Skip to Content
Download as PDF

Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

1st Session, 38th Parliament,
Volume 142, Issue 6

Wednesday, October 20, 2004
The Honourable Daniel Hays, Speaker


 

THE SENATE

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

The Senate met at 2 p.m., the Speaker in the chair.

Prayers.

SENATORS' STATEMENTS

Navy Appreciation Day

Hon. Bill Rompkey (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, today is Navy Appreciation Day. There will be a reception in the Senate foyer at five o'clock today to which all senators have been invited. I hope to see you there.

It will come as no surprise to senators that someone born on an island on the edge of the Atlantic has a special feeling for and appreciation of the navy. During the Second World War, I was old enough to experience a harbour full of ships of the Royal Navy and Royal Canadian Navy and streets, docks and bars full of seamen coming from or going to convoy duty. When the siren sounded and our house lights were put out and the blackout began in St. John's, it was comforting to know that there were ships and sailors in port.

Later I had the honour of serving as an officer in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve. Traditionally my province has supplied more seamen to our navy than any other province in Canada. I should point out that Lieutenant-Commander Terrance J. Christopher, currently our Usher of the Black Rod and the first navy man to hold the post, also had a distinguished 30-year career within Canada and without.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Senator Rompkey: Indeed, so many of our young men and women have served and are serving our country with courage and loyalty. From the navy's beginnings at the turn of the century, through two world wars to the present time, Canadian seamen have served our country and the countries of our allies with the highest degree of professionalism. During the Gulf War, Admiral Ken Summers commanded the whole of the naval forces of all countries patrolling the Persian Gulf. Today our ships are found on both sides of the Atlantic as members of NATO's Standing Naval Force Atlantic.

In good times and bad, the men and women of our navy have served us with the highest standards. At the moment, the navy is experiencing a particularly difficult time with the tragic events that have happened to our submarines and, particularly, with the death of Lieutenant Chris Saunders, whom we all mourn. There is always peril on the sea, and I know our navy will find the strength and the commitment to overcome its difficulties, as it has done in the past. Today, I salute all ranks of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve, past and present, and offer them our own Newfoundland and Labrador toast: Long may your big jib draw.

Hon. J. Michael Forrestall: Honourable senators, I am proud to be here today.

(1410)

I wish the Acting Chief Petty Officer for the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps across the country was sitting across from me. I speak of Senator Graham, of course.

I am deeply honoured to be here. I wish to join with Senator Rompkey and others across this country in paying tribute to Canada's navy, to its brave sailors, their families and a very large naval community in Canada, not the least of which may be found in the province of Saskatchewan.

I would like to commend the Navy League of Canada for making this day a day of celebration. It does so much fine work on behalf of Canadians, particularly with our country's youth. Like my colleagues, I am saddened by the recent loss of life on board the HMCS Chicoutimi and want to extend my sympathy to the family of navy Lieutenant Chris Saunders. To those crew members injured, I wish a speedy and lasting recovery.

Canada's naval tradition demands great things of its men and women. In World War I our navy was made up of two cruisers, HMCS Niobe and HMCS Rainbow, along with two submarines, CC1 and CC2. There were, of course, several converted civilian vessels.

During the intervening years between the First World War and Second World War, we manned a modest fleet of six destroyers. During World War II, the Canadian navy grew to become the third largest navy in the world with aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers, frigates, corvettes and other ships sweeping the seas to get merchant convoys out of the harbours of Halifax and St. John's, across the North Atlantic to Great Britain. They did this through U-boat infested waters. Through the Korean War, the Royal Canadian Navy perfected train-busting and was among the first Canadian contribution to that war.

Today we have a medium-sized navy composed of destroyers, frigates, supply vessels, submarines and other vessels. While it is a medium-sized navy in numbers and proportion, it is a navy with an enormously big heart, with a record of help and accomplishment around the world.

In terms of its highly professional, very brave men and women that I have mentioned, it has a heart larger than the "Heart of Oak." To me they are the heart of Canada. They are the senior service.

To the navy, let me join with those who say, "Bravo Zulu." We are proud of you who typify your own motto: Ready, Aye, Ready.

Hon. Michael A. Meighen: Honourable senators, the timing of the Navy League of Canada could not be more exquisite in declaring today Navy Appreciation Day. As a proud member of the Ontario branch of the Navy League of Canada, I am glad to join with Senators Rompkey and Forrestall, with the members of the navy league and with all senators in that celebration.

It is an unfortunate truism of life that we best appreciate things only when we lose them. Last week aboard the HMCS Chicoutimi we lost navy Lieutenant Chris Saunders. I dare say that his tragic death stirred something in each and every one of us. It reminded us how dangerous it can be to serve in Canada's navy, even in peacetime operations. It also reminded us of how selfless are those who serve in Canada's navy and what risks they take on our behalf.

The tragic irony of the death is that Lieutenant Saunders lost his life while he and his fellow submariners were engaged in a routine peacetime operation. The activities of the Canadian navy over the past few years in the fight against terrorism, patrolling the waters off the Middle East and elsewhere, have been anything but routine, yet nary a Canadian sailor's life was lost. Those sailors were pushed to the limit and beyond. When the job was done and done well, they returned to port exhausted and depleted. We ask much of them, more than we would ever ask of the average Canadian citizen, and they answer each and every time.

[Translation]

I am concerned because our sailors have always answered our call, and we risk making a habit of always demanding a little more of them while not demanding of ourselves that we provide them with what they need to carry out their task.

[English]

Canada's navy, like the other branches of our Armed Forces, is woefully undermanned, under-equipped and underfunded. If this government wants to show its appreciation of the Canadian navy, it will bring this sorry state of affairs to an end. It will provide them with the equipment to do their job and not equipment that is acquired on the cheap. When that day comes, every day will be Navy Appreciation Day, and that is as it should be.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

[Translation]

Persons Case

Seventy-fifth Anniversary

Hon. Shirley Maheu: Honourable senators, Monday was the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Persons Case. As you probably know, in the 1920s, five courageous and visionary women joined forces to champion the cause of women's rights in Canada.

[English]

Henrietta Muir Edwards, Nelly McClung, Louise McKinney, Emily Murphy and Irene Parlby are part of our history as a result of their tireless efforts to have women recognized in law as persons. Thanks to them, Canadian women gradually obtained access to rights and privileges that had previously been denied to them, such as the right to vote, the right to occupy positions of trust and responsibility — such as the right to be named senators — and the right to participate more actively in the life of their communities and their country.

[Translation]

To honour these famous women, each year the Governor General hosts the Governor General's Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case. Tomorrow, seven remarkable women will be receiving this award for their extraordinary contribution to the promotion of women's equality and the advancement of women in Canada.

[English]

Honourable senators, please join with me in paying tribute to these famous women and to all Canadians who continue to work toward gender equality.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

[Translation]

Principle of Asymmetrical Federalism

Hon. Jean-Claude Rivest: Honourable senators, I would like to invite the members of this chamber to give their strong support to the health accord signed by the Right Honourable Prime Minister of Canada, which enshrines the principle of asymmetry. With this agreement, Quebec, in particular, has succeeded in protecting its jurisdictions.

Last weekend, a public opinion poll revealed that close to 70 per cent of Canadians disagreed with the conclusion reached by the Prime Minister of Canada and his colleagues. I read in the newspapers that an honourable senator — and nevertheless a friend like Senator Joyal — was among those opposed to the accord. He probably supports uniformity in federalism. Honourable senators, let us not forget that the principle of asymmetrical federalism is already firmly enshrined in Canada's Constitution. When they joined Canada, some provinces benefited from special conditions.

As regards bilingualism, Quebec's status is asymmetrical, because the Constitution imposed on it specific obligations regarding the use of French in the National Assembly and in the courts. The requirement to maintain two education systems was imposed by the Constitution.

(1420)

The principle of asymmetry is therefore well established and recognized on the constitutional level. It is just a reflection of Canada's diversity.

On the administrative level, the principle has been acknowledged on numerous occasions by our prime ministers. Prime Minister Pearson acknowledged the differences in participation in the Canada Pension Plan, and as a result the Caisse de dépôt was created, rather than a system of piecemeal financing.

Prime Minister Trudeau acknowledged the possibility of direct participation by Quebec and New Brunswick within the Agence de coopération culturelle et technique.

Prime Minister Mulroney saw immigration as vital to keeping Quebec in Canada for the stability and recognition of French. As a result, we saw federal responsibility for the integration of immigrants transferred to Quebec, where in fact a different approach is taken than in the rest of Canada. It is not merely economic and social, but linguistic as well.

The principle has again been acknowledged just recently by the Right Honourable Prime Minister Paul Martin in connection with health.

I therefore believe that it is incumbent upon the Senate to acknowledge and affirm the full diversity of Canada and to express our support of the recent health initiative.

Employment Equity

Twentieth Anniversary of Royal Commission Report

Hon. Lucie Pépin: Honourable senators, this month marks the twentieth anniversary of the report of the Royal Commission on Equality in Employment. Coincidentally, the chair of that commission, Justice Rosalie Abella, has just been appointed to the Supreme Court.

Justice Abella's appointment was greeted by many as a great day for the Supreme Court and was most certainly justified. She has helped advance the case law on equality and the protection of human rights. More than once, Justice Abella has moved us to take action to eliminate systemic discrimination against certain groups of Canadians.

Today I want to point out just how important and defining was the report of the Abella commission, published in 1984. In that document, persons with disabilities, women, members of visible minorities and Aboriginal people were designated as not having fair, equitable and transparent access to the job market.

Ms. Abella said, and I quote:

It is not that individuals in the designated groups are inherently unable to achieve equality on their own, it is that the obstacles in their way are so formidable and self-perpetuating that they cannot be overcome without intervention. It is both intolerable and insensitive if we simply wait and hope that the barriers will disappear with time. Equality in employment will not happen unless we make it happen.

In order to correct that inequality, the royal commission recommended adoption of an employment equity model focusing on the elimination of discriminatory obstacles to employment.

Twenty years later, we have made considerable progress on this issue. The recommendations of the royal commission have led to legislation that makes employment equity mandatory. We can celebrate this progress, but we must not neglect the challenges still before us.

Despite our best intentions and efforts, some members of designated groups, such as those from visible minorities, continue to be passed over for employment. If they manage to find employment, their chances of advancement are clearly more limited, not to mention the glass ceiling that still prevents women from reaching certain key positions.

In order for our country to benefit from the talents of every one of its people, no Canadian man or woman should be deprived of job opportunities or advantages for any reason but competence. It is a question not only of productivity, but of dignity as well.

[English]

Canada-United States Relations

Hon. Gerry St. Germain: Honourable senators, imagine for a moment, if you will, in the midst of the last federal general election in this country, the major network news organizations in the United States releasing a public opinion survey conducted in their country revealing how Americans felt about our election. Imagine the results of such reportedly being that 56 per cent of Americans surveyed would like to see Stephen Harper's Conservatives elected in Canada, with only 19 per cent favouring incumbent Prime Minister Paul Martin.

The prospect of such a story unfolding we can only fantasize about, for if it did it would set off a huge alarm in Canada about foreign interference in our election process. The Americans would be accused of terrible domination, bordering on intimidation, for treading into the democratic affairs of a sovereign nation. The headline on the story would read, "Big Brother Down South Trying to Unfairly Influence the Democratic System in Canada."

Now, honourable senators, let's talk about reality. A couple of weeks ago, the Canadian Press, working in conjunction with Léger Marketing of Montreal, published the results of a telephone survey of Canadians on the subject of the American election. The headlines proclaimed convincing support among Canadian voters for U.S. presidential candidate John Kerry, representing the Democratic Party. It is interesting to note that only slightly more than half of those Canadians surveyed actually had any interest in the American elections. Nonetheless, one of the major national news organizations and many of its subscribers thought it was legitimate news that 40 per cent of respondents thought the re-election of President George Bush would have a negative impact on Canada-United States relations.

Actually, honourable senators, I am not surprised at those numbers. The Liberal government has perpetrated nothing less than a deliberate campaign to erode Canada-U.S. relations. Prime Minister Paul Martin, along with his predecessor, has allowed backbenchers and senior staff to badmouth the President of the United States. With a glaring lack of courage and a lack of leadership, two successive Liberal governments have positioned Canada on the outside. They have ensured that we are anything but a friend of the Americans. We are perceived as cowardly, letting down our best friends and neighbours when we refused to become an ally of the freedom fighters who liberated the people of Iraq.

Now, honourable senators, we have the nerve to tell Americans how they should vote. Shame! Shame on the Liberal government for fanning the flames of anti-Americanism in Canada; shame on the Canadian media elite for attempting to interfere with the U.S. election process with their headline-grabbing polls that are devoid of deep thought and real meaning; and shame on those Canadians who express their anti-American sentiments with an arrogance that suggests we know who could best lead the United States.

Thankfully, on November 2, a majority of Americans will re-elect President George Bush, one of America's greatest presidents and a good friend of Canadians.


ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

Foreign Affairs

Report Pursuant to Rule 104 Tabled

Hon. Peter A. Stollery: 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 Foreign Affairs, which deals with the expenses incurred by the committee during the Third Session of the Thirty-seventh Parliament.

(For text of report, see today's Journals of the Senate, p. 69.)

Social Affairs, Science and Technology

Report Pursuant to Rule 104 Tabled

Hon. Michael Kirby: 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 Social Affairs, Science and Technology, which deals with the expenses incurred by the committee during the Third Session of the Thirty-seventh Parliament.

(For text of report, see today's Journals of the Senate, p. 70.)

Heritage Lighthouse Protection Bill

First Reading

Hon. J. Michael Forrestall presented Bill S-14, to protect heritage lighthouses.

Bill read first time.

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

Senator Forrestall: I move that the bill be read a second time on Wednesday, one week hence. May I add that this is an unnecessary expense for the taxpayers of Canada.

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

On motion of Senator Forrestall, bill placed on the Orders of the Day for second reading one week hence.

Spam Control Bill

First Reading

Hon. Donald H. Oliver presented Bill S-15, to prevent unsolicited messages on the Internet.

Bill read first time.

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

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

(1430)

Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association

Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Expanded Bureau Meeting, April 23-24, 2004—Report Tabled

Hon. Jerahmiel S. Grafstein: Honourable senators, I have the honour to table the report of the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association, OSCE, which deals with the Expanded Bureau Meeting in Copenhagen on April 23 and 24, 2004.

Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Thirteenth Annual Session, July 5-9, 2004—Report Tabled

Hon. Jerahmiel S. Grafstein: Honourable senators, I have the honour to table the report of the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association, OSCE, which deals with the Thirteenth Annual Session in Edinburgh, on July 5 to 9, 2004.

Meeting of Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly Committee on Economic Affairs and Development, June 18, 2004—Report Tabled

Hon. John Lynch-Staunton: Honourable senators, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian delegation of the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association respecting its participation to the meeting of the Committee on Economic Affairs and Development at the OECD, held in Paris, June 18, 2004.

Meeting of Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, Third Part of Ordinary Session, June 21-25, 2004—Report Tabled

Hon. John Lynch-Staunton: Honourable senators, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian delegation of the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association respecting its participation to the meeting of the Third Part of the 2004 Ordinary Session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe held in Strasbourg, June 21 to 25, 2004.

[Translation]

Official Languages

Notice of Motion to Refer 2003-04 Annual Report of Commissioner to Committee

Hon. Eymard G. Corbin: Honourable senators, I give notice that, at the next sitting of the Senate, I shall move:

That the annual report of the Commissioner of Official Languages for 2003-04, tabled in the Senate on October 19, 2004, be referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages.

[English]

Social Affairs, Science and Technology

Notice of Motion to Authorize Committee to Engage Services

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

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

Notice of Motion to Authorize Committee to Permit Electronic Coverage

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

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

Foreign Affairs

Notice of Motion to Authorize Committee to Permit Electronic Coverage

Hon. Peter A. Stollery: Honourable senators, I give notice that, at the next sitting of the Senate, I shall move:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs be authorized to permit coverage by electronic media of its public proceedings with the least possible disruption of its hearings.

Notice of Motion to Authorize Committee to Engage Services

Hon. Peter A. Stollery: Honourable senators, I give notice that, at the next sitting of the Senate, I shall move:

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

Notice of Motion to Authorize Committee to Study Issues Related to Foreign Affairs

Hon. Peter A. Stollery: Honourable senators, I give notice that, at the next sitting of the Senate, I shall move:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, in accordance with rule 86(1)(h), be authorized to examine such issues as may arise from time to time relating to foreign relations generally; and

That the Committee report to the Senate no later than March 31, 2006.

[Translation]

Study on Quota Allocations and Benefits to Nunavut and Nunavik Fishermen

Report of Fisheries and Oceans Committee—Notice of Motion to Request Government Response

Hon. Gerald J. Comeau: Honourable senators, I give notice that, at the next sitting of the Senate, I shall move:

That, pursuant to rule 131(2), the Senate request a complete and detailed response from the government to the fourth report of the Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, entitled Nunavut Fisheries: Quota Allocations and Benefits, tabled in the Senate on April 1, 2004 and adopted on May 13, 2004, during the Third Session of the Thirty-seventh Parliament, with the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans being identified as Minister responsible for responding to the report.


[English]

QUESTION PERIOD

Justice

National Security—Listing of Al-Tawhid Wal Jihad as Terrorist Group

Hon. J. Michael Forrestall: Honourable senators, I return to two questions I posed to the Leader of the Government yesterday. The first had to do with what I can only believe to be a terrorist organization, namely, Al-Tawhid Wal Jihad. This organization has been in operation since 2003. We know that in the period between 2003 and 2004 members of this organization reportedly killed in excess of 1,000 people, a large number by the traumatic expediency of the cutting off of heads. The leader of this organization, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, has experimented, by all accounts, with biological and chemical weapons.

Can the Leader of the Government tell us today why this barbaric group has not yet been banned under Part II.1 of the Criminal Code of Canada as a terrorist organization, given, at the very least, its history and its intention to experiment with chemical and biological weapons?

Hon. Jack Austin (Leader of the Government): The Honourable Senator Forrestall asked this question yesterday and I said that I would endeavour to obtain an answer speedily, but 24 hours has not allowed me to obtain the answer to his question.

Senator Forrestall: Honourable senators, I will lend the government leader my staff. It did not take them very long to find this information. They used what is called a computer.

I will put that question off and ask it again, perhaps early next week.

National Defence

Replacement of Sea King Helicopters—Acquisition Process—Influence of Litigation

Hon. J. Michael Forrestall: Honourable senators, the second question I asked yesterday had to do with litigation concerning the replacement of the Sea King helicopters. I am sure my honourable friend recognizes that if the litigation is successful, the government may well be responsible for damages or compensation, possibly in the form of cash.

The government apparently made its decision to put new helicopters in place, and we all welcome that as soon as it possibly can be done. These were the words of the honourable minister yesterday.

Can the minister tell us if it is the government's policy to not revisit the program award even if it means they may have to pay damages to AgustaWestland in addition to the actual costs associated with the contract award? Such damages could amount to in excess of $1 billion. I mention that figure to alert the Leader of the Government and all senators to the serious consequences of a decision against the government in this respect. Does the government have any further message that it can leave with the Canadian people to assure them that this money will not be lost and will not be simply paid out as part of "business as usual"?

Hon. Jack Austin (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, Senator Forrestall knows as well as anyone here that the process of determining a replacement for the Sea Kings was long and detailed. Eventually, the government made its decision.

Anyone is free to contest the legal validity of decisions made and to take their claims to court. That is why we have fair and impartial tribunals. Their task is to determine whether there was any abuse of any law and/or obligation of a legal nature on the part of the federal government.

(1440)

In the meantime, as I said yesterday, the federal government intends to proceed to acquire the helicopters under the contract it has signed, and it will abide by the results of a judicial process. There can be no guarantee of the outcome of lawsuits, yet the government believes it has acted correctly in every way.

Senator Forrestall: Finally, honourable senators, can the minister give us an indication of when activity may be apparent with respect to the replacement program?

Senator Austin: Honourable senators, a lot of activity is apparent. I feel certain that Sikorsky, which now has indication from the Government of Canada that it will proceed with that contract, is acting with all possible diligence, because the provisions of that contract, as the honourable senator well knows, provide for quite an aggressive delivery schedule.

Agriculture and Agri-Food

Aid to Cattle and Grain Industries

Hon. Leonard J. Gustafson: Honourable senators, I have questions of the Leader of the Government in the Senate, having come directly from the combine.

As a result of low commodity prices, agriculture is in a critical situation across Canada. To put it in perspective, in 1972, both the price of a barrel of oil and a bushel of wheat was $2. Today, the price of a bushel of wheat is $2, if it is a fair grade — it could be 90 cents if it is frozen — and we know that oil is priced at about $55 a barrel.

At the Whitewood Auction Mart, older cows are bringing from 8 to 12 cents a pound, fleshier cows are bringing from 12 to 20 cents a pound, and older good live animals are bringing 25 cents a pound.

How in heaven's name is it possible for the farm industry to continue to exist under this situation?

Can the Leader of the Government in the Senate give us any assurance that the cabinet and the Prime Minister are currently looking seriously at this issue? I believe it is a crisis situation.

Hon. Jack Austin (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I agree with Senator Gustafson that the agricultural community, particularly in relation to the cattle and grain industries, is going through some difficult times. The commodity cycle is not attractive, and there have been special problems with respect to BSE in the cattle industry. However, at the same time, Senator Gustafson knows that the federal government has placed a very great deal of financial support behind these industries.

I was reviewing, in particular, an announcement made on October 1 with respect to Saskatchewan producers under the Agricultural Policy Framework in which the federal government announced a contribution of $78.5 million for a package of programs and services in that province. That is just one of a number of steps the federal government is taking with the provinces.

I have had discussions with Senator Fairbairn, the Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, with respect to a subject matter on which the committee could focus. I am sure Senator Gustafson and his colleagues would want to discuss what work the Senate committee could do to bring these issues to the attention of all Canadians.

Senator Gustafson: Honourable senators, I want to make it clear in my questions that it is not only Saskatchewan that is in trouble. I receive letters from people all across the country, including people in the cattle business in Ontario. Commodity prices are not high in Ontario either, including grain prices, so the problem is a national one.

However, in Saskatchewan, we have had frost. In fact, in much of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, the northern part of Alberta and into the Peace River, the crop froze. It went from a bumper crop — one of the best we have ever seen — to, in many cases, nothing. Now, on top of the frost, we have snow.

My message, I realize, is not a good one, but it must be brought, and I believe the Senate can play an important role in asking the government to take the best possible approach to solving some of these problems. It has been reported that the government has a $9-billion surplus. Directing a couple of billion at agriculture would pay off well not only for Saskatchewan but for Canada as a whole. Directing a couple of billion toward agriculture would be a positive investment for the government; that investment would be returned, because farmers buy trucks and combines, thereby supporting the factory workers. If funds are not directed at agriculture, we face a very critical situation in the future.

Senator Austin: I and all colleagues here know that Senator Gustafson is raising an important issue of concern to all Canadians.

With respect to the livestock industry, the federal government committed itself, on September 10, 2004, to an investment of $488 million, simply to stabilize the industry until discussions with the United States about giving access to live cattle are successful, although we do not know the date when they may be successful and further funds may be required.

I encourage the members of the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry to draw up terms of reference and to visit key agricultural communities in Canada, and to do so as quickly as possible, in order to gather evidence and place the facts before Canadians.

One of the problems in this country is the lack of a general focus by the media and by the political communities on these serious issues. Part of the role of the Senate is to highlight these issues. By holding hearings, the media will be alerted and will attend the meetings. By tabling a report that clearly defines the issues, the Senate will be shown to be advancing the interests of the farm community.

Senator Gustafson: Honourable senators, I thank the minister for the positive approach he has taken here today. We will certainly cooperate in the best interests of the agricultural community.

I was at Salt Lake City, where I met with many people in the industry. There were about 6,000 people there, representing all the states of the United States. I agree that this may take some time, but it is most important to get the border open.

I ask the Leader of the Government in the Senate to urge the government to continue communications with the United States.

Senator Austin: Honourable senators, there are always irritants on cross-border agricultural issues, including cattle, pigs, durum wheat and others. It is important, in my view, that we act in a totally non-partisan way. These ought not to be political issues. These are national economic issues. The more we act together, the more convincing we will be in dealing with the United States officials.

(1450)

Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Citizenship and Immigration

Requirement of Two Ministerial Signatures on National Security Certificates

Hon. David Tkachuk: Honourable senators, shortly after the Martin government took over last December, the power to issue national security certificates, which are used to quickly deport people considered a threat to national security, shifted from both the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and the Solicitor General to just the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. As part of a transfer of powers between departments, it was announced last week that national security certificates will once again require two signatures — one from the Immigration Minister and one from the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

What has precipitated the change back to requiring two signatures on a national security certificate?

Hon. Jack Austin (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I will make inquiries and attempt to give the honourable senator an answer shortly.

Requirement of Two Ministerial Signatures on National Security Certificates—Effect on Extradition Case of Ernst Zundel

Hon. David Tkachuk: Honourable senators, a national security certificate was issued last year to deport Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel, as the Canadian Security Intelligence Service had declared him to be a national security risk in 1996. Twenty months after the federal government indicated that it would deport him quickly, Mr. Zundel is still fighting his removal, at the expense of Canadian taxpayers.

Could the Leader of the Government in the Senate tell us if the change involving national security certificates may have a bearing on the removal of Ernst Zundel from our country?

Hon. Jack Austin (Leader of the Government): I will make inquiries, honourable senators, but at this point I am not aware that the Zundel case is relevant to the change in policy to which the honourable senator has referred.

Supreme Court

Government Reference of Same-sex Marriages

Hon. Marjory LeBreton: Honourable senators, the government has asked the Supreme Court of Canada for a reference on draft legislation to allow same-sex marriage in Canada, something that would be better handled through the appeals process. The government has always said it will introduce legislation to allow same-sex marriage, yet it continues to go to the court.

Would the Leader of the Government in the Senate not agree that this is the responsibility of Parliament and not the courts?

Hon. Jack Austin (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I believe the government's action to make a reference in the first instance and then to add an additional question to that reference in the second instance is correctly taken. It is important for Canadians to know what the law of Canada is before Parliament has placed before it additional legislation dealing with this question. We do have a court whose advisory opinions will be respected across Canada. On the basis of that advisory opinion, parliamentarians can be guided with respect to the basic law of Canada.

Senator LeBreton: Honourable senators, I have a supplementary question. The definition of marriage is a key question in our society. Any change to the definition calls for a real debate, where both sides should be heard — indeed, they must be heard. I know many of us in this chamber are on opposite sides of the debate, but we should be heard.

Because of this, I would ask whether the government will allow senators on their side a free vote when this issue comes before Parliament.

Senator Austin: Honourable senators, I will take that as a representation on the part of Senator LeBreton and in due course ask the same question of her side.

I have no answer at the moment, because it is premature. However, I appreciate learning what concerns the honourable senator.

Health

Extension of Hepatitis C Compensation Package

Hon. Wilbert J. Keon: Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate and is about hepatitis C compensation.

Honourable senators, last week the Minister of Health indicated that the federal government may consider extending its hepatitis C compensation package to infected people who were not covered by the original package. If this does indeed come to pass, it will be very good news for the thousands of tainted blood victims and their families across the country.

The health minister's comments also indicated that the expansion of compensation will depend upon whether or not there is a surplus in the current compensation plan, which provides for an actuarial review to take place next spring, requiring time that many of these patients will find difficult.

Will the federal government commit itself to providing compensation to all hepatitis C victims as quickly as possible? Has that been considered?

Hon. Jack Austin (Leader of the Government): I thank Senator Keon for his question. The Minster of Health indicated recently that he was taking under consideration the possibility of broadening the class of beneficiaries. To take this matter under consideration requires consultation with a number of others who are affected by the plan, including provincial ministers of health and the litigants.

I recently watched — and perhaps the honourable senator did as well — a news feature in which the interviewer interviewed people who were not among the class of beneficiaries but who were trying to enter the class and those were already in the class. It was remarkable to me that, of those already in the class, one person at least was very clearly opposed to including any further beneficiaries. Of course, the one who was not in the class wanted to be included.

The matter is under immediate attention. I know the Minister of Health wants to proceed here. However, the parties have to be consulted and legal advice has to be taken.

Senator Keon: I thank the leader for his answer. Would the Leader of the Government in the Senate know if this particular issue was addressed last week at the annual meeting of federal and provincial health ministers?

Senator Austin: Honourable senators, I cannot say with certainty that I know that.

Foreign Affairs

Special Envoy to Sudan—Comments to Canadian Islamic Conference

Hon. Gerry St. Germain: Honourable senators, my question is also to the Leader of the Government.

Yesterday, I asked a question on Darfur. The Leader of the Government in the Senate made reference to the special envoy that Prime Minister Chrétien appointed, Senator Jaffer. A speech by Senator Jaffer to the Canadian Islamic Congress, made, I believe, on October 4, 2004, has been brought to my attention. Senator Jaffer, in that speech, said that, today, when we hear Jerry Falwell, Franklin Graham or Pat Robertson, we do not take their words as the words of all Christians, that we know what sector they represent.

Can the Leader of the Government in the Senate tell us what she means by that?

Hon. Jack Austin (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I respond to questions of the government. I cannot respond to statements made by individual senators, but I will certainly draw the question of the honourable senator to Senator Jaffer's attention.

Senator St. Germain: Yesterday, the Leader of the Government in the Senate clearly stated that Senator Jaffer was the government's representative in Sudan. Since Senator Jaffer is the government's designated representative, it would appear that she speaks for the government, unless there is mass confusion here.

(1500)

I am not a follower of Falwell, Graham or Robertson. However, the evangelical movement in the world has done good work in many sectors. In both Africa and Russia today, they continue to do work. One of the greatest Pentecostal evangelical churches is in the city in which I live, the city of Langley. It is doing tremendous work. To go "Whew!" about these people is akin to saying "stuff happens." I believe that these people are doing excellent work, or at least have excellent intentions of helping the Sudanese people. The special envoy questions these people by way of statements in a speech that she circulated to others within the Senate. Does the honourable leader feel that this is the way special envoys should represent the Government of Canada and all Canadians?

Senator Austin: Honourable senators, I have not seen the document to which Senator St. Germain refers. Senator Jaffer is an adviser to the government and has been sent as a special emissary to deal with people in Sudan in order to alleviate the costs of civil strife in that country. Let us start there.

I am not a person who agrees with the views that I have seen represented by the three commentators referred to by Senator St. Germain. We could have a discussion about their views, but it is not logical or legitimate to slide from their views as if they represent the entire Christian community or the fundamentalist community. Those people are not represented by these three. That is what you said. The honourable senator inferred that they stood for and represented all people in the fundamentalist Christian community. I can assure him that I have many friends in that community who disagree with their views.

Senator St. Germain: Do not put words —

Senator Austin: You read what you said in the transcript. You will see that I am quoting you accurately.

On the question of "stuff happens," there is a bit of an irritation on my part with respect to the attempt by some senators opposite to represent a connection between my remark, when the statement of facts given by the navy and by the Chief of Staff was that no one was seriously injured. Then, two days later, the remark I made 48 hours before is associated with the death of Lieutenant Saunders. That is not a process for which I have any respect. That process is an attempt to mislead.

Senator Tkachuk: We do not need lessons from you.

Senator Austin: Yes you do. If you support that kind of reasoning and advocacy, then you must learn something. It is very clear that no one on that side is acquainted with Dr. Seuss.

Senator St. Germain: For the honourable minister to stand and accuse me of saying that Falwell, Graham and Robertson represent all Christians is totally false. I never said that. I did say that they represent a huge segment of the Christian community, the evangelical community, in North America and throughout the world. The fact remains that the work they do in many sectors, as I said, including Sudan and other parts of Africa, is very credible. For the minister to stand there and lecture us on it indicates that we obviously struck a nerve with "stuff happens."

It was your statement, your glibness that got you into the trouble that you are in. Do not blame any of the people on this side.

Senator Austin: I wasn't.

The Hon. the Speaker: I want to remind honourable senators of our rules as to Question Period. It is a time for questions and answers to those questions. It is not a time for debate. Short preambles are provided for in our rules but not debate.

Senator Austin: To answer some of the points made, I think, St. Germain, you repeated yourself again in suggesting that the three men you mentioned represent — I think this time you said "a substantial group of fundamentalist Christians." I am saying that I have heard their views and I do not believe that they represent the views of very many Christians, fundamentalist or otherwise.

With respect to "stuff happens," I just want to make it clear, one last time. I should like to remind colleagues here of a statement made by Senator Gigantès when he was a member of this chamber. It was an important statement.

Senator St. Germain: Was he in the GST gang?

Senator Austin: You can be as irreverent as you like. You will regret it sometime.

Senator Gigantès said: "A Senate acting as a house of facts is essential as an antidote for the poisoning of the democratic process by professional liars."

Hon. Lowell Murray: Honourable senators, when the Leader of the Government is reflecting on the questions and statements made by Senator St. Germain, perhaps he might make an effort to bring in the transcript of remarks made by one of the evangelists, whose name has been mentioned here, to the effect that the events of September 11 in New York were the retribution of almighty God brought on by feminists and homosexuals. That evangelist may have been speaking for Senator St. Germain, but he certainly did not speak for this Christian.

Delayed Answer to Oral Question

Hon. Bill Rompkey (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I have the honour to present a delayed answer to the oral question posed in the Senate by Honourable Senator LeBreton on October 7, 2004, regarding the application of the Learning Bond Program.

Human Resources and Skills Development

Application of Proposed Learning Bond Program

(Response to question raised by Hon. Marjory LeBreton on October 7, 2004)

SOCIAL ASSISTANCE

We are aware that in some provinces and territories, families are forced to liquidate their RESPs in order to receive social assistance. We continue to work with all provinces and territories to ensure that low-income families have access to saving opportunities and realize the full benefit of their efforts to save for their children's education.

Several provinces (Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Alberta) and territories (Nunavut and Yukon) already exempt RESP contributions from a requirement that certain assets (including RESPs) be drawn down before a family can receive social assistance.

B.C. and Québec exempt RESPs for the purpose of social assistance eligibility up to a ceiling amount that varies by family type and size and is relatively low.

Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Québec and the Northwest Territories are reviewing the option to exempt RESPs. Indeed the Minister of Community and Social Services in Ontario recently announced that she thought that the rule requiring families to liquidate their RESPs to be a poor one and committed to removing this rule in Ontario.

OUTREACH AND AWARENESS

The Government of Canada recognizes that low-income families will require both information about the government initiatives and support while opening an RESP in order to benefit from these improved savings incentives.

Accordingly, an Outreach and Awareness Program has been developed wherein we will work with NGOs to ensure that low-income families are aware, understand, and benefit from these initiatives.

The design of the Outreach Strategy will include two components:

1) A HRSDC Service to Canadians network that will act as a community liaison for the CLB and CESG; and

2) A Pan-Canadian Community Outreach that will work closely with community-based NGOs, who have a long history of working with the target population.


ORDERS OF THE DAY

Speech from the Throne

Motion for Address in Reply—Motion in Amendment—Debate Continued

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Munson, seconded by the Honourable Senator Chaput, for an Address to Her Excellency the Governor General in reply to her Speech from the Throne at the Opening of the First Session of the Thirty-eighth Parliament,

And on the motion in amendment of the Honourable Senator Kinsella, seconded by the Honourable Senator Stratton, that the following be added to the Address:

"and we urge Your Excellency's advisors, when implementing the details of their proposals, to review the Employment Insurance program to ensure that it remains well-suited to the needs of Canada's workforce, to reduce and improve the fairness of taxes, to be unwavering in the application of fiscal discipline, to examine the need and options for reform of our democratic institutions, including electoral reform, and to rise above partisanship to address the public interest;

That Your Excellency's advisors consider the advisability of the following:

1. an Order of Reference to the appropriate committee of each House of Parliament instructing the committee to recommend measures that would ensure that all future uses of the employment insurance program would only be for the benefit of workers and not for any other purpose;

2. opportunities to further reduce the tax burden on low and modest income families consistent with the government's overall commitment to balanced budgets and sound fiscal management;

3. an Order of Reference to the appropriate committee of each House of Parliament instructing the committee to make recommendations relating to the provisions of independent fiscal forecasting advice for parliamentarians including the consideration of the recommendations of the external expert;

4. an Order of Reference to the appropriate committee of each House of Parliament instructing the committee to recommend a process that engages citizens and parliamentarians in an examination of our electoral system with a review of all options;

5. with respect to an agreement on ballistic missile defence, the assurance that Parliament will have an opportunity to consider all public information pertaining to the agreement and to vote prior to a government decision;

And we ask Your Excellency's advisors to ensure that all measures brought forward to implement the Speech from the Throne, including those referred to above, fully respect the provinces' areas of jurisdiction and that the financial pressures some call the fiscal imbalance be alleviated."—(3rd day of resuming debate)

Hon. David Tkachuk: Honourable senators, I am pleased to respond to the Speech from the Throne and will concentrate my remarks on the subject of the Canada Pension Plan.

In the Speech from the Throne, it was mentioned that the Guaranteed Income Supplement would be increased without an accompanying plan, but following promises made in the Liberal election platform — "goes to the poorest of the poor...." That is my opening remark, since there was no direct mention of the future of the CPP, even though Canadians are concerned. According to the CBC program on Sundays hosted by Rex Murphy, Canadian pension organizations are reporting that the CPP is the number two priority for Canadians, right after health care.

Sometime in the early 1960s, policy wonks, politicos or ambitious bureaucrats, whether they worked for Mr. Diefenbaker or for Mr. Pearson, figured out that the government could tax the general population to pay a pension to older people and that by identifying the tax with a noble public goal — providing pensions for everyone regardless of economic circumstances — citizens would be happy to pay the tax with the proviso that some day they could also collect it. Lester Pearson's government introduced it in 1966 and called it the Canada Pension Plan. I know there were studies and many meetings, but there was Old Age Security also at that time, plus a program for those in dire economic circumstances.

(1510)

There was a general political benefit since Old Age Security was costing a lot of money at the time. When the Old Age Security program was instituted, the government was not smart enough to institute an Old Age Security tax on the general population. The new program was fairly simple. It was based on establishing a compulsory tax on those who were working, and there were lots of them, and paying people who were retired, and there were few of them since the original age of retirement was set at 70 years, although it was lowered five years later to 65. However, at the time the program was instituted, the age for eligibility was 67.

There were a couple of side benefits. A small amount of tax generated a tremendous amount of revenue, which meant that the money collected could be used in other programs such as those that dealt with death benefits and disability insurance. Since people were only eligible to receive the Old Age Security benefit at age 67 — the average age of death at the time — in many instances no benefits were collected.

There were and are private pension plans that run on the same model and same principle — workers paying for those who retire — but they have safety mechanisms so that payments are reduced if surpluses are incurred and payments are increased if there is a shortfall. There was no such mechanism at the federal treasury. As the baby boomers hit the job market after 1966, when the program was established, the money flowed on the scale of Niagara Falls, and the government, being government, spent it all.

Much else has changed in the last 30 years, but not government. The principle of imposing taxes for high principles has become a matter of habit. Oh, they started innocently enough with environmental taxes on packaging, on bottles and on disposable products. They levied security taxes to protect passengers at airports, and even taxes to build airports. Of course, do not forget all those sin taxes on liquor, cigarettes and gasoline — sinners were too guilty to complain — and an avalanche of "nickel-ing and dime-ing" measures that are too numerous to mention.

We must also remember the establishment of the Unemployment Insurance Program, later was changed to the Employment Insurance Program — a rather ironic name since it is insurance against unemployment. The program was drastically reformed during the mid-1990s, making it more difficult for applicants to qualify. A law was also conveniently changed from one that limited the accumulation of surpluses to three years to a new and improved Martin law that now allows surpluses — you guessed it, the size of Niagara Falls — to accumulate and accumulate. Paul Martin must have thought he was the luckiest man in the world: gobs of extra Employment Insurance funds creating huge surpluses that, instead of being made accessible to the unemployed, were saved up until the end of each fiscal year and poured into the government treasuries to help lower the deficit. It was a tax on the working people, and no one was complaining.

Meanwhile, back at the Department of Finance, someone was coming up with the incredible idea of raising the Canada Pension Plan contributions again, under the pretext of saving the pensions for the future and the reform of the plan itself: Reform and save! It seemed that all those baby boomers who began to work in 1967 would soon retire. Those baby boomers had had fewer children. What was worse, the parents of the baby boomers seemed to live forever. What the heck was going on? They were not dying according to plan. Chances were good that the baby boomers themselves would live even longer. What would happen? In fact, the ratio of CPP contributors has decreased from 7 to 1 in 1966, to 5 to 1 in 2002, and it is expected to be 3 to 1 by 2030, the time that my son will be thinking about planning for retirement.

The saviour was to be Paul Martin, who, in 1997, introduced legislation to reform the plan.

That year, one of the largest and most unfair taxes in the history of Canada was being perpetuated on the people who were entering high school and were glibly unaware of the theft that the law was planning for the rest of their working lives. As mom and dad were being defrauded through Employment Insurance premiums, because they were being spent on other programs, the kids were working hard at university, unprepared for the fact that 10 per cent of their income up to $40,000 would be taken from them to pay for pensions which bear no relationship to the money that they were investing, or rather paying, for the rest of their natural working lives.

Meanwhile, billions of dollars in surpluses are being accumulated — $2 billion, to be exact, for this fiscal year. Cumulatively, we expect it to be $47 billion by the end of the current fiscal year, even though the Chief Actuary has said that a $13 billion surplus is more than sufficient to meet the needs of the program. Of course, none of it is earmarked for the Canada Pension Plan, which would make sense, since, in years gone by, governments have always stolen the surpluses. Remember, these surpluses have not arisen because of any government streamlining of services. They have arisen because of increased and targeted forms of taxation on Canadians.

I would stress one further point. EI premiums are only paid by employers on behalf of their employees and by the employees themselves. The self-employed do not contribute. Yet, when there is a surplus, the entire amount can be used to lower the deficit for all Canadians, despite the fact that only one group has paid into it. It does not sound very fair to me. The EI fund has been spent on other things and is not there for the Canadian worker. In fact, the Canadian worker has suffered more than necessary when you consider that the hiked rates of CPP have not been offset with the introduction of lower EI premiums. Those could have been lowered at a much more dramatic rate than this Liberal government and the one before were willing to do. This government, led by the man who was once finance minister, is addicted to its ill-gotten gains and surpluses, and it is not even bashful about it. The Auditor General, one of the few sane voices over the last number of years, has repeatedly warned that the growing EI surplus does not reflect the intent of the Employment Insurance Act.

The laughable 9.9 per cent CPP — rather than calling it 10 per cent — came into effect in 2003. In 2005, the Chief Actuary, who works for the Minister of Finance, is expected to report that the 10 per cent is sustainable. The fact is that since the legislation was passed in 1997 establishing the CPP Investment Board, the CPP has been redesigned to be a pension plan run by an investment board with a few major differences. You, as citizens, and the citizens out there are not part of it. CPP pensions bear no relationship to the investment money generated or lost. If this were a private board, the board members would be wearing stripes.

While young people go about their business in Canada, they share an unremarkable knowledge about what is happening to their financial future. If we want young people to become interested in politics, perhaps the knowledge that they are being earmarked for special taxes is a vehicle to motivate them. This Speech from the Throne does little to enhance their future. Paul Martin has done little to enhance his future, and the Liberal Party has shown that it lives in the past.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

[Translation]

Hon. Yves Morin: Honourable senators, I am pleased today to take part in the debate in reply to the Speech from the Throne. Congratulations to Senators Munson and Chaput respectively for having moved and seconded it so brilliantly.

[English]

I should like to address one aspect of this Speech from the Throne, an issue that is of vital importance for the well-being of Canadians and for the future economic development of their country, and that is research and development.

Innovation has been recognized in the Speech from the Throne as an important element of the government's economic strategy. In fact, support from the government for the science and innovation agenda is not new. Over the last seven years, our government has invested more than $13 billion in research in Canadian universities and academic health care centres. As a result, we are now first among the G8 countries in support for research and higher education as a percentage of GDP. At the same time, however, there has been a decrease in industry innovation. Industrial research activity has dropped by 9.5 per cent since 2001, and the number of firms conducting research is decreasing as well.

(1520)

We are ranked twenty-third among OECD countries in the share of research and development funded by business. This is a very serious situation. Our success in the knowledge-driven economy and in creating future wealth for our country rests not only on the development of new ideas — the focus of university research — but also on their successful commercialization. This is where industrial innovation is critical. Within that area, innovation of the pharmaceutical industry, which is among the most research-intensive industries, offers one of our country's strongest opportunities to compete successfully in the global economy.

Unfortunately, the level of pharmaceutical research in Canada has fallen precipitously over the last few years. Expressed as a ratio of research and development to sales, research investment has dropped from 11.3 per cent in 1999 to 9.9 per cent in 2002 and to 8.8 per cent in 2003. In the United States, the ratio is 18 per cent, which is a full 10 percentage points greater than in our country. Without exception, every pharmaceutical company, multinational by nature, now invests in Canada at lower rates than the global average. Our per capita level of pharmaceutical R & D is one third that of the U.K. Bringing our level of pharmaceutical R & D up to that of the U.K. would have significant results, in that it would add $3.2 billion per year to our economy and create 8,300 direct jobs.

What makes this shortfall even more regrettable is just how surprising it is. Canada has a strong and vibrant biotech industry, the third-largest in the world, with more than 375 companies, 90 per cent of which are formed by universities and health research centres. Federal funding has helped these companies make significant discoveries, discoveries that can prevent, diagnose and treat the diseases that affect Canadians. However, without private-sector investment, these companies cannot develop these discoveries in Canada and thus have to turn to other countries. Each time a new product is developed outside our border, Canada loses future international investment of more than $1 billion over 10 years. How did we get into this unfortunate situation? Why can we not compete successfully on the global playing field of pharmaceutical innovation funding? There are many reasons, most of which arise out of the fact that we have historically maintained an adversarial relationship with our innovative pharmaceutical industry. We treat new drugs as an expense to be controlled rather than as the major factor in the favourable health outcomes that they have proven to be. We see this approach manifested in several ways.

First, we have made the pharmaceutical industry the target of price controls, which is an archaic, inefficient, costly and bureaucratic process. Price control of pharmaceuticals in Canada has had many unforeseen perverse effects, but I will limit myself to only one. The system punishes new innovative products, while rewarding those products that are no longer under the protection of a patent. As a result, many new breakthrough pharmaceuticals discovered in Canada become available here several years after they are available in other countries.

Second, we have limited the number of new pharmaceuticals for which patients can be reimbursed under government drug plans. Numerous studies have shown that restricting access to necessary medication can lead to increased utilization of other resources and to negative outcomes.

The Canadian Cardiovascular Society, of which I am a proud member and of which Senator Keon was the president, is on record as saying that the application of a cookbook approach, where pricing pushes patients and physicians to the use of one pharmaceutical, is fraught with hazard for the cardiovascular patient.

The Best Medicines Coalition, a grouping of volunteer patients' associations that includes the Canadian Breast Cancer Network, the Arthritis Society and the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, also believes that treatments should be determined by a doctor and not by a bureaucrat. Canadians agree with this statement. A new Pollara poll shows that 87 per cent of Canadians believe that a government drug plan should include all medications that a patient and his or her doctor agree is the most effective treatment.

Third, our drug approval times in Canada are the longest of any industrialized country. We have heard a great deal said about waiting times in our health care system, but the problem of timely access to innovative medicines is even more serious.

The Canadian drug review and approval system has been studied on numerous occasions over the past 15 years. Consistently, each study has found that the time taken for the review of innovative drug submissions is unnecessarily lengthy. In any discussion on improving the performance of the drug review system, it is important to understand that more timely and efficient reviews are not less thorough reviews. A review of Health Canada statistics indicates that their target performances would be met today if the lengthy delays between the receipt of submissions and the commencement of the actual review process and the amount of time between the various stages of the review were eliminated.

Fourth, our approach to the pharmaceutical industry has also dictated how we deal with intellectual property protection. The overriding purpose of intellectual property protection is to foster innovation. We have a poor record of providing and enforcing patent protection for innovative pharmaceuticals in Canada. We still have a five-year differential in patent protection when compared to Europe, Japan and the U.S. Canada is the only country in the industrialized world that does not have a form of patent term restoration. Patent term restoration redresses patent terms that have been effectively shortened due to the extensive time needed for clinical development and the delays in obtaining regulatory approval. Given that Canada's regulatory review and approval times are not competitive, adopting a patent term restoration provision would provide a more favourable R & D investment environment in Canada.

We accord advantages to the generic pharmaceutical companies. Canada is one of the few countries to practise generic early working, which is the development of a copy prior to patent expiry. The entire approval process is less rigorous for generic, non-innovative drugs than it is for new, breakthrough pharmaceuticals. The only requirement is the submission of an abbreviated application for approval based on the clinical research and testing already conducted and funded by the competitor who is the brand name patent holder.

The situation calls for a change. First, we need to change our attitude. Innovative medicines should not be viewed as a cost to be endured, if not aggressively attacked, but as agents of favourable health outcomes and of economic development.

Second, we need to build on Canada's strengths. We have one of the most highly educated workforces in the industrialized world. We have a vibrant, highly productive academic health research enterprise. We have a large number of biotech companies that have grown out of this enterprise, each with promising discoveries waiting to be developed.

We have a superb health care delivery system that is well suited to the conduct of complex clinical studies. By creating a favourable environment for research and development investment, we will create a level playing field with our major competitors. At the same time, we will provide Canadians with the health benefits of innovative discoveries and with the economic benefits of developing them in Canada. We can achieve this goal by removing inefficient and illogical price controls, by improving access to innovative drugs for Canadians and by intellectual property based on international standards.

Some of these necessary actions are to be taken at the federal level. Many players must be involved in this important project for Canada to achieve its potential in this area and all players must work together. Therefore, I wholeheartedly support the creation of the Canadian health industries partnership — an imaginative plan to create an alliance among the research-based life sciences community and the federal and provincial governments to strengthen our health care system and our economy through Canadian health innovation.

This plan is inspired by the existing public-private sector cooperation in support of the automotive industry. It would provide a collaborative arrangement to strengthen Canada's capabilities in health innovation development opportunities.

Honourable senators, there is no doubt that the situation I have just described is serious and requires the attention of the Senate. On the other hand, I am optimistic that our governments, industry and scientists will rapidly take the necessary measures to correct the problem. As Prime Minister Martin recently declared in Montreal, our objective is clear; to be a land of innovation, a market teeming with new products and services, a country where the quality of life never ceases to grow.

(1530)

Hon. Marilyn Trenholme Counsell: Honourable senators, the attention given to early learning and child care in the Speech from the Throne reflects the attention given to this subject throughout society today.

[Translation]

I cannot express how proud I was to hear the following commitment in the Speech from the Throne:

For a decade, all governments have understood that the most important investment that can be made is in our children.

The time has come for a truly national system of early learning and child care... that focuses on results, builds on best practices and reports on progress to Canadians.

[English]

We have come a long way in our views on rearing children. Let me tell you a story from the Telegraph-Journal of October 14, 2004. In a forthright comment, Maureen McTeer spoke of the experience she and her husband, the Right Honourable Joe Clark, had when they decided to place two-and-a-half-year-old Catherine in daycare. Their decision became the focus of national criticism. "There was no way you could win," said Ms. McTeer.

I know much about those conflicts. My experiences date to the 1970s when child care outside the home was less well-organized and often of lesser quality than it is today. Finally I found an "early childhood centre," where our two children flourished. I could pay the bill for this so-called luxury. Thousands could not.

Today, quality child care in centres devoted to early childhood development is not a luxury. For many families, it is a choice made on reasons that are both economic and scientific. Economic because the labour-participation rate of mothers with young children in Canada is higher than in most industrialized nations; economic also because research confirms a message of Canada's top economists that quality daycare is an investment in the future of our nation, an investment by a family for their children's future; and scientific because there is much evidence that children benefit from quality child care, part-time or full-time.

[Translation]

All parents, whether working in the home or outside the home, deserve the advantages of a society that focuses on the development of their children.

[English]

David Dodge, the Governor of the Bank of Canada, put it this way:

...we must make the wise investments in child care today to ensure a competitive workforce and economy tomorrow and beyond.

[Translation]

The four key principles referred to in the Speech from the Throne as the ones parents and child care experts say matter — quality, universality, accessibility and development — represent the Government of Canada's commitment to the youngest members of our society.

[English]

Quality, universality, accessibility and development are the "QUAD" in our determination to assist the families of Canada to be the best possible parents.

[Translation]

Canadians must put their children first. In order to ensure a healthy population, we must promote the physical, mental, social and spiritual health of our children.

[English]

To have a healthy population, we must raise healthy children.

Canada's commitment, as stated in the Speech from the Throne, represents a giant step towards meeting our social obligations to the families of Canada — to our values as Canadians, to our belief that families are the foundation of our future. That foundation includes Headstart for Aboriginal children, the National Child Benefit, the Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program, CAPC, millions for literacy initiatives, immunization and parental leave. The list is long.

[Translation]

As a member of the Senate Standing Committee on Aboriginal Peoples, I hope I will have an opportunity to pursue our efforts to reduce fetal alcohol syndrome and the high suicide rates among adolescents in Aboriginal communities.

[English]

Aboriginal Headstart must find its place wherever First Nations, Inuit and Metis children live. We can accept nothing less.

I said that I was among the lucky parents when I found an excellent early childhood centre for our young children. Yet, I never expected that centre to assume the principal role in the development of my son and my daughter.

At best, the people to whom we entrust our little ones can expand upon the experiences in the home and provide the socialization that is crucial in the preschool years. They cannot — and they certainly should not — take the place of parents. A professional in Saint John, Leslie Allan, the executive director of Early Intervention Inc., put it this way:

Our work is considered as a partnership with parents in many, many activities around the holistic goal of supporting the preschool child's many emerging developmental domains. In the end, however, our hope is that this partnership shapes the eager young explorer and learner's mind, through positive parent practices and the promotion of broad, rich experiences for young children.

[Translation]

At every opportunity, we must reinforce the message that the parenting role is the greatest challenge and the greatest responsibility in a person's life. In return, being a parent can offer the greatest satisfaction or the worst disappointment.

[English]

Likewise, we cannot expect teachers to do what the home and child care programs have failed to do. Either a child is ready to learn to his or her fullest potential at age five, or not. Therein lies one of the greatest challenges for families and for Canada.

[Translation]

Studies of kindergartens in France have concluded that each year spent in day care decreases the risk that a child will have to repeat the first grade.

[English]

Quality child care that is universal, accessible and developmental in nature expands the beginnings in the family home — in the extended family, where grandparents, aunts and uncles and so many others have a role to play.

Today, many corporate and community groups are stepping in to help families, especially parents who often care very much for their children but who lack the skills and the self-confidence and often the resources to prepare their little ones for school.

Let me give just one example: three and four year olds have found a new friend. The Learning Partnership has launched a delightful project called "Kindergarten Welcome Bag." In a sack perfectly designed for preschool children and their parents, one finds the resources to begin a child's formal education with a foundation of literacy and numeracy nurtured in the family home. Each "Kindergarten Welcome Bag" includes storybooks, magnetic letters/numbers and writing materials, as well as parent information pamphlets on how to "Help Your Child Get Ready for School."

Each pamphlet is available in many languages. Sessions for parents are also provided on reading, counting, storytelling and how to get help for their children to learn and achieve success in school. While the birth of the "Kindergarten Welcome Bag" gives us a great new tool, it will take the generosity of many players to put this treasure into homes across Canada.

Two weeks ago, I was fortunate to attend a lecture given by John Abbott, who is the president of the 21st Century Learning Initiative in Britain. This event was sponsored by The Learning Partnership and supported by RBC Financial. It was a rare opportunity to hear a message based on scientific research and social study of children and families, much of the information worldwide in scope.

As a physician, I am fascinated by the brain of a newborn and its development throughout the early months and years of life. John Abbott told us that every other mammal delivers its young with its brain virtually fully developed. If the human were to do the same, women would have to carry babies for 27 months. At nine months, the human brain is only 40 per cent formed.

The challenges and opportunities are evident. According to the Early Years Study, McCain and Mustard said the following:

A full-term baby comes into the world with billions of neurons which have to form quadrillions of connections to function effectively. There is an intensive spurt in production of synapses and neural pathways during the first three years, particularly in utero and during the first year; it continues with decreasing activity until age 10, and for some functions extends throughout life. This process is often referred to as brain wiring. They are windows of opportunity in early life when a child's brain is exquisitely primed to receive sensory input and develop more advanced neural systems, through the wiring and sculpting processes.

From the Salk Institute:

As we build...synaptic connections when we are very young, so we build the framework which will "shape" how we learn as we get older...The broader and more diverse the experience when very young, the greater are the chances that, later in life, the individual will be able to handle open, ambiguous, uncertain and novel situations.

In the December 2001 Journal of Economic Literature, Bowler, Gintes and Osborne wrote the following:

The brain learns best...when it is exercising in highly challenging...low threat environments (with) help from experts in how to learn better—how to upgrade...their own capacity for acquiring information, and creating experience.

[Translation]

This quotation confirms the importance of having high quality child care and early learning centres. This is the Government of Canada's commitment in 2004.

[English]

In their "Early Years Study," McCain and Mustard confirm the need to change the environment of care available to our youngest citizens in Canada:

We have the new knowledge. We have the community models. We need leadership and commitment.

(1540)

Willms underscored all of this:

Working outside the home does not increase childhood vulnerability.... What matters most is that a child is cared for throughout the day by warm and responsive caregivers, in an environment rich with opportunities to learn.

Honourable senators, let there be no doubt that the family home is fundamental to early childhood development. The Kellogg Foundation concluded that, "the most significant predictor" of student performance "was the quantity and quality of dialogue in the child's home before the age of five. Conversation around the dinner table is all too rare these days.

Second, let there be no doubt about the value of a loving home — affection, bonding, attachment — in shaping a baby's brain and in a child's self-esteem. To quote Gerhardt in 2004:

Our earliest experiences...are translated into precise physiological patterns of response in the brain.... How we are treated as babies and toddlers determines the way in which what we're born with turns into what we are.

I am reminded of the scans of babies' brains after life in orphanages in an underdeveloped country. There was a 20 to 30 per cent loss of brain size in the infants whose existence was characterized by deprivation. To quote Dr. Bruce Perry from 1997, "A piece of the child is lost forever."

[Translation]

This is an extreme example, but it makes a point. Without a good environment right from conception, a child may be at a disadvantage for the rest of his or her life.

[English]

Honourable senators, this is a huge subject, but today I have two requests. First, I ask you to speak with authority and conviction, especially to youth, about the morbid relationship between alcohol and pregnancy. Let it be said that we used our voice to help prevent the tragedy of fetal alcohol syndrome and fetal alcohol effect.

Second, on a happier note, I ask you to lead by example in the promotion of early childhood literacy. Tomorrow is Literacy Action Day. I salute the great work that Senator Fairbairn has done on behalf of adult literacy.

Literacy begins at birth. Some would say it begins in the womb. The family home is the cradle of learning and of love.

Encouraging parents to share stories, poems and pictures with their children and doing just that ourselves strengthens love and learning in the family home, the fabric of family life and society.

Giving books to children is a gift for a lifetime. Our libraries remain the best bargain in any community, a resource for all and an open door to learning and to imagination.

[Translation]

The family home — the cradle of learning and love.

The joy, the power and the comfort of books.

[English]

Honourable senators, we have a responsibility not only to do our part to turn the promises in the Speech from the Throne into reality, but also to seize every opportunity to support the parents in our communities to become the best parents they can be so that each child will have the possibility of achieving her or his full potential in life.

[Translation]

Thank you, honourable senators, for this wonderful opportunity to speak about something so dear to my heart.

On motion of Senator Stratton, debate adjourned.

[English]

Visitors in the Gallery

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I draw your attention to the presence in our gallery of a delegation from Ireland, led by Ireland's Ambassador to Canada, His Excellency Martin Burke. Included in this delegation is Mr. William McCarter, who chairs the International Fund for Ireland that is involved with the Irish peace process.

On behalf of all honourable senators, I welcome you to the Senate of Canada.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

The Estimates, 2004-05

National Finance Committee Authorized to Study Main Estimates

Hon. Bill Rompkey (Deputy Leader of the Government), pursuant to notice of October 19, 2004, moved:

That the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance be authorized to examine and report upon the expenditures set out in the Estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2005, with the exception of Parliament Vote 10; and

That the papers and evidence received and taken on the subject during the Third Session of the Thirty-seventh Parliament be referred to the Committee.

Motion agreed to.

The Estimates, 2004-05

Vote 10 Referred to the Standing Joint Committee on the Library of Parliament

Hon. Bill Rompkey (Deputy Leader of the Government), pursuant to notice of October 19, 2004, moved:

That the Standing Joint Committee on the Library of Parliament be authorized to examine the expenditures set out in Parliament Vote 10 of the Estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2005;

That the papers and evidence received and taken on the subject during the Third Session of the Thirty-seventh Parliament be referred to the Committee; and

That a message be sent to the House of Commons to acquaint that House accordingly.

Motion agreed to.

Citizenship Act

Bill to Amend—Second Reading

Hon. Noël A. Kinsella (Leader of the Opposition) moved the second reading of Bill S-2, to amend the Citizenship Act.—(Honourable Senator Kinsella).

He said: Honourable senators, I rise to speak on Bill S-2, a bill that is of great importance to people born in Canada who lost their Canadian citizenship through a peculiar wrinkle in our 1947 Citizenship Act.

Honourable senators will recall that this bill received the unanimous support of this house in the last Parliament and made its way to the other place.

Senator Cook and I wish to advance the argument that we should once again adopt the principle of this bill at second reading and have it referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology. I do not think it is necessary to repeat the argumentation because all honourable senators are quite familiar with this subject. This bill is supported by the Prime Minister and by, I believe, the vast majority of members from both sides in both Houses.

In 1977, parliamentarians recognized that there were deficiencies in the Citizenship Act of 1947. The 1947 act was amended to allow all children born in Canada after 1977 to maintain their citizenship. Unfortunately, these reforms did not apply to those who lost their citizenship between 1947 and 1977. Bill S-2 will remedy the lacuna.

I invite the support of honourable senators with regard to this bill.

Hon. Joan Cook: Honourable senators, it gives me pleasure to rise today to speak to Bill S-2. As Senator Kinsella has mentioned, the Senate gave unanimous consent to this bill in the last Parliament. Due to the dissolution of Parliament, the bill died on the Order Paper of the other place.

Honourable senators, we have an extraordinary opportunity to right a wrong and to give meaningful consideration to those individuals who have been disadvantaged by the operation of the 1947 Citizenship Act. Those people who lost their citizenship between 1947 and 1977 had no choice in the matter. They lost their citizenship as children because the old act considered them to be property of their parents with no rights of their own. Let me quote article 8 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child:

1. States Parties undertake to respect the right of the child to preserve his or her identity, including nationality....

Those who have wanted to regain their citizenship have had to proceed through a lengthy process which in the final analysis ought to be totally unnecessary.

I hope we can once again give unanimous consent to allow this bill to proceed immediately to committee. I am proud to work with all honourable senators from both sides of the house to ensure that the right of citizenship is restored to those whom the original Citizenship Act left out.

It is our duty as parliamentarians to correct the regrettable situation and allow Canada's lost children a dignified return to the citizenship of the country of their birth.

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

Motion agreed to and bill read second time.

Referred to Committee

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

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

(1550)

Copyright Act

Bill to Amend—Second Reading

Hon. Joseph A. Day moved the second reading of Bill S-9, to amend the Copyright Act.—(Honourable Senator Day).

He said: Honourable senators, I will be brief in reintroducing this bill since it deals with a very narrow issue. It is an attempt to take out of the Copyright Act a fiction that has been carried in it a good number of years whereby photographers are not treated as artists.

This bill has been before the Senate on two previous occasions but it has not found its way to the House of Commons. I have spoken with the Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology and I understand that the committee is prepared to deal with the subject matter of this bill. I am hopeful that honourable senators will agree that the bill will be referred to that committee for consideration.

Honourable senators, since I last spoke on this issue of photographers having the same rights as other artists and being treated as artists, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage has dealt with this issue and has prepared a report which, in part, states:

The Committee feels that photographers should be given copyright protection in their works equal to that enjoyed by other artists. Historically, photographs have been treated differently from other categories of works because they were perceived to be more mechanical and less creative than other art forms. This idea is outmoded and inappropriately treats photographers differently from other artists.

The committee went on to recommend that the Copyright Act take out that fiction and treat photographers like all other artists.

Honourable senators, during previous incarnations of this bill, former Senator Setlakwe spoke on this matter. He noted that the time had come for photographers to have equal rights to those recognized as authors and be entitled to copyright. Copyright flows from creativity in the normal course of events. Photographers have not been treated in that manner.

Senator Setlakwe cited members of his family who have suffered as a result of this particular fiction in the Copyright Act, including George Nakash from Montreal. Joseph Karsh and his brother Malak Karsh from Ottawa are examples of photographers who would have benefited from the adoption of this amendment.

In addition, Senator Setlakwe pointed out that the United Kingdom and the United States have each recognized the rights of photographers to copyright privileges and that it is time that the Canadian government followed suit. It is difficult to speculate on why we have not, honourable senators, but it is probably because the Copyright Act requires so much work and so many amendments that this small item keeps being overlooked in the much larger requirement for amendments and nothing gets done. These sentiments were echoed by the Honourable Senator Corbin when he spoke, noting how difficult it has been in the past for hard-working photographers to achieve simple recognition, even by their employers.

In a studious review prepared by Senator Beaudoin in relation to a predecessor of this bill as well, he cited Supreme Court of Canada decisions to make the point that this bill recognizes "the commercial value of a photograph while not putting photographers at an economic disadvantage."

Following these comments, my colleague the Honourable Senator Banks pointed out that the adoption of the bill would allow the Government of Canada to remain consistent with the international conventions our country has signed in relation to copyright, although it has not followed through with amendments to this act.

Honourable senators, I am hopeful that we can send this bill to the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology for detailed study.

I thank honourable senators for their attention.

The Hon. the Speaker: Are honourable senators ready for the question?

Hon. Senators: Question!

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

Motion agreed to and bill read second time.

Referred to Committee

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

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

Banking, Trade and Commerce

Committee Authorized to Study State of Domestic and International Financial System

Hon. Jerahmiel S. Grafstein, pursuant to notice of October 7, 2004, moved:

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

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

That the Committee submit its final report no later than December 31, 2005.

He said: Honourable senators, these are the terms of reference for the Banking Committee. I understand that they are the basic terms of reference that have been adopted for the last decade. This will allow the committee to commence a review of the outstanding issue and evidence before the committee and to give it an opportunity to chart the future course of the business of the committee.

Hon. Terry Stratton (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, it is my clear understanding that Senator Grafstein is simply proposing a continuation of previous work.

Can he inform the chamber if he is in the process of establishing budgets for this work?

(1600)

Senator Grafstein: We will present a budget once we chart the actual activity of the committee.

The Hon. the Speaker: I see no senator rising to speak or intervene further. Are honourable senators ready for the question?

Hon. Senator: Question!

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

Motion agreed to.

Official Languages

Committee Authorized to Engage Services

Hon. Eymard G. Corbin, pursuant to notice of October 19, 2004, moved:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages 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.

He said: Honourable senators, there will be no unusual request. The research assistants we obtain are supplied to us by the Library of Parliament. Should something unusual come up, we will follow the usual route.

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

Motion agreed to.

Banking, Trade and Commerce

Committee Authorized to Engage Services

Hon. Jerahmiel S. Grafstein, pursuant to notice of October 19, 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.

Committee Authorized to Permit Electronic Coverage

Hon. Jerahmiel S. Grafstein, pursuant to notice of October 19, 2004, moved:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce be authorized to permit coverage by electronic media of its public proceedings with the least possible disruption of its hearings.

Motion agreed to.

National Security and Defence

Committee Authorized to Engage Services

Hon. Colin Kenny, pursuant to notice of October 19, 2004, moved:

That the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence 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.

Motion agreed to.

Committee Authorized to Study National Security Policy

Hon. Colin Kenny, pursuant to notice of October 19, 2004, moved:

That the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence be authorized to examine and report on the national security policy of Canada. In particular, the Committee shall be authorized to examine:

(a) the capability of the Department of National Defence to defend and protect the interests, people and territory of Canada and its ability to respond to and prevent a national emergency or attack, and the capability of the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness to carry out its mandate;

(b) the working relationships between the various agencies involved in intelligence gathering, and how they collect, coordinate, analyze and disseminate information and how these functions might be enhanced;

(c) the mechanisms to review the performance and activities of the various agencies involved in intelligence gathering; and

(d) the security of our borders and critical infrastructure.

That the papers and evidence received and taken during the Thirty-seventh Parliament be referred to the Committee; and

That the Committee report to the Senate no later than March 31, 2006 and that the Committee retain all powers necessary to publicize the findings of the Committee until May 31, 2006.

Hon. Terry Stratton (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, I have a question for Senator Kenny. Is this an ongoing study that had already been approved in the previous parliament, or is this an entirely new study?

Senator Kenny: Honourable senators, this is almost precisely the same order of reference as we had in the last two sessions. The only addition is the two words "critical infrastructure" under paragraph (d), in as much as the responsibility for critical infrastructure shifted from the Department of Defence to the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. The committee's intention is to continue with the work that it has been doing, paying particular emphasis to reviewing the work of the Department of National Defence, which is covered in paragraph (a).

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

Motion agreed to.

Committee Authorized to Permit Electronic Coverage

Hon. Colin Kenny, pursuant to notice of October 19, 2004, moved:

That the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence be authorized to permit coverage by electronic media of its public proceedings with the least possible disruption of its hearings.

Motion agreed to.

The Senate adjourned until tomorrow at 2 p.m.