hockey player in the world. Would this bill allow her to play hockey in the NHL?

Senator Mahovlich: Honourable senators, a few years ago there was a woman who tried out for Phil Esposito's team down in Tampa. However, she did not make the team. I believe the woman to whom the honourable senator refers tried to make a team in Europe but somehow did not. I am told she was banned from playing.

There is nothing to prevent her from playing in the NHL, other than dressing in a private room.

Senator Gustafson: According to the news release, she was a competent enough hockey player to have made the team in Italy but then was not allowed to play in the league.

Senator Mahovlich: Honourable senators, I cannot speak for Italy. When I was a youth in Schumacher and our team was short a goalie, we had a player by the name of Becky Hicks play goalie for us. She did very well.

Hon. Lowell Murray: Honourable senators, since I am immediately following Senator Mahovlich, I cannot forbear parenthetically but to congratulate and thank him for the statesman-like declaration that he is reported to have made to a Liberal meeting in Edmonton a few days ago. According to the reports, Senator Mahovlich said he would urge the Prime Minister to provide more balance to the Senate by appointing opposition senators to this place. I want to tell him how much I, and I think we, admire his initiative in this respect and how greatly we wish him every success with it.

If perchance his representations should fall upon deaf ears, there is another way that he can provide some balance— that is to come and join the opposition and bring some friends with him. We would be glad to see them.

That being said, I want to thank him for having outlined so thoroughly the parliamentary committee background and the very widespread public consultation on this bill. I will not therefore cover the same ground.

Senator Mahovlich also referred with good reason to the multipartisan support that this bill achieved in the other place. While there was not, perhaps, unanimity on every point, the bill was the object of rare collegiality over there. Some amendments made at committee survived the report stage in the House of Commons, although several were defeated at report stage by the government majority.

As I think my friend noted, this bill was originally Bill C-54. It passed the House of Commons last spring and was awaiting first reading in the Senate when it was overtaken by prorogation. In the new session it was deemed to have been approved at all stages and here we are.

The bill before us repeals the Fitness and Amateur Sport Act of 1961. In my brief researches I discovered that there is federal legislation in this field going back as far as 1943. However, it is the Fitness and Amateur Sport Act of 1961 that has been in place lo these more than 40 years.

I took the opportunity to look up the debates of 1961 on the Fitness and Amateur Sport Act. It was interesting to see the importance attached to this subject in Parliament at that time. Prime Minister Diefenbaker had indicated in public speeches that the government was serious about this kind of initiative. On the day that the bill was presented for the resolution stage, which was then part of the process, even before second reading, and after the Honourable Jay Waldo Monteith had spoken, Mr.Pearson, then Leader of the Opposition, made a lengthy and thoughtful speech on numerous aspects of the subject. His speech was generally supportive of the bill, although he issued some cautions about the independence of an advisory committee that was being set up. When the bill reached second reading, luminaries such as the Honourable Lionel Chevrier and Azellus Denis, later to become one of our honourable colleagues in the Senate, took part in the debate. Mr.Chevrier spoke to the benefits in terms of national unity and participation in amateur sport. As Senator Mahovlich noted, the word "amateur" has been omitted from Bill C-12.

(1510)

At one point, Mr. Chevrier said, "While it is true that clashes of opinion make for better understanding, I believe it is equally true that bodily clashes are often conducive to goodwill and mutual respect."

I rather doubt that that is true, but I cannot speak from much experience because I have always tried to avoid bodily clashes. However, I leave the validity of Mr. Chevrier's comments for others to consider.

Mr. E.J. Campbell, Member of Parliament for Lambton—Kent, made quite a prescient speech about what we now refer to as second-hand smoke. I did not think it was an issue in those days, but there he was, stating in the House of Commons:

...we inhale too much tobacco smoke for our own good. Even non-smokers find themselves in such a position where they must breathe air that has been fouled by the smoke of other people. Yet many people seem to think that the pinnacle of social accomplishment in our day is to be able to inhale great gulps of those same impurities deeply down into their lungs and then blow them out again into the air for other people to breathe.

Mr.Pickersgill: Shame.

That was on September25, 1961.

Shortly after, the Honourable Paul Martin, Essex East, said to Mr. Campbell: "Is the honourable gentleman making any accusations?" Mr. Campbell replied: "No, I do not think the honourable member for Essex East was there." Mr. Pickersgill responded: "Maybe his smoke was." Mr. Martin Sr. was a renowned cigar smoker.

Azellus Denis who later came to the Senate made a speech in which he told his colleagues in the Commons that if they wanted to do something about physical fitness, they should start with themselves. He said that they had only to look around to see that many MPs were too old and too fat, and that it would take weeks before we could turn them into real athletes. Mr. Martin, Essex East, asked: "You are not referring to the Minister of National Health and Welfare." Mr. Denis replied: "No, because he is not too fat, but I could refer to the Secretary of State, Mr.Noël Dorion, who could certainly afford to lose dozens of pounds if the government would give him the opportunity to do so." Mr. Denis continued and advocated the provision of a gymnasium to all members of Parliament and senators. Some of these recommendations have come to fruition in the years since. I would not dare to embark, as our old friend Mr. Denis did, on a discussion of my own or anyone else's physical fitness, in Parliament.

That being said, it is true to say that the current act has stood the test of time. Indeed, most of its features have been incorporated in Bill C-12. Of the 16 items listed under "Objects and Mandate" in clause 5, fully 10 of them are carryovers, almost word for word, from the current act. The authorization of the government to enter into federal-provincial agreements was also in the 1961 act.

Senator Mahovlich has correctly said, and the government has been at pains to point out, that it is time to redo the act in the light of modern conditions. He mentioned one of the more commendable aspects of the proposed legislation — the importance attached to facilitating the membership of
under-represented groups, such as the handicapped and others, in physical activity and sport. There are also references to the hosting of major sporting events and, "autres temps autres moeurs," anti-doping measures in Bill C-12.

Honourable senators, the bill contains a declaration on official languages in the preamble, to which Senator Mahovlich referred. Allow me to say, and this is obvious to anyone who takes an interest in the matter, that the national sports organizations and Sport Canada have quite a dismal record in respect of the equality of status of the two official languages. This has been amply demonstrated several times by Dyane Adam, Commissioner of Official Languages. I recognize that the situation is improving, but the national sports organizations, or some of them, have communicated with the country and with their stakeholders as if there is only one language in this country, and that is English.

Ms. Adam identified other systemic barriers to the participation of francophones in sport. I say that because, in the preamble of the bill, there is an effort on the part of the government, or its sports clientele, to put their best foot forward on the question of language. The preamble states:

...the Government of Canada recognizes that physical activity and sport...produce benefits...including strengthening the bilingual character of Canada;

The commissioner may have suggested something of the kind, but I find that to be a bit of a stretch. It could help to reinforce national unity, but that is not quite the same thing as strengthening the bilingual character of Canada.

The preamble also states:

...the Government of Canada is committed to promoting physical activity and sport, having regard to the principles set out in the Official Languages Act;

I do not understand the connection; it is a non sequitur. The government is actually trying to cover a multitude of past sins of the sports bodies with such declarations in the preamble. However, it is rather doubtful, as commendable as those declarations may be, that they would, by themselves, change very much.

Honourable senators, the central new initiative is the creation of the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada. In respect of official languages for such a sport dispute resolution centre, clause 9(5) states:

The Centre shall offer its services to, and communicate with, the public in both official languages of Canada.

Clause 17(1) states:

The board of directors may make by-laws— providing for

(g) the establishment a policy respecting the official languages of Canada that includes

(i) principles governing the use of English and French by the staff of the Centre in their communications, provision of services and daily work, and

(ii) a mechanism for resolving disputes related to the application of the policy;

All of this could have been covered with a simple provision in the bill: that the Official Languages Act would apply to this centre as though it were a federal institution.

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However, they are so anxious to set themselves apart and to reinforce and to entrench the arm's-length nature of the organization that they twist themselves into a pretzel in order to avoid being the subject of an act such as the Official Languages Act of Canada. I do not know why this should be so. As the commissioner pointed out before the House of Commons committee, we did it for Air Canada. When Air Canada was privatized, Parliament decided, in its wisdom, to bind Air Canada to the Official Languages Act. We cannot do the same for this little sport dispute resolution centre. Why not?

To come back to the centre itself, I am reminded of the questions that were asked by Marcel Massé when he headed up the program review exercise in the early days of the Chrétien government. The three questions he posed about programs were, and I paraphrase, one, is this program necessary; two, is it necessary that it be a government program; and three, is it necessary that it be a federal government program?

The answer of all those consulted in this wide consultation, the answer of the government and the answer of the five political parties in the other place seems to be a resounding yes to all three questions. I discovered while reading the transcripts of the committee hearings over there that there is already what is called a temporary organization, the ADR-sport-RED. The "RED," I presume, refers to French designation. ADR refers to alternative dispute resolution, which was established by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport. It comprises people from the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Canada Games and Athletes CAN. It is funded by Sports Canada. It was established in December and opened for business in January. It has a chair and an executive director who appeared before the committee. It has an acting director general and a registry or a dispute secretariat, which manages the cases from an arbitration centre in Montreal.

There was some talk in the testimony of "transition" from the ADR to the proposed new body, which leads me to ask why it was not possible to simply add to what already existed and whether we really needed this part of the legislation. I cheerfully acknowledge that all the people who were consulted, the government and the opposition parties over there, seemed to think that it is absolutely necessary, and so we have this legislation before us.

This SDRC has been set up under a new alternative service delivery policy of the Treasury Board. It is "at arm's length" from the government. What does this mean? As I understand it, this means that Parliament creates the body by statute. Parliament funds the body. Whether it is funded by an endowment or an annual appropriation, it does not say.

What will we have created? The legislation states explicitly that this body will not be an agent of the Crown. This body will not be a departmental corporation or a Crown corporation. What will it be? They do not really give it a name. It is an alternative organization. It will have 12 directors appointed by the minister, but once that is done and the organization is created, it is goodbye, Godspeed and be sure to write if you need money. That is about it.

Senator Bolduc: I like it.

Senator Murray: The Financial Administration Act does not apply. Public Service Staff Relations Act, no way. Auditor General of Canada, who is she? Access to information, never heard of it. Privacy Act, what is that? The Official Languages Act does not apply. Statutory Instruments Act, never heard of it. Forget about it.

There will be an audit. There will be an audit committee. It may be that the auditing firm from Charlottetown will be engaged, one never knows. Then there will be an annual report. The annual

report is to be made public, but there is no provision for it to be tabled in Parliament. There will be an annual public meeting somewhere.

We will have created this thing and we will be funding it, but Parliament is out of the loop.

Senator Lynch-Staunton: Here we go again.

Senator Murray: The accountability of the organization— and it is certainly an amorphous accountability— is to be to the sport community. It is certainly a movable feast, the whole arrangement. The "stakeholders" consider this not only normal and desirable, but really still not quite removed enough from the government.

I say this without wanting to be personally critical, but here we have a man by the name of Gordon Peterson, who is one of the prime movers and president of this ADR sport, this temporary organization that has been set up. He testified before the House of Commons committee. A question was put by MP Jim Abbott, who said:

It seems to me that...there's a real chomping at the bit about the fact that the government has control, and so on and so forth. It strikes me that, as legislators, and particularly as opposition legislators, it's our responsibility to hold the government accountable. The government must be accountable for the dollars that it spends.

Mr.Peterson replied:

Absolutely. I agree, and it is a balance. It's a balance between independence and accountability.

Then he said:

When everyone looked at the legislation, the first reaction from the vast majority of people was that it will just be another government body and another thing we have to do reports for. That's not what people want to have. The object is to try to move forward and allow the sportcommunity to have a mechanism that's going...so that's the balance between accountability and independence.

I agree with you that there is a balance. The debate is really about where that balance is. "My opinion," he said, "is that this goes a bit too far."

In other words, Mr.Peterson is saying that there is too much government involvement in the organization, just with the appointment of directors. Some of us would say that it is an offence against the essential accountability of government to Parliament that we set up these organizations, fund them and send them on their way, and there is no real reference to Parliament. There is no provision for the tabling of an annual report or any periodic examination. The centre is being placed beyond effective ministerial oversight and parliamentary scrutiny.

There is a provision in the bill to allow the minister to dissolve this organization. Am I the only one who finds it peculiar that Parliament will create the organization, but if it is to be dissolved, the minister will simply dissolve it? Why does she not have to come back to Parliament if she proposes that it be dissolved? She also has authority in the bill that in dissolving the organization, she can take its assets, whatever they are, and distribute them among those who are of a like mind or are for a similar cause.

[Translation]

Senator Bolduc: It is like submarines that dive underwater and then never surface!

[English]

Senator Murray: I did not quite hear what Senator Bolduc said, but I am sure it was very apt.

This organization is placed beyond effective ministerial oversight and parliamentary scrutiny.

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I do not want to exaggerate the impact of this particular case because, as Senator Lynch-Staunton has observed, it is one of many. We are talking about an organization with a budget that will probably be in the neighbourhood of $1 million a year. There are far greater departures from the tradition of accountability to Parliament, which have either taken place or are contemplated, now that we have the alternate service delivery policy of Treasury Board.

Honourable senators, it is odd to me that the House of Commons, the Senate and the media are full of talk of this
so-called "democratic deficit," and the need to restore government's accountability to Parliament. Mr. Martin and other people are talking about such things as make-work projects for MPs and giving MPs a look into what have been executive prerogatives, but the essential points are the accountability of the government to Parliament and the power of the purse. Until those are restored to Parliament, the rest of it is all, in my humble opinion, pretty marginal.

Yet this bill has gone through. I read to you what Mr. Abbott said in committee, but the bill has gone through with hardly a voice raised to protest those aspects of it that marginalize Parliament.

I conclude, honourable senators, by saying that I do not know whether it will be possible to improve the bill in those respects. There will be howls of outrage from the so-called stakeholders, the clients who have been consulted and have urged this course upon the government. Perhaps we can give some thought to some of those aspects when this bill is referred to committee, which I trust will be soon.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: It was moved by the Honourable Senator Mahovlich, seconded by the Honourable Senator Callbeck that this bill be read the second time.

Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Senator Kinsella: No.

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Senator Kinsella: On division.

Motion agreed to and bill read second time, on division.

Referred to Committee

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

On motion of Senator Mahovlich, bill referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology.

Tax Conventions Implementation Bill, 2002

Second Reading

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Setlakwe, seconded by the Honourable Senator LaPierre, for the second reading of Bill S-2, to implement an agreement, conventions and protocols concluded between Canada and Kuwait, Mongolia, the United Arab Emirates, Moldova, Norway, Belgium and Italy for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion and to amend the enacted text of three tax treaties.

Hon. John Lynch-Staunton (Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, this bill is similar to ones we have received over the years regarding tax conventions with a number of countries. On one occasion in particular, some of us questioned having a tax convention with Uzbekistan, a country with a deplorable human rights record, a dictatorial government, and very little Canadian investment. The question raised was: Why should Canada associate itself with such a regime? On the one hand, it is to protect Canadian citizens if they happen to have investments over there. On the other hand, that raises the question: Why do we want to encourage Canadians to invest in countries whose form of government is so reprehensible?

It was an interesting time because that particular bill, dealing with Uzbekistan among other countries, went not only to the Banking Committee, but also to the Foreign Affairs Committee, where officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade tried to explain their policy on doing business in countries such as Uzbekistan. The answers were not satisfactory to some of us, but at least there was involvement by the Department of Foreign Affairs and there was a pledge given at the time that, when similar bills came before us again, there would be an assessment or analysis done by that department. The last bill that came before us did not include that assessment and, unfortunately, I see again in the excellent briefing book prepared by the Department of Finance that there was no participation by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade to give us an appreciation of some of the entities with which we are called on to conclude a tax treaty.

There are three countries here that one must look at more carefully. I will read you quickly some of the analysis done by Amnesty International in a report covering last year.

In the case of Moldova it states:

Arbitrary detention and ill-treatment by police continued to be reported. Conditions of detention in many police lock- ups and prisons amounted to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. At least three political prisoners remained imprisoned in the self-proclaimed Dnestr Moldavian Republic (DMR).

In the case of Kuwait it states:

The majority of human rights violations related to the period of martial law following the withdrawal of Iraqi forces in February 1991.

The paragraph continues to outline the deplorable condition of prisoners, including the fact that the government has still not addressed most of these violations, including the imprisonment of prisoners of conscience, unresolved extrajudicial executions and "disappearances."

Finally, I move on to the United Arab Emirates in respect of which the report states:

Although the law prohibits child labour in the UAE, children from Asia and Africa are often trafficked to the UAE to work as jockeys in camel races. They endure extremely poor conditions and are often abused.

I do not wish to seem purer than the pure, but I believe that, since Canada does have a strong conscience regarding human rights, it should make its position known around the world, especially in countries where the violation of human rights and the treatment of children and women is deplorable. I do not understand what advantage we gain in engaging in tax treaties with these countries. It is a sanction, in a sense, of what is going on over there.

I will not belabour you further with my feelings. I have done that here before, as have other colleagues. I would only hope that, when this bill goes before the Banking Committee, officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade will be invited to appear before the committee so that, at third reading, we can debate what the policy is regarding negotiations with countries such as these which have a deplorable attitude toward the rule of law, an inhuman attitude towards individuals, and whose dictatorial attitudes are completely unacceptable.

The answer to that may be, "Well, there are Canadians over there and we have to protect them and give them whatever advantages they can have under these treaties." To that my argument is: Why do we encourage Canadians to go to those countries? What benefit is there to the countries to which they go? Are their investments profitable to individuals in those countries? Somehow, I doubt it. I do not see the Uzbeks better off because of Canadian investments, nor do I think Kuwaitis are better off. This also applies to any other comparable country, and does the Canadian economy benefit? We shall see.

I hope the steering committee of the Banking Committee will accept having officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade because in the briefing book, in a section called "Frequently asked questions," one question is: "What is the purpose of Canada's tax treaties?" The answer is: To facilitate international trade and investment.

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In effect, these tax treaties facilitate international trade and investment in countries where I think we are better off being absent as far as making investments that serve to maintain the status quo, whereas, perhaps , if we and others, stayed away, the regimes would be more sensitive to how the rest of the world views them.

[Translation]

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Honourable senators, if Senator Setlakwe speaks now, his speech will have the effect of closing the debate on the motion for second reading of this bill.

Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Motion agreed to and bill read second time.

Referred to Committee

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

On motion of Senator Setlakwe, bill referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce.

[English]

Broadcasting Act

Bill to Amend—Second Reading—Debate Adjourned

Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition) moved the second reading of Bill S-8, to amend the Broadcasting Act

He said: Honourable senators, Bill S-8 will serve to amend the Broadcasting Act. This is exactly the same bill that our former colleague Senator Finestone moved in the last session. The bill was then numbered Bill S-7 and was not only adopted at second reading, but it was also reported without amendment by a committee of the Senate and adopted at third reading. A message was then sent to the other place, where the bill received second reading. It was then referred to the Heritage Committee of the other place and reported back to the House of Commons. The report was then adopted.

My understanding is that, according to the rules in the other place, if, after prorogation and within the first 30 sitting days of a new session, a message is sent to the other place regarding a bill that was initiated in the Senate saying that we have re-adopted this bill, it would be able to be reinstated at its last stage, that is, the completion of the report stage in the other place.

Therefore, I hope that we will deal with this bill expeditiously, so that the House of Commons will receive it within the 30 days, and then it can be reinstated at the stage that had reached at the time of prorogation.

As to the merits of the bill, we will go through the normal process in the Senate. I will now speak to the principle of the bill in the hope that it will be adopted at second reading and referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications for its expeditious consideration.

The committees in both the Senate and the House of Commons that studied Senator Finestone's Bill S-7 extensively reviewed and unanimously supported the bill late in the winter of 2001. The bill was returned to the Senate for third reading in June of 2001, where it again received unanimous support and was passed.

The members of the House of Commons reviewed the bill, as I mentioned, in the Heritage Committee from January through May of this year. As with the Senate committee process, extensive testimony was heard from various witnesses, including representatives from industry, government, private for-profit organizations, as well as public interest groups and
non-governmental organizations. The bill was reported from the House committee without amendment in June of this year.

I would underscore the point that all witnesses concurred with what honourable senators had examined and agreed upon in terms of the principle of the bill and, most important, the principle that increased citizen participation can only benefit our society in the exercise of our democratic process.

The spirit and intent of Bill S-8 rests with the concept that every democratic society should foster active citizen participation in public issues. Modern democratic life requires that an active role be played by the population. It needs participation by members of the community. It is on this underlying principle of the bill that all interests have agreed. It is on this principle that the bill was widely supported as it proceeded in the last session.

A number of elements in the bill have attracted the support of honourable senators and members in the other place, including, for example, first, that through this amendment to the Broadcasting Act, the Canadian public will have more equitable representation and participation in regulatory and policy matters relating to the broadcasting, cable and television industry in our country. This is a principle that all of us here had embraced and do embrace. That is an important principle and key to this bill.

A second attractive feature of the bill, honourable senators, is that this change would be of benefit to the CRTC by improving the quality of evidence that it receives and considers as part of the commission's policy and regulatory decision-making process.

As well, this amendment to the Broadcasting Act is fair and will not burden the broadcasting industry.

I urge honourable senators to immediately adopt this bill at second reading stage and that the bill be then sent to the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications for its expeditious study and report back to the Senate for third reading, so that a message may be sent to the other place, advising them thereof.

On motion of Senator Robichaud, debate adjourned.

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National Anthem Act

Bill to Amend—Second Reading—Debate Adjourned

Hon. Vivienne Poy moved the second reading of Bill S-3, toamend the National Anthem Act to include all Canadians.—(Honourable Senator Poy).

She said: Honourable senators, I should like to begin by thanking all the senators who have spoken in support of this amendment, senators who have indicated their support privately, as well as the many Canadians who have written to me on this issue.

I would also like to express my thanks to Frances Wright and Jeanne d'Arc Sharp and the ad hoc committee of the Famous 5 Foundation for launching the petition to amend the national anthem over a year ago on Parliament Hill.

It is my pleasure now to speak on Bill S-3, entitled "An Act to Amend the National Anthem Act to include all Canadians," which was Bill S-39 in the last session of Parliament.

I shall begin by outlining the specific amendment to the wording of the national anthem that I am proposing in this bill. I will then address some of the concerns that have been expressed in this chamber. Finally, I will explain why I believe this change to be an appropriate one.

The amendment I am proposing to the national anthem is a minor one. The words "thy sons" will be replaced by the words "of us," and the verse then will read as "true patriot love in all of us command." Two words will change, that is all.

The decision to choose "of us" was not my own, but based on the public response, discussions with linguists and music historians. According to most of the letters I received, and to the experts, these two words retain the fundamental meaning of the lyric, the poetry of the line as well as fitting well with the music. They are also in keeping with historical tradition.

Over a year ago, a constituent, Nancy MacLeod, brought to my attention the original version of O Canada as it was penned in 1908 by Sir Robert Stanley Weir, which read "true patriot love thou dost in us command" on the same verse, in the same line, as I am proposing to make this amendment. The song was amended to read as "thy sons" shortly before World War I, likely as part of a national effort to recruit men to the war effort. It was never returned to its original wording. However, there can be no doubt that Sir Robert Stanley Weir's intent in writing the song OCanada was to include both men and women.

Some concerns have been expressed about the intention of this amendment in this chamber, in the media and among the public. For the benefit of honourable senators and the public, I would like to clarify that Bill S-3 will not affect the French version of the national anthem, and it will not remove the reference to God in the anthem. The intent of this bill is simply to update the anthem so that it is more reflective of our society today as well as inclusive of more than 50 per cent of our population. Therefore, the amendment only affects two words in the anthem, "thy sons," which would be amended to read "of us."

The question has been asked in this chamber: Why should we not amend the national anthem to take in other concerns beyond gender, for example, those of fishermen, bankers, and software engineers? Such an argument is at best facetious, at worst intellectual sophistry. Women are not just any other group. We comprise more than 50 per cent of the population of Canada and we deserve to be recognized.

It has also been argued that because this is an anthem, it is not necessary that it represent our fundamental values. After all, many national anthems in many other countries do not represent their present-day values. This, I would argue, is beside the point. Canadians are leaders, not followers. Many countries have not adopted as comprehensive a set of rights legislation as Canada. However, has that stopped us from moving forward? Are we to follow only what other countries have done? Do we model ourselves after the Americans, the French or other countries in all things? No. This is Canada. We are a young, innovative and progressive nation.

In many ways, we are like Australia, but the Australian government quite wisely adopted inclusive language in its national anthem. The committee that examined the words of their national song in the early 1980s replaced "Australian sons, let us rejoice" with "Australians all, let us rejoice" before Advance Australia Fair was proclaimed officially as the national anthem in 1984. Admittedly, Advance Australia Fair is not a perfect anthem. When O Canada is amended it will not be perfect either. However, O Canada will be much improved because it will include everyone in this country, and Canada will command its sons as well as its daughters.

I would like to address the issue of whether O Canada can be changed. Sir Robert Stanley Weir amended his song twice, taking into account the times in which he lived. The federal government amended the song once again in response to the recommendations of a committee in the late 1960s. There were also, for many years, competing versions of O Canada — no less than 26 different versions in fact. This song that we sing as our anthem has never been set in stone. The act of 1980 indicated that there was to be no copyright on the melody or the words of the national anthem, declaring them to be in the public domain. Therefore, the anthem belongs to the people of Canada and it should reflect Canadian society.

I should note that I am not the first to introduce such a bill. Many bills calling for the same amendment have been introduced in the other place. These bills were in response to very real concerns expressed in 1980 when Bill C-36, the National Anthem Act, was discussed in Parliament. At that time, it was noted in the debates that the wording did not accurately reflect the reality of Canadian society.

On June 27, 1980 when Bill C-36 passed through the other place and the Senate, and received Royal Assent on the same day, there were misgivings expressed about its passage. While it was widely felt that there was a need for an official anthem, assent for the National Anthem Act was obtained only with the understanding that the lyrics would be subject to further scrutiny and modification by a committee. The debates indicated that the members of Parliament and senators shelved whatever amendments and concerns they may have had about the bill on the assumption that changes would follow shortly after its passage.

If there were concerns expressed in 1980, how much more concerned should we be today that the anthem does not reflect the society in which we now live? More than 20 years after the passage of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees women's equality in section 28, with the monument of the Famous 5 now on the Hill, and with women working outside thehome in unprecedented numbers, this amendment is not only appropriate but also necessary.

Words are important. After all, it is the words of the national anthem that make us glow with pride as we stand at attention when it is being played. However, many women have told me that they feel excluded and men felt offended that their mothers, wives and daughters are not included in our national anthem. Just imagine the reaction in our society if the anthem was written to read "in all thy daughters command."

In the letters I have received, many people have said they already substitute their own words for "thy sons" when they sing the anthem. Ms. Carolyn Emerson of the NSERC/Petro-Canada Chair for Women in Science and Engineering wrote, "I support your proposed change to `true patriot love in all of us command.' I sing those words all the time, anyway."

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This year, a member in the other place led the singing of OCanada substituting the words "thy sons" with "of us." Marcelle Mersereau, an MLA in the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick, last year wrote, "I feel strongly that in 2001 our National Anthem should have language which is inclusive."

Sharon, Lois and Bram, the well-known children's entertainers, have opted for "of us" on their latest CD released this fall. This version was played at a Blue Jays game in Toronto this summer. The new words are catching on.

In churches, such the United Church of Canada and the Presbyterian Church, parishioners are offered an alternative inclusive wording to "in all thy sons command" in their hymnals. The New International Version of the Bible was updated last year so all parishioners feel included. The word "sons" has been replaced by the word "children," and the word "man" has been replaced by the word "person," so it came as no surprise when I received a letter from Dr. Marion Pardy, the Moderator of the United Church of Canada, stating that the United Church endorses this amendment.

You may ask why change it at all? The best answer is found in the voices of Canadians who have asked me to bring this bill forward. Mitchell Sharp wrote to congratulate me on my presentation of this bill. Last summer, Mary Lou Stirling of the New Brunswick Advisory Council on the Status of Women endorsed this amendment by saying, "It is a very patriotic song. I love it, but I would like to be part of it." Progressive institutions such as the YWCA, the Association of Canadian Clubs and the National Council of Women of Canada, all argue for the necessity of this amendment.

Four heads of universities have thrown their support behind this bill, no doubt because they recognize the increasingly visible presence of women on their campuses. Dr. Bernard Shapiro, Principal of McGill University; Dr. Robert Birgeneau, President of the University of Toronto; Dr. Gail Cuthbert Brandt, Principal of Renison College at the University of Waterloo; and Dr. Lorna Marsden, President of York University, have all written to me with their unequivocal support. Dr. Marsden, a former member of this chamber, wrote:

Congratulations on your Bill to change the wording of the National Anthem back to its original non-sexist form...your arguments based on the original 1908 version of the wording are indisputable.

Dr.Robert Birgeneau wrote:

I congratulate you on taking the initiative in this very important matter of equity in one of the most powerful expressions of our Canadian identity— our national anthem.

Our national anthem is one of the most important symbols of Canada, and it represents our fundamental ideals. Although we do not often reflect on the nature of our symbols and their importance in our lives, they represent our beliefs as a society. Of course, women's studies programs in Canada have long sought changes such as these. Dr.Margrit Eichler, Director of the Institute for Women's Studies and Gender Studies at the University of Toronto, noted that their board endorsed the amendment to the anthem and considered it an important issue.

There has also been considerable support in the media for this change, reflecting the understanding that the language we use has an impact on the way we think. Consider that the Canadian Press stylebook notes that, "...words like spokesman and chairman cause resentment, understandably when applied to women."

Sherri Graydon, former president of Media Watch, Stephanie MacKendrick, President of Canadian Women in Communications, and Peter Trueman, former Global Television network anchor, have all come forward in favour of this change. In the arts community, Dr. Matthew Teitelbaum, Director of the Art Gallery of Ontario wrote. "Canada will benefit from the inclusiveness of the proposed bill."

Many other writers, linguists, editors, or educators who are sensitive to the impact of language have also written. One writer noted that we have eliminated many racist terms over the years

because we recognize that language reflects and shapes the way we think. Nevertheless, some seem to be reluctant to amend the national anthem to include women.

Individuals who support this amendment understand that this is not about political correctness, nor does it take anything away from anyone. The argument that it diminishes the recognition of soldiers' accomplishments in the past is not valid because women contributed, and continue to contribute, equally to the war effort. This perspective is supported by veterans of World War II, men like Mr. Stuart Lindop, a former member of the South Alberta Regiment, who contends that:

The women who are members of our Canadian Armed Forces must find a certain irony when they sing our national anthem, especially the fourth sentence, true patriot love in all thy sons command. Women are implicitly excluded from recognition.

Given women's involvement in the military, in peacekeeping missions all over the world, and in the conflict in Afghanistan, I would agree with Mr. Lindop that women deserve recognition in our national anthem. The contribution of women to Canada, whether in civilian or military life, should be acknowledged.

There are those who denigrate this amendment as insignificant, unnecessary and trite. This begs the following question: If the change is so insignificant, why oppose it?

Let us pass this bill quickly with little debate. This is a minor change that is in keeping with today's non-sexist language, with Canada's image as a leader in human rights, as well as in keeping with the original historic meaning of the song as set out by Justice Robert Stanley Weir in 1908.

The rights of women are already enshrined in Section 28 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Equal rights are espoused by all levels of government, private corporations, and increasingly in the home. Today's young women, who are entering non-traditional occupations in increasing numbers, expect to be included in our national anthem.

Admittedly, there are still many injustices, inequities and barriers to overcome. This amendment will not right these wrongs, but it will signal a change that reflects the value that we, as a society, place on equal rights for all, to everyone in Canada, and to the world.

Honourable senators, it is clear to me that we all have a stake in ensuring equal opportunities for our future generations. We need to show Canadians that parliamentarians have the will to give real meaning to the word "equality." Our institution has shown itself to be progressive and senators to be leaders in our country. Honourable senators, we need to take the lead once again as champions of equal rights for all Canadians.

On motion of Senator Oliver, for Senator Spivak, debate adjourned.

(1610)

Question of Privilege

Hon. Lowell Murray: Honourable senators, nothing in this question of privilege should be construed as criticism of the substantive work of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology on this crucial area of public policy. Their work has been prodigious and does credit to themselves and to the Senate as a whole, and I congratulate them on that. Nevertheless, something is being proposed now which, intentionally or unintentionally, and I am sure it is unintentional, is in contempt of the privileges of this Senate.

I refer in the notice which I gave to the stated intention of the committee to table a report with the Clerk of the Senate on Friday next when the Senate is not scheduled to sit, said report being ready for tabling on Wednesday or Thursday when the Senate is scheduled to sit.

Honourable senators, I acknowledge that there is in the order of reference to the committee of October8 the following provision:

That the Committee be permitted, notwithstanding usual practices, to deposit any report with the Clerk of the Senate, if the Senate is not then sitting; and that the report be deemed to have been tabled in the Chamber.

My first argument, honourable senators, is that this provision was intended to apply to situations in which the Senate and one of our committees were facing a prolonged adjournment, such as a summer adjournment or the Christmas break. It was never intended simply to facilitate the media strategy of a committee. That is what is happening in this instance.

There was a time when this authorization to table a report with the Clerk of the Senate would be brought in as and when required as a separate motion, and the Senate almost invariably, on the eve of a recess, gave permission to the committee in question to table with the Clerk because the Senate would not likely be sitting when the report was ready.

There are two facts that I should draw to your attention, the first being that the report is ready. This report is ready for tabling in the Senate while the Senate is sitting. The second fact is that the committee intends, on the word of its chairman, to wait until Friday morning when, in all likelihood, the Senate will not be sitting to table the report with the Clerk of the Senate and then proceed to release the report to the media at a media conference. How do I know this? I know this because I have, under date of Monday last, Monday, October21, a memorandum from the chairman of the committee, Senator Kirby, to the members of the committee.

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to review with you the sequence of events for the tabling of the Volume Six report of our study Recommendations for Reform.

You will find enclosed the following documents:

.Volume Six Report

.Highlights

.Speaking Points for Senators

These documents are CONFIDENTIAL until the report is tabled. I will table the Volume Six Report at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, October25, 2002 with the Clerk of the Senate at which time it will become a public document. Messengers will deliver the report to all senators' offices at that time.

At 10:00 a.m., Senators LeBreton, Keon, Morin and myself will hold a press conference at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa.

Honourable senators, several things are very clear. The report is ready. The members of the committee have in their possession a copy of the report. It is ready for tabling here now, or tomorrow, or even Friday morning if we choose to sit Friday morning. It is ready for tabling in this place, and its tabling should not be postponed until a time when the Senate is not sitting, even to facilitate the media strategy of the committee.

The remedy, honourable senators, to me is very clear. By instruction of the Chair, our friend the chairman of the committee, Senator Kirby, should be required to table that report, which we know he has and his colleagues on the committee have in their possession, and he should be required to table it today or tomorrow or, in the extreme, Friday morning, but, in any case, before they release it, as they plan to do, to the media. That is my question of privilege.

I may say that my attention has been drawn to two motions now on the Order Paper that contain the same, in my view, offending paragraph. As I said, there was a time when, in order to obtain this authorization, the chairman of a committee came back when and as it was needed and got the authorization of the Senate. Now it has become quite routine, unfortunately, to put this authorization in the original order of reference. Therefore, we now have, in addition to the experience we are about to undergo with the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, a Notice of Motion on the Order Paper in the name of Senator Kolber as Chairman of the Banking Committee and another in the name of Senator Morin on behalf of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology again to exactly the same effect, that the committee be given permission to table the report with the Clerk of the Senate if the Senate is not sitting. We cannot continue in this way, and I will be raising objections to those motions when they come forward.

For the moment, I would ask that Her Honour rule that Senator Kirby, the chairman of the committee, must table his report when the Senate is sitting, because it is available, as we all know, and that it must be done today, tomorrow or Friday morning, but in any case before it is released to the media.

Hon. Michael Kirby: Honourable senators, Senator Murray has put a number of facts on the table, which I will not dispute. There is one fact that, in my view, is not correct. Let me go back to several points he made when he began.

First, as he said, if there has been a violation of a senator's privilege on the part of the committee, it was quite unintentional. Any decisions in this respect have been taken effectively by the committee as a whole, of which myself and the deputy chair, Senator LeBreton, are obviously most responsible. It was our understanding that we in fact had permission to table the report, as Senator Murray correctly quoted, when the Senate is not sitting and that this was to be the case notwithstanding usual practices.

(1620)

I think the honourable senator has raised a valid point, one to which I will return at the end of my comments. One needs to have some clarification, through the Rules Committee I would suspect, of what the statement "notwithstanding usual practices" means in a practical sense.

It was the committee's intention to make the report and the highlights document available both electronically and in hard copy format to senators and to their Web sites the moment it is tabled with the clerk. My point of dispute with Senator Murray iswith his emphasis on the statement that the report is ready. It is sometimes difficult to tell when a report is ready.

There is no question that a final version of the document in the form of some 300-odd pages exists. The document was sent to the printer last Thursday or Friday. Because of a glitch that occurred on Tuesday, we will not have any bound copies— that is to say, copies in the form one would normally use when one is tabling a document— until sometime tomorrow and, quite likely, late in the day tomorrow. No member of the committee, including myself, has a bound copy.

One of the issues Senator Murray raised, and one at which the Rules Committee ought to look, is when is a report ready. Is a report considered ready when a document is sent off to a printer? In that case, then, in theory, one could duplicate 104 copies using a Xerox machine and give those copies to senators. That has never been the practice. The practice has always been to finish one's report and to get it bound in the form in which it will look when it is released. That is certainly our definition as to when a report is ready. In that sense, Senator Murray is incorrect in stating that the report is ready. I pointed out to him earlier today when we spoke on the telephone that the bound copies in English and French will not be available from the printer until sometime late tomorrow.

Honourable senators, it seems to me obvious that if the Chair rules that we have to table tomorrow and we do not have the bound copies, then we will somehow duplicate approximately 100copies and table them. Alternatively, if the Senate wishes to sit on Friday morning, we will be more than happy to table it in the Senate before we make it public.

Senator Murray has raised a question that I think ought to be settled. On that score, he and I are on exactly the same wavelength. As I said, if there was a breach of anything, even if it was a breach of practice as opposed to a breach of privilege, then it was completely unintentional. It would be useful to have clarification from, I presume, the Rules Committee on the question surrounding this clause. As Senator Murray correctly points out, this clause seems to have crept into most proposals

coming from committees allowing them to table reports and such when the Senate is not sitting. The Rules Committee should determine if this proposal is one that should be dealt with only in exceptional circumstances before a major recess or, at the very least, give clear clarification for committees and committee members as to the intention of the current clause, if it is to remain.

Honourable senators, I really have nothing more to add other than to say that whatever happened was unintentional and to explain why we are where we are. Even if the normal time for the tabling of documents is 1:30 p.m. tomorrow, it is not clear to me that we will be in a position to table a bound document because, at this point, it looks like it will be later in the day before a reasonable number of bound copies are available.

Despite whatever ruling Her Honour may make, we at the very least ought to have a clarification of this issue so that it does not arise again. When ambiguities in the rules lead to these problems, the situation is enormously helped by having the rules clarified so that all committees, not just committee chairs, understand the rules exactly.

I will discuss this matter again with Senator LeBreton this afternoon. Our view continues to be that we have been operating consistently with what the Senate authorized us to do and, indeed, with past practices. Both Senator LeBreton and myself would be delighted to have the situation clarified, not just in this particular instance, but clarified as a policy question.

[Translation]

Hon. Roch Bolduc: Honourable senators, I have great difficulty understanding how a man of experience such as Senator Kirby — and heaven only knows he has experience in administration, in government and in Parliament —could not have expected us to sit in October. Normally, a report is tabled before parliamentarians, in the Senate, and then we talk to the media. That strikes me as elementary. I do not understand how we have reached the point of finding technicalities in order to table the report at 2 p.m. tomorrow, and then to insist we sit on Friday. Really now, there have never been Friday sessions except under exceptional circumstances! Usually, the Senate sits on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. If the report is ready on Thursday afternoon, after the Thursday sitting, then we will deal with it when we come back next Tuesday.

Moreover, this will provide the newspapers with material for next week. I understand that Friday and Saturday are the best news days, but in order to protect the rights of parliamentarians, it would be preferable for the senator to table his report next Tuesday.

This is the right proposal for a government that has been backed into a corner by scandal: you will hit the front pages next week for another reason! I think this is common sense. It is the people speaking. If the honourable senator did not have the experience he has, I could understand his position. However, I cannot believe such behaviour by a senator with a career in the federal government, and a knowledge of all the ins and outs! He will really have to plead his case to win me over.

[English]

Senator Kirby: Honourable senators, if I go back to our previous incarnations, the honourable senator and I certainly have had conflicting views on my view of process on occasions in the past.

All I can say is that the committee reached the conclusion it did based on what we understood to be perfectly acceptable and normal processes. We will await the ruling of the Chair and hope that regardless of how the Chair rules we will end up getting the broader situation clarified.

As Senator Murray pointed out, there are two or three other similar motions before the chamber. Before those are passed, we want to at least understand what the rules will be.

Hon. John Lynch-Staunton (Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, I hope that in considering a ruling Her Honour remembers that the authorization for this study was given by the Senate and that the obligation of the committee is to report it to the Senate first. To have it reported on a Friday morning when most senators are not here and will not be back until Tuesday means that this could be publicized in the press over the weekend. Many of us will be asked questions on the report without having the faintest idea of what is in it except what we read in the press, which may not be complete.

I think the committee has an obligation to those who mandated its terms of reference to report first to the chamber. As Senator Murray has said, the committee has done excellent work so far. There is no doubt that its last report will be as stimulating as the press has indicated and as controversial, hopefully, and that it will lead to some positive results. We want to do this together. This is a Senate report. We are all obligated to defend it, criticize it, oppose it or whatever. We must do this together. We cannot do it through press reports. The way the committee has arranged its schedule means that we will be the victims of second-hand information while we are on the front line answering questions about what our colleagues are recommending. I urge Her Honour to keep that in mind when she considers her ruling on the question of privilege.

(1630)

Senator Kirby: Honourable senators, I wish to respond to one point made by Senator Lynch-Staunton. I was careful to say that I thought that the document would be available through e-mail to each individual senator at the same moment it is tabled with the Clerk. Therefore, the notion that one could be out of town and not have access to it over the weekend is simply not valid. We all have access to e-mail everywhere, and the document is available.

Senator Lynch-Staunton: I do not know if I am the only one, but I am not very well electronically equipped at my home in Georgeville, Quebec, and I do not think I am the only one to be so deprived. That is my deliberate choice.

Senator Mahovlich: My wife will not allow an e-mail access in our house!

Hon. Anne C. Cools: Honourable senators, it seems to me that the situation is quite clear. I do not think that Senator Kirby, in his wisdom, would ever intend to breach the Senate's privileges or to do anything inappropriate.

The situation is remarkably clear. The committee is a subgroup of the Senate, and the Senate has sent an order of reference to the committee. The first obligation that the committee has, obviously, is to the Senate. The committee owes the Senate its report.

Senator Kirby suggested that his report was, perhaps, not quite ready to be introduced in and received by the Senate. The word we keep hearing is "tabled," but it should be "presented" or "introduced" here in the Senate. Perhaps the solution to the problem is for Senator Kirby to tell us when the report could be ready, and then honourable senators would be more informed when making the decision as to how to proceed. If the report can be ready within a reasonable amount of time, to my mind, the problem will be solved.

Before I make my remarks, perhaps Senator Kirby could tell us when he could have the report ready for the Senate.

Senator Kirby: I answered that question earlier. I informed the Senate that the document is at the printers and I have been told that it will be back from the printers sometime tomorrow, probably later in the day.

Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, perhaps we would be able to find a solution to this question of privilege in a manner that would protect the privileges of all senators but at the same time be supportive to the excellent work that our standing committee has been doing on the issue of health care.

Senator Cools: Hear, hear!

Senator Kinsella: Honourable senators, the requirement under our rules is that only one copy must be tabled with the Clerk in this place. When a document or report is tabled, there is no requirement for multiple copies to be provided. Should one copy be tabled, that might solve the problem and protect the privileges of the house.

Indeed, I would go further. Should it be later tomorrow that that copy is tabled, because it could not be done during the presentation of reports from standing Senate committees, I certainly would grant leave to revert so that the chairman of that committee could table the report later in the day. Then the important plans that the committee has made for subsequent publication of information in the report might be carried out after senators have been provided with a copy of the report.

Perhaps somewhere around those lines we might find a resolution to the problem.

Senator Cools: Perhaps, honourable senators, the situation can be settled. Would it be possible, perhaps, for Senator Kirby to give an undertaking even now that a copy of the report would be introduced here in the chamber tomorrow afternoon? I would be happy, as would most senators, to give leave so that can be done. I understand, of course, that the honourable senator has a media

strategy but, at the same time, these obligations must be fulfilled. It would be in everyone's interest if the situation were resolved by us, by agreement, rather than to going through the very troubling business of ruling or making an order against or in favour of Senator Kirby.

I would refer honourable senators to rules 43 and 44, under which we are now proceeding. Rule 44(1) reads:

When a prima facie case of privilege has been established, the Senator who raised the matter may move a motion calling upon the Senate either to take action on the matter or to refer the matter to the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament for investigation and report.

I listened carefully to Senator Murray. Senator Murray did not propose a remedy; neither did he indicate to us what motion he might be planning to move or what remedy he would be proposing if Her Honour were to make a finding in his favour. That is a matter that should be before us. Senator Kirby, quite frankly, has been doing excellent work on this committee. The media, the public and all senators are eagerly awaiting his report. These discussions and deliberations here and their resolution should be conducted in a spirit to facilitate, respect and uphold the kind and quality of work that Senator Kirby has been doing. Perhaps Senator Murray could indicate his intention to us. I think the matter can be easily resolved here so that Senator Kirby's work is in no way impugned or blemished. That is very important. We owe it to our colleague Senator Kirby to treat his work and him in that regard.

Senator Murray: Honourable senators, I am glad to satisfy the curiosity of my friend in that respect. If it came to the point where a motion on my part were necessary, my motion would be that the Senate require the Chairman of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology to table volume 6 of its report, copies of which we know are in the hands of all members of the committee as we speak, and, I assume, in both official languages. If necessary, I will propose a motion to that effect. However, I was hoping that we might avoid that either by a ruling from Her Honour or, as my friend has suggested, the achievement of a consensus among those of us who are here this afternoon.

I say the report is ready. I am sure it is ready in both official languages. The chairman of the committee, Senator Kirby, says that it is not ready because it is not a bound copy. I do not believe the Senate cares about that. I think, as Senator Kinsella has suggested, we will be quite happy to see it tabled as it could be tabled, one copy, in both official languages, right now, or, indeed, at the appropriate time tomorrow.

Senator Cools: Honourable senators, I am quite sure that Senator Kirby does not have this document right now in his hands ready to introduce it, but I would be very interested to know whether or not Senator Kirby could not give us an undertaking that such a document could be introduced tomorrow. In that way, the matter would have been settled here.

I raise this issue because questions of privilege are supposed to be resolved by senators. This business of turning to the Speaker of the Senate for a prima facie ruling is a relatively new invention in this chamber. As honourable senators will remember, the Privileges Committee used to be a committee comprised of all senators. Whenever these sorts of situations arise, it is incumbent upon us to exercise our duties as senators and resolve these questions by debate, negotiation and persuasion, rather than seek rulings from our Speaker. We also know where those rulings have been going. Quite frankly, many of those rulings have not been favourable to senators.

(1640)

The situation is remarkably clear. The rule states, "when the Senate is not sitting," whereas it used to say something like not in session. That does not mean not on a sitting day. In other words, it does not mean that because the Senate sits Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, therefore, on Monday or Friday we will do it that way. We are now sitting— the Senate is now in session, which means that we are in a regular pattern of sittings. The expectation of the Senate, of course, must be that members of Parliament and senators, when they are about to introduce reports, must plan instinctively and naturally to introduce those reports on days when senators are sitting. The rule is quite clear and there is no need to refer this matter to a committee. We should be able to resolve it easily. I would urge Senator Kirby to undertake to introduce the report late at the next sitting. I would be happy to agree to leave in that case and then the whole matter would be resolved in a mature and sober-second-thought manner.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Honourable senators, I wish to thank everyone for their participation in this important question of privilege. I will review the transcript of today's proceedings and I will take the matter into consideration.

Pandemic of HIV/AIDS

Inquiry—Debate Adjourned

Hon. Donald H. Oliver rose pursuant to notice of October 9, 2002:

That he will call the attention of the Senate to the pandemic of AIDS-HIV which is sweeping across some of the most heavily populated countries in the world, such as India and China, and is in the process of killing 6,000Africans per day, and the role that the Government of Canada could play in fighting the disease which is destroying much of the emerging third world.

He said: Honourable senators, as we begin our fall session, this is an ideal time to focus our attention on the terrible tragedy that is currently ravaging the people of Africa. While I will speak today particularly of the effect of AIDS in Africa, we must not forget that the tragedy of the rapid spread of the HIV/AIDS virus now threatens the people of China, India, Indonesia and many countries in South America. It is difficult to put the matter in a context that is easily understood, but I will try.

Little more than one year ago, just under 3,000 people met their deaths in the terrorist attacks in New York. That many people dying in a single day, in one city and so close to us has printed an indelible picture in our minds. To put this in context of deaths from AIDS, one must double the death toll in New York that day: Yes, AIDS kills approximately 6,000 Africans each day. Imagine, if you will, twice the New York death toll every day. If we add the deaths from the other countries— India, China and South America — the total is 8,000 deaths daily. As a concrete example, nearly one half of the adults in Botswana, South Africa, have HIV, which means that this pandemic is gouging out one or more generations of people from the country's heart. In the near future, eight out of ten adults will be dead. Imagine a country with no adults— no parents, no teachers and no spiritual leaders. Imagine a country lead only by children looking for guidance with no one to hear their cries.

Again, in an effort to put this in context, Stephen Lewis, our former Ambassador to the United Nations, now the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for AIDS in Africa, has said:

There has never been anything like the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Comparisons with the Black Death of the fourteenth century are wishful thinking. When AIDS has run its course — if it ever runs its course — it will be seen as an annihilating scourge that dwarfs everything that has gone before it. By 2020, the number of AIDS-related deaths in Africa will have approximated the total number of deaths,military and civilian,in World Wars I and II combined.

The facts are chilling and virtually mind-numbing. In Western countries, an estimated 1.5 million people live with AIDS, many of them productively as a result of available anti-retroviral drugs. In Africa, those with AIDS die in unheard of numbers. In recent years, the Malawi secondary school system has lost over 8,000teachers due to AIDS-related deaths and long-term absences. Again, imagine our education and intellectual leaders taken from us with no hope of their return. Imagine the setback intellectually and economically from this disease.

In Botswana and Mozambique, life expectancy has fallen to just 27 years, directly as a result of deaths from AIDS. The situation in Botswana is so serious that Botswana health official Banu Khan issued a statement stating that her country's people will face extinction if the epidemic is not turned around.

It is a disease that particularly attacks the young and especially women. In Africa, one could argue that it is a gender-based disease. Approximately 8.6 million people between the ages of 15and 24 years live with AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.
Sixty-seven per cent, or 5.7 million souls, are women and girls. In the same area of Africa, an estimated 11 million children have lost one or both parents to AIDS, a figure that will grow to 20million children in eight years. It is a society where mothers die before seeing their children start school; a society where relatives cope with children who are not their own; a society where children are raised by those who are not their parents.

One of the greatest challenges in dealing with this disease is that the largest proportion of victims is women. Due to the inequality of women in some African societies, they have the greatest number of infections and receive the least amount of care. In the near future, women will constitute 67 per cent of those suffering from HIV/AIDS. This disease is entrenched in the inequality between the sexes in Africa.

Stephen Lewis has spoken out on the issue of mothers who are victims of AIDS. In a speech given to an African religious leaders assembly on children and HIV/AIDS in Nairobi on June 10, 2002, he said:

I have never in my adult life witnessed such a blunt assault on basic human morality. In my soul, I honestly believe that an unthinking strain of subterraneous racism is the only way to explain the moral default of the developed world in refusing to provide the resources which could have saved the mothers of Africa.

In fact, he called on those religious leaders to act by saying, "There is no greater moral calling on this continent today than to vanquish the pandemic of AIDS."

In a media briefing at the UN in July of this year, Mr.Lewis again returned to his gender-inequality theme when he said:

The toll on women and girls is beyond human imagining; it presents Africa and the world with a practical and moral challenge which places gender at the centre of the human condition.

Because the greatest number of AIDS victims is women, it means that babies are being born with HIV. Almost 50 per cent of women attending ante natal clinics in urban and rural Africa suffer from AIDS.

The greatest need to fight this disease is a serious commitment by the developed nations of the world to cash resources in significant sums. It will cost money to cure and to tend to the sick and dying in Africa. Money is needed not only for drugs but also for education, for treatment clinics to ease the suffering of millions of victims and to provide for children left as orphans, as this scourge wipes out sets of parents on an unimagined scale.

The developed world, including Canada, found the necessary money after 9/11 to fight terrorism in distant parts of the world. It is now time for us to find the money to fight this disease.

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Five countries — Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Holland and Luxembourg— have lived up to their 1989 commitments of .7 per cent of GNP to be targeted for foreign aid. If the G8 countries lived up to this commitment, there would be an additional $100billion annually. This, in the opinion of Stephen Lewis, would turn the epidemic around.

What is Canada's official development assistance for
1999-2000? It was .29 per cent of GNP, down from .49 per cent in 1991-1992 under the previous Conservative government. Prime Minister Chrétien has said he would increase Canada's overseas development aid by 8 per cent per year until the amount presently committed doubled in the year 2008, but this is too little. This commitment only brings us back to the 1985 levels.

The world's richest nations, including Canada, in response to Secretary-General Kofi Annan's request for $10 billion annually, have pledged just $2.3 billion over three years. At this point, I think we must ask ourselves two basic questions: Are we prepared to act as our black brothers and sisters' keepers and healers? If we are, are we ready to put the kind of effort and resources into this matter that will reap significant and identifiable results? My answer to both questions — and I would hope the answer of all honourable senators — would be an unequivocal yes.

If we are to make these commitments, then what should we do? It has been suggested that the formula used to calculate UN member country payments be used to calculate payments to the global fund to fight AIDS. Adopting such an approach by the countries of the world would bring hope to the entire African continent. It would also mean that sufficient money would be available to fight AIDS in India, China, Indonesia and South America.

Canada is uniquely placed to play a role in this fight. We are world leaders in the development of drugs designed to fight
HIV/AIDS. We have a government looking for a positive role to play in the world stage. We have credibility in Africa arising out of the work of the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney as Prime Minister and the Right Honourable Joe Clark as foreign minister as we led the world's fight against apartheid. In fact, CIDA issued a policy statement last month entitled "Strengthening Aid and Effectiveness" arising out of the G8 Summit held in Kananaskis at the beginning of this summer. It dealt with the Canada Fund for Africa which totals $550 million to be given over three years, but it also stated that Canada would allocate $6 billion of new and existing resources over five years to Africa's development.

This is the degree of commitment, which, if followed through by this government, should have a significant impact on other developed countries, especially the United States, to increase their aid to Africa.

Let us not be overly concerned about the governance aspects of the countries to which the aid is to be given. Let us commit this money to fight AIDS, because if we do not win that fight, there will not be enough people left in Africa for us to worry about their form of government, or anything else for that matter.

We, as Canadians, cannot stand by and witness the populations of entire countries in the African continent wiped out by AIDS. We cannot stand by and watch generations of people dying, leaving children as orphans throughout an entire country. If we do not act with decisiveness now, there will be no future leaders of Africa. They will all have succumbed to this dreaded disease.

I believe the Senate has a unique role to play in bringing the attention of this government and, indeed, all Canadians to this pandemic which is sweeping through Africa, China, India, Indonesia and many countries in South America. I want to set out for honourable senators a five-point plan in which Canada could take the lead as we try to rally the Western world to take up the fight against HIV/AIDS and defeat it.

First, we must commit serious financial resources to this cause. CIDA, in its most recent statement, speaks of $6 billion over five years. Is this enough? It must not be spread among various causes. It must go directly to fight AIDS.

Second, Canada must use its position as a leading participant, as a leading trade nation in the world, to ensure that the WTO moves in the direction that will encourage generic drug manufacturers to export the vital drugs to Africa so that they will be available to those who are suffering and at the lowest cost possible.

Third, if the UN and Stephen Lewis have a role to play in the fight against AIDS, let them concentrate on ensuring that the proper medicine gets directly to those who need it the most. We should not stand by while shipments of medicine are confiscated

and sold on the black market. Canada should use its position of influence in the United Nations to ensure that drugs sent to Africa reach those most in need of them.

Fourth, Canada should do all it can to encourage those with medical skills who wish to help in Africa to be able to do so. This would include organizations such as Doctors Without Borders and other humanitarian organizations that wish to help fight AIDS by taking their skills to that continent.

Fifth, AIDS is a gender-based disease. Its main victims are women. It is also a disease spread through ignorance. Canada should take up the cause of gender equality in Africa at every opportunity and with every human rights organization that may have influence in Africa. At every international forum, Canada must support the women of Africa on this subject.

We have an opportunity to show leadership on the world stage, leadership that would bring hope and healing to millions of our fellow human beings. Let us not back away from this opportunity. I look forward to the interventions of other fellow senators on this important topic.

Hon. Joan Fraser: Honourable senators, would the Honourable Senator Oliver accept a question?

Senator Oliver: Yes.

Senator Fraser: I would thank the honourable senator for that extraordinary statement. and, in particular, for drawing attention to the gender element of this crisis.

I would suggest, however, that $100 billion is not a sum of money that can be available quickly, although we all agree that it should be. In fact, we can be sure that it will not be available because a large part of it would come from the United States. Given the United States' attitude these days toward any aid program that might involve birth control, I think we have a realistic and practical difficulty in this regard.

In the honourable senator's action plan, which is compelling on the face of it, with the money we can muster starting here at home, what should be this country's first priority? I am torn because there are so many victims. The honourable senator talked of 20 million children being orphaned in eight years; is that correct?

Senator Oliver: Yes.

Senator Fraser: That is an unbelievable number of orphans, many of whom will have AIDS themselves. All these women are victims of ignorance and ancient culture, and it is very difficult to change that. We may concentrate on curing or treating those who are ill now or on looking after orphans, but what can we do to prevent more victims? Where should we put the money now?

If the honourable senator had to choose two things to do with the few dollars that we have, what would they be?

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: I regret to inform the honourable senator that his time for speaking has expired.

Is he asking for leave to continue?

Senator Oliver: Yes.

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

[Translation]

Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I am prepared to grant leave for the honourable senator to reply to the question asked.

[English]

Senator Oliver: I thank the Honourable Senator Fraser for her most interesting question. She will recall that three or four weeks ago she and I had dinner with Sergio Marchi, during the course of which we discussed the role of the WTO in getting medical drugs to the people of Africa. It is a major problem. I would like to see Canada begin by taking the diplomatic and trade steps to ensure that the drugs that Canada manufactures reach the women and children in Africa who most need them. I would like to see that as the first step because millions of dollars worth of these drugs are being confiscated and sold on the black markets of other countries. They are not reaching the people who need them most.

(1700)

Second, I would like to see a major program of education. Canada can be a leader in education, by giving training through videos, the Internet and other tools to those who need it most, perhaps to the men of Africa. Those would be the two areas where Canada could start and play a leading role.

On motion of Senator Oliver, for Senator Jaffer, debate adjourned.

Banking, Trade and Commerce

Committee Authorized to Continue Study of State of Domestic and International Financial System

Hon. E. Leo Kolber, pursuant to notice of October 10, 2002, moved:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce be authorized to examine and report upon the present state of the domestic and international financial system;

That the papers and evidence received and taken on the subject during the First Session of the Thirty-seventh Parliament and any other relevant Parliamentary papers and evidence on the said subject be referred to the Committee;

That the Committee be empowered to permit coverage by electronic media of its public proceedings with the least possible disruption of its hearings;

That, notwithstanding usual practices, the Committee be permitted to deposit an interim report on the said subject with the Clerk of the Senate, if the Senate is not sitting, and that the said report shall thereupon be deemed to have been tabled in the Chamber; and

That the Committee submit its final report no later than June19, 2003.

Hon. Lowell Murray: Honourable senators, I think the Senate and my honourable friend Senator Kolber know from the discussion we had earlier on the question of privilege that I object to paragraph 4 of this motion. That is the paragraph that would authorize the committee to deposit an interim report with the Clerk of the Senate if the Senate is not sitting, and the said report shall then be deemed to have been tabled in the chamber. I need not, nor will I, repeat the reasons I object to this paragraph. I believe that when it is necessary for a committee to have that authorization, it should be done as a separate motion, with explanation of why they need the authorization. My experience in this place over many years has been that the Senate would not, under any reasonable scenario, refuse that permission. However, the blanket authorization sought creates a problem for me. I think I am safe to say that honourable senators on this side would wish to debate this motion, to amend the motion to remove paragraph4, and to divide on the issue if it came to that.

I am suggesting that my friend Senator Kolber might seek leave to have paragraph 4 excised from the motion and the rest of the motion, as far as I am concerned, could pass immediately and without debate.

Senator Kolber: Honourable senators, I move that we excise paragraph 4, which states "That, notwithstanding usual practice," et cetera, and that the rest of the motion remain the same.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Is it agreed, honourable senators?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Motion agreed to, as amended.

The Senate adjourned until Thursday, October 24, 2002, at1:30 p.m.