Hon. Marie-P. Poulin: Honourable senators, I rise today in tribute to
a man who personified that which is good about politics and who exemplified the
qualities of character admired by those who value the nobler virtues of
Maurice Foster, whose innate decency gained the admiration of all those who
knew him, died last Saturday surrounded by family. To Janet, his wife, to his
four children and their families, I extend my heartfelt sympathy at their loss.
For more than 25 years, Moe, as his many friends called him, cherished his
role in the affairs of the country. He did it with the dedication and boundless
energy that could only come from doing something that one dreams of, and for
Moe, that dream was being a member of Parliament.
From his first election in 1968, he enthusiastically immersed himself,
serving with distinction as a parliamentarian. He was revered as a constituency
man in the riding of Algoma in Northern Ontario. In all, the people of Algoma
re-elected him six more times. The same people had elected Lester B. Pearson
and, after Moe's retirement, Brent St. Denis.
Yesterday, at Maurice Foster's funeral, the large room was packed. When Brent
paid tribute to his predecessor, he spoke of his dedication to his constituents.
He said, "If Moe were in a hallway with the Queen at one end and a constituent
at the other, Moe would run to the constituent, grab him or her by the arm and
say, `Come, let me introduce you to the Queen."'
Yes, Maurice Foster was the epitome of service. Such was the esteem in which
he was held by parliamentarians of all political stripes that after his
retirement from the House of Commons in 1993, he became an adviser to then Prime
Minister Jean Chrétien.
Honourable senators, Maurice Foster lived his dream as a member of
Parliament. We in Canada, in Northern Ontario and in Algoma are richer for it.
Please join me in expressing our condolences to the Foster family.
Hon. David Tkachuk: Honourable senators, next week two out of three
possible nations — Canada, Germany or Portugal — will be awarded a term on the
United Nations Security Council. Unfortunately, there are two individuals in
parliamentary leadership positions who argue that we have not earned a place on
the Security Council.
An Hon. Senator: Shame.
Senator Tkachuk: One is a separatist and the other is a leader whose
words, as Norman Spector put it in The Globe and Mail on September 24,
"unmistakably ooze with his hope for Canada to fail." The Portuguese have
certainly found such remarks to be of interest and have circulated them within
the United Nations.
Honourable senators, this is not and should not be about the political stripe
of the government of the day. It is about our country, and there should be no
argument that we have earned our place at the table of the Security Council,
just as we have earned it under governments led by Prime Ministers King,
Diefenbaker, Pearson, Trudeau, Mulroney and Chrétien. Preston Manning certainly
did not attempt to undermine the Chrétien government's application for a
Security Council seat in 1999, the last time we took our turn.
Honourable senators, Canada has consistently been a reliable and responsible
participant in the United Nations and its initiatives. We are a major foreign
aid donor. We are the seventh largest contributor to the budget of the United
Nations, contributing more than China and Russia, two permanent Security Council
members. We have led the way in combatting AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and other
diseases. Just this past June, we announced the Muskoka Initiative on Maternal,
Newborn and Child Health.
Ask the people of Haiti whether Canada's response, one of the most generous
in the world, to January's earthquake merits a seat on the Security Council.
Canadians have put their lives on the line in more than 30 UN peacekeeping
missions, from the Suez in 1956 to the current mission in Darfur.
Tell the men and women who have fought against terror and for freedom,
justice and democracy in Afghanistan that we have not earned our place. Tell the
families of those who have fallen in Afghanistan that we have not earned our
place. We have earned our place.
Honourable senators, this is the time to stand up for Canada.
Hon. Vivienne Poy: Honourable senators, on October 13, Canada and
China will be celebrating the fortieth anniversary of the establishment of
diplomatic relations. As honourable senators know, Canada was among the first
Western countries to formally recognize China in 1970. In 1973, Pierre Elliott
Trudeau was the first Canadian prime minister to pay an official visit to China.
Throughout the month of October, numerous cultural, academic and commercial
events are being held in Canada and China to mark this historically significant
occasion. For the 1.3 million Canadians of Chinese heritage who act as bridges
between Canada and China, this is an opportunity to celebrate our contributions
to China's past and present. Canadians of Chinese heritage have become an
integral part of our society, and Chinese is the third most widely spoken
language in Canada.
As the honorary patron of the Ottawa Chinatown Gateway, I would like to
inform honourable senators about an important event taking place this afternoon:
the official unveiling of the Ottawa Gateway at the intersection of Somerset and
Bronson Streets. Since Ottawa is twinned with Beijing, the gateway is a Northern
Chinese Royal Arch consisting of nine roof sections, decorative tiling and
glazed animal figures. This is the most striking addition to Ottawa's Chinatown
in 80 years.
On October 13 and 14, two other important events will be taking place at the
Chateau Laurier: an academic and diplomatic conference on Canada-China
relations, and the second Canada-China Cultural Dialogue. Speakers will consist
of our former ambassadors to China, government officials, policy-makers,
business leaders and academics. I will also be in Ottawa to attend the
Forty years ago, when Canada and China first established diplomatic
relations, we could not have imagined the global importance of China today, or
the number of Canadians of Chinese heritage now living in Canada, or the number
of Canadians living in China. Our long-standing friendships and our large and
growing Chinese Diaspora offer us a unique opportunity to deepen our cultural
and trade relationship with one of the economic giants of the 21st century.
Hon. Donald H. Oliver: Honourable senators, I rise today to call your
attention to one of Canada's most important strategic resources, our Alberta oil
During the recess this summer, I had the opportunity to take a four-day trip
with some of my fellow senators to study the Alberta oil sands. This was the
third annual visit of senators organized by Senator McCoy.
Its purpose was to help senators to study first-hand one of our country's
largest industrial undertakings and to learn more about the benefits and
challenges of Alberta's oil reserves.
While in Alberta, we visited a number of facilities in the Alberta industrial
heartland, such as the Shell upgrader and the Enbridge pipeline centre. We
learned that the oil sands comprise more than 97 per cent of Canada's 175
billion barrels of proven oil reserves and that they are the second largest
proven or established deposit of crude oil in the world next to Saudi Arabia. We
learned that the oil sands cover a land mass of 142,000 square kilometres.
As honourable senators are aware, much has been said about oil sands and
greenhouse gas emissions, so we were extensively briefed on the environmental
impacts of the oil sands. I am happy to report that the Canadian production of
oil reserves is being conducted in a sustainable and responsible way. In fact,
industry leaders have successfully reduced the GHG emissions per barrel by 39
per cent between 1990 and 2008.
The four-day seminar consisted of a number of panel discussions and lectures.
The experts I met, including David Collyer, President of the Canadian
Association of Petroleum Producers, assured our group that they are committed to
further decreasing the emissions to comply with the Government of Canada's
commitment to reduce GHG emissions.
Honourable senators, government, industry and universities are developing new
technologies to make the development of the oil sands more environmentally
friendly. For instance, carbon capture and storage, CCS, is a type of technology
that we saw in use in various parts of Alberta. There are currently several CCS
projects operating in Western Canada, and the Government of Canada has committed
$1 billion to fund the development of CCS infrastructure and technology.
Honourable senators, the Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta
are working together to ensure that the oil sands are environmentally safe.
I thank Senator McCoy for arranging this tour, and I know that the oil sands
facilities are conducting their production in ways that ensure that air quality
exceeds provincial standards and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. The
facilities reduce the amount of fresh water required per barrel of production
and maintain regional ecosystems and biodiversity. The facilities reclaim all
lands affected by oil sands operations and are returning them to sustainable
Hon. Lucie Pépin: Honourable senators, the Right Honourable Michaëlle
Jean recently completed her term as Governor General. Throughout her time at
Rideau Hall, Madame Jean dedicated herself to enhancing Canada's prestige on the
world stage. She believed in a Canada where all our different communities would
come together and play a role in shaping our common vision of society.
At the end of five very busy years, the people of Canada's two solitudes are
unanimous in saying that she discharged her duties with charm, humility and
passion. Canadians admire and respect Madame Jean because she was approachable
and personable and, above all, in tune with the people of this country. She won
our hearts because she embodied the Canadian qualities of openness,
determination and humanism.
We will remember Madame Jean as a woman who had the courage to show her
emotions. That famous moment when she ate a piece of seal heart in Iqaluit was a
courageous gesture of solidarity that spoke volumes about her.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude to Madame
Jean for always making herself available to our military men and women. We are
also grateful to her for becoming personally involved with the families of our
soldiers, whose patron she had agreed to be. She shared joys, anguish, sorrows
and mourning with our soldiers' spouses. There can be no doubt that her actions
helped boost the morale of our soldiers' families.
Throughout her term of office, Madame Jean strove to empower women in Canada
and abroad. She understood that if women had the means to effect change,
poverty, illiteracy and violence would decline. In September, one of her last
acts as Governor General was to bring together a large group of women and men
from all parts of Canada at Rideau Hall. This conference, which I attended,
aimed to create a space for dialogue about best practices and strategies to
improve women's security in this country.
Madame Jean brought honour to the role of Governor General. I would like to
tell her that she can be proud of us because she made us proud.
Hon. Hugh Segal: Honourable senators, on the eve of Thanksgiving, I
would like to take this opportunity to thank the Minister of Finance and the
Government of Canada for the proposed sustaining Canada's economic recovery act,
introduced last week. Bill C-47 provides for the indexing of the Working Income
Tax Benefit, WITB, which ensures that working Canadians of modest incomes have
the incentive to stay in the workforce.
This important federal program, originally introduced in the 2007 Budget and
supported in this chamber at that time, provides for an increase in this
benefit. It also responds to recommendation 35 in the Standing Senate Committee
on Social Affairs, Science and Technology's Senate Subcommittee on Cities
report. Honourable senators will recall that Senator Eggleton spoke eloquently
on the subject of this report yesterday in the chamber.
While no government can be expected to accept all recommendations of any
report holus-bolus, this particular recommendation was an important one and was
acted upon quickly. It is always easy to be critical, but this one step taken by
the government and the Minister of Finance is a most important step adding to
those already taken and referenced yesterday so clearly by the Leader of the
Government in the Senate, Senator LeBreton.
The government has committed to take the recommendations from In From the
Margins: A Call to Action on Poverty, Housing and Homelessness report under
advisement, and I am committed, as we all are in this chamber, to urging more
action on the challenge of poverty.
It is my personal hope that a basic income floor for the disabled finds
itself on the government's list of priorities sooner rather than later.
The purpose of fiscal responsibility, competitive taxes and careful
government spending is to ensure that there are resources available in both the
private and public sector to enable economic growth and social progress at the
same time, for which equality of opportunity is the most important foundation.
This enhanced WITB initiative, taken by the Honourable Jim Flaherty, is a strong
step in that direction.
Honourable senators, I also wish to pay tribute to the committee members who
worked so diligently for two years, traveling, listening and heeding the
testimony of hundreds of witnesses. I would like to thank Senator Eggleton for
his eloquent and passionate response in the chamber yesterday and throughout the
country in support of the report's findings.
There will be disagreements between political parties about how best to
proceed, what the priorities are and what the best construct of policy should
be, but surely we have no disagreement about the priority of poverty itself. In
that respect, I hope we maintain the common resolve to work within our own
political parties and within this chamber to advance the cause of Canada's poor
and to reduce the rate of poverty in this country as soon as possible.
Hon. Michael A. Meighen: Honourable senators, I am delighted to report
that in its recently released annual Global Competitiveness Report, the
World Economic Forum has declared Canada's banking sector as being the soundest
in the world. This is not the first year that the forum has reached this same
conclusion. Rather, it is the third straight year that this prestigious
institution has made this pronouncement on Canada's financial sector.
As a representative of the World Economic Forum stated when the ranking was
released on September 9, 2010:
At a time when many countries are struggling with weak financial
institutions and macroeconomic stability, these are areas where Canada
remains a world leader, retaining its number one rating for the perceived
strength of its banks for the third year in a row.
Honourable senators, the World Economic Forum's declaration was particularly
timely. Just four days later, the Government of Canada, the Government of
Ontario and major financial sector leaders announced plans to launch the Global
Risk Institute in Financial Services.
With headquarters in Toronto, the Global Risk Institute in Financial Services
will be a world-class centre for training and research across multiple
regulatory and financial risk management disciplines. Designed with an
international or global focus, the research conducted by the GRI will form the
basis for professional development and training capital market practitioners and
As the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Canada's Minister of Finance, pointed out on
the day of the announcement:
The institute will leverage Canada's strong financial record and
reinforce our financial sector brand. The Government of Canada is committed
to building on the strengths of our financial system. We have been a world
leader throughout the global financial crisis, and initiatives like the one
being launched today will only add to our international reputation.
Honourable senators, the sturdiness and resilience of Canada's financial
sector are the result of sound regulation and responsible lending practices.
At the height of the global recession, when countries around the world were
spending billions of dollars to save their banks, Canada did not use one red
cent of taxpayers' money to bail out its banks.
It is not surprising that leaders around the globe were singing the praises
of Canada's financial system and urging others to emulate it.
Honourable senators, under the steady and balanced guidance of this
government, Canada's economic leadership is clear: we are home to the soundest
banks, home to sustainable economic growth, and home to almost 400,000 new jobs
created over the last year.
The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, pursuant to section 38 of
the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act, I have the honour to table, in
both official languages, the 2009-10 Annual Report of the Public Sector
Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable
senators, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the document
entitled Planning for a Sustainable Future: A Federal Sustainable Development
Strategy for Canada, from the Sustainable Development Office, Environment
Canada, October 2010.
Hon. Terry M. Mercer: Honourable senators, we have learned over the
past week that a Conservative unregistered lobbyist accepted almost $140,000 to
lobby on behalf of a company vying for a $9 million government contract as part
of the $1 billion Parliament Hill renovation project.
Would the Leader of the Government in the Senate please explain why the
government would do business with this unregistered lobbyist and why it has
again broken its own rules on lobbying?
Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government): I thank the
honourable senator for the question.
After years and years of Liberal scandals, our government, upon taking
office, brought in the Federal Accountability Act, the most comprehensive
anti-corruption legislation in Canadian history. If any contractors break the
rules, they will face the full force of the law. As was stated many times in the
other place yesterday, no member of the government is part of this inquiry.
Senator Mercer: Maybe we should add the word "yet" to that.
Yesterday, the then Minister of Public Works in the other place admitted to
attending a Conservative fundraising event that was organized by the very
company that won the contract. The unregistered Conservative lobbyist in
question also attended that event. Would the government leader assure the Senate
that the minister did not talk about the contract with the people at that
Conservative Party fundraiser?
Senator LeBreton: Honourable senators, I can well understand Senator
Mercer trying to taint us with a brush with which his party was so well painted.
I will read from the editorial of The Globe and Mail this morning,
which, of course, if people have noticed, is a newspaper that is relatively hard
on the government. In any event, The Globe and Mail in referencing this
issue said the following:
That litany of dealings lends itself to political muckraking. And the
opposition parties wasted little time piling on in Question Period on
Wednesday. But it's important to keep two things in mind. The Conservatives
have shown leadership in making the federal government more accountable.
Indeed, if there is a charge arising from the awarding of success fees from
this contract, it would be due to a piece of Conservative legislation, the
Lobbying Act of 2008, which bans the payment of contingency fees to outside
That is just the point that I was making. As I stated a moment ago, we
brought in these strict laws, and it has been acknowledged that the system has
been cleaned up massively. If anyone breaks the rules, he or she will and should
face the full force of the law.
Hon. Terry M. Mercer: Honourable senators, as we heard this summer
when the Prime Minister was touring northern Canada, when someone suggested he
might be breaking a rule by driving an all-terrain vehicle on a runway, he
turned around and said: "I make the rules." The Prime Minister may think he
makes the rules, but Canadians and their Parliament make the rules. There seems
to be a little difficulty between Mr. Harper's contention that he makes the
rules and his government obeying the rules.
Let us go on to another example, because I know honourable senators are very
interested in this.
This week, the President of the Public Service Commission reported a huge
increase in the hiring of temporary workers by federal departments that
apparently skirts the Public Service Employment Act or, in other words, breaks
the rules. Again, this is a case of more rules not being followed.
Would the government leader please tell us why the government has resorted to
filling positions with temporary workers instead of streamlining the hiring
process so that it can indeed follow the rules?
Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government): With regard to the
reference to the Prime Minister, the honourable senator should get serious, for
To answer his previous question, the Minister of Natural Resources already
answered the question that the honourable senator referenced.
With regard to the report of the President of the Public Service Commission,
I had the pleasure of meeting with her to discuss her report. If the honourable
senator reads the full report, he will find she is very complimentary to the
government. As a matter of fact, the incidence of political interference in
hiring for the public service and the hiring of former political staffers has
decreased significantly, and she gave great kudos to the government for that.
Hon. Art Eggleton: Honourable senators, my question is directed to the
Leader of the Government in the Senate. Yesterday, the leader and I both
answered questions about the In from the Margins report and the
government's response to it. She cited a number of things the government is
doing of which I am well aware and recognized yesterday.
However, the question that the committee had in its deliberations on this
matter was not that money is being spent, but how the money is being spent and
whether it is being spent in most effective way. That is not a criticism of the
government. If anything, it is a criticism of all governments at all three
levels, because we have built up a dysfunctional system. It is not reducing
poverty or resolving the problem. We are putting a significant amount of money
in, but we are not achieving the results. That was the finding of the committee.
I want to ask about one of the recommendations, number 5, which happens to be
a favourite recommendation of Senator Segal. It reads:
The Committee recommends that the federal government publish a Green
Paper by December 31 2010, to include the costs and benefits of current
practices with respect to income supports and of options to reduce and
eliminate poverty, including a basic annual income based on a negative
income tax. . . .
Put aside for a moment the basic income program and the deadline of the end
of this year, which would be impossible to meet at this point. However, the
notion of a green paper that would look at the costs and benefits is interesting
— a cost-benefit analysis of current practices with respect to income support
and options to reduce and eliminate poverty. Would the honourable senator be
willing to recommend that to cabinet?
Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government): As I reported and
the honourable senator acknowledged yesterday, this Senate committee did
outstanding work in this area and submitted a report. The government, as it is
obligated to do, responded to the report, and I have nothing further to add.
As I indicated yesterday, and as the government has indicated, the report was
responded to because there was a time limit to respond, but that does not mean
the report is being shelved. The government has stated that it will look
carefully at all of the recommendations of the Senate committee.
Senator Eggleton: I thank the leader for that reply. I am glad that is
the case. There are 74 recommendations and it takes a long time.
Recommendation number 5 is a particularly good starting point because it
talks about looking at the cost benefits. We still have the problem of poverty
affecting 10 per cent of the country, which is a lot of people — 800,000
children. Aboriginals, new immigrants and lone parents — largely lone mothers —
are way over-represented in poverty and under-represented in the workforce.
There has to be a starting point and I am hoping the honourable leader will make
that starting point.
Forty years ago, Senator Croll said in this chamber in his landmark report on
poverty that we pour billions of dollars — he was talking about governments in
general — into a social welfare system that merely treats the symptoms of
poverty but leaves the disease itself untouched. That is the point I am making.
Senator LeBreton: I totally agree with the honourable senator. No
government of whatever political stripe or Canadian citizens as a whole would
ever want people to continue to live in poverty and would want to do everything
possible to help. Thank goodness we have so many excellent social service
I will be happy to make the case to my cabinet colleagues that they take a
special look at Recommendation 5.
Hon. Grant Mitchell: Honourable senators, on the one hand, the
Canadian Women's Foundation wrote to Minister Clement in July to say that they
were very concerned that his cancelling of the long-form census would damage the
credibility of data critical to providing programs and policies to help some of
the most vulnerable people in our society, in particular, women — women in
poverty, Aboriginal women and disabled women. On the other hand, at about the
same time, the Prime Minister was intensely requesting reports that would give
him a count of and location of stimulus project signs that had been put up all
across this country.
Why is it that the Prime Minister would be so keen on doing a census on signs
while not spending the time, not giving the consideration and not making the
commitment to do a proper census on people and their problems so that we can
develop programs to fix those problems?
Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators,
on the issue of infrastructure and the stimulus spending, as the honourable
senator well knows, this project was undertaken by the government in full
cooperation with municipalities and provincial and territorial governments.
Everywhere you see one of those signs, you will see a sign from the applicable
province and municipality.
I remember at the beginning of this process that the other side of this house
was saying that we were not conducting any projects. Now they are complaining
that we are doing too many projects and have too many signs.
Going back to the census matter, this argument is getting a little
ridiculous. As I stated in this chamber last week, Statistics Canada does
incredible work. They conduct many surveys that are valuable resources for
various organizations across the country. As a matter of interest, on September
9, 2010, Statistics Canada reported that they were involved in 80 voluntary
surveys. The only three that are mandatory are the labour force survey, the
census short form and the agricultural surveys.
However, since the honourable senator specifically asked about women, if we
were to listen to the honourable senator's logic, the information from all of
these surveys is useless because they are voluntary.
I will list a few of the surveys to provide some examples: Aboriginal
children's survey; Aboriginal peoples survey; Canadian community health survey;
Canadian community health survey — healthy aging; Canadian community health
survey — mental health stigma and discrimination content; general social survey
— family; general social survey — family, social support and retirement; general
social survey — social networks; general social survey — time use; and general
social survey — victimization.
There is the legal aid survey; living in Canada survey; national
apprenticeship survey; national graduate survey; national population health
survey — household component — longitudinal; national tenant satisfaction
survey; Nunavut housing needs survey; official languages' demand for service
survey; participation and activity limitation survey; police administration
survey; residential telephone service survey; survey of Canadian attitudes
toward learning; survey of federal government expenditures in support of
education; survey of financial statistics for private, elementary and secondary
schools; survey of fraud against businesses; survey of household spending;
survey of labour and income dynamics; survey of people living in First Nations
communities; survey of staffing; survey of young Canadians; survey of living
with chronic diseases in Canada; therapeutic abortion survey; transition home
survey; travel activities and motivation survey; travel survey of residents of
Canada; victim services survey; youth custody and community services; youth in
transition survey; and youth smoking survey. I have read just a few of them.
Many organizations depend on these surveys and Statistics Canada does an
outstanding job producing them. The honourable senator is arguing that these
surveys are useless because all of the information is provided voluntarily.
Senator Mitchell: In the reading of that list of surveys, the leader
forgot one census — the non-mandatory long-form census, which every census
statistic expert in the country tells us cannot be done properly if it is not
mandatory. We do not know that there are not a whole bunch of mandatory
questions in that list.
I wonder who is worried about the big issues in this country while the Prime
Minister is micromanaging signs. Think about that, about the kind of leadership
that says, "I will focus on signs today as the Prime Minister of Canada." Man,
that is great. That is probably why we are losing the battle for a seat at the
The honourable leader has said often that she does not know whether the
non-mandatory census will work until we try it. That sounds like an experiment.
Has the government given any thought to the number of vulnerable people in this
country and how many and how hard they will be hurt if that experiment happens
to go wrong?
Senator LeBreton: If the honourable senator had listened to the list I
just read, he would know that there are many surveys that collect information
from the various groups which the government is called upon to assist. Other
people are interested in having that data in order to make their plans.
The long-form National Household Survey has the same number of questions and
it will be distributed more widely than the last long census form. We also have
every reason to believe that Canadians will fill out the form because they are
being asked to do it nicely, rather than being told to do so by some form of Big
Brother in Ottawa.
Senator Mitchell: I wonder if the leader could just scrape away all of
the spin and simply be straightforward and admit that the reason her government
does not want to have reliable, fundamental data gained from a mandatory census
is because, if one does not have that kind of data, one cannot define the kinds
of groups that have the kinds of problems that social programs and policies
could fix. Therefore, the government does not have to fund them and this
government hates funding them.
Senator LeBreton: When I was answering the question about all of the
people who are surveyed on a voluntary basis, did any honourable senator notice
if Senator Mitchell had his ears plugged?
Some Hon. Senators: Yes.
Hon. David P. Smith: I have a supplementary question. Given all the
great things the minister has told us about what Statistics Canada is doing, can
she explain why the head of Statistics Canada quit his job?
Senator LeBreton: Actually, the honourable senator could have read his
reasons for leaving his position. His reasons were based on a headline in The
Globe and Mail that he said misrepresented his position. That was the reason
I cannot answer for the former head of Statistics Canada. The honourable
senator will have to ask him.
Senator Smith: Does the minister not believe he resigned in protest to
the government's action?
Senator LeBreton: It was actually his decision. It was quite after the
fact and, if the honourable senator goes back and looks he will see that the
head of Statistics Canada said that he felt a headline in The Globe and Mail
severely undermined what he thought he had been saying. He said that was why he
However, he would still be in the position if he had not made his own
personal decision. Therefore, once again, Senator Smith will have to ask him.
Hon. Tommy Banks: Honourable senators, one of the very few things I
know a bit about is surveys. I used to be in the marketing business for a while
and I know about surveys and how to write one to make it say whatever one wants
it to. Rather than asking a question susceptible to an answer in the form of a
list, does the minister understand the difference between a survey and a census?
Senator LeBreton: That is insulting. It is like asking if I know the
difference between a man and a woman. After having sufficiently insulted my
intelligence, Senator Banks: Of course I do.
Senator Banks: Then it is clear that there is a difference between the
surveys that you refer to on the one hand and the census on the other, in the
same sense that there is a difference — thank God — between a man and a woman,
to use your example.
Senator LeBreton: Again, Senator Banks, there is a mandatory short
census form that will provide all of the information required.
I return again to the long form. It has been reported quite extensively that
there were significant numbers of people who did not fill out the long form for
their own reasons. They were then subjected to inquiries by the government and
threats of fines. However, the fact is that a significant number refused.
We decided to have a good balance of the mandatory short-form census, to
which we added some questions of language, and a household survey with the same
questions but which would be more widely distributed. When asked to respond to
the latter, we believe Canadians, when not under any threat from the government,
will willingly respond.
We believe, and there is no reason not to, that the information will be
equally as valuable. All of the other surveys Statistics Canada does, on which
we rely heavily, provide excellent information from which people make decisions.
The only difference is that we are asking people to answer the household survey;
we are not ordering them to do it.
Hon. Joan Fraser: Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader
of the Government in the Senate.
The minister has said again that the information will be as good from the
voluntary survey as it would be from the census. However, let us go back to the
earlier question about the reason why the chief statistician resigned. The
minister might not recall that, in his letter of resignation and in his public
comments, he made two things plain. First, he resigned because he learned
through reading the public press that the Minister of Industry was telling
Canadians that Statistics Canada believed the results from the new voluntary
survey would be as valid as those from the long census form. Second, Statistics
Canada does not believe any such thing.
He resigned because he believed that what the minister had said was impugning
the reputation, not only of himself, but of the whole institution he served.
Does the minister recall that?
Senator LeBreton: I cannot recall exactly all of the words. However,
the fact is the Minister of Industry did no such thing.
Hon. Catherine S. Callbeck: Honourable senators, my question is for
the Leader of the Government in the Senate. I am asking this question because I
have been approached several times about the unfairness in the delivery of the
Veterans Independence Program.
As we know, this program includes groundskeeping and housekeeping services.
As this program is presently delivered, if a veteran and his wife receive both
housekeeping and groundskeeping services, his widow can continue with both of
them. If a veteran and his wife did not receive either benefit, then a
low-income widow can apply and receive the benefits.
However, here is where the unfairness lies — if a veteran and his wife
received only one of those services, his widow can never apply for the second,
even if she is a low-income widow. What we have is a system where some widows
can get both services and other widows are excluded. It is grossly unfair.
Why has this government not corrected this inequity so that all widows are
Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government): In response to
Senator Callbeck, the New Veterans Charter was brought forward in fall 2005
under the previous Liberal government. It included the lump sum payment and was
passed by Parliament.
Since that time there have been many complaints and we even had testimony
before the Senate committee. Clearly, the government and Minister Blackburn are
working extremely hard to try to address some of the serious flaws in the
services to our veterans. The government has made two announcements, of which
the honourable senator is well aware.
I will take Senator Callbeck's question as notice and ask for a response to
the specific set of circumstances.
Senator Callbeck: Honourable senators, I am glad to hear that the
leader will bring back a response. It truly is unfair and unreasonable that if a
couple has not received any benefits, a low-income widow can apply and receive
both, but if a couple received only one benefit, the widow cannot apply for the
second one even though she is low income.
Will the Leader of the Government in the Senate impress upon the Minister of
Veterans Affairs the need to change the VIP eligibility criteria for spouses so
that all widows are treated fairly?
Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.
Senator LeBreton: The VIP program, as the honourable senator is well
aware, was expanded significantly under our government, which also expanded the
access points for services. Senator Callbeck has spoken to a specific set of
circumstances for which, as I indicated in my previous answer, I will obtain a
Honourable senators, our government has come into office determined to better
equip our Armed Forces and to treat our service men and women much better than
they were treated in the past. Our commitment to veterans is sincere and strong.
We know the sacrifices they have made on behalf of the country. The Minister of
Veterans Affairs, the Minister of National Defence and most of us in government
are seized with these various issues. No one more than I or anyone in government
would want to ensure that our veterans are treated properly for their great
service to our country.
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Chaput, seconded
by the Honourable Senator Mahovlich, for the second reading of Bill S-220,
An Act to amend the Official Languages Act (communications with and services
to the public).
Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable
senators, I am still preparing my notes on this bill. I move the adjournment of
the debate for the remainder of my time.
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Is it your pleasure,
honourable senators, to adopt the motion?
Hon. Grant Mitchell moved second reading of Bill S-221, An Act to
amend the Income Tax Act (carbon offset tax credit).
He said: Honourable senators, it is with great anticipation that I have
awaited the chance to speak to this bill yet again. I almost feel that I do not
have to sell Bill S-221 because it is such a good bill. Obviously, I have
misjudged the sentiment, given what Senator Comeau just said, and I will have to
speak directly to him.
An Hon. Senator: Oh, oh.
Senator Mitchell: Does that mean the honourable senator has directed
Senator Di Nino to speak to this bill? I thought he was the critic on this bill,
or at least he was the critic.
Honourable senators, this bill should gain a great deal of appeal amongst the
Conservative members of the Senate, and I will tell you why: I honoured one of
their family tax incentive programs by using it as a model for this program.
In Bill S-221, I propose that people invest in carbon credits designed to
reduce carbon emissions that otherwise would have been emitted. For making such
an investment, the citizen should receive a tax credit of 15 per cent, which is
equal to the first level of tax in our system.
The Conservative government popularized that concept in several cases. I am
aware of the incentive whereby parents who invest in sports programs for their
children, such as hockey, receive a tax credit of up to $500 at a tax rate of 15
per cent, which equals a tax credit of $75 to the family. It is not a bad idea.
In fact, I like the concept so much I adopted it for my carbon credit system.
Honourable senators, the system would require a voluntary carbon market that
people could rely on and believe in, knowing that any money paid to an entity
would take certain steps to implement energy programs and develop alternative
energy to ensure that emissions otherwise emitted would not be emitted. For
doing that, people would receive the 15 per cent tax credit. I have not placed a
specific limit on that but it could be discussed and developed as this is
Honourable senators, if I were to put everything into carbon credits as a
family member or as an individual and it encouraged an investment of $1 billion
in carbon credits, the tax credit at 15 per cent would be $150 million. That is
not insignificant but when compared to spending $16 billion on jets, it suddenly
has perspective. Consider as well, honourable senators, that the billions of
dollars invested by families in carbon would go directly to our businesses and
our farms that have taken steps to reduce emissions. For example, Alberta's
Premier Stelmach has implemented the first and only, I believe, cap and almost
trade system in North America. It is not a perfect cap system because it is
intensity based, but it is a step in the right direction; and good for him.
Alberta has rounded up farmers who are reaping carbon credits by reducing carbon
with carbon sinks and reduced emissions. They sell the credits to the companies
in their cap system that need to reach certain standards but perhaps have not
been able to do that yet. That money is going directly to Alberta farmers.
I do not know about other honourable senators, but I have never met an
Alberta farmer who has too much money. Rather, I have met many Alberta farmers
who do not have enough money. This is a 21st century way to take the climate
change problem and turn it into an economic opportunity.
The other element captured by my bill is the potential to encourage
individuals to do it. I will give an example of how powerful this can be. My
wife and I have three children; there are five of us. Each Canadian is
responsible for about six tonnes of carbon emissions a year. In our case, that
is 30 tonnes. We could go to the European market today and probably buy a tonne
for about $20. For $600 a year, our family could be carbon neutral.
Families across the country could do the same thing. Schools could collect
bottles, sell pies and make their classrooms carbon neutral. This concept has
all kinds of potential.
I do not know how many of my honourable friends understand it, but many
people do not fully understand climate change or are concerned deeply about it
but do not know what to do. This point was reinforced for me the other day as I
was speaking to a woman who said, "I think people are just afraid to admit
climate change because two things happen if they do. The reaction is almost
overwhelming. What do we do? It is so big; it is the world. How do we solve it?
Second, what can I do? There is nothing I can do."
I like this kind of project because it says to individuals that there is
something you can do. You can buy a tonne of carbon, give that money to someone
and they can reduce that amount of carbon for you. If it is a voluntary market
that is sanctioned by the equivalent of the SEC or government, then you can know
that it is really working.
It also will have the advantage of this money going directly into business.
It is a stimulus project that would be levered to 100 per cent, from 15 per
cent, by individuals investing in something intrinsically good for the
environment and investing in businesses and farms that are doing things
intrinsically good for the environment.
We encounter a number of arguments all the time when considering this kind of
policy, specifically with respect to carbon credits. I will get these out of the
way quickly. One thought is, "Climate change is not occurring so why would I
worry?" I do not know that I meet anyone now who actually admits to believing
that. They may still think it, but climate change is so obvious that most people
now acknowledge that it is happening and are not about to stand up and say, "No,
it is not happening"; and, of course, one has to be pressed to imagine that it
is actually not happening.
The corollary to this viewpoint is that climate change is happening but it is
not being caused by human activity. I am struck by that one, because if climate
change is not being caused by human activity, we are in real trouble; if we are
not causing it, we cannot fix it. I say to people who say that, "You should drop
to your knees and pray that it is being caused by human activity because then we
have a chance to fix it."
Climate change is happening. The science is overwhelming; it is being caused
by human activity. We have to encourage the human activity that will fix it,
which is what this bill is designed to do.
The other argument that has been used is that carbon credits have all kinds
of structural problems: They represent hot air in Russia; they will not really
do the trick, et cetera. I say to Conservatives who say that to me still, "You
should talk to your Prime Minister because he is already committed to cap and
trade, and carbon markets and carbon credits are the trade part of the cap and
trade." It is a moot point for even Conservative policy now. We are into it; we
just have not even started to develop the market for carbon credits.
Look elsewhere in the world. In Europe, there is a $100-billion-a-year carbon
market. Yes, there have been some problems with it, certainly at the outset when
the credits were underpriced. However, the fact is that huge companies with real
caps to meet, sanctioned by governments and other agencies, are dealing on
markets that work, that are real and that do result in direct reduction in
carbon emissions, allowing these companies and individuals as well to work on
that in an effective way.
It is interesting to keep in mind that carbon credits at this point, at $20
or $6 as they were for farmers in Alberta, are relatively inexpensive. That is a
key point about carbon markets: They allow us to grab the low-hanging fruit as
we allow and pressure our companies and our industry and others to work on
reducing their emissions in a more paced way, because they can buy reductions
very inexpensively elsewhere in Canada. Some would argue that it should be done
elsewhere in the world as well if those markets are to work effectively. Carbon
markets play an important central role in making the carbon credit system I am
talking about work.
For those who are still concerned about carbon credits, the Western
industrialized world, the market-driven world, has been dealing with stocks,
bonds and securities for about 120 years in a sophisticated way. Now, you can
buy a stock in a bank, hopefully a Canadian bank, and you have no way of knowing
its real value. Why do you believe in its value? It is air. They do not even
have money half the time. These are just electronic entries on computers
Because we have structures, regulations, generally accepted accounting
principles, we sometimes put people in jail if they mess with these markets. We
have these structures that allow us to have confidence in those stocks. A carbon
market credit is really just a stock, is a simple one at that. It probably does
not require any more regulation or supervision than the stocks we buy and sell
every day on markets around the world, places in which we do not even live,
because we have confidence that those markets are regulated properly.
To recap, my proposal is modelled upon a Conservative proposal. It almost
pains me to say that, but I am saying it because it is true. It is designed to
encourage people to invest in reducing carbon emissions. We would encourage them
by giving them that first level of tax credit, 15 per cent. It is not like it is
an outright net expenditure in the sense that it has just gone into thin air.
That 15 per cent and the other 85 per cent that individuals and businesses would
put into doing this will go directly into businesses and farms in Canada. It has
that business impact that is so important and powerful.
This proposal also has a psychological impact. Climate change is an
overwhelming problem in one sense. We know that when people are confronted with
it, they have to assess what it means to their lives and especially to the lives
of their children and grandchildren. However, here is a concrete thing they can
do to buy into that process, begin to understand it and then perhaps find other
things they can do. Perhaps they can then put pressure on the Conservative
government to do what it should be doing much more quickly in providing
This is a first step in leadership. It acknowledges the profound problem that
confronts humanity. It is based upon the fact that carbon credits have many
advantageous market mechanisms; that there is precedent for doing this in
Europe; that it is a way of finding the low-hanging carbon reduction fruit.
If we add all that up, this is one heck of an idea, honourable senators. I
would urge you to vote for it.
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Rivest, seconded
by the Honourable Senator Lang, for the second reading of Bill C-288, An Act
to amend the Income Tax Act (tax credit for new graduates working in
Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable
senators, I see that this item has been on the Order Paper for 13 days and we do
not want it to die there. I would therefore like to take the adjournment for the
time remaining to me.
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Runciman,
seconded by the Honourable Senator Stewart Olsen:
That in the opinion of the Senate, the government should consider the
establishment of a tuition fund for the families of federal public safety
officers who lose their lives in the line of duty and that such a fund
should mirror the provisions of the Constable Joe MacDonald Public Safety
Officers' Survivors Scholarship Fund, in place in the province of Ontario
Hon. Joan Fraser: Honourable senators, I wish to begin by
congratulating Senator Runciman for bringing forward this motion. It is hard to
think of anyone to whom we owe more than federal public safety officers who lose
their lives in the line of duty. We owe to them, as to veterans, all possible
honour and, more practically, we owe to those they leave behind all the
assistance that we can practically furnish.
As Senator Runciman pointed out yesterday, most of the public safety officers
who lose their lives in the line of duty are police officers. It is in the
nature of things that most of them are young people out on patrol. As most of
them are young, many of them leave behind young children. We cannot bring back
the lost parents of those children, but we can think about what we, as a
country, owe them for the sacrifice they, too, have made in the loss of their
Police officers are not generally wealthy. They have not usually,
particularly at a young age, been able to accumulate much capital, and their
children will face long years of financial need. They will also face a
particular kind of trauma that comes from the way in which their lost parent
died: murder, usually, of a sort — not always, but usually.
We know that for young people who have suffered emotional trauma, the years
of growing up are even more difficult than they are for all young people. We
also know that for any young person, the promise of a fulfilled future can make
an enormous difference in the choices that young person makes as he or she grows
up. One key element of access to a fulfilled future is education.
Senator Runciman explained yesterday that the Province of Ontario, thanks to
him, already has a scholarship fund for the survivors of public safety officers
who lose their lives in the line of duty. It covers post-secondary education
costs for the spouse and offspring of public safety officers in Ontario who lose
their lives in the line of duty. One thing I found fascinating was how little it
costs. This fund was started more than 10 years ago, with just $5 million of
seed money, and it has never had to be replenished.
It is hard to think of a more worthwhile investment and of one that would
give better results on a cost-benefit analysis for society as a whole. I believe
that it would be entirely appropriate and entirely desirable for a comparable
fund to be established at the federal level. I truly do. I would urge all
members of the Senate to agree with this proposition. It is hard to think of a
less partisan matter than the children of lost public safety officers.
I am sure that some honourable senators will wish to speak to this motion.
However, if they are in agreement with the motion, I would hope that they would
do so relatively quickly so that, if the Senate did decide to adopt this motion,
the word of it could be given to the Finance Minister while he is preparing his
next budget. If one thinks it is a good idea, why wait? We are not talking about
large sums of money, but possibly about very important sums of money.
I have, however, told Senator Runciman that there is one phrase in his motion
that gives me some trouble. His motion suggests that the federal fund should
"mirror the provisions" of the Ontario fund. That strikes me as being perhaps a
bit restrictive, a bit narrow. I do not know the fine details of the Ontario
fund. More particularly, I do not know that anyone can be sure that the fine
details of a fund that exists in Ontario, however well it serves Ontario, would
be exactly useful in other portions of this country. There are not many things
in which, for example, Yellowknife and downtown Toronto are immediately
comparable. Therefore, purely for prudent reasons, I have suggested to Senator
Runciman that it might be wise to amend that phrase. He has indicated to me that
he would not be in disagreement with that idea. I have not consulted him about
the specific wording because it was only moments ago that I figured out what I
thought the specific wording should be, but I have consulted him about the
principle of what I am about to propose.
Hon. Joan Fraser: Therefore, honourable senators, I move:
That the motion be amended by replacing the words "mirror the provisions
of" with the words "operate along the lines of."
The motion would then read "that such a fund should operate along the lines
of the Constable Joe MacDonald Public Safety Officers' Survivors Scholarship
Honourable senators, I hope that this will meet with your agreement.
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: It was moved by the
Honourable Senator Fraser, seconded by the Honourable Senator Tardif, that the
motion be amended by substituting the words "mirror the provisions of" with the
words "operate along the lines of."
Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the amendment?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
Senator Runciman: Honourable senators, we have adopted the amendment
and I appreciate that very much.
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Honourable senators, I
wish to inform you that if the Honourable Senator Runciman speaks now, it will
have the effect of closing the debate so that no other senators can speak to
this motion, as amended. Does the honourable senator wish to speak now?
Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable
senators, I think what happened a couple of minutes ago is that we went
extremely quickly through the process. Generally, we ask whether the honourable
senators are ready for the question, and so on, but we usually give an
opportunity for someone to debate the amended motion. I hesitate to suggest that
this time that opportunity was not given, but we went through it very quickly.
Would honourable senators back off a bit and provide the opportunity for some
people to debate on the amendment? The way we have done it, if Senator Runciman
were to talk about the amendment, it would preclude any other senators from
speaking to the main motion and to the amendment as well.
Might it be agreed that we will back off a bit and allow Senator Runciman to
speak on the amendment?
Hon. Claudette Tardif (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable
senators, I would certainly accept that leave be granted at this time for
Senator Runciman or anyone else wanting to speak on the amendment.
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Honourable senators,
is leave granted for Senator Runciman to speak now on the amendment without
closing the debate?
Hon. Senators: Agreed.
Hon. Bob Runciman: I am sorry to have caused all this trouble. I want
to briefly indicate my thanks to Senator Fraser for her kind words today and her
support for the motion. I also want to express my hope, honourable senators,
that all members will heed her request that this matter be dealt with in a
timely manner so that it can hopefully be part of the consideration of the
Minister of Finance with respect to the development of next year's budget.
Hon. Tommy Banks: Honourable senators, may I ask a question of Senator
Runciman, ostensibly on the amendment?
I did not have the advantage of hearing Senator Runciman's introductory
remarks, but since we are talking along the lines of a provincial act, did he
mention, and, if so, could he remind me of what would happen in Ontario? We
would then have two acts that would apply in Ontario which would set out to
provide the same service. Would one go away? Would it be split? Is the
institution of this therefore requiring negotiations with the province? I am
sure he has thought of that, but I ask him to remind me of that.
Senator Runciman: I appreciate the concern of Senator Banks. This
would not have any impact with respect to the Ontario program. That is the only
tuition fund available in Canada and it only applies to provincial peace
officers within the province of Ontario. My motion is directed at federal
Hon. Percy E. Downe: Honourable senators, I apologize for not being
aware of the substance of the Constable Joe MacDonald Public Safety Officers'
Survivors Scholarship Fund, but I will read about it over the break.
I would assume that when Ontario created that, it was obviously for public
safety officers. However, as a national program, we would obviously want to
include — and I am wondering if the senator would agree — the children of
Canadian Forces members who were killed in the line of service as well.
We know, for example, that former General Hillier, Chancellor of Memorial
University, has arranged for Memorial to give scholarships. Other universities
are doing it ad hoc. This is something the senator would obviously consider as
an expansion of the intention? Would that be correct?
Senator Runciman: We did look at that when we were considering
preparation of the motion, and there are a number of programs available for the
families of military officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
This is a separate matter that deals with peace officers and is not solely
focused on the RCMP. It is broader than that. If one looks at the number of
officers who have lost their lives since 1990, there have been a number of
correctional officers and one Fisheries and Oceans officer. It covers anyone who
falls under that broad umbrella definition of peace officer.
Senator Downe: Obviously I support the spirit and intention of the
motion. My inquiry is probably better dealt with at committee so that we do not
end up unintentionally excluding anyone. When your motion goes there for further
study, I am sure the committee will consider this and, as the lead sponsor, you
will do that, too, hopefully.
Senator Tardif: In order to allow as many honourable senators as
possible to reflect on this important motion and to speak to it, I would like to
move the adjournment.
Resuming debate on the inquiry of the Honourable Senator Comeau calling
the attention of the Senate to the career of the Honourable Senator Keon in
the Senate and his many contributions in service to Canadians.
Hon. Consiglio Di Nino: Honourable senators, I am honoured to add
words of praise for our retired colleague, the Honourable Senator Wilbert Keon.
Many in this chamber and many outside of it have expressed their respect,
admiration and appreciation for this extraordinary man.
His life has inspired generations, and his imprint on public service will be
a lasting testimony to his remarkable achievements. He is a consummate
professional with a clear vision and a firm commitment to bettering the lives of
mankind. His life's work, including the mentoring of innumerable men and women,
has assured his legacy.
I would now like to put on the record comments by his grandchildren:
reflections on their grandpa. At my request, Jack, William and Emily sent me the
My grandpa has had a rollercoaster of a life. I don't think that the
excitement in his life ended when he left the operating table or the Senate.
Every year, I travel over to Canada to see my grandpa and enjoy spending an
insanely packed holiday with him. We go out on the water together fishing
and boating. I like spending summer holidays with him in Sheenboro because I
don't see him as much as I would like to. He teaches me how to drive all his
machines and he enjoys showing me how everything works. Some day I would
like to be like him, having the freedom to just go out on the boats.
I do not think that is what Dr. Keon does.
I understand that nothing worth having comes easy and I know that he had
to put a lot of effort into his work and career. I think it is so cool to
type his name into the internet and see how many stories about his
interesting and fascinating life come up. He is an all-rounded person and I
am proud to call him my grandpa.
This is signed by Jack, who lives in England and is 11 years old.
From Manotick, this message is from William and Emily, ten and eight and a
As a doctor, Grandpa Keon helped a lot of people. We are asked all the
time if we are related to him and people always have great things to say
about him. He is nice to everyone and always does his best. He is awesome!
Grandpa Keon worked very hard as a Senator and is proud of what he did
during his time there. He was sad to leave. We are very proud of him and are
glad that he is one of our grandpas. We love you, Grandpa!
To finish off, to Willie I say, may you enjoy your blessings for a very long
time. Thank you.
Resuming debate on the inquiry of the Honourable Senator Carstairs, P.C.,
calling the attention of the Senate to the state of Palliative Care in
Hon. Terry M. Mercer: Honourable senators, I intend to speak on the
subject matter of this inquiry that has been proposed by the Honourable Senator
Carstairs with respect to palliative care in Canada. I will give a longer
intervention at some future date, but at the present time I would like to
adjourn the debate.
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Is it your pleasure,
honourable senators, to adopt the motion?
Hon. Joan Fraser, pursuant to notice of October 6, 2010, moved:
That the papers and evidence received and taken and work accomplished by
the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs during its
study of Bill C-15, An Act to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act
and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts, during the
Second Session of the Fortieth Parliament, be referred to the committee for
the purposes of its study on Bill S-10, An Act to amend the Controlled Drugs
and Substances Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other
Acts during the current session.
The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Is it your pleasure,
honourable senators, to adopt the motion?