Hon. John Lynch-Staunton (Leader of the Opposition): Honourable
senators, tempted as I still am to raise a question of privilege following an
exchange with the Leader of the Government last evening, I am resisting the
almost overwhelming urge to do so in the interest of not delaying regular
proceedings unduly and, instead, will limit myself to putting the facts on the
As yesterday's Hansard shows, Senator Kinsella asked, "Why are we here
tonight?" The Leader of the Government in the Senate replied, "To hear from
No one on the government side, nor on this side, was ever told by me that I
intended to speak on any item on yesterday's Order Paper because, as I had
advised the Deputy Leader of the Opposition last week, I had a longstanding
engagement to speak in Halifax yesterday, which I did. I was not to return to
Ottawa until late afternoon.
This information was provided to the Deputy Leader of the Government during
the routine meeting yesterday morning to plan the business of the day. Senator
Murray also inquired directly and received the same information.
The Leader of the Government also said:
Let us tell the rest of the story. Senator Kinsella asked why we were here
tonight and I said that we were here to hear Senator Lynch-Staunton speak
because his name is on the Order Paper.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Such sophistry cannot be allowed to
stand unchallenged. Government legislation is never shown on the Order Paper in
any senator's name. Rule 49(2) states:
A motion to adjourn the debate on any item of government business shall be
deemed to be a motion to postpone that debate to the next sitting day. In this
case, the item shall not stand on the Orders of the Day or the Order Paper
in any Senator's name and may be called pursuant to rule 27(1).
Lest anyone miss the key element which the Leader of the Government in the
Senate seemed inclined to dispute yesterday, let me repeat for the benefit of
honourable senators — and particularly for that of the honourable leader — that
the item shall not stand on the Orders of the Day or the Order Paper in any
I trust that this sets the record straight, and that the Leader of the
Government will not hesitate to confirm it and act accordingly.
Hon. Wilfred P. Moore: Honourable senators, I rise today to offer my
congratulations to the Nova Scotia team who captured the Canadian Junior Women's
Curling Championship this past Sunday, February 15, in Victoria, British
Columbia, in a dramatic, come-from-behind, 6-3 victory over the talented
Marie-Christine Cantin team from Quebec. The Nova Scotia rink of the Chedabucto
Curling Club in Boylston, Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, will now go on to
represent Canada at the World Junior Curling Championships.
The new Canadian champions are: Skip, Jill Mouzar of Liverpool; Third, Paige
Mattie of Boylston; Second, Blisse Comstock and her sister Chloe Comstock, Lead,
both of Lunenburg.
Jill works in Halifax, Paige attends McGill University, Blisse attends Acadia
University and Chloe attends St. Mary's University. It is a testament to their
dedication, energy and sacrifice that these young women have been able to come
together and achieve this high level of championship teamwork.
I am certain that all senators join with me in offering their congratulations
to the Nova Scotia team and wishing them every success as the representative of
Canada at the World Junior Curling Championships to be held March 20-28 next, at
Hon. Donald H. Oliver: Honourable senators, this is a statement that I
intended to give a week ago but this is the first opportunity I have had to give
it. I apologize that it is a bit late.
I would like to bring to the attention of honourable senators an important
event that took place more than a week ago in Bedford, Nova Scotia. Elections
Canada chose that location to launch a new Web site for young voters and also to
announce the results of a national
contest for high school students to create a video that encourages voting. These
initiatives were undertaken in response to the sharp decline in recent years in
voter turnout among young people.
I am pleased to announce that one of the winning entries for the video
contest was from the Flexible Learning and Education Centre in Nova Scotia. The
creators of this video were Michael Carr, Nic Foster and Ashley McNeill. I ask
all senators to join me in congratulating them and the other winners from across
the country. I hope their advertisements and the Elections Canada initiative can
help reverse the trend of low youth participation in the democratic process.
In the most recent federal election in 2000 when the overall voter turnout
was 64 per cent, an historic low for Canada, only 25 per cent of 18-to
24-year-old Canadians eligible to vote bothered to cast a ballot. Put another
way, three out of four young Canadians did not exercise their most basic
democratic right. In addition, honourable senators, research conducted by
Professor John Pammet of Carleton University also shows that not only are young
people voting in fewer numbers but, over time, their willingness to participate
also declines. According to this research, the implications are clear: If
nothing is done to halt or reverse this trend, voter turnout will continue to
decline over time to the detriment of the democratic process in Canada.
The reasons behind this decline in youth voter turnout are many but the main
reasons given are that they see little relevance in the political process, and
the belief that issues that matter to them do not seem to be a priority for the
politicians. These are very harsh words, honourable senators, and we should heed
them if we want to maintain the vibrancy of our democracy.
Honourable senators, we need to actively encourage initiatives to make the
young people of Canada understand that by playing a role in the democratic
process they can take charge of the future of this country. By exercising their
right to vote during the electoral process, they are honouring the legacy handed
down by their parents and grandparents over the last sixty years to ensure that
the most basic right of democracy, the right to vote, is theirs to exercise. We
need to let them know that, in a world where hundreds of millions of people do
not have this right, we are among the fortunate few.
Hon. Maria Chaput: Honourable senators, last Sunday I attended a
concert marking the fifth anniversary of the opening of La Maison
Mathieu-Froment-Savoie. The honorary chair of the event was Senator Viola Léger.
La Maison Mathieu-Froment-Savoie is a palliative care centre in the
Outaouais. Founded in 1993, its objective is to help the terminally ill and
their families through this important stage of their lives with respect and
The house was named in memory of Mathieu Froment-Savoie, a young cellist from
the region who died of cancer in 1991 at the age of 13.
I would like to say a word in praise of one of our honourable colleagues,
Senator Sharon Carstairs, whose continuing efforts have persuaded our government
to support palliative care through the employment insurance program.
The theme of the fifth anniversary for La Maison Mathieu-Froment-Savoie was
"Speak to me of love."
This project could never have been launched nor continue to exist without its
many volunteers, donors and contributors.
Today, I would like to recognize more specifically the contribution of a
number of artists who treated us to their unforgettable poems, songs and
melodies on the theme of love. Thanks to them, the concert raised some $10,000
for La Maison Mathieu-Froment-Savoie.
Too often we take the volunteer activities of our artists for granted. But
these are the people who allow us to appreciate the beauty of life in all its
facets, whether through poems, books, songs, music, the visual arts, or so much
Today, I would also like to pay tribute to all my honourable colleagues who
are also artists, in particular, the honourable Senator Viola Léger, who read a
poem, with piano accompaniment by Ms. Pierrette Froment-Savoie, the mother of
the young cellist who died of cancer.
Senator, you touched the hearts of everyone present and your exceptional
contribution to this event brought honour to the Senate of Canada.
Hon. Willie Adams: Honourable senators, yesterday, residents of
Nunavut voted in their second general election since the territory was created
Nunavut consists of 26 communities, which are represented in 19 ridings.
Nunavut takes up a very large part of Canada and communities tend to be isolated
from one another. The population of Nunavut is approximately 26,000 and from
this number 82 Nunavummiut put their names forward to run in the election.
Voter turnout was 95 per cent, and this indicates how involved the people of
Nunavut want to be in their government. I am pleased to report that two women
were elected to the legislature.
I would like to congratulate the new members of the Nunavut Legislative
Assembly and wish them well as they undertake their new responsibilities. The
names of the new members and their ridings are as follows:
Paul Okalik—Iqaluit West
Hunter Tootoo—Iqaluit Centre
Olayuk Akesuk—South Baffin
Peter Kattuk—Hudson Bay
David Simaliak—Baker Lake
Levinia Brown—Rankin Inlet South-Whale Cove
Tagak Curley—Rankin Inlet North
Hon. Mira Spivak: Honourable senators, last week I succumbed. I could
not resist the invitation of Monte Solberg in his little infomercial, and so I
had the pleasure of seeing a remarkably simple, low-cost piece of Canadian
technology that is bringing clean drinking water to tens of thousands of
The BioSand water filter, developed by Canadian Dr. David Manz, was on
display in the Centre Block. As its name implies, through a slow-sand filtration
process, it turns unsafe river water in developing countries into badly needed
Some 11,000 of them have been installed in two Cambodian provinces since
January 2001. The Water for Life project is a joint effort of the Canadian
International Development Agency, CIDA, and Samaritan's Purse Canada, a
Calgary-based relief agency. Dr. Manz has generously allowed the agencies to use
the water filter for humanitarian purposes.
Today, as a result of the project, 77,000 people in Cambodia can lead
healthier lives, free of waterborne diseases that the World Health Organization
estimates are causing 3.4 million deaths a year. This is just a simple little
box with sand in it — a concrete pillar — that costs about $75.
The next step for project workers, if CIDA grants its support, is to install
13,000 more water filters to help another 94,000 Cambodians. CIDA has also
partnered with Samaritan's Purse on similar projects in Nicaragua and Ethiopia.
After seeing what this simple device can do, I applaud the project and
sincerely hope that CIDA will continue lending its support to this important
I must say that obviously Monte Solberg cannot be all bad if he stood up in
the House of Commons and invited people to come to see this project in action.
Hon. Bill Rompkey (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable
senators, I have the honour to table a number of documents on the sustainable
development strategies on behalf of ministers of the Government of Canada. I
would remind honourable senators that these documents are available at the
Journals Branch and I would ask the Table to ensure that all senators receive a
Hon. Shirley Maheu: Honourable senators, pursuant to rule 104 of the
Rules of the Senate, I have the honour to table the first report of the
Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights. This report outlines the expenses
incurred by the committee during the Second Session of the Thirty-seventh
(For text of report, see today's Journals of the Senate, p. 130.)
Hon. Shirley Maheu, Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Human
Rights, presented the following report:
Tuesday, February 17, 2004
The Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights has the honour to table its
Your Committee, which was referred for consideration on February 10, 2004,
a resolution encapsulating the 2002 Berlin OSCE (PA) Resolution, respectfully
requests clarification on the mandate and its purpose.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, when shall this report be
taken into consideration?
On motion of Senator Maheu, report placed on the Orders of the Day for
consideration at the next sitting of the Senate.
Hon. Maria Chaput: Honourable senators, pursuant to rule 104 of the
Rules of the Senate, I have the honour to table the first report of the
Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages on expenses incurred by the
committee during the Second Session of the Thirty-seventh Parliament.
(For text of report, see today's Journals of the Senate, p. 131.)
Hon. Maria Chaput: Honourable senators, I give notice that at the next
sitting of the Senate I shall move:
That the Senate Standing Committee on Official Languages be authorized to
study and report from time to time upon the operation of the Official
Languages Act, and of regulations and directives made thereunder, within those
institutions subject to the Act, as well as upon the reports of the
Commissioner of Official Languages, the President of the Treasury Board and
the Minister of Canadian Heritage;
That the Committee table its final report no later than June 30, 2004; and
That the papers and evidence received and taken on the subject and the work
accomplished during the second session of the 37th Parliament be referred to
Hon. Shirley Maheu: Honourable senators, I give notice that tomorrow,
I shall move:
That the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights have power to engage the
services of such counsel and technical, clerical, and other personnel as may
be necessary for the purpose of its examination and consideration of such
bills, subject matters of bills and estimates as are referred to it.
Hon. Shirley Maheu: Honourable senators, I give notice that at the
next sitting of the Senate, I will move:
That the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights be authorized to examine
and report upon key legal issues affecting the subject of on-reserve
matrimonial real property on the breakdown of a marriage or common law
relationship and the policy context in which they are situated.
In particular, the Committee shall be authorized to examine:
. The interplay between provincial and federal laws in addressing the
division of matrimonial property (both personal and real) on-reserve and, in
particular, enforcement of court decisions;
. The practice of land allotment on-reserve, in particular with respect
to custom land allotment;
. In a case of marriage or common-law relationships, the status of
spouses and how real property is divided on the breakdown of the
. possible solutions that would balance individual and community
That the papers and evidence received and taken on the subject and the work
accomplished by the Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights during the
Second Session of the Thirty-Seventh Parliament be referred to the Committee;
That the Committee submit its final report no later than June 25, 2004, and
that the Committee retain all powers necessary to publicize the findings of
the Committee contained in the final report until July 30, 2004.
Hon. Gerald J. Comeau: Honourable senators, I give notice that at the
sitting of the Senate of Thursday, February 19, 2004:
I will call the attention of the Senate to the House of Commons Debates
of February 11, 2004; specifically the concerns caused by Bloc Québécois
Stéphane Bergeron's Motion M-382 in which he is seeking:
That a humble Address be presented to Her Excellency praying that,
following the steps already taken by the Société Nationale de l'Acadie, she
will intercede with Her Majesty to cause the British Crown to recognize
officially the wrongs done to the Acadian people in its name between 1755 and
Hon. Jean-Robert Gauthier: Honourable senators, pursuant to rule 4(h),
I have the honour to table in this House petitions from another 1,000
signatories, for a total of 27,840 to date, asking that Ottawa, the capital of
Canada, be declared a bilingual city, reflecting the country's linguistic
The petitioners wish to draw the attention of Parliament to the following:
That the Canadian Constitution provides that English and French are the two
official languages of our country and have equality of status and equal rights
and privileges as to their use in all institutions of the Government of
That section 16 of the Constitution Act, 1867, designates the city of
Ottawa as the seat of the government in Canada; and
That citizens have the right in the national capital to have access to the
services provided by all institutions of the Government of Canada in the
official language of their choice, namely French or English;
That the capital of Canada has a duty to reflect the linguistic duality at
the heart of our collective identity and characteristic of the very nature of
Therefore, your petitioners call upon Parliament to affirm in the
Constitution of Canada, that Ottawa, the capital of Canada — the only one
mentioned in the Constitution — be declared officially bilingual, under
section 16 of the Constitution Acts from 1867 to 1982.
Hon. Wilbert J. Keon: Honourable senators, my question is for the
Leader of the Government in the Senate. Last week, Health Canada unveiled its
plans for dealing with pandemic influenza, including its intention to provide
enough vaccine for every Canadian. The contracted supplier for the vaccine is
Shire Biologics of Laval, Quebec. The supplier's British parent company, Shire
Pharmaceuticals Group PLC, is reportedly in the process of trying to sell this
company or spin it off.
Despite this news, there is no back-up vaccine supplier named in Health
Canada's pandemic plans. Even if this particular company were not sold, Health
Canada should have a contingency plan in place in the event that the original
supplier is unable to produce the vaccine or to meet full demand for whatever
Could the Leader of the Government in the Senate tell us if Health Canada
will set up a contingency plan regarding the procurement of flu vaccine?
Hon. Jack Austin (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I
cannot imagine why the contract with the designated supplier would be interfered
with in any way if the ownership of the company were transferred to another
company. The contract would still be viable. I cannot see why the company would
not continue to be in business.
However, the suggestion that there be a contingency supplier may be well
worth taking into account. Of course, the Honourable Senator Keon knows that
asking someone to set up a contingency program costs a great deal of money
because they would have to be able to manufacture the vaccine just as quickly as
the primary supplier. I cannot take the honourable senator beyond this level of
answer, but I will look into it. Perhaps we could have a discussion about the
Hon. Wilbert J. Keon: Honourable senators, I must say that this
situation is not unusual. One of the things that has worried me over the last
number of years relates to decisions being made by governments of every
political persuasion and jurisdiction to consolidate, and thus have one big
dinosaur that, in turn, can roll over and die, and then we are left with
nothing. It would seem more reasonable to me that contracts of this size should
be awarded to two companies instead of one, in order to keep internal markets
and foster healthy competition. I appreciate that it is not always as simple as
that because sometimes they cannot get the quality assurance that they require,
but I think we must encourage that much more than we have in the past.
We have had far too much consolidation in health resources in Canada. I
attended the health summit in Washington a couple of weeks ago — I am sorry,
Your Honour, for this harangue — and it is interesting that there has not been a
single consolidation in America of health care resources, hospitals and such,
that has not resulted in an increased cost to the consumer. We must be very
careful about putting all of our eggs in one basket.
My supplementary question is: Could the government look into the possibility
of splitting these contracts and giving half of the contracts to another
Hon. Jack Austin (Leader of the Government): Certainly, I will take up
the question with the Minister of Health, Senator Keon. I know that the primary
focus of the government at the moment is ensuring, when a viral infection
occurs, that it can be identified very quickly because, as you well know, the
response time to make enough doses of vaccine to cover any appreciable part of
the Canadian population is quite long.
Hon. Marjory LeBreton: Honourable senators, my question is for the
Leader of the Government in the Senate. A few weeks ago, the Quebec Superior
Court ruled that François Beaudoin, the former president of the Business
Development Bank, had every reason to believe he was the victim of a vendetta
led by friends of the former prime minister, including Jean Carle and Michel
Vennat. Mr. Justice André Denis said:
If one had to break Mr. Beaudoin and ruin his career, one would not have
acted differently. This entire affair leaves a profound impression of an
Honourable senators will recall that Mr. Beaudoin's integrity was impugned
when he was first stripped of his powers as the bank president, forced out of
his job at the bank, and then accused of manipulating the pension fund to his
personal advantage. He was the subject of an extraordinary early morning police
raid on his home and cottage. Mr. Beaudoin and his family were put through the
wringer by the thuggery tactics of this government.
Can the Leader of the Government tell us when the Prime Minister will issue
an apology on behalf of the Prime Minister's Office and the Government of Canada
to Mr. Beaudoin and his family for the immense pain and suffering caused by
these horrific events?
Hon. Jack Austin (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I
would not for a moment begin to dispute the decision of the judge in the
Beaudoin case. I am personally appalled by the findings that the judge has
made with respect to the circumstances.
As for an apology by the government, this is one step that I am not sure is
appropriate. It was not this government that was responsible for the actions of
Senator Lynch-Staunton: The RCMP?
Senator Austin: I do not know how they are involved in an apology, but
in any event I might say that the events as described by the judge are highly
Senator LeBreton: On August 3, 2000, then Industry Minister John
Manley appointed Mr. Michel Vennat as President of the Business Development Bank
for a five-year term. Honourable senators will recall that Mr. Vennat had acted
as chairman of the board during the period when Mr. Beaudoin was stripped of his
powers as the president. In light of Mr. Justice Denis' damning indictment of
Mr. Vennat's action, can the Leader of the Government tell us if the Government
of Canada has requested the resignation of Mr. Vennat, and if not, when will
they do so?
Senator Austin: Honourable senators, I will simply reply to that
question by saying that I have no information on what consideration the
Government of Canada is giving to the question that Senator LeBreton is asking.
Senator LeBreton: Honourable senators, can the Leader of the
Government in the Senate then tell us how much this civil suit has cost the
Business Development Bank and the taxpayers of Canada?
Senator Austin: Honourable senators, I cannot give you an answer to
how much this action has cost. I think the whole nature of the question is
designed to suggest that this government is somehow culpable, and I deny that
that is the case.
Hon. Marjory LeBreton: My final supplementary question is this: On
March 28, 2001, a newspaper report stated that the former prime minister had
used his role as a member of Parliament to help the Auberge du Gouverneur and
the Auberge Grand-Mère. Both of these hotels had loans from the Business
Development Bank, and it is reported that both hotels are now in bankruptcy. In
fact, one of them, I think, was practically ruined by fire.
Can the Leader of the Government tell us how much the Business Development
Bank lost in these two ventures because of the interventions of the former prime
Hon. Jack Austin (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I do
not believe any money was lost due to the intervention of the former prime
Hon. David Tkachuk: Honourable senators, the Chrétien administration
and the Liberal government condoned what I would call "jackboot techniques" in
the raids on François Beaudoin's house and cottage, and this government has
continued in the same vein. We all were shocked about the raid on Juliet
O'Neill's home and office. My question follows up on Senator LeBreton's question
about an apology for Mr. Beaudoin. Can the Leader of the Government tell us when
Mr. Beaudoin will receive an apology from the RCMP?
Hon. Jack Austin (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I
cannot imagine a situation in which the RCMP, acting on information it believed
was valid and having been given the authority by a judge to take action, raises
the circumstance, in the Ms. O'Neill case, of any kind of an apology from the
Senator Tkachuk: Can the Leader of the Government assure us that there
will not be a further vendetta against Mr. Beaudoin, and that the vendetta
against Juliet O'Neill will end now?
Senator Austin: I have no idea whether the word `vendetta' or such
actions has anything to do with these matters, but I can assure the honourable
senator that this government will not have a vendetta with any Canadian citizen.
An Hon. Senator: What about Sheila?
Hon. Gerry St. Germain: Honourable senators, my question is for the
Leader of the Government in the Senate. The honourable leader tells us that his
government is not culpable of, nor are they, carrying on vendettas. Yet Mr.
Vennat and Mr. Carle came right out of the PMO and went over to the Federal
Business Development Bank. When François Beaudoin questioned the loans in which
the former prime minister was implicated, therefore, these two gentlemen who had
worked for the former prime minister, especially Mr. Carle, were right on the
My question — and what British Columbians are asking, as are Canadians right
across this country — is this: If the RCMP were utilized in this manner, or
perceived to have been utilized in this manner — that may be a better way of
putting it — then what is next? Could they possibly use CSIS, Revenue Canada, or
the Senate, or anyone else, to get back at whoever is perceived to be an enemy
of those who are in power? I think this is an important question, Senator
Austin, because it is being raised. People are fearful of the abuse of power
that has taken place across the way.
Senator Austin: Honourable senators, I do not believe that anyone
could perceive that the RCMP is under political control or is acting under the
direction of anyone in the government itself. The RCMP has the highest integrity
and is acting as law requires it to act in judgement of the facts that it
develops. I have heard no one in British Columbia question the integrity of the
Senator St. Germain: Honourable senators, I do not think they are
questioning, necessarily, the integrity of the RCMP. They are questioning the
integrity of the PMO in utilizing and forcing the RCMP. With regard to the
Airbus affair, it was clear that the RCMP acted on innuendo. Mr. Mulroney was
paid $2 million as a result of a witch hunt and an attack on his personality.
They refused to withdraw the investigation in spite of the fact that they had
not a single ounce of proof that Mr. Mulroney was involved.
When we look at the Vennat and Carle situation, it is an exact replay of the
same thing: utilizing the RCMP in a political way. This goes against the grain
of most Canadians. The minister may not have heard about it on the West Coast
because, to be fair, he is quite busy here — maybe he has not been home enough —
but I would like to hear his comments.
Senator Austin: When Senator St. Germain argues that the RCMP are
being utilized, what he is saying is that the RCMP have no integrity. I
absolutely refute the concept that there is any political direction to any of
the work of the RCMP. It is just not the case. When questions are raised with
respect to former employees of the Prime Minister's Office, they relate to their
role in their post-employment situation, and the ministry has no responsibility
for answering those questions.
Senator St. Germain: The honourable senator is saying that the
ministry has no responsibility. Who has responsibility, then? To whom do these
people answer when they take on these roles? When Jean Carle went over to the
Federal Business Development Bank, who sent him?
Senator LeBreton: Who prepared the speaking notes?
Senator St. Germain: That is right. As Senator LeBreton just pointed
out, who prepared the speaking notes? To whom do they answer? Do they answer to
no one? Canadians want to know the answers to these questions. The standard
Liberal line is, "We did not know what was going on." Well, someone must take
responsibility. The buck stops somewhere. Where does the buck stop, Senator
Austin? Tell us.
Senator Austin: It is very easy to tell you, Senator St. Germain. With
respect to any behaviour of any employee of the Business Development Bank, Mr.
Justice O'Connor has given his views. The consequences will flow therefrom, and
they are civil consequences.
With respect to the question that relates to the behaviour of government
employees or officers of the Crown, the Government of Canada has taken steps to
initiate a judicial inquiry. The government has referred these matters to the
Public Accounts Committee in the other place and the RCMP is conducting an
investigation. I think every possible form of action that could be taken by the
government to look into these matters has been taken. The results will be
transparent and we will know what steps to take thereafter.
Senator St. Germain: Why is the Sûreté du Québec now investigating
instead of the RCMP? Answer that question for me, sir.
Senator Austin: Very simply, honourable senators, the RCMP itself
asked the Sûreté du Québec to look at one of the aspects raised in the Auditor
General's report, namely, the funding that went from the communications branch,
via whatever route, to the RCMP to allow it to produce musical rides. The RCMP,
not wanting to be in a position to have one unit of the RCMP investigate
another, asked the Sûreté du Québec, as the best arm's-length way of proceeding,
to examine and report on that particular aspect.
Senator Tkachuk: Honourable senators, in the Ottawa Sun of
February 15, in an article taken from the court transcripts and also from
interviews with Mr. Beaudoin, it states that Vennat, who is a chairman of the
board of the Business Development Bank and a good friend of the Prime Minister,
wrote two separate letters to RCMP Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli: one asking
the federal police to investigate Beaudoin for misappropriation of bank property
during his tenure; the other claiming he was the source of the forged Grand-Mère
document leaked to the National Post.
Is the Leader of the Government telling us that the government is taking no
action against the chairman of the board to find out what really happened and
why those actions were taken against Mr. Beaudoin?
Senator LeBreton: Or the commissioner for even seeing it.
Senator Austin: Honourable senators, at this moment I do not have any
information with respect to what review is taking place of that particular
judgment as it may affect any person who is directly the appointee of the
Governor in Council. I will make inquiries. If I receive any information, I will
be happy to provide it.
Hon. Jack Austin (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators,
while I am on my feet, I want to provide the answer to a question asked by
Senator Angus, something that I was reminded about by Senator Kinsella
yesterday. I said that I would provide the answer yesterday.
I was asked, "What are the roles of Pierre Tremblay and Charles Guité?"
Pierre Tremblay was the Executive Assistant to then Minister Gagliano for the
period June 1997 and August 1999. He then became the Executive Director of the
Communications Coordination Services Branch, CCSB, from August 1999 to September
2001. Charles Guité was the Executive Director of the Communications
Coordination Services Branch. He was in that position from November 1997 to
Hon. Douglas Roche: Honourable senators, the Leader of the Government
in the Senate will be aware that tonight, in the House of Commons, a special
debate is being held on the issue of the possible participation of Canada in the
U.S. missile defence system. I want to ask the leader if he will consider having
a debate in the Senate so that senators will have the opportunity of giving
their views on this important matter. I hope he will not suggest that I should
launch an inquiry. I am talking about a government-sponsored motion, for
example, that would refer the matter to the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign
Affairs, inasmuch as it is the Department of Foreign Affairs that is the lead
department in the government on this matter.
Hon. Jack Austin (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, my
suggestion is that we await the outcome of the debate in the other place and see
if there is anything we can add to it.
Hon. Douglas Roche: Honourable senators, on February 3, 2004, at page
26 of Hansard, the Leader of the Government said, in answer to my question
concerning Canada's possible participation in the missile defence system, that:
It is abundantly clear that Canada has no intention of participating in a
program that deals with the militarization of space.
The Prime Minister made a similar pledge on February 5.
Is the Leader of the Government aware that on February 2, the U.S. Missile
Defence Agency submitted its budget request for money to start testing a
space-based interceptor in 2005, which confirms the planned integration of the
ground-based system with space weapons in 2012?
The U.S. plans are absolutely clear: Missile defence is headed for weapons in
space. Will the government now state clearly that Canada will not violate its
long-standing policy of no weapons in space and, consequently, not join the
missile defence system? When the Leader of the Government suggests there is
nothing new on this subject, there is something new of a substantive nature that
ought to be debated here in the Senate.
Hon. Jack Austin (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, it
is my information, as I have said before, that we are holding discussions to
determine what the U.S. missile defence program intends to achieve. We have made
it clear, and I will make it clear again, that it is not the policy of the
Government of Canada to participate, in any way, in a program that could lead to
With respect to the current program that the United States is conducting, I
am advised that the U.S. would like to deploy a missile defence system by the
end of this year, which would be land- and sea-based only. We are now having
some discussions about that program, but we have not yet entered into any
negotiations nor made any decision as to whether or not we will participate.
The Honourable Senator Roche is quite familiar, I am sure, with the domestic
debate in the United States as to whether a research program should go forward
with respect to the space-based part of a possible policy. My information is
that they are far from taking any decision in the United States at this time.
Hon. Consiglio Di Nino: Honourable senators, the Auditor General's
report and the scandal identified by Ms. Fraser have had an impact, I believe,
on all parliamentarians. I am sure honourable senators on both sides have been
the recipient of the wrath of the public on this issue. I have to agree with
some of the things I am hearing, and I wish to ask the Leader of the Government
in the Senate a question.
Paul Martin was the finance minister during the HRDC debacle, when a
billion-plus dollars of taxpayers' money went down the drain. He was the finance
minister during the gun registry debacle, which cost Canadian taxpayers at least
a billion dollars, if not more than that. He was there at the time of the
decision to purchase the planes that those in the know said, "You do not need
them; you should not take them." He was the finance minister. He has said that
he does not know anything about the CSL situation, and now he is saying, "I do
not know anything about this most recent disregard of taxpayers' money."
The question that I am being asked, and that I would like to pose to the
Leader of the Government in the Senate, is this: If he did not know, should he
not have known? Ought he not to have known what was going on?
Hon. Jack Austin (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, this
question of Senator Di Nino's is just a repeat of questions that were put to me
last week, and in particular a question put to me by Senator Carney that I
answered fully at that time. I will answer it briefly now because I know Senator
Stratton likes succinct answers.
The succinct answer is that the Minister of Finance is not a microcontroller
of the operations of a department or a program. He controls the process of the
macroeconomy. He deals with the allocation of revenues to various government
programs, and a completely separate system is supposed to deal with the
administration of funds.
Senator St. Germain: The CFO of Enron is in jail.
Senator Austin: That is a stupid comment.
Senator St. Germain: It is not. He is the CFO.
Senator Austin: As it applies to this situation.
Senator Di Nino: Honourable senators, if this were happening in the
private sector, there would be repercussions behind the debates and questions on
the floor of the two chambers of the Parliament of Canada.
The question is this: Is Paul Martin competent? Is he able to do the job?
That is the question.
Some Hon. Senators: Yes.
Senator Di Nino: Do not answer me; answer the public out there. Can
this man do his job? Did he do the job that the taxpayers of the country were
paying him to do, Mr. Minister?
Senator Austin: Honourable senators, of course he is the most
competent person in Canada to be Prime Minister of Canada. Ultimately, the
people of Canada will make that judgment in the next election.
Senator St. Germain: You bet.
Senator Di Nino: You are the leader. You go first.
Hon. Terry Stratton: Honourable senators, is the honourable leader
saying that that is competency? Is he saying that Paul Martin deserves to be the
Prime Minister because of his competency? He did not know about the billion
dollars spent in the firearms registry for gun control; he did not know about
the billion dollars wasted in the HRDC debacle; he did not know about the
hundred million dollars' worth of aircraft that were purchased. That is
Senator Kinsella: Competence.
Senator Austin: Honourable senators, the Minister of Finance does the
job of the Minister of Finance. He cannot, as Minister of Finance, know
everything that goes on in the Government of Canada.
In terms of competency, the people of Canada have held him in very high
esteem as a Minister of Finance, probably the most successful Minister of
Finance we have had in recent years, and the combination of Mr. Chrétien and Mr.
Martin delivered great service to Canada in dealing with the deficit that was
left to us following the Mulroney government years in office.
Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!
Senator Stratton: Honourable senators, perhaps Senator Austin knows
that there is a 43-point-something-billion dollar surplus in the EI account. How
did Minister Martin get the deficit down? By the way, how much does the GST
bring in yearly — a tax that he intended to get rid of? Tell me, how much?
Senator Austin: Honourable senators, let me just say I take note of
Senator Stratton's point of view.
Hon. Donald H. Oliver: Honourable senators, my question is for the
Leader of the Government in the Senate, and it deals with visa schools. Federal
immigration workers warned last fall about the rapid rise in the number of
so-called visa schools in Canada which provide an avenue for entry into our
country for criminals and potential terrorists by selling them fake student
documentation. They also take money from unsuspecting foreign students by
charging them high tuition fees and offering little or no education in return.
Last month an internal government memo was released which states:
...most people worldwide would probably be surprised to hear that the
Canadian government does not consider it important whether the school for
which it issues student authorizations are bona fide educational
My question for the Leader of the Government in the Senate is this: Since
this issue was initially raised last fall, what has the federal government done
to ensure that schools listed on student visas are genuine?
Hon. Jack Austin (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, my
understanding is that the government has initiated measures to check credentials
of schools, but these schools are, of course, given credentials by provinces. I
recognize that there has been a problem, and a problem may still remain. I will
pursue that line of questioning to see whether I can obtain any further
Senator Oliver: Currently, immigration officials cannot reject a
student visa application based on his or her choice of school. Also, there is no
master list of valid Canadian schools for officials to check when reviewing
student visa applications. A national master list of legitimate educational
institutions maintained by the industry and approved by the federal and
provincial governments may provide a solution to this problem.
Last fall, the federal government said that it could do nothing in this
matter due to jurisdictional issues, very much in the way that the honourable
senator just alluded to, which does nothing to protect either foreign students
Will the federal government, in consultation with the provinces, establish a
master list of legitimate Canadian schools for the purpose of reviewing foreign
student visa applications?
Senator Austin: As I said, honourable senators, I will be happy to
look into the question of what dialogue now exists between the federal
government and the provinces to create such a master list.
A great deal of information is available now in the public domain with
respect to universities. There are university associations, and there is
accreditation given by universities and colleges in the country. The problem has
existed with specialized schools that are, for example, English language schools
or, particularly, business programs in hospitality, hotel management and so on.
There are many legitimate schools around the country. However, as to the process
of discovering which are and which are not legitimate and how active that
process is today, I shall attempt to get that information and provide Senator
Oliver with a written comment.
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Smith, P.C.,
seconded by the Honourable Senator Robichaud, P.C., for the second reading of
Bill C-5, respecting the effective date of the representation order of 2003.
Senator Robichaud: Question!
The Hon. the Speaker: Hearing no senator asking that this be stood,
are honourable senators ready —
Hon. John Lynch-Staunton (Leader of the Opposition): It is a
government bill. If they do not speak to it, then I will speak to it tomorrow,
The Hon. the Speaker: "Stand," I think, is all we need.
Hon. Landon Pearson moved the second reading of Bill C-16, respecting
the registration of information relating to sex offenders, to amend the Criminal
Code and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.
She said: Honourable senators, it is my privilege to rise on second reading
to speak in support of Bill C-16. This bill provides police with a new tool to
investigate sex offences and to find the predators and bring them to justice.
Bill C-16 contains proposals in response to a unanimous request by the
provincial and territorial governments that the federal government establish a
national registry for sexual offenders. An agreement was reached on the registry
in a relatively short time, the federal, provincial and territorial governments
having worked closely together.
For several years, honourable senators, provincial justice ministers have
pressed the federal government to create a national sex offender registry,
particularly for child sex offenders.
Targeted federal measures to protect children from sexual predators began in
Canada in 1994, after broad consultations with partners and stakeholders.
Subsequently, the Solicitor General, along with ministers of justice and health,
launched the national screening system for persons in positions of trust with
children and other vulnerable groups. This system allows the screening agency to
access criminal records on the Canadian Police Information Centre, better known
as CPIC, through police agencies.
The screening system was further enhanced in August 2001, when the Criminal
Records Act was amended to ensure that even the records of pardoned sex
offenders could be accessed for screening purposes.
Today, CPIC provides Canadian police agencies with access to criminal history
records and other police information supported by fingerprints. Direct access to
CPIC information is strictly limited to accredited law enforcement agencies,
but, as I have said, it can be accessed for child protection screening purposes.
However, CPIC is not without its limitations. For example, CPIC's current
capacity to provide an up-to-date address or other pertinent information is
limited because offenders who have completed their sentences are, of course, no
longer under supervision and therefore are not required to report to
authorities. In addition, CPIC does not have the capacity to search its holdings
by address or offence, a feature that would greatly assist police in their
investigations of crime.
On March 13, 2001, the House of Commons voted overwhelmingly in support of a
motion calling for the federal government to create a national sex offender
registry. In supporting the motion, former Solicitor General MacAulay stated
that we have a proven and reliable sex offender registry now but are committed
to going even further. The Solicitor General indicated that the CPIC database
could be enhanced by adding information on the current address of individuals as
records for sex crimes, as provincial and territorial officials requested.
At the September 11, 2001, meeting of Ministers of Justice in Nova Scotia,
the Solicitor General announced upgrades to the CPIC database so that the
current addresses could be included and updated.
Honourable senators, this new sex offender database is intended to improve
the ability of police to quickly locate sex offenders who live or work near a
crime scene by enabling searches by current address, by offence or by name. This
is precisely what the provinces and territories requested.
Once agreement was reached on the development of the database, we held
further consultation with provincial and territorial ministers and senior
officials. They asked us to help create a truly national system under federal
Subsequently, at a meeting of federal-provincial-territorial ministers of
justice on February 13, 2002, the Solicitor General and the Minister of Justice
announced that they would make their best effort to bring forward federal
legislation mandating the registration of sex offenders. The only stipulation
was that any plan brought forward would need the support of all jurisdictions.
Honourable senators, we continued to work together, and two years later the
legislation is before us. The national consensus is that the legislation should
be enacted as soon as possible.
The registration system being proposed is comprised of three components,
namely, the federal legislative framework, an electronic sex offender database
maintained by the RCMP, and administration and enforcement of the legislation by
all police agencies in their areas of jurisdiction. The registration system will
allow police to quickly consult the registry, to search its contents using
established criteria and to develop possible sex offender suspects in the
vicinity of the crime.
Honourable senators, allow me to take a moment or two to describe the main
highlights of the legislative framework set out in Bill C-16.
Offenders who are convicted of a sex offence listed in the Criminal Code will
be required to register with police within 15 days following the issuance of an
order by the court or following release from custody. Thereafter, they will be
obligated for at least 10 years, and often for life, to remain registered with
police. This means that they will have to notify police of any change of address
or name within 15 days and will have to report in person annually to renew or
update information entered on the registry. Failure to do so will constitute a
criminal offence punishable by up to two years in prison on second offence and
up to $10,000 in fines.
When offenders report to police, as they will be obligated to do under the
proposed legislation, they will be required to provide information such as
current address, telephone number, place of employment, date of birth and the
like. They will also be required to disclose any distinguishing marks and
tattoos and may be photographed and fingerprinted. On subsequent visits to the
police registration centre, they will be required to update information about
them contained in the registry.
Honourable senators, the government understands that Bill C-16 will have an
intrusive impact on the lives of those who will be subject to registration, in
some cases for life.
However, let me assure honourable senators that this proposed legislation
respects Charter and constitutional limitations and provides adequate safeguards
on the rights of Canadians while providing police with an effective
The registration system that is being proposed is consistent with principles
of justice and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and will ensure the fair
treatment of persons subject to the registry through a series of balancing
The requirement for an offender to register can occur only by judge's order
in a hearing, where the offender has the right to counsel and the right to be
heard. The presiding judge will have discretion to refuse Crown applications for
registration orders based on the grossly disproportionate test already provided
for in the Criminal Code for DNA Identification Act orders.
Application for a registration order must be made at the time of sentencing
and registered offenders will have the right to apply for a review of their
status after 20, 10 or 5 years, and/or when they have received a pardon.
Registered offenders will have the right to appeal a registration order as
well as the right to review their data within the sex offender database and to
Honourable senators, this government is equally concerned that public
disclosure of registration information might drive offenders underground to
conceal themselves and their whereabouts. The offenders' effort at concealment
is not only dangerous in the short term, but also it destroys efforts at
The fear of identification may encourage offenders to move out of a
particular province and away from any community supports they may have. For
these reasons, access to registry data, except by authorized persons for
authorized purposes, is strictly prohibited in this bill and criminal penalties
are provided for the misuse of the data.
In other jurisdictions that operate sex offender registries, public access
has often led to misuse and misunderstanding that mistakenly alarms the public,
sometimes even resulting in acts of vigilantism. Consequently, there is no
provision in Bill C-16 for public access to the registry.
In closing, honourable senators, sex offender registries should only be
regarded as a public safety tool developed in order to reduce the risks to
children and to other citizens from sex offenders by facilitating
We must understand that no measure within the criminal justice system exists
in a vacuum, sex offender registries included. We must recognize that sex
offender registries have not proven to be a panacea against sexual violence in
jurisdictions that have them. The offender who chooses to evade registration, in
spite of the risk of a fine or imprisonment or for failure to register, may
still be susceptible to detection by good old-fashioned police work.
A successful approach to reducing recidivism by sex offenders will require an
effective, multi-faceted approach that includes a series of measures at various
stages in the criminal justice system.
Honourable senators, Bill C-16 follows up on the unanimous recommendation of
provincial and territorial premiers and justice ministers. It also addresses a
concern shared by all that every effort be made to protect our children, and
vulnerable adults as well, from sexual predators who might want to harm them.
I urge honourable senators to pass Bill C-16 so that it can take effect as
soon as possible.
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Trenholme Counsell,
seconded by the Honourable Senator Massicotte, for an Address to Her
Excellency the Governor General in reply to her Speech from the Throne at the
Opening of the Third Session of the Thirty-seventh Parliament.—(8th day of
Hon. Viola Léger: Honourable senators, in their responses to the
Speech from the Throne, Senators Poulin and Banks eloquently focussed on the
vitality of the artistic contribution to Canada and its importance to this
country. Yesterday, in his brilliant argument in favour of preserving our
cultural heritage, Senator LaPierre stressed the place culture holds in our
historic heritage. Given my active participation in the arts, I was particularly
pleased and proud to hear these comments on the excellence and the influence of
our cultural life. It is always very gratifying for artists when the importance
of their contribution gains this kind of recognition.
Canadian artists are abounding in inventiveness and originality. Some even
feel there has never been so much cultural activity at any other time in the
history of Canada. The formidable talents of our creative Canadians have been
given recognition and added renown through one prestigious reward after another.
With every awards ceremony, the impressive list of Canadian winners continues to
We recall, for instance, the double victory at the latest Cannes festival, as
well as the Oscar nomination, for Denys Arcand's Barbarian Invasion. A
similar path was followed by Zacharias Kunuk's Atanarjuat — The Fast
Runner — with its totally Inuit cast.
Then there is the magic of Cirque du Soleil, which continues to amaze and
delight audiences. On the musical front, we have Diana Krall and Celina Dion,
who rank among the most famous and admired singers in the world.
In theatre, dance, literature, in all forms of artistic expression from the
most classical to the most avant-garde multi-media presentation, the horizons of
our creative geniuses continue to expand well beyond our borders.
All cultures are made up of a system of codes by which a society reminds
itself of what it has been, what it is, and what it aspires to become. These
reminders are found throughout artistic creation. That is what the arts do, as
well as being the most enjoyable way of finding out how others live their lives.
Like individuals, societies want to preserve their identity. Through art and
culture, we preserve human expression, exchange, dialogue and creation. We
preserve our identity. Culture is our colour and identity. Culture is the soul
of a people.
Canada's solid reputation for artistic creativity has raised awareness all
over the world of the richness of our history, our heritage and the diversity
that is so important to us.
Through our cultural achievements, we demonstrate on the global stage that
Canadians express themselves mainly in English and in French, but also in a
multitude of Aboriginal languages. Our art in its various guises proves that in
Canada we are not limited to one mode of feeling but that we are capable of
sharing the whole range of human emotions, despite linguistic and racial
Therefore, it is no exaggeration to say that Canada's creative artists and
performers, and our cultural undertakings, are among our best ambassadors on the
The positive effects of this explosion of artistic talent are not limited to
expanding Canada's reputation throughout the world. It is a known fact that a
solid and flourishing artistic sector constitutes an essential component of a
healthy community on all levels.
As Senator Banks said in his speech on February 13, cultural activity is a
spur to the economy, through the considerable revenue it generates and the
opportunities it makes available. Every year many tourists are attracted to our
festivals, museums, art galleries and artistic performances.
Furthermore, international visitors attending our cultural events are likely
to take a favourable image of Canada back home with them. Without a doubt, the
arts have a positive effect on our economic performance.
Artistic creation is a place of reflection, escape, inspiration,
entertainment and comfort. Art moves us to laughter or tears, and helps us to
discover things, develop our imagination, see the world differently, and reflect
and meditate on the human condition. Art brings balance into our lives, lifts
our spirits and allows us to live and breathe. Without beauty and laughter, we
There is a tenacious prejudice that art is a useless frill, but let us think
for a moment about what we would be without such sources of inspiration and
distractions as books, films and plays. What would we do without painting or
dance? How would it be possible to live and die without music? Music softens the
rough edges of our behaviour and uplifts us in dark times.
Honourable senators will remember in the film Titanic the scene where,
as the ship was sinking, the musicians continued to play so that the passengers
could face their fate. In the film The Bridge on the River Kwai, when the
bridge was on the point of giving way, the soldiers went to their deaths
In the Senate chamber our surroundings are ideal for the work we do. We owe
this to the skill of the artists who created the panorama of striking images
that make the walls of the chamber less austere. All the beauty in this room and
this building is the end product of the vision of gifted creators.
The cultural sector is just as important as the other sectors of activity. It
is just as vital as national defence. History shows us that our culture, and the
men and women who devote themselves to it, constitute one of our most precious
natural resources. We are delighted by the successes that our best-known artists
enjoy, but do we pay enough attention to the conditions in which the whole arts
community has to live and work and create?
Let us free our minds for a moment and listen to this poem by Thompson
Rake the sand from your eyes
and collect it in an hourglass
so you can lie
awake and count
every liquid minute dripping
from the leaky faucet hours
melted hour dropping
from the moon's candle glow
and in your room,
din of silence
beats like windswept ice
pellets against your window
North Atlantic waves
crashing into the hollow space
that was once filled with
slow, placid rhythm
of another sleeper's breath.
There is good reason to wonder whether we are always aware of the great
sacrifice made by these human beings who produce the marvellous creations of
which we are so proud. Sometimes I think not, when I see how underfunded culture
is. Public spending on culture falls far short of expectations and even farther
short of what is needed.
Everyone knows that the situation of artists — of most artists — is very
difficult. Many of them are still unable to earn a decent living on the strength
of their art alone. Despite the goodwill of the authorities, the greatest danger
facing artists today — and surely tomorrow if nothing is done — is the lack of
support. I urge the federal government to respond as quickly as possible by
improving assistance for the artists of today, who are often living in difficult
conditions. The success of some should not make us blind to the straitened
circumstances of others. There are still some who are barely making ends meet.
As I was saying earlier, Canadian creators and interpreters are riding a wave
of success. I am convinced that each of us hopes that this success will continue
unabated. I sincerely hope that we continue to move forward, but for that to
happen, we must invest in the future.
This is not to say, however, that the current explosion of talent happened by
chance. In the recent past, these artists received training through the
generosity and deep commitment of the great educators often found in classical
colleges. Then, in 1951, the Massey-Lévesque Report provided the framework that
led to the emergence of several generations of gifted, innovative and
independent Canadian artists.
Unfortunately, times have changed, and there have been budget cuts...
We must protect our talent and encourage people to take up the calling. We
must provide a framework for creativity in school by introducing young people to
the arts and providing training for our most talented young artists. Much work
has been done in schools to train young people, but, very often, having been
awakened through education to art appreciation, they cannot afford to advance
any further. The federal government must prepare the succession by ensuring that
our young people between the ages of 20 and 30 will be able to carry on this
Governments must provide basic arts training, and it must be solid training,
with the best teachers. Governments must really believe in the value of culture
and must ensure that it survives by giving it the support it deserves. It is
important to inject money into promoting culture, as so many European countries
do. However, there is more involved than simply increasing culture's share of
The Prime Minister promised in the Speech from the Throne to work with
parliamentarians to modernize our arts and cultural policies. I applaud him for
this commitment. In my opinion, a revision of our cultural policies is necessary
for two reasons. First, we are today confronted with a virtual reality whose
scope and intangibility place it beyond our control. More and more the world is
marching to the beat of the information and communication technologies,
particularly the Internet. Our era is one of organizational and technological
innovation, and it is important that we adapt our cultural policies to the
formidable digital era. The Government of Canada, in partnership with the other
levels of government, must make sure that the Canadians of today receive an arts
training that is worthy of our forebears, but adapted to our time.
Second, it is obvious that our era is being shaped by globalization, and
globalization's watchwords are competition, laissez-faire, the withdrawal of
government, profitability, the superiority of the market, consumption. Taken to
its logical conclusion, this trend can only result in the commercialization of
all sectors of activity. We must be vigilant. Culture must not become
merchandise, and the government must see that it does not.
It is up to us to adjust our approach so that it takes into account the
reality of the 21st century, marked by a giddy, universal spin towards
materialism, immediacy and speed. Such an adjustment can only be made by
redefining and strengthening the foundations of our cultural pillars.
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Honourable senators, I
must advise Senator Léger that her time has expired.
Senator Léger: May I have leave to continue?
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Honourable senators,
is leave granted?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
Senator Léger: Honourable senators, I urge governments to adopt a
vision of Canadian culture in the 21st century in order to achieve a balance
with such unbridled consumerism. This new policy should reaffirm culture as
essential to life.
The Government of Canada will never be able to say too much about this vision
or about how important the arts are to Canada. Our aim must extend beyond
globalization and materialism.
The government has a duty to put creators in the forefront and, together,
Canadians will make a contribution to modern-day civilization.
I want to give Acadian poet and filmmaker Léonard Forest the last word.
J'ai planté partout mes jardins de liberté,
il y pousse parfois des fleurs
je ne sais où les aller
J'ai semé partout mes jardins d'avenir,
il y pousse parfois des fleurs
blanches surtout,fleurs d'amour,
À leur coupe, je ne sais qui
J'ai planté partout mes jardins de joie,
il y pousse parfois des audaces
quand tu viendras, j'y dormirai.
Hon. Consiglio Di Nino: Honourable senators, during the debates on the
Speech from the Throne, I heard many wise comments, and I hope that mine will
add a different perspective and be of some value.
I will deal primarily with two issues: The effects of terrorism on the daily
lives of citizens, and the failure of Canada, and other developed countries, to
truly help to improve the suffering of the millions of people in the developing
world. I believe that these two problems are linked and that neither is
adequately addressed in the Speech from the Throne.
In the Speech from the Throne, the word "terrorism" is hardly used. It is
only mentioned in a few sentences near the end of the speech. It seems to me to
be an afterthought in the Prime Minister's agenda. Certainly, the Prime Minister
has put a new "super minister" in charge of our security. A good symbolic
move, perhaps, but does this ministry have the resources and authority to
address the real causes of the problem, or is it simply window dressing? On the
other side, are there risks of creating more and more elements of a police
state? This whole issue deserves a more thoughtful and reflective discussion.
The global terrorist threat is a well-established fact. Sadly, in every
corner of the world, a normal way of life now includes living with the threat of
terrorism and its consequences. It is my belief that, in most of the world, the
consequences may be more invasive than the risk of potential acts of terrorism.
I recently had the opportunity to attend and participate at the Assembly of
the Council of Europe. Vigorous debate took place on a report called
"Terrorism: a threat to democracies." The report suggests that the preventive
measures undertaken to safeguard societies, including restrictions on our
activities, invasion of our privacy and lifestyle changes, may become the norm
rather than the exception. An example of this is airline travel and the invasive
nature of security checks, and the cancellation of flights because of security
As we all know, legislatures around the world have enacted laws that restrict
rights and privileges and invade the private spaces. Some new laws have had
greater consequences in certain parts of the globe. This has resulted in
stereotyping, which has also led to profiling. Many examples of this have been
widely reported globally, including in Canada.
Another disturbing consequence is the application and enforcement of
terrorism laws enacted to eliminate, or at least lessen, the occurrences of
terrorist acts. For example, we are all well aware of the horrifying breach of
civil liberties recently perpetrated by the RCMP in the search for information
related to the Arar case. To swoop down on the offices of The Ottawa Citizen
and the home of reporter Juliet O'Neill would have been unthinkable just a few
years ago. The actions of the RCMP have been described as a gross abuse of power
and have created quite a controversy. Happily, parliamentarians of all political
stripes, and indeed many eminent Canadians, have condemned the RCMP and are
demanding a review and/or repeal of the legislation passed in response to the
events of September 11, 2001, which gave the police the authority to conduct
Plenty of anecdotal evidence also exists about police harassment in many
democratic countries around the world, based on unfounded suspicions. There are
numerous reports that some countries may be violating people's rights and
liberties under the pretext of combating terrorist threats. Yes, honourable
senators, sadly, terrorism has created, and continues to create, a threat to our
democratic rights and has permanently changed the way that we live. Unless we
defeat this human cancer, humanity as we know it may indeed be at risk.
Terrorism is an enormously difficult problem and, as safe as we try to make
ourselves in "Fortress North America," we will never conquer it unless we
better understand and tackle its root causes. Some of these root causes are
poverty, ignorance and lack of education. I know that some of you will disagree
with me and will tell me that Osama bin Laden is very wealthy, or that the
Middle East is awash in oil. You may be right. However, the foot soldiers
forming cells in Indonesia or in Mogadishu or in Canada cannot be dismissed that
simply. Poverty is not the only cause of terror, but it is one of the
ingredients that fuel it. Our policies on international aid, which I view as
inadequate window dressing, add fuel to the fire.
In this constantly shrinking global village, it is impossible to isolate
ourselves from the problems of poorer nations. Poverty and lack of education
leave the citizens of these countries vulnerable to the influence of dictators,
terrorists, criminals and the like. An empty stomach, honourable senators, is
more easily tempted.
We are affected in other ways. The developing world is less able to protect
itself from health problems, which today are easily transported to the rest of
the world at enormous costs to our economies. Surely a better-funded and
administered development program would reduce the incidence of global health
crises. Make no mistake: Even if there were no link between terrorism and
poverty and the health of Canadians, I believe the humanitarian response of the
Western world would still be insufficient. It is mainly window dressing. It
shames us and needs to be fixed.
Most of the developed countries are far from achieving stated goals and
targets with respect to international development aid, and that includes Canada.
We have seen some improvement in the past few years but, like most of the rest
of the world's nations with the resources and capability of doing more, we fall
woefully short in responding to the dire needs of poorer nations. One has to
question our political will when confronted with the fact that more than 50
nations are worse off today than they were ten years ago. I would make a strong
argument that our failure to share our economic success with those in need costs
us much, much more in the long term.
The issue of human development was recently, once again, put at the top of
the global agenda when 189 heads of states and governments, including Canada,
signed on to the millennium development goals at the UN Millennium Summit in New
York in September 2000. The millennium goals aim to halve the number of poor
people, get all girls into schools, put an end to child and maternal mortality,
fight HIV/AIDS and ensure sustainable development. Canada is a signatory and has
pledged to institute policies that will help meet these goals.
Unless Canada and other developed nations take the lead and do their part,
particularly in funding this initiative, it will prove to be yet another empty
or, at best, half-empty promise to appease our collective conscience.
The solution to the underfunding of aid programs is not overly difficult to
find. We the developed nations need only look into mirrors where both the
identity of and the solution to the problem will be found. Increasing aid
contribution will not by itself lead to a total solution. Throwing money at the
problem will not fix health care here at home and it certainly will not fix the
problem of poverty and sickness abroad.
The structure of aid programs and their delivery are also wanting. Too often,
aid is seen from the viewpoint of donor nations. Much of it takes the form of
what is called "tied aid," meaning contributions with strings attached,
strings that substantially reduce the benefits of the aid to its recipients.
Also, aid must be better monitored to ensure that it gets to those most in need,
especially women and children, usually the most disenfranchised.
A more difficult part of the solution is protecting aid contributions from
corrupt officials, criminals and combatants in local conflicts. Much stronger
support must be given to the organizations charged with the responsibility of
delivering aid, those on the front lines. Otherwise, as we have too often seen,
the aid just lands in the hands of corrupt officials or is used to wage war.
Finally, I firmly believe that good aid programs are those that lead to
self-sufficiency. Good programs will help break the dependency and lead to
independence from handouts, such as providing tools and education to build
sustainable economies. This will also lead to a significant reduction in
asylum-seekers, another global problem that too often has tragic consequences.
Yet the Speech from the Throne and the Prime Minister's reply to the Speech
from the Throne say little about these problems. The Prime Minister simply says
that we want to make our international development approach "contemporary." It
says our international assistance must "reflect our values."
What does that mean? I do not know. I have no idea.
A recent Toronto Star column referred to our development budget as
anaemic. Nothing in the Speech from the Throne indicates that there will be any
meaningful change in that. Canada's overseas development assistance of $2.46
billion in 2003 represents 0.22 per cent of gross national product. In 1992, it
was 0.45 per cent, double what it is today. The UN's global goal is 0.7, a mark
the government has repeatedly stated it intends to meet but never quite gets
Development data is not enough to solve the problem of poverty itself.
Perhaps the most fundamental and most controversial action required of us is the
creation of real trade opportunities for developing countries, particularly in
agriculture. To achieve this, we must adjust our thinking on tariffs, non-tariff
barriers and the export and internal subsidy programs that tend to distort the
marketplace and make poorer nations uncompetitive. Rich countries' subsidies,
such as the European Union's common agricultural policy and the American farm
aid program — which President George Bush just increased by 80 per cent —
together cost over $300 billion U.S. per year. These subsidies and those of
other nations keep millions of human beings in poverty, too many of whom starve
to death every day.
Does it make sense that the European Union and the U.S. alone subsidize their
farmers over $140 billion while total foreign aid of the two entities is less
than $50 billion? Canada, in principle, supports the elimination of these
subsidies. We are members of the CAIRNS Group of 17 countries lobbying for an
end to these subsidies; yet, the Speech from the Throne barely mentions it.
Instead Canada has played a part in derailing the talks that could lead to
progress in this area. The last time Canada had an opportunity to raise this
issue was during the Doha development round WTO talks in Cancun last September.
Our then Minister of International Trade, Pierre Pettigrew, led our
delegation. He was asked to facilitate talks on the so-called Singapore issues.
These are issues that, though worthy in their own right, should not — in the
view of the developing countries — be part of the trade negotiation that had
promised to focus on the issues and desires of those developing countries.
Many believe that they were placed on the agenda at the insistence of the
European Union in order to turn attention away from the agriculture issues. We
understand from reports that our minister vigorously pushed for the inclusion of
these issues. Eventually, the talks broke down over this.
I am not suggesting that all the blame lies with Canada or our minister.
However, it shows that our priorities and our resources were not where they
should have been, if indeed we are serious about helping the poor of our world.
The Speech from the Throne and the Prime Minister's reply provided a tremendous
opportunity to highlight a problem like farm subsidies. It would not have been
difficult to include a strong Canadian commitment to rectify the problem, even
unilaterally, where possible, along with a commitment that the Canadian
government would redouble its efforts at every international meeting to deal
It will take enormous political will to change the situation, but it is a
crucial component of ending the impoverishment of more than 2 billion human
beings. We as Canadians are not strangers to political will. It was a Canadian
Prime Minister, Mike Pearson, who revolutionized the way we deal with the misery
resulting from conflicts by his bold idea to create peacekeeping.
The world needs another bold and principled leader to initiate a program to
make the world a healthier and safer place for all of us. Prime Minister Martin
had the opportunity to do just that and he failed.
In the meantime, millions of children continue to die every year from hunger.
Shame on all of us. I would remind honourable senators of a statistic from the
speech given by Senator Keon on February 12, the statistic that Senator
Lynch-Staunton remarked should scare all of us. Senator Keon stated:
Today, as we sit in this chamber, 8,000 children will die of malaria in the
underdeveloped world. These children could have their malaria cured for 3
cents U.S. or 5 cents Canadian. 8,000 children will die while we are sitting
here today. Three million lives are lost every year through
Honourable senators, the Speech from the Throne says some of the right things
with respect to these issues, but talk is cheap. Canada needs to take a bold,
courageous and principled stand and lead by example. That is the best way for us
to "restore Canada's place of pride and influence in the world," just as Prime
Minister Martin has promised.
Hon. Douglas Roche: I want to congratulate Senator Di Nino on a very
Honourable senators, when Senator Graham gave his wonderful speech last
night, he noted that that would be his last opportunity to give an Address in
Reply to the Speech from the Throne. The inexorable movement of the clock is
responsible. I, too, am in this unenviable position. After 33 years in public
life, years spent in the House of Commons, in diplomatic life and here in the
Senate, the clock is dictating my exit. I do not think, Madam Speaker, that you
will be able to "not see the clock" in this instance.
I wish to address that section of the Speech from the Throne that deals with
Canada's role in the world and make some comments based on my experience. What
we read in the Speech from the Throne was certainly uplifting and meritorious.
One would not want to be churlish in responding to such elevated language as,
"We want to see the benefits of global interdependence spread more fairly
throughout the world."
Yes, indeed, Canada has the right intentions.
I say this not at all in sarcasm, for truly we live in a country blessed by
God as surely no other place has been. I have been in every region of the world.
I have walked through disease-ridden slums and shantytowns of Africa, Asia and
Latin America. I have seen gaunt bodies, poverty, despoiled lands and the
wreckage of Hiroshima. Every time I returned to Canada, I wanted to get down and
kiss the ground.
When one looks at the actual conditions of much of the world, when one
examines the alarming global statistics showing what is ahead, when one
considers the scandalous amounts of money that are spent on arms in countries
that lack adequate water and sanitation facilities, it is unthinkable not to be
grateful for what we have in Canada. We should remember that in natural
resources, minerals, land, forests, water, space, stable population base,
industry, technology, in international reputation, in membership in every
important world body, Canada holds a privileged position.
For most of my career, I have been going to the United Nations in one
capacity or another, and I have always felt humbled by the esteem in which
Canada is held. Yet, when we examine Canada's record — our deeds, not just our
words — I find that our performance does not measure up to our ability. At the
very moment when a world in turmoil needs the uplifting hand of leadership from
a country that has it all, Canada looks inward. We are so torn with internal
problems — buffeted by the conflicting forces of power, nationalism, greed,
prejudice and crass politics — that we have not yet recognized the significance
of this transformation moment in world history. We treat our problems as though
we live in a separate world.
I was astounded not to be able even to find the words "the United Nations"
in the Speech from the Throne. How can we possibly play a meaningful role in the
world if we do not centre our foreign policy on the United Nations? By this, I
mean our development policies, our disarmament policies, our environmental
policies, our human rights policies. These are the pillars of global security
and the Throne Speech should have given a new surge of energy to move Canada
forward in adopting the UN strategies for peace.
Was this lapse only because the speech writer did not realize that United
Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan is coming to Ottawa on a state visit in
March, which will be a truly historic occasion, or is the invitation to the
Secretary-General only to put a little UN lustre on a new government's image?
If Canada wants to be true to what the UN and its outstanding
Secretary-General stand for, the Martin government will put considerably more
money into sustainable development, will work aggressively to rid the world of
nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, will support to the fullest
extent the Kyoto Protocol, and will ensure that human rights are protected
around the world, including the human rights of the prisoners the U.S. is
illegally holding in Guantanamo Bay.
The terrorism of September 11, 2001, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq
have brought about a new period of fear, confusion and a loss of a sense of
direction. In this world, the best response to today's heightened vulnerability
is for the United Nations to step up its life-saving work around the world:
preventing and containing conflict, eliminating weapons of mass destruction,
fighting poverty, reducing hunger, improving health care, defending human
rights, protecting the environment and promoting democracy.
Taking a long-range view of world affairs, it is clear that the UN is still
in its infancy. The focus should be on what it has and can accomplish, not what
it has not. The UN is pilloried because it failed to stop the genocidal
massacres in Rwanda in 1994 and in Srebrenica in 1995, but it is seldom credited
with averting bloodshed in Lebanon, Georgia, Western Sahara, the Ivory Coast and
many other places through its skilful use of mediation and negotiation. The UN
has saved countless lives through developing and distributing affordable
medicines, water supplies and sanitation methods. It has put the inherent
dignity of each individual at the top of the international agenda. It has
provided a catalogue of information on the interdependence of world systems
never before available.
The agenda of the United Nations embraces all these steps and that is why
Canada should support it. There is no better instrument to bring stability and
security to the world than the United Nations. The way for Canada to exercise
its values for peace and development is through the United Nations. We should be
trumpeting and strengthening the United Nations.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the Ghanaian diplomat educated in the U.S.,
whose whole career has been spent in the UN system, personifies an artful and
dextrous form of leadership in trying to implement this agenda I have described.
Considering that the Secretary-General of the UN has no practical political
power, it is remarkable that he has been so influential — so influential that he
was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize a year or two ago. As The New Yorker
magazine commented, "He controls no territory; he commands no troops; he cannot
make or enforce laws; he cannot levy taxes; he exercises no administrative
authority outside the UN bureaucracy; and he hasn't even got a vote in its
General Assembly or the Security Council." To put it plainly, the
Secretary-General has nothing but his voice — but what a voice!
With the UN, Annan was awarded the Nobel Prize and he led the millennium
celebrations at the UN with a special summit of world leaders for which he
prepared a stirring document called, "We the Peoples: The Role of the United
Nations in the 21st Century." Make globalization a positive force for all the
world's people, he said, instead of leaving billions behind in squalor. "We
must do more than talk about our future," Mr. Annan said. "We must start to
create it now."
The leaders responded with a United Nations Millennium Declaration built on
"fundamental values," which they described as freedom, equality, solidarity,
tolerance, respect for nature, and shared responsibility. However, when it came
to paying for the millennium goals, Canada and other wealthy nations kept their
hands in their pockets.
Almost exactly a year after the declaration was adopted, this message of UN
values received a defiant and horrifying rebuff in the September 11 attacks.
Since then, tensions have escalated throughout the world and finally boiled over
with the war against Iraq and are still boiling. Instead of moving toward the
goals of the declaration, the world seems to be slipping into more conflict.
This is precisely why the Secretary-General has said, "We have entered the
third millennium through a gate of fire." In his speech accepting the Nobel
Peace Prize, he said:
If today, after the horror of September 11, we see better and we see
further — we will realize that humanity is indivisible. We must start from the
understanding that peace belongs not only to states or peoples, but to each
and every member of those communities.
Honourable senators, caught in the throes of one war after another, trying to
balance the unilateral tendencies of the United States with the multilateral
needs of the world community, determined to advance wide-ranging programs to
build a culture of peace and supplement the culture of war, the UN valiantly
holds up a candle of hope for the world.
So let us say, "Welcome, Mr. Secretary-General, to Canada," but let us
accompany that welcome by reaffirming the United Nations as the cornerstone of
our foreign policy.
Honourable senators, there is a lot of talk these days about whether Canada
should participate in the U.S. missile defence system. Of course, Canada should
not. The missile defence system is, as Canadian Nobel laureate John Polanyi has
said, "a treadmill to weapons in space." A new nuclear arms race is a
certainty if missile defence goes ahead.
This is not what Canadians want. Canadians want an end to nuclear weapons,
not more of them. The Canadian government, in voting in support of the principal
UN resolution of the New Agenda Coalition, can help build a bridge to a safer
world. The government must seize its courage and strengthen the Non-Proliferation Treaty at the 2005 review by speaking out and acting vigorously.
This is what the United Nations is trying to do. The UN needs Canada to help
the world and the militaristic nations put aside the culture of war.
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: I regret to inform
that the honourable senator's time has expired. Does he wish leave to continue?
Senator Roche: Yes.
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Is leave granted?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
Senator Roche: Honourable senators, Canada needs the UN. We cannot
tackle the huge problems in the world alone, but we can strengthen the one world
body that is dedicated to building a culture of peace. Canada is needed in the
world. We have the capacity to respond. Let us show in the forthcoming foreign
policy review that we have the will.
Hon. Laurier L. LaPierre: Honourable senators, it is a little
difficult to address this chamber on the Speech from the Throne after the three
magnificent speeches that have just been delivered and the others that have
preceded them over the past two to three weeks.
However, three points arise, two directly from the Speech from the Throne and
one out of the spirit of the Throne Speech.
The first has to do with culture and multiculturalism. I know that honourable
senators are getting tired of my yapping, as much as I can, about the fact that
in not establishing a committee on culture and heritage the Senate is not living
up to its responsibilities. The Speech from the Throne invites all Canadians and
the government and the instruments of government to bring to bear the new
technological possibilities of the digital age in an effort to reflect Canada's
regional diversity and multiculturalism. The government must work with
parliamentarians to modernize our art and cultural policies and our federal
cultural institutions. This is an engagement in the name of the people of
Canada, and the Senate will be absent because it does not have the instruments
necessary to bring about concrete assistance to this question of culture and
Honourable senators, the cornerstone of our country, which is expressed
through its art and culture, as Senator Léger so magnificently pointed out, and
our contribution to the world that both Senator Di Nino and Senator Roche
pointed out, is vested in the idea and in the value of multiculturalism. That is
the essence of the being of Canada. That is its history since the beginning of
its time. That is its contribution to mankind.
The multicultural aspect of our country, the management of multiculturalism
and the living of multiculturalism is the envy of the world. It points out to
the world that Canada knows what is valuable in having become the refuge of
mankind, in having over 150 different nationalities in our country speaking all
kinds of languages and living all sorts of cultures. All of this is done in
harmony, with a fundamental acceptance of the right of people to be who they
are, individually as well as collectively. That is the lesson we have brought to
the world and it is the lesson that we must continue to give. Multiculturalism
is what it is all about.
Eight months from now, I shall leave this august place to take my retirement,
to do what I really want to do, which I have not been able to do here; that is,
to establish the foundations of a centre for the study and propagation of
multicultural values in the world. I want to devote the rest of my life to the
pursuit of the acceptance of multiculturalism. Every culture, no matter how
small or large, is fundamental to the harmony of the world. I may have several
thousand years in which to accomplish my goal, or I may have only one. It does
not matter. What is important is that my heart must be there to be able to
achieve this awareness, this acceptance of the validity of the only instrument
in the world that can bring harmony to the nations of the planet —
multiculturalism. The Speech from the Throne asks Canadians to live that ideal,
to promote it and to accept it.
Honourable senators, after I have left this place, I have no doubt that you
will create a committee to study culture and heritage. If I die before you have
established such a committee, I will haunt you until you are all gone forever,
and then some.
The second thing I want to talk about, arising out of the Speech from the
Throne, is the passages that deal with Aboriginal Canadians.
Aboriginal Canadians have not fully shared in our nation's good fortune.
While some progress has been made, the conditions in far too many Aboriginal
communities can only be described as shameful. This offends our values. It is
in our collective interest to turn the corner. And we must start now.
The Speech from the Throne goes on to state:
Our goal is to see real economic opportunities for Aboriginal individuals
That includes Metis and the Inuit people. That is a noble task. It is an
important task for our country. We have paid considerable lip service to it, yet
we have not achieved what we meant, perhaps, in our hearts to do because we have
been either diverted or too selfish in the pursuit of our own agendas.
It seems to me that by realizing section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, we
shall be able to fulfil what the Speech from the Throne invites us to fulfil.
Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, relates to the rights of the
Aboriginal peoples of Canada. It states:
(1) The existing aboriginal and treaty rights of the aboriginal peoples of
Canada are hereby recognized and affirmed.
(2) In this Act, "aboriginal peoples of Canada" includes the Indian,
Inuit and Métis peoples of Canada.
(3) For greater certainty, in subsection (1) "treaty rights" includes
rights that now exist by way of land claims agreements or may be so acquired.
(4) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, the aboriginal and
treaty rights referred to in subsection (1) are guaranteed equally to male and
All we have to do is fulfil this constitutional provision of our country,
honourable senators. All we have to do is live by section 35 of the Constitution
Act, 1982. In that way, we shall repair the ravages of history which have not
been caused by the native people, which have not been caused by the trees, which
have not been caused by the water, which have not been caused by the resources,
but which have been caused by people like me and my ancestors and others who
have occupied this land since 1608 and 1542 when Newfoundland and Labrador came
into being and were recognized by the world.
It seems to me, therefore, that we must achieve this dream and do so as soon
as possible. It is not because the native people depend upon us. They can very
well find their way. They existed on this land for thousands and thousands of
years. They had done pretty well in the process of that existence. I seems to me
that what we did was impose our capacity upon their capacity, and now we have to
reverse the history that we have lived and brought to it.
On the subject of multiculturalism and the Aboriginal people, I should like
to tell honourable senators of a magnificent project which is being launched on
Victoria Island. There will be created on Victoria Island an opportunity for
Canadians to be able to share the vision of the native people. It is the
creation by Douglas Cardinal of a Victoria Island Centre. William Commanda is
one of the elders we consulted in 1990 for the development of the Victoria
Island concept. It was his wish, and the wish of the elders present, that
Victoria Island be a visible Aboriginal presence in Canada's capital. Since
then, Commanda and other elders have continued on with the committee in
establishing a circle of forgiveness and healing on this historic gathering
place where they came together to chart their path throughout their long
history. It is the site where Algonquin chiefs met with Queen Victoria's
representatives, who presented each one of them with medals and remuneration for
sharing the resources of the land. It was on that land that Queen Victoria
promised that they would take only the pines from the Ottawa Valley for their
tall ships and would leave everything else untouched for the Algonquin people.
The great-grandfather of William Commanda, an Algonquin elder and keeper of the
Seven Fires Prophecy Wampum Belt, was one of the Algonquin chiefs at this
ceremonial occasion. As inscribed in the sacred wampum shell in the 1400s, it is
time to re-establish the meeting circle of the Algonquin people on this site of
Victoria Island. It is essential to house the wealth of their knowledge that has
been passed down from their ancestors.
The people believe the creator placed them in this area to protect, respect
and live in harmony with all the creator's handiwork — the earth and the animals
who give them life, the trees and the rivers for food, transportation and
protection, and the plants that provided food and medicine to heal them. They
knew they had to share this place with all living beings, the water, the rocks,
the trees, the plants, the animals, as well as to live in harmony with all of
humanity. They knew that, and this is what they want to do. Victoria Island will
become the symbol of that dedication to the harmony among us.
Last, I would like to talk about something that arises out of the spirit of
the Speech from the Throne, and that is same-sex marriage. Every Canadian is
entitled to the benefit of the law. No Canadian can be denied the benefit of the
law. The word "marriage" creates a benefit to those who are lucky enough to be
the right people to have it, and those of us who are not lucky enough, because
of our sexual orientation, cannot share in the benefit of the law. I am telling
you that this is not right. I am telling you that this is not necessary. A
majority cannot alter the rights of a single human person. It cannot, and never
should be allowed to do so.
Consequently, at this time of our existence as a people, we have a group of
our citizens who are being denied the benefit of the law. A civil union is not
marriage. A civil union contains no benefits whatsoever except the practical
benefits that are given, according to the law, to common law marriages and such
matters. The word "marriage" brings about a statement of national human
acceptance of certain values of belonging, of sharing, of loving and of being
together. When you deny that interpretation and deny that reality to those of us
who happen to be gay, the end result is that you are denying us a fundamental
right which you yourself have, you who are straight, whatever that means. To
deny that to us means that you enjoy a benefit which you deny me at the end of
Therefore, before I retire from this Senate in eight months from now, I would
like to have corrected this situation by making marriage the union of two
persons to the exclusion of all others.
Hon. Ross Fitzpatrick: Honourable senators, it gives me great pleasure
to rise today to respond to the Speech from the Throne because it is a speech
that articulates a blueprint for the government's agenda. The speech highlights
the government's goals of strengthening our social foundations, building a
strong 21st century economy and ensuring that our place of pride and influence
continues on the world stage. The direction it sets is clear.
First, I wish to say that I am pleased to observe that the government has
signified its intention to maintain a course of action that ensures that all
Canadians continue to benefit from the previous 10 years of hard work in
achieving a balanced budget, a reinvigorated economy and a renewed sense of
national unity. The current government's proposals also continue our tradition
of balancing measures to encourage economic growth with actions to promote
Second, the emphasis on health care in the Speech from the Throne is
particularly important. Health is an issue of growing concern to all Canadians,
especially in the Okanagan region of British Columbia, which has roughly 3.5 per
cent of the provincial population but more than 5 per cent of the provincial
population of those over the age of 65. An aging population, changing
demographics and expensive technology have combined to make health care truly a
top-of-mind issue. Thus, it was gratifying to hear the Governor General state:
"The Government is committed to this goal: universal, high-quality, publicly
funded health care, consistent with the principles of medicare, as set out in
the Canada Health Act," and that "every Canadian have timely access to quality
care, regardless of income or geography — access when they need it."
The Prime Minister's recent confirmation of a $2 billion health care transfer
to the provinces and territories for this year, pledged by his predecessor the
Right Honourable Jean Chrétien, is a crucial first step in meeting this vital
long-term commitment, but it is just that — a first step. I am confident that
other steps will be taken.
Given the limited time available to me today, honourable senators, I should
now like to focus on the areas of the Throne Speech that are of particular
interest to British Columbia and to the people of the Okanagan-Similkameen whom
I turn first to the issue of regional and rural development. I wish to
emphasize the promise in the Throne Speech "to ensure that farmers are not left
to bear alone the consequences of circumstances beyond their control." I am
sure that I do not have to remind honourable senators of the devastation borne
by residents of the British Columbia interior as a result of last summer's
severe drought and unprecedented firestorms. There still exists a real and
immediate need for substantial financial assistance so that farmers, ranchers,
loggers and mill workers can recover from the overwhelming losses arising from
these horrendous natural disasters.
I would encourage the government to provide financial disaster assistance
recovery agreements with the Province of British Columbia, along the lines of
those provided the Provinces of Ontario and Quebec following the January 1998
ice storm that caused so much damage to the economies of those two provinces.
There is much that Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, Industry Canada and
Natural Resources Canada can do to assist the recovery efforts in British
Columbia. Recovery and rebuilding are essential preconditions that must be met
before there can be any hope of improving and expanding the economy of the
afflicted regions in accordance with the vision for economic progress
articulated in the Throne Speech.
Honourable senators, in the Speech from the Throne the government also
pledged to support economic development through its regional agencies where the
focus must be on strengthening the sinews of an economy for the 21st century and
building on indigenous strength.
In this regard, I commend the government for upgrading the status of Western
Economic Diversification Canada to that of a full ministry. Western Economic
Diversification is a highly visible example of the government working with and
for Western Canada by delivering programs and policies that are responsive to
the economic and social circumstances of western communities and that help the
Western Canadian voice to be heard. The new status of Western Economic
Diversification, however, must be accompanied by an increase in funding to
ensure that it continues to be an effective and successful instrument of
government policy in the West.
I shall now turn now to the Throne Speech pronouncements on sustainable
development. The promise to safeguard our natural environment is as welcome as
it is imperative. It is beyond question that the protection and preservation of
our natural environment is vital, both for today and for tomorrow.
Honourable senators, we should all be happy to see the reiteration of the
government's commitment to the Kyoto accord on climate change. Having said that,
I would also remind the government of previous promises to ensure the inevitable
burdens associated with implementing the accord be shared equally so that no one
region or sector of the economy is disproportionately affected. I believe the
government can and should honour our Kyoto commitments. I am encouraged by its
determination to even go beyond Kyoto to strengthen our environmental
The concept of green, sustainable economic progress has a special resonance
with the Okanagan-Similkameen. My home district is blessed with a wonderful
climate, beautiful geography and diverse but fragile ecosystems. With federal
government help through Western Economic Diversification, the National Research
Council and Industry Canada, we have created an Okanagan partnership of
business, education, government and community leaders, supported by our regional
and provincial governments, to pursue economic progress while being guided by a
plan for green, sustainable economic development. We understand that only by
achieving a balance of environmental, social and economic activities will we
guarantee the sustainability of our natural resources, improve our quality of
life and reach our full economic potential.
Honourable senators, I would encourage the government to strive for a
paradigm shift in which economic decisions are informed by environmental
Turning now to the Throne Speech emphasis on science and technology, I
applaud the government's plan to appoint a national science adviser. In the next
generation economy, more than ever before, there will be an inextricable link
between science, technology, innovation and economic progress.
As I have indicated, the Okanagan has been preparing for the next generation
economy by actively promoting partnership amongst business, educational
institutions and all levels of government. We believe in a collaborative,
regional approach to economic development with a focus on innovation. We realize
that the most dynamic economies consist of related industries growing and
maturing in close geographic proximity. These clusters or high concentrations of
similar businesses with related products or services, suppliers and supporting
economic foundations provide a fertile environment for collaboration,
constructive competition, and innovation. In turn, this stimulates the creation
of new business. Help is required to transport ideas and innovation to the
marketplace. The Throne Speech promise to enhance the venture-financing
capabilities of the Business Development Bank is especially well suited to my
region, as it promises to provide vital early-stage financing and the capacity
to commercialize exciting new ideas.
I wish to comment now on the Throne Speech commitment to Aboriginal
Canadians. In my home territory, the Okanagan Nation Alliance is comprised of
seven bands spread over tens of thousands of acres. The Okanagan-Similkameen
Indian bands are important stakeholders and an integral part of our economy.
Honourable senators, I have said elsewhere that people are this country's
greatest asset, and that means all the people. The Speech from the Throne
explicitly recognizes that Aboriginal Canadians have not been fully able to
participate in our country's good fortune, and it proposes to redress this
I commend the government for establishing the new Cabinet Committee on
Aboriginal Affairs to be chaired by the Prime Minister personally, together with
a Parliamentary Secretary on Aboriginal Affairs and a dedicated secretariat in
the Privy Council Office. The government has also pledged to work with First
Nations to improve governance in their communities by establishing an
independent centre for First Nations government.
This should not, however, be a substitute for action. I urge the government
to proceed with legislation to place governance back on the legislative agenda
and to ensure that it is thoroughly and properly debated and enacted.
Last week, Bill C-11, to give effect to the West Bank First Nations
Self-Government Agreement, was introduced in the other place, and I hope that it
will reach this place with dispatch. It is an historic agreement that provides
the West Bank First Nation with the tools it needs to make decisions over its
own affairs, and it demonstrates that the government's approach to negotiating
self-government partnerships with First Nations produces real and sustainable
The additional promise to renew the Aboriginal Human Resources Development
Strategy is essential because it is only by improving education and skills
development that individuals can put themselves in a position to fully
participate in all the opportunities that Canada has to offer. Aboriginal
Canadians deserve equitable access to all the opportunities and the same chances
as other citizens to enjoy a better quality of life. I also hope that the
government will not lose sight of the very successful economic development
program, as it played such an important part in providing opportunities to First
Nations and contributing to our economy.
Finally, honourable senators, I would be remiss if I did not register my
concern with the government not dealing with Senate reform in its proposal for
democratic reform. I see no way that we can really deal with the issue of
democratic deficiency in Western Canada if we do not take steps toward an equal
and elected Senate. This goes to the heart of Western alienation and needs to be
In closing, honourable senators, I would like to draw your attention to the
recently announced decision to honour our former Prime Minister by naming the
proposed legislation that will provide low-cost anti-HIV/AIDS drugs to African
countries the Jean Chrétien Pledge to Africa Act. I think that is a very
Hon. Gerry St. Germain: Will Senator Fitzpatrick take a question?
Senator Fitzpatrick: Yes.
Senator St. Germain: The final part of Senator Fitzpatrick's statement
with regard to Aboriginals was tremendous. Although I can support the initiative
with regard to Africa, I am not sure about the naming of it.
I recently met with people from the Nicola Band near Merritt, B.C. Their
economic situation is similar to that of numerous Aboriginal bands across this
country. It is fortunate that in your area some of the native bands have very
successful stories. Some, such as the West Bank band and others, have gone into
the wine industry.
In my conversation with the people of the Nicola Band, I asked them why they
have not become the economic generators and job creators that they should be.
Their immediate response was that it is due to interference from the Department
of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. From the very beginning, DIAND told
these people what to do, destroyed their lifestyle and destroyed their ability
to be self-reliant.
Senator Fitzpatrick will always have a lot of influence on that side. In
addition to working toward Senate reform, which I applaud, would he be prepared
to consider a true reassessment of DIAND in order to get rid of that empire that
has undermined, through residential schools and a litany of other things, the
lifestyle of our Aboriginal peoples and made them totally welfare dependent?
This is what they told me. The systems introduced by DIAND have made them
welfare dependent and destroyed their society.
Would Senator Fitzpatrick be prepared to work with us to rid ourselves of the
empire that has virtually destroyed our Aboriginal peoples?
Senator Fitzpatrick: Honourable senators, I made reference to the
establishment of the centre for Aboriginal governance. I went further and said
that more than that needs to be done. We need to enact legislation that will
allow some of the things that Senator St. Germain is speaking of to give
Aboriginals the opportunity to manage their own affairs.
In the meantime, in my traditional territory — as I tell my Indian friends —
we have had great success involving the seven Okanagan Nation Alliance bands in
the Okanagan partnership and the overall activity of the Okanagan-Similkameen
area. A cluster study is being done. Four outstanding Indian band members are
acting as stewards and two Indian band members are acting as co-chairs of some
of the clusters. Two of the chiefs of the Okanagan Indian bands are involved as
I see the advantage to Indian bands of being able to harness these
opportunities to manage their own affairs. I hope that we will strive for the
provision of self-governance for Aboriginals right across this country.
Hon. Charlie Watt: Honourable senators, two weeks ago the Speech from
the Throne was given. Before I reply to it, I would like honourable senators to
note that on February 10, 2004, this government announced a federal surplus of
over $5 billion.
I am particularly pleased that our Prime Minister, the Honourable Paul
Martin, has stated that the Government of Canada would like to acknowledge the
full participation of Aboriginal Canadians — Inuit and First Nations — in the
national life of this country, not only on the basis of their historic rights,
as mentioned in the Speech from the Throne, but as the first inhabitants of this
This government openly and willingly accepts the challenge to improve the
life of Aboriginal people and their communities, be they northern towns and
settlements or reserves, or Aboriginal peoples living in urban centres and rural
One of the goals also mentioned in the speech is to seek real economic
opportunities for Aboriginal communities. However, before this, I believe, as
stated in the Throne Speech, that the government should focus on education and
skills development, and the Aboriginal Human Resources Development Strategy is a
The acknowledgment of a practical solution for the Inuit, Indians and Metis
responding to the unique challenges faced by Aboriginal people in the labour
force is indeed welcome as we look for innovative ideas such as apprentice
programs. If we were to look at the university education for Aboriginal people,
we must also look at statistics that show that 15 per cent of Canadian adults
have university educations but among Aboriginal people, the figure is 2 per
cent. Getting young native people into university programs should also stand
among Canada's highest priorities. A greater opportunity for our Aboriginal
children to acquire an education and other workforce skills needed to succeed
must be provided.
A further road to assist in the success of northern and Inuit-specific
programs requires access to financing. I am pleased that this government has
said that we want a Canada with strong social foundations whereby Canadians,
families and communities have the tools to find local solutions to local
In part, the goal is also to ensure that our social foundations are linked to
improving the health of all Canadians. When we look to our northern natural
environment, healthy bodies and healthy children become the responsibilities
that we hold today and for the future of tomorrow.
The 10-year $3.5 billion program to clean up the contaminated sites for which
the government is responsible is long overdue, and I applaud the government for
showing its initiative and its respect for the commitments to the Kyoto Protocol
on climate change. It is refreshing to know the government is committed to
ensuring that all Canadians will have clean water, clean air and the resources
needed for safe drinking water in the northern Inuit communities as well as on
First Nations reserves. Toxic chemicals and other pollutants carried by the wind
have contaminated our northern waters and environment so severely that Health
Canada had issued a warning to restrict the intake of our traditional Inuit
diets. Studies show that our food sources such as caribou, seals and fish have
dangerously high levels of contaminants from the southern factories. Climate
change is no longer simply a discussion because it is a reality; the Inuit in
the North experience this change first-hand. The Speech from the Throne outlined
not only critical northern issues but also a commitment to ensure that
opportunities will be available in the northern economic and resource
Honourable senators, Aboriginal Canadians need to be a part of the economy of
the 21st century, with well-paying and meaningful jobs. A partnership between
those who were born and live in the North and the business interests of the
south is very important when it comes to economic development in the areas of
energy and mining. Northerners need to be part of what is taking place in the
We must have a voice in our destiny. Yes, we are the Inuit, but we are also a
part of this great country. For my First Nations and Metis brethren, this is
also true. We are all part of this land we call Canada. The Inuit, First Nations
and the Metis — all Aboriginal Canadians — have not fully shared in our nation's
good fortune. The conditions today still call for needed improvements.
In the Speech from the Throne, this government made a strong commitment to
Aboriginal people by creating a more focused cabinet committee. The challenge
for Aboriginal people is to take the government to task and to work together to
achieve better opportunities that would strengthen Canadian values and the
Canadian way of life and that would give all Canadians — Aboriginals and
non-Aboriginals — a goal to achieve together.
Prime Minister Paul Martin has set an ambitious agenda to put our country on
this path by saying that a nation's social and economic goals are inseparable. A
brighter future for Aboriginal communities is not only necessary for Aboriginal
Canadians but also a challenge for Canada to become a greater nation.
I am encouraged that this government says it will work with its partners,
with Aboriginal people, on practical solutions to respond to unique hurdles that
must be overcome. Greater economic self-reliance for a better quality of life
must be an achievable goal. The shameful conditions of some Aboriginal
communities do not live up to Canadian community standards. This, too, must be
The Magna Carta of Indian rights — the Royal Proclamation of 1763 — assured
that Aboriginal people would always have a unique constitutional position in
Confederation. In addition, section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, recognized
and affirmed the existing Aboriginal and treaty rights of Canada's Aboriginal
people, defined as Inuit, Indian and Metis.
Despite the difficulties encountered by Aboriginal people, many Inuit,
Indians and Metis still want to participate in the building of Canada. We need
the opportunity just as non-Aboriginal people need opportunity.
Much has been said about the democratic deficit in the House of Commons.
There, too, Aboriginal democratic deficits exist. According to the Royal
Commission on Electoral Reform and Party Financing, Aboriginal voting
participation rates in northern Canada, where Aboriginal politicians are visible
and heard, surpass 75 per cent. In Kahnawake, right next door to Montreal, the
turnout of voters in the federal election is zero per cent. In New Zealand,
despite such controversy and some apathy among Aboriginal voters, guaranteed
representation for Maoris currently in place serves as a lever for joint
policy-making for the government. These forward-looking precedents assist in the
continuation of the livelihood and culture of the Maori.
When the Government of Canada says that it is committed to a more coherent
approach to Aboriginal issues, I believe the statement offers a renewed hope in
the spirit of coexistence and acknowledgement of the different needs of the
Inuit and First Nations people. Canadians need a government that helps to shape
the course that leads the way and that engages us in the building of our future
The new deal is for communities that are facing unprecedented challenges,
often without sufficient resources or tools. Northern municipalities have
similar issues to their southern counterparts, but the costs of maintaining
services are extraordinarily high. In many northern communities, our food costs
are over 200 per cent higher than what many take for granted in the south of
Canada. The role of hunting is a much-needed undertaking to feed Inuit and
northern families. A northern strategy with Inuit-specific programs would go a
long way in addressing basic family needs and concerns.
In conclusion, honourable senators, the Speech from the Throne is like our
Northern Lights: It is a beacon to show us the way. However, words are not
enough and action is needed. Nakurmik.
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Joyal, P.C.,
seconded by the Honourable Senator Kinsella, for the second reading of Bill
C-250, to amend the Criminal Code (hate propaganda).—(Honourable Senator
Hon. Laurier L. LaPierre: Honourable senators, having read the debates
from the beginning of the presentation of this bill, I have come to the
conclusion that I have nothing to add to it that will be of any value to anyone,
except the usual things that I always say. Consequently I would like the burden
to be lifted from my shoulders. If you would allow me, I will pass that burden
on to Senator Joyal, who will deal with it.
The Hon. the Speaker: Are you rising to speak, Senator Cools?
Hon. Anne C. Cools: Honourable senators, I am not too sure what
Senator LaPierre means when he says "pass it on to Senator Joyal." In this
chamber, one must speak for one's self. If Senator Joyal speaks now, that will
have the effect of closing the debate, but there are other senators who wish to
speak to this bill. I would be willing to move the adjournment of the debate.
Can Senator Joyal clarify?
Hon. Serge Joyal: Honourable senators, I am ready to speak now. As we
know, the procedure in our house is such that once I have spoken, debate will be
Hon. Herbert O. Sparrow: Honourable senators, if Senator LaPierre has
made his few remarks, I move the adjournment of the debate.
The Hon. the Speaker: It is moved by the Honourable Senator Sparrow,
seconded by the Honourable Senator Adams, that further debate be adjourned to
the next sitting of the Senate. Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to
adopt the motion?
Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.
Some Hon. Senators: No.
The Hon. the Speaker: The matter is not debatable so we are ready for
the question. I will put the question.
It is the motion of Senator Sparrow, seconded by Senator Adams, that further
debate be adjourned to the next sitting of the Senate.
Those in favour of the motion will please say "yea."
Some Hon. Senators: Yea.
The Hon. the Speaker: Those opposed to the motion will please say
Some Hon. Senators: Nay.
The Hon. the Speaker: I believe the "yeas" have it. The motion is
passed, on division.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, items numbered 2, 3 and 24,
which appear consecutively on our Order Paper, are pending Speaker's rulings. I
intend to give rulings tomorrow on all three of those matters. There are, in
effect, two rulings.
Hon. Marjory LeBreton, pursuant to notice of February 12, 2004, moved:
That the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and
Technology have power to sit at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 18, 2004,
even though the Senate may then be sitting, and that rule 95(4) be suspended
in relation thereto.
Some Hon. Senators: Explain.
Senator LeBreton: Honourable senators, this committee has been charged
with the responsibility of dealing with the newly numbered bill, Bill C-6. It
was previously Bill C-13. On Wednesday, tomorrow, the first witness before our
committee is the minister. It is very difficult to schedule the minister's time,
so I would therefore request that this motion be approved.
Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable
senators, as is the practice of the house, when a committee has a minister
available, we usually grant permission to that committee to sit even though the
Senate is sitting. That is why I was happy to second the motion.
The Hon. the Speaker: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to
adopt the motion?
Hon. Marjory LeBreton, pursuant to notice of February 12, 2004, moved:
That the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and
Technology have power to sit at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 25, 2004,
even though the Senate may then be sitting, and that rule 95(4) be suspended
in relation thereto.
Hon. Bill Rompkey (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable
senators, perhaps could I ask for an explanation of this motion as well.
Senator LeBreton: Honourable senators, I do not have another
"minister rabbit" to pull out of the hat for the following Wednesday.
As all senators know, this is a very controversial piece of legislation. We
have many witnesses who are anxious to appear. It is a heavy workload that the
Senate committee is undertaking. We were simply putting this motion down in the
hope that the past practice of the Senate would allow us to meet at 3:30 in
order to properly schedule all the witnesses who want to be heard on this
crucial piece of legislation.
Senator Rompkey: Honourable senators, there have been conversations on
both sides and agreement on both sides on the process, and I would support the
Hon. Eymard G. Corbin: I simply ask that all committees be given fair
and equal treatment when they request earlier sittings than the adjournment of
the Senate. I thought I heard comments to the effect that the regime applicable
on Wednesdays would perhaps be changed one way or another. No committee is more
important than another. One of the committees on which I sit — the Standing
Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs — has often been denied permission to sit
before the adjournment of the Senate. I am only asking for equity.
Senator Rompkey: There have been conversations on the Wednesday time
of adjournment, honourable senators. I believe very soon we will be making a
motion to establish a routine for Wednesdays.
Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable
senators will recall that we have tried to deal with Wednesday's adjournment in
a variety of ways, having various degrees of success. One formula was that we
would simply attempt to finish our work by 3:30, and Senator Robichaud was
effective most of the time but it was not an exact science.
Senator Hays, when he was Deputy Leader, had a formula whereby on Wednesdays
a motion was deemed to have been made that we adjourn at 3:30 but if there was a
vote, we must come back for the vote at five o'clock or 5:30 p.m.
Senator Rompkey and I have been discussing this problem, and it is a problem.
We know that it has to be solved because all committees, as Senator Corbin has
just pointed out, have the same issue — all those committees, that is to say,
that sit when the Senate rises on a Wednesday, but the Wednesday one is special.
We should be sitting until six o'clock and coming back at eight o'clock and we
sit at 1:30, and the attempt had been to make Wednesday a short day, and then
the Thursday sitting at 1:30 has its own history.
The suggestion we have been exploring is whether or not the Hays formula
might be tried again, but rather than having the adjournment at 3:30, we make it
four o'clock. Therefore if the government brings in that kind of motion, I
believe it would find favour on our side.
Hon. Michael Kirby: Honourable senators, I would just say on behalf of
Senator LeBreton and myself that if that sort of agreement comes into effect, we
would effectively deem this motion to say four o'clock even though it now says
3:30. That is to say, we would not start until four o'clock if that was the
agreement between the two sides.
Senator Rompkey: Honourable senators, I want to address Senator
Corbin's point because it is an important one. I want to assure him that it is
our intention to treat all committees fairly and the discussions have been along
those lines. Senator Kinsella has pointed out that four o'clock has been
suggested. I think the issue needs a little more discussion before we put it in
place but I would hope that we could move quickly on that, and it would have the
effect of treating all committees in the same fashion.
The Hon. the Speaker: Are senators ready for the question?
Hon. Senators: Question!
The Hon. the Speaker: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to
adopt the motion?
Hon. Richard H. Kroft, pursuant to notice of February 12, 2004, moved:
That the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce have
power to engage services of such counsel and technical, clerical, and other
personnel as may be necessary for the purpose of its examination and
consideration of such bills, subject-matters of bills and estimates as
referred to it.
Motion agreed to.
The Senate adjourned until Wednesday, February 18, 2004, at 1:30 p.m.