Debates of the Senate (Hansard)
2nd Session, 37th Parliament,
Volume 140, Issue 77
Wednesday, September 24, 2003
The Honourable Dan Hays, Speaker
Wednesday, September 24, 2003
The Senate met at 1:30 p.m., the Speaker in the Chair.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, before proceeding to
Senators' Statements, I would draw to your attention the presence in our gallery
of a group headed by Mr. Shamsh Kassim- Lakha, President of the Aga Khan
University of Pakistan. He is a guest of the Honourable Senator Jaffer.
On behalf of all senators, I welcome you to the Senate of Canada.
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!
Hon. B. Alasdair Graham: Honourable senators, last weekend, I had the
honour of co-hosting the fiftieth anniversary of Canadian football at St.
Francis Xavier University. Well over 100 former players covering the last
half-century came back to relive memories, renew bonds and friendships and to
replay, for yet another time, those incredible years of triumph as well as the
games and seasons that were not as successful as most.
They were all heroes on the weekend. We were especially pleased to have with
us as special star guests Russ Jackson, undoubtedly the greatest Canadian
football player of all time, and former coach Don Loney, the man who is regarded
in many circles as the father of Canadian football in Atlantic Canada. These
people, honourable senators, have not only had huge individual and team
successes but have also, by example, helped so many sons and grandsons with some
of the great lessons of life that come from playing as a team.
The weekend activities proved to be yet another highlight in the year-long
celebrations observing the 150th anniversary of the founding of St. Francis
Xavier, which has already been marked by the issuance of a beautiful, new,
commemorative stamp by Canada Post. I had the honour of assisting in the
unveiling of the stamp in April.
For a century and a half, St. Francis Xavier has been home to extraordinary
leaders who believed in the power of individuals — no matter what their state in
life — to become masters in their own house.
It was in this place that Monsignor Coady began to spread his message about
liberation and empowerment, giving new hope to uneducated young men and women
throughout Atlantic Canada. It is in this place that the Coady International
Institute established a training centre for adult education for people from
around the world. It is to this place that over 4,000 community leaders from 120
countries have come to learn about education, which brings hope to little people
across the planet.
Honourable senators, I have one footnote from the weekend: Congratulations to
the new University of Montreal football team, which came to town and spoiled the
celebrations just a little bit by upsetting the X-Men 14-9 in the equally new
Quebec-Atlantic interlocking intercollegiate football schedule.
Hon. Donald H. Oliver: Honourable senators, I rise to draw to your
attention a letter to the editor from a distinguished Canadian, Milton Wong,
Chairman of HSBC Asset Management Canada, which appeared in the weekend
National Post by Mr. Wong is also chancellor of Simon Fraser University in
Vancouver. He was one of the delegates who accompanied the Governor General in
the South American tour in 2001. With all the commentaries in the media about
the current state visits, it was refreshing to read a first-hand account by
someone who has been there.
Mr. Wong noted that the delegates worked extremely hard for two weeks
representing Canada, participating in round table discussions and debates, and
challenging one another intellectually. He said the trip was about building
trust with other nations and establishing the foundation for greater
understanding among people of the world, and no one does this any better than
our current representative, Governor General Clarkson.
Mr. Wong said they "visited universities, participated in panel discussions
and met other leaders representing those countries." Mr. Wong further noted
that he "counted at least 35 speeches made by Ms. Clarkson, who worked harder
than anyone else and was impressively knowledgeable about the histories and
cultures of the countries we were visiting." By any standards, that is
Honourable senators, I personally admire the work our Governor General does
in Canada by visiting and bringing to the fore various ethnic groups that would
otherwise be ignored.
Mr. Wong's letter said this trip is about "supporting intellectual
discussion, global cooperation and the exchange of ideas," and "for
discovering ways to make the world a better place for everyone." Mr. Wong said
that he and other delegates:
... returned to Canada with a much deeper understanding of the problems
and issues, the achievements and goals, the cultural identities, of the
countries we visited as well as the common challenges and opportunities we
share with them.
Honourable senators, that is what these state visits are all about. This year
is no exception. The delegates on this trip are not just business people; they
are a selection of leaders from disciplines as wide-ranging as fine arts,
science and politics.
The Governor General has consistently emphasized the centrality of the North
in Canada's identity, not only with Canadians here at home but while abroad on
previous state visits and in discussions with foreign leaders visiting Canada.
The visits to countries of the circumpolar north will further reinforce the
image and understanding of Canada abroad and give strong support to the northern
dimension of Canada's foreign policy.
Governor General Clarkson will take part in the second Quest for the Modern
North seminars in the circumpolar tour. During the seminars in Iceland,
panellists will exchange ideas on culture and long-term community viability.
These seminars will later be available online to students undertaking
circumpolar studies at a virtual university.
In conclusion, honourable senators, those who accompany Her Excellency
Adrienne Clarkson will no doubt come back to Canada with a much deeper
appreciation and understanding of the unique culture enjoyed by people in
Honourable senators, I am deeply honoured to be one of those Canadians able
to participate in this historic dialogue.
Hon. Catherine S. Callbeck: Honourable senators, I rise to pay tribute
to an outstanding Canadian, a highly respected individual and an exceptional
human being. Today, I pay tribute to the life of the late Donald Deacon, who
passed away on September 16. His life was filled with accomplishment, purpose,
dignity and integrity.
While people have achieved much in certain fields of endeavour, Mr. Deacon
achieved much in many fields. He provided exemplary service to Canada during the
Second World War and was awarded the Military Cross.
He had a successful business career as chair of a Toronto brokerage firm. He
went on to an illustrious political career, first in municipal politics and,
later, as a Liberal member of the Ontario Legislature.
Mr. Deacon excelled in fields as varied as the military, business and
politics on the great strength of his character and compassion. He earned the
respect and confidence of his fellow citizens and colleagues throughout his long
and active career.
He also made a significant contribution to this country in so many ways, as
well as through his dedicated service as a volunteer. He served as National
Commissioner of Boy Scouts of Canada. He served with the Red Cross on its
national board of governors and was recognized for that service by being named
Red Cross Humanitarian of the Year.
Among his many other community involvements, he served on the board of
governors of Mount Allison University. He was a founding co-chair of the
national Katimavik youth movement. He was a director of the national Trans
Canada Trail Foundation and was the founding president of the Confederation
Trail in Prince Edward Island.
For these and his many other contributions, Mr. Deacon was recently promoted
to the rank of officer in the Order of Canada.
Prince Edward Island was fortunate, in that Mr. Deacon chose to retire there,
although retirement hardly describes his continued and active participation in
so many activities. He made an enormous impact on his adopted province, where
his work was an inspiration to many.
Donald Deacon has given us a legacy of public service that will be long
remembered. I extend my sincere sympathies to his wife, Florence, and to his
family, by whom he will be greatly missed.
Hon. Gérald-A. Beaudoin: Honourable senators, the Supreme Court of
Canada, last Friday, September 19, rendered unanimously an interesting and
important decision on the rights of the Metis people.
It is a landmark case.
The court has recognized the Metis' ancestral hunting rights for subsistence
The court concluded that section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, which
recognizes native Amerindians' ancestral hunting, trapping, fishing and
harvesting rights also allows the Metis to hunt without a licence and out of
season for subsistence purposes. These, as we know, are collective rights, of
which there are very few in our Constitution.
To date, the only recognition of collective rights has been for the
Aboriginal peoples, and the denominational rights relating to education. Mr.
Justice Bastarache, however, made reference to language rights in the
Arsenault-Cameron case as being collective rights. That is all.
The court has established rather precise criteria for the recognition of
these ancestral rights.
Minister Goodale has announced the government's intention to meet with the
Metis in order to negotiate with them in good faith on the date these
fundamental rights will take effect.
I am extremely pleased with the decision by the Supreme Court of Canada.
Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, I rise today to pay
tribute to an institution that has revolutionized post- secondary education and
health services training in the developing world. The Aga Khan University was
founded by His Highness the Aga Khan and chartered in 1983.
I am pleased that the president of Aga Khan University, Mr. Shamsh
Kassim-Lakha, is with us today in the visitors' gallery.
At the time of its founding, His Highness the Aga Khan said the new
university would draw inspiration from the great traditions of Islamic
civilizations and learning, including one of the oldest universities, the Al
Azhar in Cairo, founded over 1,000 years ago by His Highness' Fatimid ancestors.
It was proposed that the Aga Khan University should be a small, secular
institution, international in scope, and that its distinctiveness would come
from the quality of its programs, its graduates and research, and its impact on
developing societies. Today, 20 years since its founding, the Aga Khan
University has moved well beyond Pakistan and has established campuses on three
continents, with 11 teaching sites spread over Asia, Africa and the United
Canadian universities and professionals have played a critical role in this
success. McMaster University, McGill University and the University of Toronto
have all contributed tremendously to the development of Aga Khan University.
The early establishment of the School of Nursing had special significance —
to train women professionals. In developing countries, women constitute more
than 80 per cent of the nurses and teachers. Women's development, through their
empowerment, is a central goal of the Aga Khan Development Network, and in this
respect, Aga Khan University is proud that 65 per cent of its students are
women, as are more than 40 per cent of its faculty.
Nowhere is this feature more evident than at the School of Nursing, which
opened in 1980 with the basic objective of enhancing the status of nursing and
of women professionals. In Pakistan, nursing has not enjoyed high status, and
the country has suffered chronic shortages, far in excess of those experienced
even in most developing countries. In Canada, for example, there are about four
nurses for every physician. In Pakistan, the ratio is reversed — about four
physicians for every nurse.
Aga Khan University has succeeded in developing leaders in nursing, medicine,
education and research who are equipped with modern techniques and tools but who
also possess a strong sense of purpose and vision. It was in recognition of this
leadership that the government of Pakistan turned to AKU to lead a national task
force to assess what needs to be done to improve higher education in the
The motivation for His Highness to create AKU is clear in the following
There are those who enter the world in such poverty that they are
deprived of both the means and the motivation to improve their lot. Unless
they can be touched with the spark, which ignites the spirit of individual
enterprise and determination, they will only sink into apathy, degradation
and despair. It is for us, who are more fortunate, to provide that spark.
Honourable senators, these words are as relevant today as they were 20 years
Hon. Rose-Marie Losier-Cool: Honourable senators, pursuant to rule
23(6), I have the honour to present to this house in both official languages the
report of the Canadian section of the Assemblée parlementaire de la
Francophonie, and the financial reports relating thereto, of the meeting of the
Twenty-Ninth Annual Session of the APF, held in Niamey, Niger, from July 4 to
July 10, 2003.
Hon. Peter A. Stollery: Honourable senators, I give notice that, at
the next sitting of the Senate, I will move:
That the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, in accordance with
rule 95(3)(a) of the Rules of the Senate, be empowered to sit on
October 14 and 15, 2003, even though the Senate may then be adjourned for a
period exceeding one week.
Hon. A. Raynell Andreychuk: Honourable senators, it has been reported
that the managers of CIDA awarded millions of dollars in untendered contracts
between 1999 and 2001, despite knowing that this violated federal regulations.
Suppliers were awarded these contracts without considering the need for
compliance and transparency; this from CIDA who requests others, both their own
contract providers and other countries, to have a results- based management
approach to project funding.
As an explanation, senior CIDA officials indicated that they knew about the
rules but that they felt that they could administer things without following
federal guidelines. It would seem to me that this is taking unfettered
discretion to its illogical conclusion. CIDA has now indicated, through its
management, that it has taken the necessary steps to rectify this situation.
In light of the fact that Canada goes around the world requesting other
countries to abide by rules and that the rule of law is the essence of much of
our aid giving, how can we explain to our counterparts around the world why we
break our rules and why they should not break theirs?
As well, could the Leader of the Government in the Senate share with this
chamber what steps CIDA has taken to ensure future compliance with federal
regulations regarding sole source contracts?
Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): I thank the
honourable senator for her questions this afternoon. I regret that I have no
information to provide to her because I did not know of the issue that she has
identified this afternoon. I assure her that we will get on this matter
immediately and provide answers to the two questions she has asked as quickly as
Hon. Donald H. Oliver: Honourable senators, my question is to the
Leader of the Government in the Senate. Last week, the federal government was
forced to change its new immigration rules and finally allow potential
immigrants to be assessed under the criteria in place when they originally
applied. In announcing the change, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Denis
Coderre said in a statement: "The government's clear intention has always been
to treat immigrants fairly."
The truth is that Minister Coderre changed his mind only when it became clear
that the government would lose a series of class action lawsuits that had been
filed by victims of the department's earlier decision and who sought damages to
have their applications reviewed.
Why did it take so long for the Department of Citizenship and Immigration to
arrive at this decision, and why did it have to be shamed into acting following
potential lawsuits by the various immigrants?
Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): The honourable
senator has indicated that the department made the decision on the basis of
class action lawsuits. I would prefer to think that they responded to the
interventions of many Canadians, including the honourable senator opposite who
raised in this chamber on a number of occasions that he believed the system was
unfair and inequitable. Certainly, those comments were made to the minister, and
I would hope it was the representation of that fact rather than the threat of
lawsuits that resulted in this action.
Senator Oliver: Honourable senators, although the minister has finally
changed the rules, the potential immigrants still have to be assessed. Many of
these people have been waiting a very long time already. One in particular, a
mechanical engineer from Hong Kong, told the Federal Court looking into the
matter last year that he has been waiting 44 months to receive an answer from a
visa officer about his claim. In light of last week's decision, could the Leader
of the Government in the Senate tell us if the Department of Citizenship and
Immigration will hire additional staff to help deal with this backlog?
Senator Carstairs: As the honourable senator knows, because he has
asked this question before, the Department of Citizenship and Immigration has
hired additional staff. They were given the resources to do that in the last
We all concur that this is a wonderful country. Many individuals would like
to join us here. Unfortunately, the process often takes much longer than I, the
honourable senator and others, including the Minister of Immigration, would like
it to take. Quite frankly, it is based on the number of people who wish to come
to this great country.
Hon. Gerry St. Germain: Honourable senators, my question is also to
the Leader of the Government in the Senate and relates to the landmark decision
regarding the Metis. I was hoping to make a statement about it today, as I was
unavoidably detained yesterday on other business.
Could the Leader of the Government in the Senate describe to this place
exactly what actions the government will take in regard to this landmark
decision and the Metis people?
Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): The honourable
senator asks about a decision that, as he knows, was just rendered by the
Supreme Court late last week. The government and, more particularly, the
Department of Justice, has undertaken to do a thorough reading and study of this
particular judgment. It would be premature of me or any other minister to make a
statement as to what the next stages will be.
Senator St. Germain: I thank the minister for her answer.
Possibly the Leader of the Government in the Senate could apprise us if there
are any new events during the course of the analysis of this landmark decision.
Hon. Gerry. St. Germain: Honourable senators, my supplementary
question relates to another Aboriginal issue. The Namgis, a small native band in
British Columbia, has asked the British museum in London to return to them a
wooden ceremonial mask that is currently being kept in storage there. Over the
past 35 years, the Namgis have worked hard to retrieve many of their ceremonial
artifacts that are scattered around Canada and the world. The British museum has
refused to return the mask, saying it has a legal duty to hold it in trust and
make it available to scholars. This particular museum has also refused to
restore the Elgin Marbles to Greece before the 2004 Olympics. The Canadian
Parliament has adopted motions calling on the museum to return the marbles.
Will the Government of Canada make a special representation on behalf of the
Namgis nation of British Columbia and request that their mask be returned to its
Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): As the honourable
senator knows, there are many artifacts of many people in many countries that
are, in my view, unfortunately located in countries other than the one in which
they should reside. The question the honourable senator asks is specific. I will
certainly, on his behalf, make representations to the Minister of Heritage, who
would be responsible for this matter, and let her know how strongly the
honourable senator feels about the restoration of this piece of Namgis history.
Hon. Brenda M. Robertson: Honourable senators, as part of a review of
the Food and Drugs Act and other health statutes, Health Canada is currently
considering lifting the ban against advertising prescription drugs in broadcast
and print media.
Currently, this practice is only legal in Canada if the ads do not say what
conditions the drug treats. If the policy is changed, Canada will join the
United States and New Zealand as the only industrialized countries that allow
prescription drug advertising.
When does Health Canada expect to announce the outcome of its review of this
Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): As the honourable
senator knows, no decision has been made in this matter.
As regards the study being conducted by Health Canada, one can only assume
that it will be released when it is completed.
Senator Robertson: Honourable senators, the Canadian Medical
Association, the Canadian Pharmacists Association and the Consumers' Association
of Canada have all stated their opposition to direct-to-consumer prescription
drug advertising. The President of the Quebec Medical Association has said that
it would raise the cost of health care and undermine the efforts of physicians
and pharmacists, who are trying to promote cost- effective drug therapies such
as generic drugs and more appropriate antibiotic therapies.
Could the Leader of the Government in the Senate tell us why it is
considering lifting the advertising ban when it is faced with such strong
Senator Carstairs: I can assure the honourable senator that the
government will take into consideration all of the strong representations that
have been made by organizations in which the government puts a great deal of
confidence and trust, but I feel it is appropriate for the Government of Canada
to study any number of issues. Representations have been made that the present
policy is perhaps unfair, and therefore it is appropriate that such a study be
conducted. However, I do not think we should prejudge the results of that study.
Hon. John Lynch-Staunton (Leader of the Opposition): Honourable
senators, yesterday, in answer to Senator Comeau, the Leader of the Government
said there were no new monies in the Supplementary Estimates for the Canadian
Firearms Centre. Yet, in looking at the Blue Book for Supplementary Estimates
(A) one finds an additional amount of $10 million repeated three times.
I refer the minister to page 22. Under "Proposed Schedule 1 to the
Appropriation bill" and "Canadian Firearms Centre," we find the authorization
to transfer a certain amount of money from the Department of Justice to the
Solicitor General. As we know, the responsibility has been transferred from one
department to the other. It goes on to say, "and to provide a further amount of
On page 13, under "Summary of Changes to Appropriations" and the column
entitled "New Appropriation, Canadian Firearms Centre," we see the figure of
Finally, on page 88 of the Supplementary Estimates, under "Solicitor
General, Canadian Firearms Centre," vote 7a, and the column "New
Appropriation," I will read the appropriate words: "to provide a further amount
of $10 million."
Does my research confirm that, in effect, the Supplementary Estimates do ask
for an additional $10 million, contrary to what the minister suggested
Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators,
my information is exactly the same as was given to Senator Comeau. Although this
is the way in which it is listed in the Estimates, there is, in reality, no new
money. This is a transfer of $10 million from the Department of Justice to the
Department of the Solicitor General because the Department of the Solicitor
General is now in charge of the firearms registry.
Senator Lynch-Staunton: Honourable senators, I would ask the minister
to speak to her researchers and urge them to read page 13 of the Supplementary
Estimates, where there is, under the rubric "Transfer," an amount that is the
amount being transferred from the Department of Justice to the Solicitor General
to meet exactly the responsibilities that have been moved along. However, in
addition, under "New Appropriation," there are $10 million. I would suggest
strongly that the minister perhaps has not been as well-informed on this
particular item as she usually is.
Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, in light of the
representations of both Senator Lynch-Staunton and Senator Comeau, I will again
go back and have this information verified. However, I did ask the question
again today because of the question posed by Senator Comeau yesterday, and I was
given assurances that there is no new money. I do not wish in any way to put
false information on the record, so should the information be incorrect, I will
come back to the chamber tomorrow with a further update.
Hon. Gerald J. Comeau: Honourable senators, we raised this question in
the Finance Committee the last time we met with officials. We indicated to them
that, given the work we have to do, we try to do a good job on behalf of
taxpayers while being mindful of their tax dollars. We said that we would like
to be able to read the Estimates as provided to us in a fashion that is not
misleading. That issue was raised forcefully with the officials, and they
assured us that such would be the case in the future and that they would try not
to mislead us.
However, if one reads both the French and English versions of the
Supplementary Estimates, they refer to a new appropriation of $10 million. Now,
either it is a new appropriation — "nouveau crédit" in French, — or it is not.
If the case is that this money is not a new appropriation, the minister should
get the message out to her officials at Treasury Board, or whoever writes this
stuff, to put a stop to misleading information of this sort.
Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, I will obtain clarification
because I have committed to the Leader of the Opposition that I will do so. My
understanding is that the money is indeed a new appropriation for the Solicitor
General, but it is taken from the old appropriation of the Minister of Justice.
However, if there is any information to the contrary, I will make sure that I
provide it tomorrow.
Hon. Douglas Roche: Honourable senators, my question is to the Leader
of the Government in the Senate. Yesterday, at the United Nations, President
Chirac of France said:
Let us convene a summit meeting of the Security Council to outline a true
plan of action of the United Nations against proliferation.
This is not a sudden inspiration. France and Germany have been arguing in
this manner for several months. President Chirac put his argument very
succinctly when he said:
We must stand united to guarantee the universality of treaties and the
effectiveness of nonproliferation regimes.
Does Canada support these statements — I suppose it does — and what steps
will Canada take to press forward with the idea of a summit of the Security
Council to deal with the increasing dangers of nuclear and other weapons of mass
I ask these questions because Canada has not yet spoken publicly on this
matter, and I believe it is very important that Canada's voice be heard.
Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators,
as the honourable senator himself indicated, the President of France in fact put
the question in the form of a speech only yesterday. Therefore, I think it is
not unreasonable that we would not know as of two o'clock this afternoon exactly
what the position of the Canadian government will be on this matter; although,
as the honourable senator has wisely said, since we have supported this proposal
in the past, that would be the direction the government may well take in the
I will take the honourable senator's query to the government, and in due
course I am sure the Government of Canada will announce its position.
Senator Roche: I thank the minister for taking that idea forward.
Hon. Douglas Roche: Yesterday, also at the United Nations,
Secretary-General Kofi Annan called for reform of the Security Council, which
would include its enlargement, and he announced his intention to form a
committee of eminent persons to consider the subject and report to him with
their recommendations in one year.
Also yesterday, Prime Minister Chrétien spoke at the United Nations and
called for "bold renewal" and "meaningful reform" of the UN. It would seem
that Kofi Annan's ideas and Prime Minister Chrétien's ideas are a good fit.
Is any consideration being given to having Mr. Chrétien, shortly to be a
former prime minister, become a member of the eminent persons group, which would
be a good idea, allowing him to bring forward his long commitment to the core
Canadian values of support for the United Nations?
Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): The honourable
senator is absolutely correct. The statements of Kofi Annan and our Prime
Minister yesterday were indeed a very good fit. However, the Right Honourable
Jean Chrétien intends to remain Prime Minister until February 2004. Mr. Annan
has indicated that he wants to do this study very quickly. He said he wanted a
report in one year. If a report is to be ready in one year, things had better
get going relatively quickly. In that, I am not sure our present Prime Minister
will be available.
Hon. Marjory LeBreton: Honourable senators, that last answer about the
present Prime Minister being in place until February 2004 precipitates this
question: Could the Leader of the Government in the Senate tell us if it is the
intention of the RCMP to provide prime ministerial-level security for the member
for LaSalle-Émard, given his success in his party's delegate selection process?
If so, what will the cost be to Canadian taxpayers of having two persons
receiving such a high-security level?
Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): As the honourable
senator knows, security is made available to the Prime Minister of this country.
It is also made available to ministers of the Crown, should they need it. It is
sometimes made available to members of Parliament, including senators, should
they be in a circumstance in which they need it.
However, prime ministerial security is provided to the Right Honourable Jean
Chrétien and will continue to be provided to him until he is no longer Prime
Minister, and to no one else.
Senator LeBreton: Honourable senators, normally when a leader of a
party is elected, the level of security for that person is raised, for obvious
reasons. Has the level of security been raised for Mr. Martin? If so, what is
the cost to Canadian taxpayers?
Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, Senator LeBreton has answered
her own question. Although Mr. Martin won the support of a large number of
delegates last Saturday, he has not yet been elected leader of the Liberal Party
Hon. Marcel Prud'homme: Honourable senators, I disagree with Senator
LeBreton. Former prime ministers at times are provided with security. If former
Prime Minister Mulroney had been provided security, there would have been no
need for the assistance of a senator at the unveiling of the statue of Mr.
Mulroney, who was accompanied by the present Prime Minister and the two Speakers
Protection should be extended to certain people, including ex- prime
ministers when it is required. However, I disagree with my friend Senator
Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, I can understand why Senator
Prud'homme disagrees with Senator LeBreton. As I indicated, under some
circumstances, members of Parliament and senators are also provided with
additional security. That happens in circumstances such as when threats are made
to their lives. I have heard no indication that any such threats have been made
against the Member of Parliament for LaSalle-Émard. If such threats were made,
the appropriate security would be put in place.
Hon. David Tkachuk: Honourable senators, will Mr. Martin, or perhaps
Ms. Copps, be given prime ministerial security from November 15 until February
when the Prime Minister leaves his post?
Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, that is a hypothetical
question. We do not know what will happen on November 15. When November 15
comes, and when it is decided that a particular person in this country needs
appropriate levels of security, I presume that decision will be made.
Hon. Laurier L. LaPierre: Honourable senators, I thought it was
customary not to discuss the security arrangements effected by the Royal
Canadian Mounted Police. Does the Leader of the Government in the Senate not
think it improper to be asked detailed questions about the protection that may
be afforded to Mr. Martin or Ms. Copps, or even Senator Lebreton, who probably
needs it more than anyone else on the planet?
Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, to repeat, there are occasions
when, because of circumstances beyond their control, imposed upon them by
others, security is provided to members of Parliament and senators. There are
ministers of the Crown who, on occasion, have security. On many occasions, they
do not have security. I do not have security and I feel no particular need for
it. However, there have been instances where other ministers, because of
threats, have been provided security, and I think that is entirely appropriate.
I think Canadians would want that, even though it is their tax dollars that are
being spent. I think members of this and the other chamber would want that, if
threats were being made against them.
Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable
senators, I should like to ask the Leader of the Government whether she was able
to ascertain the answer to my question concerning the torture suffered by a
Canadian citizen, namely William Sampson, at the hands of officials in the
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. My question was whether Canada would file a
communication against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for violations of the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators,
I do not know specifically whether we have used that vehicle. I can tell the
honourable senator that the Canadian government is extremely disappointed at the
refusal of the Saudi Arabian government to initiate an inquiry into the
treatment of William Sampson, and we have expressed that disappointment.
Saudi Arabia has invited Mr. Sampson to file a complaint within its judicial
system. Until now, Mr. Sampson has refused to file that complaint, but he has
apparently been informed that Canada stands ready to assist him should he decide
to do so.
Senator Kinsella: Honourable senators, I noted the comment yesterday
of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who was with the Prime Minister at the
United Nations in New York. He is reported to have said that he felt that Mr.
Sampson would have to exhaust all domestic remedies before the international
machinery could come into force. That is a position I reject. There are no
grounds for that, since we in the world community have moved from the
Westphalian system of law and order to a global communitarian position.
Under international law, there exists the United Nations Convention against
Torture, to which both the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Canada are signatories. I
believe article 12 of the Convention against Torture would be applicable in the
case of torture perpetrated by officials of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia against
Mr. Sampson, a Canadian citizen.
Therefore, if Canada is not going to file a complaint on the basis of the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, will it do so under the
United Nations Convention against Torture?
Senator Carstairs: Honourable senators, I shall make that
representation to the Minister of Foreign Affairs on behalf of Senator Kinsella.
Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable
senators, I have the honour to table an answer to a question raised by Senator
Comeau on May 13, 2003, concerning the Canadian Firearms Centre and the firing
of staff members.
(Response to question raised by Hon. Gerald J. Comeau on May 13, 2003)
Over the past several months the government has announced several key
initiatives to improve the Program and provide better service to Canadians
across the country.
On February 21, the Minister of Justice, joined by the Solicitor General,
tabled an Action Plan to deliver a firearms control program that provides
significant public safety benefits, while setting the Program on a path to
The Action Plan outlines ways of improving the Program's services,
transparency, and accountability. It signals the Government of Canada's
commitment to the firearms control program and responds to the
recommendations made by the Auditor General in her December report.
The Government has already begun to implement these actions. On April 14,
2003, the Canadian Firearms Centre was transferred from the Department of
Justice to the portfolio of the Solicitor General. This is a natural fit for
the Solicitor General portfolio, whose main focus is enhancing public
The Action Plan also stated the Government's intention to consolidate the
headquarters function for the Firearms Program in Ottawa. This has already
On May 30, a Commissioner of Firearms was appointed. Reporting to the
Solicitor General, the Commissioner has full authority and accountability
for all federally administered elements of the Canadian Firearms Program. In
addition, the position of Registrar of Firearms, who has traditionally been
a member of the RCMP, was moved to the Canadian Firearms Centre. The
Registrar reports to the Commissioner of Firearms.
Also, in following with the Action Plan, the Chief Financial Officer
position has been filled. He is responsible for risk analysis, data
integrity and reporting, as well as ensuring that resources are used in
accordance with the Program's financial plan. He must also report on
The Chief Operating Officer position has also been filled. She is
responsible for the overall operations of the Program, including licencing
and firearms registration.
On May 14, 2003, Bill C-10A received Royal Assent. These amendments to
the Criminal Code and the Firearms Act are primarily administrative in
nature and their goal is to streamline the Canadian Firearms Program.
Several of these amendments require new regulations or amendments to
existing regulations before they can take effect. Accordingly, on June 13,
2003, fifteen proposed regulations were tabled in Parliament by the
Solicitor General. All but one of those amend existing regulations. The
tabling of the proposed regulations is another important step in the
continuous improvement of the Firearms Program.
Consultations on the regulations with Parliament and with the public
through the Gazette process are underway. Also, Canadian citizens are
invited to provide feedback and/ or make suggestions respecting Canada's
Firearms Program and the proposed regulations through the Canadian Firearms
Centre Web site.
On June 18, 2003, the Federal Solicitor General announced the
establishment of a Program Advisory Committee, which was a key element
contained in the Action Plan. This Committee is comprised of experienced
individuals external to government with management and systems expertise.
The volunteer members of the Committee provide advice on how to improve
quality of service to the public and the management of the Program. The
Program Advisory Committee held its first meeting in June.
The Canadian Firearms Program will provide an annual report to Parliament
containing relevant information on the Program and which will complement
existing government reports already before Parliament. This is consistent
with a recommendation of the Auditor General, and furthers efforts made
since January 2002 to report more information, including projected costing,
in its Report on Plans and Priorities.
Canadians want strong and sensible firearms laws. They also want a
commitment from us that we will administer this program in the most
efficient manner possible. The Government has made this commitment and as
you can clearly see, is already moving forward with measures to streamline
the program and make it more efficient.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I wish to draw to your
attention the presence in the gallery of participants in the fall 2003 meeting
of the Colloque de coopération parlementaire, from Algeria, Cameroon, Gabon,
Madagascar and Tunisia. On behalf of all the senators, I welcome you.
Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable
senators, I suggest that, on the Order Paper, we begin, under Government
Business, under Bills, with Item No. 2, then move on to Item No. 3, and Item No.
1 under the same heading.
On the Order:
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Robichaud, P.C.,
seconded by the Honourable Senator Rompkey, P.C., for the third reading of
Bill C-6, to establish the Canadian Centre for the Independent Resolution of
First Nations Specific Claims to provide for the filing, negotiation and
resolution of specific claims and to make related amendments to other Acts,
And on the motion in amendment of the Honourable Senator Watt, seconded
by the Honourable Senator Gill, that the Bill, as amended, be not now read a
third time but that it be referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Legal
and Constitutional Affairs.
Hon. David Tkachuk: Stand.
Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government): Question!
The Hon. the Speaker: There is a call for the question. If the
honourable senator wishes the matter to extend one day, he will have to make a
formal motion to adjourn.
Senator Tkachuk: I move the adjournment of the debate until the next
sitting day of the Senate.
The Hon. the Speaker: It was moved by the Honourable Senator Tkachuk,
seconded by the Honourable Senator Stratton, that further debate be adjourned to
the next sitting of the Senate.
This is not a debatable motion.
Senator Robichaud: Honourable senators, I would like some
clarification. When the senator speaks of further debate being adjourned to the
next sitting of the Senate, am I to understand that this means tomorrow?
Senator Tkachuk: It is not debatable.
The Hon. the Speaker: We have a question before us on the motion of
Senator Tkachuk, seconded by Senator Stratton, to adjourn debate. Is it your
pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?
Senator Cools, do you have a question?
Hon. Anne C. Cools: I was pointing out to Senator Day a small mistake
in yesterday's Debates of the Senate concerning him, and so I did not
hear. What is the question?
The Hon. the Speaker: The motion to adjourn.
Senator Cools: To adjourn what?
The Hon. the Speaker: I understand that sometimes we are distracted.
If all honourable senators are listening, I will inform you of the motion by
Senator Tkachuk, seconded by Senator Stratton, to adjourn further debate on Bill
Senator Robichaud: Until tomorrow.
The Hon. the Speaker: I shall now put the question. Is it your
pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?
Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.
Some Hon. Senators: No.
The Hon. the Speaker: I shall put the question in the formal way.
Senator Cools: It was just voted on.
The Hon. the Speaker: It is not a question of privilege but a question
of order, perhaps.
The problem is that we are in the middle of a proceeding. Does it pertain to
the proceeding? Then I will hear you. Senator Gill.
Hon. Aurélien Gill: Honourable senators, Bill C-6 is currently before
us, once again. We know that many questions have been raised. We know that these
questions are a cause for concern to many people, starting with the First
Nations. I think we may be able to make a suggestion or perhaps bring forward a
motion in amendment. If we had one more day to consider the bill, we could
perhaps, tomorrow, move something that might be acceptable to more people.
I cannot give you any specifics because we are in the midst of drafting
something. I know that the senators are quite concerned, and we respect that
The Hon. the Speaker: Senator Gill, I have listened carefully and I do
not believe that is a point of order. There may be, however, a desire on the
part of the house to deal with this under house business, but that would have to
be done with unanimous leave. If you would like to ask for that leave, I will
see whether there is agreement.
Senator Gill: Honourable senators, I am only asking that debate on
this item be adjourned until tomorrow so that it can be discussed.
The Hon. the Speaker: Is leave granted, honourable senators, to
discuss house business?
Senator Robichaud: Honourable senators, Senator Gill does not seem to
grasp the purpose of this motion, which is to adjourn today's debate on the
amendment to Bill C-6 until tomorrow, providing the extension he referred to. We
did not object. I think His Honour was about to put the question.
Senator Kinsella: Honourable senators, that is not what he did.
Senator Robichaud: Well, I thought it had been done.
The Hon. the Speaker: We interrupted a matter to see whether there was
a point of order. There is no point of order. We were discussing house business,
but I really did not put it to honourable senators in a formal way.
Is there leave, honourable senators, at this point in our proceeding, which
is between a motion and dealing with a motion, to continue to discuss house
Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): There is,
honourable senators, a serious point of order. There is a serious question of
how we vote in this place — and nothing is more sacred than how we vote in this
There is nothing in our rules that allows the honourable senator who is in
the Speaker's chair to ask a question twice.
Senator Cools: Right.
Senator Kinsella: The question is put and voice vote is held. If two
senators rise because they want greater clarity and thus a roll call vote, our
rules provide for it. Where in the rules is there a procedure for greater
clarity of "I am going to put the question again," when the question was put
and a voice vote was taken and nobody stood? I would be pleased if that could be
pointed out to me.
The Hon. the Speaker: I will deal with Senator Kinsella's point of
order because it really is a point of information.
Senator Cools: No, it is not.
The Hon. the Speaker: If it is not, I will hear it on the point of
order. It has often been the case in this house when a motion has been put by
the Chair that voices are heard when the question is put. For example, when the
question is put — the question being, "Do you wish to adopt the motion?" —
simultaneously some senators will say yea and others will say nay. That is my
interpretation of what happened. I did not say that the motion was adopted. I
said that I will put the motion, as I often do, in a formal way. The record will
have to stand for itself. If the honourable senators wish, I will ask that the
record be read. Is it your wish that the record be read?
Senator Kinsella: I think we need a point of order ruling. I know
there is reference in the Rules of the Senate to the honourable senator
who is in the chair putting a question twice.
After the question is put the first time, the senator who is in the chair
expresses his or her opinion as to whether the yeas have it or the nays have it,
and that step was not taken. That is a step that should be taken, not to put the
question again. If any honourable senator is in doubt or needs clarification,
the rules provide for two senators to rise and say, "I want the vote taken in a
The Hon. the Speaker: I will hear the point of order. I think it is a
point of information, but let us hear from senators.
Senator Robichaud: I support His Honour's approach to this matter.
This is a current practice in this place, when we are not clear about what the
honourable senators want. When you put the question on the adjournment motion,
we heard some say "yea." I said "nay," and even insisted, because I would
like to see the debate continue. His Honour, to make sure he had heard right,
without putting the question a second time, simply repeated. It is not a matter
of voting twice on the same question, but rather of making sure that the vote on
the question that was put is clear.
The Hon. the Speaker: On the point of order, I will recognize Senator
Cools, and then Senator Prud'homme and Senator Lapointe.
Senator Cools: Honourable senators, there is a very valid point of
order in what Senator Kinsella has raised. I sincerely believe that His Honour
made a genuine mistake. There was no "malintention" on his part. I think he
made a sincere mistake, the consequence of which was to create a slight bit of
disorder here, but something that can be fixed quickly with patience and
Senator Kinsella is absolutely right — the question was put and voices were
expressed. Some said yea and some said nay.
What we have really is a vote in process, a vote proceeding in motion, and it
is simply not to be interrupted by unanimous leave. There is no such phenomenon
as unanimous leave to let someone else speak. I think Senator Gill misunderstood
what was happening, which was an honest mistake.
If, perhaps, senators did not hear the question put, as His Honour put it,
then they could have called for a repetition. At that point, it would have been
perfectly in order for him to repeat the question. However, the fact of the
matter is that there was no difficulty with hearing.
His Honour clearly put the question. The yeas pronounced by voice. The nays
pronounced by voice. All that was left to be done was to complete the process,
which is that His Honour would simply have said, "I think the yeas have it" or "I think the nays have it." At that point, the process would continue. If two
senators would rise, we would move into a recorded vote or not; or perhaps the
whips would rise to say that we would defer the vote.
Honourable senators, once a vote is in motion and it is proceeding, it is in
motion and it should be completed. All that happened is that His Honour
unwittingly interrupted the process and created a little bit of confusion.
The fact of the matter is that the chamber had already pronounced, and the
chamber cannot be asked to vote twice on the same item. It is out of order to do
so. I wish that some of these matters could be clarified so that senators could
understand more clearly the process that is before them.
I would also like to address the business of unanimous leave and unanimous
consent. A lot of people are falling into this mistake of believing that
unanimous consent is a way of expressing a vote. It is not. It is a way of
suspending our rules temporarily. If the chamber wishes to express its will, it
must be expressed in clear ways. However, the fact of the matter is that Senator
Kinsella was absolutely right.
Hon. Jean Lapointe: Honourable senators, I have a question for Senator
Cools. If she knows the rules so well and is keen to enforce them — first, she
should be holding her earpiece instead of talking with her neighbour while
matters are being discussed here — then she should stand for office when His
Honour leaves the Senate. My second question is a very simple one; it is a
Senator Cools: I can start for you, if you want, because you are
highly personal and vastly out of order —
The Hon. the Speaker: Senator Lapointe has the floor.
Senator Lapointe: Instead of chatting while I am talking, listen to
what I have to say. If you have a question, you can ask it once I have finished;
I will gladly answer. In the meantime, I have not finished.
Senator Cools: Point of order!
Senator Lapointe: Rise on your point of order once I have finished.
Senator Cools: Your Honour, no senator is supposed to stand —
The Hon. the Speaker: Senators, the rules are clear. Only one senator
has the floor at a time. Senator Lapointe.
Senator Lapointe: Honourable senators, as a point of order, the
honourable senator should have to step out for five minutes while the other
senator is speaking. That being said, Senator Tkachuk moved adjournment. You
asked whether the adjournment motion was agreed to, and the response was
unanimous. My colleague, Senator Gill, did not grasp the meaning very well. The
issue is not Senator Gill's error or bad timing.
The Deputy Leader of the Government asked Senator Tkachuk until when debate
on this item on the Orders of the Day would be adjourned, and he said tomorrow.
I do not see why we have to spend half an hour talking about it, when the matter
has been resolved. That is my point of view, and I am delighted with it.
Hon. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators,
I have been in this chamber much less than some of you, but certainly long
enough to have some comprehension of the rules and also some understanding of
the common practice of this institution.
What occurred a few minutes ago was really quite simple. Senator Tkachuk put
a motion. His Honour asked for yeas and nays. Interestingly enough, Senator
Cools stood up a few minutes later and did not seem to know what we were talking
about at that particular moment in time, and that is on the record.
I think it is fair to say that Senator Gill was somewhat confused as to just
exactly what the message was that we were trying to do.
His Honour clearly did not have a clear view of whether there were yeas and
nays in equal number, so he did what any rational, reasonable, responsible
Speaker would do — he put the formal question. He asked us to say, in clear and
unequivocal terms, whether we were yea or whether we were nay. When he tried to
do that, we had a point of order. There is no point of order.
Your Honour, in my view and I think the view of the vast majority of the
members of this chamber, you tried to do exactly the logical and reasonable
Senator Tkachuk: I would like to say, Your Honour, that this has been
a very interesting non-debatable motion.
The Hon. the Speaker: Thank you, honourable senators. I will do my
best to sort through this matter. I appreciate your comments on the point of
I will only deal with the point of order that Senator Kinsella has raised and
not the issue of unanimous consent. If honourable senators wish to raise that, I
think I should deal with it as a separate matter.
On the issue raised by Senator Kinsella — and I appreciate Senator Carstairs'
and all senators' comments on this point — he is quite right that when a motion
is put, it is only voted on one time. I believe Senator Carstairs has more or
less correctly described what has happened here and what my position is as your
presiding officer at this time; that is, a motion was made. I think the sequence
was that the question that is normally asked — Is it your pleasure to adopt the
motion? — was put. I heard voices, and I did not have a clear understanding of
which voices were in majority.
Senator Lynch-Staunton: You did not ask.
The Hon. the Speaker: I am sensitive to Senator Gill's strong feelings
about this bill, so I heard him. I thought he might have a point of order; it
would be unusual — I did not think he did, and he did not. What he wanted to do
was intervene to ensure his point was made about this adjournment matter. We did
not get unanimous consent, but we heard him anyway. I think that event is
totally extraneous to Senator Kinsella's question.
The answer to Senator Kinsella's question is either one or the other. Either
I expressed an opinion —
Perhaps, I should ask him whether the motion was adopted?
Senator Lynch-Staunton: You did not express an opinion.
The Hon. the Speaker: To the best of my recollection, I did not
express an opinion.
Senator Lynch-Staunton: You did not.
The Hon. the Speaker: As many voices were heard, I followed a practice
that I have followed on virtually every occasion when I have encountered that
situation. I used the words: "I will put the vote in a formal way."
When it is unclear to me, there is a formal way of putting the vote. That way
is to ask for yeas and nays. I was about to do that when this matter came up
about putting the question a second time.
I believe the solution to this question of whether I said the motion was
passed or not passed will be in the record. I do not believe I have any option
but to ask that the record of that part of the proceeding be reread to the
chamber for purposes of determining whether I said the motion is passed or the
motion is defeated. I will stand by that. That will be the end of it.
To my best recollection, unlike Senator Kinsella who heard it differently, I
did not say that it was passed or defeated but, rather, that I will put the
motion in a formal way.
Could I ask that the appropriate part of the proceeding be reread to the
Senator Lynch-Staunton: The what.
The Hon. the Speaker: Excuse me, it has not been read a first time.
Could the appropriate part of the proceeding be read to the chamber?
What did I say at that point? Did I say, as Senator Kinsella heard, that the
motion is passed, or did I say that the motion is defeated?
Senator Nolin: No. It was not said.
Hon. John Lynch-Staunton: Honourable senators, a voice vote was taken.
Unlike the standard procedure, His Honour did not indicate whether the yeas or
nays had it — at which time, two senators could have risen and asked for a
recorded vote. His Honour said nothing, except that we would have another vote.
The Hon. the Speaker: No, that is not our practice. Our practice is
that we give a fair opportunity for senators to be heard in a voice vote. We do
not leave it to one instant, a fraction of a second, in which to decide. We take
a bit of time. I have followed the practice of providing a fair opportunity for
nays and yeas to be heard every time.
No opinion has been expressed by the Chair on which way the vote went. If two
senators had stood, it would have resolved the issue. No senator stood, and no
opinion has been expressed by the Chair as to whether the motion was adopted.
Senator Lynch-Staunton: The role of the Speaker is to determine which
are the more prominent in a voice vote, the yeas or the nays.
His Honour did not do that. That is a vote. That is a formal vote on a motion
formally put. Since the Chair did not say anything, I can only assume that the
yeas have it. Nobody rose to challenge it. Now, we are to have another vote.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, there cannot be two votes
on the same matter. If the Chair is silent, it does not mean that the vote was
yea or nay. In fact, our practice is that where there is an equality of voices
the nays would have it, the motion would not be adopted. In any event, that is
irrelevant. There has been no decision from the Chair on which way the vote
A vote would not occur until a fair opportunity for senators to be heard had
taken place. I was about to provide that.
Senator Prud'homme is eager to speak to this. I will hear him.
Hon. Marcel Prud'homme: Honourable senators, I shall speak in English
I am at the very end of the chamber, and I heard His Honour very clearly. He
is absolutely right. His Honour said yeas and nays. There were some yeas; there
were some nays. His Honour did not have time to say, "In my opinion," one way
or the other. Two senators could have then risen.
His Honour did not have time to reach that point when Senator Gill rose. We
then went down another track.
I think that His Honour is absolutely right. We did not have time to finish
our procedure. There is no confusion. To me, His Honour was clear. We did not
reach the part that has been done by this Chair since the beginning, namely,
where he says, "In my opinion, the yeas have it," or "In my opinion, the nays
have it." At that time, it would have been up to the senators to rise or not.
If two had risen, we would then have had to have a formal vote.
We did not reach that point because we were completely sidetracked by our
good friend, Senator Gill, who knows now that he was completely out of order on
this issue. We are not supposed to express any opinion during a vote. In all
fairness to everybody, and in my opinion, His Honour could now say, "In my
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I must call an end to the
I will give a ruling on this. You can challenge the ruling if you wish.
Rule 65(1) states:
When a question is put to a vote, the Speaker shall ask for the "yeas"
and "nays" and shall there upon decide whether the question has carried.
In practice, on motions, particularly motions to adjourn, the Speaker does
not stand and say, "Those in favour say yea, those not in favour say nay." The
speaker says, "Is it your pleasure to adopt the motion?" Normally, there is
silence or there is a clear indication by voices of a vote in favour or against.
That did not occur on this occasion. There was no clear indication from the
voices whether the vote was in favour or against when the question was asked,
"Do you wish to adopt the motion?"
When I am not certain and when I have not given an opinion, which I have not,
I will put the vote in a formal way. I then ask for the yeas and nays, and I
make a decision. If the chamber wishes a division, two senators standing will
require a division.
This question has been put but has not been determined because I have given
no indication of whether the motion was passed or defeated.
Senator Lynch-Staunton has taken the position that if it is unclear or if
nothing is said, it means that the motion is passed. I am not aware of any such
rule. In fact, we do have a rule that says that on an equality of voices a
If there were to be an automatic decision, where silence is to be interpreted
as yes or no, it would seem to me that our practice is more consistent with no
than yes. In any event, that is not what happened, and that is not at issue
If honourable senators wish, one senator's voice will be sufficient for the
record to be read to confirm that I did not express an opinion on whether the
vote passed or whether the vote failed. If not, I will put the question in a
On the motion of Senator Tkachuk, seconded by Senator Stratton, to adjourn
debate on Bill C-6 as amended to the next sitting of the Senate, will all those
in favour of the motion please say yea?
Some Hon. Senators: Yea.
The Hon. the Speaker: Will all those opposed to the motion please say
Some Hon. Senators: Nay.
The Hon. the Speaker: The motion is passed.
On motion of Senator Tkachuck, debate adjourned.
Hon. Ione Christensen moved the third reading of Bill C-42, respecting
the protection of the Antarctic Environment.
She said: Honourable senators, 12 years ago, Canada and our partner nations
agreed to a series of measures to protect the global common, that is, the
These measures are in the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the
Antarctic Treaty, which was signed in 1991 in the city of Madrid, and is
commonly known as the Madrid Protocol.
Honourable senators, I rise today to speak in support of Bill C- 42, the
Antarctic Environmental Protection Act. This bill will enable Canada to ratify
and implement the Madrid Protocol.
The Antarctic is a wild and windswept continent that is more than one and
one-half times the size of Canada. Together with its surrounding oceans, the
Antarctic continent truly is the world's largest great wilderness.
Honourable senators, the environmental importance of the Antarctic cannot be
underestimated. Like the Arctic, the Antarctic region is a sensitive indicator
of climate change. The land mass and surrounding waters of the Antarctic provide
essential nutrients to the rest of the world's oceans, supporting life systems
thousands of kilometres away from the South Pole.
It is amazing that a region with the coldest temperatures on earth is home to
so many mammals, birds and fish. Remarkably, the Antarctic sustains marine
mammals such as seals and whales at far greater levels than are found in the
The Antarctic provides an unparalleled natural laboratory for scientists
studying the earth's natural systems. Human activity in the Antarctic is on the
rise with more than 10,000 tourists landing in the Antarctic on an annual basis.
There are dozens of research stations on the continent.
Canadian activities in the Antarctic fall into three general categories:
tourism, science and logistical support. There are two Canadian companies that
lead ecotours to the Antarctic. Collectively, they take a few hundred people to
the region each year. As well, roughly 40 Canadian scientists are involved in
With increasing human activity in the Antarctic comes the threat to the
relatively pristine Antarctic environment in the form of marine pollution, harm
to wildlife, and, of course, the things we humans leave behind — garbage.
The Madrid Protocol is designed to protect the Antarctic environment from
these threats. Canada signed the protocol but has yet to join the 30 countries
that have already ratified it.
Honourable senators, the Madrid Protocol is one of the international
agreements that constitute the Antarctic Treaty System. Canada is a party to the
Antarctic Treaty, which was put in place more than 50 years ago.
The Antarctic Treaty also includes two conventions: the Convention for the
Conservation of Antarctic Seals and the Convention on the Conservation of
Antarctic Marine Living Resources. Canada is a party to both these conventions.
The conservation of fish, which includes the commercial fishing of fish and
other marine living resources, is covered under these conventions and not in the
protocol, which focuses on other aspects of the Antarctic ecosystem.
Honourable senators, it has always been Canada's intent to ratify the Madrid
Protocol. Canadians who are active in the Antarctic have been calling for
ratification since Canada signed the protocol. The Madrid Protocol requires
Canada to regulate Canadian activity in the Antarctic.
Ratifying the Madrid Protocol requires new legislation in order for the
Government of Canada to grant permits for activities in the Antarctic. Bill C-42
is consistent with the approach taken by other nations in the implementation of
the protocol and is consistent with existing federal environmental legislation.
Under Bill C-42, permits to be in the Antarctic are required for all
Canadians, Canadian vessels and anyone who is on a Canadian expedition.
Applications for these permits must be accompanied by an environmental
assessment, emergency plans and waste management plans.
Permits are also required for Canadians who wish to conduct certain
activities that would otherwise be prohibited under the bill, such as being in
specially protected areas or undertaking research that results in contact with
Reciprocity is a key feature of Canada's approach to implementing the Madrid
Protocol. This means that if authorization is obtained for certain activities
under the legislation of another party to the protocol, the activity would be
considered to be authorized under Bill C-42 and a permit would not then be
The bill bans certain activities without exception, such as the introduction
of substances harmful to the marine environment, damage to historic sites and
the open burning of waste. Bill C-42, however, provides exceptions to these
prohibitions in the case of an emergency.
Compliance, promotion and enforcement of Bill C-42 in Canada would be the
responsibility of enforcement officers and inspectors, who would be designated
under the legislation to carry out the inspection of Canadian activities. Should
inspectors find that Canadian activities are being conducted in a manner that is
inconsistent with the bill, those involved in the activities could be prosecuted
Enforcement officers would have similar powers in Canada as those provided
under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act and the Species at Risk Act.
This means that they could have the powers of a peace officer, including
inspection, search, seizure, detention and forfeiture. Offences, penalties and
sentencing provisions would be similar to the approach taken under other federal
environmental legislation. Since the Antarctic is a global commons, policed
cooperatively by parties to the Antarctic Treaty, the powers of enforcement
officers would be limited to Canada.
Honourable senators, it is time for Canada to do its part in the global
effort to protect the vulnerable Antarctic ecosystem and ratify the protocol on
environmental protection to the Antarctic Treaty.
I encourage all honourable senators to support Bill C-42 and to put in place
the legal framework we need to ratify the bill.
On motion of Senator Lynch-Staunton, debate adjourned.
On the Order:
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Day, seconded by
the Honourable Senator Harb, for the third reading of Bill C-25, to
modernize employment and labour relations in the public service and to amend
the Financial Administration Act and the Canadian Centre for Management
Development Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts,
And on the motion in amendment of the Honourable Senator Murray, P.C.,
seconded by the Honourable Senator Oliver, that the Bill be not now read a
third time but that it be amended in clause 12,
(a) on page 145, by replacing line 20, with the following:
"(5) The Governor in Council shall designate, after approval by
resolution of the Senate and House of Commons,"; and
(b) on page 151, by replacing lines 20 to 31, with the
"110. (1) The Chairperson shall, as soon as possible
after the end of each fiscal year, submit an annual report to
Parliament on the activities of the Tribunal during that fiscal
(2) The Chairperson may, at any time, make a special report to
Parliament referring to and commenting on any matter within the
scope of the powers and functions of the Tribunal where, in the
opinion of the Chairperson, the matter is of such urgency or
importance that a report on it should not be deferred until the time
provided for transmission of the next annual report of the
(c) on page 168, by replacing line 11, with the following:
"(4) The Governor in Council shall designate, after approval by
resolution of the Senate and House of Commons,".
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I have a ruling to give on
this matter. We are 10 minutes away from having copies distributed. Could I
indulge honourable senators for that time to reproduce the ruling so that it can
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
The Hon. the Speaker: I hear that it is agreed. Are there any
Hon. Anne C. Cools: Are you asking, Your Honour, to suspend for 10
minutes? What are you really asking for? What you have said is that you need 10
minutes to reproduce the ruling. I take it you are asking us to suspend for 10
The Hon. the Speaker: Yes, that would be a good solution, or we could
go on to another item and return to this later in the sitting, anything that
would give me 10 minutes to have the ruling reproduced.
We could proceed with the ruling now, and I could give part of it. Are we
Senator Cools: No.
The Hon. the Speaker: We are not agreed. Senator Cools would like to
have the ruling before we proceed.
Senator Cools: I think we should proceed in the proper way, Your
Honour, and if the proper way is that you read the ruling, we should indulge you
and suspend for a few minutes to be able to duplicate it properly. It is very
easy to do things properly.
The Hon. the Speaker: I thank you, Senator Cools. The time taken has
resulted in the ruling being copied, and it is now available for distribution.
Accordingly, I will give my ruling.
Honourable senators, yesterday Senator Cools raised a point of order during
debate on the third reading of Bill C-25.
The honourable senator claimed that Bill C-25 required the Royal Consent, but
that the Senate had not been advised that consent had been granted. As I pointed
out in undertaking to give a ruling, Beauchesne, sixth edition, page 213,
paragraph 727, provides:
It will also be seen that a bill may be permitted to proceed to the very
last stage without receiving the consent of the Crown but if it is not given
at the last stage, the Speaker will refuse to put the question.
I have now had a chance to consider the points made by Senator Cools, as well
as the interventions of Senator Carstairs and Senator Kinsella, for which I
Senator Cools read to us paragraph 727(1) of Beauchesne's in which the point
is made that:
The consent of the Crown is always necessary in matters involving the
prerogatives of the Crown.
The Senator clarified for us that her point of order was limited to a
question of the prerogative, and that it had nothing to do with the personal
properties of the Crown, for which the Royal Consent may also be required.
The senator explained that in her view "there is something very wrong in how
Bill C-25 has endeavoured to remove the oath of allegiance. One simply cannot
just obliterate the oath of allegiance as a requirement of public service for
Canadians." She referred to the entitlement of the Sovereign to allegiance and
One may not simply repeal the Sovereign's entitlement to that allegiance
or fidelity by a simple bill.
Honourable senators, if Senator Cools' point is that Canadians owe allegiance
to their head of state, she is of course right. That said, as far as I can see,
Bill C-25 does not abridge the relationship of Canadians to their head of state.
Bill C-25 is not about all Canadians; as the bill's sponsor, Senator Day,
pointed out to us, it is about the public service and about public servants.
Bill C-25 does propose to repeal the requirement in section 23 of the Public
Service Employment Act that every deputy head and employee shall, on appointment
from outside the public service, take and subscribe the oath or solemn
affirmation of allegiance. On the other hand, the bill does not amend the Oaths
of Allegiance Act, section 2 which allows persons to take an oath of allegiance
of their own accord. Section 4 of the act even allows the Governor in Council to
make regulations requiring any person appointed to or holding an office that is
under the legislative authority of Parliament to take an oath of allegiance
notwithstanding that the taking of the oath is not required by any other law.
Senator Cools pointed out to us, correctly, that the law of the prerogative
is most complex. This has required the Chair to consult other texts in addition
to the traditional procedural authorities. My review of the authorities revealed
that the prerogative does sometimes play a role in the relationship between Her
Majesty and public servants.
I would refer honourable senators to such citations as Halsbury's The Laws
of England, first edition, 1909, citation 487 on page 342 of volume 6;
Halsbury's at citation 26 on page 24 of volume 7, as well as Mr. Paul Lorden
Q.C, Crown Law, section 4. I would also refer senators to the 1983 House
of Commons debates at pages 29216 and 29217 with respect to the procedures on
Bill C-171, an act to amend the Garnishment, Attachment and Pension and
These authorities, both British and Canadian, touch on where public servants
may be affected by the prerogative, but none leads us anywhere near the
conclusion that the Queen has a prerogative right to an oath of allegiance from
our public servants.
To conclude, honourable senators, no senator has offered evidence to the
Senate that a prerogative relating to oaths of allegiance by public servants
currently exists. My research has also failed to uncover authority for such a
proposition with respect to the general body of public servants, as opposed
perhaps to distinct officeholders. My conclusion is that no such prerogative
exists in Canada today. This conclusion in no way derogates from the duty of
loyalty that all Canadians, and not just public servants, owe to the Sovereign.
I rule therefore that there is no point of order and that I am not prevented
from putting the question on third reading of Bill C-25.
Resuming debate, Senator Mahovlich.
Hon. Francis William Mahovlich: Honourable senators, I want to bring
to your attention a phrase that was used by the opposition about Jean Chrétien
in the 1993 Liberal Red Book about whistle-blowers. It was going to be in
legislation. The reason I think that it has not been in legislation is that they
have not come up with the right formula or solution, and neither has anyone
Dr. Edward Keyserlingk, one of the witnesses who appeared before the
committee, recommended an incentive for whistle- blowers, and he says this is
one of the reasons we need to do more study. When he starts to study, he will
look at 1917 and find that Bolsheviks in Russia and Lenin and Stalin were all
whistle- blowers. That is how their system grew. As to Kruschev, that is how he
became president. Do we want that system? Of course not. This is why our Prime
Minister is careful in legislation.
The Liberals have followed through with 99 per cent of what they promised in
the Red Book.
Senator LeBreton: What? That is ridiculous.
Senator Mahovlich: The committee heard other witnesses. Sheila Fraser,
the Auditor General, stated that the Office of the Auditor General was pleased
to see that the Treasury Board's expanded role proposed in Bill C-25 would
include reporting to Parliament on human resources management since this would
address some of her concerns about fragmented roles and responsibilities and
reporting. She explained that the proposed changes to the staffing regime would
be consistent with previous reports and findings from recruitment audits done by
the Auditor General.
Many witnesses, and I could name a whole list of them, thought that Bill C-25
was much improved. I can recommend to everyone that this bill should be passed.
Hon. John Lynch-Staunton (Leader of the Opposition): I would like to
ask Senator Mahovlich a question. Is it right to assume that if he has anxieties
about proceeding with whistle-blowing, it is because too many times he was
subjected to it in many of his memorable dashes down the ice?
Senator Nolin: You do not have to answer that one. Say "yes."
Senator Mahovlich: The one thing we do not want here is too many Red
Hon. Jean-Robert Gauthier: The amendment moved by Senator Murray is
almost Cartesian in its logic. It has one minor fault, however: its initial
premise is false. The motion in question proposes that Bill C-25 be amended by
adding to the tribunal attributes that it does not possess. I will explain.
On the Hill, we have five senior officials, the official term for which is
"Parliamentary Officers." I named them yesterday. These five officers are
appointed by Order in Council and are answerable to Parliament, the House of
Commons and the Senate. It is very important to keep that in mind; it is direct.
They do not go through a minister. As for a quasi-judiciary tribunal or other
body, it must of necessity table annual reports, and specific reports on a given
issue, but this is always done through a minister. That minister then tables the
report on behalf of the agency or tribunal in question.
Senator Murray and I do not see eye to eye on his amendment, because Bill
C-25 creates the Public Service Staffing Tribunal from scratch. This tribunal
will have the responsibility of examining complaints and grievances relating to
internal competitions but not external ones. All appointments to the public
service will be the responsibility of the Public Service Commission. Appeals
relating to these appointments may be filed with the commission. Once an
internal appointment has been made, the tribunal will have the responsibility of
settling any dispute or problem. It is important to keep this in mind.
Now, Bill C-25 describes the Public Service Staffing Tribunal, in all its
operational details. The chairperson of the tribunal is to be appointed by Order
in Council, with the approval of both the House of Commons and the Senate.
The reason this tribunal is different is that it has quasi-judicial status,
which is very unusual. It is neither an agent of Parliament nor an officer of
Parliament. It is an administrative tribunal with a status different from that
of an officer of Parliament. I believe that the mission of the staffing tribunal
will be to hear complaints related to abuses of power and to internal
appointments. I repeat: the Public Service Staffing Tribunal is a quasi-judicial
tribunal. The process for appointing the chairperson of the staffing tribunal,
under Bill C-25, is the same as for other chairs of quasi-judicial tribunals. I
have a long list of these quasi-judicial federal tribunals, from the Canadian
Nuclear Safety Commission to the Veterans Review and Appeal Board Canada. If the
honourable senators are interested, I can distribute this list.
Like the other tribunals, the Public Service Staffing Tribunal must report
annually to both Houses of Parliament, through the appropriate minister. I
cannot present a report and lay it on the clerk's table; the report must be
presented by a minister. That is the difference. Parliament can receive reports
on the tribunal's decisions.
The Public Service Commission will continue to protect the merit principle —
period. This situation is very different from the one that existed until now.
Until today, the Public Service Commission heard the grievances of public
servants who appealed the way they had been treated by their employer or during
a competition. The Public Service Commission will no longer have this
responsibility. The tribunal will hear these cases. It is very different.
Back to my main point, the chair of the commission and the chairperson of the
tribunal are not officers of Parliament. They do not have the same status. The
Auditor General, Ms. Fraser, is a classic example. When Ms. Fraser tables a
report in Parliament, we receive it and read it carefully. If a Privacy
Commissioner or a Commissioner of Official Languages gives advice to Parliament,
we must do the same thing and, often, take note of the advice we receive. These
are not ordinary tribunals. They have a special status. If the Chief Electoral
Officer, Mr. Kingsley, says something should be changed, we listen to what he is
saying. I think his recommendations will be carried out. I regret that these
people are ignored and do not come to the Senate and the House of Commons often
I knew a former commissioner, John Grace. During his seven- year mandate, he
was never invited to Parliament and never appeared before a parliamentary
committee. It is hard to understand. I knew others who came often. Ms. Fraser,
the Auditor General, often reports to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts
and the Senate Committee on National Finance, chaired by my colleague, Senator
Murray. We regularly meet with the Commissioner of Official Languages and have
established a good relationship. We are starting to think that we could listen
to the advice of these people to improve a bill presented to Parliament. That is
the case with Bill C-25. We will try to improve the bill by following the advice
of the Commissioner of Official Languages, Dyane Adam.
As for the motion in amendment, I must say that I cannot vote for it, because
I think it distorts the purpose of the public service tribunal. The tribunal is
not an agent or an officer of Parliament; it is a servant.
Since 1867, there has been separation between the judicial branch, the
legislative branch and the executive branch. This must be respected. A
quasi-judicial tribunal such as the public service tribunal must not be
considered an officer of Parliament, for the simple reason that it must be
separate from us. This tribunal will have to administer legislation that is
quite difficult and complex, and I recommend, honourable senators, that you not
approve this amendment, because to me, it is inappropriate.
Hon. Lowell Murray: Since the new Public Service Staffing Tribunal
will perform duties that are within the purview of the Public Service Commission
under the existing legislation and since the commission reports to Parliament,
should the same relationship to Parliament not apply to these duties?
Under the existing legislation, the Public Service Commission must report to
Parliament on how it carries out its duties, including those in the bill. These
duties will now be the responsibility of the new tribunal. That is why I am
trying to amend the bill so that Parliament will have the final word, once
again, on this new body.
Senator Gauthier: The Public Service Commission is responsible for all
appointments. It must report regularly to Parliament. It had the flexibility to
do a number of other things but, as a result of its new duties, it is now
limited to overseeing appointments.
I understand the process, and I agree that this is a de facto situation that
there will be no conflicts of interest. I have always been uncomfortable with a
commission that, on the one hand, was responsible for staffing and, on the
other, could hear grievances. I have never understood how it could have this
dual nature or wear two hats. Now, it has an important duty.
There is always a risk that the new tribunal and the commission, which will
both report to the House of Commons and the Senate each year, will experience
some stressful situations. There will be problems to resolve. There is a
five-year window to try to modernize this process.
This modernization has been in the works for at least 30 years. I have sat on
almost all the committees that considered it. Lambert, Davignon, Fickelman,
everyone agreed on new legislation that is upsetting some people. This bill is a
step in the right direction. I would not want to destroy it or lose it, since it
is good legislation.
Hon. Rose-Marie Losier-Cool (The Hon. the Acting Speaker): Senator
Stratton, do you have a question?
Hon. Terry Stratton: I should like to move adjournment after Senator
Day has finished.
The Hon. the Acting Speaker: Senator Day, do you wish to speak?
Hon. Joseph A. Day: Since I will be speaking against the motion as
well, and since we have only heard speakers opposed to the motion, perhaps it is
time to hear someone in favour of the motion, following which I will speak.
On motion of Senator Stratton, for Senator Comeau, debate adjourned.
Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government), pursuant to
notice of September 23, 2003, moved:
That the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance be authorized to
examine and report upon the expenditures set out in the Supplementary
Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2004.
Hon. Lowell Murray: I wish to inform the Senate that, if this motion
is agreed to, I have called a meeting of the Finance Committee for next Tuesday,
at 9:30 a.m. Our witnesses will be senior officials of the Treasury Board.
The Hon. the Acting Speaker: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators,
to adopt the motion?
Motion agreed to.
Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition) moved the
third reading of Bill S-7, to protect heritage lighthouses.
He said: Honourable senators, Senator Forrestall is currently travelling with
the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence. It is on his
behalf, and at his request, that I move third reading of Bill S-7.
The Hon. the Acting Speaker: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators,
to adopt the motion?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
Senator Robichaud: On division.
Motion agreed to and bill read third time and passed, on division.
Hon. Donald H. Oliver moved the second reading of Bill S-23, to
prevent unsolicited messages on the Internet.—(Honourable Senator Oliver).
He said: Honourable senators, I am pleased to rise to speak to Bill S-23, to
prevent unsolicited messages on the Internet. I wish to address a rapidly
growing problem facing the approximately 7.8 million Canadian households using
An Ipsos-Reid survey released June 11 of this year found that, of an average
of 123 e-mails received by Canadian Internet users each week, an astonishing 52
per cent were unsolicited messages, otherwise known as spam.
A recent National Post article stated that, two years ago, spam
accounted for only 7 per cent of all e-mail, that now it accounts for 50 per
cent and that by February it could amount to 70 per cent.
Honourable senators, the increase in the volume of unsolicited e-mail is
creating a significant problem for businesses, consumers and, potentially, the
future of the Internet.
Unsolicited commercial e-mail encompasses a wide range of Internet traffic.
As a result, it is difficult to assign a specific definition to the concept. In
a discussion paper entitled "E-mail Marketing: Consumer Choices and Business
Opportunities," Industry Canada quoted Australia's National Office for the
Information Economy's working definition of "spam" as "a communication that
could not be reasonably assumed to be wanted or expected by a recipient."
However, I am sure honourable senators have received, on their computers,
e-mails about Viagra and enhancements of certain body parts. Well, that is spam.
Therefore, it is with this understanding of the term that I present this
legislation for the consideration of honourable senators.
What are the various types of spam that prompted me to introduce this
legislation? The Public Interest Advocacy Centre made one suggestion. PIAC is a
non-profit organization that provides legal and research services on behalf of
consumer interests. On March 26, 2003, PIAC published a document that presented
a breakdown of the different types of spam messages sent to Canadians. It found
33 per cent advertised products, like inexpensive ink cartridges; 24 per cent
were financial offers of one kind or another; 18 per cent was advertising for
pornographic or sex sites; 5 per cent were blatantly fraudulent or promoted
scams; and the remaining 20 per cent were ads for various other things.
Canadians received these e-mails without asking for them. As well, there was no
consideration for the possibility of minors being among the recipients of these
sometimes vulgar messages.
Honourable senators, this is unacceptable. Most commercial mail received by
traditional post comes from businesses that consumers already have a working
relationship with, or from a charitable organization or from politicians, et
cetera. I do not believe Canadians would tolerate pornographic magazine
subscriptions or free edible underwear samples turning up in their traditional
post each morning. I do not believe they would appreciate seeing their pre-teen
daughter's name on the address box of a coupon book for diet pills and breast
enhancements. I do not believe for a second Canadians would allow such damaging
messages to enter their homes, yet this is precisely what occurs over the Web.
The Internet is both fluid and borderless. The Internet is pervasive. We all
know of children, grandchildren, husbands, wives and colleagues who use the
Internet every day. It is a popular form of communication and, as such,
governments have been slow and indeed reluctant to enter and control this newest
technological frontier. Most people recognize that Canadian laws alone will not
solve this global problem. Honourable senators, I am the first to agree that
only a multi-disciplined approach using effective technology, law enforcement,
industry practices, and international cooperation can succeed in ending e-mail
abuse. To that end, I have already spoken with companies like Microsoft. They
concur that this type of holistic approach is the best way to proceed against
the problem of spam.
It is time for the Government of Canada to step up and introduce tough
legislation designed to protect citizens and ensure they enjoy the privacy and
control over messages they receive through their e-mail. With this goal in mind
I was prompted to introduce Bill S-23, which is the subject of my comments to
An increasing number of countries are in the process of introducing or
enforcing spam legislation. These countries include South Korea, Australia,
England, the United States, Italy, and member countries of the European Union.
In the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, 30 nations have
tabled guidelines for international cooperation in protecting consumers against
spam sent from other countries.
Canada, on the other hand, does not have laws, rules or regulations in place
specifically designed to cut down on or at least track the source of unwanted
commercial messages. Fortunately, this does not mean that Canadians are left
completely vulnerable to attack. Part 11, section 430 of the Criminal Code of
Canada provides legislation to charge people with mischief if they are caught
sending large volumes of spam that interferes with critical computer systems. If
convicted of this charge, a person may be sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in
prison. However, many of the fraudulent e-mails sent over the Internet emanate
from other countries, rendering the investigation and prosecution of these cases
very difficult, but there is some recent jurisprudence that may be of some
In an Australian appeals case that came before the Supreme Court of Victoria
in October 2000, a New Jersey based Internet publisher was sued in Australia —
not in the United States but in Australia — for publishing defamatory remarks on
his online magazine. The Australian court ruled the remarks were made within the
Australian jurisdiction because that was where the message was downloaded. The
ruling recognized that the publication of an e-mail took place at the location
it was accessed, even if the sender did not particularly have that place in
mind. When the presiding judge came to this decision, the appeal by the New
Jersey company was dismissed. This ruling, I believe, is a precedent that makes
Canada a forum of convenience.
Another problem with spam is protecting a person's private information while
on line. As honourable senators know, there is a large black market operating on
stolen credit cards, driver's licences, bank account numbers and other such
information. In order to obtain this, the spammer sends a message to thousands
of customers claiming to belong to a trusted corporation. The spammer writes
that there is a problem with that company's electronic database and the
recipient is asked to reply to the message with his or her PIN number, their
address, their credit card numbers and other such information typed into the
text. The spammer then uses these numbers to make other on-line purchases in
that person's name.
An incident of this type occurred recently in the United States. On July 21,
Reuters reported that the Federal Trade Commission charged a 17-year-old boy for
using a fake America On Line Web page and spam e-mail to collect peoples' credit
card information. In the report, the boy told recipients of his e-mail that they
needed to update their AOL billing information. He instructed them to click on a
link connected to a fake "AOL Billing Centre" Web page. When the page came up
on their screen, recipients were instructed to enter their credit card numbers,
their mother's maiden names, their billing addresses and social security
numbers, bank routing numbers, credit card limits and AOL screen names and
passwords. The boy then used this information to make thousands of dollars worth
of on-line purchases, with other people's credit cards.
These thieves steal all of this by way of personal computer and the Internet.
To try to combat this theft, the Working Group on Electronic Commerce and
Consumers created "The Principles for Consumer Protection for E-commerce: A
Canadian Framework." The working group, developed through Industry Canada, is
composed of government, consumer and business associations. The principles
introduced by the working group are another piece of legislation designed to
protect Canadians from electronic attacks. Principle 7 states:
Vendors should not transmit commercial e-mail without the consent of
consumers, or unless a vendor has an existing relationship with a consumer.
Unfortunately, this is only a principle and it is simply a suggestion that
companies and spammers are not really required to obey. In order to convince
Canadians their government is trying to solve the problem, compliance with the
regulations must be enforceable and mandatory. That is why I feel we need
legislation like Bill S-23.
On January 1, 2003, the Canadian Personal Information Protection and
Electronic Documents Act came into force. The act was written to protect
information from being used by spammers and scam artists on the Internet. It
also established a right to the protection of personal information collected,
used or disclosed in the course of commercial activities. Under the provisions
of the act, electronic mail addresses are considered personal information and
therefore protected according to the act. However, like the Criminal Code, this
privacy legislation applies only to organizations and persons located in Canada.
The rules concerning the collection and the use of personal information varies
widely from country to country, and because of this enforcement of the act is
difficult at best and impossible most of the time. This is another reason for
seeking a multi- disciplined approach to curb the spam epidemic.
There are countless examples of recommendations, guidelines, educational
pamphlets and Web sites operated by Internet service providers, ISPs, that
attempt to educate consumers on how to better protect themselves from spam. I
say, enough of these lukewarm attempts. Bill S-23 will enable ISPs , law
enforcement agencies and individual citizens to demand spammers to stop sending
messages. The bill will also give Internet users the right to bring criminal
charges and to take civil actions against spammers who do not stop spamming.
First, I will say a word on ISPs. Internet Service Providers are those
companies who provide the link between an individual computer and the Internet.
In one sense, the Internet is like a highway. In order to move your computer —
or in this instance, your "car" — onto the highway, you use an on-ramp. ISPs
are the metaphorical on-ramp. Like our highways, there are literally thousands
of ISPs in Canada. Some, such as America Online, EarthLink, Bell Sympatico and
Rogers, are large mega- corporations. Others are independently run, very
localized operations — perhaps servicing only a few dozen customers.
There are three specific areas of my proposed spam control bill that I wish
to bring to honourable senators' attention. Those are: the rules recommended for
ISPs, the regulations required to control those who send bulk unsolicited
commercial e-mail, and the penalties suggested for those who violate these laws.
As can you imagine, many Canadians willingly agree to receive certain
commercial e-mail. Companies such as MSN, eBay, Victoria Secret and newsgroups
that send out newsletters, subscriptions and catalogue notices to on-line
customers will be able to continue doing so without fear of legal recourse under
this proposed legislation. These e-mail messages are not spam; Canadians have
requested them when they have registered on company Web sites.
Most companies realize that it is bad business to annoy customers and so
there are provisions to allow customers to remove their names from a mailing
list at any time. These provisions include, but are not limited to, an
"unsubscribe" box located at the end of each e-mail. When the user clicks on
the box, a notice is sent to the company telling it to remove the customer's
e-mail address from the company mailing list. Another method to let customers
remove their names from a mailing list is to provide a link labelled "unsubscribe" in the advertisement. When a customer activates the link, an
automatic e-mail is sent to the company's database and, again, the customer's
e-mail address is subsequently removed from the mailing list.
The legislation I am proposing would prohibit only those e- mails sent
without prior, explicit consent from the recipient. This is similar to the
mandatory opt-in approach being used in the European Union. The best way to
explain this confirmed opt-in approach is to use the Coalition Against
Unsolicited Commercial Email's, CAUCE, published explanation and definition.
CAUCE Canada is an organization created by Canadians to advocate for a
legislative solution to the problem of spam on the Internet. CAUCE Canada
describes the opt-in process as occurring when — and I quote:
...an e-mail address is provided to a company as an addition to a mailing
list. The owner of the address is notified of this action, and asked to
confirm they actually wish to be subscribers to the list. Only when
confirmation is received is the address actually placed on the mailing list.
This way, only people who wish to receive the information will sign up to
receive it. By using the opt-in approach, spam is easily identified. If the
sender does not have permission, his or her message is unsolicited e-mail and
prohibited under Bill S-23. It could be as simple as that.
The legislation requires also that a no-spam list be created. This will
provide a database where users can state their desire not to receive any
unsolicited commercial e-mail. The list will be protected and updated by a
regulatory association. In order to enter an address into the no-spam list, a
user would log on to a Web site and fill in a registration form. When the form
is completed, it is downloaded to the database. Users would be given a password
to allow them future access to their file. This way, if a user wants to be
removed from the no-spam list and to receive commercial e-mail once again, he or
she may do so.
All e-mail marketers would be required to respect the confidentiality of the
database. This means that no commercial e-mail could be sent to a user who has
registered on the no-spam list. Spammers would be charged if they were found to
have done so. Similarly, a proven violation of the confidentiality of the no-
spam list would result in charges being brought against the violator. In other
words, if the regulating association were found to be selling or trading
addresses on the no-spam list it could be subject to both criminal and civil
Honourable senators should note that Bill S-23 is designed to be very
protective of Canadian children. In order to do so, the no- spam list would
include an extra option for parents. Parents would be able to mark their
children's address or addresses as belonging to a minor and have them stored in
a designated area of the database. Penalties for sending pornographic,
fraudulent or otherwise inappropriate material to these addresses are more
severe for the violators.
Businesses and ISPs are beginning to address the problem of spam, but it is
difficult to find a way of filtering junk mail without accidentally blocking
messages that the user wants to receive. There is no filter on the market today
that can clearly identify junk mail from wanted mail. The majority of Canadians
agree that spam is annoying. An Ipsos-Reid survey indicated that four out of
five Canadian Internet users — 83 per cent of those surveyed — have registered
to receive e-mails from at least one Web site. This is a 39 per cent increase
from December 2001. The most popular sites from which to receive commercial
e-mail are news and information, entertainment, travel, and health and fitness
Web sites. By allowing Canadians the right to opt in, companies could adapt
their e-mail messages to resemble the magazine industry — only those who
subscribe receive the information.
In addition to the opt-in approach, ISPs have been developing various methods
to filter out spam before it reaches their customers' inboxes. These techniques
range from blocking e- mails that contain specific worlds, such as penis, to
encouraging customers to report spammers to their ISPs. Under the regulations
imposed by this bill, each e-mail sent to a customer must have a valid return
address and sender name. Each e-mail must also contain correct header and router
information. As honourable senators know, a number of the spam e-mails have
neither header nor router information. Any e-mail coming through an ISP system
could be screened for these items. Those messages that do not qualify would not
be passed on to the customer.
Internet industry stakeholders have already taken aggressive steps to cut
down on volume of unsolicited commercial e-mail. I am aware that providers of
free e-mail services have adopted stricter policies to limit the number of
e-mails sent by their subscribers. I applaud these efforts. Unfortunately, they
have not been effective in stopping spam from reaching in-boxes. Therefore, a
multidisciplined approach to spam is required to effectively stop it.
Similarly, Bill S-23 deals with a relatively hidden practice — that of
spammers harvesting or collecting e-mail addresses from the Internet. This is
done by placing a specialized program onto a Web site. Most often, the programs
are called "bots" or "cookies." Every time a person enters a Web site where
one of these programs has been placed, the bot or the cookie records the
person's e-mail address and other such information. The spammer can then compile
lists of millions and millions of e-mail addresses and sell them to others for a
profit. To solve this problem, there is a clause in the bill before honourable
senators that prohibits the use of such software, such cookies.
In addition to this clause, there is software available that identifies and
deletes these bots and cookies. It can be found at www.ad-aware.com. The program
itself is free, but because some Internet users are not experts at downloading
and installing such programs, its effectiveness against spam is somewhat
Since most spam is sent from another country into Canada, the bill before
honourable senators has a clause dealing with those who spam Canadians from
other countries, such as Nigeria. Clause 14 of the bill states:
If a person initiates spam from any place in a manner that allows it to
be received in Canada, and it is received by another person in Canada, then,
for the purposes of section 11,
(a) the person who initiated the spam is deemed to have sent
it to the other person, whether or not the person had a specific intent
that the other person should receive it, and whether it was initiated
within or outside Canada; and
(b) the act of sending is deemed to have been effected in
Honourable senators, by this language, the bill is intended to eliminate the
fear of spammers creating havens in other countries. This clause was included in
the bill as a direct result of the Australian defamation case that I described
to honourable senators earlier in my remarks.
The penalties suggested in the bill for those who send spam vary. General
violations, found in subclauses 11(a) to (h) as well as to 12(a)
to (e) are liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $500. These
offences include: sending spam that is not identified as such; sending spam to
an e-mail address that has a no-spam list on it; and sending spam that does not
contain a means for the recipient to opt out of future messages.
The fines and punishments are harsher for spammers who target children with
sexually explicit messages and other forms of spam. It is suggested that these
spammers could be charged with a fine of up to $5,000 and/or imprisonment for a
term not exceeding one year.
Finally, spammers found to be sending pornographic or fraudulent e-mail will
be subject to prosecution under subclause 13(2) of the bill. This subclause
includes penalties of $1,000 fines, a jail term of up to six months, or both a
fine and a jail term if the crime is particularly repugnant.
When Bill S-23 comes into force, Internet service providers will be required
to have a licence granted to them by an independent, self-regulating,
not-for-profit association. A condition of this licence would be to continue
blocking and filtering all commercial messages. ISPs would be prevented from
selling or trading subscriber e-mail addresses to marketers, regardless of
whether or not those subscribers were on the no-spam list. Any business or ISP
allowing solicitations of their clients' addresses without documented proof of
consent would be subject to criminal charges.
There are penalties for ISPs found to be in violation of these regulations.
ISPs that violate these regulations would have their licensing and operating
privileges revoked. Fines for ISPs that repeatedly allow spamming of their
customers are outlined in the bill. It is suggested that these fines not exceed
Honourable senators, it is important to note that there are clauses in Bill
S-23 protecting ISPs from being sued for damages. As the old saying goes,
"Don't shoot the messenger." Consumers must be aware that some spammers may
develop methods of circumventing filters and measures put into place to block
bulk e- mail.
Eliminating spam will not be an easy task. However, with the aid of the
Canadian public, Internet service providers and the Canadian government, spam
can be reduced from a problem that consumes a great deal of time and money to a
In order to demonstrate how much spam costs the population, I will quote
American Democrat Senator Charles Schumer, one of the two senators who represent
New York. Senator Schumer recently introduced an anti-spam bill into the U.S.
Senate. During the introductory process the senator said:
Ferris Research estimates that spam costs businesses in the United States
of America $10 billion a year from a variety of sources:
I. Lost Productivity: This costs business an estimated $4 billion a
II. Consumption of IT resources: Staff time and equipment purchases
like more powerful servers, increased bandwidth and disk space costs
businesses $3.7 billion per year;
III. Help Desk Incidents: Efforts to eliminate spam or locked
in-boxes cost businesses $1.3 billion in help desk activity per year.
The situation is much the same here in Canada. Some estimates indicate that
spam costs Canada more than $1 billion each year.
Honourable senators, this is precisely the reason I am proposing Bill S-23.
In spite of the best efforts of ISPs, the spam problem has not been solved. In
spite of guidelines and polite reminders of Internet etiquette, the spam problem
has not been solved. In spite of increased attempts at consumer education and
the development of filtering software, the spam problem has not been solved.
By introducing this private members' bill into the Senate, we are sending a
strong message to spammers: "Not in our country."
Hon. Jerahmiel S. Grafstein: Honourable senators, I followed with
great interest what Senator Oliver had to say.
How would this proposal impact small businesses that now use the Internet to
get out their message? Put another way, would this bill put those who are
already entrenched in the Internet, such as eBay or Amazon, in a preferred
position because they already have their customer lists and consent? Therefore,
would the bill provide an unfair disadvantage to new start-ups, particularly in
Canada, who use spam as a method of increasing or starting up their business on
a cost-effective basis?
Senator Oliver: Honourable senators, this bill would in no way
interfere with a small or start-up business. There is no advantage given to an
existing business such as eBay.
If you and your family do not want to receive a call at home when are you
having your dinner, you can now register to refuse those calls. That does not
mean that eBay or a start-up business will not have a better chance. You have
the right to opt out. Even eBay cannot contact you if you opt out.
There is no advantage whatsoever to an incumbent or someone who is already
there with the list.
Hon. Jean Lapointe: Honourable senators, I listened very carefully
indeed to Senator Oliver's speech, and not once were computer viruses mentioned.
My question is the following: Can a virus make their way into a computer through
I take this opportunity to caution the honourable senators who are listening
in against a very dangerous virus that is currently circulating. It is called
Microsoft and presents itself in the form of an attachment containing an update.
It says, "Use this patch immediately." Never open that page. You will be
Do viruses come with spam?
Senator Oliver: The answer is clearly yes. Many computer viruses come
with spam. That is why you should not open spam.
The difficulty is that some spam messages that appear on the computer look
innocent. They may say, "Dear Don, I need your help," or "Dear senator,
please open this. I read your speech. Please help me." It is opened, and
suddenly there is a virus. There is no way of knowing.
The answer to your question is yes, spam messages often contain viruses.
The Hon. the Speaker: It is Wednesday. I would like to see this item
adjourned, if that is okay, Senator Robichaud?
Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable
senators, today we would like to continue with all the items we have on the
I suggest that we seek consent to authorize those committees sitting today to
do so even though the Senate is sitting.
Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable
senators, we on our side have no objection to committees sitting today. At the
same time, I would like to reassure all honourable senators that no final
decision will be made about any specific item on the Order Paper that is of
particular interest to them.
The Hon. the Speaker: Before I ask for leave, I will hear Senator
Hon. Marcel Prud'homme: Honourable senators, this goes directly to the
subject matter; either we absent ourselves and go to committee or perform our
duty in very important debate here. I pay attention to every item out of respect
for my colleagues, because it is the only way to learn on subjects where I need
However, I have my duty in the Banking Committee. If I do not go to the
Banking Committee, I know what vicious people have done to me in the past. They
will say, "He has to be on the Foreign Affairs Committee," for which I have
asked for nine years. I was deprived. Now I am a member of the Banking Committee
and they will say, "He will not show up." I will be considered to be absent
from an important committee at four o'clock. That is where my duty calls; but I
cannot let certain items here go without listening and commenting just because
the rule has been intelligently made to allow committees to sit. How many times
will we be nice to each other and say, "Okay, they are important items and out
of respect, senators should be present?"
I will never mention senators who are absent. I am here; and the senator,
with all his kindness, is helping me in my reflections, but he makes me a little
bit more furious by saying, for instance, that if there are two matters of great
interest to me under my name, he is ready. I appreciate his courtesy in saying
that on those two items we will adjourn. Thank you very much, Senator Kinsella,
but I am interested in listening to other debates. Some of them are very
important to Senator Joyal and to Senator Grafstein, who has two items. I can
name you all, and I will give you all equal credit, equal merit and equal
respect. I do not pick and choose. The rules say that no earlier than 3:30, and
therefore committees are at four o'clock. Now you are putting us in the
embarrassing position of saying no to colleagues who are waiting to speak. They
can speak tomorrow.
Senator Kinsella: No, I cannot.
Senator Prud'homme: If the honourable senator cannot speak tomorrow he
should have asked me to accommodate him. He is helping me in my decision to say
no. It is like another fine gentleman who today said, "next sitting." I am
eager to see who will be here tomorrow for other items, and next week.
We have a rule, honourable senators and with all due regret, I will say no.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, agreement would have to be
from every senator. Accordingly, we have no agreement.
Resuming debate, Senator Poulin.
On motion of Senator Poulin, debate adjourned.
The Hon. the Speaker: Senator Gauthier has asked for the floor to
Hon. Jean-Robert Gauthier: I would like to make a comment on Bill C-25
and on Senator Murray's amendment. I would like to rectify my comments in order
to clarify them.
I said that the President of the Public Service Commission has to be
appointed by the Governor in Council with the approval of both chambers. When it
came to the tribunal I got a bit confused. In this case, it is only an
appointment by Order in Council, and Parliament is not involved.
The Hon. the Speaker: Is it agreed to add Senator Gauthier's comments
to the record on his exchange with Senator Murray?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
Hon. Marcel Prud'homme: Honourable senators, we were supposed to
adjourn to go to committee. I did not give consent for the committee to start
sitting at four o'clock. The Banking Committee is sitting, and it needs
permission to sit, to my best recollection. We usually get up at 3:30. We let it
go until 4, because we could still run to the Banking Committee, or other
committees. The honourable senator asked, and I said no. Maybe I should have
said "non," but my no is equal to my "non." I do not see why it should
proceed — agreement or not.
Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government): On
Wednesday, we ask whether debate on all items on the Order Paper can be
adjourned in order to allow committees to sit. The committee notices indicate a
specific hour, but they also indicate "when the Senate rises."
Senator Prud'homme: But not before 3:30 p.m.
Senator Robichaud: We did not obtain consent, so the committees do not
have leave to sit. We will continue our work in the chamber and the committees
will sit once the Senate has risen.
Hon. Jerahmiel S. Grafstein moved the second reading of Bill S- 22,
respecting America Day.
He said: Honourable senators, I rise to speak on the second reading of Bill
S-22, a bill to designate each September 11 hereinafter as "America Day" in
Canada. Surely, honourable senators, September 11, 2001 was burned and branded
in all of our memories as one day that changed the world. It will go down as yet
another "day of infamy." No doubt, the American world has changed. No doubt,
the Canadian world has changed. The world has changed. Proof is before us every
day. Read any newspaper in the world today, or daily, and each will resonate
forcefully about 9/11, the impact of 9/11.
So, is it not fitting to mark September 11 as America Day in Canada?
September 11 should be a day of sober commemoration and sober reflection, and
even celebration of our common values, and a clear exegesis of our complex
differences and the nuances of those differences.
Some have even argued that we should separate ourselves from the United
States. They argue that we should deploy our so-called "soft power" to turn
away from America and its so-called "hegemonic" reach, and so side with
others, move to other allies. We should wean ourselves off the United States,
they argue. Yet, we are joined with the United States by more than geography. We
are joined by blood ties, personal relationships, and yes, trade, and yes,
culture, and yes, we are joined by regional ties, by ties between our working
unions and, of course, by business and even charitable ties and beyond.
We discovered recently that there are millions of Americans of Canadian
origin living in every corner of the United States — from Alaska to Florida,
from Maine to California — and we, in Canada, do not even know how many. I
believe, and there is no doubt in my mind, that Canada's largest diaspora lives
in the United States and we still do not know how many. Yet, we are joined by a
common desire, with the United States, for the future democracy and the rule of
law at home and abroad. Our governance principles originate from the same
profound Anglo- Saxon sources of checks and balances and separation of powers.
Our governance models share a healthy scepticism of the human condition when
it comes to the exercise, indeed the temptations, of power. Together, Canada and
the United States have helped construct international mechanisms to foster peace
and prosperity — the ILO back in the '30s, NATO in the '40s, OSCD, OSCE and many
others. We are joined by our common interest in a peaceful and prosperous
continent as a bright beacon to the globe. We should not be deterred when that
light flickers or flares from time to time.
On September 11, not only was America attacked, but also Canadians were
murdered — 24, and two spouses. Every faith — Christian, Jewish, Muslim and
others — shared equality that day. They shared equally murderous treatment. It
was an act of ultimate brutality. It was an act against innocence. It jolted and
unhinged civil society around the world.
Senator Dandurand was an august leader of the Senate after World War I. His
majestic portrait adorns our hallway outside this chamber. After World War I, he
became the President of the League of Nations in Geneva for a term of office
while a sitting senator. During his tenure, he inaugurated the first
codification of international law at the League of Nations. That work was never
completed. He proclaimed 70 years ago that our Canada House, separated as we
were by the Atlantic Ocean, was safe and secure from the flames of Europe.
What Senator Dandurand said is no longer true. Oceans provide no protection.
Today, we are interconnected with the world. No place, no space, is safe or
secure around the globe.
Honourable senators, I propose September 11 as a day of reflection, a day to
re-examine the past and what brought us to this frightening turn of events, and
to reflect on our future. September 11 was a watershed in modern world history,
and we still cannot measure its reach or its meaning.
Those of us who believe that Parliament is the supreme arbiter of public
opinion also believe it is up to Parliament to allow the public to interact with
debates, especially those of historic import. Let us debate; let us argue; let
us agree and, of course, let us disagree. However, let Parliament — let the
Senate — speak. Hopefully, senators will speak up for themselves and listen with
care, as we do in the Senate, for public opinion.
There are questions and questions. Who is Canada's best friend and ally? Do
we have one? I believe a predominant number of Canadians would answer: "The
U.S.A." Let us discover what the public, informed by our debates, thinks. I
propose that we invite Canadians to log on to our recently launched Senate Web
site and note their views during the Senate debate so we can inform ourselves of
their views on this bill. We can do this readily and easily by transforming our
Web site into an interactive one so that interactivity with the public can be
feasible on this and future debates.
As for Canada-U.S. relations, the Canadian public has always led politicians.
I witnessed that in our joyous visit called "Canada Loves New York" on
November 30, 2001, after 9/11, when over 26,000 Canadians voluntarily gathered
from across Canada to take up Mayor Giuliani's invitation to help America by
visiting New York City.
I saw that when thousands upon thousands of Americans were marooned and
Canadians spontaneously opened their homes and their hospitality to them in
Eastern Canada after 9/11.
I saw that this summer in Toronto at the Rolling Stones concert, Toronto
Rocks, when hundreds of thousands of Canadians joined tens of thousands of
Americans who came to Toronto to help erase the inflated SARS global message
that had so scorched Canada as a tourist destination, devastating Canadian
workers and their businesses from coast to coast.
By the way, we saw Americans and Canadians by the thousands munching healthy
Canadian barbecued beef, all televised by the American media. That message went
right to Congress.
Honourable senators, the Canadian public and the American public will
surprise you every time. Commemorate September 11 and we, honourable senators,
may be surprised by the response of the average Canadian and average American.
We have yet to learn the lessons of September 11. We have yet to ensure that
history will not repeat itself. Was September 11, 2001, a continuation of the
First World War of the 21st century? What future can we expect from cults who
believe in the murder of innocents? What can we do when states appease or
collaborate with these cults or groups within those states? What can be done? We
should listen; we should learn. This I do know: Principles and people march best
when they march together.
Let us mark September 11 as "America Day." While some may seek to rip us
apart, nothing can change our geography. Over 150 million bilateral trips occur
annually across our common border each and every year. Why is that? Is it
because of common animosities, or common interests?
Nothing can change our common values. Nothing can change our common
bloodlines. Nothing can change our bonds of friendship. Nothing can change our
deepening mutual socio- economic interest in each other as closest neighbours.
Yes, we are each other's largest trading partner. We do 87 per cent of our
trade with the United States, and that number is growing. There is much more.
Yes, we enjoy many distinctions and differences. Yes, we are proud and
independent Canadians. Yet these should not preoccupy and obsess us to the
detriment of the common good. Let us remember that Canada was built on the
principles of peace, order and good governance. Peace and order cannot be
separated from good governance. Good governments cannot be separated when we
share more in common than even some dare to describe or suggest.
I am proud of our differences. I cherish our independence. I relish our
distinctions. Yet, our claims of sovereignty and independence ring hollow if we
rely on others and fail to bear the burdens of the costs of sovereignty. We
should not neglect to bear the costs of our own sovereignty and our own
security. If we are confident, we should not be afraid to treat or challenge our
American friends in a civil matter that is the benchmark of Canadian society. We
should not be afraid and not be ashamed to trumpet our common principles. We
should not be afraid to praise America as a bulwark of democracy for fear civil
criticism of them or ourselves. This is the very rationale of Parliament, to
express ourselves fully, fairly and thoughtfully as senators on the raging
issues of the day from the particular perspective of senators and this Senate.
Last week, Robert Fulford, Canada's pre-eminent cultural critic in English
Canada, echoed Paul Johnson, the brilliant British journalist and outstanding
historian, and Jean François Revel, the French writer and philosopher, who all
agree that hypocrisy in Canada and Europe condemning all things American has
become the conventional wisdom of the anti-American chorus of critics. I call it
the "Anti-American Camp." Revel called it "l'obsession anti-Américain."
Johnson said: "It is based on the powerful and irrational impulse of envy — an
envy of American wealth, power, success and determination." Robert Fulford
concludes that in France and Canada anti-Americanism is like the unique French
beverage absinthe. He said: "It's exciting, it's satisfying and it's built into
cultural history. But it does tend to leave you blind."
This week, Matthew Fraser, the editor of the National Post, in his new
book Weapons of Mass Destraction, argued insightfully that global
American trade and culture have been a healthy harbinger of the growth of
democracy around the globe.
Honourable senators, can we not burrow beneath the shallow rhetoric to
uncover the deeper malaise in our Canadian psyche that seems to seek refuge and
comfort in the Freudian concept of "transference," blaming others for our own
deficiencies, especially our American neighbours? It is so easy now to gang up
on America. It is tougher to catch the ear of America when we use ill-
Honourable senators, I hope this bill will inaugurate the debate. Let us, in
the end, support the bill that marks September 11 hereafter as "America Day"
in Canada. Annually, then, we can carefully calibrate and celebrate — if we
must, if we can — the complex web of close relationships and differences with
the U.S., differences with that global dynamo to the south, the United States of
Honourable senators, I know we will be civil and insightful. Canadians need a
thoughtful framework in this broad debate. Canadians want to be informed. They
want the Senate to elucidate. We want the public to understand the issues
clearly. We want the public to follow this debate. We must live up to our
reputation as a chamber of careful thought, which we and the Canadian public so
I should now like to adjourn this debate in the name of Senator Eyton, unless
there are questions.
Hon. Laurier L. LaPierre: I have a comment or a question. Is that
permissible? The honourable senator's experts are, to my mind, rather
insignificant, and consequently I will remove them out of my head. Matthew
Fraser has nothing useful to tell anyone on the planet Earth.
As well, I should like to remind the honourable senator, if I may, that
"America" is a hemisphere; it is not the United States. In the hemisphere,
there are two continents, the north and the south. Consequently, when we talk
about America, we are referring to the people who live here, the people who live
in the United States, the people who live in Mexico, and the people who live all
the way down to wherever it is that it ends.
I make that point because I think that is very important. I am not in favour
of this. However, I am in favour of utilizing September 11 for the essential
lesson it gives to all of us on the planet.
I would caution the honourable senator against making a mistake similar to
the one that so many people make — that is, labelling anyone who criticizes
Israel as being anti-Semitic. When people criticize the Bush administration and
certain things American, they are now being labelled anti-American, and this is
an opinion that is indoctrinated in the newspapers that belong to a certain
owner in Canada who shall remain nameless.
My question is this. Why does not the honourable senator, after speaking so
eloquently about the lesson of September 11, have us all spend a day thinking
about the necessity for us all to battle terrorism, wherever it is, now,
yesterday, and tomorrow?
I would ask the honourable senator to consider calling his bill about
September 11 "Anti-terrorism Day," so that all Canadians and all of humanity
can come together and think seriously of this horrible, horrible thing that is
terrorism. It is not only specific to America. Hundreds of thousands of Black
people have died since the 1900s in Africa. Chileans have died. Other people
have died all over the planet because of terrorism.
If the honourable senator wants that day, which I think he should, it is not
"America Day." It is not only America that suffers terrorism; terrorism is
everywhere. Consequently, if the honourable senator would sit down and think
about my suggestion, Anti-terrorism Day and our responsibility in battling it —
think locally and act globally, as we used to say in my youth — then I think the
bill would pass unanimously within two seconds.
Senator Grafstein: Again, thank you for that elaborate question. Let
me just correct one factual comment. The honourable senator can dismiss Matthew
Fraser, as he has, if he chooses to do so. I think it would be more useful for
the senator to read his book before he dismisses him. Having said that, I do not
think it is fair for the honourable senator to also dismiss Robert Fulford, Paul
Johnson of the U.K., or Jean François Revel.
Having said that, the honourable senator made a very valid point that I think
affirms my position. He says that this day should be called something else but
not "America Day," and he makes my point that America is a continent. It
includes the United States. It includes Canada. To my mind, this emphasizes
exactly what I am saying. What happened in the continental United States deeply
affected Canadians as well as Americans.
As for my views on terrorism, I do not think I have to stand up in this
Senate and talk about them. It is deeper than terrorism. It goes to the very
structure about how to combat terrorism. If the senator chooses, as he has so
eloquently done, to disagree with my argument about this, so be it. I shall have
an opportunity to respond at the end of the day. I welcome his comments and his
Hon. Jean Lapointe: Honourable senators, I would like to congratulate
Senator Grafstein on his courage and his work in the Senate. I consider him one
of the most serious and most dedicated senators. Nevertheless, when it comes to
the Americans, I would have great difficulty in creating an America Day.
Since early childhood, I have admired the American people greatly, and
admired their patriotism as well. We do not often see a Canadian put hand over
heart during the national anthem. In the United States, we see it often. I have
great admiration for the Black people who rose up out of slavery, thanks to
people like Kennedy and others.
But this neighbour, which calls itself our great ally, because of one mad
cow, has victimized our farmers and squeezed hundreds of millions of dollars out
of them, in the West, in Quebec and elsewhere.
In the matter of softwood lumber, if we do not take the economic measures
they want, we get dragged though the mud. I have many objections to declaring
September 11 America Day.
That said, I cannot hide my great admiration for the people of the United
States, but I have reservations about the politicians who are currently leading
Senator Grafstein: I want to get underneath the issues. Again, I thank
the senator for his comments. As to the issues of Canada- U.S. trade, I am as
aware of those issues as anyone else in this room. I have been working on that
dossier since the day I first came to the Senate, 19 years ago, most recently
the last 10 years as Chairman of the Canada-U.S. Inter-Parliamentary Group.
We should not bring the Speaker into this, but the Speaker, in his previous
life, was also a very active member of this committee. He will understand, as
will other members who served on the committee, that those trade problems
represent less than 5 per cent of our total trade with the United States. They
are real problems, and they affect jobs in Canada.
I discovered, to my amazement, that if you go down to the United States and
invite them up here at the congressional level, you get a different picture than
you get from the executive. Their executive is cool to our executive. However,
there is a different picture and a much more open and understanding exchange. I
hope this bill will foster a deeper respect and a deeper exchange between
The point I should like to make to the honourable senator, which he might
find of historical interest, is that I came across the question of Americans of
Canadian origin in the United States, and they are in the millions, because of
the work done by the Quebec government. The Quebec government has done a lot of
research about the impact of migration from Canada to the United States. Many of
the borders, many of the cities, many of the states, many of the counties have
French-Canadian names. Why? Because of the admirable voyages of discovery made
across America by French Canadians. As a matter of fact, the Lewis and Clark
expedition that led to the United States expanding from coast to coast was led
by a French Canadian guide.
I would hope that, in the course of this debate, we would raise this issue as
an important issue to American consciousness and be able to say, "Look, there
are deep Canadian roots in the American experience." I discovered, for example,
that the new co- chair of the Canadian-U.S. parliamentary group is named Senator
Crapo, spelled C-R-A-P-O, and I said, "Excuse me, sir, that is a French
Canadian name." He said, "Yes, it is, but I have not fully checked the roots
of my name." I reminded the new senator from Idaho of the possible deep roots
that he shares with Canadians. This bill will play an important role in having a
better audience with congressmen and senators, one at time.
Last weekend, I was in Georgia for the wedding of an American congressman's
son. I was treated as a visiting dignitary in the Deep South. They were
surprised to see a Canadian come all the way to the Deep South. I talked to them
about Canada and the U.S. I pointed out that towns and in Georgia were named
after French Canadians, and they did not know that. If anyone tells me that this
is not a useful bill in Canada and that this is not a useful bill in the United
States, I will tell them to wait and see what American congressmen and senators
say about it.
I told them that I would introduce this bill and they welcomed the news.
Those senators and congressmen, who are interested in Canada and want to
heighten our awareness of Canada in the U.S. so that we can help solve these
problems, want to have something to take to Congress. They will watch this
debate. I will take this debate and ensure that it becomes part of the
congressional record because I think that it is important for Americans to
understand that there are Canadians who are proud to be Canadians and yet
understand the role and the leadership of the United States. We can be both. As
another senator has said, "I am a strong Quebecer and I am a strong
federalist." Well, I can be a strong Canadian and I can also believe that
America has much more to give than we give them credit for.
We can solve some of our Canada-U.S. problems, which are deep, by fostering
this kind of thoughtful and coherent debate, unlike debate in the other place. I
welcome this debate and the comments of honourable senators.
Hon. Anne C. Cools: I have been listening to the Honourable Senator
Grafstein with interest, and I am beginning to find great stimulation by his
comments, although I have not given much thought to the bill. In Europe, every
Frenchman, every German and every Italian is also a European. The term
"European" is used interchangeably with each sovereign term. In Canada, the
Constitution of Canada was formerly the British North America Act because Canada
used to be called British North America.
When I was a little girl, the term "American" applied to all of the
inhabitants of the continent of America. If someone wanted to specifically refer
to people from the United States of America, we called them "Yankees."
Senator Grafstein is raising a profound and important point — the enormous
ties and connections that have existed between Americans and Canadians. I would
like the Honourable Senator Grafstein to explain more about this point. In
addition to attempting to bring forward a profound dialogue and debate on the
relationship between the two countries, is he not also attempting to resuscitate
the use of the term "Americans" to apply to all peoples who live on this fine
and enormous continent of ours, America?
Senator Grafstein: The answer is yes.
Hon. Marcel Prud'homme: Honourable senators, I will certainly
participate in this debate. I am almost tempted — and I repeat, almost tempted —
to make my speech right now. A true debater should not need staff and
researchers to prepare his words. Rather, he should speak to the issue
off-the-cuff and answer point-by-point what Senator Grafstein has said.
The honourable senator said that he would ensure that the debate in this
house would be on the record in the United States. That sounds like a kind of
blackmail to me in that we had better tone down in case we are badly perceived
over there. I do not like this approach.
I will put another motion on the record about what the honourable senator was
kind enough to say to the American congressional subcommittee on human rights. I
do not think Canadians would appreciate that coming from a colleague of ours who
attended a committee in the United States and also attended the European OSCE. I
have the record of the things that he said and I will put them on our record.
You have to be careful when you talk about the United States.
Honourable senators, I am comfortable in speaking about this. In 1993, at the
request of both Speakers, I wrote a full report on parliamentary associations.
In 1998, both Speakers and both boards of internal economy asked me for a repeat
performance, which I did with Mr. Chuck Strahl. I worked hard and I convinced
Mr. Strahl to vote for the budgets of the parliamentary associations. I said
that if we were ever to disband parliamentary associations because of the
criticisms and the press, one parliamentary association should remain — the
Canada-U.S. Inter-Parliamentary Group. Everything I have seen over the years of
our relationship with the Americans, first as an elected person and now as an
appointed person, has convinced me of that.
We have no lessons to learn. I totally agree with the words of Senator
Lapointe and Senator LaPierre that one can disagree without immediately being
Senator Grafstein is always ahead of us. This bill was read the first time
yesterday. We cannot prejudge what this house will do.
I think the time has come to put some fresh air into the debate on
parliamentary associations. In the next Parliament, I would hope that my
honourable friend will do as I did, because a change is always good, and release
his position as Chair of Canada-U.S. Inter-Parliamentary Group. That is not to
say that the honourable senator is not doing a fine job, but some people hang on
too long and these associations need renewal in each Parliament. That has
nothing to do with the intelligence that we recognize in the honourable senator.
The fact remains that some parliamentarians do not understand the importance of
Canada- U.S. relations. I call that the new parliamentary diplomacy.
Senator Grafstein has helped to this end with his good debate today. There
will be another, more stimulating debate, but I would hope that the honourable
senator will stop talking about his intentions to attack the House of Commons
because this house is more reasonable. I respect the other side as much as I
respect this side. They are entitled to their opinions; they are entitled to be
outrageous, if need be; and they are entitled to have comments on the policies
of the United States of America without being labelled as anti-American. I do
not know of one senator here who is anti-American. However, I know many
senators, on both sides of this house, who do not agree with the honourable
senator, even though you, sir, have written in some Canadian newspapers that you
blame the people of your faith, but it was your privilege to support the war in
Iraq when the majority of Canadians totally disagreed with the position taken by
the United States. The fact that we disagreed with the policies of the United
States does not mean we are anti-American.
The way in which the honourable senator approaches debate is very important.
Make us believe that if we talk too much, we will be perceived as anti-American.
The honourable senator has given us notice that all our words will be put on the
record of the Congress of the United States of America.
I am glad that I have been given that chance. They will know my name very
well there. An ex-secretary of cabinet was my best friend. Ed Derwinski was the
most active man in the IPU. He will see that I am still alive and kicking and a
friend of the citizens of the United States of America. However, I disagree with
some of their policies.
Senator Grafstein: Honourable senators, I again find myself almost in
violent agreement with my colleague. I did not in any way, shape or form suggest
that we should not disagree. I have said it a number of times. We should agree
to disagree. Let us do it in a civil and proper manner.
If the honourable senator took from my words any implication that I was
trying to stifle debate by suggesting that the record of the Senate Hansard
should be printed in the congressional records of the United States, he takes my
comments out of context.
Once debate is public record, the idea is to ensure that the Americans get a
view that is balanced. I am not looking for a unilateral view here. I am not a
unilateralist in that sense.
I welcome the debate, and I welcome the honourable senator's intention to
participate in this debate and that his comments will be recorded in the
Debates of the Senate. I would hope that he would have no objection, but I
am free to do it with or without his objection —
Senator Prud'homme: The honourable senator always does it any way.
Senator Grafstein: — to send the record of the debate to Americans who
are interested in what we have to say here.
Honourable senators, I would think that the honourable senator would be proud
to have clearly outlined his views so that they could be known to the American
Congress. There is no problem with that. I am not ashamed of anything that I
have said in the Senate, in the United States before the Congress or in Europe
at any time.
I would like the honourable senator to draw my attention to the words that in
any way, shape or form would suggest that I am speaking against Canada's
independence or Canada's rights in this world. Quite the contrary; I am proud to
be a Canadian.
I have always supported Canadian policies, but when I disagree with Canadian
policies, I try to do it in a way that even he would understand in order that
there is no misunderstanding. My opinion is not veiled. It is open, direct, and
I welcome the honourable senator on those terms to participate in this
debate. If one were to say to me, "We are afraid to have the Debates of the
Senate listed in the Congressional Record," I could not see other senators
agreeing with that. We should be proud to have our words in the Congressional
Record of the United States so they do not take our words out of context as they
do through the media.
Those diatribes from members of our caucus that were taken out of context in
the United States did not represent our view. They did not represent the views
of senators. Let's put it in the proper context. The proper context is a debate
in the Senate — both sides, all sides, good and bad.
Let us debate it. Let us provide a framework so Canadians can understand that
there is a thoughtful discussion on both sides. I do not believe the debate on
Canada-United States relations has been balanced. We hear the bad things. We do
not hear the good things. That is one of the fundamental issues that I would
like to examine here. We should be proud to put ourselves on record and let the
Americans know where we stand. Why not?
This is a free country, just as the United States is, and they respect that.
I welcome the senator's participation. I welcome his questions. I will listen
very carefully, as he listens to me. If I disagree with him, believe me, I will
let him know.
Senator Prud'homme: Honourable senators, I have a supplementary. It
will be just a quick question.
The honourable senator said that this bill is very important. Could he
imagine the reaction of the government and citizens of United States of America
— the good folk whose company we enjoy — if the bill proposed were put to a vote
and defeated? Would it not defeat the purpose of the honourable senator's
attempt at a rapprochement?
On the topic of sending our debate to Congress, I have known the honourable
senator for too long and too well. I know every word that he says in this
chamber is sent around the world, including to His Holiness, the Pope. I have
good contacts in the Vatican. Every word of Senator Grafstein is of such
importance that he spreads them all around the world. I congratulate him that he
is so well organized. I am not.
However, I am afraid of the reaction if people happen to disagree with him.
People do not go into detail when they read the Congressional Record.
There is the question, are you with me, or are you against me? Did we not
hear recently on television that those who are not with us are against us? I am
a little bit more sophisticated than that. Senator Grafstein is a little bit
more sophisticated than I am.
We are a chamber of sophisticated people to various degrees. We are afraid of
the reaction to such a bill if it were not agreeable to the majority of the
people, for all kinds of different reasons. I try to be positive. I will
participate in a positive way, having calmed down a little bit.
Senator Grafstein: Again, I thank the honourable senator for his
comments. I think they are cogent and useful.
He intimated earlier that somehow I would prejudge this bill by talking about
it before I introduced it. He is predicting the will of the Senate. Let us have
the debate, and then let us decide.
I am not afraid if this bill is delayed, as my resolution was last year. I am
not afraid if it is turned down. I do not believe it will be. I believe that I
will be able to convince most senators that this is a very useful bill for
Canadians as well as Americans. Let us not prejudge the debate.
Yes, I do feel that I have a relationship with the Pope because my father and
his father served in the same brigade in the Polish army in 1920.
Hon. Willie Adams: Honourable senators, I have a question for Senator
Grafstein. My knowledge of history is not as good. I have watched many cowboy
movies about when Americans first went West and fought the natives. Americans,
just like Canadians, are all immigrants. They took over some of the native
country. Buffalo Bill killed all the buffaloes, which was food for the natives.
How can we support this bill? I think of the history, especially what the
Americans did to the native people.
The President did not make a planned trip to Canada because we did not join
him in the war on Iraq. We are good friends.
I was very young at the time of the Second World War. I learned my language
and English. There were not many people in the North who spoke English.
It is the same thing with Canada. The Americans do not know all the history
either, especially in regard to other countries. I would not accept supporting
Senator Grafstein: Honourable senators, the Aboriginal community in
Canada has much to learn from the Aboriginal community in the United States. I
had an opportunity to examine this question when I participated in the Nisga'a
debate on the Nisga'a Treaty.
Senators will recall that I was not in favour of that bill because of the
questions of sovereignty. I thought I gave a reasoned position on why I
disagreed with our Aboriginal colleagues on the Nisga'a.
The Americans have dealt with this issue in a very useful and interesting
way. It strikes me that sometimes we can learn useful messages and ideas from
the Americans who have come to grips in a different way with the same endemic
problems of the unfair treatment of Aboriginals in Canada. There are things that
we can learn from the United States.
The other issue that I learned from the United States is they are ahead of us
on the treatment of water on reservations — way ahead. Senator Watt is nodding
his head in agreement. They provide clean water to all their reservations. We in
Canada do not. We can learn from the Americans there as well.
There are things we can learn in this debate from the Americans that will be
useful for us; and by the way, I think there are a lot of lessons we can teach
the Americans as well. There is no question about that. Again, I welcome the
honourable senator's comments. I hope he will make a fuller speech so I can
address it more fully at the end of debate.
The Hon. the Speaker: Senator Grafstein, you wanted to move the
adjournment, I think. Did you have another question, Senator Cools?
Senator Cools: I was willing to move the adjournment. Perhaps someone
else was planning to do that.
The Hon. the Speaker: Senator Grafstein asked to move the adjournment
himself. Did you want to do that, Senator Grafstein?
Senator Grafstein: Forgive me, Senator Cools. I thought it would be
appropriate to hear from the side opposite, and Senator Eyton has indicated his
interest in participating. I hope there will be ample room for all senators to
On motion of Senator Grafstein, for Senator Eyton, debate adjourned.
On the Order:
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Lapointe,
seconded by the Honourable Senator Gauthier, for the second reading of Bill
S-18, to amend the Criminal Code (lottery schemes).—(Honourable Senator
Hon. Laurier L. LaPierre: Honourable senators, I rise in support of
the Honourable Jean Lapointe, who introduced Bill S- 18.
Sir, I am told that I have 45 minutes. I have decided that I am too
excitable, and consequently I must take less time than 45 minutes. Hence, I will
attempt to keep myself to the normal limit.
As honourable senators know, the purpose of the law is to remove what we used
to call slot machines — and which now have astonishing names like "un
dispositif électronique de visualization" or "un appareil à sous." The
sponsor of the bill wants slot machines to be removed from places that are
easily visible and accessible to where they really belong, which is in casinos
and at racetracks, if my memory serves me right.
By introducing this bill, Senator Lapointe has suggested that one of the
major problems was accessibility. The second problem was visibility.
Consequently, these are the questions that we need to look at. Before we do
that, let me repeat that this proposed legislation is not meant to ban video
lottery terminals, VLTs. Its aim is to place them where they belong, in casinos
and racetracks. That is where they belong.
Instead, with the exception of Ontario, British Columbia, and the three
territories — Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon — we now have
these machines in everyday accessible places, such as restaurants and bars,
which are easily accessible and visible over and over again. I have no doubt
that, in less than a decade, these machines will be found in drugstores, in
depanneurs, in public washrooms, practically everywhere a citizen goes. Is this
where we want them to be?
It would appear that Canadian public opinion is very much opposed to this. I
must tell honourable senators that the senator has gone through an astonishing
amount of research — and I want to congratulate him and his staff. When they
asked me if I would do this, they gave me an astonishing amount of documentation
— it took me three vanloads to carry them home — which I have read and which I
keep losing. In fact, some of it had to be sent back from India, where I was in
July and where I had them with me. So there you are.
Approximately 70 per cent of Canadians believe that video lottery terminals
should be available only in casinos or at racetracks.
That is a very important statistic.
Furthermore, as far as public opinion is concerned, 64 per cent of the
population believes that this kind of playful activity is not harmless at all —
or even playful. Sixty-four per cent of our population holds it self-evident
that this kind of activity engenders criminal activity.
Nor, honourable senators, as the honourable senator has so well pointed out,
is it possible for us to close our eyes to the dangers that the widespread use
of these terminals is causing to the health and welfare of Canadians.
Consider the following figures. Here is the amount of money lost per capita
in each province: in Quebec, $147; in New Brunswick, $174; in Nova Scotia, $179;
in Prince Edward Island, $124; in Newfoundland and Labrador, $200; in Alberta,
$287; in Saskatchewan, $254; and in Manitoba, $220. You can imagine the
They demonstrate that families, parents, children and individuals, and the
overall national productivity are seriously affected by the economic fallout of
the general placement of terminals where they are easily accessible to
practically everybody, and so easily visible.
Frightening as the above is, the results of this inordinate placement of
terminals leads to the growing number of addicts or problem gamblers. Allow me
to quote some of the experts Senator Lapointe consulted on this problem with
regard to our health and welfare, and above all the health and welfare of those
who are affected by this disease.
First, the Canadian Public Health Association says that research has shown
that the spouses of problem gamblers report higher than normal suicide attempts,
nervous breakdowns and substance abuse, and that the children of problem
gamblers have behavioural or adjustment problems related to school, drug or
alcohol abuse, running away and arrest.
The Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission says that the amount of money
spent on VLTs has increased exponentially since their introduction into Canada.
One study of VLT problems — gambling clients — found that although almost all of
VLT clients studied indicated that they had gambled at some point in their
lives, most reported that they had experienced no problems until they began to
play VLT machines.
Dr. Smith and his colleagues have said that fast-paced, continuous gambling
formats such as VLTs and slot machines are most closely associated with problem
gambling. Therefore, by extension, the crimes commonly associated with problem
gambling — fraud, domestic violence, theft and suicide — are linked to the
gambling format with the highest addictive potency.
I could go on, giving honourable senators more and more of these statistics.
However, let me only quote one of the researchers in Ontario, which, of course,
has none of these machines. Dr. Rose, the director of the Iona College Gambling
Institute of Windsor, Ontario, said that, as with any addictive substance or
behaviour, availability is an important factor and that, as such, if VLTs are
available in the nearest bar, their very geographical proximity can intensify
their threat to reasonable, responsible usage.
Another great reason for restricting VLTs from bars has to do with
self-exclusion. Allowing problem gamblers to inform those who regulate access to
gambling venues of personal self-exclusion has merits. When it comes to VLTs in
bars, however, there would not likely be someone to enforce compliance.
I could go on and on, honourable senators, giving statistics and quotes that
would demonstrate what Senator Lapointe attempted to show in his remarks.
Honourable senators might ask what the provinces do to assist Canadians who
are so afflicted. I have the statistics. Let me tell you what the provinces earn
from these VLTs. The revenue in the province of Quebec is $692 million. The
revenue in New Brunswick is $55 million. In Nova Scotia, it is $112 million. In
Prince Edward Island, it is $8 million. In Newfoundland and Labrador, it is $67
million. In Alberta, it is $525 million. In Manitoba, it is $137 million. In
Saskatchewan, it is $157 million.
I asked myself what the provinces do with all that money. They spend only a
pittance on alleviating this problem. If I remember correctly, all the provinces
together spend 28 per cent of the total revenue to assist those who have become
dependent on gambling, after having earned hundreds of millions of dollars.
Honourable senators, this is a serious problem that we must study carefully
in order to make a contribution to the health and welfare of our young people in
Please understand that this bill is not about prohibition; it is about
limiting access to a phenomenon that has already destroyed the lives of many
people in our country. It is not only the addicted who suffer from an addiction.
Their families suffer, and I could tell stories about that. Their communities
suffer. Ultimately, all of society loses. The costs of these losses need to be
weighed against the revenue derived from VLTs. We need to take some
responsibility for this situation. Our citizens should not be expendable in the
name of easy revenue for the government.
In conclusion, I would like to thank Senator Lapointe for having studied and
raised this issue, and for having come to the conclusion that it is an important
social problem with which we must deal.
On motion of Senator Stratton, debate adjourned.
Hon. Serge Joyal moved the second reading of Bill C-250, to amend the
Criminal Code (hate propaganda).—(Honourable Senator Joyal, P.C.).
He said: Honourable senators, this bill, which comes from the other place, is
the result of tireless effort by the Member of Parliament for Burnaby—Douglas.
It is a very important and serious bill because its goal is to amend the
Criminal Code of Canada. It is also an important bill because it addresses one
of the fundamental constitutional roles of the Senate, the protection of
The Senate of Canada is one of the key public institutions in Canada that
promotes and stands for minority rights. As Lord Sankey of the Judicial
Committee of the Privy Council stated in the famous Aeronautics Regulation case
...it is important to keep in mind that the preservation of the rights of
minorities was a condition on which such minorities entered into the
federation, and the foundation upon which the whole structure was
I repeat, the Senate was created precisely to protect the rights of
minorities in Canada. The House of Commons exists to protect the rights of the
majority; it falls to us in this chamber to protect minorities. As one of the 24
divisional senators in Quebec, I must stand for the minority rights of the group
of people I was summoned to represent in this chamber, and I must promote their
views in the legislative process. That is essentially our duty.
The Senate has had a commendable record in the past in advancing human
rights. Professor Franks from Queen's University was a contributor to the book
that Senator Murray and myself put together, the launching of which many of you
honoured me by attending in May. Professor Franks wrote at length about the
special efforts on the part of senators in the early 1990s with regard to
advancing human rights. At pages 174-75 of Protecting Canadian Democracy: The
Senate You Never Knew, Professor Franks said:
The federal legal provisions regarding discrimination on the basis of
sexual orientation only exist because of six years of persistent effort on
the part of the Senate. After the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled in Haig
v. Birch that sexual orientation be read into the Canadian Human Rights
Act, Senator Kinsella, a Conservative who disagreed with his own
government's views that this sort of legislation was unnecessary, introduced
Bill S-15 into the Senate in order to insert sexual orientation as grounds
into the Act.
Some of our colleagues were participants in that debate in 1992. That bill
was adopted in this chamber but, because of prorogation in 1992-93, the bill
died on the Order Paper.
Senator Kinsella reintroduced the bill in the next Parliament, in 1995, as
Bill S-2, which was passed by the Senate and sent to the House of Commons. In
the House of Commons, that bill prompted the then Minister of Justice to
introduce a bill to the same effect in order to give weight to the protection
that Senator Kinsella tried to achieve.
I will quote Senator Kinsella from the Debates of the Senate of 1992.
Not only does this Chamber serve as an important check on the exercise of
state power, but the Senate can play a very special role in the protection
of parts of Canada or groups of Canadians, which and who by themselves will
never constitute a majority. This role of protecting the minority is
especially important where a given minority group of Canadians might be
perceived by the majority as a despised minority group.
We had a debate earlier on this afternoon on Aboriginal issues. I refer here
to the position of Senator Kinsella. The Aboriginal people in our country will
never constitute a majority. Gays will never constitute a majority. There are
other groups that will never constitute a majority. However, it is our role in
this chamber to stand for the rights of those minorities. Senator Kinsella was
totally accurate in his comments in those days, in 1992, more than 11 years ago
now, about our role as senators.
It is important to keep that role in mind, honourable senators, when we
address Bill C-250 because it deals essentially with gay communities and their
status in the Canadian society. This is not an easy issue because it is easy to
caricature. It is easy to caricature because the media, television, film,
literature, always likes to stereotype this minority with unflattering
caricatures. Why? Because it is easy to just set aside the issues of a minority
when we can laugh at them. If they are laughable, they are no longer to be taken
seriously, and if we do not have to take them seriously, we do not have to deal
with their concerns. That is essentially our common reaction or public reaction
in many instances in regard to the status of the gay communities.
Bill C-250 amends subsection 318(4) of the Criminal Code. Section 318 of the
Criminal Code is entitled "Hate Propaganda." Its purpose is to repress hate
propaganda against identifiable groups in Canada. Why was that section put into
In researching that question, I found that in 1965 a group of Canadian
scholars was asked by the then Minister of Justice to study a phenomenon of
those days — hate propaganda against Blacks and Jews. At the time, groups
promoting hate against Blacks and Jews were multiplying. The report that I have
in my hands was put together under the chairmanship of Maxwell Cohen who was
then Dean of the Faculty of Law at McGill University. He was an expert who
appeared often before the justice committees of both Houses to testify on human
Our colleague Senator Prud'homme will remember that. I myself remember Mr.
Cohen from when I co-chaired the joint committee on the Constitution. Our
current Clerk of the Senate was clerk of the committee at that time and, on
behalf of the Senate, we had Mr. Cohen appear as an expert witness on human
rights issues under the Charter.
In that group with Mr. Cohen, there were seven scholars. Among them were
former Supreme Court Justice Peter Corey; Mr. Mark MacGuigan, who was Secretary
of State for External Affairs and a judge of the Federal Court of Canada, and
who has unfortunately passed away; and the last one on the list was — guess who
— Pierre Elliott Trudeau. I was surprised, in fact, to look into that report
from 1965 and find the name of Mr. Trudeau.
What did that report say about hate in Canadian society? I want to quote from
it because I think this is important to keep in mind when we address Bill C-250.
The report states: "Canadians who are members of any identifiable group are
entitled to carry on their lives as Canadians without being victimized by the
deliberate, vicious promotion of hatred against them. In a democratic society,
freedom of speech does not mean the right to vilify."
That was the major conclusion of the report that led to the enactment of
section 318 of the Criminal Code in 1970, five years after the report was
written. We will remember that by 1970, the Prime Minister was the Right
Honourable Pierre Elliott Trudeau. Under his leadership, the Criminal Code was
amended to prevent hate propaganda.
Honourable senators will remember very well that Mr. Trudeau, as Minister of
Justice, Attorney General of Canada, became famous in the Canadian public in
1967 for his remarks in defence of an amendment to the Criminal Code. That is
now section 159. We all remember the famous phrase that is now part of our
political history: "We have to take the state out of the bedrooms of the
Mr. Trudeau was very preoccupied as a scholar, as a minister and as a prime
minister, to make sure that Canadians should not be victimized because of their
innate characteristics and that Canada should prevent that victimization.
That is where sections 318 and 319 of our Criminal Code came from. These
provisions establish three specific offences. I will not read the legal text; I
prefer to put it in layman's terms. The first offence is the advocacy or the
promotion of genocide. I think everyone will understand that. The second offence
is the incitement of hatred against an identifiable group. The third offence is
the wilful promotion of hatred against any identifiable group.
Who are the groups identified in section 318? There are four groups,
identifiable by colour, race, religion or ethnic origin. In other words, the
Criminal Code has very clearly established that hate propaganda must be
essentially to bring physical harm to someone. It is not defined as the
promotion of hate generally; but the promotion of hate with the objective of
bringing physical harm to someone and to kill the person, including the murder
of groups of people. That is genocide. We are talking about killing when we talk
about genocide. We are talking about physical harm.
In other words, if someone hates Blacks and decides to get a group together
on a Saturday night, and incites them to go into the streets and attack any
Blacks they find and maybe even kill them, that is what we mean by advocating
genocide. That is essentially what is prohibited under section 318. Section 318
also protects such identifiable groups as Jews and Aboriginal people.
This is a very important section of the Criminal Code because hatred is a
feeling that leads to the diminution of value. When you promote hatred against
people, you deny their value as human beings, you rob their respect and dignity
in our society. It was seen in 1970 as fundamental to the well-being of Canadian
society to establish this minimal respect among individuals.
What does this bill try to do? It does not change the three offences that I
have just described in sections 318 and 319. Bill C- 250 adds sexual orientation
as a basis of determining an "identifiable group." In other words — and I will
say it in French because the slang word in French is very descriptive and my
colleagues who are fluent in French will understand it easily.
One Friday night, a group of people, egged on by one of them, decided to go
fag-bashing, or "casser de la tapette," in French.
Honourable senators will remember that is exactly the term used among White
supremacists. Even Mr. Trudeau was accused of being "tapette." In 1970, when
the FLQ manifesto was read on national TV, and I am going by my memory here, Mr.
Trudeau was described in the following way:
And we are going to get rid of Trudeau the fag and his whole gang.
In other words, they tried to vilify Mr. Trudeau on the basis of his alleged
In 1970, going back in history, to accuse someone of being "une tapette"
was the most effective way to absolutely undermine the credibility and the
leadership of that person. As I described earlier, one could separate an
individual from society and trample him or her, and no one would care.
Hatred of gays and lesbians has profound and devastating consequences: We all
know what kids in schoolyards and playgrounds do when they want to gang up on
one of their group. The most efficient and effective attack is to call someone a
fag, "la tapette." That immediately destroys the capacity of that young person
to be one of the group, to be seen as an equal member of society.
This bill is important because it adds to the identifiable groups those that
can be identified on the basis of sexual orientation.
What did we do in terms of protecting Canadians on the basis of their sexual
orientation? Senator Kinsella took two specific initiatives, private member
bills. He even went against his own government at that time in his attempts to
make sure that our Human Rights Act protected sexual orientation. In 1996, the
Canadian Human Rights Act was amended to include sexual orientation as a
non-discrimination ground protected in the act.
What did the government do in 1995-96? The government amended the Criminal
Code again, in 1996, to include the current sentencing provisions at Part XXIII.
Section 718.2 of the Criminal Code addresses what we call aggravating
circumstances in the definition of a sentence. When an individual is sentenced
after being found guilty, the judge takes into account a certain number of
factors, including the presence of aggravating circumstances. Section 718.2
provides that evidence that the offence was motivated by bias, prejudice or hate
based on race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age,
mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, or any other similar factor
is deemed to be an aggravating circumstance.
In other words, in sentencing a convicted offender, our courts consider
whether there is evidence that the offence was motivated on the basis of sexual
orientation. That provision already exists in the Criminal Code, as a result of
the amendment of 1995 that I referred to earlier.
So are we just making a mountain out of a molehill, or is there a real
problem here that we have to address as parliamentarians? I should like to quote
statistics from the Department of Justice in answer to that question. The hate
crime statistics I am quoting are from police records for 1997, the most recent
national records available.
For that year, 279 race-based hate crimes were reported. Sexual orientation
comes in at second place, with 108 hate crimes committed against people simply
because they were gay or lesbian. For the same year, there were 91 hate crimes
committed on the basis of religion, 21 on nationality and 53 on the basis of
ethnicity. My colleagues may be interested to know that there were 58 crimes
based on gender. The list goes on to include disability, language, et cetera. In
other words, 18.4 per cent of the hate-motivated crimes were on the basis of
In the Vancouver area, recent statistics from the Chief of Police of
Vancouver show that 62 per cent of robberies and assaults committed against
identifiable groups in the Vancouver area are motivated on the basis of sexual
orientation. Honourable senators, that is surprising and disturbing, especially
given the reputation of Vancouver as being an open and welcoming community that
seems to integrate a large segment of Canadian diversity, yet it is the place
that has the highest level of these violent assaults motivated on the basis of
Senator Oliver: What about cities like Toronto and Montreal?
Senator Joyal: I have other statistics I should like to give to you.
In Toronto, based on the report I have here from the Toronto police, there have
been 211 hate crimes against gays or lesbians over the past 10 years. Honourable
senators, this type of crime is widespread. The problem is not limited to
Vancouver. It is present here in Ottawa. It exists everywhere. It is not a local
phenomenon; it exists throughout Canada.
It is important to make sure that our Criminal Code is consistent with the
Canadian Human Rights Act, as amended through the initiative of Senator
Kinsella, as well as with the Criminal Code itself. The code's provisions on
sentencing, as I have said, include sexual orientation as an identifiable
characteristic, as does our Constitution, since the Egan case in 1995.
Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which is the equality
rights section, was interpreted by the Supreme Court of Canada in Egan v.
Canada as including sexual orientation as an analogous ground on which
claims for discrimination could be based.
In other words, in our two fundamental federal human rights laws, the
Canadian Human Rights Act, the Charter, and in the key section of the Criminal
Code on sentencing, sexual orientation is recognized as an identifiable
characteristic. This bill simply makes subsection 318(4) of the Criminal Code
consistent with those laws by adding sexual orientation in the definition of
This bill also has another important element, which is the protection of
religious texts. It was mentioned during debate in the other place that some
religious texts might be threatened because they condemn homosexuality. Many
were concerned that the Bible and other religious texts that contain such
passages would be affected by this bill.
Bill C-250 was amended in the other place to include protection of religious
opinions based on a belief in a religious text, at paragraph 319(3)(b).
In other words, although religious expression is already protected in the
Criminal Code, Bill C-250 adds further protection. The Criminal Code would be
amended through this bill to protect the good faith belief on an opinion based
on a religious text. Whatever a religious text may contain on the issue of
sexual relationships between persons of the same sex, and the interpretation
thereof, it would be protected under Bill C-250.
Honourable senators, this bill is very important to me. As I mentioned
earlier, Bill C-250 simply makes this provision of our Criminal Code consistent
with our Human Rights Act, and reconciles the discrepancy in the definition of
identifiable group in the sentencing and hate propaganda provisions so that we
have a streamlined approach on the prohibition of discrimination based on sexual
You may ask me, who is supporting this initiative? Who is supporting C-250?
I would like to quote from an article on the annual meeting of the provincial
and federal Ministers of Justice in November of 2001. It refers to Minister
McLellan, the then Minister of Justice. It states:
McLellan met with the provincial justice ministers yesterday. She said
there was "unanimous consent" to make good on an earlier promise to
designate verbal attacks on "sexual orientation" as hate propaganda.
In November of 2001, all 10 provincial Attorneys General, along with the
Attorney General of Canada, agreed that hate propaganda on the basis of sexual
orientation should be included at section 318 of the Criminal Code.
There is more. The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police adopted a
resolution last August that states:
Be it resolved that the CACP urges the Government of Canada through the
Minister of Justice and Attorney General to amend the Criminal Code of
Canada to add sexual orientation to the list of identifiable groupings in
In other words, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, who have the
responsibility to implement the Criminal Code, recognized the statistical
reality that hate crimes against gays and lesbians are a problem in Canada and
that it is time to act now.
There is more. The Canadian Bar Association, in a letter of May 2003,
addressed to the Honourable Andy Scott, who was then the Chairman of the House
of Commons Justice and Human Rights Committee, demanded that Bill C-250 be
adopted as they had requested previously on many occasions.
Honourable senators, there is in the police community, the legal community
and among governments across Canada a consensus that sexual orientation should
be included as a ground of discrimination in the hate propaganda provisions of
our Criminal Code.
I hope that we can refer this bill to our Standing Senate Committee on Legal
and Constitutional Affairs where members would have an opportunity to examine
this issue at greater length. I have attempted to put the issue squarely before
you this afternoon, rather than to exhaust the legal minutia of the Criminal
Code, which as honourable senators know, when you start reading it you need a
magnifying glass because two thirds of the text is in insurance policy-sized
It is important for us to remember that ignorance is the foundation of hate.
As Parisa Baharian said, "In our society, silence in stamping it out is the
spark by which hate spreads."
We, as senators and as a chamber of the Canadian Parliament, can do a useful
job for Canadians and for minorities. Think about minorities — those who will
never be the majority and those who will never be able to be elected in a
sufficient number to have their views aired and accepted. They rely on the
majority, as much as francophones rely on the majority of anglophones and as
much as our Aboriginal people rely on us to listen to them.
This is not an easy issue. I am the first one to recognize it. In our souls
and conscience, we have to act fairly on this issue. We have to act with
balance; but we have to act because this is a problem that must be addressed.
The way it is addressed in Bill C- 250, with the support of the present Minister
of Justice, is worthy of our support.
Hon. Anne C. Cools: Honourable senators, I have some questions. I will
tackle them one at a time.
I thank the Honourable Senator Joyal for his words. He has said and it is
well known that the Minister of Justice supported this bill. In actual fact,
this bill made its way through the House of Commons on the strength of the
support of the Minister of Justice.
It is a well-established principle that ministers of the Crown should not
interfere in private members' business. If in actual fact that there is a
private member's bill that the Minister of Justice feels so strongly that he or
she should support or that it should pass, the minister should adopt the bill
and bring it forth to the chamber under the rubric of ministerial
To the extent that this bill was supported somewhat furtively by the Minister
of Justice, what impact does that have on this bill? Is this bill still a
private member's bill, is it a government bill, or is it a new hybrid bill?
Senator Joyal: Honourable senators, this bill comes to us from the
House of Commons, so we address it as any bill coming from the House of Commons.
It is a bill that is the result of an initiative, as I mentioned, by the
Honourable Member of Parliament for Burnaby—Douglas over the past 15 years to
make this amendment to the Criminal Code.
There is no doubt that the Minister of Justice supports the bill. As I
mentioned, very early last spring, there was consensus among the police and the
provincial Attorneys General to seek this amendment to section 318 of the
As it is a private member's bill, the honourable senator will know that
normally, as is the procedure in the other place, each member is free to vote
the way they want. The Minister of Justice mentioned that he would support this
bill because it contains the same language as the consensus agreed to by the
previous Minister of Justice, Anne McLellan.
I do not think we should call it a hybrid bill. It is a private member's bill
that comes from the other place with the large support of members, and it
happens that the Minister of Justice supports this bill.
Senator Cools: Honourable senators, I am aware of the history. I have
followed the matter with considerable interest. I am saying to the honourable
senator that perhaps we can examine in committee that there is no such thing as
a matter that a minister individually supports. As soon as a minister supports a
question, it means the government is involved and supports it because, after
all, the principle is the unity of cabinet. Cabinet can only speak with one
voice, but we can debate that another time.
My second question has to do with the actual amendment to the Criminal Code
that is before us. The honourable senator used the term "hate propaganda"
often. That is the name of the bill. The amendment is actually an amendment to
section 318, which is referred to as the section on hate propaganda.
I do not think that I heard Senator Joyal explain the word "genocide."
Perhaps he could expound on that a little bit.
Senator Oliver: He did mention it.
Senator Cools: I did not hear him. I am asking him to expand. If he
does not want to expand, I can accept that.
Section 318 of the Criminal Code is the section that lays out the crime of
genocide and the penalties for genocide.
This bill would not only add the term "sexual orientation" to the Criminal
Code as an identifiable group, which includes colour, race, religion and ethnic
origin, but in actual fact it also creates a new crime of genocide against
homosexual people. Would the honourable senator comment?
I would also like for the honourable senator to comment on another point.
Historically, the term "genocide" was born around the Nuremberg trials.
The preoccupation with the notion of genocide and the protection from
genocide had to do with bad relationships between the peoples of the earth.
Genocide is derived from the word "gens," from anthropology, meaning "peoples" or
"race." For example, if you look at me, it is clear that my
gens is African. I am Black and a member of the African races, gens. The suffix
"- cide" means "killing." Thus "genocide" is the killing of a race or the
killing of people connected by gens.
I am trying to understand what evidence or what grounds Mr. Robinson or
anyone else relied on to assert that persons who are homosexuals are members of
a gens. In other words, what scientific evidence was relied on to treat
homosexual individuals as a people?
Senator Joyal: I would refer the Honourable Senator Cools to section
318, subsections (1) and (2) that define the word "genocide." The word "genocide" used in this section has a specific definition:
318.(2) In this section, "genocide" means any of the following acts
committed with intent to destroy in whole or in part any identifiable group,
(a) killing members of the group; or
(b) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life
calculated to bring about its physical destruction.
It is clear that in the code the definition of "genocide" may not be
exactly the same as the definition that is generally known in other
international conventions. That is the first point.
Concerning the honourable senator's second question about the word "gene"
in the word "genocide," the identifiable groups in the existing section 318
are based on colour, race and religion. Religion, as the honourable senator is
aware, knows no colour. The identifiable group of religion, per se, does not
contain the "gene" aspect by the very nature of religion that spans all
persons regardless of colour. I do not think that genocide, in the context of
gene only, is completely in accord with the traditional definition of genocide.
When we use the word "genocide," we are usually referring to a well-identified
cultural group or nationality, as the honourable senator mentioned in reference
to the trials at Nuremberg. We knew exactly what the genocide referred to, just
as we knew in the trials at Kosovo and at Rwanda. For instance, when we talk
about genocide in political contexts, we know that it is about a specific group
of culturally identifiable people. In terms of religion, of course, we have
another example where genocide is used as a concept but cannot be absolutely
parallel with genocide used in a political context.
Senator Cools: The honourable senator misunderstood because I did not
say "genes" but rather "gens," which is an old anthropological term.
Those sections that govern genocide are not intended to include two people
who have a quarrel and one kills the other. I was on the parole board, so I have
read many cases. Those sections are intended to speak to hate propaganda —
attacks to destroy and to eliminate, in a very profound way, peoples who are
described as peoples and not people who have certain sexual proclivities. Those
sections speak to "peoples" in the sense of nationality, ethnicity and
It is only recently that religion is not connected to race. The Hebrew race
was a race and a religion and the Arabs comprise races and religions. I do not
think that is a particularly good example because most religions grew up around
tribal behaviour, if one wants to say it that way.
Honourable senators, the term "gens" developed over centuries from tribes,
clans or groups of people who are usually connected by a kind of racial or
ethnic origin. I am concerned that homosexual persons are being redefined now as
a nationality or as a people.
I am aware that Senator Joyal is well acquainted with the law because he has
spent a great deal of time studying it. I do wonder why this matter is being
drafted in this way. Homosexual persons are many things, but they are not a
What are people then? This has been a big debate in Canada. Are the Québécois
a people? I could go on to discuss the concept of a distinct society. When are a
people a people? Then I could take the debate on a bit. When are a people an
identifiable group? Then you would have to show me the identifiable
characteristics that determine they are an identifiable group. These are
features of peoples. We are doing homosexual persons a great disservice in using
such a wide, sweeping brush.
Could Senator Joyal comment on that further? I understand his concerns
because of his great love of the law and justice. However, why are we proceeding
in this way? I am certain that Senator Joyal is aware that much protection is
provided in sections 22 and 810 of the Criminal Code in respect of inciting or
counselling violence against any person. When we determine by law that a
specific group, activity, predisposition, et cetera, are peoples, we will step
beyond the scope of the Criminal Code into the area of anthropology.
Senator Joyal: Senator Cools is raising points that we could certainly
review at committee. We might hear expert testimony on those points.
I read the Criminal Code as it exists and its definitions of "genocide" and "identifiable groups." Of course, section 718.2 of the code in the sentencing
provisions specifically refers to hate based on a person's sexual orientation as
an aggravating circumstance when a judge has to sentence an individual. In other
words, it is an important element to maintain. Coherence in the approach of the
code is in order if we are to respect the logic of the code. We will certainly
have an opportunity in committee to hear expert testimony on this issue. We will
be able to conduct a thorough review of this point with members of the committee
and other honourable senators who wish to attend.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I regret to advise that
Senator Joyal's 45 minutes have expired.
Senator Cools: Let us give him time.
The Hon. the Speaker: Only Senator Joyal can ask for additional time
and all senators must agree. He is not rising.
Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): I am rising
to participate in the debate, honourable senators, and in doing so, I wish to
canvass a number of basic points of principle given that second reading debate
is on the principle of the bill.
My first reflection is that the emergence and development of criminal law is,
in many ways, the development or the story of a passage from the barbarism of
its early history through to a developed understanding and assertion of basic
human rights and fundamental social justice.
Honourable senators, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and our
domestic Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, as well as John Diefenbaker's
Canadian Bill of Rights, testify to the great advances made across Canada in
this journey for freedom.
My second reflection flows from the basic assertion that human rights, such
as the right to life and the security of the person, have their genesis, not
only in the enactment of legal instruments, but also as the results, sometimes,
of the misadministration of criminal justice systems across time and across
societies. This consideration applies directly, in my opinion, to the
affirmation of the right of all persons to equality of protection by the
Bill C-250 seeks to amend, as has been explained by the Honourable Senator
Joyal, the Criminal Code of Canada with regard to hate propaganda so as to
provide explicit protection to everyone from those who advocate or promote
genocide or those who incite hatred on the basis of sexual orientation.
Senator Joyal has explained to us the provisions of sections 318 and 319 of
the Criminal Code that currently provide the advocacy or promotion of genocide,
the proscription against the incitement of hatred against any identifiable group
— that is the key to this bill — and the wilful promotion of hatred against any
Let us turn our attention, honourable senators, to "identifiable group."
This is what the bill is about. We find identifiable group, as Senator Joyal has
explained to us, currently defined by the code as "any section of the public
distinguished by colour, race, religion or ethnic origin."
Honourable senators, before us is the task of turning immediately to the
issue that is sometimes described as applying the ad eiusdem generis
principle. By adopting Bill C-250, we would be appropriately applying the
eiusdem generis principle to the list of distinguishing grounds listed in
the current definition of identifiable group.
This is also referred to as adding an analogous ground to a list of
proscribed identifiers. The Senate of Canada, as has been indicated, has shown
leadership in this regard in the past.
Our attention was drawn, honourable senators, to the work of this house of
the Canadian Parliament that first adopted the bill adding sexual orientation to
the list of prohibited grounds in the Canadian Human Rights Act. I just wish to
ensure that the record is clear that successive governments of Canada of
different political stripe have struggled in their caucuses to deal with adding
sexual orientation as a prohibited ground of discrimination in the Human Rights
Act. It is not surprising that it was difficult, whether in the Liberal
government or within the Progressive Conservative government, to achieve the
kind of consensus that is necessary to bring in that kind of legislation.
There was great debate, and it took a long time, which is why I wish to
underscore the point that Senator Joyal has raised, namely, that this house of
our bicameral system has been working rather successfully, honourable senators,
for 136 years. It does place on our shoulders that special responsibility to
deal with issues affecting identifiable groups, to use the language of the
The history speaks well of this chamber. We have not shirked traditionally in
ensuring that minority groups that are identified by grounds such as colour,
race, religion or sexual orientation would get the protection required.
Honourable senators, there are those, of course, who oppose this bill because
of an ill-considered assumption that special rights are being afforded a given
group in society. This criticism is false because these opponents fail to
understand the distinction between formal equality and substantive equality.
Formal equality refers to the equality in the form of the law and assumes
that equality is attained if the law in its form treats everyone the same unless
they are differently situated. Clearly, for a disadvantaged group, this theory
poses several fundamental problems. It fails to deal with the reality that some
groups in society are more subject to hate and violence than others groups. It
defines equality as a question of sameness and difference rather than,
honourable senators, as a question of dominance and subordination. It makes
On the other hand, substantive equality means equality in the substance of
one's condition. Therefore, the hate provisions of the Criminal Code explicitly
state that the hate expressed against racial or religious groups is to be
explicitly proscribed. In order to provide for the substantive equality to
freedom from victimization for sexual orientation to be enjoyed by such an
identifiable group, this explicit provision is required.
Honourable senators, the sad reality is that a great deal of harm and injury
has been visited upon Canadian society by the purveyors of hate propaganda
targeted on the basis of sexual orientation. Sadly, we read of reports of
violence and discrimination in many parts of the country. This bill would extend
protection to fellow citizens who are under attack and give substantive equality
where it does not presently exist.
Furthermore, I reflect that attempts have been made by some to oppose this
bill on the spurious argument that its adoption might result in parts of the
Bible being criminalized. Such a claim, in my view, has no basis in law and no
credible theological support. Indeed, in all of the faith traditions that I have
studied the virtue of love always trumps the vice of hatred.
The debate on this bill in the other place saw some Canadian Alliance members
raise this ill-based thesis, which all Canadians recognize as more fitting of
the description of the proverbial crimson fish — the red herring.
It is not a serious objection. In reality, section 319(3) of the Criminal
Code contains the protection of the right to free speech. Section 319(3)
provides that no person shall be convicted of an offence under subsection (2) if
he establishes that the statements communicated were true or if in good faith he
expressed or attempted to establish by argument an opinion on a religious
Remember, honourable senators, the other four grounds remain. Are we to
suggest that a text of religious tradition — whether it be the Bible, the Koran
or whatever — that makes comments about race or ethnic origin is a valid
argument? It would have been addressed and we would have heard about it a long
time ago. If that were the case, we would have heard about it long ago.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, it is six o'clock.
Is it your wish, honourable senators, that we not see the clock?
Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.
Hon. Gerald J. Comeau: Far be it for me to attempt not to see the
clock, but the Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans has very
important witnesses to hear at 6:15 p.m. Given that those witnesses have
travelled all the way from Nunavut, I am asking permission of the Senate for the
Fisheries Committee to meet while the Senate is sitting.
The Hon. the Speaker: Is leave granted, honourable senators, for the
Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans to sit at 6:15 p.m.?
Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable
senators, I have no problem allowing the Fisheries and Oceans Committee to meet,
even if we do not see the clock and are still sitting. However, the Banking
Committee also has witnesses who travelled a long way and who have not been
heard. If we allow the Fisheries Committee to meet, then we have to do the same
for the Banking Committee. I think we would be accommodating a lot of people,
and we would not see the clock.
Hon. Marcel Prud'homme: Honourable senators, frankly, the former
minister and member of the government side is once again placing an unbearable
burden on the shoulders of a few people who simply want to follow the rules.
Today, we broke with a long tradition. I am strongly opposed to that. We all
have schedules to keep. Senator Robichaud waits until 3:30 p.m. or 3:40 p.m. to
rise and say: "Listen, just a few more minutes."
That is the way to run an orderly house. We expect that and we set our agenda
accordingly, sometimes with a few minutes more or a few minutes less. It is not
gracious for me to say that, but I felt that I should affirm my right. Why
should all these senators speak today on this bill when we have Thursday, or
next week, or two weeks from now? We have established a new precedent and, in
the British tradition, a precedent being established today will be thrown in our
face after the recess in November. We have already done it. If we want to change
the rules and the tradition, let us have a debate. I may agree to that and then
we can do it.
Senator Comeau is putting an immense burden on our shoulders because these
people have come from far away. Senator Kroft's committee has witnesses here
from Toronto now, and he is still waiting. I am the only one who was not
informed. Furthermore, the honourable senator who is to replace a member on the
committee has not been told anything.
Your Honour, I do not know what to do, but I see that the member of the
Banking Committee is here. He is in consultation. The new member is over there,
as is the other one. We may not be too intelligent, but we are not that stupid.
We see that we are the only people who are not consulted. If you want to play in
a nice orchestra, then make sure everyone plays the same tune.
Personally, if senators want to sit, okay, sit; but I will not sit. The
solution is as simple as reaffirming the principle that this is not the way to
run our affairs, even if I am the only one who is saying it. Things will be said
such as, "It is because of Prud'homme. It costs a fortune to bring back these
witnesses." In an orderly fashion, we could do so.
We have had a long day. If my honourable friends do not wish to see the clock
so that we continue sitting and committees are permitted to sit while the Senate
is sitting, I do not know how many senators will be left in the chamber. We will
not even have a quorum.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I am not sure how to
interpret this matter. I have asked honourable senators if it is agreed that we
not see the clock. Some conditions have been attached for agreement, and I
gather they are that Senator Comeau would consent if he gets agreement for his
Fisheries Committee to sit. Senator Robichaud has said that the Banking
Committee should be added to the list.
Senator Cools, do you have something to say? We are discussing the point of
whether leave will be granted.
Senator Cools: It takes more than leave to be granted for committees
to sit. It takes a motion. Leave alone does not allow committees to sit. The
committee chairmen would have to bring motions to allow the committees to sit. I
would have loved to have heard Senator Kinsella complete his remarks, but I
think he can complete them tomorrow. Let us see the clock, but first let us
allow the committees to meet.
The Hon. the Speaker: I take it, then, there is no leave for me to not
see the clock, honourable senators. I have no choice but to leave the Chair.
Senator Prud'homme: Your Honour, I want to be on record. I have had
more than ample time this afternoon to make my point, and I was ready to say
that you want to not see the clock, and that is okay. You want to sit, but I
will not sit.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, either we have leave or we
do not. I gather we do not have leave.
Senator Kinsella: Honourable senators, if it is helpful, I am quite
prepared to move the adjournment of the debate on the item that I was on and
continue the rest of my time tomorrow.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, would we agree, then, to
not see the clock to this point so that Senator Kinsella might conclude by doing
as he suggested?
Senator Roche does not agree, I gather?
Hon. Douglas Roche: Your Honour, I gave my consent last night to the
general desire to end the sitting without going through the full scroll. Today,
we have been going through the scroll. I have been waiting for two days to make
a relatively short speech on Motion No. 146. I will give my consent to not see
the clock now if I can speak on Motion No. 146 tonight, which will be a brief
Senator Cools: But there is a motion before us, Your Honour.
The Hon. the Speaker: This is getting a little complicated. I will put
Senator Roche's suggestion forward, but first I think I should go to Senator
Kinsella and give him the opportunity to adjourn his debate. I will then come
back to the issue of whether further time will be granted to not see the clock
on Senator Roche's question.
It may be, honourable senators, that when I do return to Senator Roche and I
say, "Are we agreed now to dispose of his item and not see the clock for that
purpose?," that there will not be consent and we will return at 8 p.m. In any
event, I will recognize Senator Kinsella now.
On motion of Senator Kinsella, debate adjourned.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, we are now on the matter of
leave. Senator Roche is withholding leave to not see the clock because he wishes
to speak to Motion No. 146. Is there agreement that Senator Roche be allowed to
give his speech and that we not see the clock for that purpose? Is there leave?
Hon. Jean-Robert Gauthier: Honourable senators, I have been patient in
waiting to speak on Motion No. 92, which is the last item on the scroll. Every
time I come here with my speech and I am ready to go, I cannot get the damn
thing out. Please, could we have some order in place and know where we are going
and who is speaking? Let us stop this nonsense about continuous questions.
The Hon. the Speaker: Where we are going is either I leave the Chair
and return at 8 p.m. or we not see the clock. I will put it in those stark
Senator Cools, it is now 6:10 p.m. I should have left the Chair 10 minutes
ago. In respect for the rules, I must at least try to constrain the amount of
time we spend on deciding this question.
Honourable senators, we can deal with this question in one of two ways.
Either we not see the clock, for which there must be unanimous agreement, or I
leave the Chair.
Is it your wish, honourable senators, that we not see the clock?
Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.
The Hon. the Speaker: Agreed?
Hon. Eymard G. Corbin: Honourable senators, I want to note that there
are committees, but others have also made plans for the evening. We did not
expect to sit. Can the Deputy Leader of the Government give us an idea of how
long we will be around here? That is all I want to know. That is a fair
Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government): The Leader
of the Opposition is right in saying we are not on government business. He is
right. I have an idea that there are two items that we would have to deal with,
the motion from Senator Gauthier and the motion from Senator Roche. As to how
much time it will take, I do not know.
The Hon. the Speaker: Are you on house business, Senator Cools?
Hon. Anne C. Cools: Yes, I believe in all fairness, Senator Comeau and
the other senators should be allowed to move their motions so that their
committees can sit at 6:15, and then Senator Roche would be able to speak, and
everyone will be happy.
The Hon. the Speaker: Senator Comeau?
Hon. Gerald J. Comeau: I ask for leave to move that motion, that our
committee be allowed to sit at 6:15, notwithstanding that the Senate is sitting.
The Hon. the Speaker: Is it agreed, honourable senators?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
Hon. Marcel Prud'homme: I will be silent. I totally disagree, but I
will not go further for today. I think I made my point all afternoon. I will
come back much more vigorously next time. I think I have done enough to put our
points together, and Mr. Speaker had a long day, so I will pretend that I am not
even hearing what is going on.
The Hon. the Speaker: Is it agreed, honourable senators, for Senator
Comeau to put his motion?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
The Hon. the Speaker: Leave is granted.
Senator Comeau: I move that the Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries
and Oceans be allowed to sit at 6:15, even though the Senate may then be
The Hon. the Speaker: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to
adopt the motion?
Motion agreed to.
The Hon. the Speaker: Do you wish to make a motion, Senator Kroft?
Hon. Richard H. Kroft: I move that, notwithstanding the Rules of
the Senate of Canada, the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and
Commerce be allowed to meet immediately. There are witnesses that have been
waiting since four o'clock.
The Hon. the Speaker: Is leave granted, honourable senators?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
The Hon. the Speaker: Senator Prud'homme?
Senator Prud'homme: If you shout for me too fast, you may have a
different tone. Those who agree rapidly were not there for the full debate this
afternoon, and I take strong objection to that.
I will repeat the same thing for Senator Comeau. I have made my point. I will
not attend the committee. However, I hope that next week we will not go through
However, prior to allowing this committee to sit, I want Senator Robichaud to
tell us that if Senator Roche speaks — he says 12 minutes; you all agreed to
that — it will mean that every other item will be postponed until tomorrow.
The Hon. the Speaker: That is an unusual condition of consent. Let me
ask one time — and I do not want conditional, unless it is absolutely necessary
— is leave granted for Senator Kroft to put his motion for his committee to sit
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
The Hon. the Speaker: Leave is granted.
Senator Kroft: I move that the Standing Senate Committee on Banking,
Trade and Commerce be allowed to sit at 6:20 this evening.
Senator Prud'homme: I want the record to show that I totally disagree,
but I will not go further in saying no for Senator Kroft's committee to sit.
However, I want to be on record saying that I object to the way we ran our
affairs this afternoon. I want to see that on the record tomorrow in the
The Hon. the Speaker: I cannot promise anything.
Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?
Motion agreed to.
On the Order:
Resuming debate on the motion, as modified, of the Honourable Senator
Grafstein, seconded by the Honourable Senator Joyal, P.C.:
That the following resolution, encapsulating the 2002 Berlin OSCE (PA)
Resolution, be referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights for
consideration and report before December 31, 2003:
Whereas Canada is a founding member State of the Organization for
Security and Economic Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the 1975
Whereas all the participating member States to the Helsinki Accords
affirmed respect for the right of persons belonging to national
minorities to equality before the law and the full opportunity for the
enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms and further that the
participating member States recognized that such respect was an
essential factor for the peace, justice and well-being necessary to
ensure the development of friendly relations and co- operation between
themselves and among all member States;
Whereas the OSCE condemned anti-Semitism in the 1990 Copenhagen
Concluding Document and undertook to take effective measures to protect
individuals from anti-Semitic violence;
Whereas the 1996 Lisbon Concluding Document of the OSCE called for
improved implementation of all commitments in the human dimension, in
particular with respect to human rights and fundamental freedoms and
urged participating member States to address the acute problem of
Whereas the 1999 Charter for European Security committed Canada and
other participating members States to counter violations of human rights
and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of thought, conscience,
religion or belief and manifestations of intolerance, aggressive
nationalism, racism, chauvinism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism;
Whereas on July 8, 2002, at its Parliamentary Assembly held at the
Reichstag in Berlin, Germany, the OSCE passed a unanimous resolution, as
appended, condemning the current anti-Semitic violence throughout the
Whereas the 2002 Berlin Resolution urged all member States to make
public statements recognizing violence against Jews and Jewish cultural
properties as anti- Semitic and to issue strong, public declarations
condemning the depredations;
Whereas the 2002 Berlin Resolution called on all participating member
States to combat anti-Semitism by ensuring aggressive law enforcement by
local and national authorities;
Whereas the 2002 Berlin Resolution urged participating members States
to bolster the importance of combating anti-Semitism by exploring
effective measures to prevent anti-Semitism and by ensuring that laws,
regulations, practices and policies conform with relevant OSCE
commitments on anti- Semitism;
Whereas the 2002 Berlin Resolution also encouraged all delegates to
the Parliamentary Assembly to vocally and unconditionally condemn
manifestations of anti- Semitic violence in their respective countries;
Whereas the alarming rise in anti-Semitic incidents and violence has
been documented in Canada, as well as Europe and worldwide.
RESOLUTION ONANTI-SEMITIC VIOLENCE IN THE OSCE
Berlin, 6 - 10 July 2002
1. Recalling that the OSCE was among those organizations which
publicly achieved international condemnation of anti-Semitism through
the crafting of the 1990 Copenhagen Concluding Document;
2. Noting that all participating States, as stated in the
Copenhagen Concluding Document, commit to "unequivocally condemn"
anti-Semitism and take effective measures to protect individuals from
anti- Semitic violence;
3. Remembering the 1996 Lisbon Concluding Document, which
highlights the OSCE's "comprehensive approach" to security, calls for "improvement in the implementation of all commitments in the human
dimension, in particular with respect to human rights and fundamental
freedoms", and urges participating States to address "acute
problems", such as anti- Semitism;
4. Reaffirming the 1999 Charter for European Security,
committing participating States to "counter such threats to security as
violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the
freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief and manifestations of
intolerance, aggressive nationalism, racism, chauvinism, xenophobia and
5. Recognizing that the scourge of anti-Semitism is not unique
to any one country, and calls for steadfast perseverance by all
The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly:
6. Unequivocally condemns the alarming escalation of
anti-Semitic violence throughout the OSCE region;
7. Voices deep concern over the recent escalation in anti-
Semitic violence, as individuals of the Judaic faith and Jewish cultural
properties have suffered attacks in many OSCE participating States;
8. Urges those States which undertake to return confiscated
properties to rightful owners, or to provide alternative compensation to
such owners, to ensure that their property restitution and compensation
programmes are implemented in a non-discriminatory manner and according
to the rule of law;
9. Recognizes the commendable efforts of many post- communist
States to redress injustices inflicted by previous regimes based on
religious heritage, considering that the interests of justice dictate
that more work remains to be done in this regard, particularly with
regard to individual and community property restitution compensation;
10. Recognizes the danger of anti-Semitic violence to European
security, especially in light of the trend of increasing violence and
attacks regions wide;
11. Declares that violence against Jews and other
manifestations of intolerance will never be justified by international
developments or political issues, and that it obstructs democracy,
pluralism, and peace;
12. Urges all States to make public statements recognizing
violence against Jews and Jewish cultural properties as anti-Semitic, as
well as to issue strong, public declarations condemning the
13. Calls upon participating States to ensure aggressive law
enforcement by local and national authorities, including thorough
investigation of anti-Semitic criminal acts, apprehension of
perpetrators, initiation of appropriate criminal prosecutions and
14. Urges participating States to bolster the importance of
combating anti-Semitism by holding a follow-up seminar or human
dimension meeting that explores effective measures to prevent
anti-Semitism, and to ensure that their laws, regulations, practices and
policies conform with relevant OSCE commitments on anti-Semitism; and
15. Encourages all delegates to the Parliamentary Assembly to
vocally and unconditionally condemn manifestations of anti-Semitic
violence in their respective countries and at all regional and
international forums.—(Honourable Senator Prud'homme, P.C.).
An Hon. Senator: Stand.
Hon. Marcel Prud'homme: I think I should be consulted on that. It is
under my name. At least, some should have the decency to ask if I want to speak
on this. Stand.
On the Order:
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Gauthier,
seconded by the Honourable Senator Fraser:
That the Senate approve the radio and television broadcasting of its
proceedings and those of its committees, with closed-captioning in real
time, on principles analogous to those regulating the publication of the
official record of its deliberations; and
That a special committee, composed of five Senators, be appointed to
oversee the implementation of this resolution.—(Honourable Senator
Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable
senators, this motion by Senator Gauthier is an important one. Normally, such
motions are studied first by the Internal Economy Committee. Senator Gauthier
and Senator Bacon, the chair of that committee, have been consulted, and they
have consented to move that the motion be referred to the Standing Committee on
Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration and to have that committee report
on it by May 27, 2004.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, it is moved by Senator
Robichaud, seconded by Senator Gauthier:
That the motion be referred to the Standing Committee on Internal
Economy, Budgets and Administration; and
That the committee report on it by May 27, 2004.
Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?
On motion of Senator Kinsella, debate adjourned.
Hon. Marcel Prud'homme rose pursuant to notice of Thursday, May 8,
That he would call the attention of the Senate to the parliamentary
associations, in particular their budgets and the very odd manner in which
some of them, specifically the Inter-parliamentary Union, conduct their
He said: Honourable senators, Senator Day wished to say a few words, which
will give me more time to prepare my remarks.
Hon. Joseph A. Day: I believe this is an important item for
consideration, and therefore I ask honourable senators to consider the matter
The Hon. the Speaker: Are you wishing to adjourn for further time?
Senator Day: I would, honourable senators, like to do so, with the
permission of my colleague, who has already adjourned the matter. With that
permission, I would be pleased to do so.
The Hon. the Speaker: It is everyone's permission you are seeking. Did
you want to speak to it, Senator Cools?
Hon. Anne C. Cools: I would have to take the adjournment, just in
The Hon. the Speaker: Senator Day will adjourn the debate.
Senator Cools: Perfect.
On motion of Senator Day, debate adjourned.
Hon. Rose-Marie Losier-Cool, pursuant to notice of June 19, 2003,
That the Senate of Canada recommends that the Government of Canada
recognize the year 2004 as the Acadian Year.
She said: Honourable senators, I promise you that my remarks will be brief.
On June 19, 2003, I gave notice of motion that the Senate of Canada recommend
that the Government of Canada recognize 2004 as the Acadian Year.
I thank my New Brunswick colleague, Senator Robertson, who is not here right
now, for her Senator's Statement on September 17, in which she was in agreement
with this request.
The Government of Canada's recognition of 2004 as the Year of Acadia is
extremely important to Acadians.
In 2004, many festivals will mark the four hundredth anniversary of the
founding of the first permanent European settlement in North America at
Port-Royal, in what is now Nova Scotia.
The expedition led by Pierre du Gua de Monts left the French port of
Havre-de-Grâce in March 1604 for Acadia. Among the approximately 120 souls on
board were Samuel de Champlain, Jean de Biencourt, François Dupont-Gravé and
In May 1604, a few weeks after leaving Le Hâvre, the flotilla of the Sieur de
Monts arrived in La Hève, on Nova Scotia's Atlantic seaboard. The crew had
crossed French Bay, known today as the Bay of Fundy, in search of mines and a
good place to establish a settlement or trading post. While travelling up the
St. Croix River, which now separates the State of Maine and New Brunswick, they
discovered a small island.
Honourable senators, this gives you a brief historical overview of the early
days of French settlement in North America. You will agree that after centuries
of challenges and success, the Acadian people have reason to celebrate their
Nova Scotia's Acadian community is organizing its largest celebration since
its foundation; the Congrès Mondial Acadien will be the most important gathering
of Acadia's 400th anniversary. On September 6, the national historical site of
Grand-Pré will inaugurate its new interpretation centre. I am told it is a real
gem. The Grou Tyme is preparing a major Acadian event for the Tall Ships
2004. Hundreds of youth will participate in the Festival Jeunesse de l'Acadie.
This is a mere sample of what Nova Scotia is preparing.
In Newfoundland and Labrador, preparations are well under way. There will be
construction of traditional Basque chaloupes and of bread ovens in various sites
where the French fishermen worked, in addition to photo exhibits. Meanwhile, the
Mi'kmaq and the people of Miquelon are planning the re-enactment, in July 2004,
of the traditional canoe voyage to Miquelon made by the Mi'kmaq.
Prince Edward Island's Acadian community is pleased to be celebrating 400
years of history in the regions of West Prince, Évangéline, Summerside, Rustico,
Charlottetown and the eastern part of the Island. The 2004 celebrations will be
marked with festivals, family reunions, historical re-enactments, spectacular
performances, and many other events. The Assemblée parlementaire de la
Francophonie will hold its annual meeting in Charlottetown in 2004. More than
100 parliamentarians from all over the international Francophonie will be
meeting in Acadia, where they will discover a vibrant segment of the Canadian
and Acadian Francophonie.
In New Brunswick, 400 years of Acadian presence in North America will be
celebrated in 2004, 400 years of successful community life. St. Croix Island is
the site of the founding of the first permanent French settlement in America.
There will be a spectacular celebration of that event on June 26, 2004.
Throughout the entire year, a wide variety of activities will take place, all
around the theme of sharing Acadian history.
Honourable senators, I invite you to join with the Acadian people, who want
to show all Canadians how significantly their dynamism has contributed to the
vitality of Canada and French life in North America. In this special context,
the Acadian people believe that such a declaration by the Government of Canada
would contribute to making the four hundredth anniversary of Acadia a more
official event and recognize a significant date in the history of our country.
Thus, I ask the Senate to support this motion and ask the Government of
Canada to recognize 2004 as the Acadian Year.
Hon. Fernand Robichaud (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable
senators, I wholeheartedly support Senator Losier- Cool's motion.
On motion of Senator Kinsella, for Senator Comeau, debate adjourned.
Hon. Douglas Roche, pursuant to notice of September 17, 2003, moved:
That the Senate of Canada recommend that the Government of Canada refuse
to participate in the U.S.- sponsored Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD)
1. It will undermine Canada's longstanding policy on the
non-weaponization of space by giving implicit, if not explicit, support
to U.S. policies to develop and deploy weapons in space;
2. It will further integrate Canadian and American military forces
and policy without meaningful Canadian input into the substance of those
3. It will make the world, including Canada, not more secure but less
He said: Honourable senators, first, I should like to thank the Honourable
Senators Robichaud and Kinsella for facilitating the possibility of making this
I want to advance three principal reasons why Canada should not participate
in the U.S.-planned missile defence system.
First, ballistic missile defence, or BMD, will lead to weapons in space.
Proponents of Canadian participation in BMD maintain that we will only be
joining a ground-based interceptor system and that Canada will still hold to its
longstanding policy opposing weapons in space. This is wrong.
The Missile Defense Agency has been very clear that the missile defence
system will evolve over time. The system is to involve a layered defence,
capable of intercepting missiles in boost phase shortly after launch, in
mid-course in space, and in terminal phase as they near the target.
As a recent study by the American Physical Society pointed out, a
terrestrial-based missile defence system will be incapable of intercepting
missiles in boost phase launched from states such as North Korea and Iran, which
will have at best a limited capacity to target the United States over the next
several years. To account for this deficiency, the U.S. will have to deploy
weapons in space.
It should not come as a surprise, then, that the Missile Defense Agency until
recently planned to begin development of a space- based test bed in 2004, for
deployment in 2008, in order to test space-based weapons. A recent announcement
that the space- based laser development is being suspended must be taken in the
context of the evolutionary nature of the system. The reason for the suspension
is not one of principle, but of technology. As soon as the Missile Defense
Agency can make a case for the feasibility of such development, funding approval
from the Bush administration will not be far behind.
The administration's determination to be the first to weaponize space is also
evident in numerous other initiatives sponsored by the Pentagon. In pursuit of
the capability to strike any target on earth within minutes, the Pentagon
intends not only to dominate near-earth space orbits, but also to maintain the
capacity to deny their use to others. In place of a space-based laser, the army
is currently seeking funding from Congress to develop terrestrial- based
anti-satellite lasers. Clearly, the U.S. Department of Defense intends to
prosecute future wars using weapons that are situated in, or directed at, outer
Ballistic missile defence is an integral part of this wider policy of placing
weapons in space. The Canadian Nobel laureate Dr. John Polanyi has called BMD a
conveyor belt to the weaponization of space. Canada cannot cut BMD up into
little pieces and pick and choose in which it will be involved. The system is an
integrated one, and has to be in order to function effectively.
Canada's traditional stand against weapons in space is rooted in our
commercial and security interests. The Canadian economy is increasingly reliant
on satellites for everything from communications and weather to surveillance and
navigation. Placing weapons in space will put these important commercial assets
at risk of becoming the collateral damage of a war in space.
At a time when the Canadian Department of National Defence is considering a
draft Space Strategy 2020, which suggests Canada seek anti-satellite
capabilities that stop just short of placing weapons in space, it is important
for the Government of Canada to reaffirm Canada's policy. The government needs
to recognize that BMD is not just an extended defence system but is one that
will lead to weapons in space. As the system develops, it will be impossible to
separate out, in any meaningful way, ground- and space-based elements. It will
be one package leading to U.S. space-based dominance. Canadian participation in
missile defence, no matter how modest, will constitute an endorsement of U.S.
intentions to weaponize space, ending Canada's policy opposing weapons in space.
That is the stark fact the government must face.
Second, honourable senators, it is a delusion to think that Canada can
determine the direction of BMD. Some have argued that Canada should push for
command and control of BMD to be put under NORAD, a binational command in which
we have a significant role. This would enhance Canadian sovereignty, they say,
because it would give us a "seat at the table" when decisions are made
concerning the development and use of the system.
This idea is a fanciful and dangerous delusion. A brief survey of U.S.
foreign and defence policy-making under the Bush administration shows a
determination to proceed with policies irrespective of the positions of the U.S.
allies, or the international community at large, even when such policies are in
clear violation of international law. U.S. defence policy-makers clearly reject
the idea that U.S. actions should be constrained by the system of collective
security institutionalized in the United Nations.
In Iraq, the U.S. failed to obtain UN Security Council approval for its
actions, as required under the UN charter. The reason is clear: Iraq did not
pose an imminent threat to international security, nor even to the U.S. itself.
Instead of respecting the authority of the UN, the U.S. disregarded opposition
in the Security Council and attacked nevertheless.
Recently, the Bush administration has come back to the UN seeking a
resolution that will endorse the American occupation and hasten military and
financial contributions from hesitant U.S. allies. Yet even now, faced with the
enormous costs of proceeding unilaterally, the U.S. is reluctant to cede
significant authority to the UN.
The U.S. is taking a similarly unilateral approach to nuclear disarmament in
insisting that other states abide by the non- proliferation treaty by abstaining
from acquiring or proliferating nuclear weapons, while the U.S. violates its own
obligation, which it had reaffirmed as recently as 2000, to negotiate the
destruction of its nuclear stockpiles. Instead, the Pentagon is opting to
develop new nuclear weapons and to advance strategies for using nuclear weapons
in war fighting. From these examples, it is clear that, when the Bush
administration calls for international cooperation, what it really means is
subjugation — the subjugation of the interests of other states to the will of
the United States.
So, when the Pentagon invites Canada to participate in BMD, we should not be
under any illusion about our role in the system. Regardless of where command and
control of BMD is located, whether in the binational NORAD program or in the
U.S. commands of NORTHCOM or STRATCOM, it is U.S. policy that will determine how
the system is developed and deployed. If Canadians in NORAD object to the
weaponization of space, or to other aspects of BMD policy, the U.S. will simply
move that section of BMD to a command under its exclusive jurisdiction.
The U.S. has clearly shown that when it comes to what it considers its
national security interests, it will not be constrained by the opinions of its
friends and allies nor, even as it showed in Iraq, by the dictates of
international law. It is an outright fantasy to believe that the Bush
administration will defer to Canadian concerns regarding its flagship national
security policy of BMD. Instead, Canadian participation in BMD will inevitably
embrace and endorse the American policy agenda for missile defence, with no
prospect for meaningful input into that agenda.
Third, honourable senators, BMD means less security for Canada. The system to
be deployed in 2004 is, according to the Pentagon, aimed at protecting against
an accidental missile firing by a nuclear weapons state, or an intentional
missile launch by a so-called rogue state with only a limited number of
missiles. If, as the American Physical Society claims, that system will be
ineffective against even such a limited attack, then it will have to be
supplemented with further developments, including the deployment of weapons in
space, to function as planned.
Since the BMD system will never be 100 per cent effective, it will depend on
a functioning arms control regime to limit the capacity of potential aggressors
to overwhelm the system. In fact, it will depend on the arms control regime,
while at the same time undermining the very foundations of that regime — the
principle that nations agree to mutual disarmament in order to create a more
peaceful environment for all.
It is understandably difficult to convince such states as North Korea to end
their nuclear programs for good, while the U.S. is ready, willing and able to
attack any nation, not in self-defence as provided for under Article 51 of the
UN Charter, but whenever it deems a regime change to be sufficiently in its
BMD is an integral part of the U.S. defence policy, which includes the
doctrine of pre-emption set out in the national security strategy and the
development and use of nuclear weapons in warfare proposed by the Nuclear
Posture Review. The missile defence system is intended to protect the U.S.
homeland, but it will also shield U.S. forces deployed overseas. This is not
merely a defensive system, but one that will actively contribute to U.S.
offensive operations, including pre-emptive invasions such as the recent U.S.
actions in Iraq.
Instead of trying to shoot down missiles before they land with a limited rate
of success, it would be more appropriate and effective to work to ensure that
missiles are never launched in the first place. The only way to achieve this is
through international cooperation, a longstanding focus of Canadian foreign
policy. To succeed, cooperation requires parties on all sides to negotiate in
genuine good faith, instead of proceeding unilaterally with programs that
threaten and further antagonize potential adversaries.
Honourable senators, it is abundantly clear that the U.S. administration is
rushing to deploy the opening phases of a missile defence system by the fall of
2004 in order to make a political statement to the American people prior to the
2004 presidential election. The present U.S. aggressiveness on missile defence
is being driven by the White House, not by the scientific community. The
military-industrial complex has virtual control of the present administration.
This may well change when the American people, so traumatized by the terrorist
attacks of September 11, 2001, eventually recover their balance. Meanwhile, the
reckless policies of the Bush administration are threatening the system of
collective security painstakingly constructed over the last six decades.
I applaud the stand taken by Prime Minister Chrétien against the U.S.-led war
on Iraq, which contravened the will and authority of the UN Security Council.
However, our decision on BMD should not be a casualty of our willingness to
stand up to the United States over Iraq. In respect of Iraq, we made our
decision based on the values and interests of Canada and, as a result, have
upheld our reputation as a good international citizen. In the discussions
currently underway with the Americans on missile defence, we need to focus once
again on the real values and interests of Canada: the maintenance of
international security, the effective functioning of arms control regimes and
the maintenance of a weapons-free space environment.
This is what a host of NGOs in Canada, including such important groups as the
Liu Institute, Project Ploughshares and the Group of 78, are now urging the
government to pursue.
Honourable senators, Canada must not compromise its values by joining this
imprudent U.S. military plan that scientists say will not work; that analysts
say is destabilizing; and that ethicists say is distracting the world from
investing in true human security. This is a critical moment for Canada to stand
up for its values instead of abandoning them in deference to misguided and,
perhaps, transitional American pursuits. Saying no to missile defence will
strengthen Canada's ability to continue to push for a world ruled by
international law, upheld through international cooperation.
On motion of Senator LaPierre, debate adjourned.
The Senate adjourned until tomorrow, Thursday, September 25, 2003, at 1:30