The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, before we proceed, I ask
honourable senators to rise and observe one minute of silence in memory of the
Canadian soldiers who have lost their lives over the last few months while
serving their country in Kandahar.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, before beginning our
deliberations, I ask you to rise and observe one minute of silence in memory of
the victims of the tragic events at Dawson College, in Montreal.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I received a notice earlier
today from the Leader of the Government in the Senate, who requests, pursuant to
rule 22(10) of the Rules of the Senate, that the time provided for the
consideration of Senators' Statements be extended today for the purpose of
paying tribute to the Honourable Senator Madeleine Plamondon, who retired from
the Senate on September 21, 2006.
I would remind honourable senators that, pursuant to the Rules of the
Senate, each senator will be allowed three minutes and may speak only once.
The time for tributes shall not exceed 15 minutes. However, the 15-minute time
limit does not include the time for response by the senator to whom tribute is
Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable
senators, Senator Madeleine Plamondon was appointed to the Senate in September
2003. She sat as an independent for just over three years and represented the
magnificent Laurentian region, which is a real gem at this time of year.
Senator Plamondon's appointment crowned a long and dedicated career devoted
to consumer protection and social justice. She worked tirelessly her entire life
in the fields of financial services, protection of privacy and consumers'
Our honourable colleague was well known in her region as the director general
of the consumer assistance service in Shawinigan. She founded that
not-for-profit agency in 1974 and has helped hundreds of people.
Her greatest achievement is without a doubt Bill S-19, which she introduced
in November 2004. The purpose of the bill was to correct a 25-year-old problem
by reducing the criminal interest rates defined in the Criminal Code so that the
interest charged on loans could be no greater than 35 percentage points above
the rate set by the Bank of Canada. The Senate unanimously passed Bill S-19 in
June 2005, but the bill died on the Order Paper in the House of Commons.
During her short time in the Senate, Senator Plamondon also spoke often to
the issue of drinking water, an issue of particular importance to her. She went
to Indonesia after the tsunami and spoke out strongly about the water supply
problems that arose after the tragedy.
Honourable senator, your departure leaves a great void in the Senate. In my
own name and on behalf of my colleagues in the government caucus in the Senate,
I wish you a well-deserved retirement in the company of your family and friends.
You will be missed.
Hon. Daniel Hays (Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, as
the work of the Senate resumes this fall, it saddens us to bid farewell to our
friend and colleague, Senator Madeleine Plamondon, as she takes her retirement.
Although she sat among us for only three years, Senator Plamondon set an
example for us all. We will remember her as a parliamentarian who fought for
environmental, social justice and consumer rights issues with passion, tenacity
Appointed by Prime Minister Chrétien in 2003, this mother of seven children
brought to our chamber and to our committees the vast knowledge, skill and
experience she acquired over a long and distinguished career in the field of
consumer affairs. In particular, she pursued her work here on behalf of
underprivileged women and the elderly with exemplary courage and dedication.
Among her many successes in the Senate, I would like to highlight the
unanimous adoption of her Bill S-19 to reduce the criminal interest rate. Also
of note was her significant contribution to the Standing Committee on Banking,
Trade and Commerce, especially with respect to consumer protection.
Her commitment to and passion for social justice earned her numerous
prestigious honours, including the Ordre national du Québec and the Prix de la
Justice du Québec.
She is a woman of heart and compassion, as the Quebec minister, said in
awarding her the Prix de la Justice du Québec. Her dedication has helped give a
voice to the underprivileged and proven that justice is not only a matter for
courts and lawyers.
Senator Plamondon, we will remember you as a woman of heart and conscience, a
woman who served this institution with grace and devotion. Best wishes to you
and your family.
Hon. Nancy Ruth: Senator Plamondon, you are a model for me. You are
caring and tough on difficult issues — truly people-centred issues — and,
madam, I got it: water, water, water. Thank you.
Hon. Catherine S. Callbeck: Honourable senators, I am pleased to rise
today to join with you in recognizing Senator Plamondon. For much of her life
she has worked tirelessly and enthusiastically as an advocate for consumer
rights. She founded the Consumer Aid Services of Shawinigan more than 30 years
ago, served on countless committees and boards, and has been honoured on
numerous occasions with awards for her good work and dedication to the rights of
Although I did not serve on any Senate committees with the senator, I had the
opportunity to work with her on the payday loans legislation. It was then that I
recognized her commitment, dedication and intense desire to achieve positive
Today, we are losing a vocal and hard-working parliamentarian. However,
knowing her commitment to the well-being of her fellow Canadians, I am sure she
will continue her good work in the next stage of her life. Senator, I wish you
continued success in everything you do, and good health and happiness in your
Hon. W. David Angus: Honourable senators, I am very pleased to rise
today to speak to you about Senator Madeleine Plamondon. She was appointed to
the Senate in September 2003 as an independent senator, after a long and
remarkable career in Quebec. In 1974, she founded the Consumer Aid Services of
Shawinigan, which she has managed since its foundation.
She was the proud recipient of the 2000 Prix de la Justice du Québec.
Madeleine, you truly are a great citizen of "la belle province."
I had the opportunity to work with Senator Plamondon when she joined the
Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce during the first
session of the 38th Parliament in 2004.
As soon as she joined the banking and commerce committee, I immediately
noticed her dedication to the causes dear to her, such as protecting consumer
Senator Plamondon was determined to help the most underprivileged and
powerless individuals, including the poor and the elderly, against any
injustice. With perseverance and elegance, she introduced Bill S-19, the aim of
which was to amend the Criminal Code to reduce criminally-high interest rates.
Thanks to her bill, the members of the committee discovered a peculiar and
unregulated financial industry. Her conviction and gentleness were enough to
convince each of the committee members of the importance of her bill and the
gaps that existed in the industry.
Accordingly, the committee unanimously passed Bill S-19 and returned it
unamended to this chamber where it was given third reading unanimously.
Senator Plamondon, we will miss your presence in the upper chamber very much.
With your children and your 26 grandchildren, you form an extraordinary family,
one that is typical of Quebec. You have accomplished a great deal here in the
Senate of Canada in the space of three years, and even though you are leaving
this place, your contribution to consumer protection and social justice is far
Dear Madeleine, I wish you all the best in your future endeavours.
May God bless you, Madeleine, and thank you for having passed our way.
Hon. Marcel Prud'homme: Dear Madeleine, I was coming back from
Montreal when I heard that you had been appointed as a senator representing
Quebec by the Right Honourable Jean Chrétien. That proves, once again, how very
wise that Prime Minister was, as he demonstrated on many occasions.
I immediately got in touch with you and, for more than half an hour,
described in detail what you could expect in Ottawa as an independent senator. I
think I gave a very honest description, but only you can attest to that.
As you yourself have said, independent senators have fewer services at their
disposal. When you arrived, you watched, listened and observed. You told me that
upon you arrival at the Senate, you were amazed to hear Senator Phalen alert us
to all the shells remaining from the war that posed a hazard in his region.
His comments struck you. That is what a senator who watches and listens can
pass on to his or her colleagues. These may be local problems, but they take on
a greater importance and sometimes require that we look at them to find
solutions. An attentive senator can often play a leadership role and make us
aware of issues so that steps can be taken immediately to address them.
For the benefit of my colleagues from other regions who have not yet met
Senator Plamondon, allow me to say that she is no stranger to the residents of
Shawinigan or to Quebec consumers. Although she is leaving today, I am convinced
that she will be even more renowned — not only among the residents of Shawinigan
and consumers, but also among the citizens of Canada — for the activities she
plans to undertake.
She has managed her personal life — her husband was ill and passed away
recently; she has seven children and thirteen; grandchildren — while at the same
time stricking fear among the exploiters, the bankers and others who take
advantage of the many ordinary citizens who need a champion. That is what we saw
when we met you; that is what we liked about you when we got to know you. I am
wondering about my colleague, Senator Campbell: how much is he going to miss
Come back often and take our best wishes to your entire family. We will be
nominating you for the Order of Canada.
Hon. Pierrette Ringuette: Honourable senators, it is a pleasure to
speak to you about our colleague, the Honourable Madeleine Plamondon. When she
was appointed to the Senate, Senator Plamondon was seated next to me. I can
assure you that even though she did not have parliamentary experience, she
quickly learned the ropes. I mention this because Senator Plamondon very quickly
mastered the rules of the game both in the Senate and in committees.
Thank you, Senator Plamondon, for your attention, your dedication and for
bringing forward all the issues that were dear to you, especially loans made to
Quebec and to Canadian consumers at usurious rates. Thank you for speaking to us
on many occasions about potable water, another one of her passions. Thank you
for sharing all this with us. In the years to come, she will continue to do the
Rest assured that, even though you were only in the Senate for a short while,
you made your mark and we are all the better for it.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, our 15 minutes for tributes
has expired. We will, however, have an opportunity when the Senate rises later
today to greet Senator Plamondon on a one-on-one basis. Knowing she is in the
gallery, perhaps we can collectively extend our best wishes.
Hon. David Tkachuk: Honourable senators, today I wish to pay tribute
to a great Saskatchewanian, the late Walter Podiluk, who died at the age of 79
on Sunday, September 10.
I first met Mr. Podiluk in 1971 when he interviewed me for a teaching
position with the Catholic school board, and what an intimidating meeting that
was. Mr. Podiluk, as we knew him, had already established a formidable
Walter served as the Director of Education of the Saskatoon Catholic School
Board until 1982 where he oversaw the tremendous expansion of Catholic education
and its excellence in our city. He was a leader in establishing bilingual French
education in our city in the 1960s and the 1970s so that by the early 1970s the
St. Paul's school district already had immersion elementary schools, clearly a
leader in Western Canada. Both my children benefited from that work.
In 1982, Walter became the Deputy Minister of Social Services and, later, in
1984, he became Deputy Minister of Health in the government of Progressive
Conservative Premier Grant Devine.
Following his distinguished career, Walter's dynamism and expertise in health
and social affairs eventually carried him to the post of President and CEO of
St. Paul's Hospital from 1991 to 1995.
My respect and admiration for Walter has been echoed by many Canadians,
within and outside Saskatchewan. This humble grandfather, who could often be
found giving putting lessons to the grandchildren he was so proud of at a local
Saskatoon golf course, was also honoured with the Order of Canada, an Honorary
Doctor of Law from the University of Saskatchewan, the Saskatoon Century Award
of Recognition, the Saskatchewan Centennial Award, the Ukrainian Canadian
Congress National Builders Award, the College of Education Founders Award, the
Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association Honorary Life Membership award and
the Rotary Golden Wheel Award for Excellence. I have named but a handful of
awards from a long list of his outstanding achievements, commendations and
Walter also represented, as a Ukrainian Canadian, how great a contribution
immigrants can make to their communities and Canadian society in general.
As a role model, as a man with a tireless work ethic and enthusiasm for
getting things done, and as a pillar of our community in Saskatoon, Walter's
vibrant presence will be sorely missed. What we do have are all the
achievements, structures, organizations, initiatives, good practices and
mentoring that he has left with us.
To those of you who may be wondering, he did hire me.
Walter was predeceased by his wife Annie. To his children and grandchildren,
on behalf of all honourable senators, thank you for sharing your father and
grandfather with Canadians. We are all the richer for him. May God bless him.
Hon. Lise Bacon: Honourable senators, the tragic loss of member of
Parliament Benoît Sauvageau on August 28 took us all by surprise and saddened us
deeply. I have known Benoît for many years, and I had the opportunity to work
more closely with him as part of the Canada-France Inter-Parliamentary
Association, of which he was a member and, since 2004, Vice-Chair. He was the
sort of person everyone liked and wanted to spend time with.
Benoît was an extremely hard worker, but he did not seek the limelight. As a
member of Parliament, he focused mainly on accomplishing certain specific
missions to which he dedicated himself completely. Protecting and promoting the
French language, strict spending control, integrity in the management of public
funds and working in the best interests of his Repentigny riding are excellent
examples of what he cared about most as a member of Parliament.
Benoît was a perfect example of an effective parliamentarian who
conscientiously represented his constituents' best interests while keeping a
close eye on government and bureaucratic activity. In principle, it is the
responsibility of all parliamentarians, government and opposition members alike,
to keep a close watch on the activities of the executive branch. In that
respect, Benoît's time in Ottawa was not spent in vain, nor was it spent idly,
for he did exceptional work.
People who knew him remember him as kind, generous, and sensitive to the
people around him. During the years he contributed to the activities of the
Canada-France Inter-Parliamentary Association, his professionalism and non-partisanship, as well as his integrity, made as great an impression on our
French colleagues as on the Association's Canadian members, regardless of their
Benoît was one of those rare individuals everyone could appreciate. That is
why, on behalf of myself and all members of the Canada-France
Inter-Parliamentary Association, I would like to pay tribute to Benoît Sauvageau
and emphasize his remarkable contribution to parliamentary life in Canada since
I invite you to join me in expressing our sincere condolences to his wife,
Jacinthe, and his daughters, Laurence, Catherine, Élizabeth and Alice. We will
remember Benoît as a devoted person who faced every test with integrity and
kindness. He will always have a special place in our hearts.
Hon. Roméo A. Dallaire: Honourable senators, I want to take this
opportunity today to commend Canada's youth and young adults under 30 who took
part, on September 17, in the large demonstrations in support for those who
suffer human rights abuses and draw attention to the humanitarian disaster still
going on in Darfur.
Thousands took to the streets of the big cities to show their support for
these victims. If we decide to take action, to help and protect the people in
Darfur and in other countries, it will be these young people, for the most part,
who will have to pay the price with their blood to advance these great theories
that must be put into practice by great powers such as ours.
Unlike what happened at Dawson College, where we were shaken by a person who
fundamentally abused the rights of our country, just 12 hours away from here a
population of more than two and a half million people is brutalized daily, raped
and killed by individuals who abuse their rights. The African Union is at the
end of its rope.
The Hansards of both this chamber and the other are riddled with great
statements about what we should do to prevent genocide and massive abuse of
human rights. We even initiated the responsibility to protect. However, we are
currently witnessing, and will continue to witness in grander scale, a genocide
right in front of us at a slow pace. We are seeing Rwanda II in action right
What will motivate us to take action as those in the paintings hanging in
this chamber did years ago?
At one time, I considered bringing a flak jacket I wore during the Rwandan
genocide — a jacket that is blood-soaked from carrying a 12-year-old girl who
had been mutilated and repeatedly raped — into this red chamber and throwing it
into the middle of the room, to bring to the attention of the political elite of
this nation that human rights is not a privilege of only those who have the
money to buy it and sustain it, but rather equally the privilege and right of
every human being.
Hon. Lowell Murray: Honourable senators, please permit me to record
the passing, on August 23 last, at the age of 87, of the Honourable Edwin A.
Goodman — Privy Councillor; Officer of the Order of Canada; Queen's Counsel;
World War II veteran; Chevalier in the Order of the Legion of Honour of France;
leader in religious, cultural, scientific and charitable activity; and pillar of
the Ontario and federal Progressive Conservative parties for more than 50 years.
His prodigious service to so many parts of Canadian life was well chronicled in
the nation's media in the days following his death. Even more gratifying to
those who knew and loved him were the spontaneous published recollections
contributed by people who wrote in to tell of a single encounter or of a
particular incident that illuminated his generosity, his humanity, his sense of
Eddie Goodman was a formidable, multi-talented political strategist and
organizer who cared most deeply about the policy of his party. He broke with the
Diefenbaker government in 1962 on an issue of foreign and defence policy and
resigned as national vice-president of the party. Several elections later, and
in subsequent elections, he returned to his prominent place and campaigned for
the PC party.
The so-called wedge issue, or hot button issue, was no part of his thinking.
He insisted on an electoral program that was coherent, unifying, detailed and
always leaning to the progressive. If he thought the platform lacking on a
particular subject, a call would go out to some of his numerous acquaintances
conscripting them, irrespective of party affiliation, to bring their expertise
to bear on the drafting of a suitable policy. If time did not permit such a
wider consultation, he would take pen in hand and, with the help of one or two
friends, fill the policy vacuum himself.
Political life in Canada was enlivened and enriched by Eddie Goodman's
service, and for that I believe we are all in his debt.
Hon. Donald H. Oliver: Honourable senators, I rise today to call your
attention to the benefits and opportunities the Port of Halifax offers Canada as
the Atlantic hub for global trade.
The rise of Asian trade provides greater opportunity for Canadian ports.
Traditionally, ports on the Pacific coast have conducted most of Canada's trade
with those markets due to the shipping time and costs. As the volume in trade at
Vancouver and Prince Rupert is expected to increase by 300 per cent in the next
15 years and current infrastructure is in the process of development to preserve
demand, the Port of Halifax can act as a catalyst to maintain, if not increase,
North America's trade with Asia.
Halifax enjoys several key advantages over other ports. As the first port of
call across the Atlantic, the terminals, cranes and equipment are operating only
at 60 per cent while the railways are operating only at 30 per cent. The Port of
Halifax, with infrastructure in place to increase capacity, is a cost advantage
for Canada to supply and meet the global demand.
More importantly, the Port of Halifax is the only port deep enough on the
East Coast to handle the exceptionally large intermodal vessels that are quickly
becoming the mainstream in the world's shipping fleet. Last year alone, records
were made by the Port of Halifax by receiving and allocating over 550,000 single
intermodal containers coming off more than 2,000 ships. Halifax is the Atlantic
gateway for Quebec, the Midwest, Winnipeg and even to the shallow ports of our
neighbours in New York and New Jersey, which need Halifax to transship
U.S.-bound imports from Asia.
Traditionally, Halifax has not been considered to be an attractive location
as an entry and exit point for increasing trade. Why, then, honourable senators,
is the Port of Halifax so important? The answer is simple: to be ahead of the
competitionin global trade, Canada requires robust and reliable ports on both
the east and west coasts. Halifax, as the Atlantic hub, can easily be poised as
the new back door for Asia.
Honourable senators, with global trade as significant as it is, we must
recognize the opportunity the Port of Halifax offers Canada. The Port of Halifax
has been very successful in its achievements, but it is our duty to ensure that
the rest of the globe takes notice and allows the Port of Halifax to take the
Hon. John G. Bryden: Honourable senators, I would like to draw your
attention to a wonderful event that happened to me last Tuesday morning. As you
know, I live on a farm in the province of New Brunswick, and normally in the
morning the birds wake me up. However, on this Tuesday morning, I was wakened by
the sound of happy voices singing, "Happy days are here again; the skies are
bright and clear again," and it was the people of New Brunswick celebrating a
Liberal win the night before.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Shawn Graham, but also
still, at least until October 3, Premier Lord and his team. The campaigns were
energetic, clean and thoughtful. One could not really call them "titans"
because neither one of them is very big, but they fought hard battles. After it
was over, I think they respected each other. As I said when Premier Lord won his
first election, I was not at all disturbed that he was as young as he was. I am
equally comfortable with the fact that the new premier, Shawn Graham, is 39
years of age and has earned this position by recruiting one of the finest teams
that I have known in the Liberal Party in New Brunswick.
I want to finish up, Your Honour, and I know you will let me because we are
neighbours. We come from the same place and I appreciate your unbiased position
in this regard.
We have established a red beachhead in a sea of blue in Atlantic Canada. We
have done this before, and the beachhead will expand to P.E.I., Nova Scotia,
Newfoundland and, lo and behold, on up the way.
Yes, it is just one beachhead, but there is someone in this chamber from whom
I have heard the expression, "Yes, but we can take a first step." This is a
first step for the Liberal Party in Atlantic Canada. It has been a pleasure for
me to be associated with Shawn Graham and his team.
I wish Premier Lord and his young family every success in the future, whether
he decides to stay in the legislature of New Brunswick or he aspires to greater
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I have the honour to table,
in both official languages, the report on the activities of the Ethics
Commissioner with regard to public office holders for the year ending March 31,
2006, pursuant to section 72.13 of the Parliament of Canada Act.
Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable
senators, in accordance with section 4 of the User Fees Act, I have the honour
to table, in both official languages, a new fee schedule for services associated
with radios and telecommunication devices, provided by Industry Canada.
After consultation with the Leader of the Opposition, the committee with
responsibility for studying this document is the Senate Standing Committee on
Transport and Communications.
The Hon. the Speaker: Pursuant to rule 28(3.1), adopted on June 27,
2006, this document is deemed referred to the Standing Senate Committee on
Transport and Communications.
Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable
senators, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the report of
the Commission of Inquiry into the Actions of Canadian Officials in Relation to
Maher Arar, entitled: Report of the Events Relating to Maher Arar.
Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable
senators, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, two copies of
Part III of the 2006-07 Estimates, report on plans and priorities.
Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable
senators, I give notice that, at the next sitting of the Senate, I will move:
That, in accordance with section 49 of the Official Languages Act,
R.S.C., 1985, chapter. 31 (4th Supp.), the Senate approve the appointment of
Graham Fraser as Commissioner of Official Languages for a term of seven years.
Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable
senators, with the permission of the Senate, and notwithstanding rule 58(1)(a),
That the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs have
the power to sit at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 and at 2:30
p.m. on Wednesday, October 4, 2006 even though the Senate may then be sitting,
and that rule 95(4) be suspended in relation thereto.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, is leave granted?
Hon. Marcel Prud'homme: Honourable senators, to every objection there
is always an exception. It is reluctantly that I say yes, but the gentleman had
the courtesy to consult with those who could have said no. I appreciate the
courtesy of Senator Comeau, who informed me as to why this request was being
made. However, I would not like this to be taken as a blank cheque for every
other committee that wants to sit while the Senate is sitting. It is difficult
to say no to one request and yes to another one. Some day we will end up without
a quorum. Exceptionally, I say yes for the reason that I have just expressed,
but I reserve my judgment on future requests.
The Hon. the Speaker: Is leave granted, honourable senators?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
The Hon. the Speaker: Is it the pleasure of honourable senators to
adopt the motion?
Hon. Daniel Hays (Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, I
give notice that, at the next sitting of the Senate, I will move:
That, notwithstanding the Order of the Senate adopted on Wednesday, June
21, 2006, the date for the Special Senate Committee on Senate Reform to submit
its final report be extended from September 28, 2006 to October 26, 2006.
Hon. Hugh Segal: Honourable senators, I give notice that, at the next
sitting of the Senate, I will move:
That the Senate calls upon the Government of Canada:
(a) to cause the bringing into force of section 80 of the
Public Safety Act 2002, chapter 15 of the Statutes of Canada 2004,
assented to on May 6, 2004, which amends the National Defence Act by
adding a new Part VII dealing with the reinstatement in civil employment of
officers and non-commissioned members of the reserve force;
(b) to consult with provincial governments as provided in
paragraph 285(13)(a) of the new Part VII with respect to implementation of
that Part; and
(c) to take appropriate measures in order for the provisions under
the new Part VII to apply to all reservists who voluntarily participate in a
military exercise or an overseas operation, and not to limit the provisions
to those reservists who are called out on service in respect only of an
Hon. Marilyn Trenholme Counsell: Honourable senators, I give notice
that, at the next sitting of the Senate, I will move:
That the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and
Technology which was authorized by the Senate on Tuesday, April 25, 2006 to
examine issues concerning mental health and mental illness be authorized to
extend its power to publicize its findings from September 30, 2006 until March
Hon. Bill Rompkey: Honourable senators, I give notice that, two days
hence, I will move:
That the Second Report of the Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and
Oceans, tabled in the Senate on June 22, 2006, be adopted and that, pursuant
to rule 131(2), the Senate request a complete and detailed response from the
Government, with the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the President of the
Treasury Board being identified as Ministers responsible for responding to the
Hon. Joseph A. Day: Honourable senators, I give notice that, at the
next sitting of the Senate, I will move:
That the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance be authorized to
examine and report on issues relating to the vertical and horizontal fiscal
balances among the various orders of government in Canada; and
That the Committee report no later than June 30, 2007.
Hon. Jerahmiel S. Grafstein: Honourable senators, I give notice that,
two days hence, I will move:
That the following Resolution on Combating Anti-Semitism and other forms
of intolerance which was adopted at the 15th Annual Session of the OSCE
Parliamentary Association, in which Canada participated in Brussels, Belgium
on July 7, 2006, be referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights
for consideration and that the Committee table its final report no later than
March 31, 2007:
RESOLUTION ONCOMBATING ANTI-SEMITISMAND OTHER FORMS OF
1. Calling attention to the resolutions on anti-Semitism adopted
unanimously by the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly at its annual sessions in
Berlin in 2002, Rotterdam in 2003, Edinburgh in 2004 and Washington in 2005,
2. Intending to raise awareness of the need to combat anti-Semitism,
intolerance and discrimination against Muslims, as well as racism, xenophobia
and discrimination, also focusing on the intolerance and discrimination faced
by Christians and members of other religions and minorities in different
The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly:
3. Recognizes the steps taken by the OSCE and the Office for Democratic
Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) to address the problems of anti-Semitism
and other forms of intolerance, including the work of the Tolerance and
Non-Discrimination Unit at the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human
Rights, the appointment of the Personal Representatives of the
Chairman-in-Office, and the organization of expert meetings on the issue of
4. Reminds its participating States that "Anti-Semitism is a certain
perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred towards Jews. Rhetorical
and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed towards Jewish or
non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, towards Jewish community
institutions and religious facilities", this being the definition of
anti-Semitism adopted by representatives of the European Monitoring Centre on
Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) and ODIHR;
5. Urges its participating States to establish a legal framework for
targeted measures to combat the dissemination of racist and anti-Semitic
material via the Internet;
6. Urges its participating States to intensify their efforts to combat
discrimination against religious and ethnic minorities;
7. Urges its participating States to present written reports, at the 2007
Annual Session, on their activities to combat anti-Semitism, racism and
discrimination against Muslims;
8. Welcomes the offer of the Romanian Government to host a follow-up
conference in 2007 on combating anti-Semitism and all forms of discrimination
with the aim of reviewing all the decisions adopted at the OSCE conferences
(Vienna, Brussels, Berlin, Córdoba, Washington), for which commitments were
undertaken by the participating States, with a request for proposals on
improving implementation, and calls upon participating States to agree on a
decision in this regard at the forthcoming Ministerial Conference in Brussels;
9. Urges its participating States to provide the OSCE Office for Democratic
Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) with regular information on the status
of implementation of the 38 commitments made at the OSCE conferences (Vienna,
Brussels, Berlin, Córdoba, Washington);
10. Urges its participating States to develop proposals for national action
plans to combat anti-Semitism, racism and discrimination against Muslims;
11. Urges its participating States to raise awareness of the need to
protect Jewish institutions and other minority institutions in the various
12. Urges its participating States to appoint ombudspersons or special
commissioners to present and promote national guidelines on educational work
to promote tolerance and combat anti-Semitism, including Holocaust education;
13. Underlines the need for broad public support and promotion of, and
cooperation with, civil society representatives involved in the collection,
analysis and publication of data on anti-Semitism and racism and related
14. Urges its participating States to engage with the history of the
Holocaust and anti-Semitism and to analyze the role of public institutions in
15. Requests its participating States to position themselves against all
current forms of anti-Semitism wherever they encounter it;
16. Resolves to involve other inter-parliamentary organizations such as the
IPU, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly (EMPA) and the NATO Parliamentary
Assembly in its efforts to implement the above demands.
Hon. David P. Smith: Honourable senators, I give notice that at the
next sitting of the Senate, I will move:
That, notwithstanding the Order of the Senate adopted on Tuesday, May 2,
2006, the date for the presentation of the final report of the Special Senate
Committee on the Anti-terrorism Act be extended from October 5, 2006 to
December 22, 2006.
Hon. Tommy Banks: Honourable senators, I give notice that at the next
sitting of the Senate, I will move:
That, notwithstanding the Order of the Senate adopted on Thursday, April
27, 2006 the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural
Resources, which was authorized to examine and report on the review of the
italic; Canadian Environmental Protection Act (1999, c.33) pursuant to Section
343(1) of the said Act, be empowered to extend the date of presenting its
final report from October 2, 2006, to March 31, 2007.
Hon. Daniel Hays (Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, my
question is to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Yesterday, the
Conservative government announced with much enthusiasm that the budgetary
measures from the previous Liberal government produced, once again, a sound
fiscal environment for Canadians. Thanks to the responsible financial management
of a Liberal government, the Conservatives inherited a $13.2-billion surplus,
announced yesterday. However, honourable senators, on the same day the
government chose to cut $1 billion from 66 programs that have proven effective
in helping individuals and communities. Literacy skills programs, youth
employment initiatives, the Canadian volunteerism initiative, Status of Women
Canada, to name a few, are programs that the President of the Treasury Board
referred to as "wasteful programs"; cuts that the Minister of Finance
described as "trimming the fat."
Will the Leader of the Government in the Senate tell us if she agrees with
her colleagues, and whether other vulnerable Canadians will be on the
Conservative's target list next?
Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government): I thank the
honourable senator for his question and for correctly stating that the $13.2
billion surplus was used to pay down the debt. As I reported in the Senate,
Minister Flaherty is committed to budgeting Canadian taxpayers' hard-earned
dollars in such a way that similar huge surpluses do not occur again. Much of
the $13.2 billion was the result of the fiscal management of the previous
government, the groundwork for which was laid by the Conservative government
prior to that. Former Prime Minister Mulroney used to say that he planted the
garden, and Paul Martin and Jean Chrétien picked the flowers.
A portion of the $13.2 billion surplus, more than was mentioned in Minister
Flaherty's budget, was the direct result of this government, unlike the previous
government, not succumbing to "March madness" — the annual last-minute
government spending spree before fiscal year end.
These were not cuts but savings, and they represent less than 1 per cent of
the overall spending of the government. I was honoured to sit on the special
committee of cabinet over the summer to identify these savings. We began our
work with four objectives in mind. First, we wanted to know whether Canadian
taxpayers were receiving value for money. Second, once we determined that
information, we eliminated programs that did not achieve results. Some of the
savings were realized in unused funds, by eliminating programs already achieved
or because the expected take-up did not occur. Third, we brought in efficiencies
by reducing or streamlining programs, such as Status of Women Canada. Programs
were not cut, but we did make administrative changes because there had been
duplication of work between the administration of SWC and the Department of
Canadian Heritage. Fourth, we eliminated non-core programs that did not serve
the general overall priorities of Canadians in any way.
Senator Hays: My supplementary question for the honourable leader is
in two parts so that honourable senators might pose specific questions on some
of these programs. The Leader of the Government used the value-for-money
criteria, which, of course, is the Auditor General's standard on a comprehensive
audit. Necessarily, that standard involves a careful examination of the program
in the form of a consultation with the persons in receipt of funds and those who
deliver the program. As well, some kind of objective judgment must be formed to
determine whether the program served its purpose. Were those kinds of steps
taken in each of these cases?
Senator LeBreton: I can assure the honourable senator that over the
summer, each minister looked at the spending within their own departments, came
to the table with monies that fell within the four categories I just mentioned,
and satisfied themselves that there were communications with the various
stakeholder groups. In fact, the savings that we have implemented, which is less
than 1 per cent of the overall spending of the government, does not take away,
in most cases, from the good work that many of these programs provide to
Senator Hays: As time passes I know we will hear from the
organizations affected, and it will be told just what the practice was in regard
to these cuts.
At this point I understand the position of the leader, but I wonder if this
is the end. These programs are mostly directed to aid vulnerable Canadians. Is
this the end of these kinds of cuts to programs that have been benefiting
vulnerable communities in Canada, or does the government have more to come?
Senator LeBreton: Honourable senators, in life, as in most things,
there is never an end, except in death, but while still on this earth we have to
continue to improve things. The government is committed to $1 billion in savings
this year and $1 billion next year. I would simply say to the Honourable Senator
Hays that the Minister of Finance will be giving his financial update in the
fall and, of course, delivering a new budget in 2007.
Hon. Joyce Fairbairn: Honourable senators, it is with great sadness
and deep frustration that I ask the Leader of the Government on behalf of
citizens in all parts of Canada why the federal government has chosen to
withdraw $17.7 million from the federal adult learning and literacy program
across this country. I know that the President of the Treasury Board, Minister
Baird, referred to his cuts as wasteful programs, that they were not delivering
value for money, that they needed to be streamlined or consolidated, or that
they did not focus on the new government's priorities. Surely the effort to help
the 42 per cent of our adult citizens, who are faced every day without adequate
skills to find a job or help their children to learn, cannot be considered
Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators,
I thank Senator Fairbairn for the question. The fact is that the government will
be investing a total of $81 million this year and next year in adult learning,
literacy and essential skills. In the future we will focus on federal learning
and literacy resources in areas of national interest and core federal
responsibility. We are eliminating, as Minister Baird mentioned yesterday, $17.7
million over two years for funding to local and regional literacy programs
because we are withdrawing from activities being performed by other levels of
government. I want to assure the honourable senator, however, that all existing,
signed agreements will be honoured.
Senator Fairbairn: Honourable senators, I am glad to hear the second
part of the answer, but I would like to go back to the first part. I speak,
obviously, of the highly respected National Literacy Secretariat. It was created
under the guiding wisdom of former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and has now
been buried in the restructuring of the Department of Human Resources and Skills
Was it regarded as a wasted product? Was it regarded as something that was
not, within the federal judgment, a significant part of helping a huge number of
our population, which cannot get through a day with the kinds of basic skills
that we all take for granted? Is this evidence again of a group and an issue
that does not really count?
Senator LeBreton: I thank Senator Fairbairn for that question. I do
not think anyone in the country or in this chamber would say that a government
that intends to invest $81 million in this area does not care, or that the
people involved do not count.
In terms of some of the restructuring of government, when the new
Conservative government was sworn in, Prime Minister Harper drastically reduced
the size of cabinet. Therefore, the various programs of government needed to be
restructured and put under the smaller cabinet, which, by the way, also saved
the taxpayer $47 million.
Senator Fairbairn: I have a final question and comment, honourable
I am pleased to a point to hear that the federal government today is not
abandoning this issue; I do not see how it possibly could. One thing at the
heart of the successful development of the literacy programs across this country
has been the very partnership with the federal government in the beginning when
Prime Minister Mulroney brought in the National Literacy Secretariat. That was
an innovative thing to do, and he was probably criticized by some for doing it.
In the end, it has caused the federal and provincial governments to work
together on an issue that absolutely pulls our country down. We must not only
use federal dollars and cents, but also the wisdom and the advice that comes
from those who know how to do this, people who are still in the National
Literacy Secretariat but buried away somewhere. We need to support and expand
that initiative in our country, not pull back at a time when, if ever, we need
One can read in every newspaper and hear on television each day of the week
that Canadians do not have a sufficiently-skilled workforce. If 42 per cent of
our adult citizens are unable yet to find their way in that workforce, then that
must be the case. That is what these programs fundamentally try to do: to lift
people up. That amount of money is huge in literacy circles. Taking it away does
not help and it does not lift the hearts and the courage of the people who come
to the little places in towns and cities where they actually learn to read. It
is one of the few occasions where the Government of Canada has been able to
reach down to the streets of this country and be part of a learning experience,
and it was done with great support and enthusiasm from the provincial
Senator LeBreton: There is no denying that Senator Fairbairn has a
very passionate and long-serving commitment to this issue.
Having said that, I can see nothing in what the government is doing, or will
be doing, that in any way will deter anyone working in this area from continuing
their work in the area, if he or she feels passionate about it. Honourable
senators, $81 million is a lot of money. Like many of these programs, everyone
involved in them will continue to be involved.
I would ask the honourable senator to give the government a chance to work
through this new initiative in the manner it has been restructured in Minister
There is no question that Canada has a shortage of skilled workers — and this
is a very important issue. I do not for one moment accept that programming
undertaken by other levels of government will fall by the wayside.
In fact, I do believe that an injection of $81 million this year into the
Adult Learning, Literacy and Essential Skills Program is a significant amount of
money that, properly used, will greatly assist people in developing skills and
entering the workforce as viable and successful Canadians.
Hon. Fernand Robichaud: Honourable senators will recall that, at the
end of June, I asked some questions about a project involving a support group
for people with dyslexia. They were granted the project. Under the current
program, they can submit a new request to have the project continue for a period
of three years, but the funding they received covers only one year.
Can these people submit a request to have their program extended for two more
years? Considering all the work that remains to be done, one year is certainly
not long enough to achieve the goals they have set. It is very important for
these individuals — and I imagine for all other groups in the country — that
these programs can be extended for a certain period of time. I would like to
know if this can be done.
Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government): I thank the
honourable senator for his question. He may remember that, when he previously
posed that question, I undertook to get an answer.
I have been informed just today that an answer is expected shortly. I hope
tomorrow to be able to table that answer.
Hon. Claudette Tardif: Honourable senators, in its financial statement
on Monday, the Conservative government announced, with no valid reason and
without consulting the communities affected, the elimination of the Court
The Fédération des communatués francophone et acadienne issued a statement
indicating, and I quote:
... is extremely disappointed and displeased, and that with its program
review the federal government is failing in its obligations under the Official
The outgoing Commissioner of Official Languages, Dyane Adam, said and I
quote, "this announcement marked a dark day, given that the program is essential
to our country's democracy."
My question for the minister is this: Are official language minority
communities to understand that the programs supporting their development and
their language rights are considered ineffective by the federal government?
Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government): I thank Senator
Tardif for her question. I hope honourable senators will notice that we have put
before Parliament our nomination for a new Commissioner of Official Languages.
We hope to have the new Official Languages Commissioner appear before the Senate
fairly soon, something about which Senator Comeau gave notice earlier today.
With regard to the honourable senator's question concerning the Court
Challenges Program, I refer to Minister Flaherty's budget earlier this year
wherein the new Conservative government promised to review programs to ensure
that every tax dollar that is spent achieves results, provides value for money
and meets the needs of Canadians. As a result of the review I just mentioned,
the Court Challenges Program has been eliminated. This organization is the
single recipient of this funding and it will be directed to stop making further
commitments. This represents savings of up to $2.8 million annually for the
2006-07 and 2007-08 fiscal years.
We take our responsibility as legislators seriously. If we did a better job
in this place and in the House of Commons to ensure that our laws are
constitutional, it perhaps would eliminate the necessity for having groups
challenge laws before the courts.
Having said that, there are many organizations that do challenge our laws.
They have done so successfully without having a specific federal government
program designated for such activities.
Senator Tardif: Honourable senators, this program was intended to
reinforce respect for linguistic rights. It allowed francophones from across the
country to open schools that would give them access to services in their
Cutting this program — is that the response we get from a government that
claims to adopt positive measures under Bill S-3, which was introduced and
unanimously passed in the Senate and received Royal Assent last November?
It is not a matter of efficiency or savings. It is a matter of rights that
are protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We know that,
in many cases these rights could not have been attained without this program,
especially for official-language minorities.
Senator LeBreton: I thank Senator Tardif for her question. As the
honourable senator has stated, the Court Challenges Program provided some good
After consultation with various ministers and officials of government, it was
decided, around the cabinet table, that this was one of those programs that
could be eliminated as part of our savings.
I take the honourable senator's strong representations to heart. I will
inform my colleagues of her views, which the honourable senator has expressed
Hon. Catherine S. Callbeck: Honourable senators, my question is for
the Leader of the Government in the Senate.
In November 2005, the federal, provincial and territorial ministers of
justice met in Whitehorse. At that meeting there was a unanimous resolution by
the provincial and territorial ministers calling for an increase in federal
funding for legal aid. The former federal minister acknowledged the resolution,
indicating that he would pursue a comprehensive approach to legal aid at the
federal level. Is this government continuing the work of the previous government
regarding legal aid funding for provinces and territories?
Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government): I presume Senator
Callbeck is referring to the former Minister of Justice in the Liberal
Senator Callbeck: Yes.
Senator LeBreton: I will simply take notice of the honourable
senator's question and endeavour to find an answer for her.
Senator Callbeck: Honourable senators, I am pleased that the minister
will take that issue to the Minister of Justice, but, certainly, work was done
by the previous Liberal government. In fact, a week after that minister's
meeting, the government of my province indicated in a Speech from the Throne
that it was working with federal partners to ensure fair access to legal aid.
I think we all agree that every Canadian, regardless of financial means,
deserves equal access to our justice system. Therefore, will the Leader of the
Government in the Senate press this issue of increased funding for legal aid
with the Minister of Justice, and will she report back to this chamber?
Senator LeBreton: I thank the honourable senator for her question. I
will not press someone to do something that I have absolutely no knowledge of,
so I will simply take it as notice.
Hon. Roméo Antonius Dallaire: Honourable senators, I have a question
for the Minister of Defence and the Minister of Finance which I will direct to
the Leader of the Government in the Senate. My question has to do with the last
budget and the defence minister's major announcements on the procurement of
strategic aircraft for the Canadian Forces.
Back in 1987, Mr. Beatty indicated in his white paper that certain equipment
had to be purchased to meet our needs and that these purchases would be funded
through a process of new funding based on what was referred to at the time as
Therefore, the "bumps" of the 1987 white paper for major Crown projects
went the same way as the measles, and the bumps of the measles on my face
disappeared without any acquisition.
The Minister of National Defence indicated in the budget that these projects
would come with new money. Has there been an exercise in the Department of
National Defence to rejuggle the priorities of funding in the near years to take
seed money from those already essential projects for the troops in the field?
Did they take money from those projects to provide the seed money for the major
Crown projects that will be funded, we hope, with new money in years to come?
Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government): I thank the
honourable senator for the question. The issue of buying equipment for our Armed
Forces is very much in the forefront. Obviously, the situation is changing,
almost as we speak, in terms of what is required. I remember the honourable
senator asking me this question. I believe that I got a partial answer on this
question, but I will consult with the Minister of National Defence. I will draw
his attention to the question.
Suffice it to say that it is well known that this government has already
lived up to its commitment to strengthen our forces, both in the human resources
area and in equipment. The results are already well known. In any event, I will
consult the Minister of National Defence on the specific question.
Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable
senators, I have the honour to table five answers to oral questions raised by
Senator Dallaire on May 9, 2006, concerning the Arms Trade Treaty; by Senator
Fraser on May 17, 2006, concerning the public service staffing process for the
position of Vice-President of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency; by
Senator Munson on June 6, 2006, concerning the death of former Royal Canadian
Mounted Police officer Mark Bourque; by Senator Banks on June 27, 2006,
concerning the cancellation of environmental programs; and by Senator Banks on
June 28, 2006, concerning proposed procurement policies.
(Response to question raised by Hon. Roméo Antonius Dallaire on May 9,
The Government of Canada (GOC) is an active voice calling for the
responsible transfer of small arms and light weapons, and continues to work
with our multilateral partners towards the ultimate goal of addressing the
illicit trade of these weapons. The GOC is broadly supportive of the core
concepts of the proposed Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The Government will continue
to work with the stakeholders of the proposed ATT to ensure that any global
principles governing the transfer of small arms and light weapons are strong
enough to address the illicit trade in these weapons and are realistic enough
to actually be implemented. The GOC continues to review all export
authorizations regarding small arms and light weapons with the utmost scrutiny
to ensure that any exports of these weapons are not diverted into illicit
(Response to question raised by Hon. Joan Fraser on May 17, 2006)
The authority to appoint someone to a position in the federal public
service lies with the deputy minister of each department or agency. As such,
the president of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency is responsible for
following a staffing process that complies with the values of equity of
access, fairness and transparency.
The linguistic profiles of positions within the federal public service are
determined based on the job duties. In the case of the position of ACOA
Vice-President, P.E.I., an objective review of the job duties led to a
recommendation of a profile that remains "English essential," as it has been
since the position was created. Following an investigation, the Commissioner
of Official Languages supported this decision.
As practice dictates during the appointment of positions within the federal
public service, the official responsibilities of the position were reviewed
and updated before the job was posted in order to translate the agency's
current priorities and the specific needs of the regional office.
The position of ACOA Vice-President, P.E.I. was posted by the Public
Service Commission (PSC) in both official languages on the public service
website, www.jobs.gc.ca. Positions are rarely advertised in newspapers
or other media forms. All external staffing processes are posted on the PSC
website. (In rare cases, the PSC can advertise positions in newspapers or
specialized publications when a unique position is difficult to fill, such as
(Response to question raised by Hon. Jim Munson on June 6, 2006)
The UN has already launched a criminal investigation. An investigation
committee has been established, as advised by the Special Representative of
the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in
Haiti. Canadian authorities are cooperating fully with the United Nations to
conduct this investigation.
The Foreign Affairs Minister immediately contacted the family and CANADEM
to ensure that the family's needs were being met, and that CANADEM could
return the body as soon as possible. At the time of the incident, CANADEM — in
cooperation with Foreign Affairs — made all of the necessary arrangements,
including the official medical report and funeral services. CANADEM also
ensured that Ms. Bourque was quickly paid the insurance sums and compensatory
payments established by CANADEM for retired officers who are deployed. Until
recently, CANADEM maintained regular contact with Ms. Bourque, and the family
was kept up to date about Canada's steps with the UN in order to closely
monitor the work of the investigation committee.
(Response to question raised by Hon. Tommy Banks on June 27, 2006)
The Government of Canada is developing a Made in Canada environmental plan
that will include measures to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas
As part of the development of the Made in Canada approach, we have not
renewed sixteen of the previous government's climate change programs. The
majority of these programs have finished their activities (for example, they
supported specific research, pilot projects, or demonstrations). In two
specific cases — the One Tonne Challenge and the EnerGuide program — we have
determined that a new approach is required.
We are examining all of the government's current environmental initiatives
to ensure they make sense and represent value for money to taxpayers. We will
only pursue measures that have clear environmental benefits and that will
achieve meaningful results for Canadians.
(Response to question raised by Hon. Tommy Banks on June 28, 2006)
In September 2005, the Canadian Border Security Agency (CBSA) provided
PWGSC with their requirements for the provision of broadband satellite
communications to remote land border crossings throughout Canada. It was
necessary for the CBSA requirements to be translated into a Statement of Work,
suitable for contracting through a limited competitive process that used
pre-qualified suppliers of satellite services.
A competitive Request for Proposal (RFP) was released on the Government
Electronic Tendering System — MERX — on March 10, 2006. There were some
challenges within the procurement process and minor delays in order to ensure
that all necessary security requirements were satisfied. An omnibus contract
to provide for the CBSA requirements was awarded to RAM Telecommunications of
Ottawa, on 30 May 2006.
Two CBSA trial sites were installed and tested at Wildhorse, Alberta, and
Stewart, British Colombia, on 13 and 19 June 2006, respectively. CBSA has
indicated their full satisfaction with the service performance at both
locations. On June 22, 2006, orders were placed by CBSA to connect four
additional sites: Little Gold Creek, Yukon; Wolfe Island and Sand Point Lake,
Ontario; and Chief Mountain, Alberta. The target installation date for these
sites is July 2006. CBSA has indicated the likelihood of connecting another
Consistent with the reform of PWGSC acquisition processes and the Business
Transformation initiative, additional capacity was provisioned, on a
non-interference basis, to ensure that other Government of Canada departments
and agencies requiring similar services would be able to take advantage of
this contract and benefit from the economies of scale obtained from
contracting for the CBSA requirements. This additional capacity will provide
other Government of Canada departments and agencies connectivity for
approximately 50 remote sites.
Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable
senators, I have the honour of presenting answers to the following written
questions on the Notice Paper: on April 4, 2006 by Senator Downe regarding the
government appointment practices; on April 5, 2006 by Senator Downe regarding
the guaranteed income supplement; and on June 22 by Senator Carstairs regarding
the Museums Assistance Program.
The Hon. the Speaker informed the Senate that the following message
has been received from the House of Commons:
ORDERED,—That the list of members and associate members for Standing
Joint Committees of the House be as follows:
Library of Parliament
Members: Mike Allen, Gérard Asselin, Colleen Beaumier, Blaine Calkins, Joe
Comuzzi, Cheryl Gallant, Peter Goldring, Gurbax Malhi, Fabian Manning, Jim
Peterson, Louis Plamondon, Denise Savoie—(12)
Associate Members: Jim Abbott, Diane Ablonczy, Harold Albrecht, Dean
Allison, Rob Anders, David Anderson, Vivian Barbot, Dave Batters, Carolyn
Bennett, Leon Benoit, James Bezan, Steven Blaney, Sylvie Boucher, Garry
Breitkreuz, Gord Brown, Patrick Brown, Rod Bruinooge, Ron Cannan, Colin
Carrie, Bill Casey, Rick Casson, John Cummins, Patricia Davidson, Dean Del
Mastro, Barry Devolin, Paul Dewar, Norman Doyle, Rick Dykstra, Ken Epp, Ed
Fast, Brian Fitzpatrick, Steven Fletcher, Gary Goodyear, Jacques Gourde, Nina
Grewal, Helena Guergis, Art Hanger, Richard Harris, Luc Harvey, Laurie Hawn,
Russ Hiebert, Jay Hill, Betty Hinton, Charles Hubbard, Rahim Jaffer, Brian
Jean, Randy Kamp, Gerald Keddy, Jason Kenney, Ed Komarnicki, Maka Kotto, Daryl
Kramp, Mike Lake, Guy Lauzon, Pierre Lemieux, Tom Lukiwski, James Lunney,
Lawrence MacAulay, Dave MacKenzie, Inky Mark, Colin Mayes, Ted Menzies, Rob
Merrifield, Larry Miller, Bob Mills, James Moore, Rob Moore, Rick Norlock,
Deepak Obhrai, Brian Pallister, Christian Paradis, Daniel Petit, Pierre
Poilievre, Joe Preston, James Rajotte, Scott Reid, Lee Richardson, Gerry Ritz,
Gary Schellenberger, Bev Shipley, Joy Smith, Kevin Sorenson, Brian Storseth,
David Sweet, Myron Thompson, David Tilson, Bradley Trost, Garth Turner, Merv
Tweed, Dave Van Kesteren, Peter Van Loan, Maurice Vellacott, Mike Wallace,
Mark Warawa, Chris Warkentin, Jeff Watson, John Williams, Lynne Yelich
Scrutiny of Regulations
Members: Robert Bouchard, Ron Cannan,Dean Del Mastro, Paul Dewar, Ken Epp,
Monique Guay, Derek Lee, John Maloney, Rick Norlock, Paul Szabo, Garth Turner,
Associate Members: Jim Abbott, Diane Ablonczy, Harold Albrecht, Mike Allen,
Dean Allison, Rob Anders, David Anderson, Dave Batters, Leon Benoit, James
Bezan, Steven Blaney, Sylvie Boucher, Garry Breitkreuz, Gord Brown, Patrick
Brown, Rod Bruinooge, Blaine Calkins, Colin Carrie, Bill Casey, Rick Casson,
John Cummins, Patricia Davidson, Barry Devolin, Norman Doyle, Rick Dykstra, Ed
Fast, Brian Fitzpatrick, Steven Fletcher, Cheryl Gallant, Peter Goldring, Gary
Goodyear, Jacques Gourde, Nina Grewal, Helena Guergis, Art Hanger, Richard
Harris, Luc Harvey, Laurie Hawn, Russ Hiebert, Jay Hill, Betty Hinton, Rahim
Jaffer, Brian Jean, Randy Kamp, Gerald Keddy, Jason Kenney, Ed Komarnicki,
Daryl Kramp, Mario Laframboise, Mike Lake, Guy Lauzon, Pierre Lemieux, Tom
Lukiwski, James Lunney, Dave MacKenzie, Fabian Manning, Inky Mark, Pat Martin,
Colin Mayes, Réal Ménard, Serge Ménard, Ted Menzies, Rob Merrifield, Larry
Miller, Bob Mills, James Moore, Rob Moore, Deepak Obhrai, Brian Pallister,
Christian Paradis, Daniel Petit, Pierre Poilievre, Joe Preston, James Rajotte,
Scott Reid, Lee Richardson, Gerry Ritz, Gary Schellenberger, Judy Sgro, Bev
Shipley, Joy Smith, Kevin Sorenson, Bruce Stanton, Brian Storseth, David
Sweet, Myron Thompson, David Tilson, Bradley Trost, Merv Tweed, Dave Van
Kesteren, Peter Van Loan, Maurice Vellacott, Mike Wallace, Mark Warawa, Chris
Warkentin, Judy Wasylycia-Leis, Jeff Watson, John Williams, Lynne Yelich
That a message be sent to the Senate to acquaint their Honours of the names
of the Members to serve on behalf of this House on the Standing Joint
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I am ready to give my
ruling on a point of order concerning the use of a third language.
Earlier this year, on Thursday, June 22, just days before the Senate
adjourned for the summer, Senator Corbin rose on a point of order concerning an
incident that had occurred earlier in the sitting during Senators' Statements.
Before getting to the point of order, I would like to briefly review the
At the start of the sitting, I had asked the chamber whether there was leave
for Senator Watt to make a statement in Inuktitut. After leave was granted,
Senator Watt proceeded to make his statement. Immediately thereafter, Senator
Comeau rose to caution fellow senators as to what had just happened. As he
explained, the Senate should be careful in consenting to requests to use a third
language when it is not possible to ensure simultaneous interpretation in both
It was Senator Comeau's remarks that prompted Senator Corbin to raise his
point of order, in which he sought to raise several issues. First, he claimed
that his rights as a senator had been infringed because he was unable to listen
to Senator Watt's statement in his mother tongue. As it turned out, the French
channel was mostly silent throughout the statement, while the English
interpretation was sporadic. Second, he claimed that Senator Comeau's statement
violated rule 22(4) since it anticipated debate on Senator Corbin's own Order
Paper motion advocating the right of Aboriginal senators to speak their native
language in this house.
Finally, he asked for a ruling as to whether Senator Watt was indeed allowed
to exercise "his ancient and Aboriginal right" to speak in Inuktitut and,
consequently, whether the Senate must oblige and provide interpretation of
Inuktitut in Canada's two official languages.
By way of response, Senator Comeau stated that he was prepared to leave the
matter in my hands for a decision. As it appeared that no other Senator sought
to contribute their views on this point of order, I then agreed to take the
matter under advisement. During the summer adjournment, I have had ample
opportunity to review the Debates as well as the procedural authorities
and am prepared to give my assessment of what transpired.
Let me begin by addressing the three specific issues that Senator Corbin
raised before exploring in greater detail some other aspects of the use of third
languages in the Chamber. First of all, Senator Corbin's dissatisfaction with
the lack of adequate translation echoes the comment that Senator Comeau made. On
this point, both Senators appear to be in agreement. There is, however, a real
challenge for the interpretation service when a third language is used,
especially without sufficient notice. While French and English are, in law, the
official languages of the country and their use in Parliament is guaranteed, no
rule of the Senate prohibits the use of third languages.
Indeed, there is precedent for permitting the use of third languages with
leave of the Senate. At the same time, it must be stressed that no resources are
allocated for the provision of translators for these third languages, whatever
they may be.
When Senator Watt successfully obtained leave to speak in Inuktitut, he also
had an English translation of his text. Unfortunately, the current configuration
of the Chamber's interpretation booth does not readily permit translation of a
third language simultaneously in both English and French. Even if Senator Watt
had also provided a French translation, there would still have been a problem
for the interpreters since both interpreters share the same booth and sit side
by side. Since only one microphone can be on at a time, it is not possible for
the English and French interpreters to speak at the same time. In other words,
only the English or the French microphone can be used at any given time.
This explains why the French channel was mostly silent throughout Senator Watt's
statement. This is a real problem and there is no easy remedy.
Senator Corbin also contended that Senator Comeau infringed the rule against
anticipation in that his comments raised issues more properly addressed through
debate on Senator Corbin's motion supporting the use of aboriginal languages in
this Chamber. Senator Corbin has raised a valid issue. Rule 22(4) provides that
when making a statement "a Senator shall not anticipate consideration of any
Order of the Day ..." Senator Comeau himself acknowledged the fact that there
was a motion before the Senate dealing with the issue of aboriginal languages.
Nonetheless, I think it is fair to say that Senator Comeau did not intend to
address specifically the subject of Senator Corbin's motion which involves, in
part, the recognition of "the inalienable right of the first inhabitants of the
land ... to use their ancestral language ..." In fact, both Senators, as I have
already noted, were concerned with the circumstances of the incident that
included the difficulties which Senators experienced in the provision of
interpretation of Senator Watt's remarks.
The third part of Senator Corbin's point of order had to do with his motion
on the Order Paper. The Senator asked me if I thought that, when Senator Watt
spoke in Inuktitut, he was in fact "exercising his ancient and Aboriginal right
as a member of the Senate to speak his living language..." This is a question I
decline to answer as part of the point of order. To do otherwise would
inappropriately prejudge a decision which belongs to the Senate itself under the
terms of the motion which the Senator has placed before this Chamber for its
With respect to the broader question of the use of third languages, it might
be helpful to remind honourable senators of the long tradition that we have of
seeking to accommodate special needs and interests so long as it is within our
capacity. This practice of reasonable accommodation involves not only requests
to use a third language, but also when Senators have sometimes asked if other
Senators might read their prepared speeches on their behalf because of illness.
More recently, Senators will know that our reporters have applied their
stenographic skills to enable real time bilingual captioning of the proceedings
here in the Chamber for the benefit of hearing impaired Senators and visitors in
our galleries. This captioning service is also provided to the televised
proceedings of committee meetings.
If we draw on these examples, perhaps there is a way that we can reasonably
accommodate senators who wish to speak in a third language. In such a case, I
would recommend that an English and French translation be provided to the Senate
chamber staff well in advance of the sitting to allow for distribution to all
senators in the chamber in a similar way that Speaker's rulings are distributed.
Nonetheless, it is important to bear in mind that when a third language is used
in the chamber, meaningful debate is rendered more difficult given that few
senators, if any, will understand what is being said, and the ability to provide
English and French interpretation remains a challenge. On this basis, I find
that the concerns of Senators Comeau and Corbin are well founded. Senators
should be able to follow all deliberations in this chamber in the official
language of their choice. This does not necessarily mean that third languages
can never be used. However, given the current circumstances, if they are to be
used, they should be relatively brief and preferably in the form of a statement,
tribute or other similar intervention, not substantive debate.
In the absence of any established rules or procedures with respect to the use
of third languages, the concerns shared by Senator Comeau and Senator Corbin are
real. At the same time, in keeping with the principle of reasonable
accommodation, I suspect the Senate will do what it can to accommodate such
future requests as best it can.
Hon. Jean Lapointe moved the third reading of Bill S-211, to amend the
Criminal Code (lottery schemes).
He said: Honourable senators, first I would like to thank the Speaker,
Senator Kirby and the members of the Standing Senate Committee on Social
Affairs, Science and Technology for reviewing this bill so quickly and for
reporting to us in very good time.
Honourable senators, for more than four years I have been striving to
convince you to support this bill. I have introduced it in this chamber four
times, I have appeared before our committees three times and I have been
interviewed by the media from across Canada over fifty times.
I have also had the opportunity to meet with several associations that help
compulsive gamblers and with interest groups that care for the suffering of
individuals and families whose lives have been ruined by these infernal machines
known as video lotteries.
I am somewhat saddened by how slowly the legislative process of our
parliamentary system moves. I am an emotional person, and my sadness
occasionally transforms into anger because the sole focus of this bill is to
diminish a social ill that affects too many of our citizens.
I know full well that one cannot change the world overnight, even if the
change is for the better. My few years as a senator lead me to believe, on the
basis of a number of surveys and statistics, that the goal of this bill is
In fact, this bill has nothing to do with prohibiting gaming. It simply seeks
to relocate a form of gaming that is too accessible, too harmful and too
damaging to our society, and I am thinking especially of our young people and
Honourable senators, over 70 per cent of Canadians and over 80 per cent of
Quebecers support this bill. We find ourselves in a situation where the public
is calling on us as the federal government. Animosities may arise between the
levels of government, because agreements on gaming were reached in 1979 and
1985, giving the provinces almost complete control over gaming.
For the benefit of those who may have a problem with the federal government's
intrusion into provincial affairs, I would point out that, according to Canada's
Constitution, gaming comes under federal jurisdiction.
Under the Constitution, the federal government has jurisdiction to legislate
with respect to gaming, as an exercise of the federal criminal law power. While
gaming can only be conducted and managed by a provincial government or pursuant
to a licence granted by a provincial government, it is the provisions of the
Criminal Code that established this arrangement.
Under the principle of parliamentary sovereignty, Parliament is free to
modify the code to reassert the federal government's right. Also, it was echoed
by witnesses that there will be no breach of contract if a statute is enacted to
reduce or restrict provincial rights and that no such liability will arise by
the introduction of a bill by the Government of Canada to achieve this end.
Honourable senators, in conclusion, I ask you to vote for this bill and send
it to the other place today so that our elected representatives can study it and
pass it in turn, which would greatly relieve the suffering of too many of our
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Bryden, seconded by
the Honourable Senator Baker, P.C., for the second reading of Bill S-213, to
amend the Criminal Code (cruelty to animals).—(Honourable Senator Stratton)
Hon. John G. Bryden: Honourable senators, if there are no other
speakers, I am rising to close debate at second reading.
The Hon. the Speaker: I wish to inform honourable senators that, if
the Honourable Senator Bryden speaks now, it will have the effect of closing the
Senator Bryden: Basically, I wish to acknowledge and thank honourable
senators for the cooperation and support this chamber has given to an issue that
has been very difficult and very fractious over a long period of time. I had
proposed an attempt at finding an accommodation that would allow what appeared
to me and to many other people, including various ministers of justice, and so
on, to get the most important part of this issue dealt with, namely, to increase
the penalties when the offences under the Criminal Code are committed. That is
what this bill does.
I want to particularly comment on the speech in support of Senator Nolin. I
was not able to be here on the day that he made the speech, but I read it
carefully and a number of times.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, are you ready for the
question on second reading of this bill?
Hon. Senators: Question!
The Hon. the Speaker: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to
adopt the motion?
Hon. Joyce Fairbairn rose pursuant to notice of June 28, 2006:
That she will call the attention of the Senate to the State of Literacy in
Canada, which will give every Senator in this Chamber the opportunity to speak
out on an issue in our country that is often forgotten.
She said: Honourable senators, as most of you know, the issue of literacy
across this country has been at the heart of everything I have done as a member
of this chamber. Today I am bringing a message to you that we need to accelerate
our efforts and heighten our resolve to elevate the opportunities for our
citizens who are struggling with this issue at a time when our country and all
of its parts needs their skills and ability to participate in a new age with
demands that go far beyond the levels of learning in the past decades.
Twenty-two years ago, I began my first Senate assignment as a member of the
Special Committee on Youth, led by our former colleague Jacques Hébert. We
travelled across the country at a time of tough circumstances for young
Canadians and we heard it all — alcohol and drugs, teen pregnancies, family
breakdown, violence, school dropouts, scarce jobs. However, in every region, we
were stunned by something we did not expect and knew virtually nothing about,
the lack of literacy skills and the enormous impediment to social and economic
participation that such an absence of learning opportunity posed, to say nothing
of the psychological anguish and the shame.
Senators Cools, Corbin and Stollery are the only remaining members here who
participated in that journey. We produced a report called "A Plan of Action,"
which proposed a national campaign to improve the opportunity and the results
for literacy among young people across Canada. Nothing happened and time moved
I was stunned by the depth of this issue and the fact that, over time,
somehow the federal government had no role to play. That was not acceptable.
I decided to advocate that the federal government offer leadership to promote
the benefits of improved literacy skills, working with all levels of government
and public and private sectors to create a nationwide capacity to raise the
levels of learning for Canadians and tackle vigorously what I believed was our
country's hidden shame.
Back then, we did not even have our own statistics. We had to extrapolate
from the United Nations and the American data, which indicated a level of one in
five Canadians at risk. Sheer frustration sent me speaking across the country
with anyone who could listen; and often some would shout out, accusing me of
Thankfully, other voices became involved in 1987 when, with the help of
literacy advocates across this country, I decided to bring the issue to a place
where it would be heard and respected, here in the Senate of Canada, thus
starting a discussion of many voices, as I hope will begin again today.
At that time, Southam News was preparing to launch the first Canadian
literacy survey, introducing a process based on functionality in its questions,
seeking the levels of learning at which citizens could manage fundamental tasks
of daily life — basic reading, writing, numeracy, communications — that others
simply take for granted.
The result in its first-class report, called "Broken Words," came out at
one in four citizens at risk. This report was followed by a Statistics Canada
study that produced a result of one in three Canadians at risk.
"Broken Words" shook the social conscience of the government in power.
Prime Minister Brian Mulroney assigned his trusted colleague, Secretary of State
David Crombie, to create an instrument of government to get a grip on this
shocking situation. A year later, in September 1988, the National Literacy
Secretariat, or NLS, was launched in Toronto.
Supporters like Frontier College, who had been toiling away on this stubborn
issue for years, were out in force, including myself; whom the then Prime
Minister cheerfully introduced as his "token Grit", and so I was. In my view,
it has remained Mr. Mulroney's finest legacy.
It was one that was rigorously carried on by Mr. Chrétien, who gave me a
chance to represent the issue in his cabinet. The issue continued on a bit of a
roll with Mr. Martin; and now, today, the legacy is being amalgamated into a
It is difficult to understand why we should now change an entity that knows
what it is doing and has helped to achieve real progress and understanding
throughout Canada and beyond our borders. The NLS and its outstanding public
servants over the years have had the skill and understanding to anchor a new
nationwide process of alignment with all the provinces and territories, which
has been an extraordinary vehicle of progress. The NLS has reached into every
corner of Canada, where so many citizens were in the shadows, with no programs
to help them move forward and take advantage of a new chance to learn and
contribute to a greater quality of life for themselves, and throughout our
Joint funding was created with partnerships in a variety of levels of
governments in every province and territory. National literacy organizations
were expanded and created to push the effort on the ground to include educators,
business, large and small, organized labour, the voluntary sector, the faith
community, writers, entertainers, journalists and the general public.
This support has also included politicians with years of wisdom, experience
and advocacy, who are represented vigorously on both sides of this chamber. If I
tried to name all of them, it would take up a whole afternoon; but they have
given the Senate a strong and supportive image as activists in every province
and territory in Canada, and I hope we will hear from them during this
This, senators, is an issue that crosses all party lines. We have
successfully worked together to support our governments across the country and
in Parliament. I have no doubt that we will continue to work together, because
we have a memory that will guide us in looking closely and fairly at the changes
that are taking place within the federal government on this troubling issue.
We do not want to fight about it. We want to help Minister Finley and her
parliamentary secretary, Lynne Yelich, by connecting with the skills of
advocates, workers and learners. With the best will in the world, mutual
understanding cannot be easily routed in the corridors of Ottawa.
Some of the changes have sent waves of anxiety across the country among
organizations and advocates who keep the progress of literacy alive and growing,
and those of us, including myself, who have been engaged and listening to these
concerns. As I said on the last day of our sitting in June when I moved the
motion to begin this discussion, the new reconstruction of the Department of
Human Resources and Social Development has produced changes that are not fully
understood and have caused significant concern to those in our national
organizations, our joint coalitions in the provinces, and among those who are
actually on the ground as trainers and tutors, teaching and making a difference.
The concern also extends to the learners themselves, who are very much the
activists within our movement, having been inspired to come forward into the
programs, which is not an easy thing to do.
The literacy movement in the last two years has been engaged, along with
government, to finally respond to the report of the House of Commons Committee
on Human Resources, which held a vigorous set of hearings for the first time in
parliamentary history and produced a thoughtful, powerful and activist report in
2003. It was supported by members of all political parties.
In the spring budget in 2005, the previous government had chosen to
significantly increase assistance across the broad span of this issue for
Aboriginal people and children, who require it desperately, for immigrants'
settlement needs, for workplace training and upgrading and, finally, a special
increase in the budget of the National Literacy Secretariat, which, for the past
18 years, has been at the heartbeat of the literacy movement.
Only days before the last election, leaders from throughout the literacy
movement met with federal government representatives to follow up a plan aimed
at launching a pan-Canadian literacy agreement that would take this issue well
beyond what we have already achieved, and other discussions had been held with
people in the provinces.
In addition, a proposal was put together to place before cabinet, supporting
the overall advancement of a cross-Canada plan. The proposal was to meet the
ever-burgeoning demand for lifting the barriers that prevent our workers from
accessing the kind of opportunities that can open doors at every level. The
proposal was to give Canadians a fair chance to learn, to get a job, and to
build a good life for themselves and for their families. The proposal reflected
the recommendation of the House committee and the money required to make it
At the moment, our national literacy associations are in a state of anxiety
about their future. Although funding for programs is moving, for some it is late
— the Aboriginal association in Canada is barely able to keep its doors open
with a volunteer.
In the case of the Movement for Canadian Literacy, the resources that support
the annual Literacy Action Day on Parliament Hill have not yet been received and
the date to meet with parliamentarians has shifted into another month. Voices
from the provinces and territories are deeply concerned that the federal effort
to join learning programs under one roof will end up shutting doors in their
communities. They do not understand how the new Adult Learning Essential Skills
and Workplace Literacy Initiative program will replace the skill and the wisdom
of the National Literacy Secretariat, which knew the issue and had the
connections to deal with it on the ground, on behalf of our federal government.
The secretariat is now embodied in the larger entity but it is not clear to what
degree it will continue its role.
I do not stand here today to obstruct any government. Like many Canadians in
the literacy business I do not understand how the new combined entity will work.
With all the large issues of each day, the focus on this issue could easily be
lost in the rush. I stand here today to urge that we open the doors and windows
of Ottawa, take a deep breath, carefully consider the concerns of our partners
and form a common front to bring down this horrendous barrier that causes 42 per
cent of our adult citizens in Canada to be at risk every day. These citizens are
at risk from the lack of an ability to cope with the kind of reading, writing,
numeracy and communications skills that the rest of us take for granted in
We simply have to work together, and I know we will do that in this chamber.
Without the foundation of appropriate skills, lack of literacy becomes a daily
barrier for adults who cannot help their children at their earliest age. It
becomes a barrier for workers; for seniors at risk with health care needs; and
for the overall economy of our country in dollars because we lose millions, even
billions, as a result of the added cost through lack of skills and the
unintended problems they cause in what we think of as a prosperous and caring
country. We bring down the prospects for a future if we do not accelerate our
support in a fair and generous way.
Surely we can all work together with goodwill and commitment to erase what I
still believe is our hidden shame. I hope that all who share these concerns will
join in this debate to send the message that literacy needs resources,
continuing support and guidance from those in the old National Literacy
Secretariat, wherever they are. These people have the skills and experience to
understand it best.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts and I thank you for your support and
participation. I believe there is not one person in this chamber who is not
pulling for the same cause, the same people and the same future as I am.
Hon. Serge Joyal, pursuant to notice of June 28, 2006, moved:
That the Standing Senate Committee on Conflict of Interest for Senators
have power to engage the services of such counsel, technical, clerical, and
other personnel as may be necessary for the purpose of its examination and
consideration of such matters as are referred to it by the Senate, or which
come before it as per the Conflict of Interest Code for Senators.
He said: Honourable senators, I do not need to explain because this motion is
a standard one for any committee to receive authorization to hire the technical,
professional and clerical staff as needed for the consideration of matters
referred to it by the Senate for study.
The Hon the Speakerpro tempore: Honorable senators, is it your
pleasure to adopt the motion?
Hon. Serge Joyal, pursuant to notice of June 28, 2006, moved:
That the papers and documents received and/or produced by the Standing
Committee on Conflict of Interest during the First Session of the
Thirty-eighth Parliament and the Intersessional Authority during the period
following dissolution of the 38th Parliament, be referred to the Standing
Senate Committee on Conflict of Interest for Senators.
He said: Honourable senators, I have a word of explanation for this simple
issue. The Senate Standing Committee on Conflict of Interest for Senators is the
only committee whose existence between the session of two Parliaments is
formally confirmed under the Rules of the Senate. In other words, when
Parliament is dissolved, there has to be an "authority" to remain charged with
the responsibility of implementing the conflict of interest code because an
issue of conflict of interest might arise in the interim of two Parliaments. The
Rules of the Senate provide for the establishment of an Intersessional
Authority that sits during the period of time between two Parliaments. The
committee met during the previous Parliament and this new Parliament, and
minutes and documentation of the meetings were produced. Those minutes and
documentation of the authority should be referred to the current Standing
Committee on Conflict of Interest for Senators to provide a link between the
former Senate standing committee and the new Senate standing committee that was
formed in this Parliament. It is merely an administrative issue to ensure we can
refer to the documentation and information provided by the Intersessional
The Hon the Speaker pro tempore: Honorable senators, is it your
pleasure to adopt the motion?
Motion agreed to.
The Senate adjourned until Wednesday, September 27, 2006, at 1:30 p.m.