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Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

3rd Session, 40th Parliament,
Volume 147, Issue 55

Thursday, October 7, 2010
The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, Speaker


THE SENATE

Thursday, October 7, 2010

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

Prayers.

SENATORS' STATEMENTS

The Late Maurice Foster

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 humanity.

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.

United Nations

Security Council Membership

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.

Canada-China Relations

Fortieth Anniversary

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 conference.

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.

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Alberta Oil Sands

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 sands.

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.

[English]

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 landscapes.

[Translation]

The Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean

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.

Poverty Reduction

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.

Banking in Canada

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.

[English]

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 regulators.

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.

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Honourable senators, the sturdiness and resilience of Canada's financial sector are the result of sound regulation and responsible lending practices.

[Translation]

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.

[English]

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.


[Translation]

ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

Public Sector Integrity Commissioner

2009-10 Annual Report Tabled

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 Integrity Commissioner.

Environment Canada

Planning for a Sustainable Future—October 2010 Document Tabled

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.

[English]

Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration

Fifth Report of Committee Tabled

Hon. David Tkachuk: Honourable senators, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the fifth report of the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration.


QUESTION PERIOD

Public Works and Government Services

Contract for Parliament Hill Renovations—Lobbying Act

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 consultants.

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.

Human Resources and Skills Development

Public Service Commission Hiring Practices

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 goodness' sake.

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.

Assistance for Low-Income Canadians

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.

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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 agencies.

I will be happy to make the case to my cabinet colleagues that they take a special look at Recommendation 5.

Industry

2011 Census

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 Security Council.

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?

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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 he gave.

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 quit.

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.

Veterans Affairs

Veterans Independence Program

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 treated fairly?

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.

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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 response.

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.

[Translation]

Answer to Order Paper Question Tabled

National Revenue—Possible Tax Evasion

Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government) tabled the answer to Question No. 5 on the Order Paper—by Senator Downe.


ORDERS OF THE DAY

Official Languages Act

Bill to Amend—Second Reading—Debate Continued

On the Order:

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. Senators: Agreed.

(On motion of Senator Comeau, debate adjourned.)

[English]

Income Tax Act

Bill to Amend—Second Reading—Debate Adjourned

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 implemented.

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.

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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 somewhere.

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 leadership.

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.

(On motion of Senator Comeau, debate adjourned.)

[Translation]

Income Tax Act

Bill to Amend—Second Reading—Debate Continued

On the Order:

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 designated regions).

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.

(On motion of Senator Comeau, debate adjourned.)

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[English]

The Senate

Motion to Support the Establishment of a Federal Public Safety Officers' Survivors Scholarship Fund—Debate Continued

On the Order:

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 since 1997.

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 parent.

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.

Motion in Amendment

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 Fund."

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?

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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 officers only.

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.

(On motion of Senator Tardif, debate adjourned.)

The Honourable Wilbert J. Keon, O.C.

Inquiry—Debate Continued

On the Order:

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 following:

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 continue:

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 half respectively:

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.

(On motion of Senator Comeau, debate adjourned).

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State of Palliative Care

Inquiry—Debate Continued

On the Order:

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 Canada.

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?

(On motion of Senator Mercer, debate adjourned.)

Legal and Constitutional Affairs

Committee Authorized to Refer Documents from Study on Bill C-15 during the Second Session of the Fortieth Parliament to Current Study on Bill S-10

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?

(Motion agreed to.)

[Translation]

Adjournment

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

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

That when the Senate adjourns today, it do stand adjourned until Tuesday, October 19, 2010, at 2 p.m.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

(Motion agreed to.)

(The Senate adjourned until Tuesday, October 19, 2010, at 2 p.m.)