Debates of the Senate (Hansard)
2nd Session, 40th Parliament,
Volume 146, Issue 66
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, Speaker
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
The Senate met at 2 p.m., the Speaker pro tempore in the chair.
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Honourable senators,
before we proceed, I would ask you to rise and observe one minute of silence in
memory of Sapper Steven Marshall, whose tragic death occurred while serving his
country in Afghanistan.
Honourable senators then stood in silent tribute.
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Honourable senators,
pursuant to rule 22(10), the Leader of the Opposition has requested that the
time provided for the consideration of Senators' Statements be extended today
for the purpose of paying tribute to the Right Honourable Roméo Leblanc, P.C.,
whose death occurred on June 24, 2009.
I would remind honourable senators that, pursuant to our rules, each senator
will be allowed three minutes and may speak only once, for a maximum time of
tributes of fifteen minutes.
Hon. Noël A. Kinsella: Honourable senators, the Right Honourable Roméo
LeBlanc served this honourable house as its forty-third Speaker. Today, as we
pay tribute to this remarkable Canadian, it is only appropriate that the
forty-sixth Speaker of the Senate would rise at his desk in this chamber to
salute the life's journey of one of our most distinguished predecessors. Our
friend, the Right Honourable Roméo LeBlanc, was an outstanding son of l'Acadie,
a distinguished New Brunswicker and the finest Atlantic Canadian to occupy the
vice-regal office in Ottawa as the twenty-fifth Governor General of Canada.
Throughout his career, Mr. LeBlanc was known for his humility and his endless
battle for French language and culture. He used his Acadian roots to show that
francophones outside Quebec could succeed within Canada, and to show that
francophones and anglophones could work together.
He became a prominent figure in the Acadian revival, and was known in Canada
and throughout the entire world as a voice for the people of New Brunswick,
regardless of their social origin.
The field of education in our province was enriched by His Excellency who
began as a teacher in Drummond High School and later through the teaching of
French and civics at the New Brunswick Teachers' College in Fredericton. As the
New Brunswick member of federal cabinet, having served as Minister of Fisheries
and the Environment and later Minister of Public Works, His Excellency was
always loyal to the people of our province of New Brunswick.
Roméo du Cove was the affectionate appellation by which the young Roméo
LeBlanc was known. He was born in Cormier's Cove, a small community of 28
houses. He grew up during the Great Depression. In an interview, he recalled how
hunger was a fact of life for some and how food was given generously in that
As a student at the University of St. Joseph's College in Memramcook, Roméo
LeBlanc was a beneficiary of the wonderful teachers from Congrégation de
Sainte-Croix. It was during his St. Joseph's years that His Excellency served as
editor-in-chief of the college newspaper, an experience that was to presage an
attraction to the field of journalism, which took him on assignments throughout
the world and to the role of press secretary in the Prime Minister's Office of
It was our privilege, honourable senators, to have been his colleagues in the
Senate of Canada, where he served as Speaker with fairness, integrity and
sensitivity. We will remember him as an intelligent, dedicated man who
contributed to the well-being of his country. It was, therefore, appropriate
that the leadership of a thankful nation joined with his family, friends and
community to lay him at rest in his beloved Memramcook. May he be at peace in
the bosom of Abraham.
Hon. James S. Cowan (Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators,
the Right Honourable Roméo LeBlanc was a fiercely proud Acadian, New Brunswicker
and Canadian. He epitomized, in so many ways, the best of what this country is
and can be. Roméo LeBlanc did not come from privilege. He was born in 1927 in
Cormier's Cove, New Brunswick, the youngest of seven children. He grew up during
the Depression on a subsistence farm. Despite the difficult circumstances, his
talents and potential were evident from a young age.
People can react to life situations in many ways. Roméo LeBlanc responded
with courage and optimism. Those who were privileged to know him saw these
traits demonstrated over and over no matter what challenges were presented to
him. Each time his chosen life path was knocked off course by events beyond his
control, he turned around and set out on a new path.
This man, who ended up deeply involved in the political life of this country,
began as a teacher and journalist. He used to quote an Inuit proverbial phrase —
a long time ago in the future — which, as he described it, meant: Let the
children see our history and maybe it will help to shape the future.
As a teacher, he taught others to see that history. As a journalist, he wrote
down the present, creating the historical record. Later, as a parliamentarian
and cabinet minister, he took that history and helped shape the Canadian future.
As press secretary to Prime Ministers Pearson and Trudeau, from 1967 to 1971,
he was a witness to both extraordinarily exciting and terribly difficult times
in our nation's history. In 1972, he was elected to represent Westmorland-Kent
and was re-elected on three occasions. He served as cabinet minister in several
portfolios under Prime Minister Trudeau, but the portfolio for which he will
always be most closely associated is Fisheries. He served as the Minister of
Fisheries in three of Prime Minister Trudeau's cabinets, becoming the longest
serving Fisheries minister in Canadian history.
Perhaps, most importantly — certainly to him — was the moniker he acquired.
He was known as the "fishermen's friend." In 1984, Prime Minister Trudeau
summoned him to this chamber, where he sat for the next decade. His work as a
senator focused a great deal on international activities and issues. In 1993, he
was appointed Speaker of the Senate. His integrity and good judgment earned him
the respect of senators on both sides of the chamber.
In February 1995, Roméo LeBlanc was appointed Canada's twenty-fifth Governor
General, the first Acadian and Maritimer to serve in that position.
When he died on June 24, 2009, he left a truly extraordinary legacy: An
example of a man from a small community, in a small province, who rose to the
highest position in the land, never for a moment forgetting his origins or his
gratitude to the many people who helped make his success possible.
He loved this country, and all that it represents, with a fierce pride. He
was a deeply committed Acadian. It was his birthright and his joy. He was a
proud defender of the French language. He believed in the power of government to
do good. He knew first-hand how much government can help those less fortunate
to do better and, perhaps, like him, achieve even beyond their dreams.
His family always came first. He loved his family with a pride and devotion
that was always a joy to see. His wife Diana, daughter Geneviève, and of course,
his deeply loved son Dominic, the member of Parliament for a riding that he once
held, are his greatest legacy. How proud he would be to see Dominic making such
a great contribution to the family business of public service.
When he was installed as Governor General, Mr. LeBlanc said, "If I am to be
known for anything, I would like it to be for encouraging Canadians, for knowing
a little bit about their daily, extraordinary courage, and for wanting that
courage to be recognized."
More than 2,000 people travelled to the small village of Memramcook to pay
their respects at Roméo LeBlanc's funeral. His life was truly extraordinary. He
would no doubt have said that his achievements were only possible because of the
values and convictions of the people of Canada. However, there is no question
that Canada is a better place because of the Right Honourable Roméo LeBlanc.
Hon. Bill Rompkey: I, too, want to say a few words on behalf of an old
friend of mine. I want to acknowledge the presence of Dominic and, of course,
other members of the family, as well. As Senator Cowan has said, perhaps the
best tribute to Roméo is his son, and he would be proud of Dominic's
I want to recollect about the sons of politicians. My own son Peter, who was
two years old when I came to Ottawa in 1972, looked up at his mother when he was
five years old and said, "Mom, have I been in politics all my life?" I have a
picture of Dominic in Swift Current when we were down at Don Jamieson's for an
Atlantic caucus. Dominic was just a boy and now he is a man, and that is the
best tribute that can be paid to Roméo.
He was elected with me in 1972. We both sat on the Fisheries Committee. We
discovered that, although we spoke different languages, we were the same people.
I was a relatively new Canadian but I found out that this man had similar
interests, and similar people as the ones I represented.
Then he went on to be minister. I want to talk about the way he ran that
department. There are people here today in the gallery who were with him: Jean
Haché and Joe Gough are both here, and they know — along with others — that the
way Roméo ran that department was not simply as a leader and a chief but as a
friend. There was a kind of cohesion in that department that, I am sad to say, I
do not think we have today.
Not only could they approach the minister, but Len Cowley, who was Regional
Director in Newfoundland, could pick up the phone and get through to Roméo's
office. That was the kind of office he ran. He was in touch with what was
happening at the local level.
I once took him down to La Scie, on the East Coast of Newfoundland, and I
have to say that of all the ministers, he was the one who related to them and
they related to him. Again, language was not a barrier. It was a question of
personality, of character and background, and he understood them and they
understood him. I will never forget that particular meeting.
I want to emphasize one instance, in particular, that I think illustrates the
way that Roméo became known as the "fishermen's minister." In the 1970s, we
discovered 11,000 tonnes of deep sea shrimp off the Newfoundland and Labrador
coast as a result of research. Roméo had to decide how to allocate it. He
allocated it by ensuring a number of those licences were put aside for the
fishermen of the North Coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, even though they did
not have the infrastructure.
As a result, the fishermen's co-op, the Labrador Fishermen's Union Shrimp
Company, exists today because Roméo took that step of ensuring those licences
were put aside so that, when they could, they would develop them. That co-op
runs all the plants along the coast of Labrador today and it is due to Roméo
LeBlanc. That is why he is known as the "fishermen's minister."
Hon. Fernand Robichaud: Honourable senators, six months ago, with the
death of the Right Honourable Roméo Leblanc, Acadia and the whole country were
plunged into national mourning. To date, nearly everything that can be has been
said and written about his careers as a teacher, a journalist, a politician and
Governor General. Much has also been said about his values, his commitments, his
talents and his numerous achievements. He lived a very full life with no
Today, I would like to talk about the person I knew. I was always impressed
by his warm welcome and his empathy for people. Everyone called him Roméo. If
anyone dared to call him Mr. Minister, Roméo would simply say, "Stop that."
Roméo knew the people in his riding, and they knew him. He knew how to listen
to people and put them at ease. No matter who needed to be heard, Roméo took the
time to meet with them, listen to them and understand their situation.
Roméo was someone who did not hesitate to put on his boots, roll up his
sleeves and venture out to the wharves to see what sort of condition they were
in and discuss it with the fishers. He could relate to people on their own
level, listening to them and understanding their concerns. He always found the
words to explain the steps to take or the solutions to problems.
Roméo loved to meet people. He was disarmingly straightforward and got along
well with townspeople and city folk, officials and business people, workers and
academics. He would offer his friends a bowl of stew he had made or a salad of
tomatoes he had grown himself.
Roméo loved to laugh. He loved to tell lively, funny stories just as much as
he loved to welcome people at home and elsewhere. Moreover, people who met him
only briefly felt as though they had known him forever.
Honourable senators, that ability to be comfortable with people and put them
at ease stayed with him throughout his career. That empathy for others served
him very well in the highest offices in this country, which he held with
intelligence, simplicity and dignity. People were drawn to his humanity and his
Honourable senators, I want to join all those who have recognized Roméo
Leblanc as a great Canadian who served his people, his province and his country
well. Thank you, Roméo!
Hon. Rose-Marie Losier-Cool: Honourable senators, today I would like
to bid an official farewell to a great man from my part of the country, the
Right Honourable Roméo LeBlanc, who passed away on June 24.
As the very first Acadian to represent Canada when he was appointed Governor
General in February 1995, Roméo LeBlanc became another powerful symbol of modern
Acadia, just like Ti-Louis Robichaud before him. He showed us that History with
a capital "H" can bring justice to those it once wronged.
But Roméo LeBlanc was a guiding light well before taking up his country's
highest office. I remember him as an inspiring summer school teacher in
Memramcook before he entered politics alongside greats such as Pearson and
I remember the incredible work he did for his constituents as the member for
Kent-Westmorland from 1972 to 1984. They will not forget their former member
anytime soon, though their riding is now known as Beauséjour and their
representative is his son, Dominic, to whom I pledge my full support.
I will never forget his memorable time at Fisheries and Oceans, when he
fought so hard for one of our economy's critical industries, an industry that so
many Acadians participate in. He continued to defend the industry after
retiring, and his name was associated with a medal awarded each year in honour
of responsible fishing practices.
I know that, like me, many of you have wonderful memories of Senator Roméo
Leblanc, who sat in this chamber from 1984 to 1995 and who even presided over
the Senate during his last year on the Hill. When Roméo LeBlanc was appointed
Governor General, it was my honour to replace him here in the Senate.
Throughout his long career, Roméo LeBlanc regularly changed titles, offices
and residences, but two things remained constant and were admired by all: his
big heart and his simplicity. These two qualities are typically rare, but less
so among Acadians, and Roméo LeBlanc was one of their greatest spokespeople.
I thank him from the bottom of my heart for having represented us so well,
and I am sure that he is still proud of us wherever he is. I will end with a
line from a lovely Acadian folk song, Roméo LeBlanc's favourite and the song
that was sung at the former fisheries minister's funeral, "Friends, let us leave
quietly; the fishing will be good."
My sincere condolences to you, Dominic, and to your whole family.
Hon. Joseph A. Day: Honourable senators, is it one's career that
defines the person, or is it the person who defines his career? Roméo LeBlanc
was a wonderfully diverse person who had a wonderfully diverse career, but I
suggest to you his career was more a function of his personality and upbringing
than vice versa.
He was the youngest of seven children born in a small francophone community
in southeastern New Brunswick. Being the youngest of seven may have explained
why the other members of the family helped him to finish high school when none
of them had had that opportunity. He continued his studies and obtained a
Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of St. Joseph's College in
Memramcook. Next, he worked in Montreal at a student newspaper and later at
L'Evangeline, a French newspaper in Moncton. He soon returned to St.
Joseph's to complete his education degree, after which he taught for a period of
time until he received a scholarship to attend the Sorbonne in Paris.
He returned to Canada and was soon hired by Radio-Canada, where he remained
for eight years working in Washington and London. In 1967, Prime Minister Lester
Pearson persuaded Roméo LeBlanc to return to Canada and work in his office at
the Prime Minister's Office in Ottawa.
Shortly after, Mr. Pearson resigned and Pierre Trudeau became leader of the
Liberal Party and Prime Minister. Roméo LeBlanc stayed on with Mr. Trudeau until
1971, when he returned to work at the University of Moncton, at the time a very
fast growing, French-language university.
An opportunity came for him to run for political office in 1972. The only
difficulty was that his opponent for the Liberal Party nomination was also named
Roméo LeBlanc. His opponent was much shorter, so we called him "little Romeo."
Big Romeo won the nomination and proceeded to Ottawa, where he became a cabinet
minister from 1974 until 1984, with a hiatus of nine months during Joe Clark's
Roméo LeBlanc is probably best known for his work as Minister of Fisheries.
Honourable senators have heard many stories of him being a friend of the
fishermen. I remember him well during this period as the minister responsible
for New Brunswick, and how fair he was in the involvement of the federal
government in the development of the Province of New Brunswick.
He served in this chamber for nine years, his final year as Speaker. I was
privileged to be here in the chamber when he was sworn in as the twenty-fifth
Governor General of Canada. There was not a dry eye in the gallery, I can tell
you, from all my Acadian friends who were in attendance with me.
Honourable senators, Roméo LeBlanc was a gentle, modest and accomplished man,
who communicated his principles of loyalty to family and society throughout his
province and indeed the entire nation—very successfully. Here in the Senate, we
would like Roméo LeBlanc's children, Dominic and Geneviève, to know what a
difference he made to the people of New Brunswick and the rest of Canada.
Hon. Jerahmiel S. Grafstein: Honourable senators, I rise to pay
tribute to the late and great Roméo LeBlanc.
I first met Roméo when I came to Ottawa in the 1960s as chief of staff to a
minister in the Pearson government. Roméo was the go-to man for advice. He was
available for all bushy-tailed, overeager, overambitious young assistants, as
many of us were.
Roméo was an unusual man and a most unlikely politician. He was modest,
almost shy, unassuming, humble and so unlike most public or, in particular,
political men. He was a great listener. He was truly bilingual, or might I say,
trilingual. He spoke careful, impeccable English; he was articulate in French;
and he spoke grassroots Acadian. As a teacher, journalist, broadcaster, press
officer, writer and speaker, he loved both the written and spoken word. He was a
great speech writer and an excellent and compelling, if modest, speaker in the
Churchillian style. He was a simple man, always refusing to take credit for his
many accomplishments and always refraining from the limelight. Both Mr. Pearson
and Mr. Trudeau cherished the written and spoken word, and his words and advice
to them were highly regarded and respected.
I will also remember Roméo as an approachable politician who had a golden
gut. He did not need to read polls. He could tell you what the public opinion
was on any issue. He was a remarkable Canadian who made a difference in all that
he did and to everyone he met. Our hearts go out to Dominic, my friend, and to
his family. His light will continue to burn brightly in our memory. Godspeed.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, may I draw to your
attention the presence, below the bar, of the honourable member for Beauséjour,
On behalf of all honourable senators, I welcome you to the Senate of Canada.
Hon. Fred J. Dickson: Honourable senators, I am humbled and honoured
to stand in this chamber and respectfully suggest that we reflect now on the
commitment and dedication to public service of the late Honourable George Isaac
Smith, better known to most as "G.I." or "Ike."
A tribute in his honour is being presented by the Colchester Historical
Society in the society's museum in Truro, Nova Scotia, from November 7, 2009 to
April 2010. I compliment the officers and directors of the society for their
ongoing success and commitment to delivering extensive historical programs in
Colchester to its residents and visitors.
Honourable senators, I think we all agree that the Honourable G.I. Smith had
a distinguished career of public service spanning almost 50 years: soldier, MLA,
cabinet minister in the provincial government under Robert L. Stanfield, Premier
of Nova Scotia, and senator.
From my work as a law partner of Senator Smith's in the early 1970s, and my
association with his many friends of all political beliefs, I have concluded —
no doubt like you, honourable senators — that he unquestionably gave of himself,
always in the public interest and for the service of his country. Ike sought
nothing in return.
The many accomplishments of his career can only be described by the word
"excellence." Sir John A. Macdonald often spoke of the "builders of Canada."
Honourable senators, I know you will agree that G.I. not only had but
demonstrated all the qualities worthy of that label.
Honourable Senator Eugene Forsey, in describing the talents of Honourable
Senator Smith, said:
Honourable senators, I cannot hope to compete in either eloquence or wit
with the Honourable Senator Smith. I am moved, however, to say I think we have
had another proof of the extraordinary asset that has been brought to this
chamber by the appointment of Honourable Senator Smith.
Senator Forsey went on to say:
I do not mean by this to endorse every sentence uttered, but it is
perfectly clear that we have now amongst us a very distinguished acquisition
to this chamber.
Before his political career, Senator Smith went on active service with the
North Nova Scotia Highlanders in 1939, just before the outbreak of hostilities.
He continued to serve actively until six months after the end of World War II.
Senator Smith had an exemplary military career achieving the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, becoming a member of the Order of the British Empire and being honoured
by the Dutch government with the Order of Orange Nassau.
G.I. embarked upon a second successful campaign following his return from
military service. He joined others to rejuvenate the Progressive Conservative
Party of Nova Scotia under the leadership of Robert L. Stanfield, ending 23
years of Liberal rule in 1956. G.I. was instrumental, as Minister of Finance and
Economics, in carrying forward the Progressive Conservative agenda for
industrial development in Nova Scotia.
Senator Smith succeeded Robert Stanfield as Premier of Nova Scotia. He played
a leading role in the establishment of Medicare in Nova Scotia. As a minister,
premier and senator, he played a leading role in incorporating into the
Constitution those sections dealing with regional disparity and equalization.
Honourable senators, may I have two more minutes?
The Hon. the Speaker: The Honourable Senator Mahovlich.
Hon. Francis William Mahovlich: Honourable senators, I rise to pay
tribute to the quintessential Toronto Maple Leaf who passed away on August 14,
2009: Ted "Teeder" Kennedy.
Born in Port Colborne, Ontario, Ted grew up with the love of hockey and was
first scouted by the Montreal Canadiens at the age of 16. While that
relationship was short-lived, he had a long and successful career as a centre
with the Toronto Maple Leafs. During his 12 seasons with the team, he was team
captain for nine years, won five Stanley Cups and won the Hart Trophy for most
Former Leafs owner and manager Conn Smythe said that he was not a superbly
gifted athlete in the way that some players were, but that he accomplished more
than most of them by never playing a shift where he did not give everything he
had. Others will remember him as a great team captain, one who showed tremendous
determination, resolve and constant will to succeed.
He retired briefly in 1955, only to return the following season and play 30
games. When the Toronto Maple Leafs did not make the playoffs that year, he sat
out the last three games so that management could look at what he called, "the
new generation to lead the team." That new generation player he sat out for was
After his retirement from the game, Ted coached Peterborough's junior hockey
team and pursued his passion for thoroughbred racing by opening and operating a
thoroughbred racing centre. He was also involved with the Special Olympics in
Canada. He was named to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1966 and was one of the first
Leafs to have his number raised to the roof at Maple Leaf Gardens.
Ted was a great man and one that I respected tremendously. He will be greatly
missed by the many fans who would call out on Saturday night, "Come on, Teeder!"
Hon. Michael A. Meighen: Honourable senators, Thursday, November 5,
marks the first day of Veterans Week in Canada, to be officially launched with a
ceremony in the Senate Chamber the following morning. Culminating with
Remembrance Day on November 11, Veterans Week gives citizens from all parts of
the country an opportunity to thank our veterans and their families for their
service to Canada. Veterans Week is a time to honour all those veterans who
suffered injuries, risked their lives and, in too many cases, sacrificed their
lives so that we might live in freedom. Honourable senators, our veterans, both
living and departed, are heroes in every sense of the word. They deserve our
eternal gratitude and reverence.
From those who served in two world wars, the Korean conflict and various
international peacekeeping missions to those who have fought in Afghanistan, our
veterans have answered the call for Canada. They have answered the call in
defence of the values and principles that we have in common. They have
sacrificed to ensure our way of life. In times of war and peace, Canada's
veterans have done much to distinguish themselves and to inspire pride in this
country. They have helped to forge Canada's identity. This is their legacy to
us. It is a legacy that our men and women in uniform bravely continue today in
Veterans Week is an opportunity to reflect upon those many contributions.
Along with Remembrance Day, it is also a time when we can pay our respects to
those veterans and soldiers who have passed on.
Most importantly of all, we must take the time to remember that freedom is
not free and never has been. In fact, it comes at a heavy, often tragic cost. We
only need to count the tombstones of our fallen soldiers who died serving their
country. We are privileged to live in a country like Canada, and we owe much, if
not all of that to the ordinary men and women who have made the most
extraordinary sacrifices. We must never forget them.
Honourable senators, our veterans are not looking for glory, for they have
already achieved that. They simply want us to remember their comrades-in-arms,
those who never made it back with them, those whom they promised they would
Honourable senators, we should take the occasion of Veterans Week to thank
the families of our veterans and the families of our men and women in Canada's
military for the support they give to their loved ones. The families, too, serve
our country. As we pay tribute to our veterans during Veterans Week, we must be
humble in the knowledge that whatever we do it can never be enough to honour
those who have given of themselves so that we might have the privilege of living
in the greatest country in the world. Lest we forget.
Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable
senators, pursuant to section 94(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection
Act, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 2009 annual
report on immigration.
Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable
senators, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the 2008-09
annual report of the Office of the Correctional Investigator, pursuant to
section 192 of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act.
Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable
senators, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the
government's response to the fifth report of the Standing Senate Committee on
Aboriginal Peoples, entitled New Voter Identification Procedures and Related
Impacts on Aboriginal Peoples and Communities in Canada.
Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable
senators, I have the honour to table the 2007-08 and 2008-09 annual reports of
the Global Centre for Pluralism and the 2009 Summary of the Corporate Plan for
the Global Centre for Pluralism.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I have the honour to table,
in both official languages, the November 2009 report of the Auditor General of
Canada pursuant to section 7(3) of the Auditor General Act.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I have the honour to table,
in both official languages, the 2008-09 Annual Report of the Office of the
Auditor General of Canada on the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act,
pursuant to section 72 of both said acts.
Hon. Jane Cordy: Honourable senators, I have the honour to table, in
both official languages, the report of the Canadian parliamentary delegation of
the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association to the Conference on NATO's New
Strategic Concept: Launching the Process, held in Brussels, Belgium, on July 7,
Hon. Anne C. Cools: Honourable senators, pursuant to rules 56(1) and
(2) and 57(2), I give notice that, two days hence, I will call the attention of
the Senate to:
(a) this year's Remembrance Day on November 11, 2009, when we shall
remember, celebrate and honour the veterans of Canada, those who served, and
those who fell in active combat in their assigned theatres of war particularly
in World War II, in defence of God, King, and Country, Canada, the British
Commonwealth and the Allied countries; and
(b) to Canadian airmen in World War II, particularly those who
served with Royal Air Force Bomber Command, being both those with 6 Group
R.C.A.F., and those with the other Bomber Command Squadrons, including
Squadron Leader Ian Bazalgette, and some Canadian Senators, to those Canadian
airmen in arms who faced many thousands of German anti-aircraft guns nightly;
(c) to the Nanton Lancaster Society Air Museum, in Nanton, Alberta,
and its own Canada's Bomber Command Memorial, being a wall of remembrance
wherein are inscribed the names of the 10,643 fallen Canadian airmen as a
monument to their sacrifice; and
(d) to the August 15, 2009 Nanton Lancaster Society Air Museum's
remembrance ceremony which also celebrated the twinning of the towns Nanton,
Alberta and Senantes, France, and which ceremony was attended by the Mayors of
these two towns; and
(e) to Squadron Leader Ian Bazalgette an Albertan raised in England,
who received the Victoria Cross for his courage in landing his crippled,
enflamed Lancaster Bomber, with its injured crew, while successfully avoiding
the destruction of Senantes, a village of 200 people, whose residents
retrieved his body, hid it from the Germans and later buried him in their
church yard where he now rests, fully adopted by the people of Senantes; and
(f) to the numerous volunteers and concerned individuals whose
tireless efforts preserve and maintain their Lancaster Society Air Museum,
their Lancaster Bomber, and their wall of remembrance dedicated to the 10,643
Canadian airmen who fell in Bomber Command, that Command which for many years
was the only Allied offensive against Fortress Europe; and
(g) to honour, to celebrate, to uphold and to thank all the
remarkable Canadian veterans for their incalculable contributions to humanity
during World War II.
Hon. James S. Cowan (Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators,
my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate.
The H1N1 influenza pandemic first surfaced in April. On April 27, the leader
of the Liberal Party demanded that the government come up with a plan to deal
with the outbreak. Health Minister Aglukkaq told Canadians that her government
had "a national plan for disease outbreaks" and that they were following it.
On April 28, the next day, she assured members in the other place that the
government plan "included the stockpiling of vaccines for provinces and
In May 2009, the United States and the United Kingdom placed orders for the
H1N1 vaccine. On July 7, the World Health Organization recommended massive
vaccinations in response to H1N1. The United States, France, the Netherlands and
Switzerland soon had signed supply contracts
Only on August 6, three months after the United States first placed its
order, did the Canadian government finally order the vaccine for Canadians. On
July 7, the WHO recommended that pregnant women receive the non-adjuvanted
version of the vaccine, but this government waited until September 4, two months
later, to place its order for this vaccine for pregnant women.
China began mass vaccinations on September 21; Australia on September 30; the
United States on October 5; Sweden on October 12; Japan on October 19; Britain
on October 21. Canadians did not receive their first dose until October 26.
Why did the government put Canadians at the end of the line? Why did the
government not act sooner to protect Canadians, as other countries were able to
do for their citizens?
Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government and Minister of State
(Seniors)): Honourable senators, the government has and had a plan with the
provinces and territories. The premiers, when they met in the summer in Regina,
agreed to this plan. The pandemic plan was put in place by the government as a
result of SARS. The premiers agreed to the plan. When the ministers of health
met in Winnipeg, they agreed to the plan to follow the recommendations of
Canada's public health officials that they would produce the seasonal flu
vaccine. We are all aware that the seasonal flu claims a significant number of
Canadian lives each year.
I hasten to point out that the Southern Hemisphere went through the second
wave of the H1N1 before any vaccines were available. The honourable senator used
a date for Australia, which was in effect much after the second wave of the flu
The United States, as it is clear, did not have injectable vaccine. They were
using live vaccine through a nasal spray, which was not safe for any of the
vulnerable groups. It was used for healthy people under the age of 49 years,
with no underlying health issues. It was not administered to small children.
Honourable senators, I wish to report again that 6 million doses of H1N1 have
been delivered to the provinces and territories. We are rolling out the largest
mass immunization campaign in our history ahead of schedule.
Canada has more H1N1 vaccine per capita than any other country. More vaccine
will be delivered next week and in the weeks to follow. The vaccine is being
delivered as quickly as it is being produced.
Our government and the provinces and territories jointly determined priority
groups for H1N1 vaccine distribution. All levels of government agreed that the
first vaccination phase would be for the priority groups only: pregnant women,
children under five, health care providers and adults with underlying health
conditions. There is enough vaccine available for all priority groups and,
again, I urge all politicians of all political stripes to work together to
support our public health officials and provincial and territorial health
ministers in rolling out this vaccine.
The honourable senator asked about the unadjuvanted vaccine. We were
following the advice of the World Health Organization who, in midsummer,
suggested that pregnant women be given the choice of unadjuvanted vaccine. Last
Friday the World Health Organization came out with an update that both
adjuvanted and unadjuvanted vaccines were safe.
Senator Cowan: I have a supplementary question. In my home province of
Nova Scotia, as of Friday, only 160,000 doses of the vaccine had been received
by provincial health authorities. Last week, Nova Scotia received 56,000 doses.
That number is dropping to 19,000 this week. Provincial and municipal health
authorities have been working hard to prepare for this mass vaccination for
months, yet now they are told that they will receive massively fewer doses than
expected and planned, and this is as Canadians' fears over the pandemic are
Why was this government not prepared? Why are Canadians not able to access
the vaccines that the Conservative government tells them they now need? The
Conservative government is now saying that all Canadians will be vaccinated by
Christmas. That is too late. This flu is peaking now. This is just not good
I ask again: With months to prepare, why was this government not ready to
address the pandemic?
Senator LeBreton: First, honourable senators, the advice of our public
health officials is not conclusive. As Dr. Butler-Jones has pointed out, we are
living in real time and situations change, such as the decision by the World
Health Organization last Friday.
The fact is that there is not conclusive evidence that H1N1 is peaking. There
is a view that it will not peak until early to mid-January. Let us put this in
All along, the government, working with our suppliers and with the public
health officials in the provinces and territories, said that we would have a
vaccine available for every Canadian who wished to take the vaccine. Initially,
on the advice of public health officials, we said the vaccine would be available
the first week of November. If the honourable senator will recall, the plan was
that the most vulnerable would be the ones vaccinated first and that the vaccine
would roll out over the months of November and December, up to the period near
Christmas. This is the sound advice of public health officials. Health Canada
released the vaccine and declared it safe earlier than was originally
anticipated and, therefore, the government was able to immediately ship
6,015,000 vaccines across the country.
The honourable senator mentioned specific numbers in Nova Scotia, and I think
in today's newspapers there is a listing of each province and how many vaccines
they have, adjuvanted and unadjuvanted. That clearly indicates there is vaccine
available for the vulnerable groups. Obviously, certain jurisdictions have had
some distribution problems, but there are many other areas of great success.
The government is following the plan devised by the federal, provincial and
territorial health ministers, their premiers and the public health officials.
The plan is working. We are the only country in the world, the first in the
world, to have the vaccine available for all of our citizens. We should all
support and work hard to ensure that this —
Senator Mitchell: You are making it up.
Senator LeBreton: I am not. It is available.
Senator Carstairs: There are six million doses but there are 33
Senator LeBreton: There were six million doses put out for the most
vulnerable. There are more doses coming up this week and next week. As you will
recall, this was to be rolled out over two months. Surely no one in this country
believes that any government of whatever political stripe is not doing
everything humanly possible to ensure that the vaccines are distributed and made
available to those who are the most vulnerable. Once the most vulnerable are
vaccinated, then the plan is to go to the next level.
That is what is happening and I have great faith in Dr. Butler-Jones and all
of his colleagues in the public health field. They are working extremely hard
but, as Dr. Butler-Jones pointed out over the weekend, we are living in real
time because this flu situation changes daily, as we saw with the World Health
Organization directive last Friday.
Everyone is working extremely hard. The minister is working extremely hard.
The federal government and the provinces and territories are cooperating. This
does not need to be a situation where people are running around pointing
fingers. That is not what the government is doing. The government is working
extremely hard and will continue to work hard.
Ultimately, it is Canadians whom we will work with here. I heard someone
saying this is a communications problem. This is a health care problem and is
only a communications problem in the minds of some. We are doing everything
possible to ensure that this vaccine is distributed and that Canadians who want
it will be vaccinated.
Senator Cowan: Senator Tardif just whispered in my ear that it is not
a question of efforts; it is a question of results. That is what we are talking
Does the minister not acknowledge the fact that the government led these
provincial and territorial authorities to believe that there would be a rollout
of a certain number of doses? The provincial and municipal authorities laid out
vaccination clinics and advertised those clinics based upon numbers provided to
them by the federal government. The numbers were not made up by the provincial
or territorial government. The numbers were provided by the federal government,
and it was on that basis that the municipal, provincial and territorial leaders
laid out the clinics. It is as a result of the failure of the federal government
to deliver the doses that were promised that this mass confusion and elevated
concern has occurred. Does the minister not acknowledge that to be the case?
Senator LeBreton: Actually, honourable senators, the vaccines are
continuing to be rolled out. The initial 6,015,000 doses are out there. I
noticed that some provinces are now doing an accounting of how many vaccines
they have actually put in people's arms. There are sufficient vaccines out there
to deal with the priority vulnerable groups, and the vaccines are continuing to
roll out. As soon as they are available, they are rolled out.
I was just reading in the newspaper this morning that in my own area of
Ottawa they are speaking to the Ontario health authorities, telling them they
have enough vaccine until the end of the week. At that time they expect the
Ontario government to distribute more. The first tranche is being looked after
As Dr. Butler-Jones said over the weekend, after the initial rush has
presented itself in the line ups, the provinces, territories and health
authorities will have time to fine-tune their delivery because we are living in
real time. This is the situation we are facing which requires the cooperation of
all levels of government and the public.
There has been an appeal to the public not to jump the queue. There will be
sufficient vaccine for everyone who wants or needs it. All levels of government
must continue every effort to stay focused on this flu and provide Canadian
citizens with access to the vaccine.
Hon. Jane Cordy: It is the responsibility of the provinces to
distribute the vaccine, but it is the responsibility of the federal government
to provide the vaccine to the provinces. The Leader of the Government in the
Senate has said numerous times this afternoon that the provinces have enough
In my province of Nova Scotia, the Minister of Health, Maureen MacDonald,
said there simply is not enough vaccine for people who may legitimately need it.
Is Minister MacDonald wrong?
Senator LeBreton: I will repeat this information again: 6 million
doses of the H1N1 vaccine have been delivered to the provinces and territories.
We are rolling out the largest mass immunization campaign in Canadian history
ahead of schedule. Canada currently has more H1N1 vaccine per capita than any
other country in the world. That is right now.
The Government of Canada and the provinces and territories jointly determine
priority groups for H1N1 vaccine distribution. Obviously, the Minister of Health
in Nova Scotia was part of that discussion.
Both levels of government agree that the first vaccination phase will be for
priority groups such as pregnant women, children under five, health care
providers and adults with underlying health conditions.
There is enough vaccine out there for all priority groups. It is sad and
unfortunate that this situation has been miscommunicated by spreading fear when
more vaccine will be delivered next week and in the weeks to follow. Vaccine is
distributed as quickly as possible and as quickly as it is produced. We are
pleased that so many Canadians are heeding the call to be vaccinated against the
Senator Cordy: My question was, is Minister MacDonald wrong? Does Nova
Scotia have enough vaccine?
Senator LeBreton: She is part of a federal-provincial-territorial
ministerial group with the public health authorities. They are the ones who
provide the information within the ministries of health.
I will have to check how many vaccine doses have been sent to Nova Scotia.
Senator Cowan: One hundred fifty thousand.
Senator LeBreton: I will make an inquiry. One thing we have been told
is that several provinces have done an outstanding job of keeping the vulnerable
groups as a priority. The problem has been that a couple of local jurisdictions
have allowed people to jump the queue, and that situation has created long
line-ups. However, most have stuck to the plan with vulnerable priority groups
and there is ample evidence that those provinces are delivering the vaccine
I remind honourable senators that we are only in the early stages of this
program and we have always said that the vaccine will be rolled out throughout
the months of November and December. No one would think that any situation could
be devised where 30 million people could be vaccinated in seven days.
Hon. Dennis Dawson: We are not blaming the provinces or the agencies.
We are blaming the government because we were told we would be supplied. We have
the example from Nova Scotia. I will give the example from Quebec: Four hundred
fifty thousand vaccine doses were coming in.
From 450,000 vaccine doses, we are now down to 160,000 vaccine doses a week.
We are not blaming the province or the agencies. It is very clear that the
federal government is to blame. It is just the Leader of the Government in the
Senate who does not realize it. She is saying that people are misinformed. Her
government spent $100 million to talk about a budget, which, for all intents and
purposes, still has not been adopted or used by the government, but it does not
have enough money to inform Canadians — Quebecers in particular — about what
they should expect from this government.
Senator LeBreton: That is flat-out false. By the way, we are not
blaming anyone. I have never, nor has the minister or government, thrown around
the word "blame."
This effort is collaborative. The provinces and territories, the ministers of
health, the premiers and the chief public health officials are working around
the clock to deliver information. Again today, Dr. Butler-Jones and Minister
Aglukkaq are out there — every single day — informing Canadians about the
With regard to the province of Quebec, a significant number of vaccines have
been delivered to the province of Quebec. If you care to look for them, there
are tremendous success stories coming out of the province of Quebec.
In our Ottawa newspapers and in some areas on the Ottawa side of the river
certain situations seem to exhibit confusion. Yet, on the Quebec side, the
vaccine is rolling out. Obviously, when they agreed to the plan public health
officials, the ministers of health in the provinces and the federal government,
wanted to make sure that the first delivery of vaccines were for the people for
whom it was recommended by the plan.
I believe, honourable senators, if we stopped running around looking for bad
news stories, there are some good news stories here. Everyone is working
extremely hard. The government is working extremely hard. No one in this
country, no matter what political party they belong to, believes for a moment
that everyone is not doing everything they possibly can. My hat goes off to our
public health officials who are out there on the front lines.
As we know, in this country the delivery of health care falls within the
jurisdiction of the provinces. The provinces have been co-operating, and they
are part of the plan. The federal, provincial and territorial governments
deserve a significant amount of credit.
Speaking of the territorial governments, we have a situation where they were
part of the most vulnerable community. They are delivering the vaccines. They
are following the plan. That is why we do not have a situation in the North
where people are being left out, because the territories followed the plan to
attend to the most vulnerable first. That is what all the provinces and
territories are doing. A few public health officials in some larger centres
allowed some people to jump the queue. I believe that they now have that under
control, and I expect a more orderly roll-out of the vaccine. This will continue
as more vaccine is delivered every day.
Hon. Claudette Tardif (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable
senators, in my province of Alberta, residents arrived at clinics in the early
hours of the morning on the weekend to receive their vaccine, only to be
confronted with signs indicating that the clinics had been closed until further
notice. Albertans have no flu vaccine "until further notice."
What notice does this government need to rectify the situation in Alberta?
Senator LeBreton: Honourable senators, I saw some of the news reports
out of Alberta. I repeat that 6 million doses of vaccine were sent out. When the
vaccine was given approval, the provinces and territories and the federal
government agreed that the most vulnerable would be vaccinated first.
Unfortunately, there have been some incidents of people jumping the queue or
misunderstandings of who should be in the line-up. There have been some glitches
in Alberta and Ontario, but the public health authorities, the ministers of
health and the municipal health officials, are working very hard together.
As I mentioned, the vaccine is being delivered as it is produced. Everyone
should work together to support our public health workers and to ensure that
Canadians realize that all levels of government are seized with this problem and
that, unlike most people in the world, every Canadian who wants to be vaccinated
will be vaccinated.
Hon. Lucie Pépin: Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader
of the Government in the Senate. I want to thank the leader for sending the
federal H1N1 Preparedness Guide to our offices. This is a very useful document.
Every Canadian deserves to have a copy of it.
The government knows that the best way to inform Canadians is to send them
information at home. Last August, Canadians received information at home on the
Home Renovation Tax Credit as well as an envelope to keep their receipts in.
That idea might apply to H1N1.
Can the Leader of the Government in the Senate assure us that the government
will correct its mistake and send information on the H1N1 virus directly to
Canadians at home the way it did in August for the Home Renovation Tax Credit?
Senator LeBreton: Honourable senators, an information brochure was
sent to Canadian households. I received one in my mailbox about two weeks ago.
It provides information about H1N1 and where people can call for further
We are working in partnership with the provinces and territories, and they
have also sent out a great deal of information. Newspapers and television are
carrying many advertisements from all levels of government providing information
to the public. Once the misunderstanding is worked out of the system, I believe
the public will respond.
As Dr. Butler-Jones said on the weekend, public health workers will use the
experience of the first week of the rollout to improve systems. We have already
seen that in many jurisdictions.
On the Order:
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Martin, seconded by
the Honourable Senator Neufeld, for the second reading of Bill C-268, An Act
to amend the Criminal Code (minimum sentence for offences involving
trafficking of persons under the age of eighteen years).
Hon. Lillian Eva Dyck: Honourable senators, I rise today as the critic
for Bill C-268, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (minimum sentence for offences
involving trafficking of persons under the age of eighteen years), which was
introduced as a private member's bill by the member of Parliament for
Kildonan—St. Paul, Joy Smith, on January 29, 2009.
I would like to commend Mrs. Smith for her work in trying to combat the
trafficking of women and children and for her work in making this bill a
The bill amends existing provisions of the Criminal Code and introduces new
mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines for the trafficking of persons under the
age of 18 years, but it does not address sex trafficking specifically.
I will briefly review the current legislation.
Pursuant to the Criminal Code of Canada and the Immigration and Refugee
Protection Act, human trafficking became a Criminal Code offence in November
2005. The provisions dealing with human trafficking are set out in sections
279.01 to 279.04 of the Criminal Code.
Section 279.01 deals with trafficking in persons and prohibits anyone from
recruiting, transporting, transferring, receiving, holding, concealing or
harbouring a person, or exercising control or influence over the movements of a
person for the purpose of exploiting or facilitating the exploitation of that
person, and provides for a maximum penalty of 14 years to life where it involves
kidnapping, aggravated assault, aggravated sexual assault or the death of the
Section 279.02 deals with material benefit and prohibits anyone from
receiving a financial or other material benefit for the purpose of committing or
facilitating the exploitation of that person, with a maximum penalty of 10
Sections 279.03 and 279.04 deal with withholding or destroying documents and
with exploitation. I will not go through them today because there is no change
in Bill C-268.
Under the current Criminal Code, there exists no distinction on sentencing
requirements for offences committed against victims based on age.
With regard to the Immigration and Refugee Act, which came into effect in
2002, section 118 states the following:
(1) No person shall knowingly organize the coming into Canada of one or
more persons by means of abduction, fraud, deception or use or threat of force
(2) For the purpose of subsection (1), "organize", with respect to
persons, includes their recruitment or transportation and, after their entry
into Canada, the receipt or harbouring of those persons.
The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment, a fine of $1
million, or both. The first-ever charges under section 118 were laid in April
2005, but are currently being challenged for vagueness.
With regard to the description and analysis of Bill C-268, this bill contains
eight clauses, the majority of them dealing with amending subsections in order
for the substantive changes to be cohesive with the Criminal Code.
The substantive changes of Bill C-268 include the following: Clause 1 amends
the definition of "offence" in section 183 of the Criminal Code to include,
under section 279.01(1), the trafficking of a person under the age of 18 years.
Clause 2 concerns the trafficking of persons under the age of 18 years and
establishes that offences of human trafficking whereby a person recruits,
transports, transfers, receives, holds, conceals or harbours a person under the
age of 18 years, for the purpose of exploitation or facilitating exploitation,
is liable to the following sentencing guidelines: Section 279.01(1)(a)
outlines that human trafficking of a minor with the intent of exploitation, or
facilitation of exploitation that is committed through kidnapping, aggravated
assault or aggravated sexual assault or causes death to, is liable to a minimum
punishment of six years or to a maximum punishment of life imprisonment.
Section 279.01(1)(b) outlines that all other offences of human
trafficking involving persons under 18 years of age are punishable by a minimum
of five years, to a maximum of 14 years' imprisonment.
Neither clause 3 nor clause 4 has any changes with respect to the Criminal
It is worth noting, however, that the bill as originally presented in the
other place did not contain a clause specifying a mandatory minimum penalty when
the trafficker subjected the child to harsher treatment. The bill was amended in
the other place to include the minimum six-year sentence when the victim is so
Honourable senators, in July 2009 the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs hosted a
public forum to raise awareness about human trafficking and the sexual
exploitation of First Nations women and children in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Grand Chief Ron Evans said:
Both U.S. and Canadian government reports have shown and demonstrated that
Aboriginal and First Nation women and children are at greater risk of becoming
victims of human trafficking than any other group in Canada. We make a huge
mistake when we turn women and children into objects for personal
gratification. They are human beings and if we fail in our duty to treat them
that way, it's like we are ripping strips off our own humanity.
Now I would like to go through the lessons I learned as I attended that
conference, starting with the magnitude of the problem of human trafficking.
The RCMP estimates that 800 to 1,200 people are trafficked in and through
Canada every year, however, many advocacy groups set the number at 15,000. Many
women and children are trafficked from Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America
for sexual exploitation. This situation involves persons, primarily women and
children, subjected to exploitation through force and/ or coercion into
prostitution or forced labour. It is important to note that most women and
minors are trafficked for the sex trade.
With regard to Bill C-268, there were reasons put forward why we need the
current legislation. In other words, what is wrong with the current Criminal
Code and what is weak about the current legislation?
The arguments given to support the enactment of Bill C-268 are based mainly
on two precedents under the Criminal Code. In both cases, paltry penalties were
applied to two men who trafficked underage girls in the sex trade. In 2008, a
Niagara man was convicted of human trafficking and received only three years for
the offence. That man made over $350,000 from the sexual exploitation of a
More recently, a Montreal man was convicted of human trafficking. He was
sentenced to two years' imprisonment for trafficking a 17-year-old girl and
selling her for sex.
There have been about 30 human trafficking convictions since 2005 — a very
small number compared to the estimated number of trafficked persons. It is
important to note that virtually no discussion of the other convictions with
respect to this bill has occurred so far, and I would like to see that happen
during the study of the bill.
At the conference in Winnipeg, I was shocked to hear that Canada is a
preferred country for trafficking people, because of our weak laws. I was
appalled to hear that those who know what is happening on the streets feel
helpless to stop this activity. They are helpless on those streets where men
troll for sex, and where the same johns pick up the same young underage girls
over and over.
Now I will talk about the process of human trafficking, because it is
important for us to understand what this is all about. According to the
information provided, mainly by the RCMP, we see that traffickers are very
skilled in their activities. They know where to look for their victims and they
know how to get them under their control. They target bus stops and malls. They
target runaways, schools, group homes and shelters where abused women and our
youth are housed temporarily. They know where to go.
According to the RCMP, there are three basic elements in the process of human
trafficking: recruitment, transport and exploitation.
With regard to recruitment, traffickers know how to entice and lure the
victim, who is usually vulnerable or gullible, and they lure that victim by
various means. They offer them hope, perhaps a job, love or a new life. In some
cases, the trafficker pretends that he is in love with the victim. They give
them gifts. This is organized recruitment, as I said before. They target
schools, malls, safe houses, bus stations, airports, playgrounds, bars and
nightclubs, the Internet, and so on.
With regard to transport, traffickers isolate the victim from their family
and friends to make them more vulnerable to manipulation, so that when they are
alone, who will they believe? They will believe their trafficker. The
traffickers exploit their victims. They know how to manipulate them and how to
apply coercion and threats. Initially the trafficker is nice to the person, but
as time goes on the trafficker manipulates them. For example, they showed a
video where one trafficker pretended he was in love with his victim and he
manipulated her so that she agreed to work as a stripper, and gradually she
agreed to do more and more things until she became totally under his control.
In addition, traffickers threaten to rape, beat, murder or traffic the
victim's family members, and they may threaten to expose the victim's line of
work to family or community, in which case the victim feels ashamed and
therefore trapped because the victim does not know where to go for help.
We were told about the factors that contribute to being trafficked. In
general, the RCMP told us there were factors such as poverty, gender, with women
being more susceptible, the presence of domestic violence, the lack of social
safety networks, and ill-informed families. For Aboriginal women specifically,
again, we were told there is poverty was a factor. Also, among victims, there is
a high rate of homeless, single mothers, a high rate of domestic violence, and
the presence of addictions.
Honourable senators will notice that poverty was first on both lists.
According to the United Nations Chronicle, "Poverty will always
remain one of the root causes for women and children to be lured into
prostitution and/or sex work." In addition, the United States Agency for
International Development emphasized:
Trafficking is inextricably linked to poverty. Wherever privation and
economic hardship prevail, there will be those destitute and desperate enough
to enter into the fraudulent employment schemes that are the most common
intake systems in the world of trafficking.
Honourable senators, the greater degree of poverty amongst Aboriginals makes
them more vulnerable to exploitation by those engaged in human trafficking.
According to the Report Card on Child Poverty in Saskatchewan, 50 per cent of
Aboriginal children, compared to 19 per cent of all other children in
Saskatchewan, lived in poverty in 2001. In Canada as a whole, one in four First
Nations children, compared to one in six other children, live in poverty.
The effects of poverty on one's vulnerability to being exploited are
exemplified by this quotation from an Aboriginal sex trafficking victim. She
I wish I didn't have to do this sex trade. I do it to get food for my son.
It's really easy for people to pre-judge and say that people have a choice to
do this, but if you don't have a home to go to or you don't have any kinds of
structures in your life, it's not as easy as it seems.
In addition, honourable senators, the Aboriginal Women's Network has reported
that prostituted girls and women in downtown Vancouver have experienced
violence, abuse, homelessness and exploitation at disproportionate rates. Eighty
per cent had a history of childhood sexual violence. Seventy-two per cent had a
history of childhood physical violence. Eighty-six per cent were or had been
homeless. Eighty per cent had been physically assaulted by johns. Seventy per
cent had been threatened with a weapon. Seventy per cent had been raped more
than five times, and this includes by johns.
It is not a pretty picture; not what they had hoped for; not the dream world
that they were promised by their pimp or trafficker.
Honourable senators, there are basically three types of human trafficking:
People are trafficked to work in the sex trade or other forms of servitude such
as domestic labourers, agricultural workers, hotel or restaurant workers, or
other forms of servitude. Sex trafficking, or the trafficking of persons
specifically for the purpose of sexual exploitation, is the most common type of
trafficking. In fact, the U.S. Department of State estimates that 80 per cent of
all victims of international human trafficking are forced into the commercial
In terms of child trafficking, in most circumstances, children under the age
of 18 are channelled into the sex trade industry. Because of this fact, child
trafficking is considered one of the worst manifestations of human trafficking.
Then we have the general category of labour trafficking, which is an act
where someone engages in any conduct that may or could cause the victim to
believe that their safety or the safety of someone known to them will be
threatened if they refused to provide labour or any kind of work. Apparently,
the definition in Canada is broad enough that it also includes the sex trade.
Honourable senators, human trafficking is a hugely profitable business. In
the example that I gave above, the man who trafficked a girl earned $350,000
from her work in the sex trade. It is believed that trafficking in humans is
replacing trafficking in guns and drugs. That is how profitable human
trafficking is. It is a huge problem. I cannot believe that in a country such as
ours something like this goes on.
Many people and agencies support Bill C-268. Many recommendations by
international and bilateral commissions, such as the United Nations Convention
on the Rights of the Child and its optional protocol on the sale of children,
child prostitution and child pornography, have urged Canada to adopt a form of
mandatory minimum sentencing for human traffickers of minors, to which this bill
For the most part, response to Bill C-268 has been positive. Member of
Parliament Joy Smith, after tabling the bill in early 2009, presented the House
of Commons with a petition of more than 14,000 Canadians demanding that the
penalties to child traffickers fully reflect the gravity of the crime.
As of about a week ago, I received nearly 100 emails asking that the Senate
pass Bill C-268 quickly, without amendment. Several of these messages indicated
that the bill could have incorporated harsher penalties, but the perceived need
to enact a bill before the Vancouver Olympic Games was seen as sufficient reason
not to pursue this avenue. I agree that we should pass this bill as quickly as
possible, but we should not do so without ensuring that the bill is sound and
I will talk about the importance of Bill C-268 for Aboriginal families.
In the June 2009 Trafficking in Persons Report released by Secretary
of State Hillary Clinton, Canada was identified as a "source, transit, and
destination country for men, women and children trafficked for the purposes of
commercial sexual exploitation and forced labour": the two types. In addition,
the report commented that "Canadian women and girls, many of whom are
Aboriginal, are trafficked internally for commercial sexual exploitation."
One study in particular, conducted by the Native Women's Association of
Canada Sisters in Spirit program found that in Winnipeg, 90 per cent of the
children being exploited in the sex trade were Aboriginal, even though
Aboriginals represent only about 10 per cent of the population. Other studies
have made it clear that Aboriginal children are overrepresented in exploitation.
According to the Stop Sex with Kids campaign based in Winnipeg, many First
Nation children are being sexually exploited on the streets of Winnipeg. Each
year, an estimated 400 children and youth are exploited on the streets. Seventy
to eighty per cent of these children are Aboriginal, and 85 to 90 per cent are
young girls, a terrible problem and a horrible statistic.
In Saskatoon, it is estimated that approximately 300 people turn to sex work
at least once a year to make money to survive. According to the EGADZ Downtown
Youth Centre, 36 Aboriginal girls under the age of 18 have been confirmed as
involved in sex work. These numbers are most likely an underestimate.
According to a recent research paper by Anupriya Sethi, many Aboriginal girls
are involved in exploitation, following a trafficking process that involves the
movement of the girls through many major cities such as Saskatoon, Edmonton,
Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg and Vancouver. The author makes it clear that though
poverty is a factor that makes Aboriginal girls more susceptible to being
trafficked, other factors, such as the horrific legacy of residential school
abuse and the lingering effects of colonization, contribute to their
vulnerability to exploitation.
I would now like to discuss the bill itself. Can the bill be further
improved? Is the bill tough enough? Are the penalties tough enough?
Bill C-268, as it stands, has three serious shortcomings. These became
evident to me when I reviewed the legislation enacted in the U.S. in 2008.
First, in the United States, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act defines two
categories of minors: those under 14 years of age, and those 14 and up to but
under 18 years of age. This recognizes the greater vulnerability of younger
minors and it acknowledges the fact that the average age at which girls are
introduced into the sex trade is 12 or 13 years of age.
Second, the penalties in the U.S. are harsher than what are being proposed in
Bill C-268. An offence of sex trafficking involving a person older than 14 years
of age but under the age of 18 incurs a fine and a minimum sentence of 10 years
imprisonment and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment in the U.S. An offence
of sex trafficking involving a child under the age of 14 incurs a fine and a
minimum sentence of 15 years imprisonment and a maximum sentence of life
imprisonment. These are stiffer sentences in the U.S.
It is also important to take note that the American law also imposes a fine.
This, too, is important to keep in mind and consider at some point in time as we
continue to refine our laws on human trafficking. It is clear that human
traffickers make huge amounts of money. I doubt that spending five years in
prison will deter them if they are allowed to keep the hundreds of thousands or,
perhaps, even millions of dollars that they have made by exploiting women,
children and men.
Honourable senators, I wish that I could make a PowerPoint presentation in
the chamber here with a chart that would show the differences between the U.S.
law and the Canadian law — that is, the U.S. law with its two different age
categories and higher minimum mandatory sentences combined also with a fine.
The third flaw in Bill C-268 is the most serious. It really undermines the
bill. The main weakness of this bill is that it does not name the real problem
that it is intended to address; that is, sex trafficking of children. The bill
does not actually focus on stopping the sex trafficking of children. It does not
contain the phrases "child sex trafficking", "child sex trade" or "commercial sex trade" or any other phrase that would indicate it is meant to
stop the trafficking of children for the purpose of exploitation in the
commercial sex trade. Yet, the main argument to support the minimum penalties
are based on section 212(2.1) of the Criminal Code which imposes a five-year
mandatory minimum sentence for the aggravated offence of living off the avails
of prostitution of a person under the age of 18 — quite clearly a sex-related
Furthermore, in drafting Bill C-268, Professor Perrin argues that it is
important to provide Crown prosecutors with charging options that best suit the
facts of child sexual exploitation involving a pimp or trafficker. Yes,
honourable senators, "child sexual exploitation involving a trafficker"; and "sexual exploitation", not other forms of labour exploitation.
I urge the committee members who review Bill C-268 to examine and carefully
analyze Professor Perrin's statements and their reference to section 212(2.1).
Honourable senators, we are being urged to pass Bill C-268 without amendment
and to do so quickly. However, I fear that the bill in its present form will not
do justice to children because it does not address sex trafficking directly. Of
course, we know that most children are trafficked for victimization in the
commercial sex trade, but Bill C-268 does not differentiate children trafficked
for exploitation in the sex trade from those trafficked for forced labour. Those
two forms of trafficking are vastly different in terms of their horrendous
impact on the victim and the huge profit to the trafficker. Every person would
agree that a child trafficked to work in the commercial sex trade is in a far
worse situation than a child forced to work as a labourer in a hotel,
restaurant, agricultural or other type of servitude.
Honourable senators, I am haunted by the memory of seeing Aboriginal girls
who were only about nine or ten years old on the streets of Regina, where men
drive by to pick them up for sexual services — I repeat: nine and ten years old.
Surely, there is a world of difference between a nine-year-old Aboriginal girl
trafficked in the sex trade, compared to a nine-year-old boy trafficked to work,
for example, in the restaurant business to wash dishes or clean bathrooms.
I hope this extreme comparison indicates the serious nature of the omission
of the explicit nature of the type of trafficking that the bill is intended to
address, namely, trafficking for the purpose of work in the sex trade and not in
just any other form of servitude. While I do not want to minimize the harsh
treatment that the boy in my hypothetical scenario would face, he would not have
been sexually violated repeatedly as girls in the sex trade are.
Honourable senators, the American child trafficking legislation that I
outlined a few minutes ago specifically targets sex trafficking. In the name of
the bill, it actually says "child sex trafficking." Somehow, this key element
was missed during the drafting of Bill C-268. Certainly, it seems to be the
intention of the bill to address child sex trafficking, gauging from the
speeches by the member who initiated the bill, the petitioners and the general
public who have contacted us. Mrs. Smith states that the victims of trafficking
suffer horrific mental, physical and sexual abuse during their captivity. She
further said that in Canada today, child sex slavery is alive and well and that
these girls and women are destined for the sex trade. Furthermore, as noted
previously, the examples used to convince us of the need for Bill C-268 are
cases involving female minors used in the commercial sex trade.
The people who have contacted us, mainly through email, have taken the advice
of the Canada Family Action Coalition. They virtually all ask us that the
Canadian government, including the Senate, needs to be tough on crime and
particularly crimes against women and children. They say things like "women and
girls are trafficked." Others note that Bill C-268 would put Canada on par with
Thailand's standard, a country internationally known for its sex tourism
industry. All of these messages indicate that they are concerned about the sex
trade, because we know that women and children are destined for the sex trade.
Perhaps it was missed during the drafting of the bill because all the
evidence indicates that sex trafficking is the major type of human trafficking.
One just assumes it is in the actual wording of the bill, and therefore reads it
into the bill. Certainly that is what I did. After reading the information on
human trafficking, I assumed the bill was targeting child sex trafficking
specifically, but it is not.
Honourable senators, I feel as though I am on the horns of a dilemma. On the
one hand, I believe the bill should be passed, but, on the other hand, I believe
it is fundamentally flawed and soft on the crime of child trafficking because it
does not contain wording that addresses child sex trafficking specifically.
How can we not name the offence of sex trafficking of children, persons under
the age of 18? Until we specifically name and identify the problem of child sex
trafficking, we will not be able to end it. We have to name it. We owe it to the
victims who have been trafficked for the sex trade to name what has happened to
them as sex trafficking of minors, not just as trafficking of minors. It is a
If we do not amend the bill so that it addresses child sex trafficking
specifically, we would be sentencing traffickers of children for work in non-sex
forms of labour — such as in the domestic, hotel and restaurant services — to a
five-year minimum sentence, and traffickers of children for work in the sex
trade to the same mandatory five-year minimum sentence.
Is that fair? Is that the right thing to do? Surely the punishment for
trafficking of children for the sex trade ought to have higher penalties than
trafficking for other types of labour. In the U.S., as near as I can tell, there
are no mandatory minimum sentences for trafficking for the purposes of forced
Honourable senators, I hope that you agree with me and that the committee
reviewing Bill C-268 will make amendments that, first, incorporate the specific
notion of trafficking minors for the explicit purpose of exploiting them in the
commercial sex trade; second, incorporate the two different age categories, as
has been done in the U.S.; and, third, incorporate a fine, as has been done in
The first proposed amendment is essential to make the bill do what most
everyone seems to think it will; that is, enact harsher penalties for the sex
trafficking of minors.
The second proposed amendment acknowledges the different vulnerabilities of
minors under the age of 14 and the more heinous nature of the offence to them
and the fact that we have children 9 to 13 years old on the streets of our
The third possible amendment is meant to prevent convicted traffickers from
keeping the substantial monies that they made at the expense of their victims.
The One is Too Many: A Citizens' Summit on Human Trafficking at the 2010
Olympics and Beyond organization noted that "as long as trafficking remains
a profitable industry, the number of victims will only increase."
Honourable senators, if we fail to rise to the challenge, and if we do not
make Bill C-268 tougher, we will be failing the children of Canada and the
children of other countries who will continue to be trafficked here because of a
weak-spirited law. According to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's Trafficking
in Persons report from June 2009 — I said this previously and I will say it
again — "Canada is a destination country for sex tourists, particularly from
the United States." If we do not have a child sex trafficking law that is as
tough as the American law, traffickers will continue to operate in Canada and
sexually exploit our girls and boys. We need a law as tough as theirs.
Honourable senators, here is the challenge for us as individuals and as
members of the committee who will review the bill: Are we willing to be bold?
Are we willing to insist that the bill be amended so that child sex trafficking
is specifically named and that the penalties are actually aimed at the specific
offence of child sex trafficking? That is what Canadians are asking us to do in
the many letters and emails that they have sent to us.
This amendment is critically important. All of us in this chamber and in the
other place have a responsibility to all Canadian children to work together and,
as quickly as possible, to get an amended bill that sets minimum mandatory
penalties for trafficking children for the specific purpose of exploiting them
in the commercial sex trade.
For the sake of the thousands of children who have suffered the horrors of
exploitation in the sex trade, we — each and every one of us, each senator,
regardless of political affiliation — must be bold. I ask honourable senators to
stand up for all Canadian children and demand that the crime of child sex
trafficking be specifically addressed in this bill.
Honourable senators, we must do our duty. We must be bold. We must listen to
the public who are outraged about child sex trafficking. We must use our minds
in determining the soundness of the bill, and our hearts in trying to help the
victims and in listening to those who have petitioned on the victims' behalf. It
is equally important that we search deep within our souls to ensure that we make
the morally and spiritually right decision. Bill C-268 is a step in the right
direction, but as is, it is not bold. It is not strong. It is weak. At the very
least, we must amend the bill so that it names trafficking of minors for the sex
trade specifically and separately from forced labour of any other kind.
Honourable senators, let me conclude by saying much work has gone into the
drafting of this bill. I commend Mrs. Joy Smith and Professor Benjamin Perrin
for their tremendous work. They have worked very hard at creating all the
details that go into the drafting of the bill. Like a mouse who knows every tiny
detail around his or her world, they know the details of the bill and the
horrific details of the world of child trafficking. On the medicine wheel of
life, the mouse is as important as the hawk. The hawk flies above the mouse and
sees the big picture. For the sake of the children who are trafficked, we must
also be like the hawk and see the big picture. We must see that we are trying to
stop the trafficking of children for the sex trade specifically. Thank you.
Hon. Roméo Antonius Dallaire: Will the honourable senator accept a
Senator Dyck: Yes.
Senator Dallaire: The sexual exploitation of Aboriginal children is
the subject of an informal committee that Senator Pearson created and that I
chair. The topic of a means of curtailing the demand has often come up as part
of the solving of this horrific problem in our country. Does the honourable
senator see the question of taking away from the judges their ability to
establish minimum sentencing and the requirement for sentencing as the essence
of curtailing this demand? Is it just one step or part of a bigger plan? Has it
been presented as part of a grander design to curtail this through other
initiatives, social or economic?
Senator Dyck: Honourable senators, Senator Dallaire raises an
important issue. I focused only on the bill. I did not want to go into other
ways of dealing with the issue.
Of course, there is a demand. Unfortunately, most of our laws dealing with
prostitution or sexual exploitation are weak. A male demand for women's and
children's bodies drives the demand. Profit to the trafficker drives demand as
well. Other things have to be done to help the victims and to stop the demand.
With regard to demand from the men buying sex from women and children, there
must be stiffer laws as in other countries or, perhaps, a societal change may
come about through greater education. A massive education campaign should take
place to educate all Canadians. This issue should be talked about in sex
education in our schools. We have to protect our young boys so that when they
grow up, they do not think it is okay to go out on the street to buy sex from a
girl. Do we teach that subject in our schools now? I do not think we do.
Some people at the conference that are much better educated about this issue
than I am — I am no expert — have said that the sex trade is a form of male
sexualized violence. People are laughing, but it is true. We have to focus on
this issue directly and ask hard questions.
This bill is necessary. We have to take the steps. We have to start
somewhere. This bill is a good way to start provided that we label it as sex
trafficking. I am not sure it will make a huge impact, but it is a start.
I commend Mrs. Smith who has done a tremendous amount of work. Canadians are
happy that she has done this work.
Hon. Gerry St. Germain: The honourable senator made reference to the
sponsor of the bill in the House and those that created this particular piece of
legislation as having done an excellent job. Can the honourable senator's
amendments be part of another bill? Is amending this bill the best way to
Sometimes, amended bills lose the focus of what they were intended to do
originally. I agree with the thrust of the honourable senator's amendments.
The Hon. the Speaker: I will remind honourable senators that Senator
Dyck's time has expired.
Senator Dyck: May I have five minutes more?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
Senator Dyck: Honourable senators, in my opinion, the best way forward
is to insert "commercial sex trade" into this bill. I do not think the change
will have a significant impact. The honourable senator says that sometimes
amendments cause the bill to lose their focus. I argue that this change will add
focus, not take away from it. I would encourage all of us, and the committee
members in particular, to think of ways to insert those words. In the U.S. law,
the wording is simple: sex trafficking.
I praise the drafters of the bill because they have done a good job. In
drafting something, one is so focused on the idea of the sex trade that one can
read the words into the bill without the words actually being there. I read the
bill through repeatedly and I thought it was talking about the sex trade. When I
looked at the American law, I suddenly realized there is no mention of "the sex
trade" or "commercial sex act" in Bill C-268.
Hon. Sharon Carstairs: Honourable senators, Senator Dyck has proposed
that there should be a fine attached to this law, as we have done recently in
drug laws with penalties from large fines to confiscation of property. Has the
honourable senator considered any range of fines? Does the American bill address
the concept of a range within the fine?
Senator Dyck: I am not sure if there is a range. I did not see a range
in the U.S. law.
In the example of the man in Niagara, if he made $350,000 from selling a
girl, he should not be able to keep that $350,000. It should go to a general
pool used for the healing and rehabilitation of victims. That money was
essentially hers, only he took it.
Hon. Tommy Banks: Honourable senators, I ask this question out of
ignorance and I apologize for that.
Did the honourable senator refer to, and if not, is she aware of, Senator
Phalen's bill dealing with this subject? Does the honourable senator think the
two bills are at odds? If so, which is preferable? Does the honourable senator
have views on that particular bill?
Senator Dyck: I believe there are two bills on the subject of human
trafficking. Both bills deal more with the issuance of temporary resident
permits, which is different from Bill C-268.
Senator Banks: With leave of the Senate, I ask to adjourn the debate
on this bill in the name of Senator Cools.
(On motion of Senator Banks, for Senator Cools, debate adjourned.)
On the Order:
Resuming debate on the inquiry of the Honourable Senator Spivak calling the
attention of the Senate to Canadians' support for new direction in food
Hon. Tommy Banks: Honourable senators, this being the fifteenth day
for this inquiry on the Order Paper, I had undertaken with our recent colleague,
Senator Spivak, that I would speak on this inquiry. However, I am not prepared.
Honourable senators, I would appreciate the courtesy of a few more days to
prepare my remarks. I move adjournment in my name for the rest of my time.
(On motion of Senator Banks, debate adjourned.)
Hon. Jerahmiel S. Grafstein, pursuant to notice of October 28, 2009,
(a) Canada supports the democratic aspirations of the people of
(b) Canada condemns the use of violence and force by Iranian
authorities against their own people to suppress pro-democracy
demonstrations following the Iranian presidential elections of June 12,
(c) Canada condemns the use of torture by Iranian authorities;
(d) Canada calls for the immediate release of all political
prisoners held in Iran;
(e) Canada calls on Iran to fully respect all of its human rights
obligations, both in law and in practice;
(f) Canada condemns Iran's complete disregard for legally binding
UN Security Council Resolutions 1696, 1737, 1747, and 1803 and International
Atomic Energy Agency requirements;
(g) Canada affirms its opposition to nuclear proliferation and
condemns any pursuit by Iran of nuclear weapons capability;
(h) Canada recommends to international organizations of which it
is a member that a new set of targeted sanctions be implemented against
Iran, in concert with allies, unless Iran comes into compliance with its
human rights and nuclear obligations in law and in practice.
He said: Honourable senators, I rise briefly to comment on this resolution
and to urge support of the motion which is timely and self-explanatory. By the
way, this mirrors a resolution that was passed unanimously in the other place a
short time ago. The wording is exactly the same.
I think it is a fair and thoughtful resolution
Honourable senators, this was passed unanimously in the other place. Why this
motion? Why now? The world community of nations is seized of the issue of the
clear aims and objectives of the President of Iran. He makes no mistake about
what he says. He has issued proclamations and declarations at the United
Nations, not once, but twice. He also speaks in Iran. For years, Iran has
fomented terrorism and antagonism towards the West, throughout the Middle-East
and beyond. Iran has supported terrorist groups with words and materials. There
is no question about that. Iran is a totalitarian state.
This state is under scrutiny by its own people, who rose during the last
election and were suppressed during the course of a supposedly democratic
election. In the 1930s, the Western world chose to ignore the rise of
How is that situation different today? It is not different by much. We have
been warned. The President of Iran is seeking nuclear power and refused, as late
as last week, to comply with UN resolutions for transparency. Instead, he
delays, while he continues his nuclear plans unabated.
I would like to read some quotes in today's New York Times, the
international edition, page A4, about the question of nuclear weapons:
Iran's leadership has once again equivocated after agreeing to a deal that
would ease its nuclear standoff with the West.
The article goes on to say:
On Monday, —
That is Monday of this week.
— Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said that Tehran had to accept
the deal in full, with no changes. And the British foreign minister, David
Miliband, emerged from a meeting in Moscow with his Russian counterpart,
Sergey V. Lavrov, to declare, "We both want to see a prompt response."
. . . France and Germany warned Iran on Monday that there was a limit to
Again, that is from this article.
The French Foreign Minister, Bernard Kouchner, said, We are waiting for a
reply. If the reply is aimed at delaying matters, as we believe, then we will
not accept it."
The whole world is up in verbal arms against the Iranians and their
Honourable senators, we must turn back to the 1930s. All honourable senators
present know this history. In the 1930s, the world opinion was divided against
the rise of totalitarianism. The British Parliament, French Parliament, Belgium
Parliament, Norwegian Parliament and the Canadian Parliament said let it be; it
will work itself out.
As a matter of fact, Canada turned its back on the League of Nations and
withdrew from a critical resolution against the rise of Italian fascism and its
effort to invade Abyssinia. We pulled out at a crucial moment.
If history teaches us anything, it teaches us to be vigilant against defined
and clear-cut objectives. To be fair to the President of Iran, he has been clear
and fair in the sense that he clearly set out his objectives. His objectives are
to establish Iran as regional power, backed with nuclear weapons. That is his
objective. There is nothing complicated about that. Meanwhile, the rest of the
world says "no" over and over.
Therefore, I urge honourable senators to support this resolution as quickly
as possible, so that the voice of the Canadian Parliament — both houses — can
say to Iran, and to the world, that this Parliament listens, this Parliament has
reacted and this Parliament will not stand silent.
Hon. Consiglio Di Nino: Honourable senators, this is an issue that the
world is charged with and which has huge implications however it is dealt with.
I will make a general statement that I support what Senator Grafstein has
said. I have only, for the first time, seen this resolution. I would like to
engage in the debate and make comments. Therefore, I move adjournment of the
(On motion of Senator Di Nino, debate adjourned.)
Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government): I have a
proposition I would like to make to honourable senators. With leave, I ask that
those committees which have permission to sit this afternoon be allowed to sit
until the call of the chair at 5:15 p.m. for the vote.
Therefore, for those committees which had permission to sit, I propose that
they be allowed to do so.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, we are at the end of the
Order Paper. Pursuant to rule 7(2), the sitting is suspended until 5:15 p.m.,
whereupon the bells to call in the senators will be sounded until 5:30 p.m., at
which time the senators will take a deferred vote on Motion No. 86.
Do I have permission to leave the chair?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
(The sitting of the Senate was suspended.)
(The sitting of the Senate was resumed.)
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.
Motion adopted on the following division:
THE HONOURABLE SENATORS
THE HONOURABLE SENATORS
THE HONOURABLE SENATORS
(The Senate adjourned until Wednesday, November 4, 2009, at 1:30 p.m.)