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Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

2nd Session, 40th Parliament,
Volume 146, Issue 65

Thursday, October 29, 2009
The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, Speaker



Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Senate met at 1:30 p.m., the Speaker in the chair.


Afghanistan—Fallen Soldier

Silent Tribute

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, before we proceed, I would ask you to rise and observe one minute of silence in memory of Lieutenant Justin Garrett Boyes, whose tragic death occurred yesterday while serving his country in Afghanistan.

Honourable senators then stood in silent tribute.



The Late Honourable Stanley Haidasz, P.C.

Hon. David P. Smith: Honourable senators, I am rising to pay tribute to the late Stanley Haidasz, whom I knew for over 45 years. I knew him back in the early 1960s when he was a young member of Parliament in the Pearson government.

He was born in 1923. He had a very distinguished parliamentary career. He was first elected in 1957. The Diefenbaker sweep knocked him out in 1958, but he came back in 1962 and was in the House of Commons until 1978, when he came to the Senate.

During that time, he had a distinguished career, including a period as Minister of Multiculturalism. He was a medical doctor, a cardiologist, but what I will always remember Stanley for, more than anything else, was that, to me, he was the patriarch of the Polish community in Canada. He was the first person of Polish descent to be appointed to the Senate. Whenever you went to any Polish event in those days, Stanley was there; or if he was not there, they would pay tribute to him.

I will always remember my first visit to Warsaw, which was in 1969. There was a huge building that had been built by the Soviets, and to the people of Warsaw it was a symbol of Soviet oppression. They would point to that building with contempt. They did; I am not trying to change history or anything here.

I was in Estonia in 1989 when the Berlin Wall started coming down. People would come up to you and hug you. A lot of it was triggered by what happened with Lech Walesa and the people of Poland.

Nothing makes me happier than to know that Stanley lived to see democracy in Poland. I will always remember him for that. I pay tribute to him and his memory, and my sympathies go out to his wife.

Hon. Anne C. Cools: Honourable senators, I join Senator Smith in paying tribute to the late Senator Stanley Haidasz. With his passing on August 6, last, I was reminded of what a fine gentleman he was. I would like to invite new senators to examine the career of this particular individual.

Senator Smith has noted that he was a high and most illustrious member of the Polish community. The important thing, as well, to remember about Senator Haidasz was the fierce integrity that he brought to his work. He was a doctor by trade, a scientist by training and a physician by profession.

He used to tell me, time and again, that he felt that his first duty as a physician was to save and protect life. Obviously, he was no supporter of the pro-choice movement nor the pro-euthanasia movement.

Honourable senators, he had a lovely family and he was a very gentle fellow. The Senate is a changed place now, but in those days, you would find that all honourable senators had a reverence for and an attachment to its members who were doctors. There was always a very loving expression by all senators toward those members who were doctors, because invariably one senator or another would need some medical advice and would turn to the doctors for that kind of consolation.

Honourable senators, I miss Stanley and have always missed him ever since he left the chamber because he was a very special fellow. I thought what I could do for him today was to put a prayer on the record that I know meant much to him. Senator Haidasz's Roman Catholicism meant a lot to him. He was a proud representative of the Roman Catholic Church in this place. As a matter of fact, I am told that whenever other senators or other Canadians would meet the then-Pope, the Pope would ask them whether they knew Senator Haidasz. That was the bond that he had with the Vatican.

Honourable senators, when the Cold War ended and the Iron Curtain lifted, it meant the world to Stanley as a Polish gentleman. All of this is now becoming increasingly remote. However, that was a significant event in the lives of those Canadians of Eastern European background.


I will read the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi. It is the prayer for peace:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

I express great sympathy and extend my condolences to the members of his family and I uphold this man today as a great Canadian.

Hon. Art Eggleton: Honourable senators, the public record clearly demonstrates the outstanding contribution by the honourable doctor, Stanley Haidasz, to public life in Canada. King George VI once stated that the "highest distinction is service to others." That is true not only of the thirty-six and a half years of service in Parliament as an MP, a cabinet minister and then as a senator, but also Doctor Haidasz's 40 years as a physician, serving the people in his Parkdale community in Toronto.

His distinctions are numerous, including the appointment by Prime Minister Trudeau as the first Minister of State for Multiculturalism and receiving the Papal Order of Saint Gregory the Great by Pope John Paul II. He was instrumental in the passage of Medicare, the Canada Pension Plan, the Clean Air Act, civil liberties and human rights legislation.

He was a caring and compassionate person, starting with the dedication to his family and, beyond that, to leadership in the Polish community, remembering his roots as the son of Polish immigrants, and, of course, his service to the people of Canada.

My first memories of Stan Haidasz go back to the election campaigns of the 1960s. I remember first meeting him in his medical office on Lansdowne Avenue. He actually worked me in between appointments. He was a supporter and a mentor to me. When I first ran for public office in 1969, it was Stan Haidasz's endorsement on my literature that helped get my political career off the ground. I won an election as an alderman on Toronto City Council but only by 50 votes. That endorsement may have been the difference. Not all voters knew who I was but they knew and appreciated their member of Parliament, Dr. Stan Haidasz.

We stayed in touch as friends and mutual supporters through subsequent years. Then, in 1978, he was appointed to the Senate of Canada and I became the nominated Liberal candidate to succeed him as MP in Parkdale. Well, that did not work out. I lost in a by-election. However, I then returned to city hall, eventually becoming mayor while Stan began a 20-year contribution to the work of the Senate, retiring in 1998.

Dr. Haidasz was a tireless worker for the causes he believed in and I think Canada is much the richer for his contributions. At this time of remembrance and celebration of his life, we also remember his wife, Natalia, and children, Marie, Walter, Barbara and Joanne. They have much to be proud of.

Hon. Peter A. Stollery: Honourable senators, I wish to say a word in honour of Stanley Haidasz, who was a friend of mine. We shared constituencies. I was elected in 1972, in Spadina, and Stan was elected in Parkdale. He was just across the street from me where the beginning of his constituency was located. I think he should be remembered for many things, but one of the great things was when he became Canada's first Minister of State for Multiculturalism.

I lived in central Toronto. My 90-year-old neighbour, who was born in the house in which she recently died, was preparing a gift for our new neighbour, who was from Pakistan. It was the end of Ramadan, and there is the holiday of Eid and people exchange gifts. My Irish-Catholic neighbour asked me, "What should I get this guy?" We were talking about it and I thought to myself: How far multiculturalism has come since Stan Haidasz, in 1972, became the first Minister of Multiculturalism.' What a wonderful thing he contributed to this country, and with great difficulty. There was a lot of opposition at the time.

Honourable senators, I remember when the downtown members of Parliament supported Stan in his efforts to promote multiculturalism because we had constituencies with many different nationalities and religions, many very different from the rest of Canada.

I think we should remember Stan as a wonderful man — a fine man — but also someone who made a huge contribution to a great change in the way Canadians see themselves.

Hon. Consiglio Di Nino: Honourable senators, I want to add a few words about a gentleman who I met many years ago, back in Parkdale, as Senator Eggleton has said. I, too, lived in the area. Although I did not really get to know Senator Haidasz well, our paths crossed in a number of different organizations.

Senator Haidasz was a passionate defender of democracy. Senator Haidasz was one of those rare individuals who, at a time when it was difficult to stand up and say, "Yes, I am different, but I am the same," did so. He fought for the rights of people who came to this wonderful country, a country in which many of us have met with success. However, the beginnings were not quite as pleasant. It was difficult to walk the streets of Parkdale without being beaten up or having to beat someone else up. Senator Haidasz lived and operated on those streets, as I did.

I also got to know him as a great defender of rights for all people when I came to the Senate. His passion for democracy in this wonderful country was probably the strongest of all of his focused and passionate defences.

I know that I was a better man for having met him. I was a better senator for having worked with him, and I know that he made this place a better place with his presence.

Hon. Sharon Carstairs: Honourable senators, almost everyone who has spoken to date has been from the Greater Toronto Area, and because Stanley Haidasz spent his life there and made his contribution there, it may be thought that those are the only parts of the country that he truly touched.

However, Stanley Haidasz is considered a very special person in my home province of Manitoba — special because we are a province of immigrants. We are a province where multiculturalism meant something very different than it meant in other parts of the country. Here was someone of Polish ancestry, and many of the early settlers in Manitoba were Poles and Ukrainians. Here was someone from their part of the world who stood as a minister and who promoted their ability to retain their culture, their language and their customs in Canada while, at the same time, embracing everything that it was to be Canadian.

One need only go to the Polish church in Winnipeg, where they hold him almost in patron saint capacity, to recognize the impact that Stanley Haidasz had in the City of Winnipeg and, in particular, among the Polish and Ukrainian community.

His reach extended much farther than Toronto. It reached into the West and, I suspect, into the East because he was, indeed, a man of his time who reached into the past. He also recognized the importance of the future.


Hon. Terry M. Mercer: Honourable senators, I rise today to pay tribute to a long-time parliamentarian and great Canadian, Dr. Stanley Haidasz, who passed away recently.

I know that he will be missed by many who knew him. Stanley was the first Canadian of Polish origin to be appointed cabinet minister and to the Senate. It was during his 10 years as Minister of State for Multiculturalism that Canada truly started to emerge as a multicultural society.

Honourable senators, Stanley was elected seven times in the riding of Parkdale from 1957 to 1974, with a small break in between.

I had the privilege, honourable senators, to have been the President of the Parkdale-High Park Liberal Association when I lived in Toronto for a number of years. One could not travel anywhere in that riding without feeling the touch of Stanley Haidasz, particularly in the Polish community along Roncesvalles Avenue or in the Queen Street West area. People there held Stanley in great esteem. Within my own political party, he held great sway with Liberals, not only in that part of Toronto, but elsewhere.

As Senator Carstairs mentioned, his impact was beyond the borders of Parkdale-High Park and Toronto. He was the leader of multiculturalism all across this country. I am from Halifax and the multiculturalism that Stanley Haidasz led has had a tremendous and positive effect in my city and in other cities across the country.

I pay tribute today to Stanley Haidasz for his contribution not only to Parkdale and Toronto, but also to the rest of the country and to his political party. I wish to extend my sincere gratitude to him for his dedication and service to his country and offer my condolences to his family.

Hon. Jerahmiel S. Grafstein: Honourable senators, I, too, rise to pay tribute to the late Dr. Stanley Haidasz. Stanley was the epitome of a truly multilingual, multicultural Canadian — a new image of Canadian citizenry that he helped to create and to promote, despite serious opposition, as others have said.

Born in Canada of Polish roots, he studied medicine at the University of Toronto and completed his post-graduate education in cardiology at the University of Chicago. After starting his medical practice, he became interested immediately in public affairs. He became the member of Parliament for Trinity in 1957, a riding in the heart of Toronto. He was defeated in 1958 in the Diefenbaker landslide. He ran again in Parkdale in 1962 and represented that proud constituency in five successive elections until 1978 when he was appointed senator. He retired from the Senate in 1998.

Stanley was much more than the sketchy outline of his political victories. He was a unique Canadian. I came to know Stanley in 1962. As President of the Toronto District Young Liberal Association, my job was to organize young Liberal groups in each riding in Toronto. Stanley knew virtually everyone in his riding. Everyone had an immense respect for him because he practised medicine, and most people were his patients. In addition, he had an immense following amongst young people. As a result, we had a strong and active young Liberal organization. Some of us in this room benefited from the relationships we developed there, as Senator Eggleton pointed out.

Stanley was multilingual; he spoke a number of languages. He was a scholar, deeply religious and proud of his Polish patrimony — a patrimony we share. One day, he called to invite me to a meeting of a young visiting Catholic prelate from Poland. He was the dynamic Archbishop of Krakow, Father Wojtyla. We discovered in our conversations because of Stanley that both our fathers had served in the Pilsudsh brigade after World War I that led to the independence of Poland.

After I told that story to the Archbishop, he and I became friends, and my friendship with Stanley was forged into that bond. Later, that gentleman became Pope John Paul II. He was a great advocate of Stanley Haidasz. As others have mentioned, Stanley was honoured by the Pope receiving the distinguished Order of Saint Gregory.

As a doctor in 1966, Stanley was one of the foremost advocates of Medicare at a Liberal policy convention in Ottawa. I participated in that policy fight. As a doctor, he fought for Medicare on the floor of that policy convention that led to the establishment of Medicare. That fight should not be forgotten.

In 1972, Stanley went on to become, as others have said, the first Minister of State for Multiculturalism. He helped transform Canada from a unilingual to a bilingual and finally multicultural Canada. It was not easy. He was a gentleman of the old school. He had a capacious knowledge of everything. When we served here in the Senate on many committees, everyone was amazed at his deep erudition.

Honourable senators, Stanley Haidasz left a deep impression on the body politic of Canada. Unfortunately, I do not believe we will see his like again. Our condolences go out to his family. His light is diminished, but he has left a starry trail of accomplishments that will be forever remembered.

Ms. Glori Meldrum

Congratulations on Ernst & Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award

Hon. Claudette Tardif (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, I rise today to congratulate Ms. Glori Meldrum, the chair and founder of Little Warriors for winning the Ernst & Young 2009 Social Entrepreneur of the Year award. This truly inspiring Canadian is from my home city of Edmonton.

In addition to being a Little Warrior, Glori Meldrum is a successful entrepreneur, mother, wife and philanthropist. She owns and operates a successful advertising agency and web development company. Her work incorporates a strong sense of corporate responsibility and giving back to her community. This community sense has allowed her the opportunity to work on special projects for local non-profit organizations including The Good Samaritan Society, the Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and Little Warriors.

In March last year, Ms. Meldrum launched Little Warriors, a Canadian charitable organization with a focus on educating adults on the prevention, recognition and responsible reaction to child sexual abuse. Little Warriors also provides information about the prevalence and frequency of child sexual abuse, and information about healing and support resources.

Ms. Meldrum has been raising awareness on the facts that child sexual abuse happens in our communities every single day. Indeed, child sexual abuse crosses all boundaries, including but not limited to, age, ethnicity, gender, geographical area and social class.

Honourable senators, one in three girls experiences an unwanted sexual act at an average age of 12. One in six boys experiences an unwanted sexual act at the average age of four. A disquieting 95 per cent of child sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator. These facts tell an alarming story. Something must be done to stop this evil from harming our children, grandchildren and our future generations.

Little Warriors is standing up for our kids by supporting sexually abused children and their families, and by educating adults. Standing up for our kids means taking leadership for their protection. It means taking leadership for the promotion of their rights in society and of their right to be free from abuse. Together, we can all stand up for our kids.

I urge all honourable senators to look up and inform themselves on the scourge of child sexual abuse.

Thank you Glori for bringing forward the issues concerning child sexual abuse, adult education and prevention. Canadians across the nation need your strength and vision to end child sexual abuse.


Visitor in the Gallery

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, allow me to draw to your attention of the presence in the gallery of Ms. Glori Meldrum, who is the guest of Senator Tardif. Welcome to the Senate of Canada.

2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Cultural Contributions of First Nations People

Hon. Gerry St. Germain: Honourable senators, I rise briefly today to pay tribute to the Hudson's Bay Company and the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, VANOC. On October 20 of this year, I rose in regard to a situation that had arisen with the Hudson's Bay Company and the Cowichan Indian Band. A look-alike or similar type of product to one that the Cowichan band had manufactured for years was being duplicated. I said in my statement that we should encourage the Hudson's Bay Company, the oldest corporate citizen of Canada, to recognize and reconsider their position concerning the Cowichan sweater.

Honourable senators, I recently received an email. The Cowichan Tribes have reached a deal with the Bay to sell some of their iconic sweaters as part of the company's Olympic line. I do not want to be presumptuous in any way by saying that my statement had anything to do with the deal, but perhaps we sometimes have a little more influence than we think we do.


Olympic Torch Relay

Hon. Lucie Pépin: Honourable senators, tomorrow, October 30, the Olympic flame will arrive in Victoria to start its 106-day cross-Canada journey. The flame, a powerful symbol of peace and friendship, will travel 45,000 kilometres across Canada.

As Senator Raine mentioned previously, this relay will be the longest domestic torch relay in history. Our immense country has already set the first record of the Games.

The torch, designed and built by Bombardier, will visit all the provinces and will stop at 14 military bases.

The 12,000 torch bearers will carry the flame from community to community, using up to 100 different modes of transportation, including the snowmobile, First Nations canoe, dogsled, chuckwagon, Polar Rover and kayak. So many truly Canadian modes of transportation.

The Olympic torch relay will pass through 1,000 communities, big and small, including 108 Aboriginal communities. The flame will go as far as Alert, in Nunavut, the northernmost permanently inhabited community in the world. The flame will then head to Cape Spear, Newfoundland, the easternmost point in North America. From there, it will cross the country once again to end its journey in Vancouver, where the Games will begin on February 12, 2010.


The Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games will truly be the games of all of Canada, from east to west and north to south, from the people of Quebec to the people of the Yukon. The impressive torch relay is the best way of involving the greatest number of people possible and sharing the spirit of this unique experience.


The relay will bring Canadians together and inspire them, and the torch relay celebrations will not only help us rediscover the many cultures that make us a country and a nation, but they will also heighten our sense of belonging.

"With Glowing Hearts" and "Des plus brillants exploits" are the official mottos of Vancouver 2010. The mottos invite participants and volunteers to do their very best. I invite all honourable senators to share in the excitement surrounding the torch relay, and to do their very best to make the celebrations even better.


I join with Senator St. Germain in honouring the memory of Jack Poole, who unfortunately did not live to see the realization of his dream, the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. I congratulate the organizing committee on all its efforts to host such a fitting celebration of winter sport in Canada. I believe the games will be a success that unites us and reflects who we are, both culturally and linguistically.


Russian Federation

Visit of Foreign Affairs Chairman Mr. Mikhail Margelov

Hon. Marcel Prud'homme: Honourable senators, I want to express my outrage at the unacceptable treatment that the all-powerful Canadian immigration services gave the chair of the committee for foreign affairs of the Council of the Russian Federation, Mr. Mikhail Margelov, on his recent visit to Canada.

Prior to that visit, certain immigration officials at the Canadian embassy in Moscow issued him a temporary resident permit instead of a diplomatic visa. This senior official of the Russian Federation was doing us the honour of attending the Inter-Parliamentary Forum of the Americas, which took place from September 13 to 15 here in Ottawa.

The unusual entry document issued to Chairman Margelov, known in administrative jargon as a PAX-1, is normally issued to foreigners whom visa officials consider inadmissible.

Chairman Margelov stated publicly that he was offended by this treatment, especially since he had been given a diplomatic visa in the past. He pointed out that other Russian dignitaries had been treated the same way, including former Russian Prime Minister, Mr. Sergei Stepashin, during his visit in 2008 and President Medvedev's special representative on counterterrorism, Mr. Oleg Safonov, earlier this year.

Mr. Margelov believes he was treated this way because he was formerly a civilian professor at the KGB Academy, where he taught Arabic to students from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Hungary, countries that are now members of NATO.

Moreover, Chairman Margelov personally shared these grievances with His Honour the Speaker. He later praised the Speaker for the way he had handled this matter.

I also want to pay tribute to the chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Senator Di Nino, whom I had alerted about this situation.

I feel that we must do everything we can to handle such cases with greater civility in future. We enjoy excellent diplomatic relations with Russia, and we are preparing for Prime Minister Putin's visit for the G8 and the G20. Imagine how embarrassing it would be if he were given the same treatment.


Sometimes, something positive can come out of unpleasant events. Two weeks ago, our Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, presided over by Senator Di Nino, visited the committee for foreign affairs of the Council of the Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, whose host, just imagine, was the same Mikhail Margelov. I personally know that Senator Di Nino and President Margelov are now close friends and that the best of relationships can only come out of this incident.


I am therefore asking the current government to correct this deplorable situation so that such incidents will never occur again.


Solar Decathlon

Hon. Hector Daniel Lang: Honourable senators, I rise to draw your attention to two teams of Canadians who are helping to lead the world by being on the cutting edge of solar power and smart energy use. These young men and women recently brought honour to Canada during their participation in the Solar Decathlon sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy this month in Washington, D.C.

This is an international competition where 20 universities, colleges and technical institutes have been challenged to demonstrate new solar engineering and design excellence. Two teams from Canada were successful in making the cut to enter the competition: Team Alberta, comprised of students from the University of Calgary, SAIT Polytechnic, Alberta College of Art & Design and Mount Royal University; and Team Ontario/BC, comprised of students from the University of Waterloo, Ryerson University and Simon Fraser University.

Their common goals included raising awareness among the general public about renewable energy, energy efficiency and how solar technologies can reduce energy usage; helping solar energy technologies enter the marketplace faster, as this competition encourages the research and development of energy efficiency and energy production technologies; and fostering collaboration among students from different academic disciplines, including engineering and architecture students, who rarely work together until they enter the workplace.


These young men and women committed two years of their lives to bringing forward their demonstration 800-square-foot, self-contained homes to this competition. During the course of this event, more than 200,000 visitors came to view the 20 homes that were judged in the manmade solar village on the National Mall.

Canada can be proud as Team Ontario/BC placed fourth and Team Alberta placed sixth. Honourable senators, I congratulate them.

Reserve Force

Hon. Hugh Segal: Honourable senators, I rise today to pay tribute to the reserve members of the Canadian Armed Forces. Lieutenant Boyes, whom we mourned a moment ago, had been a member of the reserves for six years before he joined the regular force. In recent years, our reservists have stepped up in so many ways. These volunteer soldiers, airmen and sailors truly are what Winston Churchill called "twice the citizen."

There are currently more than 27,000 personnel with the reserve force, with more that 11,500 reservists now on full-time deployment in the Canadian Forces. The primary reserve, the largest subcomponent of the reserve force, is the source of these full-time force generation individuals. It comprises soldiers, sailors and airmen and airwomen who train to the level of and are interchangeable with their regular force counterparts and are posted at Canadian Forces operations worldwide on an ongoing basis.

Since 2000, almost 5,000 reservists have been deployed for operations in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Croatia, Haiti and other difficult international spots. Here at home, reservists have aided during flood relief operations, forest fires in Alberta and British Columbia, and will be called upon to provide security and support during the upcoming 2010 Olympic Games, G8 and G20 meetings. In fact, with the coming demands of the Olympics and the G8 and G20, a full 50 per cent of our reserves will be on active duty this coming year.

Bill C-40, which received Royal Assent last year and which provides job protection for reservists, as well as amending the Canada Student Loan Program for student reservists, was a huge step in the right direction toward recognizing and supporting our reserve force. All sides of this chamber deserve credit for the non-partisan cooperation that saw that bill through, as do the Prime Minister and Government of Canada, who turned a motion in this place, supported by both sides, into solid legislation.

The reserves now constitute 20 per cent of the regular deployable Canadian Forces. The average deployment requires six to eight to twelve weeks of training, plus the time for the deployment itself. The fact that provinces have their own job protection rules that are different from the federal rules and from each other's, the fact that the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, France and other allies have programs to pay reservists on an equal basis as the regular force, compensate employers and create incentives for enrolment tells us there is more work yet to do. The fact that the average reserve tenure in Canada is three to five years, while the regular force tenure is 13 to 20 years, all serves to reinforce a constructive agenda we can work on together for the future.

While our reserves, our naval, air and military units are under great stress and demand, they are performing superbly. They have never let Canadians down; we must not let them down at this critical time.



Public Safety

Security Intelligence Review Committee—2008-09 Annual Report Tabled

Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 2008-09 annual report of the Security Intelligence Review Committee.

Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association

Visit of the Science and Technology Committee, July 6-10, 2009—Report Tabled

Hon. Pierre Claude Nolin: Honourable senators, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian delegation of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association concerning its participation in the visit of the Science and Technology Committee, held in in Boston, Monterey and Livermore, United States of America, from July 6 to 10, 2009.


The Senate

Select Committees to Meet within Approved Meeting Times for Remainder of Session—Notice of Motion

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

That, for the remainder of this session, select committees shall only meet within their approved meeting times as determined by the Government and Opposition Whips unless:

(a) both whips agree to a variation from this schedule,

(b) there is an order of the Senate authorizing the committee to meet at a different time, or

(c) during the course of a meeting all committee members present agree to an extension of the meeting beyond the end of the approved meeting time.


Human Resources and Skills Development

Employment Statistics

Hon. Jerahmiel S. Grafstein: Honourable senators, I have a question for the Leader of the Government in the Senate.

A consensus appears to be developing on the sluggish recovery of the economy. Economists appear to be in a strong consensus that there is a jobless recovery. A careful examination of the testimony by the Governor of the Bank of Canada, both in his recent statements and at the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce, indicates the same thing — there is a clear consensus that the recovery is sluggish at best and is not working.

Other economists have said the action plan is not working, and a consensus is developing that we have a jobless recovery. To give some solace to the government, the jobless recovery is as intense in the United States as it is here.

One vital piece of information to help the government and public policy-makers determine how to best target job recovery appears to be missing, and it is the statistics themselves.

Earlier this week in The Globe and Mail, there was an article entitled "Hidden jobless cloud economic picture." The article reports that economists are frustrated, in effect, by the lack of clarity about the joblessness and the quantum of people on the welfare roll. I will not reiterate the entire article that appeared in The Globe and Mail on October 27.

Let me give you a couple of brief quotations:

"We don't know whether people are departing for new employment, or if they are exhausting benefits and persisting in the unemployment pool — and that is problematic," said Grant Bishop, an economist at Toronto-Dominion Bank. "There could definitely be better disclosure."

Gilles Seguin, another expert who worked on welfare information for the federal government from 1975 to 2003, said:

"There's no public national source that tells us how many people are on welfare right now."

The article goes on to say:

Case loads are climbing, however, as hiring remains sluggish. In Ontario, the number of welfare cases reached 238,598 in August, the highest since March 2000.

The question I have, in a nutshell, is: When will the government make available to the Senate accurate statistics, province by province, region by region, about the number of unemployed in this country, those people leaving the welfare rolls, adding to the welfare rolls and those people who are exhausting their EI benefits?

Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government and Minister of State (Seniors)): Senator Grafstein paints a rather gloomy picture. With the worldwide economic slowdown, various economies are in recovery. I do believe that every responsible person has cautioned that the recovery is fragile.


However, today some encouraging economic numbers from the United States showed significant growth in their economy in the last quarter, and a decrease of the number of people seeking employment insurance help.

The question Senator Grafstein asks is complex. As we know, the recovery of the economy has different results in different parts of the country. Certain industries have suffered. Other parts of the country are not experiencing the extent of job losses experienced in the manufacturing and the forestry sectors.

The honourable senator asked what the government is doing, and he is well aware of what the government is doing with regard to the unemployed. We have a bill in the other place to extend benefits beyond the five weeks we have already extended them; we have programs for long-tenured workers; and, we have retraining. Many things are being done to help the unemployed.

With regard to the honourable senator's complex and specific request for a province-by-province breakdown of the numbers of unemployed and the prospects for recovery in the unemployment numbers, I will have to take the question as notice.

Senator Grafstein: The article goes on to state that only four provinces publish monthly data on their websites, and many of the numbers are not comparable because each is tallied differently. We have a federal government that does not give us the knowledge, four provinces that are trying to give us the knowledge, but all are calculated under different parameters.

Perhaps both the Bank of Canada and the Department of Finance might at least assist us so we can determine where the jobless are in the regions we represent and target them.

In the United States, there is a general consensus that the stimulus package did not work, and the American government is now quickly installing new programs to give more impetus to their stimulus package. This week, the President of the United States announced a new national electrical grid across America to stimulate not only new jobs but jobs for the new economy.

Instead of the leader saying over and over again that it is complex, it would be helpful if we could get the real statistics so we can get on with the work of helping this government create jobs.

Senator LeBreton: As the honourable senator knows, the government brought in the Economic Action Plan in January with a very detailed stimulus package in many areas, and it extends over a two-year period, ending at the end of fiscal year 2010-11.

I must quarrel with the honourable senator's statement about the availability of employment and unemployment numbers. Statistics Canada does an excellent job of presenting Canadians and the government with good, solid data with regard to our unemployment numbers.

With regard to the various provinces, the honourable senator probably knows better than I as to how various provinces, within their own jurisdictions, measure their unemployment numbers.

Unemployment statistics are based on national numbers. This government and previous governments have always relied on the good work by Statistics Canada. Their numbers have been the only benchmark through the years around which we could properly plan and build policies.

Treasury Board

Canada Graduate Scholarships Program

Hon. Catherine S. Callbeck: Honourable senators, last week representatives from the Canadian Federation of Students were on the Hill talking to parliamentarians. One of their concerns is about the Canada Graduate Scholarships Program through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

Their concern is that when the government invested in this program last spring, it limited funding only to graduate students pursuing a business-related degree.

My question to the Leader of the Government is: Why did the government limit this funding to studies pertaining to a business-related degree?

Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government and Minister of State (Seniors)): Honourable senators, the government has embarked upon a host of programs with regard to assisting students at all levels, including those in the trades. The government has made several announcements recently with regard to putting considerable funds into the building of trade schools to help those parts of the economy that have labour shortages.

I will repeat the numbers, honourable senators. The Economic Action Plan includes $200 million for the National Research Council Industrial Research Assistance Program to help small- and medium-sized businesses. We also increased the funding for Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council by 20 per cent since 2006, and for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, NSERC, by 21 per cent.

With regard to the various support programs for students, as Senator Callbeck knows, there are quite a number of them, including expanding what was then the Millennium Scholarship Fund.

I thought I had supplied the numbers to Senator Callbeck before, but she is shaking her head. I will take the honourable senator's specific question as notice.

Senator Callbeck: The leader mentioned the Millennium Scholarship Fund. It was replaced when the government introduced the Canada Student Grants Program. That means it will cover more students, but they will get less money. On average, the Millennium Scholarship Fund grant was $3,000, whereas under the student grants program, low-income students will receive $2,000, and middle income students will receive around $800. That was another concern expressed by the students, namely, the amount of debt that post-secondary students are carrying.

Students want to know why this government is not increasing funding that goes directly to undergraduate students.

Senator LeBreton: Honourable senators, when we changed the Millennium Scholarship Fund, we expanded the program to make it available to students across this country who never in their lives would have access to that program. At the time, the honourable senator will recall, that change was widely applauded by the various students' associations.

The government has done a host of things to assist students, including the significant amount of money we have been putting into infrastructure in universities. All of these things are intended to increase the level of education, the services available and getting as many students as possible into our schools to receive education in their chosen profession, including the trades, which had been sorely overlooked in the past.

With regard to the specific question, I have seen many examples of student groups applauding the government for the work the government has done in expanding and making scholarship money available to them and their families, students who would have never been in a position to pursue their education in the post-secondary school system.


Senator Callbeck: It is true that the government expanded the program, but they have not put more money into it, which means that more students on average are receiving less money.

Honourable senators, the students want to know why the government has not increased funding directly to undergraduate students.

Senator LeBreton: Honourable senators, I must take issue with Senator Carstairs' assertion that the government has not put more money into education. The previous government cut $25 million in transfers to the provinces and this government has increased funding to post-secondary education by 40 per cent. I will put this on the record again: This government introduced significant reforms to make schools more affordable. Through the Canada Student Grants Program, more money is available this year, which students do not have to pay back. That means greater access to funds and less debt to be repaid. This government is providing $250 per month to low income students and $100 per month to middle-income students. More than 245,000 students will benefit each year, which is 100,000 more students than under the old system.

The new Repayment Assistance Plan increases flexibility to how and when students repay their loans. The government has made it easier for borrowers to manage loans by ensuring affordable repayment amounts on a reasonable schedule. The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations has expressed support for both new programs.

This government is proud that scholarships and bursaries are tax-free and that we are providing $87.5 million for more than 1,500 masters and doctoral scholarships. As well, this government introduced the Textbook Tax Credit and under the Economic Action Plan, increased funding for the Canada Summer Jobs program for 2009-10 by an additional $10 million.

Honourable senators, I would say that this government has quite an admirable record on supporting students.

Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!


Official Languages

Second Language Training in Canadian Universities

Hon. Claudette Tardif (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate.

The Commissioner of Official Languages identified some significant gaps in his report entitled Two languages, a World of Opportunities: Second-Language Learning in Canada's Universities. These gaps are keeping students from developing their second-language skills as they pursue higher education and prepare to enter the workforce.

He says the government must show leadership and recommends that it convene a meeting of 84 interested parties from universities, educational organizations, language experts and governments to discuss how to improve second-language learning opportunities in universities. Does the government plan to act on that recommendation and call such a meeting?


Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government and Minister of State (Seniors)): Honourable senators, it is the desire and the goal of the government at all times to ask and to expect our institutions to support and enter into programs that recognize Canada's official languages. I will take note of the Honourable Senator Tardif's question and the specific reference that she makes to the report of the Official Languages Commissioner and ask for a response to that specific recommendation of the Commissioner for Official Languages. I will therefore take that question as written notice.


Senator Tardif: Honourable senators, I have supplementary question. What comprehensive strategy does the government plan to bring in to help students learn both official languages in our post-secondary institutions, and what kind of funding will it provide?


Senator LeBreton: The honourable senator is well aware of the Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality that the Minister of Canadian Heritage has embarked upon. A significant amount of money was put into that program, much more than ever before. I will ask the minister to provide the Senate with an update of the results since the announcement of that program.


Military Escort of Olympic Flame

Hon. Joan Fraser: Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Tomorrow, as all honourable senators are aware, the Olympic flame will land in Victoria, British Columbia.

Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Senator Fraser: It will be a moment of great pride and excitement for all Canadians. However, I was a bit disconcerted to learn that four CF-18 Hornet fighter planes will escort it into Canadian airspace. I thought, "Okay, we give military escorts to all kinds of things." However, I became more disconcerted when I read comments made by the Minister of National Defence, who said:

Canadians are feeling very patriotic about what their soldiers, sailors . . . are doing, so there is a natural connection with the uniform, the service to country, the patriotism that is implicit in the Olympic Games.

We are deeply proud of our Armed Forces; I am not questioning that. However, they are fighting a horrible, bloody and dangerous war. The Olympic ideal is surely the antithesis of that war. Both in Ancient Greece and today, the Olympic ideal is not to foment patriotism and the wearing of uniforms and pride in fighting wars. The Olympic ideal is to transcend all of that and bring people together from all over the world in peace and fraternity.

Senator Comeau: Sing "Kumbaya."

Senator Fraser: Do you not see a dissonance here?

Senator Comeau: "Kumbaya." Let's sing that!

Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government and Minister of State (Seniors)): Honourable senators, I do not know where to start. Canadians are extremely proud of our Armed Forces and that the Olympics are coming to Canada. I watched CTV this morning to hear and see the flame ceremony and the excitement in Greece. The arrival of the flame tomorrow in Victoria will be joyful. What on earth is the honourable senator suggesting? Is she suggesting that Canadians should apologize for being proud of our Armed Forces? Is she suggesting Canadians should apologize for hosting the Olympics and for using our resources, whether military or non-military, to celebrate the arrival of the Olympic flame? This is such a good news story, but trust the honourable senator to find something negative about it.

Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Senator Fraser: Trust me to think that a government ought to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time.

Senator Comeau: That's quite a comeback.

Senator Fraser: Honourable senators, the point I was trying to make is that it is possible to be proud of our Armed Forces without associating the Olympics with militarism in any form. It has been only 10 days since the head of VANOC presented at the United Nations a resolution for an Olympic truce, which virtually everyone in the world, including Canada, supported. That tradition goes back about 3,000 years. Thus, I am a little bit confused by the apparent contradiction.

Senator Comeau: We agree.

Senator Fraser: Some honourable senators might think that it is natural but I am not the only one as I speak for others as well.

Senator LeBreton: Honourable senators, obviously the Olympic Games are a symbol of peace and goodwill but we are proud of our Armed Forces. They actually have decent equipment.

Senator Comeau: Finally.


Senator LeBreton: We are involved in a conflict in Afghanistan. What the honourable senator says is outrageous. Of course we support peace and security. Of course that is the ideal of the Olympics. Perhaps the honourable senator should go to Afghanistan and tell that to the Taliban.

Some Hon. Senators: Shame!


2010 Olympic Games

Hon. Céline Hervieux-Payette: Honourable senators, I would nevertheless like to remind the Leader of the Government in the Senate that the 1988 Olympic Games were held in western Canada and awarded when a Liberal government was in power. The 2010 Olympic Games were also an initiative of the Liberal government.

As for the clothing, I will not go there — I was the Minister of State for Sport when the Olympic Games were awarded and there was not a capital "L" for Liberal on the clothing. However, I would like to ask my colleague, who spoke of the recovery plan, if the federal government will agree to help the province of British Columbia, which has been particularly hard hit by this recession, cover a possible deficit. I would remind her that the Olympic Games — which were a Liberal initiative that took place with the cooperation of some of my colleagues still here in Ottawa — did not post a deficit at that time.

I would like to know whether or not the Leader of the Government can assure us that the government will provide assistance and help ensure that the Olympic Games in Vancouver are deficit free.


Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government and Minister of State (Seniors)): Honourable senators will notice that Senator Hervieux-Payette missed a certain Olympics that Canada did host, but we will not go there.

Honourable senators, the Olympics are a great celebration for Canada. The fact that the games were awarded to Canada is what matters, not under which party the Olympics were awarded, Liberals or Conservatives. The party is not the issue. The Olympics are a great celebration and honour for Canada and for all Canadians. Partisanship should not, and has not, entered into it.

I believe that VANOC, the Vancouver organizing committee, is mindful of the cost of the games, bearing in mind that since the games were awarded to Vancouver, the government has participated in supporting the games while we are in the midst of a world economic downturn. Nevertheless, I have confidence that the games will be successful. Canadians and people around the world will support the games. I believe that all Canadians, no matter who they are, where they are from, or what gender or nationality they are, will celebrate in unison this great event in Canada.

Public Safety

Firearms Registry

Hon. Terry M. Mercer: Honourable senators, the Conservatives are well known for their ethnically questionable advertising tactics.

Senator Tkachuk: Says who?

Senator Mercer: Says me.

Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Senator Mercer: Recent media reports quoting Conservative sources reveal a plan to blanket key opposition ridings with partisan anti-gun registry advertisements to bolster support for a private member's bill that seeks to gut the gun control legislation.

The same sources tell us that all an opposition member of Parliament must do to be spared from these smear tactics is to publicly support abolishing the gun registry.

Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.

Senator Mercer: Will the Honourable Leader of the Government in the Senate tell this chamber if these advertisements, like their partisan budget ads and their partisan infrastructure spending ads, will be paid for by the government? Does the leader consider political bullying to be a legitimate form of political debate?

Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.

Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government and Minister of State (Seniors)): Honourable senators, the Conservative Party has ample funds to pay for its own advertisements. There has never been an example, unlike in the past, where there was a definite blurring of the lines.

Senator Comeau: About $40 million.

Senator LeBreton: The advertisements to which the honourable senator refers are ads paid for by the Conservative Party of Canada in those ridings where members of Parliament ran in the last election, saying that they supported the abolition of the long-gun registry. The purpose of the ads, therefore, is to remind the members of their commitment to their constituents.

Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!


Delayed Answer to Oral Question

Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I have the honour of presenting a delayed answer to a question raised by Senator Hubley on October 7, 2009, on Foreign Affairs—Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Foreign Affairs

United Nations Convention on Cluster Munitions

(Response to question raised by Hon. Elizabeth Hubley on October 7, 2009)

Her Excellency Jillian Stirk, Ambassador of Canada to the Kingdom of Norway, signed the Convention on behalf of Canada, subject to ratification, on 3 December 2008.

Before the Government can ratify the Convention, legislation must be developed and enacted. The Government will consider ratification and the draft legislation over the next several months.

Prior to introducing the legislation in Parliament, it is intended that the Minister of Foreign Affairs will table the full text of the Convention with an explanatory memorandum in the House of Commons for 21 sitting days.

Following the 21 sitting day period, the Government will introduce the draft legislation necessary for Canada to meet all obligations under the Convention.

When the legislation has received Royal Assent, Canada will deposit an instrument of ratification with the Secretary General of the United Nations.

It is anticipated that the Minister of Foreign Affairs will deposit the instrument of ratification before the end of 2010.



Criminal Code

Bill to Amend—Second Reading

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Wallace, seconded by the Honourable Senator Johnson, for the second reading of Bill C-26, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (auto theft and trafficking in property obtained by crime).

Hon. Larry W. Campbell: Honourable senators, I find myself following that scintillating Question Period in being the first to speak on Bill C-26, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (auto theft and trafficking in property obtained by crime). As honourable senators know, this bill addresses trafficking, importation and exportation of property obtained by crime, but its main purpose is to target auto theft.

Across Canada, there is wide variance in the underlying reasons for vehicle theft. The West experiences higher theft rates, but also high vehicle recovery rates. This situation is generally attributed to the fact that the thieves are either teenage joyriders or drug addicts who use the vehicles for transportation and then abandon them.

In Quebec and Ontario, theft rates are lower and vehicle recovery rates are also much lower. The problem in these provinces is generally considered to be organized crime in which vehicles are disassembled, commonly referred to as "chopped," and resold as parts. These provinces also have a significant problem with what is known as "vehicle rebirthing," in which all the identifying tags are switched and the vehicle is sold, and stolen vehicles are exported to other countries.

This bill establishes the distinct offence of "theft of a motor vehicle." The bill creates a new offence for altering or removing a vehicle identification number; and it creates new offences for trafficking in, and possessing for the purpose of trafficking, property obtained by crime.

These offences are particularly important when attempting to fight auto theft related to organized crime. Organized crime groups have profited greatly from vehicle theft in Canada, and this bill will give law enforcement agencies more ability to target them. It is estimated that approximately one in five cars stolen in Canada have been stolen by organized crime to be chopped, reassembled, or shipped overseas.

Honourable senators, we are all aware that auto theft in Canada is a serious problem. Motor vehicle theft is estimated to cost Canadian taxpayers in excess of $1.2 billion a year, and the dangers involved put their safety at risk. As a former chief coroner, I know that, on average, 40 people per year die in this country due to auto theft.

Nonetheless, auto theft has declined substantially in recent years. This decline is due to changes in legislation, specifically federal legislation, making immobilization devices mandatory. This legislation, of course, will not save my 1955 Chevy three-quarter-ton from being stolen, but it is highly unlikely thieves will steal any car built after 2007.

This decline in auto theft is also due to the hard work and dedication of Canadian police forces. Our law enforcement agencies have been able to evolve and adapt with changes in criminal activity.

In British Columbia, we have what is known as the "bait car." This highly successful law enforcement tool is a bait car left in a parking lot with a remote immobilization device, and surprisingly, equipped with a video camera facing the driver. It is taken, the police follow and basically say, "Surprise." Some of the video is quite dramatic. In one case, a person in the car, who was high on meth, had a handgun and was contemplating whether life was worth living any more.


I support this bill. I believe it is another good step in the ongoing fight against auto theft.

Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.

Senator Campbell: It was supported in the house.

Senator Tkachuk: That has not stopped you before.

Senator Campbell: There are, however, some issues I would like to have raised in committee when we study this bill.

Some of the statistics that have been used in the study and discussion of this legislation are not as up-to-date as they could or should be. We cannot expect our justice system to effectively battle things like vehicle theft if our legislation is based on old data. That is something I would like to address at committee.

I would also like to address at committee some concrete evidence to support the implementation of minimum sentences for third-strike vehicle theft offences. That is something that the committee has dealt with in Bill C-26 and Bill C-15, and I suspect we will be dealing with it as we go forward on other government motions.

I look forward to hearing from expert witnesses on the subject when the time comes.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Is the house ready for the question?

Some Hon. Senators: Question.

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

(Motion agreed to and bill read the second time.)

Referred to Committee

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

(On motion of Senator Wallace, bill referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs.)

Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999

Bill to Amend—Second Reading

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Banks, seconded by the Honourable Senator Day, for the second reading of Bill S-212, An Act to amend the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.

Hon. Hector Daniel Lang: Honourable senators, thank you for the opportunity to speak on the issue of public participation and Bill S-212, An Act to Amend the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.

I would like to commend my committee colleague Senator Banks for demonstrating the passion we all share for a cleaner environment. There is no question that governments must move on many fronts if we are to live up to the expectations of Canadians. At the same time, we need to ensure that common sense prevails.

Bill S-212 primarily adopts the recommendations of a Senate committee on public participation and introduces a few additional amendments. Specifically, it proposes to do five things. For environmental protection actions, it proposes to remove the requirement that the offence alleged in an environmental protection action caused significant environmental harm.

For private prosecutions, it proposes a fine-splitting clause that would require that any fine obtained following a private prosecution be split equally between the private prosecutor and the Minister of the Environment, or the provincial government where the provincial government paid the expenses incurred in the prosecution. It proposes to authorize the court to order the offender to compensate a private prosecutor for the costs of undertaking the prosecution. It proposes to amend the limitation period so that, in the case of a private prosecution on summary conviction, it begins on the day on which the private prosecutor becomes aware of the subject matter of the proceedings. Finally, it proposes to authorize private prosecutors to request that a court vary an existing court order, suspended sentence or conditional discharge made under the act, a power that is currently only available to the Attorney General and the offender.

We have some concerns with these amendments on a number of fronts.

First, Bill S-212 proposes a fine-splitting scheme as a means to compensate private prosecutors for the cost of bringing a successful prosecution. The government supports the role of private prosecutions in ensuring the integrity of the criminal justice system. However, a scheme wherein 50 per cent of a fine must be paid to a private prosecutor could result in the private prosecutor not only recouping their costs but potentially profiting from the prosecution. The purpose of fines in the criminal justice system is to deter the commission of crimes, denounce crimes that have been committed and restore the damage caused by crimes. It is not to provide a profit to a private prosecutor.

The unintended consequence of such an outcome could be that when a judge is determining the amount of a fine that an offender must pay, the fact that a private prosecutor might substantially profit could influence the judge to drop the amount of the fine, which could undermine the objectives of deterrence and denunciation.

Fine-splitting tailored to the actual costs of the private prosecutor may alleviate some of these concerns wherein the judge determines the percentage to be allocated to the private prosecutor and the remainder goes to the Consolidated Revenue Fund or the Environmental Damages Fund as enacted in Bill C-16.

On this point, I note that Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 already allows for regulations that could direct how the proceeds from a fine may be distributed in order to reimburse costs associated with a private prosecution. The proposed amendment in Bill S-212 would supersede this regulation-making authority.

Furthermore, the fine-splitting clause conflicts with the policy direction under the government's Environmental Enforcement Act, which was granted Royal Assent just before Parliament rose for the summer. The Environmental Enforcement Act is the cornerstone of this government's efforts to improve enforcement of our environmental laws. Amendments proposed in Bill S-212 would limit the effectiveness of this policy objective.

Second, Bill S-212 proposes a court cost recovery scheme that could unfairly favour private prosecutors over defendants. The proposed amendment only authorizes the recovery of costs for private prosecutors, not for defendants. Superior Courts have inherent jurisdiction to award costs to either party, so this amendment is redundant at that level. However, provincial courts do not have inherent jurisdiction to award the recovery of costs and therefore would have to rely on section 809 of the Criminal Code to order the recovery of costs to the defendant since the proposed amendment only applies to prosecutors.

The authorized fees in the Criminal Code are largely symbolic and would only result in minimal cost recovery for the defendant compared to what the private prosecutor could recover under the amendment proposed by this bill.

Third, Bill S-212 also conflicts with the Environmental Enforcement Act with regard to the proposed amendment to the limitation period. Bill S-212 amends section 275 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, which is the limitation period, and it is our view that the proposed amendment in the Environmental Enforcement Act is preferable.

The government's Environmental Enforcement Act takes a more comprehensive approach to revise the limitation period so that it begins on the day the offence is committed, as opposed to the day on which the minister learns of it. It is extended to five years and it can be waived by agreement between the prosecution and defence.


This recommendation stems from the complications associated with proof of when the Minister of the Environment becomes aware of the offence. Also, extending the limitation period to five years and providing for a waiver of the limitation period upon agreement between the prosecutor and the defence counsel ensures that offences that go undetected for more than two years can still be prosecuted on summary conviction. Bill S-212 would defeat all of this which is another reason for disagreement.

Fourth, in relation to clause 6 of Bill S-212, which adds authority for a private prosecutor to apply to the court to vary a court order made upon sentencing, adding this reference does nothing to further public participation. Specifically, it will not remove barriers to private prosecutions as variance of a court order can only occur after a successful prosecution. Furthermore, this amendment is out of step with other federal statutes. It is for this reason the government does not support the bill.

Hon. Claudette Tardif (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, did the honourable senator indicate that this bill was not to go to committee? Did he indicate that he was not supportive of the bill and therefore it should not go to committee?

Senator Lang: That is a not the case at all. I spoke with the sponsoring member of the bill and indicated I would be speaking today and that we were prepared to move it on to committee to discuss it further.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Further debate? Are honourable senators ready for the question?

Some Hon. Senators: Question.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: It was moved by the Honourable Senator Banks, seconded by the Honourable Senator Day, that Bill S-212 be read a second time.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

(Motion agreed to and bill read second time.)

Referred to Committee

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

(On motion of Senator Tardif, bill referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources.)

Business of the Senate

Hon. Grant Mitchell: Honourable senators, I ask leave to revert to Item No. 14 on Bill S-213.

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

An Hon. Senator: Whose bill is it?

Senator Mitchell: It is my bill.

Some Hon. Senators: Why?

Senator Mitchell: I simply want to ask the government side when their critic on this bill will be prepared to speak to it. I spoke to the bill in February, and on October 6, Senator Di Nino made the point when he asked to adjourn:

. . . Bill S-213 encompasses important, complex issues that require a great deal of attention and research. I have not yet completed my work on the bill and therefore . . .

Some Hon. Senators: Order.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Senator Mitchell, you asked for leave.

Is leave granted, honourable senators?

Some Hon. Senators: No.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Leave is not granted.

Senator Mitchell: Thank you. I appreciate it.

National Security and Defence

Quorum for Subcommittee on Agenda and Procedure—Motion—Vote Deferred

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Tkachuk, seconded by the Honourable Senator Cochrane:

That it be an instruction to the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence that it adopt a motion to provide that its Subcommittee on Agenda and Procedure may only convene provided that it meets its quorum of three members and that one member from each recognized party is present.

Hon. David Tkachuk: Question.

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

Hon. Claudette Tardif (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): I would like to move the adjournment of the debate. Senator Banks is not here at this time and it is adjourned under his name. Senator Banks should have the opportunity to speak on the motion. Therefore, I move the adjournment in his name.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: It is moved by Senator Tardif that further debate be adjourned until the next sitting.

Some Hon. Senators: No.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: All those in favour of the motion to adjourn the debate will signify by saying "yea."

Some Hon. Senators: Yea.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: All those opposed will signify by saying "nay."

Some Hon. Senators: Nay.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: In my opinion, the nays have it.

And two honourable senators having risen:

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Is there an agreement between the whips on the time of the bell? Order please.

Hon. Terry Stratton: If I may refer to rule 67(3), and we are calling for a deferred vote here.

When a standing vote has been deferred, pursuant to section (1) above, on a Thursday and the next day the Senate sits is a Friday, the Chief Government Whip may, from his or her place in the Senate at any time before the time for the taking of the deferred vote, again defer the vote until 5:30 o'clock on the next day thereafter the Senate sits.

Why would I use this rule? Senator Banks is not here so we owe him that.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Honourable senators, I would like to call your attention to rule 67(1):

After a standing vote has been requested, pursuant to rule 65(3), on a motion which is debatable . . .

Honourable senators, a motion to adjourn is not debatable.

Is there agreement between the two whips on the time for the bell?

Senator Stratton: Thirty-minute bell. Do you agree with a fifteen-minute bell?

Hon. Jim Munson: Thirty-minute bell.

Senator Stratton: Thirty-minute bell.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Call in the senators. The vote will be at 3:40.


Motion negatived on the following division:





Lovelace Nicholas










































Nancy Ruth







Di Nino













St. Germain


Stewart Olsen









The Hon. the Speaker: The motion is defeated.

The question before the house is resuming debate on Item No. 86 on the Order Paper. Are honourable senators ready for the question?

Some Hon. Senators: Question!

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

Some Hon. Senators: Yea.

Some Hon. Senators: Nay.

The Hon. the Speaker: Carried on division?

Senator Tardif: No.

Some Hon. Senators: No.

The Hon. the Speaker: Will those in favour of the motion please say "yea."

Some Hon. Senators: Yea.

The Hon. the Speaker: Will those opposed to the motion please say "nay."

Some Hon. Senators: Nay.

The Hon. the Speaker: In my opinion, the "yeas" have it.

And two honourable senators having risen:

The Hon. the Speaker: Call in the senators.

Senator Munson: Your Honour, under rule 67(3), we would like to see this vote deferred until the next sitting of the Senate.

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, this motion from the Opposition whip is in accordance with the Rules of the Senate of Canada.

Senator Munson, please repeat the date you would like to defer until.

Senator Munson: We would like to see it deferred until next Tuesday at 5:30.

The Hon. the Speaker: Were the next sitting on Friday, the rules provide for when that vote would take place. If it is next Tuesday, it provides for that, as well.

Rules of the Senate

Motion to Amend Rules 86(1)(r) and 86(1)(t)—Debate Continued

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Kenny, seconded by the Honourable Senator Moore:

That the Rules of the Senate be amended:

(1) In rule 86(1)(r), by deleting the words ", including veterans affairs"; and

(2) By adding, after rule 86(1)(t), the following:

"(u) The Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, composed of twelve members, four of whom shall constitute a quorum, to which may be referred, as the Senate may decide, bills, messages, petitions, inquiries, papers and other matters relating to veterans affairs generally."

Hon. Joseph A. Day: Honourable senators will note that Item No. 58 on the Order Paper is at day 15. As I understand the rules, if it is not adjourned or spoken to, it will fall off the Order Paper.

Honourable senators, this is Senator Kenny's motion. Senator Kenny is not able to be here and I have not received instructions from him. However, I can tell honourable senators that this motion was filed by Senator Kenny after a motion in our committee. It was filed on behalf of the committee and it expresses the view of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence.

The objective was and remains to create a separate committee dealing with veterans affairs, because there are many of us in this chamber who believe that we should have a separate committee on veterans affairs.


However, honourable senators, the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and Rights of Parliament is seized of the issue in a broader sense of looking at the number of committees that exist. Presumably, that would be one of the issues that they are considering. It is for that reason that there has been no debate on this particular motion pending the results of the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament.

Therefore, honourable senators, with your indulgence, I would request an adjournment of this motion in my name for the remainder of my name.

(On motion of Senator Day, debate adjourned).

Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament

Committee Authorized to Extend Date of Final Report on Study of Senate Committee System

Hon. David P. Smith, for Senator Oliver, pursuant to notice of October 28, 2009, moved:

That notwithstanding the Order of the Senate adopted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009, and Tuesday, June 16, 2009, the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament which was authorized to examine and report on the Senate committee system as established under rule 86, taking into consideration the size, mandate, and quorum of each committee; the total number of committees; and available human and financial resources, be empowered to extend the date of presenting its final report from October 30, 2009 to March 31, 2010.

He said: The committee has been studying this order of reference and we find that we need more time.

The Hon. the Speaker: I need a motion.

Senator Smith: I move the motion standing in the name of Senator Oliver.

(Motion agreed to.)

Committee Authorized to Extend Date of Final Report on Study of Motion to Televise Proceedings

Hon. David P. Smith, for Senator Oliver, pursuant to notice of October 28, 2009, moved:

That notwithstanding the Order of the Senate adopted on Wednesday, June 17, 2009, the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament which was authorized to approve in principle the installation of equipment necessary to the broadcast quality audio-visual recording of its proceedings and other approved events in the Senate Chamber and in no fewer than four rooms ordinarily used for meetings by committees of the Senate, be empowered to extend the date of presenting its final report from November 18, 2009 to March 31, 2010.

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

(Motion agreed to).


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

Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, with leave of the Senate and notwithstanding rule 58(1)(h), I move:

That when the Senate adjourn today it do stand adjourned until Tuesday, November 3, 2009, at 2 p.m.

He said: Before I move the adjournment motion, for the benefit of a number of new senators who have approached me on this subject and some who may have been here for a number of years, allow me to explain the motion we just passed and the notion of unanimous consent.

I sought leave to move the motion that when we adjourn today, we stand adjourned until Tuesday of next weak. "Leave" means that every senator present in this chamber had to agree — unanimous consent. If one senator had said "no," the adjournment motion would have had us sit tomorrow at 9 a.m. This, as has been suggested by some, is not a significant difference of opinion. This is not a difference of interpretation; this is a rule of the Senate.

Every last senator in this chamber must agree. It is not my decision; it is not a government decision; it is the decision of this chamber and of all senators in this chamber.

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, again, in the same spirit as the Honourable Senator Comeau, for clarity, the Chief Opposition Whip had exercised his right. We now know that when the house adjourns, it will return on Tuesday. Therefore, to ensure everyone knows, that vote will be at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Is leave granted, honourable senators?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

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

(Motion agreed to.)

(The Senate adjourned until Tuesday, November 3, 2009, at 2 p.m.)