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Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

3rd Session, 40th Parliament,
Volume 147, Issue 59

Tuesday, October 26, 2010
The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, Speaker


THE SENATE

Thursday, October 21, 2010

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

Prayers.

SENATORS' STATEMENTS

Visitors in the Gallery

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I wish to draw to your attention the presence in the gallery of a group of veterans. They are the guests of Senator Pépin and Senator Dallaire.

On behalf of all the senators, welcome to the Senate of Canada.

[English]

Ms. Viola Desmond

Posthumous Pardon

Hon. Donald H. Oliver: Honourable senators, Ms. Viola Desmond, a Black woman from Nova Scotia, made the Canadian history books again this year.

Forty-five years after her death in 1965, the Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia, Mayann Francis, posthumously pardoned Ms. Desmond for being wrongfully accused and jailed based on the colour of her skin.

On April 15, 2010, Her Honour invoked the Royal Prerogative, making Viola Desmond the first Canadian to be granted a free pardon after her death. Her pardon is based on the fact that she was innocent of any wrongdoing and recognizes that her conviction was in error.

Here is Ms. Desmond's story. Born in Halifax in 1914, Viola Desmond was a successful Black businesswoman and beautician who owned a beauty parlour and academy. On November 8, 1946, her car broke down while on a business trip to New Glasgow. She decided to go to the movies while she waited for her car to be repaired. She bought a ticket and innocently took a seat on the main floor of the Roseland Theatre, an area reserved for White people only.

Such segregation was unacceptable to Ms. Desmond, and she courageously sat down with the White moviegoers. Theatre staff demanded that she move to the balcony, but she refused. The police were called and she was forcibly removed from the theatre, arrested and held overnight in jail. She was charged with attempting to defraud the federal government because she refused to pay the one-cent difference in tax between a ground floor and a balcony seat. She believed that it was unfair for Blacks to pay more to see the same movie. After a short trial, Ms. Desmond was fined $20 and sentenced to 30 days in prison for not paying the one-cent difference.

At the official ceremony, Lieutenant-Governor Francis said:

It is only on rare occasions, with the clarity of hindsight and benefit of careful thought and measured reason, that a society comes together to undo the wrongs of the past.

Premier Darrell Dexter also formally apologized to Ms. Desmond, her family and the African-Canadian community for the institutional racism of the past.

Honourable senators, since the historic apology, Viola Desmond has been honoured a number of other times for her courageous acts to break down racial barriers. The town of New Glasgow dedicated a park bench and an interpretive panel to the African-Canadian hero. The town also commissioned a portrait by artist David McIntosh that will be on permanent exhibit in Nova Scotia's Government House.

Honourable senators, Viola Desmond refused to tolerate racism on that fateful day in November 1946. Today she remains a source of inspiration and an example of hope. She reminds us of the duty, as parliamentarians, to our fellow Canadians to seek justice and equality for all. Her legacy should encourage us to help fight hatred and racism in our society.

Canadian Federation of Agriculture

Seventy-fifth Anniversary

Hon. Joyce Fairbairn: Honourable senators, it gives me great pleasure to congratulate the Canadian Federation of Agriculture on the occasion of their seventy-fifth anniversary. As Canada's largest farmers' organization for 75 years, the federation promotes the interests of our farmers through leadership at the national level and continues its efforts to ensure a strong future for our agriculture and agri-food industry.

The CFA works tirelessly on behalf of Canada's agricultural producer organizations to promote their common interests through collective action. They assist members and governments to create national agricultural policies to meet changing domestic and international economic conditions, and they promote positive social and environmental conditions for those who engage in the industry.

Last night, I had the honour of being a guest at the seventy-fifth anniversary dinner. I offer heartfelt thanks to President Ron Bonnett and his board, and a special thanks to the people they represent, the farmers of Canada, who produce food and agri-products that are better than anywhere else in the world, often under trying conditions.

Happy anniversary, CFA, and keep up the good work. I also thank all honourable senators who support their efforts in the Senate of Canada.

Mr. Raymond G. Pitre

Congratulations on Retirement

Hon. David Tkachuk: Honourable senators, the deputy chair of the Internal Economy Committee and I wish to advise that, after 30 years of outstanding service, Mr. Raymond G. Pitre will be leaving the Senate to begin a very well-deserved retirement.

Mr. Pitre joined the Senate as a constable for the Senate Protective Service on November 12, 1980, following a five-year tour of duty with the Vanier police services as a police officer.

In the ensuing years he was appointed to increasingly high-ranking positions, and, in 2005, he was named Director of the Senate Protective Service. Mr. Pitre leaves the Senate with a legacy of success.

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He follows in the career path of both his father who was a member of the House of Commons Security Services for many years and of his grandfather who was an original member of the Dominion Police force providing security to Parliament at that time. Mr. Pitre was recognized for bravery when he jumped into the Rideau River and saved the life of a drowning young girl. For this action, he was decorated by the Province of Ontario and by the Governor General of Canada.

He is known for his humility and his approachable manner, and Mr. Pitre has ensured that the Senate Protective Service continues to innovate, improve and modernize the many services regularly relied upon by senators and administration alike.

Mr. Pitre formed many strong friendships during his years on Parliament Hill with colleagues in the Senate and the House of Commons Security Services as well as in the RCMP. The Senate wishes to thank this valued member of the Senate's administration senior management team, a man of abiding loyalty, compassion and good humour.

Honourables senators, please join Senator Furey and me in thanking Mr. Pitre for his fine work and devotion to the Senate, and wishing him and his lovely wife Joanne health, happiness, fulfillment and a long retirement.

Mr. Alexander Keith

Hon. Terry M. Mercer: Honourable senators, this month we celebrate the birthday of a dear friend of mine and many in this chamber, a proud Nova Scotian, fellow politician and an accomplished businessman. Alexander Keith would have celebrated his two hundred and fifteenth birthday on October 5. Mr. Keith was and still is a celebrated Nova Scotian.

Born in Scotland, he moved to Halifax in 1817 and founded his brewery in 1820, making it one of Canada's oldest breweries in North America.

Honourable senators, Mr. Keith served as Mayor of Halifax three times and — here is the only flaw I found in his background — served as a Conservative member of the Legislative Council, the upper house in Nova Scotia at the time. He was also a Freemason and eventually became the Grand Master of Nova Scotia. Other major accomplishments included serving as a Director of the Bank of Nova Scotia and the President of the North British Society.

Alexander Keith passed away in Halifax in 1873 and is buried at Camp Hill Cemetery near the Public Gardens. To this day, people still visit his grave. If any honourable senators have not yet had an opportunity to visit Halifax, and indeed Alexander Keith's Brewery, I encourage them to do so. They will be treated to an interactive tour, complete with actors in period costume, and, of course, a sampling of Mr. Keith's finest ales.

Honourable senators, we celebrate Alexander Keith's proud history of accomplishment, his enduring legacy to Nova Scotia and indeed Canada and his beer. One of the slogans used by the brewery stands alone as a testament to his legacy: Those who like it, like it a lot.

British Columbia

Presence of Mexican Drug Cartels

Hon. Gerry St. Germain: Honourable senators, over a year ago I spoke about the escalating level of gang violence and drug-related crime in British Columbia. A new foreign element has been added to the seriousness and complexity of this issue. The drug cartels responsible for ripping apart Mexico with violence are attempting to set up shop — or have set up shop in some cases — in British Columbia's interior. These foreign drug terrorists saw an attractive rural marketplace for illegal business that is largely unmonitored because of a lack of police resources due to the geographic layout of that area.

Honourable senators, the root of this problem is not that these cartels are here and operating but rather that the members of these drug cartels were able to enter Canada in the first place. The federal government has recognized that there is a serious problem with gang violence and drug crime in our country. The government has taken steps to curb this activity with legislation passed in the last session of this Parliament. The government continues to work on this issue with Bill S-10, which is before the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs.

However, complex problems cannot be fixed by legislation alone. More money does not complete the answer either. The government must reprioritize our existing resources to address this situation properly. Criminals run for the Canadian border because they see our system and laws as lenient and worth the risk. Canada is perceived to treat criminals lightly by imposing weak sentences for serious drug crimes.

This situation must change and I believe it is changing. We must send a message that is loud and clear that foreign influence that promotes crime of any kind is not welcome in our country. Foreign criminals in Canada must know that they will be found out, they will be caught, and they will be sent back directly to where they came from. These foreign criminals know no boundaries and they will not stop until we stop them.

The need for the government agenda to focus on protecting Canadians has never been as strong as it is today. Honourable senators, I encourage all of us to take all the measures we can to nip foreign criminal influences in the bud before they become a serious threat to public security. This job belongs not only to our police forces but to every Canadian who should participate and cooperate with the enforcement officials and help them come to a proper solution.

[Translation]

Saint André Bessette

Hon. Suzanne Fortin-Duplessis: Honourable senators, on October 17, 2010, in Vatican City, I had the privilege and the pleasure, as a member of the Canadian delegation, to attend a moving rendezvous with history: the canonization of Brother André by Pope Benedict XVI. What an honour it was for me to witness first-hand the ultimate recognition of this man of faith who did so much for Quebec and Canada.

The canonization of Brother André, an outstanding human being who came from humble roots in Saint-Grégoire-le-Grand-de-Monnoir in Montérégie, received extensive coverage in the media in Quebec and elsewhere.

It was a great day, and emotions ran high in both Rome and Montreal at St. Joseph's Oratory where Brother André, whose real name was Alfred Bessette, continued to draw crowds into the night.

This marks a new page in our history. Brother André is the first man born in Canada to be canonized. It is no surprise that the huge pride he inspires is shared by all Quebecers and Canadians, whether or not they are believers.

Brother André's spirituality and his influence made him a living witness of the gospel, someone who brought people together and an outstanding servant of the poor. He had a special place in his heart for those who suffer. Throughout his life, he made a name for himself with his infinite selflessness and his deep devotion, as he helped the sick and inspired all who turned to him in need with hope and faith in God. His empathy for others knew no bounds.

It was this great act of love for people who were suffering that led to one of the greatest achievements of his life: the construction of St. Joseph's Oratory on Mount Royal. Brother André was looking for a way to receive all the sick people who came to see him, a place dedicated to St. Joseph where they could rest. By dint of hard work, perseverance and determination, he and his faithful friends and benefactors transformed the mountain into this magnificent place he left to us. What began as a small chapel became one of the largest spiritual meeting places in the world.

The canonization of Brother André on October 17, 2010, took place, appropriately, on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. This is a fitting way to pay tribute to this holy man, whose considerable contributions transcended his lifetime and his country's borders, and whose work remains, more than ever, a source of endless inspiration for all Quebecers and Canadians.

In conclusion, I would like to share some of what His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI said at the canonization ceremony. In my heart, I feel that these remarks sum up the splendour of this great event. I quote:

Let us be drawn by these shining examples, let us be guided by their teachings, so that our existence too may become a hymn of praise to God.

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[English]

Sir Isaac Brock

Hon. Nicole Eaton: Honourable senators, the most visually striking exhibit at the Canadian War Museum is the nearly impeccable scarlet tunic of Sir Isaac Brock. Even more compelling than the stark power of Brock's battledress is the story that lies behind it, for that story goes literally and figuratively to the heart of Canada and the shared identity of Canadians.

The short version is this: On October 13, 1812, 198 years ago last Wednesday, Brock was shot through the heart by an American sharpshooter at the Battle of Queenston Heights.

The longer version is more complicated and much more intriguing. Who exactly was Brock? Like most great men, he is a study in contrasts. Brock was bold, pugnacious and immensely self-assured. "I speak loud," he wrote, "and look big."

[Translation]

While most leaders in Canada and Great Britain thought that the war with the United States could be avoided, Brock was methodically preparing himself for battle, consolidating his main defensive positions, training new recruits, and forming crucial alliances with First Nations chiefs, including the great Shawnee Chief Tecumseh.

Brock was a brilliant strategist and a fearless fighter. Although he was outmanned at Fort Detroit, he led the charge and intimidated the Americans, forcing them to surrender. When the American troops occupied the vitally important hills overlooking Queenston, Brock launched an immediate counter attack.

[English]

While he is universally acknowledged as the heart and soul of the defence of Upper Canada, privately Brock loathed the colony. In the words of Pierre Berton, Brock

. . . hated the provincial confines of the Canadas, looked with disdain on its civilian leaders, despised democracy, the militia and the Indians, and could hardly wait to shake the Canadian mud from his boots and bid good-bye forever to York, Fort George, Quebec and all the stuffy garrison towns between.

Why then should we remember this contemptuous commander? The answer is simple: Without Brock, there likely would be no Canada, certainly not the country we know today.

Brock knew the stakes better than anyone. "If I should be beaten," he wrote, "the province is inevitably gone. Should I be victorious, I do not imagine the other side will be anxious to return."

True to these words, Brock's bold leadership, heroic victories and selfless dedication to duty made it possible for the people of British North America to be guided by their own values, to work toward their own goals, and to stand up, preserve and advance the emerging idea and identity of Canada.


[Translation]

ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

Labour

Employment Equity Act—2009 Annual Report Tabled

Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the 2009 Annual Report on the Employment Equity Act.

[English]

Fisheries and Oceans

Budget—Study on Issues Relating to Federal Government's Current and Evolving Policy Framework for Managing Fisheries and Oceans—Fifth Report of Committee Presented

Hon. Bill Rompkey, Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, presented the following report:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans has the honour to present its

FIFTH REPORT

Your committee, which was authorized by the Senate on Thursday, March 25, 2010, to examine and report on issues relating to the federal government's current and evolving policy framework for managing Canada's fisheries and oceans, respectfully requests supplementary funds for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2011.

The original budget application submitted to the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration and the report thereon of that committee were printed in the Journals of the Senate on May 6, 2010. On May 12, 2010, the Senate approved the release of $65,155 to the committee.

Pursuant to Chapter 3:06, section 2(1)(c) of the Senate Administrative Rules, the supplementary budget submitted to the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration and the report thereon of that committee are appended to this report.

Respectfully submitted,

BILL ROMPKEY, Chair

(For text of budget, see today's Journals of the Senate, Appendix A, p. 855.)

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, when shall this report be taken into consideration?

Senator Rompkey: Honourable senators, with leave of the Senate and notwithstanding rule 58(1)(g), I move that the report be considered later this day.

The Hon. the Speaker: Is leave granted, honourable senators?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

(On motion of Senator Rompkey, report placed on the Orders of the Day for consideration later this day.)

National Seniors Day Bill

Eleventh Report of Social Affairs, Science and Technology Committee Presented

Hon. Art Eggleton, Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, presented the following report:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology has the honour to present its

ELEVENTH REPORT

Your committee, to which was referred Bill C-40, An Act to establish National Seniors Day, has, in obedience to the order of reference of Wednesday, September 29, 2010, examined the said bill and now reports the same without amendment.

Respectfully submitted,

ART EGGLETON,
Chair

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

(On motion of Senator Eggleton, bill placed on the Orders of the Day for third reading at the next sitting of the Senate.)

Social Affairs, Science and Technology

Budget and Authorization to Engage Services and Travel—Study on Pandemic Preparedness—Twelfth Report of Committee Presented

Hon. Art Eggleton, Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, presented the following report:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology has the honour to present its

TWELFTH REPORT

Your committee, which was authorized by the Senate on Monday, June 28, 2010, to examine and report on Canada's pandemic preparedness, respectfully requests funds for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2011, and requests, for the purpose of such study, that it be empowered:

(a) to engage the services of such counsel, technical, clerical and other personnel as may be necessary; and

(b) to travel inside Canada.

Pursuant to Chapter 3:06, section 2(1)(c) of the Senate Administrative Rules, the budget submitted to the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration and the report thereon of that committee are appended to this report.

Respectfully submitted,

ART EGGLETON,
Chair

(For text of budget, see today's Journals of the Senate, Appendix B, p. 865.)

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, when shall this report be taken into consideration?

Senator Eggleton: Honourable senators, with leave of the Senate and notwithstanding rule 58(1)(g), I move that the report be considered later this day.

The Hon. the Speaker: Is leave granted, honourable senators?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

(On motion of Senator Eggleton, report placed on the Orders of the Day for consideration later this day.)

[Translation]

Study on Use of Electronic Assistive Voting Devices for Persons with Disabilities

Tenth Report of Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee Tabled

Hon. Joan Fraser: Honourable senators, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the tenth report of the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, entitled Report on the use of Assistive Voting Device for Persons with Disabilities.

(On motion of Senator Fraser, report placed on the Orders of the Day for consideration at the next sitting of the Senate.)

Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources

Budget and Authorization to Travel—Study on Current State and Future of Energy Sector—Ninth Report of Committee Presented

Hon. Grant Mitchell, Deputy Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources, presented the following report:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources has the honour to present its

NINTH REPORT

Your committee, which was authorized by the Senate on Thursday, March 11, 2010, to examine and report on the current state and future of Canada's energy sector (including alternative energy) respectfully requests supplementary funds for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2011, and requests, for the purpose of such study, that it be empowered to adjourn from place to place within Canada.

The original budget application submitted to the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration and the report thereon of that committee were printed in the Journals of the Senate on June 17, 2010. On June 22, 2010, the Senate approved the release of $14,000 to the committee.

Pursuant to Chapter 3:06, section 2(1)(c) of the Senate Administrative Rules, the budget submitted to the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration and the report thereon of that committee are appended to this report.

Respectfully submitted,

GRANT MITCHELL
Deputy Chair of the committee

(For text of budget, see today's Journals of the Senate, Appendix C, p. 871.)

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, when shall this report be taken into consideration?

(On motion of Senator Mitchell, report placed on the Orders of the Day for consideration at the next sitting of the Senate.)

Budget—Study on Current State and Future of Energy Sector—Tenth Report of Committee Presented

Hon. Grant Mitchell, Deputy Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources, presented the following report:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources has the honour to present its

TENTH REPORT

Your committee, which was authorized by the Senate on Thursday, March 11, 2010 to examine and report on the current state and future of Canada's energy sector (including alternative energy), respectfully requests supplementary funds for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2011.

The original budget application submitted to the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration and the report thereon of that committee were printed in the Journals of the Senate on June 17, 2010. On June 22, 2010, the Senate approved the release of $14,000 to the committee.

Pursuant to Chapter 3:06, section 2(1)(c) of the Senate Administrative Rules, the supplementary budget submitted to the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration and the report thereon of that committee are appended to this report.

Respectfully submitted,

GRANT MITCHELL
Deputy Chair of the committee

(For text of supplementary budget, see today's Journals of the Senate, Appendix D, p. 881.)

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, when shall this report be taken into consideration?

(On motion of Senator Mitchell, report placed on the Orders of the Day for consideration at the next sitting of the Senate.)

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[English]

Visitor in the Gallery

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I wish to draw your attention to the presence in the gallery of His Excellency Blaz Kavcic, President of the National Council of the Republic of Slovenia.

On behalf of all senators, I welcome you to the Senate of Canada.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.

[Translation]

L'Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie

Regional Assembly and Conference of Branch Chairs of the America Region, August 30-September 2, 2010—Report Tabled

Hon. Rose-Marie Losier-Cool: Honourable senators, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian Parliamentary Delegation of the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie (APF), respecting its participation at the XXVIth Regional Assembly and at the Conference of Branch Chairs of the America Region of the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie (APF), held in Winnipeg, Manitoba, from August 30 to September 2, 2010.

Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association

Meeting of the Committee on Economic Affairs and Development of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly June 18-26, 2010—Report Tabled

Hon. Grant Mitchell: Honourable senators, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian Parliamentary Delegation of the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association, respecting its participation at the meeting of the Committee on Economic Affairs and Development of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and at the Third Part of the 2010 Ordinary Session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, held in Paris and in Strasbourg, France, from June 18 to 26, 2010.

Sustainable Development Technology

Notice of Inquiry

Hon. Grant Mitchell: Honourable senators, pursuant to rule 57, I give notice that, two days hence:

I will call the attention of the Senate to the importance of sustainable development technology in Canada.

Women's Equality in Canada

Notice of Inquiry

Hon. Grant Mitchell: Honourable senators, pursuant to rule 57, I give notice that, two days hence:

I will call the attention of the Senate to the situation of women's equality in Canada.


[English]

QUESTION PERIOD

Human Resources and Skills Development

Compassionate Care Benefits

Hon. Sharon Carstairs: Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate.

In April 2009, I had the great privilege, on behalf of senators representing all sides of this chamber, to table the final report of the Special Senate Committee on Aging, entitled Canada's Aging Population: Seizing the Opportunity. I was delighted that just a few sitting days later, the report received the unanimous support of this chamber.

Two recommendations have now received the vigorous endorsement of my leader, Michael Ignatieff. The first is tax relief for caregivers for ailing and aging members of their family.

Since her government has now opposed this concept, can the Leader of the Government in the Senate tell us if she has changed her mind on this important initiative, or is she offside with her government?

Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government): I thank the Honourable Senator Carstairs for the question. The government has taken many measures, as honourable senators well know, in support of people who stay at home to care for their loved ones. I point out that there was no real surprise in the actions of her leader, Michael Ignatieff. The Liberal Party has a record of failure in this regard, as they have promised this same program five times since 1997.

Senator Carstairs: It is interesting that we get a question but no answer. Then, of course, that is to be expected.

Why is this government unwilling to provide the same kind of tax relief to parents of dying children that they are prepared to provide to parents who enrol their children in sports activities?

Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Senator LeBreton: As I mentioned a moment ago, honourable senators, the government has many programs in support of families, for example home care, care for the disabled, special breaks on EI and special provisions for families to enrol their children in activities that would help their physical well-being and, therefore, their general health outcomes.

I do not think this government has to take any lessons from the Honourable Senator Carstairs or anyone else on our commitment not only to our citizens as a whole, but also, in particular, to young families and seniors.

Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Senator Carstairs: Almost all of the programs that the minister has identified have been ongoing for a number of years, some of them for decades.

I am asking the minister why this government is unwilling to provide tax relief for families who are looking after ailing children, dying children or ailing elderly individuals. Why are they unwilling to look in that direction?

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Senator LeBreton: Only the honourable senator would characterize the many actions of our government as unwillingness to look after the interests of our citizens.

Senator Cordy: Personal attacks.

Senator Fraser: Personal, sharp and taxing remarks.

Senator LeBreton: The honourable senator knows that this government has done more in all of these areas than any government did before we came into office.

Hon. Terry M. Mercer: Honourable senators, another recommendation of the same report referred to by Senator Carstairs that also received the unanimous support of everyone in this chamber has been endorsed by the Leader of the Official Opposition in the other place. It provides for the extension of the compensation care EI benefit from six weeks to six months.

In response to this recommendation, the Minister of Human Resources said that this program would kill jobs and jeopardize economic recovery. Think about that honourable senators.

Could the Leader of the Government in the Senate explain how giving Canadians time to look after their dying and sick loved ones can imperil the economy?

Senator LeBreton: The government fully supports Canadians who care for family members such as elderly parents or ill children. We have taken significant action, as the honourable senator well knows, to assist these families for the first time in the history of the country. About 2.6 million self-employed Canadians now have access to compassionate care benefits.

In June 2006, we expanded the number of different family members and others who can access compassionate care benefits. As a result of programs and tax breaks that the government has initiated, the average Canadian family has $3,000 more to spend in this area.

Senator Comeau: Oh, oh. That is unprecedented.

Senator LeBreton: The average family has more to spend than before we came into office.

Senator Mercer: I am a little surprised that this minister, of all people, is towing the party line on this particular subject when she was the minister responsible for some time and did a good job at it. However, her colleague the Honourable Diane Finley also stated that Canadians can take their vacation time to look after dying loved ones.

Could the government leader explain to this chamber how people using their three weeks of vacation can cover the time that is needed to care for an Alzheimer's patient or a critically ill family member who requires 24 hours of care, 365 days of the year?

Senator LeBreton: There is no one in the government who works harder in the interests of families, seniors and all people than Minister Finley through the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development. Minister Finley did indicate she did not say what the honourable senator said she said. Her words were taken out of context. However, she did offer an apology for those who misinterpreted her statement. She said no such thing.

Senator Comeau: Making it up as you go along, is it, Senator Mercer?

Hon. Jane Cordy: Honourable senators, my question is to the Leader of the Government in the Senate.

There are 15,000 seniors from coast to coast to coast who occupy acute care beds. The cost of these beds on average is about $1,500 a day. Yet, this care is inappropriate as it is not focused on the needs of the senior.

Many seniors need long-term care facilities. However, others could be cared for at home if supports were in place to ensure that family members had Employment Insurance benefits to allow them to provide the care so desperately needed.

Why is this government opposed to helping families provide a loving environment for their family members?

Senator LeBreton: Honourable senators, Senator Cordy has made a ridiculous statement.

Senator Comeau: As usual.

Senator Tkachuk: It is a ridiculous statement. Do we need the government to provide a loving environment?

Senator LeBreton: Honourable senators, we all know the extreme pressure that is on the health care system in all provinces and in the territories with regard to available beds for our seniors. The government, through the Minister of Health, is working with our provincial counterparts on this issue. As honourable senators are aware, this is a complex issue because the delivery of health is a provincial responsibility.

We have provided many resources and I listed these resources to honourable senators often when I was Minister of State for Seniors.

Honourable senators, if we followed the Liberal Party program and provided Employment Insurance for people after they only worked a few weeks, there would be little money left in the system for anyone and the people who would suffer the most would be our seniors.

Senator Di Nino: Remember Greece.

Senator Cordy: Honourable senators, I do not think it is ridiculous to believe that most people who are ill and dying would much prefer to be at home surrounded by their family members.

One of the changes that my leader, Mr. Ignatieff, recommended is removing the qualification that a family member must be in danger of death within six months. We know from six years of experience that parents will not agree to collect a benefit where they must admit that their child is dying.

Why is this government unwilling to make even this small change?

Senator LeBreton: Honourable senators I would like to correct the record. I did not say what the honourable senator said I did. What I said is that what she said was ridiculous. The fact is that our government is putting more money into the pockets of Canadians so they can spend it on what matters most, including taking care of elderly parents or sick children.

Senator Cordy: That was not my question. My question was why do parents have to admit that their child is dying before they are able to collect the benefits.

My father died at the age of 64. He had leukemia for eight years. He was supposed to live for five years; we were fortunate that he lived for eight years. He was in and out of the hospital many times over those eight years.

At no point would I have signed a form to say that my father would die within six months — never. I would never have done it, not even the day before he died.

I ask the minister again: Why must a family member state that there is danger of death within six months? Why can one not just say that they will collect the benefit because a child or a family member is seriously ill?

Senator LeBreton: I must say that I would agree with the honourable senator that I would never sign such a document. Obviously, Senator Cordy is referring to something with which I am unfamiliar. Therefore, I will take her question as notice and ascertain exactly what circumstances she is referring to, because I have never known any level of government to insist that people sign forms anticipating that their children or their parents were going to die within a certain amount of time. I have never heard of such a thing.

Senator Cordy: I will repeat my first question. Mr. Ignatieff recommends removing the qualification that a family member must sign a statement that a family member is in danger of death within six months. We know, from six years of experience when this bill was enacted in January 2004, that parents will not agree to collect a benefit when they must admit that their child will die. I am asking why the government is unwilling to make this change.

Senator LeBreton: First, the honourable senator is telling me that Mr. Ignatieff is asking for something that was brought in by the Liberal government to be withdrawn, and somehow that is a program of this government. I simply said that I have never heard of such a plan. It is certainly something we never dreamed up and I will get a delayed answer for Senator Cordy.

(1420)

Senator Carstairs: I have a supplementary question.

This provision was implemented. It was implemented as a result of legislation which passed in this chamber as well as in the other chamber because, with all the good intentions, it was believed that a clause which recommended that an EI benefit be provided for someone who was likely to die within six months was the best way to ensure the benefit was given appropriately.

However, within a short period of time, it became clear that it was not working. The evaluations were done. This government has received those evaluations. This government has the reports which say it is not working.

Why will the government not accept the recommendations they have received and make the change?

Senator LeBreton: I am glad the Honourable Senator Carstairs put on the record that this was brought in by the previous government in 2004. They had over a year to make these changes.

I will simply make the same commitment I made to Senator Cordy; I will take the honourable senator's question as notice and ask for a full report on the intentions of the government with regard to what I think is obviously misdirected policy of the previous government.

Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Hon. Maria Chaput: Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate and it is regarding relief for families.

Canada's corporate tax rate is 25 per cent below the corporate tax rate paid by corporations in the United States. It is now time to provide relief for families. Why does this government understand the needs of corporations but fails to understand the needs of families?

Senator LeBreton: Honourable senators, I hate to tell the honourable senator this, but providing a tax regime that attracts businesses, manufacturers and opportunities to Canada provides jobs for Canadians. As one of my colleagues said some time ago, jobs are the best kind of social policy.

Senator Chaput: As a supplementary question, most caregivers in Canada are women; they are wives and mothers, sisters and grandmothers. The minister's response was to let these individuals use their vacation time. Minister, they already used their vacation time, weekends and evenings. Why can this government not understand that these women and men simply want to care for those they love? To do this, they need help.

Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.

Senator LeBreton: Honourable senators, this government recognizes the importance of caregivers and knows that this burden falls disproportionately on the shoulders of women. That is why the government has taken many actions and provided many incentives through Employment Insurance, tax breaks, family assistance, et cetera.

As I mentioned, more money and programs are available for families through various programs of the government, not only to care for seniors but also for children and the disabled. I resent anyone suggesting that, somehow or other, the government does not acknowledge the importance of women in this area or acknowledge the importance of caregiving, whether it is for seniors or children.

We have a record that we can be proud of and we do not have to take a backseat to anyone on this front.

Industry

Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan

Hon. Robert W. Peterson: Honourable senators, my question is to the Leader of the Government in the Senate and with regard to the proposed hostile takeover of the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan. What is the net benefit of this transaction to Saskatchewan in particular and Canada in general?

To date, the answer appears to be "nothing." While Canada needs foreign investment, we cannot be pushovers. Other countries protect their national champions, plus vital resources, and Canada should do the same.

What is the reaction of our Prime Minister? He does not see the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan as a champion because, in his words, it is already "American-controlled." This is an absolutely false statement from a government that is prone to say almost anything to suit its needs. The corporation is definitely a Canadian company with only 38 per cent American shareholders.

The Prime Minister must realize that the resource belongs to the people of Saskatchewan. He should respect the wishes of the Premier of Saskatchewan who, on behalf of the people of Saskatchewan, is asking the Prime Minister to block this hostile bid.

Given the size and strategic importance of the Canadian potash industry and the absence of convincing evidence of a net benefit to Saskatchewan and Canada, will the minister urge her cabinet colleagues to stand behind the government and the people of Saskatchewan and deny this hostile bid moving forward? The answer of the Government of Canada should be "no."

Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, the minister and the government have always said, and it is always the case with this government, that applications will be approved only where an investment demonstrates that it is likely to be a net benefit to Canada.

As the honourable senator knows, the review process in this regard is rigorous. Under the Investment Canada Act, the government has taken action in the interest of Canadians in the past. I might add that is something that was never done by the previous government in the 13 years prior to that.

In this particular case, the decision will be based on the question of whether there is a net benefit to Canada. As the honourable senator knows, no decision has been made.

Senator Peterson: I have a supplementary question. I appreciate that effort. Unfortunately, the foreign takeover review process in this country lacks transparency and proper consultation with stakeholders. Combined with mounting questions surrounding the takeover bid, this has made many people, including prominent business leaders, uneasy. The Government of Saskatchewan has announced its opposition to this takeover as not in the best interests of the people of Saskatchewan.

I remind honourable senators that the potash industry is almost exclusively located in the province of Saskatchewan. In this case, the facts are clear that Saskatchewan's interests are Canada's interests.

I again ask the Leader of the Government in the Senate: Will the government respect the wishes of Saskatchewan in this matter and reject this hostile bid?

Senator LeBreton: Honourable senators, the government will not take a decision in this regard that is not in the interests of Canada.

Treasury Board

Beneficiaries of Long-Term Disability Benefits Plans

Hon. Art Eggleton: Honourable senators, my question is to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Time is running out for over 400 Nortel employees who are on long-term disability. At the end of the year, they will be cut off from the company medical benefit plan. They will have less than half the income they have now, which is less than half of what it was when they were in the workforce. They are in a desperate situation and time runs outs at the end of December.

One of the things they asked for when they heard the government might purchase Nortel's Carling Campus was that a condition be put in place that some of that money go to help meet the conditions and obligations the company has failed to meet with respect to these sick employees.

On Tuesday of this week, the federal government announced that it purchased Nortel's Carling Campus for $208 million. Did the government make a purchase condition that money be set aside for the disabled Nortel employees so that these people can live in dignity?

Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government): I thank the honourable senator for his question. With regard to the purchase of the Nortel campus reportedly to be used for the headquarters of the Department of National Defence, the agreement to acquire this property is dependent on Treasury Board approval. The Treasury Board is conducting its due diligence at the moment.

In acquiring a new property, the Government of Canada is committed and always will be committed to ensuring that we follow the most prudent course of action. In this case, the matter is still before the Treasury Board.

Senator Eggleton: I hope the Treasury Board will take that into consideration; otherwise, these people will end up costing the government money through the social welfare system.

(1430)

My bill, Bill S-216, which is now before the Banking Committee, is a bill to change the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act to try to provide some protection to these people as well. The deadline for these desperate people is the end of the year. The Banking Committee has had the bill since June 17, when it was given second reading here, but the committee has yet to deal with it. I understand that the steering committee will recommend November 17 and 18 for hearings. Time is running out. If this bill is to be put in place in time to solve the problem, it must pass in both houses before Parliament rises for the Christmas recess.

I would love to ask the chair of the committee this question, but I understand that he has excused himself from this matter, so I will ask the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Is the government willing to press this case forward so that Bill S-216 can be dealt with by the end of the year to help these people live in dignity, instead of going on social welfare?

Senator LeBreton: I thank the honourable senator for the question. I am pleased and honoured every day to answer on behalf of the government in the Senate, but far be it for me to try to direct the work of my colleagues in the Senate or the Senate committees.

Senator Eggleton: Will the government support Bill S-216? I have spoken with Minister Clement about this on several occasions and I am still waiting for an answer. I am hopeful that he will support it.

Is the government prepared to support Bill S-216 regardless of what the committee does with it?

Senator LeBreton: Senator Eggleton has spoken to one of the ministers responsible. However, Minister Clement is only responsible for the bankruptcy side of the issue. The Minister of Finance has been doing exceptional work with his parliamentary secretary on the issue of pensions.

I am not in a position to answer that question, honourable senators.

Visitor in the Gallery

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I draw your attention to the presence in the gallery of a distinguished citizen from the Maritime division of the Senate in the person of Mrs. Valerie O'Brien, an outstanding social worker in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.

On behalf of all honourable senators, Mrs. O'Brien, welcome to the Senate of Canada.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.


[Translation]

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 would like to remind you that we wish to reserve the typical 45 minutes of speaking time to which we are entitled on this side of the chamber.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Hon. Rose-Marie Losier-Cool: Honourable senators, I rise today to show my support for Bill S-220, introduced by my colleague from Manitoba, Senator Maria Chaput. Her bill seeks to amend the Official Languages Act, primarily to guarantee equal quality of communications with and services to speakers of either of our official languages. This objective fully acknowledges the importance of equality between the two principal linguistic communities that formed the Canadian Confederation and that continue to define it, even on the international stage.

To meet this objective, the bill addresses four elements: the organizations and businesses that must provide communications with and services to the public in equal quality in the two official languages; the places where these communications and services must be offered; the obligation to consult official language minority communities; and how to determine the geographic locations where there is a significant demand that would justify communications and services in the minority official language.

I would like to cover the four main elements in the bill.

Bill S-220 will require designated Canadian carriers to provide communications and services in both official languages. The term designated carrier refers to a rail, maritime or air carrier that is subject to federal, provincial or territorial legislation, and is designated by regulation.

Honourable senators, many of us have been extremely frustrated at the poor quality of language we have seen in the services provided by some of our air carriers. That is why the amendment proposed in this bill is justified and is long overdue.

Any carrier that provides national service would be designated by these regulations, as well as any carrier that offers services within a province or territory where there is a sufficiently large official language minority to justify it. I am talking about mandatory bilingualism for these designated carriers, which would have to provide their clients with communications and services of equal quality in French and English. This is an admirable goal, and I fully support it.

Moreover, Bill S-220 requires communications and services of equal linguistic quality in all regions where the provincial or territorial governments are already required to provide bilingual service. Naturally I am referring to Ontario and New Brunswick, but there are other regions in Canada where the official language minority is large enough to warrant this additional effort by the federal government.

As a member of an official language minority, I fully support the objective of this bill. I find that the use of a provincial or territorial determinant complements the federal requirement of "significant demand."

In addition, Bill S-220 would require the RCMP to provide communications and services of equal linguistic quality on those portions of the Trans-Canada Highway it polices. This addresses the recent Supreme Court ruling that clearly identified RCMP shortcomings in this regard. Therefore, I support it 100 per cent.

Bill S-220 also states that federal institutions and designated carriers shall provide the public with communications and services of equal linguistic quality in all airports, railway stations, ferry terminals and ports that are significant because of their location or the number of passengers they serve.

This new requirement — also applicable to third party contractors such as restaurants or car rental agencies that do business in airports, railway terminals and ports — is again commendable and could have prevented some language disasters at the Vancouver International Airport during the 2010 Winter Games.

(1440)

[English]

Let me now turn to one of the most interesting propositions of Bill S-220: the requirement to consult official language minority communities. As stated in the proposed new subsection 23.1(2) of the Official Languages Act, this requirement to consult is the answer these minority communities have been waiting for for a long time. Those communities often put up with seemingly arbitrary changes to the services they receive from federal institutions, be it the disappearance of a subsidy, the closure of a local office, or the faraway relocation of a federal staffer who used to know their case well and was able to speak their language.

Such arbitrary changes can only harm minority communities. This new requirement to consult will go a long way toward making real our national, yet sometimes abstract, concept of official linguistic duality.

I congratulate the Honourable Senator Chaput for having enshrined in her bill this requirement to consult, which most of the witnesses appearing before our Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages have called for over the years. I also express the hope that the regulatory underpinning for this requirement will be drafted by our federal experts in a way that is objective, inclusive and community-friendly.

[Translation]

The other major innovation in Bill S-220 is found in the new paragraphs 24(1)(a.1) and 24(1)(a.2) that the bill would add to the Official Languages Act. These two paragraphs introduce the idea of protecting significant or fragile official language minority communities and enhance the concept of "significant demand" already found in the act.

The idea behind the first paragraph is to provide services, in both official languages, to official language minority communities where the services in question significantly affect or benefit those communities. The purpose of the second, complementary paragraph is for these official language minority communities to receive communications and services in their language if they are at risk of linguistic assimilation and if such communications are likely to lead to their revitalization.

Honourable senators, these two new concepts echo the intention of Bill S-3, which amended section 41 of the Official Languages Act to require federal institutions to support the development of official language minority communities. This new requirement with its vague concept of "positive measures", has certainly already produced results, as you can see in our committee's report on Part VII of the act, tabled last spring. However, the two new concepts in Bill S-220 will go even further, since they require an analysis of the vitality of these communities.

[English]

The way Bill S-220 modifies subsection 32.1(2) of the Official Languages Act would have the Governor-in-Council analyze the vitality of a given official language minority community based not only on the number of people speaking the minority official language in that community, but also on the vibrancy of the institutions created by those speakers within their community. This dual test is a true first, and I heartily congratulate my colleague for having had such a brilliant idea.

[Translation]

In conclusion, honourable senators, Senator Chaput's Bill S-220 presents a long-awaited and much-needed update of the Official Languages Act. It addresses the issues that have been affecting the application of that legislation for quite some time now: carriers, the RCMP, consultation with official-language minority communities, and determining where to provide communications and services in the minority's official language. I wholeheartedly support the bill's objectives, and I encourage all honourable senators to refer the bill to committee as soon as possible for further study with the assistance of the main witnesses involved.

(On motion of Senator Comeau, debate adjourned.)

[English]

Tartan Day Bill

Second Reading—Debate Adjourned

Hon. John D. Wallace moved second reading of Bill S-222, An Act respecting a Tartan Day.

He said: Honourable senators, I am deeply honoured to rise before you today to speak to Bill S-222, which proposes to nationally recognize April 6 each year as Tartan Day in Canada. As honourable senators may be aware, at the provincial government level each, our provinces have already proclaimed April 6 as Tartan Day in recognition and celebration of Scottish culture, traditions, and heritage that exist throughout this country.

What is the significance of this April 6 date, and why should it be designated each year as national Tartan Day in Canada? On April 6, 1320, at Arbroath Abbey on the East Coast of Scotland in the county of Angus, the nobles, barons and freeholders, together with the whole community of the realm of Scotland, came together and proclaimed the Scottish Declaration of Independence in the form of a letter to Pope John XXII requesting that he recognize Scotland's political independence under the Kingship of Robert the Bruce.

The intent of this declaration was to underline the independence of Scotland from English domination following the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. This declaration became known as the Declaration of Arbroath.

This 14th century document is the oldest example of a Scottish national identity and consciousness among its people and is a most significant milestone for all of us who are of Scottish descent.

Presently, Tartan Day is celebrated in many countries throughout the world for the express purpose of raising awareness and celebrating with pride all that is Scottish. Tartan Day, of course, is recognized and celebrated in Scotland and also in the United States, Australia, New Zealand and even Argentina, where a parade takes place each year in Buenos Aires.

As Canadians, each of us is proud to be Canadian. We are proud of the fact that we have the freedom to maintain our individual and distinctive identities in this country, and at the same time we are able to celebrate that each of us is a descendant and representative of our respective ancestors and the lands from which they came. In this same way, Tartan Day provides the opportunity for people of Scottish origin or descent to be reminded of, and to celebrate, our Scottish culture, traditions and heritage, as well as the significant role that all of this heritage has played in the creation, growth and prosperity of our country.

Throughout our Canadian history, the Scottish influence has been enormous. After the English and French, people of Scottish descent comprise the third largest ethnic group in this country, accounting for over 15 per cent of the population or approximately 5 million people who can identify themselves as being of Scottish origin or descent.

From the earliest times in our Canadian history, Scottish immigrants were the vanguard of the European movement to settle in Canada. Throughout the many decades, they have played highly prominent and leading roles in the social, political and economic development of our country. As this tartan bill attests, Canadians of Scottish descent have played an influential and vital role in the building of Canada by contributing immensely to the growth and development of Canadian communities and institutions.

(1450)

As early as 1622, King James I of England, otherwise known as King James VI of Scotland, gave permission to Sir William Alexander to establish a new territory in the new land that was to be named after its namesake, New Scotland, or otherwise known in Latin as Nova Scotia.

Scottish immigrants to these new lands were usually Highlanders, who arrived with their families seeking political and religious asylum during the time of the Jacobite uprisings. During the middle of the 19th century, other Scottish immigrants came to Canada at the time of the devastating potato famine, which also ravaged Ireland. Many of these Scots settled on lands located along our Atlantic coast.

Of all the provinces in Canada, Nova Scotia has the largest Scottish community, with almost 30 per cent of its inhabitants claiming Scottish ancestry. The Nova Scotia provincial flag is in fact fashioned from a St. Andrew's cross, with the Royal Standard of Scotland.

In the Cape Breton Island area, Scottish highland heritage or, more specifically, the Gaelic culture, has lived on for generations through its music, dance and folklore. This was the centre for Scottish settlements in the late 18th century and where at one time only Scottish Gaelic was spoken. Meanwhile, Ulster Scots, or Lowland Scots, first settled in New Hampshire only to later resettle in Truro, Nova Scotia, during the 1760s. Indeed, in the decades that followed, their descendants have provided our country with many of its greatest political, judicial and educational leaders.

Our country, and the province of Nova Scotia in particular, has benefited greatly from the countless examples of outstanding contributions that have been made by our Scottish ancestors. In 1853, Catholic Bishop Colin Francis MacKinnon, a Scot from Antigonish, founded St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia. Even earlier than this, in 1818, a Scot named George Ramsay founded Dalhousie University, the largest university in the Maritime provinces.

My home province of New Brunswick also hails as a centre of Scottish culture, tradition and history. In 1761, a Scottish highland regiment defended what was known at the time as Fort Frederick, and which today would be located within the city of Saint John. Following the American Revolution, many of the United Empire Loyalists of Scottish descent came to settle in our province.

One of the most notable of these Scottish highland regiments was the King's First American Regiment, which was founded in 1776. Soldiers of this regiment were predominantly Scottish and were known to have fought in their kilts and to the sound of bagpipes. Following the American Revolution, many of these soldiers settled throughout New Brunswick and, with a continual flow of immigrants from Scotland and Ulster, New Brunswick's population grew to over 30,000 by the middle of the 19th century.

The province of Quebec has and continues to this day to be home to many people of Scottish descent. The first British Governor to Quebec was James Murray, a Scot. From the beginning of the 19th century, many Scottish families, namely from Ross-shire, or far northern Scotland, settled in Montreal and many of their descendants became outstanding leaders in the business, financial, political and religious activities of the city of Montreal.

Montreal's McGill University was named after James McGill, a merchant and politician who had emigrated from Glasgow. Revenue from his estate was used to found this prestigious university. John Bethune, a fellow Scotsman, was the first head of McGill and Peter Redpath, another Scot, was a university chair as well as a businessman who financed the university's museum and library.

Another outstanding Canadian educational institution, Queen's University of Kingston, Ontario, also has a very strong Scottish connection. In addition to Kingston being known as the "Aberdeen of Canada," its university was founded largely by the noted scholar George Munro Grant. Born in Pictou, Nova Scotia, Mr. Grant studied at the University of Glasgow, became a minister of the Church of Scotland, and was also a writer and political activist. He served for 25 years, from 1877 to 1902, as principal to Queens College, which today is known as Queen's University.

Over the years, and in search of new opportunities, many Scottish families decided to settle further west into Canada and went to the Red River area, now Manitoba, and to Southern Alberta and Calgary in particular.

Throughout Western Canada, our Scottish legacy can readily be seen through all of the rivers, mountains and communities that have been named after Scottish explorers and traders, and these include Mackenzie Bay, the Fraser River, Banff, Selkirk, and even Calgary, which was named after a Scottish beach.

This strong Scottish influence is also very clearly evident in our farthest western province, British Columbia. The St. Andrew's and Caledonian Society of Vancouver was founded the same year as the city, in 1886. Each year, Vancouver continues to celebrate Scottish Heritage Week, which concludes with the B.C. Highland Games. Throughout the city, place names ring with Scottish reminders, such as Kerrisdale Station, MacMillan Island Indian Reserve, MacKenzie Heights, Highland Park and Simon Fraser University, which was of course named after a famous fur trader and explorer from the NorthWest Company and whose parents had emigrated from Scotland.

Each year there are no fewer than 60 highland games and festivals held across Canada, and the legacy of Scottish traditions and culture continues to thrive through these festivals. One such festival is Halifax's famous Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo, which attracts over 2,000 civilian and military performers from around the world.

Each summer, the Glengarry Highland Games also take place in celebration of Scottish culture and tradition. Glengarry County, here in Ontario, has one of those unique histories where many Scottish immigrants settled and left their distinctive mark. A Canadian Gaelic language course is still taught today at the Maxville Public School. The town of Perth, Ontario, also has a proud Scottish heritage, which originated in the early 19th century.

In addition to the places, institutions and events that will forever link Canada to its influential Scottish roots, I would also like to highlight for you but a few of the additional notable figures of Scottish descent who have left their indelible mark on our country. The list of notable individuals includes first and foremost, Sir John A. Macdonald, the first Prime Minister of the Dominion of Canada; Alexander Mackenzie, the second Prime Minister of Canada; William MacDougall, one of the Fathers of Confederation; Alexander Graham Bell, the eminent scientist and inventor who is credited with the invention of the telephone; and Sir Alexander Mackenzie, an explorer who completed the first transcontinental crossing of the continent north of Mexico. Included in the list of notable Scottish figures is Max Aitken, who later became known as Lord Beaverbrook. Lord Beaverbrook was raised in New Brunswick and became Minister of Aircraft Production in Sir Winston Churchill's wartime cabinet. The list includes William Lyon Mackenzie King, the longest-serving Prime Minister in Canadian history, former Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, and former Saskatchewan Premier and first Leader of the New Democratic Party, Tommy Douglas.

Honourable senators, as I look around this chamber to each of you, it becomes readily apparent that we do not have to go very far afield to find examples of how each of us, and our country, have been enormously influenced by our Scottish ancestors; certainly not with such names among us as Angus, Callbeck, Campbell, Carstairs, Cochrane, Cowan, Dickson, Finley, Fraser, MacDonald, McCoy, MacLeod, Murray, Ogilvie, Patterson, Stewart Olsen and Wallace. Hopefully that includes everyone.

Honourable senators, without a doubt, the ties in history that will forever link our country and Scotland run very, very deep. Whether it involves cultural, musical, educational, political or economic and developmental aspects of Canada's past and present, there are innumerable contributions of Scottish origin that we, as Canadians, can and should celebrate and be truly thankful for. As read from the original Declaration of Arbroath in the year 1320:

It is not for glory, wealth or honour that we are fighting, but for freedom and freedom only, which no true man ever surrenders except with his life.

(1500)

Honourable senators, I believe it is important and most significant that I also bring to your attention the fact that this proposal to recognize April 6 of each year as national Tartan Day has also been enthusiastically supported, promoted and endorsed by the Honourable Minister Keith Ashfield, as well as my fellow colleagues of this chamber Senators Angus and Finley.

As a consequence, I am extremely pleased to be able to inform you that I have been notified by the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, that he will be announcing today that April 6 of each year will now officially be recognized by the Government of Canada as Tartan Day.

Hon. Bill Rompkey: Would the honourable senator accept a question?

Senator Wallace: Yes.

Senator Rompkey: I am wondering if, during his research, the honourable senator encountered Donald Smith or Lord Strathcona. Lord Strathcona not only founded Lord Strathcona's Horse, but was also head of the Bank of Montreal and, before that, head of the Hudson Bay Company. He was a Member of Parliament from western Canada and he drove the last spike at Craigellachie, which is another Scottish connection, for the CPR.

Donald Smith got his start in Labrador as a Chief Factor for the Hudson Bay Company. With him came many Scots from the Orkney Islands who served the Hudson Bay Company throughout the North.

I would also like to inform honourable senators that there is now a Labrador tartan. It is very new and it has been accepted by all the authorities that need be. It sells for $31 a yard. Those senators who wish to buy it to enhance their haberdashery may contact my office.

Senator Wallace: Honourable senators, certainly that is an offer no one could refuse, so $31 is on the way for that. It will be a wonderful addition. There may be more than one tie from that yard.

I was certainly glad to hear the honourable senator name two other prominent individuals. That is the difficulty with listing names, especially through Scottish heritage. I appreciate that the honourable senator mentioned both of these men, who were highly prominent and relevant to what I have spoken about today.

If there are others who wish to speak and add to the importance of the Scottish contribution to this country, I would be pleased to hear that as well.

(On motion of Senator Hubley, debate adjourned.)

Study on Issues Related to Communications Mandate

Fourth Report of Transport and Communications Committee—Order Stands

On the Order:

The Senate proceeded to consideration of the fourth report of the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications entitled: Plan for a digital Canada.ca, tabled in the Senate on June 16, 2010.

Hon. Dennis Dawson: Honourable senators, this being day 15, it will either be the occasion for me to table the report or, if the chamber wishes, I can delay tabling the report until next week. I will bow to the decision of the Senate house leader on the other side and on our side. I can do that now or next week.

Senator Comeau: Next week is fine.

Senator Tardif: Do it now.

Senator Dawson: I bow to the decision of His Honour.

The Hon. the Speaker: I understand it is the wish of the house that this matter stand in the name of Senator Dawson for the remainder of his time.

Senator Dawson: Fine.

(Order stands.)

Fisheries and Oceans

Budget—Study on Issues Relating to Federal Government's Current and Evolving Policy Framework for Managing Fisheries and Oceans—Fifth Report of Committee Adopted

The Senate proceeded to consideration of the fifth report of the Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans (budget—release of additional funds (study on the evolving policy framework for managing Canada's fisheries and oceans)), presented in the Senate earlier this day.

Hon. Bill Rompkey moved the adoption of the report.

(Motion agreed to and report adopted.)

Social Affairs, Science and Technology

Budget and Authorization to Engage Services and Travel—Study on Pandemic Preparedness—Twelfth Report of Committee Adopted

The Senate proceeded to consideration of the twelfth report of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, (budget—study on Canada's pandemic preparedness—power to hire staff and to travel), presented in the Senate earlier this day.

Hon. Art Eggleton moved the adoption of the report.

(Motion agreed to and report adopted.)

[Translation]

The Senate

Motion to Establish National Day of Remembrance and Action—Debate Continued

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Dallaire, seconded by the Honourable Senator Robichaud, P.C.:

That in the opinion of the Senate, the government should establish a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Mass Atrocities on April 23 annually, the birthday of former Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, in recognition of his commitment to peace and international cooperation to end crimes against humanity

Hon. Gerald J. Comeau (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, since this is the thirteenth day of debate on this motion and I do not want this item to die on the Order Paper, I ask that the debate be adjourned in my name.

(On motion of Senator Comeau, debate adjourned.)

Women's Choices

Inquiry—Debate Continued

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the inquiry of the Honourable Senator Poy, calling the attention of the Senate to the choices women have in all aspects of our lives.

Hon. Rose-Marie Losier-Cool: Honourable senators, I will speak on this topic next week and I move the adjournment of the debate for the balance of my time.

(On motion of Senator Losier-Cool, debate adjourned.)

[English]

The Senate

Motion to Urge Government to Revise Twenty Dollar Banknote—Debate Continued

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Joyal, P.C., seconded by the Honourable Senator Banks:

Whereas the $5, $10 and $50 Canadian banknotes represent Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Sir John A. Macdonald and W.L. Mackenzie King respectively, and whereas each of these bills clearly mention in printed form their name, title and dates of function;

Whereas the $20 banknotes represent a portrait of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II but without her name or title;

The Senate recommends that the Bank of Canada add in printed form, under the portrait of Her Majesty, the name and title of H.M. Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, to the next series of $20 Canadian banknotes to be printed.

Hon. Consiglio Di Nino: Honourable senators, I am in the process of continuing to gather information and do research on this subject. I would request your indulgence to allow me to, once again, adjourn this item in my name for the rest of my time.

(On motion of Senator Di Nino, debate adjourned.)

[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 26, 2010, at 2 p.m.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

(Motion agreed to.)

(The Senate adjourned until Tuesday, October 26, 2010, at 2 p.m.)