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Previous Sittings
Previous Sittings

Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

2nd Session, 41st Parliament,
Volume 149, Issue 70

Thursday, June 12, 2014
The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, Speaker


Thursday, June 12, 2014

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



Mr. Jim Dinning

Congratulations on Retirement as Chancellor of the University of Calgary

Hon. Douglas Black: Honourable senators, I rise today to recognize one of Alberta's leading citizens, Jim Dinning, on the occasion of his retirement as Chancellor of the University of Calgary.

I must disclose my bias; I have known and liked Jim since we first met in Grade 11.

For me and many others, Jim represents the model Albertan: a loyal, energetic and positive leader, a man devoted to building a better province, a man with the courage to ask tough questions, pursue new paths and stand up for what's right.

Born and raised in Calgary, with the active mentorship of Peter Lougheed, Jim pursued a career in public service after graduating from Queen's University. He soon became the government's youngest deputy minister.

Wanting to continue to make a meaningful difference, Jim put his name forward as a candidate and was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. In his 11 years as an MLA, Jim served in a number of cabinet portfolios, most notably as provincial treasurer, where he is widely credited with bringing Alberta's finances in line by administering very tough medicine.

Never one to rest on his laurels, he moved on to the private sector after retiring from public life. He served as the executive vice-president at TransAlta, one of Canada's largest power companies, while also serving as the board chairman for Western Financial Group — which, of course, as we know, is the company founded by our colleague Senator Tannas — and as a director of prominent Canadian companies, such as Shaw Communications and Finning International.

In addition to these corporate responsibilities, Jim has been a tremendous leader in the Alberta community. He has been a governor of The Banff Centre, a director of the Alberta Energy Research Institute, chair of the Canada West Foundation, chair of the Calgary Health Region, and chair of Export Development Canada.

Honourable senators, leadership is the key element in success in any venture. Jim Dinning can stand as a model to existing leaders, and to the thousands of young Canadians just launching their careers, as to how to lead effectively and with heart.

Jim, the University of Calgary and Albertans thank you.


Tragedy at Escuminac and Baie Ste-Anne

Fifty-fifth Anniversary

Hon. Fernand Robichaud: Honourable senators, this week, the entire country joined the city of Moncton in mourning the senseless deaths of three RCMP officers. We expressed our sympathy and our profound sadness and offered our sincere condolences to all the victims and people affected by this tragedy.

That being said, I wish to draw the attention of the Senate to another tragic event, the marine tragedy that occurred 55 years ago at Escuminac and Baie Ste-Anne in New Brunswick. On June 19, 1959, some fishermen left the small port of Escuminac at the mouth of Miramichi Bay as usual.

It was a beautiful day with light winds and nothing unusual in the forecast. Their fishing area was a few dozen kilometres from shore, and the fishermen usually spent the night at sea and returned to port the next day.

However, on the night of June 19, the weather office in Halifax issued severe storm warnings. At the time, very few of the 32 fishing boats were equipped with radios or the electronic communication systems that we have today.

No one could reach the fishermen, and they were left to face the fury of the elements by themselves. The hurricane hit head-on, and the fishermen were shaken and battered by strong winds blowing at 120 km/hour and waves up to 15 metres high. Of the 51 fishermen who headed out to sea, 35 did not come back, including a 13-year-old child. The storm also claimed 22 of the 32 boats in the fleet.

According to the stories that have been told and passed down, some fishermen managed to tie themselves to their boats to avoid being swept away by the waves. This tragedy left behind 24 widows and 83 orphans. We can imagine the devastation and pain felt by the people of that small coastal community.

As we commemorate the 55th anniversary of this tragedy, let us recall all of the brave fishermen who face their destiny by taking to the sea to earn a living. This is a reminder that fishing as an occupation is highly risky and very dangerous.

Also in our thoughts are the bereaved families and the survivors of the Escuminac and Baie Ste-Anne tragedy. Like them, we carry the memory of those who perished in our hearts.


Distinguished Visitor in the Gallery

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I draw your attention to the presence in the Governor General's Gallery of our former colleague the Honourable Michael Kirby.

On behalf of all honourable senators, I offer a special welcome back to the Senate to the Honourable Michael Kirby.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Visitors in the Gallery

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I draw your attention to the Governor General's Gallery and the presence of Ms. Donna Segal, who is accompanied by a number of associates of our colleague the Honourable Senator Segal.

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

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

The Hon. the Speaker: Senators' Statements. I call upon the Honourable Senator Segal.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

The Honourable Hugh Segal, C.M.

Expression of Thanks upon Retirement

Hon. Hugh Segal: It's great stuff, Your Honour, but they're eating into my time.

Your Honour, colleagues, I rise to express, with humility and genuine appreciation, my immense gratitude for the opportunity to have served among you all in this chamber.

As I look around at academics, lawyers and physicians, researchers, nurses, teachers, provincial ministers, businessmen and women, First Nations leaders, mayors, police and military leaders, privy councillors, esteemed champion sports figures, including the best hockey coach in the history of the world —

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!


Senator Segal: — philanthropists, human rights advocates, former ministers, journalists and, yes, honourably serving politicians, I am deeply honoured to have worked among you.

I thank Prime Minister Martin, who invited me to serve in 2005, and Prime Minister Harper, who invited me to join his caucus.

My work here was enabled by a wonderful group of people who are tireless in the support and advice they afforded me. Cathy Ciavaglia, who came with me from the IRPP in Montreal, after many weeks of begging on my part, was and remains a pillar of goodwill, diligence and loyalty. Joanne McNamara, now Deputy Chief of Staff in the Prime Minister's Office, guided a novice junior senator through the early party and policy shoals here in Ottawa with judgment and good humour. Debbie McGee, whom I first met when she served Senators Nurgitz and Barootes — and think about this, colleagues, two senators, one staff between them, and Debbie had to carry the burden of not only Barootes but also Nurgitz, not easy work, which she did extremely well — helped me in my very first days here with cool and knowing expertise. Andrea Joinette stepped in with enthusiasm and conscientiousness to cover and exceed a maternity leave and brought genuine professionalism to the task. Jessica McLean, a former senior page in this place who graduated from the University of Ottawa, which right away moved her ahead of the pack, served with inspired focus and goodwill before joining DFAIT. And Beverly Muma's vast Senate experience, working with senators on both sides of the chamber, and nuanced judgment have been immeasurable strengths in more recent months.

And as colleagues who have dealt with her know, on policy, research and the myriad of networks that matter so much in areas like poverty abatement, Commonwealth reform, support for our military and national security, Rose-Marie Brisson, who left a higher-paying position in Kingston to help me, was fundamental to the task. I had to beg her to come for some time as well. She was the cornerstone and lighthouse for my senatorial work. From casework for a wounded soldier and his family in Kingston, to linking up with human rights advocates, parliamentarians, journalists and diplomats across the Commonwealth, to providing support for the sometimes grinding debates here or in committee, her collaboration and contribution were beyond seminal and deeply appreciated.

I also want to thank the researchers, table and committee staff, clerks, Hansard staff and all those who sometimes kept going for 24 hours, or more, to make reports happen on time. I particularly want to thank the translators who often had no notice of what I was going to say and performed admirably, despite my switching to both bad French and worse English on occasion. And I thank the Senate security staff, who were always professional, courteous and friendly.

And in the gallery today, as the Speaker was kind enough to point out, are two very, very special people in my life. Donna, my wife and life partner for 38 years, and our daughter Jacqueline, in whose eyes and smile the sun never sets. It was with Donna, I told Prime Minister Martin, I had to check before accepting his kind offer. She agreed, as long as I thought I might make a contribution on issues that mattered to both of us, issues such as a strong military, rule of law, and a more humane and caring country.

And from my daughter Jacqueline, who is here today as well from the Carter Center in Atlanta, advice on a wide range of communication, foreign and domestic issues, including, most recently, fundamentally important strategic hockey talk during the playoffs, always in support of les glorieux, always quickened my step and gladdened my heart.

I will offer no advice on issues before you as I take my leave. That would be impertinent and inappropriate, but let me offer, with your indulgence, a brief wish for the future of this chamber.

That this chamber and its members protect the freedom and opportunity that constitute the Canadian brand worldwide, welcoming always the immigrant and refugees who have made us, over our history, so strong.


That the francophone and anglophone duality of Canada always be protected and promoted by all of you in this chamber.


That the women and men in our Armed Forces who are, more than politicians or journalists or bureaucrats or professors, the real reason we share a free, peaceful, creative and democratic society, be certain that in this place, whatever the vicissitudes of bureaucrats or political penury elsewhere, that you are their most ardent and steadfast supporters.

And finally, consistent with the recent Supreme Court ruling on what is the legitimate constitutional approach to Senate reform, which so clearly laid out this chamber's precise and constitutional role, that you are able to balance the partisan and other pressures to foster greater independence from the other place, not in competition with it or with any government of Canada, but in complementarity and sage pursuit of better laws and a better country, and that in that pursuit those who are outside the economic mainstream, who are poor, marginalized, left out and excluded are always highest on your list of priorities.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Senator Segal: And finally, above all, to champion the central and indisputable importance of rule of law, due process, presumption of innocence as cornerstones of our democratic way of life, whatever dark forces elsewhere — sometimes in government, sometimes in opposition, the police or the media — might seek to dictate or impose upon us.

I wish you all good health, Godspeed, happiness. May God bless you all. Thank you.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

The Late Ms. Eleanor R. Milne

Dominion Sculptor

Hon. Jim Munson: We are going to miss you, the happy warrior, but I'm going to talk today about a special person who has been in our midst for some time, though you may not know it, and that is a woman by the name of Eleanor Milne.

Honourable senators, every day as we make our way to this chamber, we pass extraordinary national monuments and stained glass windows capturing the historic events and social aspirations that have shaped our country. Some of the most significant and striking of these pieces of art were created by the skilled hand and artistic vision of a woman named Eleanor Milne. Eleanor was Canada's Dominion Sculptor for more than 30 years, from 1963 to 1994. She died last month at her home in the Glebe, where I live, in this area of Ottawa.

It's a fascinating story. Eleanor was born in 1925 and lived in Saint John, New Brunswick, for part of her childhood. She then moved with her family to Montreal where she studied and trained at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, McGill and l'École des beaux-arts de Montréal. Her drive to learn and broaden her talents also took her to the Central College of Arts and Crafts in London, England, and Syracuse University in the United States.

Led by a clear idea of what she wanted and was clearly capable of achieving, Eleanor would not be hindered by chauvinistic attitudes of her generation toward women. She beat out 21 other candidates when she was selected to be our country's Dominion Sculptor. She was the only woman in the competition.

We here are so fortunate to work where we do and to be able to regularly take in the results of Eleanor's artistry. These include the design and carving of the History of Canada series in the Centre Block foyer — thousands of years of human and geographic history captured powerfully in a 16-panel frieze.


If I haven't already illustrated just how committed this woman was, I urge you to picture her in the process of sculpting in this building. Unless the materials could be moved to her studio, she would carve on site here, in some cases working night after night until early morning, balanced on a narrow scaffolding 20 feet off the ground.

Here in the Senate, the work of Eleanor that appeals most to me is the work that is yet to come. Following her tenure on the Hill, she continued to be busy with various assignments. These included the design of the stained glass windows to be installed within this chamber as part of major upcoming renovations.

There is something distinctly moving in the thought that many of us here, including the happy warrior, and those who will come after us will debate issues that shape this country, standing in the cast of light streaming through the windows of Eleanor Milne's vision. She was an exceptional Canadian who lived life fully, on her own terms and for current and future generations.


One Hundred and Sixteenth Anniversary of Independence

Hon. Tobias C. Enverga, Jr.: Honourable senators, it is with pride that I rise today to bring to your attention that on this day, June 12, 116 years ago, Philippine independence was first proclaimed. For the first time, the Philippine flag was raised and became a national symbol of my beautiful country of birth.

Honourable senators, the proclamation of Philippine independence was the beginning of the end of 333 years of Spanish colonial rule. Although it took another 50 years for the Philippines to become the Republic of the Philippines, June 12 stands as the day in history that gave birth to our flag, our national anthem, and provided a focal point around which a future republic could be established.

Honourable senators, in Canada, today is also an occasion to celebrate the immense contributions that the more than 600,000 Canadians of Filipino descent make to this country and the growing ties between Canada and the Philippines.

On June 6, I had the pleasure of joining our Minster of Transport, the Honourable Lisa Raitt, who announced an expanded air transport agreement between the two countries. In response to the growing need, being almost half a million one-way trips, the agreement offers increased flights to any destination in the two countries, the possibility for airlines to code-share, and the flexibility of more competitive pricing. This helps the growing number of Filipino-Canadians to stay in touch with their families and will open the door for increased tourism in both countries. It is a true sign of the strong relationship we share.

Honourable senators, Dr. José Rizal, a national hero of the Philippines, never lived to see the day that the flag of the Philippines was raised and independence was proclaimed. His death at the hands of a Spanish firing squad led to increased support to the struggle for independence, even if he only wanted reform and not independence. His last poem, My Last Farewell, written a few days before his execution and smuggled out of his cell after his death, shows what sacrifice really is. The first stanza reads:

Farewell, my adored Land, region of the sun caress'd,
Pearl of the Orient Sea, our Eden lost,
With gladness I give thee my Life, sad and repress'd;
And were it more brilliant, more fresh and at its best,
I would still give it to thee for thine welfare at most.

I read these words as a reminder for all of us here who are living the very freedoms that persons in the past have willingly died for.

Honourable senators, I wish to end in my native language, Tagalog: Mabuhay Tayong Lahat!



Information Commissioner

Access to Information Act and Privacy Act—2013-14 Annual Reports Tabled

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the 2013-14 annual reports of the Information Commissioner, pursuant to section 72 of the Access to Information Act and section 72 of the Privacy Act.


Commissioner of Lobbying

Access to Information Act and Privacy Act—2013-14 Annual Report Tabled

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the 2013-14 annual report of the Commissioner of Lobbying, pursuant to section 72 of the Access to Information Act and section 72 of the Privacy Act.

Lobbying Act—2013-14 Annual Report Tabled

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the 2013-14 annual report of the Commissioner of Lobbying, pursuant to section 11 of the Lobbying Act.

Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration

Sixth Report of Committee Presented

Hon. George J. Furey, Deputy Chair of the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration, presented the following report:

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration has the honour to present its


Your Committee recommends that Mr. Michel Patrice be appointed Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel of the Senate.

Respectfully submitted,


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

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

Criminal Code
Corrections and Conditional Release Act

Bill to Amend—Eleventh Report of Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee Presented

Hon. Bob Runciman, Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, presented the following report:

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs has the honour to present its


Your committee, to which was referred Bill C-489, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (restrictions on offenders), has, in obedience to the order of reference of Thursday, May 15, 2014, examined the said bill and now reports the same without amendment.

Respectfully submitted,


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

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

Federal Framework on Lyme Disease Bill

First Reading

The Hon. the Speaker informed the Senate that a message had been received from the House of Commons with Bill C-442, An Act respecting a Federal Framework on Lyme Disease.

(Bill read first time.)

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

(On motion of Senator Martin, bill placed on the Orders of the Day for second reading two days hence.)


L'Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie

Meeting of the Cooperation and Development Committee, March 18-20, 2013—Report Tabled

Hon. Andrée Champagne: Honourable senators, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian parliamentary delegation to the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie regarding its participation in the meeting of the Cooperation and Development Committee, held in Quebec City, Canada, from March 18 to 20, 2013.



First Nations Education

Petition Tabled

Hon. Claudette Tardif: Honourable senators, I have the honour to table a petition signed by 318 members of the Blood Indian Reserve in Alberta that calls upon the Senate to respect the Crown's treaty commitments to provide schools and teachers for the instruction of First Nations; to immediately and unconditionally provide equitable and fair resources to First Nations for education services; and to respect the right of First Nations to choose their educational systems, including public and denominational schools.

The petition also calls upon the federal government to take immediate action to amend the Blood Indian Reserve Band Council's financial agreement to guarantee that the Blood Indian children attending the Saint Kateri Catholic School can benefit from their treaty education rights, as well as the federal funds appropriated for this purpose.



Science and Technology—Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Hon. Grant Mitchell: Honourable senators, I thought I'd ask a question about climate change today.

Senator Campbell: No way!

Senator Mitchell: Yes. It's about time that I did that.

The President of the United States, President Obama, in underlining his aggressive policy announcement to reduce greenhouse gases in a serious way, made the point that science is science.

Mr. Harper — I almost want so say to his credit, although I don't know what the outcome will be — said that he will base his decision on the Gateway Pipeline on science. Given his failure to actually acknowledge explicitly the science of climate change and his tendency not so recently but in the past to deny the science of climate change, there is serious question about what his commitment to science is in this 21st century, scientifically driven world.

It's in that context that I would ask a question on behalf of a member of the public, a Canadian, Stephanie Pope from Toronto, regarding the muzzling of scientists and government officials, which concerns her greatly. She asks:

How can you justify your government's oppression of government scientists and other government officials by prohibiting them from speaking to the media about climate change?


Hon. Claude Carignan (Leader of the Government): My thanks to that Canadian for her question. First of all, of course, I would like to clarify our position on regulations. You pointed to President Obama's executive actions on coal-fired power plants. We are delighted with what is happening in the United States. We acted on this issue two years ago, meaning that our regulations are stricter. We anticipate reducing greenhouse gas emissions from coal by 46 per cent by 2030, compared to the U.S. target of 30 per cent. In Canada, 10 per cent of our electricity is produced in coal-fired power plants, compared to 37 per cent in the United States. In Canada, more than 60 per cent of our electricity is produced from renewable sources, compared to barely 12 per cent in the United States.

Therefore, I repeat that we are delighted that the United States is following in our footsteps. We will continue to build on our record and to work with our neighbours to the south to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases. Moreover, the government's record on science and technology, once again, is unprecedented. Canada ranks first among G7 countries in its support of research and development in colleges, universities and other institutions. In addition, Economic Action Plan 2014 sets out new measures, including an investment of $1.5 billion over the next 10 years for the creation of the Canada First Research Excellence Fund in order to advance Canada's global leadership in science and innovation; an investment of $46 million per year for granting councils to support advanced research; an investment of $222 million in the TRIUMF lab to support advanced research and create leading-edge companies; and an investment of $15 million to support technological innovation through the Institute for Quantum Computing, which works in the area of research and commercialization of quantum information technologies.

These changes and investments were enthusiastically welcomed by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, the Association of Canadian Community Colleges, the University of Manitoba, and the University of British Columbia, just to name a few. The University of Alberta said that the investments announced in the budget show the Government of Canada's commitment to excellence in higher education, research and innovation, and that this investment will help universities meet the challenge of rising global competition.

Madam, you must not believe what our Liberal friends opposite would like you to believe, or what they say and put forward; rather, you should trust the real facts, which reflect our passion for the economy and the environment.


Senator Mitchell: Honourable senators, how would we know if this government is actually funding any science, because they won't let anybody talk about it?

The real answer, if I can paraphrase the leader's answer, is something like this: Red is black, up is down, in is out and, you know what, that parrot is not dead. You go on and on and on with the same denials. That parrot is not dead; that parrot is simply sleeping.

The fact is that nobody believes you. Here we have Ms. Lagarde, who is the chief of the International Monetary Fund. That is a very significant institution with very significant implications for world economies and the Canadian economy as well. They are highly professional. She says:

. . . countries, including energy powerhouses like Canada, need a proactive approach to protect the environment and not simply wait for a deal to replace the Kyoto Protocol . . . .

Obviously she's not convinced and the IMF is not convinced that this government is doing anything of consequence.

Could the Leader of the Government in the Senate, whose Prime Minister says he speaks frankly about climate change and about carbon tax, ask Prime Minister "Frank" Stephen Harper to please talk frankly about when he's going to bring in the regulations on the oil and gas industry to begin to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?


Senator Carignan: Senator, I find it somewhat insulting that you are denigrating the sources I quoted earlier, who supported these investments. I find you are being somewhat harsh when it comes to recognized universities in Canada, and I am not sure that you are aware of the important role these universities play in research and development. You are not taking their comments seriously. It is sad that you are flatly rejecting quotes from recognized universities, particularly the University of Alberta, which is in your province.

With regard to regulations, as I already mentioned, we will build on our record and continue to work with the United States to reduce greenhouse gases from the oil and gas sectors.


This is consistent with what we are already doing by aligning with the United States on greenhouse gas emission regulations.

In the transportation sector, for example, 2,025 passenger vehicles and light trucks will emit about half as much greenhouse gas in Canada as the 2008 models.

That's my response to the member of the public who sent you that question. I know that I won't be able to convince you, because despite what you claim, you're taking a clearly partisan position here.

I don't think the Liberals are in a position to lecture the Conservative government, since they didn't show any concern for the future when they cut investments in science, research and innovation during their term in office.


Senator Mitchell: Now he's gone to the next stage; not only is he continuing to say that the parrot is not dead, but he's actually exhumed it from the grave to try and prove it.

The fact is that this government had a tremendous scientific and policy analytical body in the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy. The problem for the government with the round table is that it actually used to make reports the government didn't like to hear.

So back to Stephanie Pope's question: Why is it that this government shut down the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, despite the fact — or perhaps the answer is "because of the fact" — that it gave open analysis and a scientific basis that said climate change is a real problem, that human activity, including Canadian, is creating it, and that we've got to do something about it before it's too late?


Senator Carignan: At the risk of repeating myself, I no longer know if the question you keep asking is from the member of the public or if it is from you.

I repeat that our government has made unprecedented investments in science, technology and innovation. We have a long-term vision of how Canada can harness the power of science and technology to create jobs and improve Canadians' quality of life.

As I explained, this vision also applies to environmental protection, in terms of the measures taken in cooperation with the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the oil and gas sectors.

National Revenue

Tax Havens

Hon. Céline Hervieux-Payette: Mr. Leader, on another note, according to a study published by Canadians for Tax Fairness last month, Canadians are increasingly using tax havens for both legal and illegal purposes.

According to that study, Canadian businesses and individuals hid $170 billion in 10 different tax havens in 2013. That's a huge amount of money. However, those figures are probably understated, according to the study's authors. In any event, this represents a $15 billion increase over 2012. Mr. Leader, if we are to believe those figures, Canadians are investing more money in tax havens than in other countries.

Given that the Conservative government is cutting federal jobs, programs and services in order to balance the budget and given that there were staff cuts at Revenue Canada in 2013, what is your action plan to tackle tax evasion and bring back the billions of dollars that have been diverted elsewhere? This issue is depriving Canadians of services to which they are entitled.

Hon. Claude Carignan (Leader of the Government): We will continue to put money into ensuring that taxpayers pay their fair share of taxes. We will continue to ensure that tax fairness is maintained.

How many times do I have to answer this question? I already said that we are committed to ensuring the fairness and integrity of the tax system. We want to make sure that everyone pays their fair share of taxes.

As I said, since 2006, our government has introduced more than 85 measures to improve the integrity of our tax system, including the Offshore Tax Informant Program and the mandatory requirement to report international electronic funds transfers to Revenue Canada if they exceed $10,000.

The Liberals should be ashamed of accusing us of not taking action, when they voted against all of those measures.

With these measures, our government will be better able to protect the integrity of Canada's tax system, and the Canada Revenue Agency will be better equipped to pursue those who add to the tax burden of law-abiding Canadians.

Senator Hervieux-Payette: Mr. Leader of the Government, you know quite well that if you had reported specific figures in response to the question, we would not keep asking it. To date, whether you have implemented 85 or 125 measures, they are clearly not working, and I will explain why.

Canada was urged by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to sign information-sharing agreements with tax havens to fight banking secrecy. According to the author of Paradis fiscaux: la filière canadienne, Budget 2007 contained a provision stipulating that Canadian investors who place their assets in one of the tax havens that signed such an agreement with Canada can repatriate their assets as dividends without having to pay taxes.

I pay taxes on the dividends I have in Canada. I don't understand why that isn't the case for tax havens. The Conservative government claims that it is fighting tax havens, but I think it is encouraging tax evasion.

Where are the dollars that you repatriated from tax havens, which would make it possible to provide services to Canadians? What amounts have been repatriated?

Senator Carignan: Since you don't believe me, I will quote from the Auditor General's report. In his last report, the Auditor General states in Chapter 3, on page 18, that:

. . . the Canada Revenue Agency's Aggressive Tax Planning (ATP) program has tools to detect, correct, and deter non-compliance.

That should convince you.

Senator Hervieux-Payette: Getting rid of hundreds of employees at the Canada Revenue Agency is not going to help bring this money back.

In Budget 2009, the Minister of Finance eliminated section 18(2) of the Income Tax Act regarding investment outside Canada by Canadian multinational corporations, of which I think there are many. This section concerns a scheme that allows these multinationals to deduct from their taxes in Canada the interest on the loans they used to invest abroad, a scheme that Auditor General Sheila Fraser denounced in 2002.

Section 18(2) prevented multinationals from deducting such interest twice, once in Canada and once in the country where the investment is made thanks to the use of tax havens. A few months later, Canada announced a free trade agreement with Panama, a known tax haven.


In your action plan to fight tax evasion and repatriate stolen money, when will you make sure that Canadian and foreign multinationals stop using the tactic that involves not borrowing money here and stop deducting interest so they don't have to pay tax?

Senator Carignan: As I said, we have taken measures. I told you that over 85 measures have been taken to enhance the integrity of the tax system through various programs that were implemented, and you voted against that. We are taking measures to optimize tax fairness. When people commit fraud, we use all of those measures to recover the money. As one senator often points out, we are still trying to get the sponsorship scandal money back.

Senator Hervieux-Payette: Let's not sidestep the issue by talking about things that happened over 10 years ago. Today I want to talk about the Banking Committee report showing that between $100 billion and $150 billion is laundered every year in Canada. This is also about legal and illegal tax evasion because there are two kinds of tax evasion. Legal tax evasion is the kind your government allows.

What I want to know is, when will you shut the doors that allow multinationals to evade taxes? When will you implement the 86th measure? Even though we voted against them, they are still in force. They are not working. When will you shut the door on tax evasion?

Senator Carignan: It doesn't matter how long ago it was. You know that $40 million, if you count interest and penalties over a period of 10 years, adds up to a lot of money. I don't think you should downplay the amounts we are talking about.


National Defence

Aircraft Procurement

Hon. Jane Cordy: We haven't heard a lot about the F-35s lately, and what I'm reading is coming from Washington. Washington actually has press releases and press reports saying that Canada has already selected the F-35, that they would proceed with the purchase, that the Prime Minister has made the decision and that no competition would be held.

We hear Canadian reports saying that cabinet will be making the decision, that, in fact, no decision has been made yet. I wonder if you would let this chamber know whether or not a decision has actually been made on the purchase of the F-35 aircraft.


Hon. Claude Carignan (Leader of the Government): No.


Senator Cordy: Thank you very much for that clarification. That was an answer for the first time in quite a long time, and I thank you, leader, very much for that.

A panel was established to look at the whole issue of the F-35s, and they actually released their report to the government in April. Yet we, as parliamentarians, have not seen that report. When will this report become public? When will parliamentarians be able to look at the report of this committee?


Senator Carignan: As you pointed out, a panel of independent experts ensured that the evaluation of options was rigorous and impartial and that the results to be made public are comprehensive and understandable. As Minister Finley has indicated on a number of occasions, the unclassified and non-confidential business information will be made public in due course.


Senator Cordy: Our government has had this report for two months, and there certainly have been a lot of questions, both on the other side and in this chamber, on the whole issue of the F-35s. In fact, the Auditor General has commented on the whole procurement process of the F-35s, which is why this panel was established.

The government has already had two months. Is the government going to wait until the House of Commons and the Senate rise before they release this report?


Senator Carignan: Senator, I think that this is an important report, as you said. This report sets out a seven-point plan that must be analyzed. As the minister said, in the coming weeks we will carefully examine the various reports in order to make a decision regarding the replacement of Canada's CF-18 fighter jet fleet.


Senator Cordy: I think it's important, in the whole idea of transparency and openness, that we are aware of what's in this report since that panel was established to look at the poor procurement process that was in place.

Will the report be given to the public and to parliamentarians before the decision is reached?


Senator Carignan: As I said, in the coming weeks, we will carefully examine the various reports in order to make a decision regarding the replacement of Canada's CF-18 fighter jet fleet. You can rest assured that we will ensure that the Canadian Forces have the equipment they need to do their job.



Business of the Senate

Hon. Yonah Martin (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, pursuant to rule 4-13(3), I would like to inform the Senate that, as we proceed with Government Business, the Senate will address the items in the following order: second reading of Bill C-20, followed by all remaining items in the order that they appear on the Order Paper, with the exception of third reading of Bill C-5, which we will consider last under Government Business for today.

Canada—Honduras Economic Growth and Prosperity Bill

Second Reading

Hon. Leo Housakos moved second reading of Bill C-20, An Act to implement the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and the Republic of Honduras, the Agreement on Environmental Cooperation between Canada and the Republic of Honduras and the Agreement on Labour Cooperation between Canada and the Republic of Honduras.

He said: It is with pleasure that I rise today to speak about Bill C-20, the Canada-Honduras Economic Growth and Prosperity Bill. Implementing free trade agreements to help Canadian companies succeed abroad is a priority for the Government of Canada.


In 2006, Canada had free trade agreements with only five countries. Since that time, eight other agreements have been concluded. We now have agreements with Panama, Jordan, Colombia, Peru and four European Free Trade Association member states, namely, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.


Opening new markets for Canadian companies large and small is a cornerstone of the government's ambitious pro-trade plan.

On March 11, 2014, the Prime Minister and President Park of South Korea announced the conclusion of negotiations for the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement. This landmark achievement constitutes Canada's first free trade agreement in Asia. This agreement is projected to boost Canada's GDP by $1.7 billion and increase Canadian merchandise exports to South Korea by 32 per cent.

Canada and South Korea are committed to bringing the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement into force as soon as possible.


In the fall of 2013, the government announced that an agreement in principle had been reached with the 28 members of the European Union.


CETA is by far the most ambitious trade initiative Canada has ever negotiated. With CETA, Canadians will gain preferential access to the world's largest market, with more than 500 million consumers and a $17 trillion GDP. This is why Canada and the EU are working expeditiously to finalize their remaining technical work so that CETA can be formally concluded as soon as possible.

Of course, in the fall of 2013, the Minister of International Trade and his Honduran counterpart also signed the Canada-Honduras Free Trade Agreement. We must also work to implement the Canada-Honduras Free Trade Agreement quickly, and I'd like to explain why.


Deepening Canada's trade relations with growing markets around the world, such as Honduras, is an important part of the government's pro-trade plan for jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for Canadians.


The Canada-Honduras Free Trade Agreement is another measure whereby our government will help Canadians compete and succeed in the global economy. This agreement is also part of the government's efforts to liberalize trade with our partners in the Americas.

Our engagement in the Americas has been part of the priorities of our foreign affairs program since 2007. Strengthening this commitment through trade and our economic and trade relations is one of the best ways to promote economic growth in the region.


Canada's Strategy for Engagement in the Americas focuses not only on intensifying trade promotion and relationship-building efforts to ensure that the Canadian private sector can take full advantage of the trade and economic agreements, but also on building the capacity of our trading partners so they, too, can capitalize on the benefits of free trade with Canada.

The Canada-Honduras Free Trade Agreement is a key component in advancing the three goals of Canada's strategy for engagement in the Americas: to increase mutual economic opportunity; to address insecurity and strengthen institutions; and to foster lasting relationships. This agreement will also support our growing commercial relationship by creating the conditions for a dynamic, transparent and rules-based commercial and investment environment.

Canada is committed to a strong economic partnership with Honduras that will contribute to enhanced prosperity and sustainable economic growth in both our countries.


The Americas have vast potential. Merchandise trade between the Americas and Canada, which totalled $57 billion in 2013, has grown by 34 per cent since 2007, and direct Canadian investments in the region, which were $169 billion in 2012, have increased by approximately 60 per cent since 2007.


Canada's two-way merchandise trade with Honduras grew 59 per cent from 2009 to 2013. Canadian companies are active in Honduras in the areas of apparel production and mining, but there are other sectors of potential opportunity, such as green building, clean technologies, and information and communication technologies.

Canada's Trade Commissioner Service already works with Canadian companies that are interested in doing business in Honduras. Once this agreement is ratified, Canada's trade commissioners will ensure that companies, in particular small and medium enterprises, are aware of how they can benefit from the agreement and fully take advantage of greater stability, transparency and protection in the Honduran market.


Canada maintains an open dialogue with the Honduran government because our government believes that engagement is the ideal way to help this country overcome the challenges it faces.

Honduras is one of 20 countries that receive development assistance from Canada. We are its third-largest bilateral donor, and we are ranked sixth among donor countries working in Honduras. In 2012-13, Canada provided $37.8 million in development assistance through official programs.


The government's view is that prosperity, security and democratic governance, including full respect for human rights, are interconnected and mutually reinforcing. Increased prosperity through trade can contribute to the reduction of poverty and social exclusion by increasing economic opportunities for Hondurans.


Once ratified, the Canada-Honduras Free Trade Agreement will be the cornerstone of our bilateral relationship and could produce significant benefits for both parties. Many of us know that the United States and the European Union have already signed free trade agreements with Honduras.

At this very moment, Canadian companies are competing in Honduras on an uneven playing field. They continue to face tariffs on their exports while their American and European counterparts enjoy preferential treatment.

It is particularly important for us to ratify this agreement and to put Canadian companies on an equal footing with their main competitors. That is the main reason why the implementation of this free trade agreement must be a priority for Canada and why this chamber must act quickly.


This agreement will help to make Canadian goods more attractive in the Honduran market by eliminating tariffs. Canadian exports to Honduras currently face, on average, tariffs of 10.5 per cent for agricultural products and 5 per cent for non-agricultural products.


Once the agreement comes into force, Honduras will immediately eliminate tariffs on about 70 per cent of its tariff lines for merchandise imported from Canada. Most of the remaining tariffs will be phased out over a period of 5 to 15 years.


Canada's agriculture and agri-food sector is one of the beneficiaries of tariff elimination under the Canada-Honduras Free Trade Agreement. For example, the FTA will eliminate Honduras' tariffs of up to 15 per cent on pork, which is good news for our pork producers in Ontario and Quebec.


In addition, our Alberta cattle producers will benefit from the elimination of tariffs that can reach 15 per cent for beef, and our producers of potato products in Manitoba, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island will see the elimination of tariffs of up to 15 per cent.


But this agreement also eliminates tariffs on a wide variety of Canadian products, such as chemical products, wood, pulp and paper products, vehicles and auto parts, as well as fish and seafood.

As you can see, honourable senators, the gains in goods market access will benefit companies in diverse sectors right across Canada. Canadian service providers will also benefit from the FTA, including through secure, predictable and equitable treatment. The FTA goes farther than Honduras' existing commitments under the World Trade Organization's General Agreement on Trade in Services in sectors of export interest to Canada, such as professional services, and information and communications technologies.


However, the potential advantages for Canadian companies do not stop there. This is a modern, comprehensive trade agreement that will be good for Canadian investors.

Under the Canada-Honduras Free Trade Agreement, Canadian investors will enjoy a more stable business climate. Given the importance of foreign investment in the global economy today, the investment provisions are an integral part of this agreement.


Once the agreement is in force, Canadian companies operating in Honduras will be assured of non-discriminatory treatment vis-à-vis national and other foreign investors; be protected from expropriation without compensation; benefit from the freer transfers of funds; and be assured of fair and equitable treatment in accordance with international law. In addition, investors will also have access to a binding dispute settlement mechanism that is both transparent and impartial.

Of course, we are also dealing with parallel agreements between Canada and Honduras on labour cooperation and environmental cooperation. This is part of the government's commitment to ensuring that increased international trade does not come at the expense of good labour practices and environmental standards. The Canada-Honduras Labour Cooperation Agreement includes comprehensive obligations, as well as provisions that allow for monetary penalties to be imposed in cases of non-compliance.

In the Canada-Honduras Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, both countries have agreed to pursue high levels of environmental protection and to continue to develop and improve their environmental laws and policies.

It's clear that the Canada-Honduras Free Trade Agreement is a comprehensive, high-quality agreement that will create new opportunities for Canadian companies and contribute to Canada's long-term economic growth and prosperity. This agreement will allow Canadian companies to seize new and diverse opportunities in the Honduran market. We owe it to our companies and to Canadians to ratify this agreement in a timely manner, thereby giving them the tools they need to take full advantage of new opportunities in the Honduran market.

I ask all honourable colleagues to join me in supporting Bill C-20, the proposed legislation to implement the Canadian Honduras Free Trade Agreement and the parallel agreements on labour and environmental cooperation.

Hon. Dennis Dawson: Honourable senators, I am proud to speak to Bill C-20, an act to implement the free trade agreement between Canada and the Republic of Honduras.

Once again we find ourselves debating a free trade agreement, the economic impact of which on this country might charitably be described as modest. This has been a theme of recent years. In recent years we have debated agreements with Jordan and Panama.

An Hon. Senator: Oh, oh.

Senator Dawson: You will have the chance to speak, madam. Feel free at the end if you have questions or comments. For the moment, madam, if you will permit me, I will continue.


One rather blunt commentator called them minnows, small fish, compared to the big fish like the European Union.

You will probably notice that I might reflect some of the words that were used by liberally minded people in the other chamber because we both agree on supporting trade. We will support this bill. I want to assure my good friend Senator Housakos that, yes, we do support the bill.

It's not to minimize or denigrate the importance of trade with Honduras, but, at the same time, let us acknowledge reality. Honduras is Canada's ninety-sixth most important market for export merchandise.

Senator Moore: Ninety-six!

Senator Dawson: Yes, Senator Moore, ninety-sixth most important market, and our sixty-eighth most important market for source of imports.

Senator Moore: Sixty-eight?

Senator Dawson: Yes, 68. I'm glad you're listening, Senator Moore. Sometimes, the other side doesn't listen to us when we speak.

Senator Day: Sometimes?


Senator Dawson: This is very important because 80 per cent of the Canadian economy relies on exports.


To put it another way, for every dollar of goods we export to Honduras, we export more than $750 to the countries of the European Union. A little perspective is in order.


Since we are talking about the European Union — I could ask Senator Housakos this — where do we stand on the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement? This agreement always seems to be imminent. It's coming soon; it's almost here. The media tell us that it's on the horizon. I checked the horizon and I don't see it, but based on past experience, the horizon is always just out of reach.


Let's look back at our trade with Honduras. In the past decade, the volume of our merchandise trade with that country has grown by about 66 per cent to almost $280 million. Unfortunately, over the same time our trade deficit has increased by 77 per cent. If past experience with free trade deals that have been made in recent years is any indication, the agreement we have before us is unlikely to change things. As senators on this side have said in the past, this raises the question of whether Canada is doing enough to prepare the domestic industry to take advantage of new markets and new opportunities before and after concluding free trade agreements.

An official from Foreign Affairs touted the potential for long-term growth in our trade relationship. Well, honourable senators, there is always potential for growth, particularly if you look far enough into the future. Whether we can expect any improvements in our balance of trade in the near future is, my friends, another matter.

There are other factors at play here beyond imports and exports. Five years ago, Honduras experienced a military coup whose leaders were installed the following year in an election regarded by many as illegitimate. Although this government was replaced in last year's elections, serious problems still remain unresolved. Testimony before the other place, in the House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade, described Honduras as the murder capital of the world. Others described a culture of impunity in which many crimes, including murders, are not even investigated much less prosecuted.

The consequences of such a culture under a military regime of dubious legitimacy, combined with the insidious influence of the drug cartels, are exactly what one might expect, and the election of a civilian government has not done much to improve matters. Human rights groups have decried the violence against their counterparts in Honduras, as well as against union leaders and other activists.

PEN Canada said this about the agreement:

PEN Canada has no view on whether Canada should or should not enter into a preferential trade agreement with Honduras. That said, we do feel that bilateral negotiations with Honduras must be informed by the dire situation there and should be used as an opportunity to improve the conditions for freedom of expression . . . . A free and independent press is essential to a free and democratic society, rule of law, and combatting corruption. We believe Honduras' dismal record on freedom of expression poses great risk to Canadian companies and to Canada generally.

That's another witness from the other chamber.


This chamber can't ignore those comments when we examine this bill and the agreement it implements. It would have been useful to include this notion in the agreement.


PEN Canada's mention of Canadian companies reminds us that our trade relationship with Honduras is not simply one of selling things to Hondurans and their selling things back to us. Many Canadian businesses have established operations in Honduras. Some will be witnesses at our committee either later today or tomorrow. In effect, they serve as unofficial ambassadors of our country there.


We need to be careful with Canadian companies that will operate in Honduras and trade there, to ensure that they don't support the injustices that can take place in that country.


Unfortunately, there have been reports that not all of those "business ambassadors" have enhanced the image of Canada. Again, recent testimony on the Commons side told stories of abusive labour practices and an unhealthy level of collusion to the detriment of Honduran society as a whole. For example, mention was made of the involvement of Canadian mining interests — with the assistance of the Canadian government. Jennifer Moore was at committee on April 10 and made those statements there.

Drafting a new law overseeing the mining industry in Honduras was done with collusion. The new law, which reversed policies in place under the earlier government, was much more favourable to the industry. A similar recent development is a so-called "security tax" through which a percentage of the proceeds of any mining operation will be funnelled directly to the security forces, a state of affairs that effectively makes it in the interest of those forces that any proposed mining venture, be it good or bad, go ahead.

There are other examples from other industries, and I believe they warrant serious examination as part of our study. In light of the recent revelations about how temporary foreign workers have been treated here in this country, perhaps we should be mindful of how Canadians behave when we are the foreigners.

Honourable senators, all of us here support trade, and all of us obviously support freedom. But that does not mean we should simply take up our rubber stamp and follow this government as it travels around the world, seemingly collecting free trade agreements like hockey cards. There's nothing wrong with hockey cards; I know a great specialist.


Signing agreements with small countries is a good start. However, we need to be more ambitious and have a much broader vision of things.


If we are going to spend the time and effort to negotiate these agreements — an effort that has by no means been consistently beneficial to Canada — then we owe it to Canadians to give these agreements the scrutiny they deserve. That is why I hope we shall do this in committee, and I look forward to the process. If the sponsor agrees, we can send it to committee right away.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: I presume that senators are ready for the question?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

An Hon. Senator: No.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: I heard a "no," so it's carried on division.

(Motion agreed to, on division, and bill read a second time.)

Referred to Committee

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: When shall this bill be read the third time?

(On motion of Senator Housakos, bill referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade.)

Canada National Parks Act

Bill to Amend—Third Reading

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Patterson, seconded by the Honourable Senator Runciman, for the third reading of Bill S-5, An Act to amend the Canada National Parks Act (Nááts'ihch'oh National Park Reserve of Canada).

Hon. Joan Fraser (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, our critic on this bill has informed me that he is content to have the question called.

An Hon. Senator: Question!

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

(Motion agreed to and bill read third time and passed.)


Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act

Bill to Amend—Third Reading—Debate Adjourned

Hon. Leo Housakos moved third reading of Bill S-4, An Act to amend the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and to make a consequential amendment to another Act, as amended.

He said: Honourable senators, I'm pleased to rise in my place today to begin third reading of Bill S-4, the digital privacy act.

Protecting Canadians is one of five key principles under Digital Canada 150, the Government's plan for Canada to take full advantage of the economic opportunities of the digital age.

By making important amendments to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, commonly known as PIPEDA, this act will better protect Canadians when they surf the Web and shop online.

I would like to take this opportunity to provide more detail on the five key areas where the digital privacy act will significantly improve PIPEDA.

The first area that the bill will target is data breaches. Currently, if an organization has a data breach and its clients' personal information is stolen or lost, it is not mandatory for that company to disclose to its customers that their information was compromised.

Many organizations already let their customers or clients know when their information has been lost or stolen. However, the digital privacy act will ensure that all are held to that same standard, requiring all organizations to disclose harmful breaches to their clientele. As part of this notification, organizations will also have to tell individuals what steps they can take to protect themselves, like changing their credit card PIN or email password.

Bill S-4 will also require organizations to report these potentially harmful data breaches to the Privacy Commissioner. In fact, organizations will be required to keep records of all data breaches, no matter how big or small. The Privacy Commissioner may request and review these records to provide a better understanding of trends in the type, frequency and risks associated with breaches in the private sector.

Organizations that deliberately break the rules and cover up data breaches will face fines of up to $100,000 for every person or client they failed to notify.

The second area of improvement in the bill allows personal information to be shared in limited situations where it would be in the public interest to do so, including protecting individuals from harm.

An example of this is when an organization provides information so that law enforcement can reach the family of a person who is injured, ill or deceased; or in situations of elder abuse, when financial institutions suspect a senior is being taken advantage of financially. The organization or financial institution would, under this provision, now be able to report their concerns to the police or to responsible family members.

The digital privacy act would also allow private sector organizations to share information with one another to detect or prevent fraud, an amendment that has been long called for by the financial sector.

The third important area in the digital privacy act is a new set of rules to ensure vulnerable Canadians, particularly children, fully understand the potential consequences when companies ask to collect and use their personal information.

For example, when the owner of a children's website wants to gather information about visitors to the site, they would be required to use language that a child could reasonably be expected to understand. If the child can't be expected to understand what the website intends to do with their information, the child's consent would not be valid.

Colleagues, a greater percentage of Canadians are online than the citizens of most other countries and we spend more time there than most — almost double the global average. Bill S-4's "informed consent" measure will make sure that individual Canadians, especially children and adolescents, can fully understand the potential consequences of sharing their personal information.

In this digital age, transferring, processing and collecting information, including personal information, is a key element of doing business. The digital privacy act, while maintaining high privacy standards, recognizes the legitimate need for businesses to have quick access to information. The bill streamlines a number of existing rules in PIPEDA so that businesses can manage information safely in an efficient and effective manner.

For example, using and sharing an employee's professional contact information without expressed consent, or collecting personal information in order to conduct a breach of contract investigation or assess the viability of a potential business transaction — these activities are against the current law. Instead, the digital privacy act would amend PIPEDA to allow sharing of information under these reasonable circumstances. This is an important step that will maintain the privacy of Canadians while cutting red tape for businesses.

Finally, the digital privacy act improves PIPEDA by giving the Privacy Commissioner new powers to enforce the law. For example, the commissioner will be able to negotiate voluntary compliance agreements with organizations. Under these agreements, organizations voluntarily enter into binding commitments to ensure that they comply with the law. This allows organizations to act in good faith, work collaboratively with the Privacy Commissioner, and to quickly correct any privacy violations that may have been discovered. In exchange, those organizations can avoid costly legal action.

In addition, the Privacy Commissioner would now have one year instead of 45 days to negotiate these agreements and to potentially take those organizations to court that don't play by the rules.

The digital privacy act also gives the commissioner more power to "name and shame" or to publicly disclose when organizations are not cooperating. This change will ensure that Canadians are informed and aware of issues that affect their privacy. Organizations will either comply with the law or face public scrutiny.

Regarding the new provisions in the digital privacy act, the former Interim Privacy Commissioner Chantal Bernier welcomed the bill and said that it "contains very positive developments for the privacy rights of Canadians. I am pleased that the government . . . has addressed issues such as breach notifications. I welcome the proposals in this bill."

Many other groups have also voiced their support for the bill, including the Canadian Bankers Association. In fact, Nathalie Clark, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for the CBA, said she shares our government's concerns about the financial abuse of seniors and applauded the amendments in Bill S-4 that would, "enable banks to alert someone close to our clients so they can take action to help an elderly client with diminished capacity, or other vulnerable clients, to avoid or mitigate the suspected financial abuse."

In conclusion, in a digital age, our government wants to ensure that Canadians are comfortable using digital technologies and confident that their personal information is protected. This legislation is a key element in establishing and maintaining Canadians' trust in the digital economy and an important part of building a digital Canada.

I urge my honourable colleagues to join me in supporting this important piece of legislation.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: On debate, the Honourable Senator Furey.

Hon. George J. Furey: I would like to thank Senator Housakos for his very erudite remarks and I move the adjournment of the debate.

(On motion of Senator Furey, debate adjourned.)

The Senate

Tribute to Departing Pages

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Honourable senators, I would like to take this opportunity to salute two of our departing pages.

After leaving the page program, Jiazhe Li will continue his studies at the University of Ottawa in accounting.

We may need that. Come and see us later.

After graduating, he will get his CPA designation. He also has plans for continuing graduate studies at the masters and doctorate levels in administration. His goal is to become a visionary leader in his future field of expertise in order to serve his family, his friends and ultimately his country the best he can.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Angus Wilson.


Angus Wilson is completing his studies at the University of Ottawa and has an honours degree in political science.

In the fall, he will be working on his master's degree in European, Russian and Eurasian studies at Carleton University.

Good luck.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!



Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act

Bill to Amend—Second Reading

Hon. Denise Batters moved second reading of Bill C-37, An Act to change the names of certain electoral districts and to amend the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act.

She said: Honourable senators, I am pleased to open second reading debate on the riding name change act, 2014. This is a non-controversial bill that reflects consultation and consensus among all members from the other place.

In my speech today, I will provide an overview of the process that led to the introduction of this bill, and I will note the importance of adopting the bill in advance of the 2015 general election.

The ridings that members represent in the other place have recently been updated by the 10 electoral boundaries commissions established under the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act. These commissions have the mandate to consider and report on the division of the provinces into electoral districts, the description of the boundaries and their names. The process occurs after each decennial census, as required by the Constitution Act 1867.

The most recent process began following the 2011 decennial census with the establishment of electoral boundaries commissions for each province. This was the first boundary readjustment process following the passage of the Fair Representation Act, which amended the Constitution to better reflect the representation of faster-growing provinces.

There were 30 new ridings created: 3 more seats in Quebec, 15 in Ontario and 6 each in Alberta and British Columbia. The commissions are chaired by a judge appointed by the Chief Justice of each province and include two residents of each province appointed by the Speaker of the House of Commons.

The commissions must hold at least one public hearing to receive representations from interested parties and can accept written submissions from the public. Members of the House of Commons also have an opportunity to object to proposed riding boundaries and names through a review by the Procedure and House Affairs Committee. However, final decisions with respect to riding boundaries and names are made by the commissions.

From January 31 to June 11, 2013, the Procedure and House Affairs Committee met on 26 separate occasions to consider these objections. The committee issued a report for each of the provinces, most of which included objections to be considered by the commissions. Where there were objections, each commission then considered them and decided whether to modify the riding names or boundaries, and then submitted its final report to the Speaker of the House of Commons through the Chief Electoral Officer. Following the finalization of the reports, the Chief Electoral Officer drafted the representation order.

On October 1, 2013, the representation order was proclaimed by the Governor-in-Council and resulted in a new electoral map of Canada for the first election to be called after May 1, 2014. In other words, this map will be in place for the election next October.

According to the representation order, the names of many ridings will change. As honourable senators know, especially those senators who once sat in the other place, a riding's name is important to its member and the people he or she represents. When choosing a name various factors are considered, such as geography, history and other identifying characteristics of the electoral district.

Based on the suggestions of the members concerned, this bill would change the name of 31 electoral districts, 30 of which are affected by the new representation order, in order to better reflect the identity of these electoral districts. I will mention the thirty-first case later.

Let me explain the process that led to the introduction of this bill.

Before introducing the bill, the government house leader notified members of all parties, including independent MPs, of the possibility of introducing a government bill to change certain riding names. He asked members to inform him of any changes of riding names they would like. In response, the government house leader received 31 proposed changes to riding names from all three recognized parties and from one independent member of Parliament.

Members proposed new names for a number of reasons, including to better reflect the geography or demographics of their riding, for historical purposes, or in honour of a distinguished individual in the ridings they represent. Though this is a government bill, as I mentioned, the suggestions came from all corners of the other place.

Examples from MPs who do not sit in the government's caucus include a proposal by the member for Peterborough so that the name of the riding Northumberland—Pine Ridge be changed to "Northumberland—Peterborough South" to reflect that that riding includes a significant portion of Peterborough County.

There was a suggestion by the member for Mount Royal that the proposed new French-only name of the riding of Mont-Royal be changed back to Mount Royal in the English and left as Mont-Royal in the French. This bilingual name has been in use since the 1980s and reflects the presence of an important anglophone community in his constituency.

The proposal from the New Democrats was that the name of the new riding Boucher—Les Patriotes—Verchères be changed to "Pierre Boucher—Les Patriotes—Verchères," presumably to clarify that the name is in honour of Pierre Boucher, the founder of the town of Boucherville, which is part of the constituency.

The thirty-first change I mentioned relates to a name change proposed by the member for Western Arctic. He suggests changing the name of the riding to Northwest Territories. This change requires an amendment directly to the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act, which establishes that there is one riding per territory.

Before the creation of Nunavut, this would have been a smaller problem. The two constituencies of the Northwest Territories, as they then appeared on the map, had their boundaries and names reviewed by a commission. The member for Western Arctic did not have the opportunity to achieve the name change through the boundary commission process, as there was no commission for the single constituency of the Northwest Territories.

Riding names are important for members as they are a key way of expressing a community's identity in the House of Commons, where all Canadian communities are represented. This is why this bill was unanimously supported by all members of the House of Commons.

By adopting the bill before us today, honourable senators, we want to provide assurance to members that the names of their ridings will be changed in accordance with their wishes and with the agreement of all parties in the House of Commons well before the next election. Passing this bill swiftly will ensure that changes to riding names take effect 15 months in advance of the planned federal election in October 2015. This should give Elections Canada plenty of time to prepare and update its material in time for the 2015 general election.

To conclude, I would like to stress the importance of the fact that this legislation was developed on consensus and received unanimous consent in the House of Commons. I ask that all honourable senators support this bill, and I thank you for your attention.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.

Hon. Joan Fraser (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Colleagues, I hate to disagree with my esteemed colleague Senator Batters but, in order to explain my position, I'm going to begin by quoting one of our number who said, when a similar bill appeared before us in 2000, "This is a terrible bill." The senator who said that was Senator Kinsella, and I think he was right.

Let me say at the outset that I don't propose to argue that we should reject this particular bill. MPs are, I suppose, entitled to choose the names of their ridings. However, I would remind colleagues of the principle so often enunciated by former Senator Lowell Murray that we should look at electoral and such matters even more closely than we look at other legislation because everybody in the House of Commons has such a direct self-interest in those bills, whereas we, of course, do not.

That said, I don't think that it's worth getting into a civil war with our colleagues down the hall over riding names, but this bill is part of a long, stubborn, needless trend for MPs to bring in bills with changes of the names of their ridings. Sometimes it's done in the form of a government bill, and sometimes it's done in the form of a private member's bill. But the trend is so clear, and past Chief Electoral Officers have expressed concern about the fact that it seems to be more and more frequent.


It is not cost-free to change the name of a riding. Everything from letterhead to ballots to legal material has to be changed. It can cost a few hundred thousand dollars per riding, and it seems to me that most of the time these changes are not necessary.

The thing that irks me most, however, is that in the vast majority of cases, the change is in the direction of making riding names longer and longer. Sometimes, as Senator Batters mentioned, this is done by adding the first name of the historical person commemorated in the riding's name.

Senator Day: Pierre Boucher.

Senator Fraser: Pierre Boucher — already the riding name was not short. It was Boucher—Les Patriotes—Verchères. Well, now it's going to be Pierre Boucher—Les Patriotes—Verchères, as if the people of Boucherville did not know who Pierre Boucher was. Similarly, the fine name Blainville is going to become Thérèse-De Blainville. I'm not sure that was necessary.

Those are just the beginning, colleagues, oh, my goodness, gracious me.

The commissions that do redistribution and assign names to ridings have been trying valiantly over the years to resist this trend to ever greater expansion of riding names, and the MPs all too often fight back.

For example, for the riding which used to be Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques — a nice short name, right? — the commission doing the redistribution tried to rename it Centre-du-Bas-Saint-Laurent. No, no. The MP said, "We have to go back to Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques." I'm glad I'm not the Speaker of the House of Commons. He has to say these things every day.

Similarly, the commission had come up with a fine name for a riding, it seemed to me: Charlevoix—Montmorency. No, no, no. That's going to become Beauport—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île d'Orléans—Charlevoix. You use that in half the time you're allowed to put your question.

Sometimes they explain to the committee that studies these changes that it's really important for members of the local towns, villages and hamlets to see themselves recognized in their riding name, but where is it going to end? Surely, every time you add a town, the next largest town is going to be insulted because it's not in the riding name.

There's one physical limit, which is the length of a name that you can actually fit on a ballot, but I'm sure the wit of man will be able to circumvent that, if necessary. It just seems to me kind of strange.

Another thing they do is insist on identifying cities in which a riding is situated. For example, the riding of St. Paul's, once this bill is passed, is going to become Toronto—St. Paul's. St. Paul's has a fine historical resonance, and I think everyone who lives there knows that he or she lives in Toronto. I don't know why they have to tack on "Toronto" to the name of the riding. It seems kind of pointless.

Similarly, back to my own home province, the riding of LeMoyne is going to become Longueuil—Charles-LeMoyne. There's both the city and a first name being added in.

Sometimes, in my view, this insistence on recognition of localities does real violence to the historical associations of certain riding names. I'm particularly distressed to see the change in Ville-Marie, which is the core historical name of Montreal — Ville-Marie is where it was all founded. That was the original name of the settlement of those brave pioneers. It's going to become Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs. I don't think that's necessary. I think we lose something. And Le Sud-Ouest, the southwest? I'm not sure the people who live in southwestern Montreal are going to be particularly thrilled to have Le Sud-Ouest as part of their riding name.

I would not want to suggest that everything in this bill is bad. There are a few good things. I'm pleased that the name of my own home riding, currently Mont-Royal, is going to revert to its traditional bilingual name, Mount Royal in English and Mont-Royal in French. It's a riding with a majority English population.

There are some other nice things that I spotted in this bill, although I have to search to find them. Here we are. Ottawa-Orléans is going to be Orléans. That's a good thing; people in Orléans know perfectly well where they live.

Here's another one. Nepean—Carleton is going to become Carleton.

I don't know the historical associations in Saskatchewan, but this one sounds nice to me. The riding that had been christened Humboldt—Warman—Martensville—Rosetown is going to become Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek. That has a nice western resonance to it. I'm not from Saskatchewan; I don't propose to judge how the people of that province would feel, but I'd be willing to bet they would like that.

It's irritating, colleagues, to have to deal with these things over and over again, particularly because the MPs have the opportunity to make their representations to their provincial commissions at the time when redistribution is being done. These bills have come before the Senate, as I suggested, several times in the past, and your Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee has waxed dyspeptic more than once. In 2000, and again in 2004, it reported the bills back without amendment, but with quite long critical observations.

In 2004, for example, the Eighth Report of the committee said:

While there are many valid reasons for wanting to change constituency names, your Committee believes that the ad hoc and frequent nature of such changes must be discouraged. It is confusing and there are costs associated with it. There needs to be a degree of permanency to the names of the constituencies: they should not be changed whenever there is a newly elected Member or representation from part of a constituency. A clearly established procedure exists under the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act, which should be followed. This also has the advantage that the decision rests with the neutral three-person commission, and there is opportunity for public notice and input.

It seems to me vastly preferable to proceed that way than with these unending series of MPs', dare I say, self-interested bills.

There are guidelines to be followed by the commissions in each province that provide the names. One of the ones that really leaps off the page to me is headed "Quadruple Names." It says that federal electoral district names comprising four geographical names "are long and cumbersome, and may also create difficulties on printed lists."

I remind you again of Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques.

There is a better way to go than simply assuming that every single village in a riding should be included in that riding's name. I was struck by an article written in 2000 by John C. Courtney who was then a professor of political science at the University of Saskatchewan. He contrasted our system of adding in ever-increasing numbers of names of municipalities strung together with hyphens with what's done in other countries.


He had a suggestion that I thought would really make a great deal of sense. He suggested that what we should do is move away from hyphenated geographic names to a recognition of distinguished Canadians and important historic events or locations.

Possible inclusions, Professor Courtney said — and I really liked all of these — might be a La Fontaine seat in the heart of Montreal; a Leacock in the vicinity of Orillia; an Agnes Macphail for Grey County; a Woodsworth for Winnipeg North Centre; a Poundmaker in Saskatchewan; and an Emily Carr on Vancouver Island. Wouldn't you be proud to represent ridings with those names? I think anybody would be, and I think the people who live there would be proud of those names. Lord knows, there are enough eminent Canadians in history, politics and the arts that we would not run out of names.

So, colleagues, it's not that this particular bill is more terrible than the others. I think they're all terrible. I also think that this is not worth picking a fight with MPs about, so I will agree that the bill should go to committee and should probably be reported back without amendment, et cetera, et cetera. But I would urge the committee to attach some more dyspeptic observations and send those observations to every single MP whose riding is included in this bill.

Senator Munson: Very well done.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Senator Batters, you had a question?

Senator Batters: Yes. Would Senator Fraser take a question?

Senator Fraser: Yes.

Senator Batters: To frame this properly, I just want to share a little bit of history that I didn't share in my speech, but I'm sure Senator Fraser would be well aware that the last time a bill similar to the comprehensive nature of this one was brought forward was in 2003, when the Liberal government was in power. Bill C-37 is definitely similar in approach to that bill which was passed by the Liberal government following the adoption of the 2003 Representation Order.

At that time, based on the suggestion of members from all parties, that particular government bill was introduced in the House of Commons, and it proposed changes to the names of 38 ridings in the 2003 Representation Order. It was passed at all stages by the house the next day, introduced in the Senate, referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, and eventually was passed by all stages in the Senate.

However, to that particular one, it only came into force after the June 28, 2004 election, at the request of the former Chief Electoral Officer, and he noted at the time that the administrative burden of changing riding names on the very eve of an election added to the operational challenges that Elections Canada faced, given the need to implement other substantive legislative amendments before the 2004 election.

The first part of my question is to ask Senator Fraser if she would acknowledge that this particular way of doing things, having a bill come forward 15 months before the election, rather than to have to pass one after the election actually happened, is preferable.

As well, in this particular case we're dealing with many new ridings this time, entirely new ridings that have been created in Canada because of increased population, and many completely redistributed ridings.

I would also say that I appreciated her reference to John Courtney. He was actually my husband's, Dave Batters, favourite professor at the University of Saskatchewan. I'm sure he would be very happy with the new Saskatchewan riding name of Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, given her references to that.

I would also ask Senator Fraser to comment on the fact that members of Parliament in the other place are the ones who have been elected by many thousands of people in those ridings, and they often have one or two, or more, constituency offices in those ridings, where they help people from those areas every single day of the week. I would like her comments about that, that maybe members of Parliament shouldn't be so concerned about what the name of their riding is and whether certain geographical factors, town names or that sort of thing are included with it.

Senator Fraser: First of all, I'm well aware that Liberal governments and Liberal MPs have been involved in this kind of tendency. That doesn't mean I approved of it then, any more than I approve of it now.

I honestly don't believe that somebody in the riding of Centreville—Jonestown—Smithville is going to care whether the riding office in Smithville is called Centreville—Jonestown—Smithville or maybe Samuel de Champlain. What he or she wants is service from the MP. You still have to find out where the office of your MP is, and the simple riding name is not necessarily going to be the key identifier for that.

Thank you for your kind confirmation of my suspicion about the riding name change in Saskatchewan. I'm glad you approved of that.

There was one more question, wasn't there? No? Well, that's fine.


Hon. Grant Mitchell: Honourable senators, I have a few things to say about this bill. We could easily conclude that it is of no real consequence, but that is not the case. I would like to tell you about an experience I had when I was a member of Alberta's Legislative Assembly.


I was an MLA for a number of years in Alberta and I had a couple of interesting experiences, or at least lessons that I learned there, that would be relevant to this debate.

One is to really support the point that Senator Fraser made that it's very reassuring and important and of significance to name some constituencies after people who are well known and who have contributed significantly. After the renaming of my constituency part way through my 12 years there, the constituency received the name of "McClung." It became Edmonton—McClung, who of course was one of the Famous Five, and a Liberal. I was extremely proud of that.

Maybe I could mention a point that I made to my caucus the other day in this debate, which is that it was originally to be named in the bill "Edmonton—Manning." So I stood up and I said, "I have huge respect for Ernest Manning. I have some fundamental differences with Preston. So if you're going to call it `Manning,' could you please call it `Edmonton—E. Manning' to distinguish?"

The next day, they came back with an amendment that called it "Edmonton—McClung." So it was a great victory for the opposition at that moment, and I was very proud of that name.

The second point I want to make is that there is a fundamental difference, which was brought to our attention in Alberta, between an elected legislature and the Senate. In an elected legislature, two things occur, both of which have relevance to try to cool down the kind of intensity that occurs there that generally doesn't occur here. One of them is that, as we all know, the Speaker refers to people not by their name but by their constituency.

The second one is that the debate goes through the Speaker: "Mr. Speaker" and "Madam Speaker." We don't generally do that here. It took me a while to adjust. Some old hands told me I shouldn't be speaking through the Speaker. But there's a tradition and a reason that is done, as I say, those two things, because it depersonalizes the back and forth, which often becomes very tense and very personal in an elected environment.

It is important that the Speaker has constituency names that can be presented quickly and easily, without a great deal of cumbersome effort. It could become very burdensome for the Speaker to be recognizing members of Parliament if the names go on and on and on. Particularly in the heat of debate, when different people are standing up at different times, you can imagine how cumbersome and difficult it would become for a Speaker.

In making that point, I want to say that the longer these names get, the more difficult it is for that legislature, that chamber, to function in the way that tradition has determined — properly so, I think — that it can function better than it otherwise would.

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

Some Hon. Senators: Question.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

(Motion agreed to and bill read second time.)

Referred to Committee

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

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


Economic Action Plan 2014 Bill, No. 1

First Reading

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore informed the Senate that a message had been received from the House of Commons with Bill C-31, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 11, 2014 and other measures.

(Bill read first time.)

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

(On motion of Senator Martin, bill placed on the Orders of the Day for second reading two days hence.)

Declaration of Private Interest

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Honourable senators, Senator Fraser has made a written declaration of private interest regarding Bill C-31, and in accordance with rule 15-7, the declaration shall be recorded in the Journals of the Senate.

The Estimates, 2014-15

Supplementary Estimates (A)—Eleventh Report of National Finance Committee Adopted

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Day, seconded by the Honourable Senator Mitchell, for the adoption of the eleventh report of the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance (Supplementary Estimates (A) 2014-2015), tabled in the Senate on June 10, 2014.

Hon. Joseph A. Day: Honourable colleagues, this is the report of the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance with respect to Supplementary Estimates (A), and that report has been with you for a few days now. I would propose, first, to put the report in context so that you understand how the report fits into the other things we're doing within the Finance Committee, and then to just highlight a few of the points that our committee learned during our deliberations in meeting with witnesses in relation to this report.

This is a report on the supplementary estimates. The supplementary estimates came out about three or four weeks ago, and we had a chance to look at those supplementary estimates, not unlike studying a bill before it comes, but this gives you a bit of understanding of what to expect, because there will be a bill, and the bill, in fact, is already before us and will be dealt with tomorrow. That is Bill C-39. Bill C-39 is a very short bill with an attachment, an annex or schedule attached to it, and if that's all we had, we would have had great difficulty in understanding what this is all about and what the government is looking for.

We do have the expanded supplementary estimates document that comes to us. We have studied that, and the report is a result of that study. That's the context.

Why supplementary estimates? We've talked about it before. You do Main Estimates. Why isn't that enough? The basic problem is that the fiscal cycle keeps running into itself as it goes around the year, and the budget comes out at the same time the Main Estimates come out for the year, and the Main Estimates don't reflect what's in the budget. Everybody thinks they do, but they don't, so we need supplementary estimates that follow the Main Estimates to pick up the initiatives that were in the budget that didn't get reflected in the Main Estimates. That's fundamentally why there are three of them. This is the first, Supplementary Estimates (A); Supplementary Estimates (B) and (C) will be forthcoming throughout the year, (B) in the fall and (C) typically in February just before the end of the fiscal year to pick up all those expenditures that departments want to incur before the year is over.

That is the context. Honourable senators, it is $2.4 billion that you are being required to vote for — $2.4 billion, Senator Oh. That "B" sometimes gets mixed up with an "M." Keep in mind that that's what you are being requested by the executive. It's important for you to appreciate that. This is an initiative by the executive asking Parliament to allow them to spend $2.4 billion of public money, of money that is raised through taxes. They can't spend that money without parliamentary approval, so in this instance you're not executive, you're not government; neither are we. We are parliamentarians who are put in position to make sure that public money is spent wisely, so we look at these requests to spend.

There is one other way that the executive can spend public money, and that is through enabling legislation; it's statutory. There are two ways then: statutory and voted appropriations. We are dealing with supplementary demand by the executive to spend based on voted appropriations.

As we went through the supplementary estimates, we saw from the witnesses just what the plans are, and I would like to spend a little bit of time on them just so you understand what we learned, and you will be in a position, then, to deal with the bill, Bill C-39, which is forthcoming, as I said, with second reading tomorrow and probably third reading early next week. It's $2.4 billion, again, that we're talking about.

We met with several departments. I think it's important for Senator Buth, Senator Smith and me, who are on steering, to thank all of the members of our committee for the hard work that they put into dealing with this at the same time as they were dealing with main supply and Bill C-31, budget implementation. We were dealing with all of those at the same time and trying to juggle those, so the thanks goes to all of the members of our committee, but also to all the staff who work so hard to develop these reports for us on very short notice, and translation, and all those groups, because we met many times out of our normal meeting time to try to cover all of the work. It's important to put that on the record. We sometimes forget about the team that helps us with this.

We should also thank the various representatives of various government departments. We met with seven different departments and federal agencies during the earlier part of May of this year, and those various departments came on very short notice to tell us why they are asking to have additional funds over the funds that they were getting in their Main Estimates, and we had a good discussion. We learned quite a bit in Finance just talking to the departments about what their plans and priorities are, where they're going, and how they intend to get there.

Treasury Board Secretariat is always very helpful. We always start with Treasury Board Secretariat. They explain the general overview of the entire document because they developed this document. This is a responsibility. The estimate documents are prepared by them, and changes that can make it easier for parliamentarians to review the estimate documents are often made as a result of suggestions that we make to them, and that continues to be the case. We appreciate the relationship that we have with Treasury Board.

There is a new agency, and if there is in the estimates a new name, then that's a new vote, a new appropriation line that can be there in the future, and there is a new entity called the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority. That work had just been done by Public Works. There has been quite a bit of work and discussion on that bridge, but now there is an authority and the appropriation will be in the name of that authority. The particular Supplementary Estimates (A) is asking for $5.7 million for that authority to go ahead and do the work that it wants to do.


We got into quite a discussion with respect to federal bridges, primarily this bridge authority. We asked for a list of all federal responsibilities in relation to bridges. We haven't received it yet, but indications are that it's a very extensive list where the federal government is responsible. We are undoubtedly going to pursue that further to gain an understanding as to the role and responsibilities of the federal government.

But the focus in this particular instance was with respect to a replacement bridge on the St. Lawrence River versus a new bridge. We settled on the term "replacement." We'll be following this one with great interest. Construction has not started yet. They want $119.8 million for a replacement bridge in the St. Lawrence, but they also want funds to help with repairs to keep the Champlain Bridge going until the replacement is complete. They need $253.7 million this year to do that. So that's $253 million for the Champlain Bridge and an additional 119.8 million for the bridge, and their plan is to move ahead fairly quickly with that.

As I indicated, that discussion led us into a federal bridge discussion and funding of the construction. The plan on how that new Champlain Bridge will be funded is going to be through the PPP, public-private partnership — great alliteration — and that program is being aggressively moved forward in relation to this particular project. That is why tolls have been indicated to help pay. When the private sector is involved, they expect some revenue flow to keep their investment reimbursed and maintained over the years. They expect $3 billion to $5 billion to be the overall cost — that's "b" as in "billion dollars" — over the years to build that bridge and operate it for a 30-year period.

The federal government responsibilities in relation to bridges became quite an issue. We were told that the Champlain Bridge is the only instance in Canada where the federal government owns bridges — actually, Champlain and Jacques Cartier — joining two points within the same province. That is because of the St. Lawrence Seaway and the federal ownership in relation thereto, and these bridges go over that. As a result, all of this money that the public purse federally is spending has been deemed to be a federal responsibility. That was quite an interesting discussion.

The other area where we had a very interesting discussion was with respect to Atomic Energy of Canada and budgetary expenditures. The base funding each year has been $102 million. We have seen many supplementary estimates because of lawsuits and special activities with respect to Atomic Energy of Canada Limited.

They got their $102 million in Main Estimates, and now they are asking for $195 million in addition to their base funding just to run for another year. It was said, "Well, just for another year, why don't you increase your base funding?" The answer is that they are hoping to sell AECL, and it's in the process of restructuring.

We had a very good discussion in relation to the restructuring plans. We were invited as a committee to go to visit the Chalk River facility to understand just where they are intending to go. Honourable senators will recall that the CANDU reactor aspect was sold to SNC-Lavalin last year. That's the first piece of this. You will recall, as well, that the laboratory or the reactor in Chalk River was down for a while. I've forgotten the percentage of radioisotopes that Canada supplies, but it was somewhere around 70 per cent of the world supply. That figure, because of our unfaithfulness in supply, resulted in a major lawsuit that has now been settled; but also a reduction in that business aspect of AECL is down to around 25 per cent of the world's supply now. It is still significant, but significantly less, especially when you're trying to sell the business, to have lost that kind of revenue that came in; in fact, very significant revenue.

The plan for restructuring AECL is that it is to be government-owned and private-sector operated.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Is more time granted to Senator Day?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Senator Day: It is important for us to follow the restructuring that is taking place, especially with all of the factors that are involved here.

AECL asked for this funding for another year in the hopes that the restructuring would be in place within the year. They admitted that that is not likely, and they will be back to us again asking for more money to try and keep the package together so that they can find an outside operator. The figures are now clear that they need $195 million to keep going this year.

They are in the process of decommissioning certain activities at Chalk River, and the other place is Whiteshell in Manitoba. Whiteshell Laboratories is likely to be closed down, and Chalk River, up the Ottawa River, is likely to be significantly reduced.

It is still owned by the federal government, but whatever activities there are will be operated by a private sector. AECL will continue licensing its technology that it's developed in the past. But if it's doing away with laboratories and a lot of its basic business, there's not likely to be a lot of new intellectual property developed that they will be able to license. It's going to be interesting to see how they feel they will be able to find more business opportunities when they've sold off most of the business.

Honourable senators, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness is going 50 per cent/50 per cent to help clean up Lac-Mégantic; $95 million is the federal government's share there. The cleanup cost at Lac-Mégantic is $190 million. That's a huge amount. The Province of Quebec clearly was not in a position to handle that, and the federal government stepped in with 50 per cent. I think that's absolutely the right thing to do.

The Office of Infrastructure Canada is another one, and I think we have attached to our report an appendix that lists 20 projects. With respect to the PPP projects and infrastructure projects, an awful lot of money is committed but won't be paid out for a long period of time in the future — five, six, seven years. In the case of the Office of Infrastructure Canada, they said there's $6 billion from projects from 2007 infrastructure program and from the 2009 infrastructure program that have not yet been paid out, but we are assured that they are continuing and that most of this has been committed.


They are asking for an additional $312 million for this year's activities. There's a lot of commitment, but the money is just not flowing out because the projects move slowly, so that's Infrastructure plus PPP. They are the same. In PPP, $1.2 billion has been committed that may not get paid out by the government for many years to come. If you see the financials of any of these government entities, you think they have all this money for projects and in fact they don't. It's already committed; they just haven't paid it out.

Honourable senators, those are a few of the points that we wanted to make so you understand what's in the Main Estimates and why you will be asked to spend $2.4 billion in these Supplementary Estimates (A). That's where the proposed funds will be going to.

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

Senator Mitchell, is it a question?


Hon. Grant Mitchell: Honourable senators, I have many things to say at this point. I must say that I cannot support the supplementary estimates, not because of what they contain, but because of what they do not contain. In my opinion, the document is missing some elements that are very important to Canada's economy in the future.


I briefly want to say that I keep waiting and waiting, as I know many Canadians do, for evidence in fiscal legislation, in budgets by this government, to deal in a serious way with greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. I simply want to say that this is beginning to have huge implications for our economy, and of course any money bill is a bill that has huge implications, in and of itself, for the economy.

Let me state why I am concerned. There are a number of reasons, but first of all there are already costs accumulating due to the fact that we are suffering the effects of climate change and that we are not dealing with climate change — profound costs. Imagine, once it is fully tabulated, the impact of the floods in Calgary, the floods in Toronto. The GDP of Canada actually dropped in the quarter during which the floods occurred in Calgary last year. These are mounting costs, and you can add to them the cost of floods and droughts elsewhere across this country.

Earlier this week I listened to a tremendous presentation, very scholarly, to the All Party Climate Change Caucus in this building by a scientist from the University of Ottawa who talked about the tremendous additional cost in repairing and developing infrastructure in the North where the effects of climate change are particularly profound, disconcerting and fast.

It's not as though there isn't already economic cost to not dealing with climate change. The argument is made over and over again that if we deal with climate change, somehow we're going to hurt the economy. Let's start to add up on the other side, and there should be some money in these supplementary estimates, or somewhere in this government's finances, to begin to add up the costs to the economy for not dealing with climate change and the impact that climate change is having on our potential economic growth and economic future. That is the first point.

The second point is there is a danger that at some critical level, some threshold of concern in the world, people will begin to turn against traditional oil and gas sources of energy. I know there's a lot of pressure to consider that this will go on for a long time, and certainly it may, but already we're beginning to see the impact of how markets and the public's concern with the environment and with climate change can directly affect our economy.

If we had had the social licence to build the Gateway pipeline, for example, five or six years ago, considering that 500,000 barrels of oil would go through that pipeline every day and that a barrel of oil is worth about $100, take $50 million a day, multiply it by 365 days a year and multiply that by the five years that we haven't had the pipeline because the government has not taken the care to build the social licence to get the permission to build the pipeline. Double that with the effects of not having built Keystone over the last three or four years when it could have been built, and all of a sudden you start to see that market sentiment, public sentiment is beginning to turn on our oil and gas industry in a way that is seriously beginning to affect our economy and the revenues that could have been derived.

My point is that this comes down to social licence. If we're not dealing in a significant and serious way with what's becoming more than just a latent concern amongst the public with climate change — and not just our public but the American public and elsewhere in the world — then we are starting to risk very serious market pressures that could rebound against the traditional base of our economy, which is oil and gas.

You only have to look at what happened to the forest products industry in the early 2000s to see the potential for that. They literally fell off a cliff. After a year or two into the new century, the new millennium, all of a sudden an industry that was employing 1 million Canadians, that was supporting 300 communities, that could sell, as they said, anything they produced, collapsed.

It collapsed for a number of reasons. Markets changed in the sense that there were recessionary pressures and the locus moved to China. The housing market collapsed in the U.S. and so on. It also changed because, as the Forest Products Association's former director said, people, markets, the public stopped blaming the companies for making the product and started blaming themselves for buying the product, and they just stopped buying it. All of a sudden the industry fell off a cliff.

I'm not saying that the potential is quite as precipitous in the case of the oil industry, but I am saying that somebody in government, in leadership, has to begin to consider the possibility that markets will change, and it's more than a possibility. They have already changed. Twenty years ago or 30 years ago would it have been this difficult to get a Gateway or a Keystone? It might not have been, and certainly it would have been in the case of the Mackenzie, you will argue, but it would have been for different reasons.

Finally, the third area of economic impact, I fear, is lost opportunity. I'm beginning to believe that instead of calling our traditional oil and gas companies "energy companies," they should be called oil and gas companies. That's what we should refer to them as, and what they should want to be called is an energy company that's dealing with oil and gas but is beginning to transfer and shift. Some of them are, more and more, but we have to get more serious about shifting to a different form of energy future, renewable form of energy future, or at least the blended form of that, or we are going to be hurt. There is huge opportunity there if we do it properly.

People will say that there shouldn't be government intervention, and I say we wouldn't have the oil sands today but for government intervention and government subsidies. In the 1970s, 12 per cent of Syncrude was government-owned. They had a 12 per cent equity interest in Syncrude, through Petro-Canada, which was the starting point of building that industry.

I hear over and over again that renewables don't work, that they're not economic and can't compete. I remember going to the oil sands with Eric Newell, one of the finest people you will ever meet — a delightful, wonderful person who has contributed so much to Alberta, among many other things — the CEO of Syncrude and then the chair. He's doing remarkable things now with respect to climate change and new technologies, and I have huge admiration for him. I went to Syncrude with him. I was the environment critic, and I remember talking about how much it cost to make a barrel of oil at Syncrude. He said it was $15. I asked if that included capital. He said, "No, you've got to add another $10 for capital." So it was $25 for a barrel of oil.


At that point, oil was selling in the market for $10 per barrel. "You're losing $15 per barrel; it's not economical. It's not competitive or commercial" — all the things we hear about renewable energy. He said, "Yes, but there will be economies of scale and improvements in technology, and energy prices will begin to rise."

Sure enough, he was right. And sure enough, all of a sudden, it's the driver of our economy.

There will be economies of scale in solar, wind, hybrid cars, electric cars. There will be economies of scale in every form of renewable energy we can imagine. There will be new technologies, and there will be rising energy prices — oil and gas — against which they have had to compete.

If those arguments worked for Syncrude and the oil sands, as sure as I'm standing here they will work for renewables and a different kind of energy future that we need to begin to anticipate and build toward. I'm not saying to give up on the resources we have and give up on the oil sands. We can't. We need that wealth to be able to imagine and develop a different energy future. We fundamentally need it. But it may be beyond our control if markets begin to shift and people begin to look very differently at energy, which they are already doing. I want to make that point.

I've said this final thing many times, and I'm going to say it again: We fundamentally restructured our economy to win the Second World War, and it didn't ruin our economy. It established an economy that has been the envy of the world for over 60 years and that has given us one of the highest standards of living imaginable and one of the highest in the history of the world.

We are now at a crossroads in economic development for this country — probably for the planet — and there is this huge opportunity to catalyze a different kind of economic future that will inspire and motivate entrepreneurship and intellectual development, research and a new kind of economy that will pick up where this economy that we've had for 60 years is starting to leave off.

What I want to see much sooner rather than later is that in one of these many financial bills from this government there is some policy commitment underlined by financial commitment underlined by political leadership in this country to find that new energy future, because that's where the energy and the future economy of the world will lie.

Thank you.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

(Motion agreed to and report adopted.)

National Finance

Motion to Authorize Committee to Meet During Sitting and Adjournment of the Senate Withdrawn

On Government Business, Motions, Item No. 47 by the Honourable Senator Martin:

That the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance have the power to meet on Friday, June 13, 2014, even though the Senate may then be sitting, with the application of rule 12-18(1) being suspended in relation thereto; and

That, notwithstanding rule 12-18(2)(a), the committee be also authorized to meet on that day, even though the Senate may be then adjourned for more than a day but less than a week.

Hon. Yonah Martin (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, pursuant to rule 5-10(2), I ask that government notice of motion number 47 be withdrawn.

(Motion withdrawn.)

Canada-Newfoundland Atlantic Accord Implementation Act
Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation Act

Bill to Amend—Third Reading—Debate Adjourned

Hon. David M. Wells moved third reading of Bill C-5, An Act to amend the Canada-Newfoundland Atlantic Accord Implementation Act, the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation Act and other Acts and to provide for certain other measures.

He said: Honourable senators, I welcome this opportunity to speak in support of Bill C-5, the offshore health and safety act, and the need to protect the hardworking Canadians serving in Canada's booming offshore oil and gas industry.

Canada's offshore installations and the equipment and training required to operate them must meet strict regulatory standards — standards that are among the highest and the most rigorous in the world.

Honourable senators, there's no doubt that the offshore workers in Atlantic Canada face a work environment wrought with risks. From stormy seas to gale-force winds, these men and women face difficult challenges each and every day, both on the job site and while in transit by helicopter to the remote offshore platforms. Such working conditions present a variety of health and safety challenges. These challenges are part and parcel of the offshore sector. The safety of the men and women who work there must always be top of mind.

When we talk about occupational health and safety, we are talking about hazards that workers face on the job. Protecting workers from these hazards includes the right to refuse dangerous work, the right to information and the right to participate in making decisions on workplace health and safety.

As honourable senators are aware, occupational health and safety falls under the jurisdiction of the provinces. But under the Atlantic accord implementation acts, which govern shared management of the offshore oil and gas industry, operational safety is the responsibility of the offshore boards. These boards function on behalf of both the federal and the provincial levels of government.

It will come as no surprise to honourable senators that this situation has created a grey area regarding roles and responsibilities for workplace safety, given that offshore platforms are both operational and occupational workplaces.

That's the main reason that our government, working with the governments of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador, drafted the bill before us today: to clarify federal and provincial responsibilities for health and safety in the offshore sector. In other words, honourable senators, this bill establishes a clear occupational health and safety framework for the offshore industry, a framework free of any jurisdictional uncertainty and one enforceable by law.

From governments to regulators to employers and employees, Bill C-5 clarifies the roles and responsibilities of all parties involved in ensuring that our offshore workers are kept as safe as safe can be. The provinces and the federal government have already agreed to incorporate the power for occupational health and safety directly into the accord acts, clearly spelling out the accountabilities and duties of governments and regulators. This bill also makes operators responsible for activities related within the scope of their authorities. It spells out the specific duties expected of all parties, be they operators, employers, supervisors, employees, contractors or interest holders.

Honourable colleagues, I would be remiss if I didn't highlight one of the most important features of this proposed legislation. With the passing of Bill C-5, for the first time in our country's history, Canada will have a health and safety regime that covers offshore workers while they are in transit to their place of work.

The terrible helicopter accident in March 2009 is a stark reminder of the dangers of working offshore, a workplace where an offshore worker's commute is much more than getting behind the wheel of a car or hopping on a city bus. Under Bill C-5 workers can refuse to be transported if they have legitimate concerns about safety.

This legislation also includes new powers to establish regulations for additional safety equipment to protect workers in transit. These legislative changes will make it much easier for employers and employees to understand their rights and responsibilities.

Furthermore, Bill C-5 gives the offshore board safety officers new and comprehensive powers to further enhance safety. So this legislation will strengthen workers' safety in the offshore and help address long-standing gaps in Canada's offshore legislation.

The bottom line: The bill ensures that Canada's offshore workers have the protection they need, the protection they deserve and the protection afforded to their colleagues who work onshore.

Bill C-5 speaks volumes about our government's commitment to the health and safety of Canadian workers. It demonstrates our determination to better manage the risks of injuries and hazards in the workplace, to improve the quality of life for workers and to make our economy more competitive.

All of these proposed changes are important for offshore workers, and they're very good news for the energy sector in Atlantic Canada. By modernizing the occupational health and safety provisions of the accord acts through Bill C-5, our government is strengthening Canada's already robust offshore regime, giving ourselves a regime uniquely tailored to the practical needs of Canada's offshore industry, a regime that clearly puts the health and safety of Canadian workers first.


Thousands of Atlantic Canadian offshore workers are looking to us to ensure their well-being and continued prosperity, and that is why, honourable senators, I call on all of my honourable colleagues to adopt Bill C-5 without delay.

(On motion of Senator Cowan, debate adjourned.)

National Health and Fitness Day Bill

Third Reading

Hon. Nancy Greene Raine moved third reading of Bill S-211, An Act to establish a national day to promote health and fitness for all Canadians.

She said: Honourable senators, I'm pleased to rise today to speak to you about Bill S-211, which aims to establish the first Saturday of each June as a national day to promote health and fitness for all Canadians. A national health and fitness day will encourage Canadians to increase their level of physical activity and their participation in recreational sports. It will also provide an annual focal point for physical activity for local governments, non-governmental organizations, volunteer groups and private sector firms that already support physical activity. A national health and fitness day will encourage them to come together and mark the occasion with local events and initiatives.

It is essential to reinforce to Canadians of all ages the important role that physical activity plays in their health, well-being and quality of life. Physical activity promotes longer, healthier lives. Active people are more productive and more likely to avoid illness and injury.

A variety of safe and enjoyable pursuits can help Canadians meet the recommended levels of daily activity. These can include planned exercise sessions, active types of transportation, including walking or biking to school or work, or recreation and sport activities. Because physical activity relates directly to healthy living, healthy weights and chronic disease prevention, the important thing is to do something.

The fact is that many Canadians, especially young people, are not doing enough. As such, our government has, to date, been quite active on this file. We brought in the Children's Fitness Tax Credit to encourage families to keep their kids active. Also, in keeping with this theme, in Budget 2013, we eliminated tariffs on some sports and athletic equipment.

However, research suggests that only 13 per cent of Canadians participate in sport on a regular basis, and just 6 per cent will choose to spend their free time playing sports or being physically active over other, sedentary activities. That same research suggests that Canadians recognize the importance of physical activity, with 95 per cent saying they believe sport promotes healthy and active living. Clearly, there's a significant gap between what Canadians think and what they do. Ninety-five per cent know it's important; yet only 13 per cent participate in sport on a regular basis.

With this understanding, it's essential to get Canadians moving, and the stakes are high, especially for youth. Today, one in three Canadian children is overweight or obese. On average, only 12 per cent of our children take part in enough physical activity. The societal costs of this are staggering. A joint study by the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Institute for Health Information shows that obesity costs the Canadian economy between $4.6 billion to $7.1 billion a year in direct health care costs and indirect costs, such as lost productivity in the workforce.

Compared to an active Canadian, an inactive person will spend 38 per cent more days in hospital and make 5.5 per cent more family physician visits and 12 per cent more nurse visits. As a signatory to the World Health Organization's Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health, Canada recognizes that this is a global issue. Around the world, physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for mortality and is estimated to be the main cause for up to 25 per cent of breast and colon cancers, 27 per cent of diabetes and approximately 30 per cent of chronic heart disease. Reversing this global reality is a complex undertaking, which is reflected in the gap between what Canadians believe about the link between physical activity and health and how often they actually engage in physical activity.

Turning belief into action will require a concerted effort, as everyone has a role to play. Physical activity requires commitment and effort, and with so many demands on our time, there are always many ways to avoid it. As we all know, it's easier to stay active with the support of friends, spouses and family, but without this network, things are more difficult. As a society, we need more supportive environments to make the active choice the easy choice. What we need is a reset of our mindset. We need to adjust our default position to one of physical activity. To accomplish this, we require a whole-of-society approach. This was recognized in the most recent Speech from the Throne, in which the government pledged to work with the provinces and territories and with the private and not-for-profit sectors to encourage young Canadians to be more physically active.

This pledge continues this government's long-standing commitment to promoting physical activity for health. Since 2006, this government has invested nearly $200 million in obesity-related research.

Honourable senators, research is great, but we need to motivate lifestyle changes. That's why I'm pleased that this government is continuing support of almost $2 million each year to ParticipACTION to support its nationwide mass media campaign and motivate communities and individual Canadians to get more active, move more and participate in sport. In addition, the government has created numerous publications and tools to educate Canadians about the perils of inactivity and encourage them to eat healthy foods and stay physically active. Indeed, the Minister of Health has launched consultations with Canadian parents on nutritional labels to support moms and dads in making healthier food choices.

To get children and youth more active, this government is collaborating with other levels of government on initiatives such as the Framework for Action on the After School Time Period and the Canadian Active After School Partnership, which is coordinated by Physical and Health Education Canada. Through Physical and Health Education Canada, we're also providing funding and support to programming that promotes physical activity in that very valuable after-school period, when many children have been turning to video games or TV to occupy themselves. We believe that we can make a difference by advancing innovative partnerships and working collaboratively across all sectors to promote programs and activities that support healthy living, physical activities and chronic disease prevention.

Honourable senators, when I say "we," you are also part of this greater group. When I say "we," I mean a group of parliamentarians from all parties, led by Member of Parliament John Weston of West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country , and it also includes a very active group of stakeholders from various private sector groups who know what we're up against.

This government is also supporting programs, for instance, such as Canadian Tire's ACTIVE AT SCHOOL campaign, which shares our belief that strong, healthy kids can only make for a stronger and healthier Canada. It is important that we create supportive environments for physical activity. For this government, this is a priority, which is marked by its commitment to programs that support Canadians in becoming more physically active. This is echoed in the Canadian Sport Policy. The Canadian Sport Policy provides a road map for all governments, institutions and organizations that share the belief that physical activity can have a positive impact on the lives of Canadians. Its goal is creating a dynamic and innovative culture that promotes and celebrates participation, which eventually, as we all know, ends in excellence in sport, and this is one that I endorse wholeheartedly.

With all this said, the bottom line is that physical activity can promote longer, healthier and, I would say, happier lives. This is fundamental. This government is committed to getting Canadians moving, getting them outside cycling, hiking, rollerblading or swimming, enjoying Canada's mountains, waterways, parks and wilderness, wherever they call home.


Bill S-211, with its call for the creation of a national health and fitness day on the first Saturday in June, is an excellent way to encourage all Canadians to get moving and to be more physically active. I encourage all honourable senators to vote in favour of this initiative.

Hon. Joseph A. Day: Would the honourable senator accept a question?

Senator Raine: Certainly.

Senator Day: I appreciate your enthusiasm and I share a lot of it as you may know in terms of physical fitness for the people of Canada. However, I kept hearing you say "this government is committed," et cetera. I believe this is a private member's bill, or is it a government bill? Could you help us?

Senator Raine: This is a private member's bill. I am a member of this government. This side of the house is still in national caucus.

We are very proud to work together with colleagues from both houses of Parliament on this initiative. I'm very proud that I've had so much support from your side of the chamber as has been experienced in the House of Commons.

We all know this is something that we as leaders of Canada have to get behind. I would really like to take this opportunity to thank my colleagues who went out of their way to talk to the mayors and councillors in their communities to get municipalities to sign on to the initiative. Right now, before this is even an official national health and fitness day, we have 150 municipalities signed up across the country. We also have the support, by vote, of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

I see this as a link to the municipalities from us as leaders at the federal level. I encourage you all to get behind your local national health and fitness day next year.

Senator Day: I hear what you're saying, but is it your view that the best way to get cooperation from both sides of the house and from all communities is to deliver a partisan speech on the bill that you would like us to support? You talked about "this government does this and this government does that."

Senator Raine: Maybe I should have said "the Canadian government." I will take that under advisement.

Senator Day: That would have been preferable.

An Hon. Senator: The non-Liberal Liberals.

Senator Raine: I like to highlight what our side has been doing, but I will recognize that governments on both sides of the house have supported sport and fitness throughout the years. However, we're up against a challenge that we've never seen before. When we first started talking about this initiative in 2010, during the 2010 Olympics, nobody we talked to could have envisioned that four years later, 50 per cent of school children would have cell phones and spend more time playing on them than playing actively outside. This is the challenge, and I ask all honourable senators to support the proposed legislation.

Hon. Jim Munson: Senator Nancy Greene Raine, as you know, I stood here and gave full-fledged support of your bill. Perhaps you could think of, as you described, "this government and that opposition," because if you don't, it's all going to go downhill after this.

Some Hon. Senators: Oh, oh.

Senator Raine: I'm sorry, but I didn't quite understand the question.

Hon. Lillian Eva Dyck: Senator Raine, thank you for that speech. Of all people, I think you're a wonderful model of fitness. The only thing that bothers me is the fact that your government cut the ParticipACTION program just this spring. That program had been running since 1970 or 1971. It was very successful at getting Canadians moving. In Saskatoon, for example, it was widely used. That doesn't fit with your bill, which says we need to get people moving, especially youth. In here you can disassociate yourself as a senator of your government. Your bill is one thing, but your government is doing something quite different. How do you reconcile that?

Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.

Senator Raine: Honourable senators, I was there when ParticipACTION was founded many years ago. It came out of a task force on sport that I served on back in 1968-69. That program took as its slogan, and I think we remember it:

The average 30-year-old Canadian is not as fit as the average 60-year-old Swede.

That program made Canadians more aware. It ran for many years and eventually was dropped. Unfortunately, I was busy doing other things at that time so I'm not sure why it flagged; but it was reintroduced.

I would like to invite my colleague, Senator Larry Smith, if he wouldn't mind, to say a few words or query me on ParticipACTION.


Hon. Ghislain Maltais (The Hon. the Acting Speaker): Order, please.

If everyone would wait their turn to speak, this would be far less complicated. Senator Smith will ask his question, and then it will be Senator Campbell's turn. Senator Smith has the floor.


Hon. Larry W. Smith: Senator Raine, were you aware that ParticipACTION operated from 1969-70 to 2000 when it ended because the brand had faded? It was then rejuvenated by the Conservative government around 2004-05, I believe. I sat on the board of ParticipACTION for several years. You're right, Senator Dyck: The funding was cut this year. Initially, the funding was for the start-up phase, which was about seven years. I was wondering if you were aware of that. They were highly successful in leveraging the funding to get ParticipACTION going, and I hope it's expected to continue.

Senator Raine: Thank you for the question. Yes, I was aware that ParticipACTION's funding was reduced in the last budget, but the core funding remains. The start-up amount that was set aside and indicated to them was reduced. They are alive and well and healthy and have made wonderful partnerships with many private sector agencies.

Senator Dyck, I was hoping you would ask me a question about Aboriginal communities and how they can get involved.

Some Hon. Senators: Question!


Senator Raine: If you don't mind, I will say that this group of private and non-private people is reaching out, in this initiative, to First Nations communities who have a wonderful program going already called IndigenACTION, and I would really like to embrace that.

Hon. Larry W. Campbell: Honourable senators, I rise today to speak to Bill S-211, a uniquely British Columbian bill. It was started by our friend John Weston over in the other place and was carried on here by Senator Nancy Greene Raine.

I don't know how we got so far afield on this, but I have to say that I personally feel it is unfortunate that your side has not been able to slip the chains of the other place like we have, marching forward into a bright new future of independence and hope.

Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Senator Munson: Liberation!

Senator Campbell: Moving along, if we were in the 1950s, we wouldn't have had to worry about this bill because our children would have been at parks. They would have been swimming; they would have joined the Boy Scouts, the Cubs, the Girl Guides — you name it. Unfortunately, in the word of "progress", we have ended up with these things. Hopefully, this bill will allow us and allow the parents in Canada to realize that the position that we've put our children in is untenable, and if action is not taken, in the future we are going to be faced with obesity, diabetes and other childhood diseases which we had never seen before but come about through lack of exercise.

Senator Cordy: And funding for national parks has been diminished.

Senator Campbell: Let's not go into national parks right now.

I sincerely believe that this is an issue that governments have to take up and that, most importantly, parents have to realize. At our age, we understand it because we were there. We were able to go anywhere we wanted. There was no fear. There wasn't a boogeyman hiding behind every tree. You got to ride your bike wherever you wanted. If you messed up anywhere within five blocks of where I grew up, you'd better be coughing it up and telling dad when you came back through the door because they were going to phone and he'd find out about it. That's the life that we would like, but we're never going to have it. So I support this bill; we support this bill.

I've sent letters to mayors across Canada to get them involved in the community because it has to be at that level to make this work. Let's pass this bill without further ado.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

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

Hon. Senators: Question.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

(Motion agreed to and bill read third time and passed.)

Official Languages Act

Bill to Amend—Second Reading

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Chaput, seconded by the Honourable Senator Massicotte, for the second reading of Bill S-205, An Act to amend the Official Languages Act (communications with and services to the public).

Hon. Joan Fraser (Deputy Leader of the Opposition): Question!

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

Hon. Senators: Question.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

(Motion agreed to and bill read second time.)

Referred to Committee

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

(On motion of Senator Chaput, bill referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages.)

Business of the Senate

The Hon. the Speaker: Point of order, Senator Meredith?

Hon. Don Meredith: Honourable senators, I just wanted to rise and say that my colleague Senator Campbell, from the other side, has been working on Bill S-211 with Senator Raine. Therefore, I would like to defer the seconding of that motion to my colleague Senator Campbell, if that is acceptable to the chamber.

The Hon. the Speaker: The Honourable Senator Meredith has raised a question which is not normally raised.

Is it agreed, honourable senators, that Senator Campbell's name be recorded as seconding the motion in relation to the third reading of Bill S-211?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Hon. the Speaker: Carried. There is unanimous consent and the record shall so indicate.

Canada Labour Code
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act
Public Service Labour Relations Act

Bill to Amend—Second Reading—Debate Adjourned

Hon. Yonah Martin (Deputy Leader of the Government) moved second reading of Bill C-525, An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code, the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act and the Public Service Labour Relations Act (certification and revocation — bargaining agent).

She said: Honourable senators, obviously I'm not yet ready to speak to this matter, so I will adjourn the debate in my name at this time.

(On motion of Senator Martin, debate adjourned.)


National Security and Defence

Budget and Authorization to Engage Services and Travel—Study on the Medical, Social, and Operational Impacts of Mental Health Issues Affecting Serving and Retired Members of the Canadian Armed Forces and the Services and Benefits Provided to Members and their Families—Ninth Report of Committee—Debate Adjourned

The Senate proceeded to consideration of the ninth report of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (budget—study on mental health issues affecting serving and retired members of the Canadian Armed Forces—power to hire staff and power to travel), presented in the Senate on June 5, 2014.

Hon. David M. Wells moved the adoption of the report.

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, is there debate on this motion?

Hon. Anne C. Cools: Honourable senators, I would like to speak to this motion at some point in time very shortly, but I'm not prepared. I didn't even know that it was going to be moved today. It's only been on notice for the last little while. Having said that, I move the adjournment of the debate. I'm sure that even Senator Dallaire himself might want to speak to it.

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

(On motion of Senator Cools, debate adjourned.)

The Senate

Legislative Role—Inquiry—Debate Continued

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the inquiry of the Honourable Senator Nolin, calling the attention of the Senate to its legislative role.

Hon. James S. Cowan (Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, I rise to join in the inquiry launched by Senator Nolin into the legislative role of the Senate. However, before I speak to our legislative role in our parliamentary democracy, I want to say a few words about why I think these inquiries are critically important to this institution and to each of us as senators.

Last January, Senator Nolin launched a series of seven inquiries exploring the origins and continuing relevance of the various roles and activities of the Senate and of each of us as senators. When he introduced them, he described how senators had privately been meeting in caucus or smaller groups for several months, discussing the Senate's guiding principles and ways in which the work of this chamber could be improved. He then decided to launch the seven inquiries because, in his words:

Personally, after sober reflection, I determined that we must now continue these key discussions in this Chamber . . . .

I agree. Colleagues, all of us know that the reputation and credibility of this chamber, if not at an all-time low, is certainly not where any of us would want it to be in the minds of Canadians. I know that this is a matter of concern to each and every one of us. Each of us came here proud to have the opportunity to participate in making our country even better for our fellow citizens — to engage in debating the great issues of the day and shaping the laws and policies that govern our nation. We came here to do our part to fulfill the roles of the Senate — the roles discussed in these inquiries, each a critical piece of the fabric that is our Canadian parliamentary democracy.

Are there steps we can take, changes we can all agree to, that will improve how we do our work for Canadians? I believe there are, and I have confidence that working together, across party lines — for let us be clear, this is not a partisan issue, but an issue of the reputation and credibility of the Senate as an institution and of us as individual senators — if we have that will and we are prepared to take those steps, I believe that we can make significant progress.

This debate is the first step in that process.

When Senator Nolin initiated these inquiries, the Senate Reform Reference was still pending before the Supreme Court of Canada. In April, the court issued its decision, and everything now needs to be seen in the light of that ruling.

Colleagues, the opening words of the decision were striking. The court began its unanimous judgment by saying:

The Senate is one of Canada's foundational political institutions. It lies at the heart of the agreements that gave birth to the Canadian federation.

That is a powerful statement, colleagues. It reminds us all what is at stake here.

The court gave very clear answers to the questions posed by the government as to how certain reforms to the Senate could be effected under the Constitution. We now know that abolition would require unanimous agreement of the provinces, something that would appear unlikely. So the Senate is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future.

We know that the government's proposals for Senate reform — term limits and so-called consultative Senate elections — would require the agreement of seven provinces representing 50 per cent of the population of Canada — and that Prime Minister Harper has said that he's not interested in holding any discussions with the provinces. So those proposals are off the table.

Does that end the issue? Is Senate reform "dead," as some have suggested? I don't believe so — in fact, I believe that now is when we can and must begin the hard work of making the changes that will have a real, substantive impact on the work we do in this chamber. I never believed that Canadians' dissatisfaction with the Senate stemmed from a lack of term limits, or even the fact that senators aren't elected.

When people have complained to me about the Senate, I never heard anyone say that all would be fine if only senators served for eight or nine years. And given the depressingly low voter turnout for elections to the other place, I find it difficult to believe that adding elections to the Senate would suddenly make everyone feel better about the state of Canadian parliamentary democracy. I have never heard anyone say that they don't come out to vote because they don't get to vote for senators.

I think the problems we face go deeper than Senate elections or term limits and, at the same time, I think they can be addressed without resorting to constitutional amendments.

Let me be clear. I absolutely believe the appointment process can be significantly improved and that making it more open and transparent would very much help to address some of the issues Canadians have with the Senate. But that, as the Supreme Court confirmed, is a matter for the Prime Minister.

The issue within our control is what we do once we get here, and how we do it. And fundamentally, I am convinced that if we did a better job for Canadians — if we fulfilled the role that the Senate was intended to perform — that would be the strongest and most effective step we could take to improve the reputation of the Senate.

Senator Nolin initiated these several inquiries in January. By interesting coincidence, he did so the day before what we in our caucus call our "Independence Day," when Mr. Trudeau announced his decision to separate the elected Liberal members in the other place from Liberals in this house. No longer would there be a joint national caucus, and no longer would the two groups coordinate their activities. He did this, as he explained, in order to do his part to reduce partisanship in the Senate. At the same time, he announced his plan to make the appointment process more open and transparent. I will return to these proposals, especially the partisanship issue, later. But I am struck in retrospect by the fact that both initiatives were announced virtually simultaneously. It underscores, colleagues, that there is a powerful consensus that the status quo is just not working. Canadians expect and Canadians deserve more.


I have chosen to speak on the inquiry calling the attention of the Senate to its legislative role. We have, as we here know, a number of different roles in our parliamentary system. But legislative review is job number one: It is our primary role. That is clear from the debates at Confederation when the Fathers of Confederation were designing the Parliament of Canada, and it was confirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada in the recent Senate Reference. It is why the Senate is known as the chamber of "sober second thought." And it is our role of legislative review, and what that role requires, that determined how the Senate was designed.

George Brown, that great Father of Confederation, summed it up well in his famous statement, quoted recently by the Supreme Court:

The desire was to render the Upper House a thoroughly independent body — one that would be in the best position to canvass dispassionately the measures of this house, and stand up for the public interests in opposition to hasty or partisan legislation.

That, at its most fundamental, is our role, in 42 words. For fans of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, evidently the answer really is "42." A "thoroughly independent body . . . to canvass dispassionately the measures . . ." of the House of Commons, ". . . and stand up for the public interests in opposition to hasty or partisan legislation."

Not just independent but "thoroughly" independent.

Not just review legislation — "canvass" in George Brown's words — but do so "dispassionately."

And finally, "stand up for public interests in opposition to hasty or partisan legislation." Our role is to stand up for Canadians — for the public interest — "in opposition to hasty or partisan" legislation.

What does this mean? And does it have relevance to us today? I believe it does. Let's begin by looking at the idea of the Senate having a critical role with respect to "hasty" legislation passed by the other place.

I think that most of us — and most objective observers, for that matter — would agree that we have seen quite a few examples of legislation in recent years that would qualify as being passed in haste, as they were passed without the benefit of full consideration and debate in the other place.

First, as we all know committee study in the other place is frequently truncated, with the result that Canadians are denied the opportunity to testify, or those who do appear find themselves cut off quite literally mid-sentence and made to testify on large panels together with witnesses addressing very different issues. The result is that the committee — and I'm talking about the committee in the other place — is unable to seriously explore the issues raised by any one witness, let alone all of them.

Second, and equally important for our purpose, the government at second and third reading has frequently shut down debate prematurely in the chamber down the hall. My office inquired about the statistics. The government has moved closure or time allocation in the other place 71 times in this Parliament alone, that is, since June 2011.

What then is our job when we receive legislation passed in this way? The Supreme Court noted several times in its decision that the Senate was intended to be a "complementary" legislative body to the House of Commons. The eminent Senate scholar Professor David Smith of the University of Saskatchewan wrote in his book The Canadian Senate in Bicameral Perspective that: "Rather than compete, the upper house completes the work of the lower house." I think that expresses the relationship between the Senate and the House of Commons very well.

So where Canadians are denied the opportunity to appear before committee in the other place, or do not have an opportunity to fully express their concerns or views, it's our job — our responsibility — to provide that forum. And when a bill is passed by the other place under time allocation or closure, we have an even greater responsibility to ensure a full debate and study in our committee and chamber.

If after that study and full debate we conclude that changes need to be made to the bill, it is our responsibility to make those changes. As George Brown said, it is our job to "stand up for public interests" in opposition to hasty legislation. I will elaborate on this in a minute, but the Fathers of Confederation were very clear that it is our job, where appropriate, to amend, delay, and even oppose bills from the other place.

Brown didn't only refer to our role in the face of legislation passed in haste by the other place. He also referred to partisan legislation.

There has been a great deal of concern expressed in recent years that the Senate has become too partisan. I can't say if it's more partisan than it has been in the past. Others who have been here or observed the Senate through various governments are better positioned than I to comment on that. But George Brown was very clear in his famous summary of our role, of what our responsibility is, when he said that our role is to "stand up for public interests in opposition to . . . partisan legislation."

Let's be clear, colleagues. The Senate is a political body, and has been a political body since Confederation. That is the reality. Together with the House of Commons, we are part of a Westminster-style Parliament, organized along political party lines, representing the government and the opposition. There never was a time when the Senate was a group of unaffiliated individuals. When George Brown spoke, he wasn't imagining a role for a body of apolitical senators. Look at the list of senators appointed in 1867 — every single one had a political affiliation next to his name. The Fathers of Confederation knew senators would have partisan affiliations and, knowing this, specifically said that our role is not to be mouthpieces for those partisan interests, but instead to "stand up for the public interests in opposition to . . . partisan legislation."

Let me quote from another great Father of Confederation, Sir John A. Macdonald. He said:

There would be no use of an Upper House, if it did not exercise, when it thought proper, the right of opposing or amending or postponing the legislation of the lower house. It would be of no value whatever were it a mere chamber for registering the decrees of the Lower House. It must be an independent house, having a free action of its own, for it is only valuable as being a regulating body, calmly considering the legislation initiated by the popular branch, and preventing any hasty or ill-considered legislation which may come from that body, but it will never set itself in opposition against the deliberate and understood wishes of the people.

My friend and colleague Senator Greene has pointed out that Macdonald said that the Senate "will never set itself in opposition against the deliberate and understood wishes of the people." Not "the lower house," but "the people." Again, our role, as designed and intended by the Fathers of Confederation, was to be independent; when we think proper, to amend, postpone — that is, delay — and even oppose legislation received from the other place. We are to have "a free action" reflecting our critical independence. Sir John A. Macdonald used mandatory language: "It must be an independent house." He didn't say, "It may be an independent house"; he said, "It must be an independent house." The limitation was not to be the will of our respective political party, or the Prime Minister, or even the elected majority in the other place. The limitation was that we would never set the Senate "in opposition against the deliberate and understood wishes of the people."

So we have two statements, from the two leading Fathers of Confederation of the nature of our role. George Brown, the Senate is to "stand up for public interests." And Sir John A. Macdonald, we must be independent, with the only limitation that we never set the Senate "in opposition against the deliberate and understood wishes of the people."

And in fact, there are examples one can point to when the Senate did precisely this. Famously, the Senate fought the introduction of the GST. While some might question certain of the methods that were employed, the fact is that more than three quarters of Canadians polled at the time wanted the Senate to defeat the GST. It had been passed by the elected majority in the other place — but senators took seriously their responsibility to stand for the wishes of the people.


Another example would be the defeat in 1991 by this chamber of the then-proposed abortion law. That bill was defeated by senators joining together from both sides of the chamber, creating a tie vote that defeated the bill.

Colleagues, let's be clear. This is not a popularity contest. Second chambers are never going to be universally liked. Meg Russell, a British scholar and expert on the House of Lords, has researched second chambers extensively, and I commend her recent book to you for your summer reading. She has concluded that second chambers — including those that are elected — are by their nature controversial. Governments always believe their proposed legislation is perfect and don't want a single comma changed. Any suggestion by a second chamber that amendments are warranted — well, that is to be discouraged in the strongest possible way — dismissed as stalling or frustrating the will of the electorate.

On the other hand, if second chambers become a mere rubber stamp for the government or the majority in the elected house, however big the problems with the proposal or the validity of public opposition, the public will question what value there is in having a second chamber — exactly as predicted by Sir John A. Macdonald almost 150 years ago.

What is the answer? In my opinion, it's quite simple. We do our job and we do it as well as we can. It's those 42 words: We must be "thoroughly independent" and then use that thorough independence to "canvass dispassionately the measures of this house and stand up for the public interests in opposition to hasty or partisan legislation."

I don't believe the problem is that we need to change the Constitution to make the Senate a credible institution. I believe the problem is that we are not always fulfilling the role given to us under the Constitution and confirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada. As senators, we aren't disappointing Canadians because of the way our job is defined. We are disappointing Canadians because we aren't doing the job we were appointed to do.

Too often, we allow our study of legislation to be cut short when there really is no objective need for hurry. Are there circumstances where time allocation motions may be required? Unquestionably. But far too often, we as a legislative body agree to motions of time allocation that cut short our debate in this chamber for no valid reason. Colleagues, the effect of these motions isn't just restricted hours of debate. They undermine the quality of our study, and they rob us of the critical time to reflect. When one of our members stands and delivers a serious, thoughtful critique of parts of a bill, that analysis requires time to be considered and assessed. Are there weaknesses in the argument? What did witnesses say? What was the government's response? But under time allocation motions, we are all of us — on both sides of this chamber — robbed of our essential ability to make that assessment. We are robbed of our right to reflect upon what we have learned.

Omnibus bills multiply exponentially this erosion of our ability to fulfil our role for Canadians. As I, and others, have quoted before, the current Prime Minister used to understand this, back when he was in opposition. In 1994, he argued that an omnibus bill was out of order because, in his words, ". . . the subject matter of the bill is so diverse that a single vote on the content would put members in conflict with their own principles."

Unfortunately, omnibus bills have now become a matter of course. Called "budget bills," they have included measures as diverse as rewriting environmental laws, removing an oversight body for the security and intelligence community, and changing the rules to immigrate to Canada — and as you know that is a very brief list, taken from just one of many omnibus budget bills.

Colleagues, we do not do our job when we stand to pass such omnibus bills.

We fail in our role when we vote to impose time allocation when we know more debate and reflection are warranted, particularly when there is no objective need for hurry.

In fact, we have seen repeated instances when one omnibus bill changes provisions passed just months earlier in another omnibus bill because there was a mistake that needed to be corrected. Colleagues, that happens because we had not done our job as the chamber of sober second thought in the first place. Mistakes happen because we accept bills that are hundreds of pages long, because we ourselves restrict our time to consider those bills, and because we accede to the government's wish not to make any amendments to their legislation.

In the words of the great Sir John A. Macdonald, what then is the value of having a Senate?

We can point to successes. I'm proud of the Senate's work last year on Bill C-377, the labour union disclosure bill. We identified issues that were not even mentioned in the other place, including constitutional problems. We took the time to listen to witnesses, including representations from a number of provinces. We debated the bill here in this chamber, and we proposed, considered and ultimately adopted amendments to the bill. As an aside, we should all acknowledge that had the new provisions for dealing with private members' business, which the majority on our Rules Committee now propose, been in place last year, the outcome on Bill C-377 would have been very different.

In any event, was everyone in the other place happy with what we did? Of course not. But I believe we did our job. I was particularly proud that the vote on the amendments ultimately passed crossed party lines. Partisan politics was not an issue. The focus was how to do the best for Canadians.

Indeed, the sponsor of that bill, Senator Eaton, has since pointed to our work on Bill C-377 as an example of the good work we can do when we, in her words, "remain true to our mandate and purposefully choose to override partisanship."

The issue, colleagues, is not whether or not we are members of a political party. As I have explained, this chamber, like the whole of the Parliament of Canada, was established and operates on the Westminster model, meaning it assumes that senators are members of political parties. I understand and I support that. I have been a member of the Liberal Party for decades, and I remain a member of the Liberal Party today. Political parties are a way to join together in shared principles, values and vision, to strengthen one's voice and perhaps also one's resolve by joining with others who share the same values and beliefs.

The problem is not that most of us in this chamber are members of political parties. The problem is that partisanship and political allegiance have overwhelmed the independent lens that must — I repeat, "must" — be brought to bear on our work here in the Senate, and especially on our work of legislative review.

For those of us on this side of the chamber, the theory and reality of independence merged on January 29, on what I alluded to earlier as our Independence Day.

Were we independent before? I felt so. But now, any suggestion of control is not only gone but can be seen by all Canadians to be gone. On this side, every vote is a free vote.

We have suggested that the Senate would benefit from a similar development for members opposite. Unfortunately, that does not appear to be imminent.

So are there steps that we can take to improve the Senate, the way in which we work — to realize our role as envisioned by the Fathers of Confederation? I have my own ideas, and I'm confident that many senators in this chamber, on both sides of the aisle, have their own ideas as well.

Colleagues, Senator Nolin has a motion before the Senate to set up a special committee on Senate modernization to consider ways that we can improve the Senate within the current constitutional framework in order, in part, to increase public confidence in the Senate.

I welcome this initiative. I believe it is critically important to look at the big picture, to decide together how the Senate can best serve Canadians and therefore where it should go as an institution and what our role should be as individuals.

There has been considerable discussion of changes to our Rules. And now we have a contentious report from our Rules Committee proposing fundamental changes to how we deal with all non-government business. Surely before we can decide what rule changes are needed and should be made, we first must reach a consensus on what the Senate should be doing better, and then what changes are required to make that happen.

Frankly, I expected Senator Nolin's motion for a special committee study to receive virtually unanimous support from both sides of the chamber.

That did not happen. Sadly, the level of partisanship in this chamber is at such a level that apparently the support from this side for Senator Nolin's motion engendered not a sense of commonalty of purpose and cooperation across the chamber, but rather suspicion and mistrust, a conviction that somehow inadvertently the motion contains a buried trick, an advantage for our side.


Colleagues, there is no plot, no conspiracy, no hidden agenda.

There is simply a desire to make the Senate work as best it can to fulfill its constitutional role in our parliamentary democracy, to restore the credibility of the Senate as an institution and the work that we do as senators. These goals I am sure are shared by all of us, on both sides of this chamber.

Colleagues, how much more time will be lost to political suspicion? What opportunities will be missed to improve our work, and with it the reputation of the Senate and of each of us as senators?

Sometimes we simply have to say, "Enough."

Sometimes we have to take a chance — a chance that maybe, just maybe, the motivations and intentions are genuinely to work together to make this place work better for Canadians. A chance that maybe, just maybe, there are changes that we can agree to — truly agree on a consensus basis, not by a majority outvoting a minority but in the great tradition of parliaments around the world, by the art of debate and persuasion. And a chance that maybe, just maybe, we can improve this place, so that we can work better and also leave the Senate better for future parliamentarians, and most importantly, for Canadians.

Colleagues, we each of us have had the enormous privilege to have been called to this chamber and to sit here to serve our country and our fellow citizens. We have been offered a rare opportunity to participate in the work of the Parliament of Canada, what should be the greatest house in the land — the place where the laws that will govern our country are proposed, considered, refined and passed. There is no higher calling.

We have a responsibility to uphold the Senate's place and role in our parliamentary democracy. That is the task and also the extraordinary opportunity before us today. We have a choice: We can rise to the challenge and work together to ready the Senate for the 21st century — or we can allow the politics to swallow our purpose.

In the best tradition of this place, I hope that all of us rise above our partisan differences and agree to work together to do our part to build an institution of which all Canadians can be justly proud.

(On motion of Senator Andreychuk, debate adjourned.)

Business of the Senate

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, the clock is showing 5:15. The bells will be rung for the ordered vote at 5:30. Call in the senators.

May I have permission to leave the chair?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.


Canada Elections Act

Bill to Amend—Third Reading

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, it was moved by the Honourable Senator Frum, seconded by the Honourable Senator Tkachuk:

That Bill C-23, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and other Acts and to make consequential amendments to certain Acts, be read the third time.

Motion agreed to and bill read third time and passed, on the following division:


Andreychuk Martin
Ataullahjan McInnis
Batters McIntyre
Bellemare Meredith
Beyak Mockler
Black Nancy Ruth
Boisvenu Neufeld
Buth Ngo
Carignan Oh
Champagne Patterson
Dagenais Plett
Demers Poirier
Doyle Raine
Eaton Rivard
Enverga Runciman
Fortin-Duplessis Seidman
Frum Seth
Gerstein Smith (Saurel)
Greene Stewart Olsen
Housakos Tannas
Johnson Tkachuk
Lang Unger
LeBreton Verner
Maltais Wells
Manning White—51


Baker Jaffer
Campbell Lovelace Nicholas
Chaput Massicotte
Charette-Poulin McCoy
Cools Mercer
Cordy Mitchell
Cowan Moore
Dawson Munson
Day Ringuette
Dyck Robichaud
Fraser Smith (Cobourg)
Furey Tardif
Hubley Watt—26



The Senate

Motion to Urge the Government of Venezuela to Immediately End all Unlawful Acts of Violence and Repression against Civilians—Debate Adjourned

Hon. A. Raynell Andreychuk, pursuant to notice of June 10, 2014, moved:

That the Senate of Canada take note of the ongoing tensions in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and that it urge the Government of Venezuela to:

1. immediately end all unlawful acts of violence and repression against civilians, including the activities of armed civilian groups, and

2. commit to meaningful and inclusive dialogue centred on the need to:

(a) restore the rule of law and constitutionalism, including the independence of the judiciary and other state institutions;

(b) respect and uphold international human rights obligations, including the freedoms of expression and the press; and,

(c) take swift and appropriate measures to curb inflation, corruption and lawlessness, and to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all Venezuelans.

That the Senate of Canada further encourage all parties and parliamentarians in Venezuela to:

1. encourage their supporters to refrain from violence and the destruction of public and private property; and,

2. commit to dialogue aimed at achieving a political solution to the current crisis and its causes.

She said: Honourable senators, since early February Venezuela has been seized by an intense and violently political struggle. The unrest was sparked by the attempted rape of a student in the city of San Cristóbal. The attack ignited long-standing grievances over deteriorating security conditions across Venezuela. The severe police response to the protesters provoked an even stronger reaction. More students joined the protest movement as it spread to other cities. Eventually they were joined by non-students. As the protests spread, the list of grievances grew. They include corruption, inflation, food shortages and lawlessness in Venezuela.

On February 12, thousands of people took part in a demonstration in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas. The protest turned violent. At least three protesters were killed, and scores were arrested. Among them was the leader of the Popular Will party, Leopoldo López. López was accused of murder, inciting violence, damaging property and arson. The homicide charge was dropped after video footage emerged of security forces firing on unarmed protesters, but López is now standing trial on the other charges. If found guilty, he could spend 10 years in jail. As Amnesty International put it, the charges brought against Mr. López "smack of a politically motivated attempt to silence dissent in the country."


The effect has been quite the opposite. As Mr. Lopez sits in the Ramo Verde military jail, the protests continue.

On Thursday, May 8, the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade heard from another opposition leader: Maria Corina Machado became a member of Venezuela's National Assembly in 2010. She made international headlines in March when she was ejected from Venezuela's National Assembly. The move followed her appearance before the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States.

Panama had yielded its speaking rights to Ms. Machado to allow her to brief the organization on the situation in her country. Such practice is not uncommon to the OAS. However, the National Assembly of Venezuela ruled that this amounted to an acceptance by Ms. Machado of another country's post. It ruled that she had breached Venezuela's Constitution and voted to revoke her parliamentary immunity.

Ms. Machado has since addressed the foreign affairs committees of the European Parliament, the Senate of Brazil and most recently the Senate of Canada. I invite all senators to read her testimony, which confirms reports about the deteriorating human and civil rights situation in Venezuela. Some 42 people have been killed in the protests since February 12. Most of the casualties have been protesters. Others have been members of the security forces.

Contrary to attestations by the Venezuelan government, however, there is little evidence that the protesters have been responsible for any of the deaths. Several hundreds of people have been injured; thousands have been arrested, including the mayors of two cities. One mayor was sentenced to 10 months in jail after he refused to dismantle protesters' barricades. The other is to serve a year in prison on charges of civil rebellion and conspiracy. Others arrested include three air force generals accused of "plotting an uprising" against the government. These have become common accusations.

President Nicolas Maduro has repeatedly sought to discredit the protesters as "fascists," "saboteurs" and "profit-hungry corrupt businessmen." He claims they harken exclusively from the middle and upper classes. He accuses them of trying to overthrow his government with the support of Colombia and the United States.

On May 28, President Maduro made similar accusations against Ms. Machado. He accused her of being behind a plot to assassinate him and to orchestrate a coup with the assistance of the United States envoy to Colombia.

Just today, Venezuela's Attorney General issued three further arrest warrants in that alleged plot. Those wanted for questioning are: Diego Arria, a former presidential candidate and United Nations ambassador; Pedro Burelli, former external director of the state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela; and Ricardo Koesling, a lawyer who has been a strong critic of the government. The accusations appear part of a cynical pattern aimed at discrediting the opposition.

Campaigns of disinformation have benefited from an increasingly restrictive media environment in Venezuela: Television programs have been censored; stations been obliged to carry government announcements; Internet and social media have been interrupted; and journalists have been attacked and their equipment seized. The Association of Foreign News Correspondents in Venezuela has denounced "assault, abuse, harassment, threats and theft" against media workers. Reporters Without Borders cites similar concerns. It notes that Venezuela is ranked one hundred and sixteenth out of 180 countries in its World Press Freedom Index 2014.

Clarity on the day-to-day situation in Venezuela is difficult to obtain, but that should not prevent the world from speaking on behalf of accountability, justice, the rule of law and human rights. In early March, a group of United Nations human rights experts did just that. These experts said:

We are deeply disturbed by the allegations of multiple cases of arbitrary detention of protesters. Some were reportedly beaten — and in some cases severely tortured — by security forces, taken to military facilities, kept in incommunicado detention, and denied access to legal assistance.

The experts also addressed the lack of media freedom:

Ensuring full protection to journalists and media workers covering the difficult period experienced by the country today is crucial. . . . The reconciliatory dialogue that is so deeply needed in Venezuela is not going to take place if political leaders, students, media groups and journalists are harassed and intimidated by the authorities.

On April 4, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights expressed similar concerns:

The information received indicates that there continue to be serious allegations concerning infringements on the rights to life, humane treatment, and personal liberty in the context of the demonstrations; the right to peaceful protest; and the right to freedom of expression. In particular, information was received on alleged attacks by armed civilian groups on demonstrators in several cities in the country.

It later added that:

The IACHR has also received information on alleged acts of torture and maltreatment in the context of the demonstrations, and in the hearing the organizations alleged that people who had been detained were not receiving adequate medical care. The Inter-American Commission expresses its deep concern over the situation in Venezuela, and at the same time encourages the State to move forward with a process of dialogue to find a peaceful way to resolve the current situation, with full respect for human rights.

On May 5, Human Rights Watch released a report on the results of a fact-finding mission to Venezuela. The report is entitled Punished for Protesting: Rights Violations in Venezuela's Streets, Detention Centers, and Justice System. It offers a detailed account of the abuses committed by government officials, security forces and the judiciary.

According to José Miguel Vivanco, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch Americas Division :

. . . the scale of rights violations we found in Venezuela and the collaboration of security forces and justice officials in committing them shows these aren't isolated incidents or the excesses of a few rogue actors. Rather, they are part of an alarming pattern of abuse that is the worst we have seen in Venezuela in years.

Here in Canada, the Minister of Foreign Affairs has issued several statements expressing alarm over the violence and urging dialogue. Our colleagues in the other place expressed similar concerns in a motion passed unanimously on February 28.

In early April, President Maduro announced the creation of a truth commission to investigate incidents of violence since the protests began. He also announced the creation of a human rights council to protect and uphold human rights in Venezuela. An announcement soon followed that the Attorney General was investigating 145 alleged human rights violations by security forces. Seventeen security officials were said to be in detention, of which two were suspected cases of torture.

In early April, ambassadors from the Union of South American Nations and a senior Vatican member moderated exploratory talks between some opposition leaders and government. These were positive first steps. However, many in Venezuela do not feel that these are impartial or inclusive processes. Venezuelans have grown suspicious of state institutions. According to Human Rights Watch, many such institutions have been complicit in numerous violations:

. . . members of the Venezuelan attorney general's office and the judiciary in many cases "knew of, participated in, or otherwise tolerated abuses against protesters and detainees, including serious violations of their due process rights."


Many Venezuelans doubt that the government is willing to make real concessions. For example, opposition members at the talks called for the disarmament of pro-government civilian groups and for amnesty for arrested opposition leaders and protesters. But little progress on these demands has been achieved, and the talks are now stalled.

Meanwhile, Venezuela remains deeply polarized, and the situation is polarizing the region. Urgent steps are needed to bridge the divide that separates the Venezuelan government from a growing and increasingly disenchanted number of Venezuelans.

As the people of Venezuela continue in their struggle not only for political change but also for the basic necessities of life, it is incumbent upon us to stand in defence of international principles of human rights and civil rights. Difficult compromises are urgently needed to restore peace, stability and individual freedoms, rule-based democracy, political inclusiveness and basic human well-being in Venezuela.

I therefore urge you, honourable senators, to support the motion. The safety and well-being of Venezuelans is paramount. The safety and well-being of Venezuelans is central to a durable and rights-respecting solution to the crisis that is now so urgently needed.

I would ask senators to look at the motion. It is a facilitating motion to urge both sides to renounce violence, to look at peaceful means to bridge the divide in order that Venezuela return to a functioning government and democracy where all of the people of Venezuela can thrive, turn to peaceful discussion and ensure the streets are safe.

Now is the time to act, and I would ask that we encourage this dialogue and ask all parties to desist from violence. I would ask for your support for this motion.

(On motion of Senator Fraser, debate adjourned.)

Agriculture and Forestry

Committee Authorized to Extend Date of Final Report on Study of Importance of Bees and Bee Health in the Production of Honey, Food and Seed

Hon. Percy Mockler, pursuant to notice of June 10, 2014, moved:

That, notwithstanding the order of the Senate adopted on Thursday, November 21, 2013, the date for the final report of the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry in relation to its study on the importance of bees and bee health in the production of honey, food and seed in Canada be extended from June 30, 2014 to December 31, 2014.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

(Motion agreed to.)

National Security and Defence

Committee Authorized to Meet During Sitting of the Senate

Hon. Daniel Lang, pursuant to notice of June 10, 2014, moved:

That the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence have the power to sit on Friday, June 13, 2014 at 10 a.m., even though the Senate may then be sitting, and that rule 12-18(1) be suspended in relation thereto.

He said: Honourable senators, the purpose of the motion is for the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence to meet tomorrow to finalize our report resulting from the review of Canada's lack of participation in the ballistic missile defence in North America and how it relates to NORAD and USNORTHCOM. We hope to table our report at the beginning of next week.

The Hon. the Speaker: Senator Mitchell, is there a question?

Hon. Grant Mitchell: I'd just like to say that I'm in agreement with that motion.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

(Motion agreed to.)

Foreign Affairs and International Trade

Committee Authorized to Extend Date of Final Report on Study of Security Conditions and Economic Developments in the Asia-Pacific Region

Hon. A. Raynell Andreychuk, pursuant to notice of June 11, 2014, moved:

That, notwithstanding the order of the Senate adopted on Thursday, November 21, 2013, the date for the final report of the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade in relation to its examination of security conditions and economic developments in the Asia-Pacific region, the implications for Canadian policy and interests in the region, and other related matters be extended from June 30, 2014 to March 31, 2015.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

(Motion agreed to.)

Committee Authorized to Extend Date of Final Report on Study of Issues Relating to Foreign Relations and International Trade Generally

Hon. A. Raynell Andreychuk, pursuant to notice of June 11, 2014, moved:

That, notwithstanding the order of the Senate adopted on Thursday, November 21, 2013, the date for the final report of the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade in relation to its examination of such issues as may arise from time to time relating to foreign relations and international trade generally be extended from June 30, 2014 to March 31, 2015.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

(Motion agreed to.)

Human Rights

Committee Authorized to Extend Date of Final Report on Study of Issue of Cyberbullying

Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer, pursuant to notice of June 11, 2014, moved:

That, notwithstanding the order of the Senate adopted on Tuesday, November 19, 2013, the date for the final report of the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights in relation to its examination of the issue of cyberbullying in Canada with regard to Canada's international human rights obligations under Article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child be extended from June 30, 2014 to March 31, 2015

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

(Motion agreed to.)

Committee Authorized to Extend Date of Final Report on Study of Issues of Discrimination in Hiring and Promotion Practices of Federal Public Service and Labour Market Outcomes for Minority Groups in Private Sector

Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer, pursuant to notice of June 11, 2014, moved:

That, notwithstanding the order of the Senate adopted on Tuesday, November 19, 2013, the date for the final report of the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights in relation to its examination of issues of discrimination in the hiring and promotion practices of the Federal Public Service, to study the extent to which targets to achieve employment equity are being met, and to examine labour market outcomes for minority groups in the private sector be extended from June 30, 2014 to March 31, 2015.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

(Motion agreed to.)

Committee Authorized to Extend Date of Final Report on Study of International and National Human Rights Obligations

Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer, pursuant to notice of June 11, 2014, moved:

That, notwithstanding the order of the Senate adopted on Tuesday, November 19, 2013, the date for the final report of the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights in relation to its examination and monitoring of issues relating to human rights and, inter alia, to review the machinery of government dealing with Canada's international and national human rights obligations be extended from June 30, 2014 to March 31, 2015.

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

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

(Motion agreed to.)


(The Senate adjourned until Friday, June 13, 2014, at 9 a.m.)

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